Cities…invisible or otherwise


Millions of eyes look up at windows, bridges, capers, and they might be scanning a blank page.

Your footsteps follow not what is outside the eyes, but what is within, buried, erased.

Soon the city fades before your eyes, the rose windows are expunged, the statues on the corbels, the domes.

My mind goes on containing a great number of cities i have never seen and will never see, names that bear with them a figure or a fragment or glimmer of an imagined figure…

And the mind refuses to accept more faces, more expressions: on every new face you encounter, it prints the old forms, for each one it finds the most suitable mask.

…when you concentrate and stare at the carpet, you recognize the street you were seeking in a crimson or indigo or magenta thread which,in a wide loop, brings you to the purple enclosure that is your real destination.

Every now and then at the edges of the street a cluster of constructions with shallow facades, very tall or very low, like a snaggle-toothed comb, seems to indicate that from there the city’s texture will thicken.

Nobody wonders where, each day, they carry their load of refuse.

A cataclysm will flatten the sordid mountain range, canceling every trace of the metropolis always dressed in new clothes.

But first, for many long years, it was uncertain whether or not the final victory would not go to the last species left to fight man’s possession of the city: the rats.

Music is already there, it just has to be written down.

Sentences picked at random from Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.