Skip to main content

The advantage of not existing

Stories and News No. 1241

Here I am. It’s me, her or him. Regardless us, which must be taken literally.

My name is… well, I am… but no, what matter now, on this page? What time does it deserve in your eyes or mind too?

Anyway, for what it's worth in most people's lives, I don't exist. Maybe there was a time, there once was, you know? Nowadays the weight of the past depends only on who can really demonstrate their present, here and now. In any case, according to the International Organization for Migration, the number of people who died at sea trying to reach Europe more than doubled in 2021.

We are talking about one thousand and one hundred forty-six deaths. Which means eleven times a hundred plus forty plus six. You can read as one hundred and fourteen times ten plus six times one. One dead. One life that ended prematurely.

Nonetheless, I am not here to arouse compassion or instill sadness. It has been a year, or rather two, particularly difficult for many in the world. Even if for infinitely more it is called everyday life. But I am lucky, because I want to cheer with good news, albeit paradoxically speaking.

Before going to the main point, I have an objection. Regarding the aforementioned organization, I think they should change their name, since the criterion of reality is fundamental when we are talking about real existences, if you forgive the repetition. And reality tells us that migration involves the complete path: subject A travels, that is, migrates, from position x to position y. But when it comes to those who cannot even admire it on the horizon, but at most dream of it before slipping away outside the living frame, perhaps it is necessary to correct, that's it. We could call it the International Organization for Missed Migration. Or even dreamed, which seems more poetic to me.

Nonetheless, a promise is a promise and I just spoke of a good news. Well, according to our renamed organization, the number of deceased at sea traveling towards a possible future is much higher, because every year there are hundreds of invisible shipwrecks. I confirm it, yes, they are talking about me! But also her, him, all of us. Those who have never really existed for relevant humanity born with destiny in their pocket. How lucky I was, it is appropriate to whisper it, rather than say it.

Why lucky? It's simple and you should know much better than I do. Because the rest of us are out of the statistics. We are not numbers to be treated as such. We are not part of those thousand and one hundred and forty-six times a life that can be hurt, humiliated and killed again with impunity. We are not even missing or dreaming migrants. We are not targets of human understanding, inhuman contempt, or at worst mere indifference. It's like I've never left. As if I had never dared to do this. As if I had never wanted to live, even before surviving. As if I had never suffered. As if I had not drowned in the eddies of my vain illusions, filled with my own tears made salty by a completely innocent sea, after all. I do not exist and this is my immense fortune. Because if the others are equally alien to you, whose lifeless bodies you are counting on your shores or on the surface of the sea, and then add them to the crazy list, how invisible could I be to you?

In this world, on this sea that unites and divides us, it is a huge advantage. Nonetheless, once I get to the crest of this ending, I can't deny that I also feel something incredibly wrong with that relief.

Does it happen to you too?

Subscribe to Newsletter

My last book: A morte i razzisti (Death to racists)