"They must be dumping garbage — good, it makes for good fertilizer!"
"Dottoré, I know a lot of flags, and let me tell you why. I grew up in the province of Caserta, and — like everybody in those days — my parents owned a piece of land, and they would take me with them to farm it.
I remember there were other kids in the fields around us. But then, slowly, we were the only ones left because everybody was selling the land, making a lot of money off of it too.
Papà wouldn't listen to reason and he kept the land. But in the meantime, instead of farmers, trucks began to arrive. Many many trucks, unloading thousands of barrels and burying them into the ground.
I would look at the trucks' license plates: They had flags on them, all of them different, from all over the world. So I bought a book and learned them, one by one. My parents and I didn't speak any of those languages so we couldn't ask these people what they were doing, but one day I heard my father say :
'They must be dumping garbage — good, it makes for good fertilizer!’
Yet, Dottoré, Mamma and Papà died young from cancer, and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 18. Now, you may think this is another persecution I suffer from. But that garbage, in my opinion, was not manure — it was poison!"
Giovanni, 56, died a week ago. Unfortunately, on this point, he probably wasn't paranoid at all.
Learn more about Worldcrunch's exclusive Dottoré! series here.