The wall — The story of a spectator

Everytime I used to go to my grandmother’s, I became curious of the wall belonging to the house opposite. It was a wall of dry dirt, emasculated from the winds of time, mossed from the moisture of greenish plants, with its plaster patched over time and with notable holes. I would wonder how such a lofty wall could still stand. I never stood close to it. The thought that it could fall anytime would scare me. After all in that wall there were all sorts of tiny creatures….making a spectacle of abomination.

The wall was old, so old as it couldn’t be remembered. Moreover it carried many legends and stories. People used to say that it was built by some outlanders that had come from very far to Tirana. In its beginning the wall couldn’t stand, it always fell. So what they did is that they took some jars full of gold, as it seemed they were rich, and put them in the ends of the wall which made it stand solid and immovable. Years later, when this story took place, some brigands killed the family and dug up the wall but found nothing. Desperately, in the open holes they put in the bodies of the family and according to this legend the bases of the wall were strengthened.

Years passed continuously “by the wall”, other times came. Like a spring blossom, new residents invaded the house, these residents being of the noble class as born and inherited status. The family had a young daughter, and on one of the rare occasions that took her head out of the house, subsumed by the hops of her age, fell in love with the shopkeeper’s son, an impossible concept for two different societies of just single neighborhood. Every time the boy moved closer to the house to have a look, the girl would come out in the gardens with the hope that she would see him, she would feel; the wall, like a heavy cross separated their desire in between, reminding these youngsters: absurdity and foolishness. In attempt to escape, the girl fell from the wall and died just before the boy came to take her, sacrificing himself right after that incident. The hypocrisy had grown so much that everyone blamed the wall and the witches of the city threw a fusillade of curses over the wall.

The seasons in rotation brought senility to the wall, throwing senility to the city. Covering it with wisdom and…….lunacy. Inventions and self-destructions were being born. It is said they were bitter years for the wall, years of the so called wars (better saying a biological deadly hour). The city was feeling heat and was chuckling. The wall, the perfect barricade, again separated the people. This time separated the ones that hated each other and were fighting each other from the opposite sides, but finding itself between the crossroads of destruction, the wall failed to avoid it. Bombs were thrown and its tiles and stones fell and crumbled. But it resisted, it had strong bases, according to the legend.

The time meanwhile kept with its work, walking without stopping. The wall, bloodied, hurt and old like a devoted legend stood there. The neighbors were often telling it was made a facade, with slogans of any kind of falsity, where the diverse multicolor of the slogans would attract the passers-by of that neighbourhood.

Today, what has remained of the wall is the colorless vitality of the insects. In one of its verges you can find even a wrapper of a chewing gum (an ad out of fashion), that breaks somehow the dimness and corrugation of the old wall.

After all, he remains dim, cold to me, every time I go to my grandmother, he impresses me with his fearful senses that he carries, like a regular spectator, but silent, of historical-legends.

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