A Street in Turin
Steve Felicelli

Sometimes I'd wonder if he were talking to me. They liked to talk to me and I could, in a sense understand, though they couldn't have known that. Mostly berated me. Mostly him. Not him, the one who I'd wondered if he were talking to me. But him, my bane, my belligerent bastard of a driver. Drove me unmercifully. Flogged me unfailingly. (Though never as unmercifully as this afternoon.) But then there was him talking. To me? At times, I was all that was around and a talking must be a talking to, so I could only assume he'd been talking to me. Though he never looked at me, until now. Now he's looking at me and not talking. But he used to talk and not look at me. And what he said made no sense, but was apparently said to me. He'd walk by and mutter something in my general direction, but not look at me, until now. Now he's looking at me and not saying anything. Now he's not looking anywhere else, but staring me down. Or would be if I were not already down. He never berated me like the other and for that I'd grown fond I guess. Maybe I was only hoping he'd been talking to me when he spoke with not looking. I'd try to listen but it made no sense, but it was not berating me, but I didn't know what it was, but now he's not saying. He'd say something laughable over and over, because they all laughed at him. I hadn't found it laughable, haven't the capacity to find things laughable, can't laugh, don't know how. He's not saying anything now, but staring at me. I'm down and dying I guess. I've been berated and beaten, down and dying and now I notice we're at eye level, the mutterer and me, he's down on his knees and not saying anything. He's vomiting or choking or weeping, I can't tell which because my sight is beginning to fail, down and dying. I wish I could recall what he said and make sense of it. Make sense of something, down and dying. All the trotting and standing and listening to the berating and being beaten and now down and dying. I wish I could make sense of his kneeling. I wish I could make out whether he were heaving or gasping or sobbing. I wish he would mutter something to me or just mutter something in my direction for me to listen to where I go down and die and I wish I knew how to ask for his muttering or could at least make a sound of going down and he's gotten up now and comes toward me and he's pretty clearly crying and now he's muttering something I can't understand and have no idea why he mutters and mutters, nor what it means that he now throws his arms around my neck, but I seem to have somehow asked it of him not in so many words and he's seemed to have somehow heard