mercoledì 31 agosto 2011

I Dont Like You

Let's deal with the difference between myths and truths: love and good relationships, friends, support and affection are a great idea, and in the occasional spurts where they occur they're a source of happiness, health and delight but in the majority of human interactions, people desxerve sheer dislike, if not hate.

Nowadays it saeems like a big wave of emotional cuddliness has taken over. Its a million of apparently oversensitive babies out there, all about respecting feelings, not being awkward or inappropriate creating all sorts of protective measures, formalities and structures in order to not cause even the slight impression of discomfort to others and appearing hyper protective of themselves and others. Major avoidanhce of confrontation, truths, discussions, honesty or anything that's human. But instead of actually making iunteraqctions easier, all that has been spoawned is a major, tumorous ball of resentment and meanness that is equal to the hypocrisy of the victorian era, where you had to appear proper but at the same time you did the most depraved stuff to other beings that could be conceived.

Human beings are cruel, by nature. Love is not instinctual. i know its ounds disturbing, but thats how it is. Love is a social construct, close to the pack mentality. Its a derivative of maternal/reproductive instincts. You get attached to your own parteners, brothers, member of your tribe, and mostly, cubs. All the social hubbaloo, made of politeness, soft words, healing process of niceness, sparkly clouds of awesome and smiles, is a castle ofn cards that humanity has built onto their bare bones to make the brutality of survival more easy or logical. Like religion. Or traditions. We are scared about the natrural hostility of interacting with others so we create niceness and rules to rest our wary heads on.

From that we have evolved and made all sorts of wonders, like art. We have created courting, flirting, and sacrifice. But still when it comes to the gorund level, we are a naturally merciless species and it still comes out. We are made to hurt each other. Whether its with all out war, defensive attacks or by the small grind that is the sanitized violence of daily interactions. Through a layer of social niceness and polite turns of phrase we naturally corrode each other, by backstabbing, daily cruelty, small and big, aggression, lies and all sorts of poisoning of the soul and heart.

So hate, when it comes as a reaction to that and as a defensive mechanism, as a way to cope with the fact that you can hardly lower your guard and have to be ready for everyone to get at your throat at the slight chance they get, its more natural than love. Even when it comes to family, hate is a basic. Mothers and fathers will hate their children as soon as they detach themselves from the domination that comes fromj being a parent. When the kid becomes a functioning adult that actually interacts with you, youll end up hating them. Its not a given, but its a high chance. And they will hate you.

Loved ones will hate you and hurt you.

Its how humans are, we have no claws or fangs. We are the species capable of cruelty and we will use it in spades. Pets, wont. They will love you no matter what. Still pets dont make dinners. Hmm. Puzzzling.

venerdì 12 agosto 2011

Storytelling: Mr C and The Legless Heart

Once Upon A Time, in an Empty House, a Man and a Woman gave birth to a creature called Mr C.

Mr C was not a product of love, he came out of a stove one morning, crawling and crying blindly, looking for warmth and shelter and trying to make his voice heard in this world but nobody rellay noticed his presence. So he looked for food by himself and found a way to survive and grow stronger. He became friends with the rats, who were actually quite nice when you talked to time and were actually very tired of being chased around the house all day and threatened. They shared their treats with Mr C and helped him become versatile in the art of dodging danger.

Mr C gre enough to be noticed by the house owners who suddenly realized hed been eating their food for all that time and befirending those horrible pests that had been plaguing their home for all those years. Their first instincts was to boil him in a pot and eat him but they decided to make a deal with him: he'd live and could eat and stay there if he killed all the rats and kept the house clean and pretty.

Mr C did not want to kill the rats, they were his friends. They were nice to him. But he had to or he wouldnt survive. The rats begged him to let them live, even run away far from the house. Yet that wasnt pissble, since the owners requested to see their dead bodies as proof. So Mr A had to do it, and killed the rats. It was the first time he actually fel a pain that wasnt due to hunger or cold, or fear. It was a weird pain, deep inside. A pain with no borders, edgy and stingy that made want to stop eating and sleep forever. So he tried to ignore it and for once, he succeeded.

