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Matt Ruff - La casa delle anime / Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls - Vision Book di E. Falcomer e A. Nazzaro

Matt Ruff, "La casa delle anime", Fanucci, 2005

Voce: Ezio Falcomer
Video: Antonio Nazzaro

Testo originale:

My father called me out.
I was twenty-six years old when I first came out of the lake, which puzzles some people, who wonder how I could have an age without having a past. But I get puzzled, too: most people I know can't remember being born, and what's more, it doesn't bother them that they can't remember. My good friend Julie Sivik once told me that her earliest memory was a scene from her second-birthday party, when she stood on a chair to blow out the candles on her cake. It's all a blank before that, she said, but she didn't seem upset by it, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to be missing two years of her life.
I remember everything, from the first moment: the sound of my name in the dark; the shock of the water; the tangle of the weeds at the bottom of the lake where I opened my eyes. The water is black down there, but I could see sunlight on the surface far above me, and I floated towards it, drawn up by my father's voice.
My father waited for me on the lakebank with Adam and Jake and Aunt Sam. Behind them stood the house, with Seferis up in the pulpit keeping an eye on the body; and from the windows overlooking the lake, and from the edges of the forest, I could feel the others watching me, too shy to show themselves. Gideon must have been watching too, from Coventry, but I didn't know about him then.
I suppose I should explain about the house. Aunt Sam says that a good storyteller only reveals important information a little at a time, to keep the audience interested, but I'm afraid if I don't explain it all now you'll get confused, which is worse than not being interested. So just bear with me, and I promise to try not to bore you later.
The house, along with the lake, the forest, and Coventry, are all in Andy Gage's head, or what would have been Andy Gage's head if he had lived. Andy Gage was born in 1965 and murdered not long after by his stepfather, a very evil man named Horace Rollins. It was no ordinary murder: though the torture and abuse that killed him were real, Andy Gage's death wasn't. Only his soul actually died, and when it died, it broke in pieces. Then the pieces became souls in their own right, coinheritors of Andy Gage's life.
There was no house back then, just a dark room in Andy Gage's head where the souls all lived. In the center of the room was a column of bright light, and any soul that entered or was pulled into the light found itself outside, in Andy Gage's body, with no memory of how it had gotten there or what had happened since the last time it was out. As you can imagine, this was a frightening and terrible existence, made more terrible by the continuing depredations of the stepfather. Of the seven original souls who descended from Andy Gage, five were later murdered themselves, broken into still more pieces, and even the two survivors were forced to splinter in order to cope. By the time they got free of Horace Rollins, there were over a hundred souls in Andy Gage's head.
That was when the real struggle began. Over many years, the two surviving original souls—Aaron, who is my father, and Gideon, my father's brother—pieced together enough of a sense of continuity to figure out what had happened to them. With the help of a good doctor named Danielle Grey, my father worked to establish order. In place of the dark room, he constructed a geography in Andy Gage's head, a sunlit countryside where the souls could see and talk to one another. He created the house, so they'd have a place to live; the forest, so they'd have somewhere to be alone; and the pumpkin field, so the dead could be decently buried. Gideon, who was selfish, wanted no part of any of this, and did everything he could to wreck the geography, until my father was forced to exile him to Coventry.
The effort required to complete the house exhausted my father, and left him with little enthusiasm for dealing with the outside world. But somebody had to run the body; and so, on the day the last shingle was nailed in place, my father went down to the lake and called my name.
Something else that puzzles me about other people is that a lot of them don't know their purpose in life. This usually does bother them—more than not being able to remember being born, anyway—but I can't even imagine it. Part of knowing who I am is knowing why I am, and I've always known who I am, from
the first moment.
My name is Andrew Gage.

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