Sometimes I ask myself, what kind of a person I'd be, if I was able to take emotions out of the equation altogether. To be the kind of woman—a superwoman, if you like—with an on/off switch applicable to anything even remotely resembling that unattractive quality most men seem to find so confusing in its vulnerability. I probably wouldn't listen to music anymore. Wouldn't get lost in the fictionary towns printed on the pages of my childhood, or gasp at the betrayal toward Griet with her pearl earring and a broken tile; and signor Gagliardi wouldn't persuade me to look for the solutions to world problems at the bottom of a flute, as if il mondo intorno non esisteva.

If we could turn our emotions off like that, we'd all be living in a perfect plastic world made for perfect plastic people, where the smiles are as sincere as they are shallow. A world where nothing triggers your unhappiness. If this was the Matrix, you'd take the blue pill, wake up the next morning, and believe whatever you want to believe. Imagine wiping your memory clean of the disappointments of the previous day, and waking up with a bitter-free slate, like someone who had a flu for a whole week and one day woke up fine. Here you were thinking that this awful feeling you were living with has become permanent, but suddenly, you open your eyes and... Nothing. You're pain free.