Enrico Maso, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
Chapter 1 – I’m not old!
Piero awakes with a splitting headache. Looking at the clock, he sees it’s midday. He gets out of bed and drags himself towards the kitchen. It’s covered in glasses and dirty plates.
Last night’s party was a great success but now he has to clear up. He makes coffee, thinking as he does so what a good birthday it had been, even if it was his 30th!
Piero is an IT technician and works in a small company outside Florence.
He lives in a small flat with his cat, Miro, and yesterday he had invited some friends around to celebrate his birthday.
The party had been great fun, the best for ages, but he can‘t stop thinking of something said jokingly by his friends:
“Happy birthday! You’re really old now!”
It continues to bother him as he tackles the washing up.
He turns on the television. There’s a sports programme on, covering the NewYork marathon. An athlete is talking about his experience: he’s 56 and doesn’t feel old – he enjoys running.
Piero turns to look at the screen and exclaims “If he can run, I can run! I’m not old! With a bit of training, I can do it too.”
Miro’ the cat, who is stretched out on a cushion, raises its head and looks at him.
“Yes, you heard right: tomorrow we start training,” Piero tells him.
The cat yawns and closes its eyes.
“That’s right, go back to sleep,” laughs Piero, turning back to the sink.