‘Adela…’ is the first of a series of texts written by Amalia Iavazzo as part of the CtC Writer in Residence (CtC WiR) Programme launched in October 2017. Over the course of four months, the resident writer will contribute short stories, inspired by the image of a contemporary work. For her series, Amalia has chosen artworks she knows nothing about, in order for the narrative to unfold in a spontaneous and unrestricted way. Stay tuned to discover the whole chain of images and the texts she will develop until January 2018.


A Monday morning with no spasms, with no impetus. A Monday.

It’s been raining for weeks. The drops fall as heavy as pride, I feel them when they touch the ground.

It’s the sound of a vase that, full, wobbles to finally shatter.

Some vases shatter, sooner or later. They have to. Woe betide them, if they don’t.

I think of the sun with melancholy. It is the same melancholy that a 5-year-old child, who forgot his teddy bear at the park, feels. He was having too much fun and neglected it; it happens.

Though it’s OK this way too, the rhythm of the rain scans the time of such a debut of sufferance, recalling a waltz.

Adela left two days ago. She left me a dishevelled crack on the door.

To remind me that she has left, to remind me many times per day: 5 times, to be precise.

The sum of the times I move from the chair to that rectangle.

Though it’s OK this way too, she allowed the light to jostle with the right strength. It allowed the walls to renew their faded colour.

You can see way more things since Adela left that hole in the door.

You can see the shame and the infection, the crack and the manoeuvres, the horror and the ardour.

You can hear the neighbour praying, on the upstairs floor procreating. I hate them. Yes, I hate those two.

What a beauty Adela is.

Now, after leaving, she is beautiful.

The memory of her, her abandonment and her screams are beautiful.

Now, after leaving, she is foolishly beautiful.

I remember her from the first time. I saw her fidgeting outside of a packed discount store.

I saw her swearing at a trolley with a missing wheel. She looked crazy.

Everybody was staring at her, laughing.

I wasn’t. I was curious.

Curious to know what had gone wrong to let her reach that point; curious to know what denied hug she might have faced the night before.

Curious to know which vital switch, all of a sudden, had ceased to work.

She was dragging those ten wedged iron pieces in front of herself, with no elegance.

I heard her murmuring:

‘Why don’t you have wheels like all other trolleys on the planet? Why is it my turn with the imperfect trolley?’ – She flailed about, angry. ‘Why can trolleys even make radical choices such as this one, and I can never change fucking anything in my life? Why? Why do deficiencies persecute me, reach me and put me to the test in this manner? Why? Fuck you, subversive trolleys.’

Her striking imperfections hit me that day, later on, until today.

While she was shaking the feet to straighten the thing, she appeared to me like a legendary creature; majestic like a sunflower; smug like a wet blade of grass; clumsy and slow like a caterpillar.

I could feel her smell. I perfected it with precision further on.

Adela tasted of wet soil and newly picked up tomatoes. She reminded me of childhood.

Perhaps, I chose her for this reason.

There was a defect of Adela, which was dragging me into the vortex of perdition. She was driving me crazy. She was taking my energy. I could shake for that stuff.

I could calm down for those irregular teeth of hers.

I could say ‘crooked’ but no; crooked is something completely ‘wrong’ whereas ‘irregular’ leaves that possibility out. There are plenty of irregular things in this world that are beautiful and desired. Truly like Adela is for me.

White and irregular, those teeth were minstrels. They would say more than what she could say about herself; more than what she even knew about herself and… enough.

She would smile with authority and character, she would block you in a grip, she would stare at you in the eyes and then, clumsily, reveal these bended peaks in illicit cries.

This was Adela.

Chief of Staff, on the outside.

Gondola, at the mercy of flows, on the inside.

You should pay attention to it. I did it too late. It’s true, eyes say a lot. Though believe me, look at the unique and unrepeatable composition of the dental structure of a person.

Of a woman.

Of a woman in her forties.

How many things you will discover.

How many bitten lips, how many given bites, how many sins of gluttony, how much smoke, how many laughs and cries. How much pain, laid down on the varnish of an imperfect smile; irregular.

Crooked, if you want.

There are all the insecurities and triumphs in that awkward accordion.

All laid down there, on the surface.

Tight teeth. Adela had kept the teeth tight, her entire life. She always held up. Always rolled with the punches.

Then, two days ago, she left. She could not handle it anymore.

She left a dishevelled crack on the door and went away. Closed curtain.

Though it’s OK this way too.

The sun will shine again. The child will find his lost teddy bear, exactly where he had forgotten it. I will fix the door, buy a wheel for that trolley. Everything will go as it has to. It will go in an irregular way. Dishevelled. Crooked. As always.

Amalia Iavazzo

Born and raised in the warmth of the South of Italy, Amalia is 23 and since always cultivates a strong love for words and for all it is possible to create (or destroy) through them. From 9am to 6pm she curates the way big companies communicate around their business. From 6pm to midnight she manages her own company, namely Tutelio, which deals with the protection of author rights at 360 degrees, alongside other professionals of the sector.
Things that make her heart beat are:
– Art aiming to generate change in society, with the goal of explaining otherwise complex subjects. Direct art. Art as human improvement. Art as beauty.
– Travelling to unknown, unconventional and not-specified places. Travelling with a flexible and variable itinerary. Leaving for a day and coming back after six.
– Listening to thoughts of big historical characters, listening to the sea and to children.
– Writing about herself, which is useful to better understand her own mind. Writing about others and the world, to appreciate the cosmos.
– Titans. She unconditionally loves people that, once defeated, perseverate and do not give up, by any means following their own values.

Original text in Italian. English translation by Miriam La Rosa.

Featured Image: HH.Lim, Anche I denti storti raccontano chi sei (2015). Source: http://www.artribune.com/report/2015/10/mostra-lim-zoo-zone-art-forum-roma/attachment/hh-lim-anche-i-denti-storti-raccontano-chi-sei-2015/





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