The work in the house was tiring but made time pass. Teh owner were obsessed by perfection. They would attack Mr C if even a slight detail was wrong, starve him and beat him. But weirdly enough, that pain was not that big confronted to what he felt when he had to kill the rats. So he just let them do what they wanted.

One day they died and left him alone, in the empty house. As bad as they treated him, they were all that Mr C had in his life and being alone was something he had never experienced before. Mr C was feeling that pain again. Stronger. And this time, it wouldnt go away. It kept growing and aching, making him cry bitter salty tears and stay awake at night. making him starve until he started fainting.

Mr C had to solve this. So he went to the Town's Witch Doctor. The doctor, after being paid a large fee, examined Mr C.

"There's nothing really wrong with you, little man. What causes you this suffering is something everyone has"

"And what in Tarnation is that?" (said Mr C, who had started reading the house books at night and wanted to speak like the owners to feel big and strong)

"It's a thing that makes you be different from a sponge or a cucmber. Not that sponges or cucumbers need that, but thats that"

"I dont wanna feel that pain anymore. It's horrible. More horrible than being hungry or being beaten or anything. I dont wanna have a heart no more"

"I can do that, little man. But remember, if you take it away, you'll never get it back"

Mr C was little and did not know much, so he let the Witch Doctor take his heart away.

So, he lived for years without a heart. He didnt live really. Just ate, slept. Not feeling pain. Not feeling anything really.

One night , a noise he hadnt heart in ages woke him up. it was a rhtyhtmic beating. Like a drum or a melody but better.

Hypnotized by the sound he went out of the house in the middle of the night and went looking for the source of the sound.

In the middle of a forest, far far away, on a bed of snow and roses, there was a heart. It was beating strongly. It had no arms or legs, but it kept beating with a sound so warm, so powerful and so beautiful that Mr C could not stop listening. It was cold and late and the forest was far from his home but he just stood there and let himself fall asleep to the sound of the heart beating. He stood there, arms wrapped around it and felt so good and happy for the first time in so long. He had dreams. He didnt remember having dreams.

In the mroning he had to leave and go tend to his house

"I'll come back heart"

The heart just kept beating. Mr C wanted to take it away but did not know how. He was tiny and couldnt bear the weight alone. And the heart had no legs so it couldnt walk. Mr C felt a tinge of the pain again, but it was almost good this time. Then it went away again.

When he worked at the house, he forgot about everything and became numb and empty again. Then sometimes, he just heard the beating from far and felt everythign was good again. He could just stop the woprld and fight everything just to hear that beat.

One night he went there.

"Heart, i realized i cant be away from you. I dont know why but i need to be here. I just forget everything when i'm away. I know i did this for a reason. Cause i did not want to feel the pain. I think. But, when i'm away from you i forget the sun and the music and chocolate. I am just there. And i dont want to be there. I wanna be here with you"

The heart just kept beating

Mr C realized that he would never be able to move the heart away and yet he couldnt stay away from it again. It would've been too empty.

So he stayed there. Close to the heart, silent, just listening to it beating.

The days and night passed and he forgot to eat or drink or anything but he didnt care. Suyddenly he had found his place. So one night, in the warmth of that beating he just passed away. At that right moment, the heart ceased beating.

The snow melted and all the roses died. But Everything felt right in the world. Just for a second. And then went dead again.

giovedì 11 agosto 2011

The Mysterious Case Of The N-Word

Being a person who does not speak english as a first language but, most importantly, a person who lives in a country that isnt even close to the idea of a racial metlin pot, i always felt weirdly detached towards the idea of words being offensive.

