A quarrel

Italy, February 20, 1978

I’m at the desk and I’m listening to the lesson that the teacher is explaining to us, but more than anything I’m thinking about how long it will take her to let us have recess.
I’m worried about how this interval will go, because my classmate Stefano wants to avenge me because I pulled a prank on him.
Finally, in a certain sense, unfortunately, it is time for recess.
In the stridency of the chairs I hear Stefano’s voice calling a small group of males: probably grouping up to beat me.
In fact, the little group of children surrounds me; soon, I think to myself, the drawings will rise, and their rustling will be the background to the screams.
The boys, at a signal from Stefano, group up and take me.
I, who am very strong, take a child and trip him by dropping him on his back on the floor.
He shouts: “Hey! Get him. ”
In a hurry I run between the desks to hide, but little Stefano, full of anger, sees me slipping between the benches and with a jump he gets behind me, he clungs to my knees and trips me.
I must react, but I’m afraid; what should I be afraid of?
I am afraid of the most absurd thing, of hurting him.
He seems to me, in front of me, a small helpless being, but he is not, he is strong.
I get up almost convinced to forgive him, but the others jump me pushing me from one to the other.
Suddenly I rush towards Stefano and it seems to me that this is the real struggle.
He throws his right fist into my belly and it hurts, but I grab him by the collar and pull him up and down the ground aggressively.
Then I pull him again, but I am stopped by a child who trips me and takes me by the collar, dividing me from Stefano.
Stefano tells him «Macaco» and he, almost gladly, answers «Thanks».
Fortunately, that child divided us, or I would have become furious and dangerous.
And also, because the teacher arrived after a while and if she had seen us fighting, it would have been trouble.
Slowly we move away, but not happily, because we haven’t vented completely.
We stare at each other with a look of anger; our faces are red sweat filled.
The teacher comes from the corridor and as she enters, she says “Take your seats”.
While going back to my seat, Stefano approaches me, and while he says “Let’s make peace” he gives me his hand.

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