Letter #3 (or, Of murders and obsessions.)

Dear Dario C,

I’ve been very happy, as usual, to read your reply (while I’m writing to you I’m listening to the very sad “Gymnopédie”, opera by Erik Satie, which has also been used by Woody Allen as musical background for his marvellous “Another Woman”, with a superb, incredible Gene Hackman).

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with your previous letter. Movement is life, is what we need, and I’m moving. The Master just came to an end, and I’ll move. Probably I’ll move to Sicily, near Modica. Apparently, without wishing it, I’m going counter-current; jobs are moving to the north, and I’m going to the south!

Honestly, I’m not enthusiastic about this opportunity. I would have rather moved north of Naples, maybe in a big city, instead of going to the province again. But it’s also intriguing – life in the deep south, with its traditions, and suburban myths. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve read American Psycho – Ellis became one of my favorite authors with that one – and possibly, the best writers of dialogues I’ve ever read. I’ve read everything from him apart from the very last one, which I cannot recall the name. That’s because his “Lunar Park” didn’t really lived up to the expectations! American Psycho is still my favorite together with Glamorama – possibly, it’s a revised and up-to-date version of the former.

I’ve turned off TV years ago; it’s 6 years, give or take, that I don’t watch it unless I’m dining with my folks. And I don’t miss it at all.

But to the juicy bit; do you remember that, during high school, I was famous because (apart form being a sociopath and a weirdo) I was good enough to “find out” about things? Meaning that I was a good detective? And by the way; you should totally watch True Detective. It’s on everyone’s mouth nowadays but I discovered it when it was an obscure new TV Shows that was pretty unknown this side of the pond.

Anyhow… in the last couple of months something strange happened. I don’t know exactly the reason why, but one morning, while I was riding the subway in Rome from Anagnina to Termini, I started reading again about the Novi Ligure murder (which happened when we were still in high school, 2001). To have fun about it I sent a message to our common friend Paolo, asking him his opinion about it. He replied with the usual lighthearted style, but also challenged me to find the murderer’s email address, or Facebook page. Erika De Nardo, that was her name. I am bread and cheese with those things, so I started obsessing over it. I started reading and reading and reading, books and old newspapers, and I expanded my research to local libraries and such. In the end my obsession was paid back; I managed to discover her job and her new town, a small one just in the outskirts of [city edited out]. She works in a record shop, possibly owned by her boyfriend.

As Kurt Vonnegut quoted, “There are more things in life that what you read on your books”. My obsession reached the turning point, and I started acting like a young Robert Graysmith obsessing over Arthur Lee Allen (Zodiac Suspect #1). And to live up to the role, I actually went to her new town, in her new shop, to check out her new life; to look here in the eye.

I found her. I met her. I spoke to her, without giving out I knew.

Then I came back home to Rome, and thanks to my new findings, I found her Facebook profile, with a fake name, of course. I knew everything about her at this point in time, I felt like I knew the lady like you know an old friend, or a character from a book you’ve read one too many times. So I did what I would do if I found Holden Caulfield’s contact; I sent her a nudge, requesting to connect.

She refused, of course.

But as you might very well know, crazy people don’t really think straight; so I didn’t stop there, but actually doubled down, and with the help of another writer friend, I sent her an email.

And she disappeared again!

So, do you know what the bottom line here says, apart from the fact that I need to see a psychiatrist?

That I left a mark!

I’ll leave you be now.

Looking forward to your reply,

– Alessio