Chiara drove us in visit, she preceded us through the rooms, explaining briefly the spaces that we were crossing, she moved with the confidence of someone who grew up living in that space, and in fact her and the House had something in common, perhaps the elegance without excess, something like a natural form of beauty and elegance, a natural beauty not performed.
Her husband, Sergio and the engeneer V., were chatting amiably, my boss seemed a mouse in cheese, he was entirely joking remarks, witty remarks, a raging river! I find him almost unbearable, because I knew well that, in the end, all the interest of the two men for that ancient space, was the pure volume of the space, the six luxurious apartments to sell at some German or Dutch, searching for his piece of Italy or Mediterranean dream, all the things I was watching had to die because, we should transform the ancient body of that House in something like a Cyborg, only the walls will survive, the inner space emptied, and filled with steel, plastic and reinforced concrete, plants, pipes, electrical networks! Today the Architect builds Machines for Living, not Houses, we are not builders, we are mechanics: Disgusting! The day was turning out to be worse than expected, probably because that place was much better than I expected!
The visit continued on the main floor: lounge, sitting rooms and libraries in succession, and on the third floor: bedrooms, rooms for guests and studies, with terrace. On this floor, at the end of a beautiful corridor, we saw a column of black marble, and the start of a staircase to climb upstairs into in what probably was the Tower overlooking the building.
The Group had stopped at the entrance of the corridor, I was exchanging few silly sentences of circumstance when questioned, and I caught the gaze of Sergio, he looked like a hungry wolf, behind the mask of the affable architect; the structural engeneer was explaining that yes, probably the floors could seem in good conditions but the costs to restoring a hardwood floor were prohibitive, and the performances of a modern steel and concrete slab were exceptional, the husband of Chiara was listening with interest, she did not speak, she was looking distant, toward the corridor, she seemed not listening at us, her eyes where lost in the enlonged space of old cherry wood, made dark red from the passage of time, with its doors and fitted wardrobes.
At some point Sergio asked.with a tone of voice insinuating and honeyed: " Chiara, our tour is ending, really a wonderful house! We need only to visit the Tower, are those the stairs for getting there?"
Bastard! Damn bastard! His mind was like an open book for me, too many years working with him!
Dear reader, if you know an architect, don't trust him, expecially if he is a friend! Why did Sergio want to watch the Tower? It is simple: Money! Yes, because, from the Tower he could watch at the roof!
To be clear: if the roof is old and not in good conditions or at least you, observing its shape, are able to understand if is possible to find a good justification to demolish it! When the roof is demolished, stealing a meter here and there, and slightly increasing the height of the House, but keeping the height of the top of the new roof intact, you can find the space to build the fourth floor, and the luxury apartements from six, become eight, as to say at least one milion € more! Damn basatrad, him and me and all those like us!
Chiara was like slightly uncertain and not perfectly at ease, when she answered: "...But...there is only the study of my father, it is small and not interesting for you,...I do not think that in the tower there is anything special......for the project, I mean...". Sergio with his cutthroats' smile answered amiably; "The study of the Great Archeologist? But this is fantastic, it would be a pleasure for us visit his workplace!".
I was suffering for her! Her husband said, punctual like death: "Chiara please, guide us up in the tower, since I do not know the House like you, my dear! We'll follow you!", the cat's eyes of Chiara, now were deep green and full of pure and deep hate, but she turned and forwarded decided in the corridor, telling us "As you want! follow me please".
The staircase was small but very nice, steep, totally covered with wood, walls and ceilings including, at the end, finally, the door of the study of professor Ottavio Costaguta appeared, Chiara opened the door and retired, saying with decision: "Excuse me, but this is the place in which my father has died, and I shall not enter in that room! Sorry!", than she stood aside, and they entered.
I stood outside the door, enough is enough! Now I was tired, depressed and angry.
"And you? Don't you enter?" Asked Chiara, from behind me, I answered: "No today not! I'm very tired, maybe another time......"