I dont diosagree with that. I am sure that when you live in a contezt where every single asshole you meet spews an offensive slur and then hides behind feeedom of speech, makes you want to react violently.
Also, while still being a person who doesnt really get the full depth of a slur, i despise people who use the idea of being "not politically correct" in order to be racist, hateful, intolerant or simply ignorant.
I think that 99% of people are fundamentally ignorant and hateful. Its the way humans are born and, eventually, they will be shaped into more logical individuals through education and life experience. But somehow the primal pulse is to be ignorant morons. Being sexist, intolerant and aggressive, is something that most people have as a natural drive. Some sort of claw-less version of the aggressive pulse of animals, sheped into a low level form of attack by the ever-so-lame tendency of humanity to create verbal excuses for thyeir istincts.

Once people used to have shame for being bad people. The ones who didnt have that, were labeled as unrepentant, dangerous individuals. Maybe they ruled society, maybe they were the majority (and they still are) but you could point them out. Now when a p'erson is that way and expresses dangerous ideas, they are able to call YOU intolerant when you point out their ignorance.
Being racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, aggressive, unable to discuss anything in a civilized manner now equals being "not PC" or "telling it like it is". And as much as some people like to delude themselves into the idea that assholes are only a section of humanity, a loud one , but not the norm, i think its the contrary.

Still, there is a reason. I wont take stances but i will tell a story. Bear with me and, if you want, give me your cents.

A long time ago, i used to hang out a lot in a zone of Turin close to the main river. That was the place where you could genrally meet the most people, thanks to the fresh air and the converging of all sorts to humanity to that point. Also there were nightclubs, bars, restaurants and an amazing night view of the city. And a LOT of pushers. I bought weed thjere, i dont hide that. Sitting on the riverbank, high and watching the moon was quite the experience, one of many the city gave us.

Still, like it often happens with places like that, the borders of that zone were full of hot headed immigrants. They hung out there too and they were genrally pissed. Being one of tyheir customer and a generally pleasant guy usually saved me from trouble. I remember buying an extra spicy kebab by one of those. The man sat there with a garden styled grill and spices and made those infernal kebab sandwiches, with his mysterious silent mother next to him, bat5hing her legs in a bucket of cold water and telling him who he could sell the meat to and who was banned. I was white but i was accepted.

Anyway, one night, one of my friuends got a bit too drunk and started singing a song with a lot of "Nigga" in thge lurics. In a matter of seconds, a bunch of giagantic african guys and a couple of middle eastern ones surrounded him and started asking him the classics pre-beatdown questions. He tried to explain but the guys wanted to kick his ass.

Me and a bunch of bigger dudes, managed to be the peacemakers, pick up the guy, who went through the drunk bravery and sudden terror phases, and run away.

Later, at a bar, a common friend, a socially conscious lady, declared that the fellas were in the right, since they had to bear racism all their lives so one could not utter that word even in a song and at a distance.

That kind of argument made me want to be racist. But maybe i'm wrong. Whatevs.,

mercoledì 10 agosto 2011

Music For Your Pockets: 4 Hero "Play With The Changes"

Lately, i've had a moment of epiphany while listening to an album that for the majority of people will be nothing more than a passing soundtrack to their daily mundanity. I had this moment of clarity while listening to the latest Jay-z and Kanye West album "Watch The Throne". I can already see some of you snarking. Well, you condescending dorks, take a deep breathe and listen. While the public figures of Jay-Z and Kanye are probably getting very close to Borderline parody or just sheer annoyance, their music shows intelligence and creativty.

I have never been a hip hop fan and i am still bored to tears when i hear traditional hip hop. While the posturing can be done well, the track has to have something special going on. That works for any type of music, but i noticed that in some genre people tend tyo be more forgiving than others. Hip Hop tends to be accepted even if it is completely devoid of ideas, same as pop and singer-songwriter music. Most of the audience just wants to hear something that fullfills the basic needs, gives a few catchphrases, has ONE good hook on the entire album or simply has enough attitude to bear the lack of magic. We can take a Bon Iver, cause he pretends to be cool enough to hide the fact that he doesnt really have that much talent.

