GLICERIA RODOLFI known as “the Bizarre”, 1921 – 1984
“The Bizarre” was a tiny and cheerful woman. Exuberant and colourful. An eccentric woman.
She used to read the cards. She was so imaginative and charismatic that she could convince even those who didn’t believe in cards.
She was passionate. Provocative in spite of being in her sixties.
People said that when she was young she was very beautiful and, above all, used to love freely. She liked to be desired.
She had a cheerful spirit.
She used to walk through the village square in flashy, floral clothes and plastic, coloured necklaces and bracelets matching with her clothes.
She was a flower too. She was “trendy”, as she used to say.
At Mass she used to find a chorus of beguines that pointed at her.
In the square she had a chorus of admirers and musclemen.
She lived in a small house by the canal that irrigated the cultivated fields, the same canal where women used to do the laundry. She used to go there and sunbathe.
She went down a few steps, she crossed the street and walked as far as the banks and there she enjoyed the sun, topless.
Her village, like any small village, had its bad boys. Petty criminals whose bravados were meant to show self-confidence and arouse admiration, tacit complicity and fear.
Four of them seized her. Without any scruple, without the fear of being seen or heard. One by one or all together – who knows – they gave vent to their lust and their meanness. Then they left her alone. Staggering. With plenty of traumas and internal haemorrhages. She was hospitalized and as soon as her body had recovered, she went back to her village. In her small house in front of the canal where she had been attacked and savagely raped.
She was no longer the same. She stopped laughing at people’s jokes or recalls.
She stopped reading the cards. She stopped sunbathing.
She only talked about what she had endured.
But nobody used to listen to her. Somebody said “she asked for it”.
It was during the summer that, wearing her inseparable fur coat, she jumped into the canal.
She was found the day after, near the draining grids.
The person who found her mistook her for a dead animal.
Her fur coat.
The same fur coat that at her funeral was left to dry outside the chapel and remained there for a few days.
Since then, nobody had ever seen it again.