“Same old story”, di seguito il link per accedere all’articolo // click on the link below to be redirected to the article
This is my first free day and I’ve been writing for two hours. Some log-in problem wiped out my writing. I start from scratch, again and again. I type in words and I wipe out emotions. What I have written matters only to me, it’s not that important that it’s all gone, because it’s all in my head anyway. The head play tricks and emotions are all tricks of the head. In my family we are used to talk about death, my parents are no drama queens and they deal stoically with it all. I have seen my dad crying for a death once, it was not about his dad. After his dad had died, he was sitting in the kitchen alone, drinking tea, waiting for us to come back, so he could tell the news. As he told me, I shouted he should have phoned me instead and ran upstairs. I’m too emotional, he couldn’t be like this, for his job needed him strong. When my mom’s dad died I was living in Rome. I booked a flight and left without saying anything to my flatmates. If anybody will die or be sick in my life, be sure you won’t get this information from me. I am not able to talk about it. Asking me how things go then, it’s silly, I will tell you it’s all fine also if it’s not. Or I will not answer, as I usually do. If things go wrong, do not ask, I hate it. People love to talk about their problems, I do it as well, I tell about my everyday life problems, I tell you about my hair, about whatever bullshit, but I can’t go deep into details, I am just done like this. Like my mom and dad. They don’t talk. They barely talk to us about it, but they do things. If there’s a lesson and they have given to us children, it’s about life and humanity, and most of the people don’t get it. Wherever I turn people are greedy and selfish. As I went home for holidays, I noticed things. My dad would wake early and go to his mother-in-law to help with breakfast, since she cannot do it by herself. After that he would go have a coffee with his own mother. After that he would say goodbye to all troubles and work on the countryside. My mom visits her mother every day. They have never complained about the responsabilities they have with their parents. Not even once! If I look at other old people’s children, they are mostly not there. Too boring, too heavy. As my mom drove as much as she could to help her aunt who was dying by cancer, the aunt, incredibly attached to her properties, asked once to my mom: “why are you doing this?”. My mom said because once she had done it for her as a child (in fact she wasn’t that kind of aunt, but it was nice to say). After those few words, my aunt told my mom’s brother “beware of your sister! She will steal your house”. When my greataunt died, with no children, my mom was the only serene one, who had helped as much as she could. Three different wills came out soon after the death, furniture, half a house, and jewels were mostly to be acquired. Everybody was pissed because she has been evil in her will. Only if you’re truly pure in your behaviour, you won’t feel betrayed. My mom’s mom lives in this old people house. I and my siblings went there everyday and I never met any other grandchild, I must say not even a son or a daughter. At one point we would know many of them, we would kneel and kiss one, shake hands with another, talk with another, talk nuts with many of them. This lovely woman sitting with my grandmother at the dining table is still completely capable with her mind, but not with her body. Once I cut her food and thought what a miserable daughter she had, enjoying her mom’s house, but never paying a visit. These are people and this is life. I noticed my siblings’ attitude and manners and even if nobody ever thought us anything, we have learnt a lesson. The greatest lesson I must say, since it won’t be properties smoothing our pain when we’ll be in need.
I’m wearing my own t-shirt “Atonement”. I only enjoy the fancy shit, I shall burn it. Atonement is something I will never reach, I don’t want it, I wanna show you I’m doing good and I’m doing better and I’m doing whatever “sounds constructive”. I’m doing my best to get lost. In the last years everything went wrong but I’m a middle class man, my manners force me to wear clean clothes and smile also when there’s nothing to smile for. I cry for bullshit (can’t watch a movie), I smile sincerely when kids are around, but I won’t ask you how you’re doing. You’re doing shit, like everybody. Or maybe you don’t, because you understand how to enjoy a sunny day or whatever simple thing. I’d love that. Only once a horrible episode brought my parents to cry, it was about a tragedy and I’ll never forget my father in pieces on my sister’s bed. But then there’s no need to cry for death. We all die. When my grandfather died, someone asked me how was my mother doing. “I don’t know”, was my answer. We do not ask such things in my family. Something bad is gonna happen, I can’t say I feel it, but in a way “I do”. I’ll behave like I have to, I know the rules. Last morning a guy asked me if I was religious, I told him it doesn’t matter, I’ll be buried in our family chapel, that’s all.