Still, once in a while, there's a band that defies the limit of its genre and destroys categorization. Or in simpler words, reminds you that great music has no limits and can give you emotion, whether you like it or not. "Watch the throne" reminded me this, with its flowing, tasteful beats and great melodies. And then i went back to the shiny genius that is 4 Hero.

I was introduced to 4 Hero in the nineties, by one of those guys that you end up knowing sometimes in your life and seem to have the most incredible taste for music, movies or anything and make you discover things that change your mind forever. The guys that are there when no one else is and give you the gift of true mind melting music.

When i first head their other groundbraking album, "Two Pages", they were almost too "out there" for me to get. Two guys, with an eclectic bunch of guests, that tooks the shapeless, ebullient matter that is black music, from jazz to soul, through funk, added it to the modern possiblities of sampling and electronic decosntruction and made something new. Something new that sounded like nothing else but still was completely devoted to the classic Motown Sound.

And the later "play with the changes" is even more powerful. Listen to the opener "Morning Child" with its old time orchstration, its smooth melodies, the special vibe of it all, the way it uses sound to get under your skin and speak to your heart and brain....

The album has polarized the experts and made me fall in love. Proof that "experts" are cunts. Dig it and discover a world that has no name.

Take a Bite

martedì 9 agosto 2011

Storytelling: A Man's Responsiblity

DISCLAIMER: I am not a sexual deviant or a sick person. The following short story is just an attempt at extreme fiction, in the vein of Douglas Cooper or Peter Sotos. It contains topics and images that might disturb some of you, so if in doubt, do not read. I'd rather have no readers than have a bunch of people accusing me of being a sicko, cause they cant separate reality from fiction.


When Charles turned eighteen, he started developing a thought that in the end would grown like a sentient, rotten tumor and eat out every single bit of life and emotion in him: he was going to bbecome suddenly old and be alone. He would've become a desperate man, sitting in a relatively neat but obstensively abandoned apartment and obsess on details of tv shows. He would've hung to the ultimately delusional hope that "one day things would change", which would have never become a reality and wwould've become more grotesque and impossible day by day.

As he had witnessed with many people before his own eyes, there's a moment in every man's life where they have to settle down and become responsible. A moment where they have to choose a line in their life, they will have to follow down to their deathbed and ensure a following to their bloodline. They have to find a partner and have kids. It's not about sexual prefrences, one can adopt, but every man has to become a family man, witha respectable job, a house and a suit. Every man has to stop following the ambitions and dreams that havent been realized up to that point and cut them like dying branches off of a tree, before their delusional disease starts to poison the core. A man has to either have already won up to that moment, or just get out of the game and join the ranks of accepted social behaviour.

It has to be a personal realization and the sooner it happens, the better it is. Charles had the epiphany at tywetnty. He hadnt become what he wanted to be up to that point, his attempts at becoming a succesful writer only resulted in a series of mediocre short term assignments. His relationships were all flawed and broken. He was mediocre looking, and lacking a strong personality, so he wasnt made to be a succesful or a happy person. Happiness isnt for the mediocre, thats what his mother told me.

She knew he was a disappointment since the very beginning. He had blamed his lack of a nfamily or of lasting relationship on the fact that he had to take care of her incresing illness, but she knew that it was a lie and some sort of masquerade. SHe had always felt in hhis heart that he was a mistake and a broken being. She told him every time: on the very moment after conception, she had looked at him and felt like something wrong and upsetting had been taken out of her body. Her husband, his father, died in a car crash, while driving intoxicated, not long after. So her attention was permanently focused on him and at every second he was a constant source of slight repulsion and annoyance to her. He was too chatty, too over weight, too weirdly cheerful, too imperfect and flawed. He was average in all he did, and whenever he obtained any sort of result, from school, to practical things, he always ended up with decent results but never excelling. And she always felt disgusted by this.

