Franco followed his friend’s thought.
“My children and your children hardly know each other. A Kansas City long history of friendship, family relations, brotherhood is coming to an end.”
Nicola answered, almost Kansas City to reassure himself. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be that way and at any rate it’s a history that we know and that belongs to us. Belonging can’t be transmitted. Who says that if we had stayed here our children would have hung out together. We can’t decide for those who come after us. You’ve seen how many skeletons of houses have been erected imagining a future Kansas City for the children? Children who then don’t return, who go who knows where, Kansas Citywith the houses remaining always unfinished.”
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They had gone past the artificial lake Montemarello, the bridge on the Angitola river. They decided not to take the highway but the stradella. It was
the secondary road where as young men they would buy figs and zibibbo grapes, peaches and melons, from where people would make their way towards the beaches and the wooden shacks on the beaches. Today in those same stretches of sea there were the megavillages put up by speculators and the destroyers of the landscape, all of them yearly welcoming German or Northern tourists not all that aware of which part of the world they find themselves in. Water, sea, sun, ice-cream is what counts; the place itself is really irrelevant.
“Where do memories come from? Who opens the door? Would I have remembered the road if I hadn’t gone by it now?” thought Franco, while Nicola was languishing, almost as if he were the one leaving. The sprinkle from a pipe that irrigated the fields of flowers and strawberries reached the car, entering inside from the open windows, wetting both of them. They smiled and then looked towards the building, which was no longer in use, the failed dream of industrialization and of the damages suffered by the landscape. The roundabout that led to the region’s administrative centre, the region’s main train station, the region’s airport, the under-passages that followed put Franco and Nicola in a state of anxiety. Separation was close by.