There’s a big curve on our road where the pavement widens and there’s a pull-off. When we first moved here it was a favorite dumping spot for all manner of junk – construction detritus, old appliances, anything big, clunky and inconvenient. More recently, though, it has become a place where cars mysteriously appear, and then disappear. We’ve long thought that they were stolen cars that were left on the curve and which the police then hauled away.
Then this summer a blue Fiat wagon appeared regularly, most frequently on weekends Why? We surmised that someone who came and went from Rapallo felt he found a good temporary parking spot. If so, he will have changed his mind.
This is what the car looks like now. Someone, or more likely several someones, had a little fun with matches. I find this terribly disturbing on two counts. First, the wanton destruction of valuable property is so wasteful. It is also a violent expression of… of what? of something very distressing. Anger? Antipathy? Boredom? Insanity? Who knows? I can’t imagine burning up a car for pleasure, for vendetta or for any other reason. It has stood on the corner for about a month now, a mute testament to the destructive urges of some Rapallini. Why it hasn’t yet been towed I can’t imagine.
The second reason it is all so distressing is that this particular curve has become a memorial site. About two years ago an 18 year old boy named Matteo Vincenzo Vitale had a bit too much to drink and drove his motorcycle smack into the stone wall at the side of the curve. His friends and family have created, and still maintain, a little shrine to him there.
The paint is fading and his sports shirt is the worse from being out in the elements, but someone replaces the flowers regularly. To see the burnt hulk of the Fiat adjacent to where Teo met his own violent end is just overwhelmingly sad. It shows an ugly lack of respect, not only for the property destroyed, but for the meaning that the place has to others. It’s just a pity.