She started drinking heavily almost to maintain a fcade in public, a facade that had to gide the hsame of being a lonely woman and the shame she felt about him.The alcohol would in the end get to her and poison her until she became a blabbering wreck that had to be taken care of constantly. A nurse would be too costly, so Chrales had to clean her up and feed her, using that as an excuse for his own lack of a life. Still, she became more and more spiteful with aging and delirium. Death came as a mercy. He would remember her last phrase forever.

"I fucked a dog and gave birth to one"

Everyone who knew him thought he had a normal life. He just lied to people, to avoid their pity and disgust, making up stories about his day to day living, often inspired by what he saw in his neighbourhood., He'd rather follow up those lies than bear with the fake sympoathy and judgemental compassion of people. Isolation helped. He had no social life to speak of. The little he had, disappeared with time passing, while everyone around had become real people, or just shunned away from him after feeling the creepiness he was hiding.

That was his non-life. he had become what his mother felt he would be: a lonely worm with no family, nothing to care for and to discipline. nothing of his pown that mattered.

But things changed.

It happened gradually. People that knew him noticed the shift. He started showing up to social events again. Going out, looking better. And he talked of his real pride: a child, something of his own.

It had been a difficult process. It always is in modern society. but nothing that couldnt be overcome with money. He "oiled the wheels" with his mother's heritage. The bitch made him miserable but, in the end, left him the means to obtain what he wanted. So with a slight touch of corrpution he avoided the bureaucratic obstacles that were put ahead of him and got finally waht every man needs: something to care about, something that changes yoiur life, something that makes you a real adult.

Picture were shown but everyone wanted to see what had made Charles such a different person, a better one....

So he invited everyone to his house. A cleaner house, full of toys, and decorations, completely tranfugured by the energy of this change in his life.

And everyone saw.

His name was Jaime. It was of indefinite age. Charles kept him tied to a long wooden pole by a strong iron leash. His head was harshly shaved and his eyes feverish. Arms and legs were covered with bruises, especially the knees, from trying to run away. Where the leash was, there was a red circle of bleeding rashes. Wwhenever someone approached it, Jaime cowered yelling and moaning.

"You really disciplined it well, its so well behaved. Congratulations, Charles!"

Charles felt embarsssed. But he had to admit that was true. His mother taught him well.

"Can we have it couple with ours?"

"Of course! I was thinking of having its genital removed, for safety. But if you think that would be better...."

He still had so much to learn....

Jaime whined and peed himself from terror. Charles turned and without changing expression, he kicked it in the face.

People clapped and cheered.

Yes. But he was finally a real man.

lunedì 8 agosto 2011

Into The Void.

If you ever talked to any person with a complaining, whining personality, you probably heard them describe the way they wanted to commit suicide in graphic detail, at least once.

Let me get more specific: i was brought up by a man whose main personality trait was reflecting his own negativtiy on the people that surrounded them. He is a survivor, beat cancer three times, but since day i was born, every single time i talked to my father, at some point of the conversation he brought up the ways he wanted to off himself, and how he was going to do it some day.

Some people just have it in them: they are in love with this form of misery that always comes tied up with a theatrical attraction for the idea of suicide. They will often say how they are an inch from "blowing their brains off". They will repeat the visual loudly and obsessively, describe it, even when it isnt appropriate. They will attempt and fail (proving how mediocre they really are), usually in ways that were guiaranteed NOT to kill them. On those occasion they will chock down a bunch of pills, not enough to die but enough to fall somewhere embarassingly. Then their loved ones will be scared to death, fearing that this would be a real thing. A suicide note will be there, long and verbose, full of passive-aggressive jabs to everyone and self pity.

