A girl suddenly rises from her seat, throws up on my blue overalls. One of the sisters takes her by the ear and drags her to the cellar. The sharp odor of acid gets into my eyes and makes them tear. This is my first memory of kindergarten. The next one is of the meatballs and mashed potatoes in the dining hall: into my mouth every day, into my stomach every day. A vile meal which, often, I would hide in my trouser pockets. We were forced to eat every last morsel. My mother believed that I would grow up proper and Catholic, provided I was schooled by the nuns and ate meatballs and mashed potatoes until I turned nine.
One day, the sisters invented a game. They asked me and the other children to form a circle: everyone was to choose a friend, male or female, and hug them. When my turn came, I chose Matteo and I gave him a kiss on his cheek. Sister Luciana cursed. She took me by the hair, which was blonde and curly, looked me in the eyes and shouted: "You degenerate!" I had kissed a boy. I had come out into the open.
I was gay, at the age of three and a half.
They called in my mother. They said to her: "Your son has problems." My mother smiled. "No, you're the ones with the problems. Je vous salue. Goodbye!" We left the kindergarten together, my mother and I. Matteo appeared for a moment in the window of the play room. A hurried and sad goodbye. Which I returned. In the car I could do nothing but think of him. I loved him. To make it up to me, my mother took me to the Luna Park. Stella was waiting for me there, my imaginary friend. I was so distracted and enamored with Matteo that I wound up losing both Stella and my mother. Luna Park had swallowed them up.
Filippo is a wizard. Stella is his imaginary friend.
One day he loses her at the Luna Park in Coney Island...