I realize at times I’m with people and I don’t talk. I listen and watch. I look at people. I can be silent among people for hours. You like me only because I’m part of the game. I’m a good player, I’m sociable, all the shit you want. Since I know you (all) I’ve never said a smart thing, think about that. I only say comfortable things. You tolerate me for one reason or another, I know him or I’m a friend of her or we slept together years ago. In Rome, the last months before leaving Italy were uneasy. Once I got kicked in the streets, we know that. A kick in the back and one in the face, then the pimp got me from the ground and took me on his side. And all the people. I liked and knew a lot of people in Rome. We disappeared, I’m not there, you’re not there. This one guy met me in the bathroom in a venue there once and I couldn’t remember his face, he said “sure now that your band is known you don’t give a shit!”, and people talking about me being fucked up and all the shit. For a few months I abandoned the scene, gigs, parties, all the fancy boredom. If I feel any strenght in what I do here, now, in Berlin, it’s because I’ve already lived long enough in a capital city where I would move a lot through things. The past has made me strong but it has also revealed all the truth already. I do really care about the things you do, I do care about helping you with this project, I do care about supporting you, I do care about the fact you couldn’t shit today. I really do, and I do know you don’t. Tell you have spent the morning with me and I’m nice but a bit fucked up, tell I came to your event and I looked still interested in you, tell I’ve followed you to the bathroom, tell it, they’ll agree and it will be it.
You is you and you is not you. I need to write things down, it doesn’t matter anybody reads it. I’m just disappointed in myself. I’m not only like this.
I’d like to disappear, once again. I probably won’t but I’m drained. I feel no joy in anything, I float and at some point I’ll drown. People live their life and they are happy with the fact they’re doing it decently. I respect you, but for me it’s not enough.
You can just spare me all the bullshit like “hey baby what’s up”, I won’t answer. This is so pathetic, sure it is, but you have no clue how cold I feel. The more I get confident, the more I get distand. It’s a bit like that one who called me one week ago “my love”, sure it was bullshit, but we were having a nice time so it was part of the game, and instead of feeling good, I felt violent. Treat me well for the next ten minutes, then leave me emptier than before. Thank you.
I like to close chapters. The idea of change makes me feel good. When I am feeling particularly low I would pack. Actually it’s what I always do. I sort things in the flat, I tidy up, whatever in that direction. I woke up very low today. I have always been a melancholic guy, it’s easier for me to be jolly when I am with a lot of people, at home I am not like that. I don’t want anybody to talk to me. The real problem of feeling “low” is that all work is compromised, I can play but all may come out just bad. If I’d write lyrics, the result would be terrible. I can only be practical when I feel like this. My grandmother won’t ever go back to her summer house, and today I started packing her stuff with my mother. That house will keep the ancient flair but it will be renovated and part of it it’s gonna change a bit. I am mostly emotionally detached by all of this, also if I have to confess emptying the closets and chests of drawers was partly painfull. I am bringing some of her silk foulards with me, I want to wear them the way she did. This is the fist year since I’m alive that nobody lives in this house. I’m writing right now from the living room, sitting on a chair some ancestor of my grandparents used to sit on. It feels a bit strange not to have its owners living the house, on the other hand I can already imagine the new version of it, the dining room will be moved, furniture will be moved. This is the only “gift” I do have: I can see the new house already, I have an idea about proportions, I do see it all, that’s probably why I studied industrial design. On one of the living room’s walls is hanging a picture of my grandparents in the day the of their wedding. Their are in the garden of a villa in the village where they were actually born, which is not where we’ve always lived. My grandmother wears a fancy dress. The waist is so tiny my mother couldn’t wear it for her own wedding. If I want to see that dress, I’ve got to go to a local costume museum in town. Among some dresses they have from us, they also have two tailcoats, one for a child, one for an adult. I wore once the adult one, even the cylinder hat! I was a teenager. My grandmother wouldn’t let me use the “jewellery”, which included the stick.
Next week probably I’ll go to the countryside, I need a walk there. My grandmother owns a secret little spot dated XVIII century. I like to walk in the field, the carob trees still there, the ancient walls still up, not all of them. I’m a city man and I couldn’t live in such a far place, but I enjoy the silence. You hear no cars, no asshole screaming bullshit. Nobody and nothing are owners there. Leaving the island is always the easiest solution for me, I go back to a life where I’m damn poor, do shitty jobs and all the rest, but the loneliness I live in a city is comfort for me.
I love living alone. I’ve tried twice already to get my own place, once in Rome and then here in Berlin. I’m always to poor to get anything, also if in fact I’d be actually able to pay for it. I’ve mostly been looking for studio apartments, just for a matter of money, I couldn’t afford a bigger place. I love big flats, I love to have space. When I talk with people everybody would say “one or two rooms are enough for a single person”. Why? It’s like when they see my bedroom here, which is my living space as well and they say it’s big enough. It’s twelve square meters. My parents’ bedroom is over forty square meters, closer to fifty I guess. A bedroom is a place to sleep, but this is not a good reason why it should be a tiny dark prison. My mother’s bedrooms furtniture is my great-grandparents’ one. It’s wooden and it was hand made for them. There are really fine decorations and the bed is so huge and high that when we were kids we always felt we had so much space and when we were in bed we felt we were in the middle of a square or something, since the room was that huge. We needed such a huge room for that amount of furniture. It consists of a bed, two chest of drawers (with 4 and 7 drawers), five chairs, a tall armoir with a huge mirror, an ancient chaise longue with a little piece for the feet, a bureau and and an armchair next to it and a dressing table. The furniture was built for a huge space: the dressing table has a mirror and behind the mirror there’s the picture of a dame. This furniture was decorated both sides (as the bureau, actually), so that could be placed in a dividing position in the room: from one side bedroom, on the room side more of a living space. The original furniture included also a dormeuse, but my greataunt got it. I asked my grandmother why they would have so much stuff in a bedroom and why all these seats. In the original house, where this bedroom was once, they had four rooms to host people. I was said, my great-grandmother could invite, i.e., one of her sisters to sit in the living area of the bedroom, while a guest from her husband would go to study and a guest who’s not part of the family, would be invited in the main living room. I wish I could have breathed some of this atmosphere. The main hall of my grandmother’s house had seats but we would never sit there. Times have changed, in the past the barber, the hairdresser, etc would have waited there. It was a fine family.