In the end those people will never die from those attempts. Real suicidal people do not brag about it. They kill themselves in silence, they hardly write notes and if they do, they're mostly goodbyes or apologies. The suicidal drive takes over and blanks out everything else. And a lot of the times, no one would've guessed it could have happened. If they get saved, they will do it again. And as harsh as i may sound, in those cases the best thing is to let them go. You cant stop them and theyre beyond help. They are already dead inside. A mental cancer has eaten up their soul and all they can do now is die.

But the loud ones, they're just malaise junkies. Like drug addicts they will also destroy all the people around them, with fear and guilt.

As much as i sound negative on that, mostly because growing up with a person like that, was torture, i have been through those swamps. I think i am alive, not because i love life or cause i am strong, but because i dont have the strength of character to die. I have the selfish attraction for despair and the instability but not the sheer balls to die.

I have tried it with external ways, though: alcohol, meds, drunk driving, and all.... I have never tried heroin. And i have to admit that even if i'm more balanced today, the dark part of me, is still attracted to the idea of heroin. A drug that numbs the soul and gives you a rush of pleasure while completely annihilating the ability to think. That attracts a large chunk of me. The ritual scares me, the idea of the preparation and usisng a needle. But i could get into it. And what would come after...-. Well i'm sure i could become an addict to the point of self destruction. I know, i'd die of it, or worse but i feel that demon is still inside of me. I feel it's there.

sabato 6 agosto 2011

A Place To Rest

Look at that building. What do you feel, in the pit of your stomach, while watching?

Now picture that being the place you enter with your hopes wrapped in a package, where you might actually meet your demise or fight up to your last resource of energy until you actually come out completely ttansformed.

That building is placed in the center of North Eastern country, which means its a surrealistic visual. A landfscape of green, empty fields, vaguely smelling of fertilizer and post industrial dreams. Long, twisty asphalted roads that go on for miles, filled with cars that seem to be focused on getting to their destination as quick as possible, because getting stuck there would be too depressing.

I remember working in a similar landscape, not far from there, and driving through to do errands or to go back home and visit my family. I remember howe i easily got lost in the desolate cosiness of that part of the country. The way i seemed to always loose myself into the endless series of directionless roads, anonymous small towns with improbable names and identical sets of gigantic stores where you could go and buy everything.

This time, in the middle of that, this giant square box of bricks, surrounded by pastel coloured signs and by an aura of grotesque silence, only interrupted by slowly moving cars and crickets, was where people went to fight or cease to fight. It's an institute for the cure of high level tumors. A private one, quite espensive, supported by the national association for the research against cancer. A friend of mine, a very close one, diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the type that breaks weaker man, is there fighting his own war, in order to see his newlyborn daughter grow up.

I parked the car. The heat of the August sun made the air heavy and saturated with humid weirdness. While reaching the entrance, i noticed the group of patients and relatives sat outside on wooden becnhs, smoking their lungs out. The smoke smell was intense, even more than a lot of smoker filled places. And i cant judge that. Later my friend would point out how many people in that building actually started tripling their smoking habits while there. How often youd see patients with no hair, on wheelchairs, with envelopes and bottles of meds, courting out and smoking.

Recently, a person doing a healthcare discussion with me, loved to stress one sentence out of two, how "Smokers should not be granted healthcare or any cure, if they ever got cancer". And my reaction, as it is witha lot of nonsense now is: get ill, then we'll speak.

The building recpetion looked like a giant, aspetic hotel. The type of hotel where traveling salesmen end up. Elegant, depersonalized and cold. And that''s what all the inside of this place seemed to me. It was a personal feeling but all i could think was how the clinic was a good visualization of the idea of death. Not the bloody, screaming death of hospital. The death of slow diseases that eat you away one hour at a time. The muffled death where you are surrounded by glass eyed nurses, with no smell, not even pharamaceutical ones, corridors that all look the same, and silent room where even your faimily feels embarassed to cry too loudly. Where you go out with your eyes closed and a machine goes beep.

