Extemporaneous Love
by Guido Mina di Sospiro
What is he? An idiot savant? A fool? A saint? The answer lies with the reader. When at last he vanishes, the last paragraph in the novel’s Epilogue reads: “Some thought that, the victim of a shipwreck, Accio lay deep in the Marianas Trench. Others believed that, having fallen in love with the South Seas, he had chosen as motherland an atoll surrounded by turquoise and coral. Everyone had a different version, also because no-one really knew  where he had ended up. And I myself do not know.”
Accio (pronounced somewhat like “àhcho”) is obsessed with numbers, and counts everything, from how many times he hits the drums in a drum roll, to the snowflakes falling about him. This produces severe headaches that turn into migraines and seem further to loosen his already loose cerebral syntax.

In six episodes, he finds himself at 20 years of age in Berlin; at 16, in Milan; 24 in Los Angeles; 27 in London and Scotland; 4 in Venice; and finally, at 30, in Munich and Berlin. In settings peopled by whimsical characters, strange things happen to him constantly: snowfalls are stilled in midair; butterflies come out of the mouth of a young woman every time she speaks to him; he soothes a lovelorn whale off the northern tip of Scotland, and so on. Deeply knowledgeable in the strangest subjects, many girls and women find him utterly charming, above all Janine, Hélice, Vanessa, Tusse, Elica, Leda and Pomme Fritte. But when love presents itself, usually at the end of an adventure, usually as a reward, Accio either swoons, or falls asleep, or is taken ill, or is too drunk to function. Indeed, he glides across nearly scabrous situations preserving, for reasons beyond his control, an almost virginal innocence. A rare thing indeed, especially in the world he is thrust upon.