It’s Tuesday, I am going to study latin at Daniela’s this afternoon

My mom says she can’t take me at her place, it’s 10 minutes walking

My brother says I can go on foot, and he gets angry when I say I’m scared

He replays that he goes alone on foot since he is 10

He doesn’t get it

He puts his headphones on and time flies

I start picturing in my mind the scene

I have my headphones on but music is turned off

If somebody gives me a voice I can hear him, if I don’t maybe he gets mad and I don’t know what will happen

At 3 pm, in my small town in South of Italy, there is nobody

Just some middle age men who are drunk since 8 am

Silence reigns on the street, just some cars

I think how I can dress

I don’t know if it does make a point, they are gonna stare at me anyway

I walk fast

When there is a group of men all eyes on me and I lower my head as if I should be ashamed of something

Even after I pass them, I can see their eyes on my ass, I have a nice ass, are they appreciating it?

I wish I had a flat ass, they would be staring at it anyway

I guess it was better if I had other pants, a longer t-shirt, but in that case they would have screamed something like show your ass

I don’t smile at them and they tell me c’mon girl smile, as if I knew them, as if I owe them

My walk is always faster and I feel the weight of my backpack on my shoulders

Since I close the door of my house, I can feel the heart beating faster

It calms down just when I arrive at Daniela’s and I have a sip of water

It’s just ten minutes

But in ten minutes I feel the weight of being a female

I wish I was a boy

I feel I am not privileged and everything can happen

I think to all the women who died coming back home

I think to all the young women who don’t feel safe, who call their mothers (or pretend to)
I think to all the women who turn around when they feel somebody behind

The relief when it’s a woman

The anxiety when it’s a man

And even if they know they’re innocent

We don’t know it

We don’t know them

My brother doesn’t know that my ten minutes are not his ten minutes

So I think today I can study latin on my own

I tell Daniela my mom won’t take me there

She will understand

Women understand women

We are the only ones who know how long can ten minutes be