It was still a place where most people would probably come out cured and stronger, but that's how it felt to me in the deep. My friend commented how the architecture of the bu8ildingsa looked like Auschwitz. I wanted to joke how, possibly, the skinny bald people helped the feeling. I didnt, cause i was thinkin he was right.

I saw him trying to walk again, with his father by his side. He was doing good. Strong, as he always is, even at this moment. As bad as it may sound, ive never loved the man as much as i loved him at that moment. Not out of pity or compassion but because he looked like he could take anything and kick it in the balls.

In his room there was another young man in much worse conditions. Yet, he had a great sense of humour. We joked a lot, on morbid topics, like having sex on chemo and penis dimensions. He joked even more with his family around. While watching the family's faces squirm for those jokes, i still could pick who was who, even if i did not kno them. The mother, older and weathered, but the most resilient of the bunch. Because no matter what, mothers are always the top warriors. The grandmother, philosophical and accepting. The sister, detached and teensy but visibly deeply affected.

After chatting, my friend wanted to rest, so i left. I gave him two books for his girlfriend. Her birthday on that day. A mother of a newlyborn child with an ill lover, i think she needs a couple of books.

The quietness of the families still is in my head now. And how every one of them talked about how unbearable the interactions with the "outsiders" are. How the tons of fakely sympathetic calls are torture, or worse the complete silence and absence of help.

Recently, another person i love, who is also fighting against illness and the cruelty of life, hgas been hurt by the selfishness of people in her life. The silences from the supposed friends and the backstabbings. And all i would want to0 do is take her away and take care of her. To be able to make my friend healed again. To solve things. But i cannot, so i can only try and not to be silent, or absent.

And in the meantime, think how i am safe that there is no god but theres a lot of people who can do well without him. As i said, if you dont believe me, wait till you get ill. Then we'll talk.

giovedì 4 agosto 2011

Life Is Gonna Suck, When You Grow Up...

When i was a small kid, growing up (yes i realize the majority of my stories start or are rooted in the past or, worse, in my childhood, but i'm a sucker for narrative flashbacks) i had my share of bullies at school. It had to happen, i was a meek, scrawny kid. I would've punched me too. And it kinda taught me how to behave in a social order where some people were clearly out there with the purpose to make your life miserable.

It was weird in some context, since the actions of a buylly are very random anbd methodical. So i had to face the fact that every day, with no exception, i would've had to sytand up for myself and even if i did that, they wouldnt have stopped the buyllying but instead increase the dosage, until we were all out of school. And if they ever picked me outside of school they wouldve hit me anyway. But that taught me how to fight people and how to eventually learn how to be cruel to others that were weaker than me. Yeah i know, that sounds awful but thats how i grew up and i have no excuse or shame for it.

I had to deal with worse stuff when i went to my grandmother's house at summer. Besides the adult abusers all kids there had and that a parentless one like me had in double size, there were thye animal like relationship i had with my cousins.

The main villains of that part of my story were two kids, adopted by an uncle who couldnt have any kids, born in Guatemala. The two were completely different, both in physical appearance and sprit. They were not really brothers. But honestly that never bothered me. Thats why i always say that racism doesnt even exist in my head. I grew up with those two very non-white looking kids and to me they were part of my family.

The racism always came from our parents, including their own. Where we interacted easily, every single one of the older people in the family never missed an opportunity to state how they werent "really our parents", "diffferent" or downriugjhtt "Savages". Yes, that's right.

They were perfectly normal kids. One was smaller and more subtle in his attacks, the other was a Tyson look-a-like that could break a bone wih a single punch. They loved to crash stuff, do dangerous stunts and play war games. That is still perfectly normal to me. But my grandmother loved to tell them to their face "you're like this because you come froma country of war toirn savages, viuolence it's in your blood. You're not normal, like us".

They never got over that. So their anger came out in the playing. I had an indestructable toy truck that i managed to put through hell for years, until they threw it from a roof. They climbed trees and threw rocks at me. So i learned to climb the tree and started throwing rocks at our smaller cousins. I got beat up a lot. I had fun.

