I was in a small island, which could be crossed on foot in terms of hours or half a day only. There were beaches I wanted to get to know, but my wandering was near its end, for the afternoon advanced and I didn’t know the place well enough to feel safe in it after dark. There was a main road, but no cars circulating, only little narrow streets coming out of the main road, some of them with pavement or tarmac, some without, crisscrossing themselves and confusing my sense of direction. After all, I got to a more crowded area, where an ugly, but imposing construction loomed: a kind of events pavilion full of ramps which led nowhere, didn’t connect to the rest of the walks and sidewalks and narrow streets, but met enormous walls and salons with no way out.
I almost got lost inside, but some people helped me not just to get out, but to find a way back to the north of the island, where I was lodged. It was already night when I arrived, and I was informed of an Olympic competition that would happen in the neighboring island, which was bigger and with better infrastructure to receive such an event. The transport to the matrix island was done. Again, I saw myself in the south of the region, admiring a landscape so beautiful I almost got to doubt it was real – it could be a hallucination induced by the swaying of the boats, or I could have finally gone crazy, after so many ordeals and hardships.
I didn’t want to get out of there, but I ended up being taken away with the crowd, which now directed itself to a modern train station in the middle of the coastal nature. They were surface trains, but looked like underground trains – they seemed extremely modern and fast. I observed through the windows the transition of environments – untouched nature in the south, going through charming villages in the middle, with big and modern houses, until we got to the north of the island: a huge area which stretched itself like a crowded modern metropolis, but that still preserved its traditional architecture and greenery. The contrast with the quiet, peaceful and paradise-like south of the island couldn’t be bigger, if it weren’t for the atmosphere of a small town and the lack of skyscrapers in the metropolis area. There was a beautiful bridge, which resembled a little the bridge in downtown Chicago, with its historical buildings circling the place; but the water that ran under the bridge was absurdly bright and blue. It shone like the water from the Caribbean Sea. It was a glittering turquoise with a touch of green – again, I doubted my eyes.
I thought that water was actually a kind of canal conceived for the passage of sea water – even a few waves could be seen in this river. But it could be fresh water for other reasons, reasons related to the imminent sport competition. I went to my lodgings, which were the same as the ones for the competing athletes. I had, thus, a privileged view of the event, appreciating details about the games that only people directly connected to the competition could know. One of the most popular sports was table tennis. But this was a different kind of table tennis, played in minuscule booths with tiny rackets, and a kind of black rectangular recipient, like a smaller than usual shoebox turned on its side, with the opening facing the front, which the players should hit with the little ball – almost like target shooting or horizontal basketball, in which the target or basket was this little black rectangular box, in a horizontal position, and the weapon was the racket.
After making myself at home at the lodgings, I met a very smart and beautiful girl and made friends with her, and we went touring through the city. We went to the aforementioned bridge, and as she was very nice, she soon became friends with a group of young men who had also travelled there to see the Olympics. They were all good looking and fun, but there was something about them that left me apprehensive and uncomfortable. The conversation seemed innocent enough, but the gait, the tone of voice, the gestures – something told me not to trust them, and even not to trust the girl that was with me in the apartment. Little by little, I noticed the conversation between the girl and the young men was becoming ruder and cruder by the minute, and they started to look dangerous – especially the second boy (because my friend had totally absorbed the attentions of the first one) turned himself to me out of boredom, and he looked drunk or drugged; he put on a cigarette and started to talk about parties, sex, recreational drugs and even about robberies and things of the kind. I was afraid and wanted to go back to the lodging, and I realized the only way was to just scarper from that place. On my way back, I got lost in the city, because it was night and the son of bitch of the guy had robbed my cellphone, and I had no map or any way to call for help, I didn’t know anyone there, and I started to notice the city wasn’t as peaceful as it had looked in the first place. I saw myself in a deserted suburban street, with beautiful and big, modern houses, big cars and rich people having a row in the middle of the street: someone had run over someone else’s pet or child, and it seemed like a serious fight was about to happen. I hid myself and waited, for certainly the police would arrive and I would be able to then go back to my lodgings. I waited for a long time.