Bolzano Drive: Logbook by Lucas Da Tos Villalba

Cristian Chironi, "Bolzano Drive", 2020. Photo Luca Guadagnini/ Lineematiche

3 October 2020
The time now is 19.23
several hours have passed since I got out of the chameleon car driven by Christian.
I am trying to process a thought that can encapsulate the experience.
And this search has tied me down.
It keeps me grounded like a baby seagull.
Seagull, not a bird chosen at random.
What makes the seagull special is that it is a great traveller.
Some species fly for miles and miles to find a place to lay their eggs.
As a child, I often watched these birds and wondered where they had come from.
What journeys they had made and what journeys awaited them.
That’s it.
The journey.
Ultimately, everything is encapsulated in this word.
This morning, I got into a car.
A colored car.
With an artist driving, two passengers and a co-driver.


Cristian Chironi, “Bolzano Drive”, 2020. Photo Luca Guadagnini/ Lineematiche

I look at the car.
Very small.
We all fit in, and surprisingly, I’m comfortable.
The leather seats welcome me immediately.
I remember that my father used to drive an Alfa Romeo 75. Black. Leather seats.
A death cage in hot Bozen summers and even worse in Venetian ones.
My father loved his car. A love that was all his, difficult to explain.
The car was like a live creature.
The low fuel indicator was orange.
It was always on.
“While I’m driving, it will never turn off.”
The Bozen streets used to pass quickly in front of the car’s windscreen.
Orange lights lit the streets that I am now driving slowly down in Christian’s car.
“It goes at thirty in town and at eighty on the motorway.”
Christian travels the world and in every town the car changes colour.
That’s why it’s a chameleon.
We drive across the town and around me I see the same old streets I have known and walked down all my life, almost automatically.
I look at it and I feel the need to show what I see.
My town is my father’s town.
A town of travellers, desperadoes, football fans, outsiders, foreigners, natives, bicycle thieves, damnably good beer, Tyrolean dishes, huge houses, small houses, football pitches, roller-skating rinks, parks, bridges, traffic in the rain and deserted in the sunshine. An everlasting Sunday of pasta with tomato sauce, football, Formula 1, tears and screams.
The town, whose story I want to tell, unfurls before us and it’s difficult to keep up with it.
For some reason, I continue to think of my father and how I have always thought that I can’t stand this town.
Christian finds it interesting.
But the mountains hem us in.
Or do they defend us?
We stop.
Passenger change.
World change, change of road, change of time, change of jokes and of questions.
Don’t you know the Rosengarten?
Every good Bolzanino knows the story of King Laurin.
It is a story they tell us when we are children.
I tell the story and Christian drives.
“Great story.”
When we get out of the car it seems that everything is over too quickly.
I say goodbye.
I promise him a good beer.
Every good Bolzanino promises a good beer.
I go back to my car.
I drive back across town and some streets are the same.
But something seems to have changed.
Just like after a journey.

Lucas Joaquin Da Tos Villalba

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Lucas Joaquin Da Tos Villalba (b. Esperanza, Argentina, 1993) earned a degree in theater studies with a focus on lighting and acting at the Accademia Teatrale Veneta (Venetian Theatre Academy) in Venice. He specializes in narrative theater, playwriting and storytelling. He collaborates with the Stabile Theatre in Bozen and the Cristallo Theatre. In 2020, in the midst of the lockdown, he founded the Controtempo Teatro theatre company with local actors. He has a dog named Paco, so named because he is “pacato” (anyone who knows him can confirm placid nature), who Da Tos found one day on a beach in Catania.