woensdag 4 april 2012

5. Bargains in hell at San Marco’s!

Find the monster!
Sometimes life is really full of surprises. Let’s take today. I get up at 8 a.m. I take a shower, have breakfast, get dressed and walk freshly out of the door to go and search for the Milanese little brother of the monster of Loch Ness. Three hours later, I arrive back home unharmed and relieved at the joyful thought that I’ll burn 10 000 days less in hell! Now you tell me if that isn’t a cheerful perspective! All thanks to the fifth stage of my Milano trail. I’ll explain myself a bit better. Today I had to visit the church of San Marco to spot two images of a horrifying snake-like monster. One appeared to be on the façade of the elegant little church. Didn’t impress me much I have to say, but still. The other monster had to be found on a painting hanging in the church museum which unfortunately was closed today. Not that I minded much because there are plenty of other interesting things to examine in this church. Moreover I wanted to reserve me some time to imagine how the fourteen year old Mozart came to play the organ here for three months under the select guidance of Giovanni Battista Sammartini. And I also wanted to hide myself for a moment in some secret corner to listen to the Requiem which Verdi directed in 1874 in front of a full San Marco church in remembrance of Alessandro Manzoni (yes, the same from the coffee and chocolate cake on the little square yesterday).

My thoughts drift away under the impressive storm of Verdis Dies Irae when suddenly I see something round lying in a kind of strange, wooden box. I look a bit closer and find myself staring at somebody who stares back at me in a provocative way, stressed even more by the cheerful inscription on the box he’s lying in: “I used to be what you are now”. Scared to death (even if “by the death” would be more precise) I jump backwards and almost hit the pillar which stands behind me. I turn around and see something curious decorating the wall. It’s a golden crucifix accompanied this time by a more optimistic message: “all those who kiss this crucifix and pray a paternoster get a reduction of 200 days in hell”. Now I’m not sure at all that a nice, good girl like me will ever end up in hell, but why would I take the risk? Glancing at the sour look of the unfriendly skull who continues grinning at me, it doesn’t take me long to make up my mind. In less than no time I pray 500 paternosters, cover the crucifix with the same number of kisses and step out of San Marco happy and relieved. Who knows how many sweet sins I can afford myself now thanks to these 10 000 days of hell reduction!
And pray and kiss and pray and kiss and pray...

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