Life was smiling at me… The sun was always low in the sunset with huge colors of an autumn evening, the smell of the always green grass, rocked me happily on my trusty bicycle path to the university. Every pedal stroke was associated to an emotion imprinted within me, ready to complain in a curve like a scar of a soldier, ready to smile in another.
I kept looking back and I did not care how good or clever I was. I was just stubborn and naive are those who think differently, the only thing I could do was to go ahead blindly, as far as I could.
Dreams, however, may end up in a nightmare without the slightest warning; the sun concluded his daily walk and darkness, night, and the clouds are making their way into the blue sky like a dark omen; I did not like the show to see my past, although they did give me a front row seat.
I kept pedaling. I kept my eyes on the road, away from my story, and close to all the thoughts of this incredible experience. At first the city seemed a soulless monster covered with a cold darkness, a sea of falling rain and rained bullets of water were coming down as if the heaven wanted to take revenge on the ground.
I came back wondering at every turn, and these thoughts became more and more daydreams, more and more with happy ending… And suddenly the city lights sparkled in the rain like diamonds on black velvet.
I never liked the rain so much before, I had never seen life from this point of view, happiness took me under its arm and it was whispering to my ear all its secrets.
I realized that my thoughts were actually experiences of a movie in which there was only one protagonist, but in a astonishing non-fatalistic way I was able at any time to choose which direction to take. My skin began to smell of rain, the clean arctic one, while I was alone on that road I began to understand that the experiences that I had selfishly labeled as mine, were bloody signed by other people around the world. I realized that the contact with people thousands of kilometers away from me had affected my life. I realized that concepts like friendship and love were a priori and not depending on the language, everything is within us, inherent, well-defined, and what you feel is not expressed in a speech or language. I realized how intricately beautiful is the human mind, and that the difference between having a friend or nobody is infinite, how the true secret of happiness is the change, or face the same experiences in different ways, how not real is an experience if not shared.
Suddenly something struck my mind strongly, perforating me with its subtle dark message, as a bullet in the heart. I felt the scent of her as strong as a drug that frozes the body, depriving me to express feelings such as surprise, anger, pride, but gradually gave way to the pleasant feeling of rational control, and I realized that falling in love with a girl who does not speak your language was not a quite common cliché.
But who was I to say this? A ruthless drifter loner overwhelmed by the headstone of the pursuit of happiness. But everything was ultimately subjective, as well as the apocalypse and the end of the world are personal, you understand that nothing is a cliché when it happens precisely to you.
The last feeling was an omen. I felt lost, it was horrible because I knew the road and I was on the right path. Lurking in the maze there was no Minotaur, but I was aware that somewhere on the bridge of his vessel, the captain of Charon was waiting, impassive as the famous ferryman of the Styx. The night had begun to shiver from the cold, the lights of the city began to sway nervously and at every flare the light shone through the rain that split second before the darkness took it again, I had no tricks up my sleeve and my dose of rationality was over.
Like when you wake up from a dream and what was logical becomes meaningless in reality, I realized that I returned home, I was no longer in Erasmus.
I loosened the grip on the handlebars, the last corner was like a final exclamation point to what had happened, I clenched my fingers on the brake, it was all over.
(I wrote this account of my Erasmus for a literary contest, self-evidently inspired by the noir video game ”Max Payne”)