Well, going back to the main point: I need space. At the moment I’m being alone here in Berlin, and I do enjoy sleeping in one room, working in another room, eating in another room. When I visit my family that’s how it goes for me. I would sleep in the guest room, have a drink on the terrace, eat in the kitchen, play in the living room. I would always choose to play in the living room. It’s so huge I’ve got a nice echo and then I can sit on these incredibly old sofas, that my grandmother would say “similar ones only in that castle there”. I adore ancient furniture, it makes me dreamy.
I will soon go back to the island. I was born far away and sometimes I forget things. This summer I’ll have “my own house”, which is not mine obviously, but I’ll smoothly move from one room to another. I haven’t slept in that house in about twenty years. If I’ll look up to the vaults, they will be five meters high. I so need it! I’ve humiliated myself, I’ve lost some strenght. The island will restore some of it. I will want to change things, when I’ll be back here. In order to do that, I need to remember a few things. I need to remember how it is to live differently. I need the island and I need my family. I won’t speak english, I won’t speak german, I won’t even speak italian. I can feel some fierce feeling growing in. I need to feed it.
I am a reckless person. I have bruises on my back, bites I couldn’t feel the pain. I need to feel pain. I’ve been approached in the early morning while I was picking a “fur” jacket from the street. I had no shirt, it was getting colder and it was raining. I saw clothes on the street and I looked for something I could wear. Somebody asked me: “do you wanna have a cigarette?”. I wouldn’t talk with somebody like me, half naked in the street, gathering whatever shit. Whatever shit. We found shelter from the rain. The guy lived just behing the gate. I asked if he had some wine, he did. I said “I should go away”. He said I should go away. I said I wanted some wine before. He said I should have some wine before. This is not safe. This is dangerous. What floor? Let’s go. As we entered he locked the door behind him. I noticed that, I kept an eye on the keys. I had my wine and we sat on the bed and talk. I said I should go away. He said I should go away. I said I would go away, but then I got undressed. The books on the shelf included Goethe, Beckett, Wilde, Genet. The plan is to not meet again.
Do I feel anything? One of the last t-shirts I’ve created says “NUMB”. At times I feel I am. I hear about sick people, about dead people, about all the shit going on here and there and I feel so little empathy. Since a couple of two months I wake up feeling extremely sad, anguished, like if I have this heavy weight on my chest. I spend the first couple of hours feeling like this. Right now I feel like that. Usually I’d better not talk with anybody, for no reason at all I may get pissed off. The only thing that can relax me is creating. I just finished painting a custom Ein Arschloch logo t-shirt. I’ll do another one, with a simple geometrical drawing, in the next hour. I sewed a bag. I bought black cotton cloth and thick thread. It took me about five hours, it’s not complete yet, it will be a kinda backpack. I’ve always liked producing my own things, I’m obsessed about personalizing my stuff. Plus I got it from my dad, I mean the ability of being relatively good with my hands. He is a fisherman, farmer, electrician, house painter, restorer, cook, he would cut our hair when we were kids, he would sew anyting if we ask him. He produces white and red wine, honey, beer. He has the most amazing plants and flowers, wherever he lives it’s full of green. He is good with animals, he used to be vet for our animals and when he was teenager he actually raised a crow, the animal was free, but would follow him and wait for him as he was going and coming back from school. His real job was another, and he was good at it as well. Among the children, I’m probably the one who’s closer to him about these things, I’m not as good as him, but if I can spend a day pruning olive trees, I’m glad.
It takes me a lot of time to do all of it, that’s why I’m a bad friend. When I’m actually free from work, I could just go out and spend hours sitting and chatting and I would enjoy that. I miss that also. But I do need to work on my shit, sorry. A bit of playing, a bit of writing, a bit drawing, a bit of dreaming. All of it makes me a better man, I can see that. I’ve to go out soon, but I’ll try to tidy up a bit. Usually I am a tidy person, I just have too many things I deal with. But it’s all chaos around me, it means it’s all chaos in my head. If I’m able to tidy up, maybe I’m doing any better.
Secondo numero della mia rubrica su ilMitte.com