I was seven years old when I saw Daffodil for the first time. Daffodil was too much to describe in a few words. Or in a poem. She was the ocean.
I met her when she moved to our building, to floor below mine. For me, she was selling flowers, dreams and smiles. The shop she owned was beside my school. I used to stop there every day, twice a day. In the morning she used to give me a candy, a piece of cake, or a flower. I didn’t like the flowers, but I never told her. After school she was available for me, and in her lunch break. A blackboard, coloured chalks and her dreams. Her dreams were artwork. Breathless drawings. Unreproducible scenarios. Vivid still in my mind. I still remember the first time I was there, she said to me, “Hi Fred, tell me the first thing you have in mind.” I was surprised, and also hungry. I said, “An apple!” She slowly started to draw lines that had no meaning at all. Chaotic. After few days those lines took shape. An image. She drew me eating an apple in our street. I still remember the details: a drop of apple juice beside my lip. Every one or two weeks she approached me with other requests. I remember helicopters, lizards, the pond with the ducks, cats and dogs, pine trees and starships. I spent so much time challenging her with my 7 years old dreams. For an entire year. Just for one year.
One day she gave me a camera. She didn’t speak that much. I felt a bit offended. She just told me to come in the garden in the evening. I left.
It was her adieu. She was gone. Forever. I was scared to ask her where. Why. How. I made her that picture while people were eating food.
When I was eight I took my very first Polaroid. And my last.
Story by Alessandro Rabitti