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Accetto Chudi

Sassari, July

by Zulfikar Ahmetovic

Hot. Say hot. 

Deadly hot weather.

Unforgiving sunshine, reminds me of Alcaeus’ fragment on Sirius.


Been spending quite some week in July.

Getting ready for the job, laying bases, becoming familiar with roads and places.

And faces.

Say I’ve been trained to this slow pace routine, to tame any anxiety for those frenzied days to be.


Up and down with my friend’s friends anytime they can, sometimes  driving around alone that sun bleached once red Polo GC courteously lent me.

Sometimes dragging my feet around town, a town scanty of trees, the only shadows by the walls. 

Nowhere to go in daytime, once the fridge is full of fresh vegetables and cheese I get on Saturday at the farmer’s market downtown.

Closed in the freshening shade of my friend’s service apt.

Reading. Sleeping. Watching tv. Some workout. Constantly rehearsing next moves to try. 


Hot weather, really hot even for local standards.

People keep hiding inside shadowy rooms, some of them enjoying air conditioning at work, some of them not. 


Becoming familiar with bookshops, time dragging on slow like my pace. 


My foreign look, my almost natural italian accent. Not too often in the same store. 

Don’t let them wonder too much about this dark skinned big guy of mine.

Don’t let them find out I’m somewhat close to those short local gypsies always wandering around looking for some easy pick - so to say. Clearly, locals mistrust gypsies, some even hates them.


Good bookstores. Nice and passionate bookstore keepers. 

Max 88 is the best. 

Azuni too is nice.

Good choice of volumes.

Cultured nice people of them.

Good bars too, where easy find is some special rum, or some cooling local IPA.


Then some freshening darkness welcomes us toward the night.

Time to walk out, past University Square, down along via Turritana where youths gather at tables out of nice bars.

Time to meet my new friends here.

Mostly my pal’s friends, all of them gathering at night in a few bars to share beers and talks.


Best place to meet is a small drinking hole where they play exceedingly good music and good looking part-time waitresses  attending the local university.

People there enjoy talking with foreigners- feature Sardinia as a small nation by itself. 

Feature even mainland Italians are foreigners here.

Still after a couple of years in Sassari, my friend still sort of a foreigner too.


Place is along a main street, street front in an old house closed in by tall apartment buildings, they even have live music on Friday nights, good music indeed.

Could be like not so far from my best music spot and watering hole, The Hub in Redwood City, where at night I drive to just for the pleasure of live R’n’B and sometimes a dark skinned nurse frolicking out of SUH.


Place in Sassari has an unusual name for an Italian bar, most of them featuring Irish pub insignias or standard english names by now.

It’s named Abetone, after a mountain place in central Italy where people went skiing in the old snowy winters decades ago.


Sure I told Brink about this bar, my daily routine is dropping by at eleven am (bar almost empty at that time), look around. 

If he’s at a small table deep inside, sipping coffee or guzzling an early whiskey, I get a “pasta”, as locals call croissants, and chew it while walking around the block, waiting for him to step out and meet at the newsstand.

We buy the same newspaper and then pace slowly through the trees of the small park nearby.


Meeting my friend’s friends highlighted my pal’s life there, somehow lonely when out of work, interesting guy they think he is.

I found some crevices, but this for next writings.

Everyone in this job has a past to deal with, everyone in this job keeps his own ghosts scaring him out at nights. 

While other people sleep.


At least I can bet on some sort of affair he runs with a couple of student-waitresses. 

S, sort of grey eyed, a bit too tall for him, nice psychologist to be she is.

And that jet black haired M, I find her too daring, too self sufficient, tiny gold ring at her nose, she’s late in her literature classes. 

Call M a bit of a bitch, but he likes them that way, I’m not here to correct him, just to read through him even if he’s my pal. 

Call this training.

Call this job.


To be continued 

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