My father once commented "of course they knew how to climb trees, they're closer to monekys than we are".

As we met as adults, things were changed badly. I happened to work for their adoptive father, a man who loved to sabotage women on the workplace, to "put them in their place" and used illegal immigrants as workers so he could undepay them. Thats where i learnmed i lot about myself and dealing with assholes. He seemed to treat his sons good though. Maybe cause Giovanni, the tyson look-a-like, even more as an adult, once punched him in the stern, HARD and taught him he should behave.

Bith him and his brother, Enrico, were trying hard to fit, but they had to work extra. Giovanni worked 20 hours a day to become a professional nurse and he still had to face people pushing him around. Enrico, who looked like he just stepped out from "Apocalypto", but without the muscles, traveled the world doing a lot of short jobs but never really succeding.

I was full of hopes and a a year ahead from my biggest suicide attempt.

Differnt ages, different bullies.

mercoledì 3 agosto 2011

We're On The Road To Nowhere

For once the image has really not much to do with the post, but it looks the right way. It's a spirtual connection.

Also, even if it looks like it, this isnt meant to be one of those posts where the authore describes its "crazy/sad/stressful" day, looking for some sort of empathis connection with its five readers and the spambot that follows him. No, i despise those. There's something inherently self pitying and pathetic in someone who describes his "bad day" (unless it had a meaning in their life or contained some important happenings that had to be shared) and even worse if they try to add some half arsed "womp womp, murphy's law is on me" jokes.

Still today was an amazing example of how no matter how good the intentions of an individual are, a series of weird twists will make them pointless.

I had to visit an ill friend today, a brother who is fighting against some bad, nasty disease and i want to help and be close to. Since he's been placed in a special clinic where the disease is being taken care of more properly (thats the new age of privatized healthcare, y'all), which is outisde of the main city and not easy to reach, i took a full day off work and got ready. The road was long and complex, so i didnt really want to drive it by myself.

Get to the train station. Ticket lady is off duty for the whole month of august. Only shows up early in the morning. For the rest of the day, you have to either buy the tickets in other stores (which are closed) or at the automatic machines. Which have been both broken for a year. Right. See i usually dont travel without a tickets since i look nlike thew type of person that security loves to check and possibly molest, so i have to be careful. But if you WANT me to do it, then i will. Fuck it, no ticket. I'll get it on the train if i'm asked.

I wasnt asked. The train departed and arrived with the usual half hour of delay, filthy, with no air conditioning and a jolly smell of urine. Got to the small station where i should catch the Bus which would then bring me to the clinic.

There was no bus. I mean, the bvus existed but it was suppressed for the month of august. So if you wanted to actually visit your cancerous loved ones on august, you'd better geta car or find another solution. I heard an unspoken "you stupid piece of shit" in my head but i'm a negative thinker.

I think, "well at this point, since i'm stuck here i might as well call a cab!". Totally. Crappy Cab stickers were all over the tiny smelly station. A ride with one of those guys, i was informed, was around 50 bucks. And would take about an hour more.

I dint have fifty bucks, even if i wanted to spend them. Also if i had fifty bucks, i'd rather spend them at the colourful folksy bar with no sign where all the town peeople seemed to be. A poster outside shouted indignation against the evil of alcohol and how it's a demonic drug. inside the 80 year old up clientele seemed seriously drunk in bright sunlight.

Options are either sell my cavities for a lift (not even home, to a tumor clinic. would have been a nice story), which i had no intetnion to do. Or ask my buddy's wife,w ho already hjas enough troubles to come and pick me up. I dint want to be a pest. I called my friend, explained my situation and we had a fun chat where i managed to make him laugh. That made me feel better.

I had to get back. Shall i buy a ticket? Lets try. The ticket seller is closed. A guy there says "wait, i'll do you a handwritten thing instead of a ticket". Sounds like the beginning of a weird horror or an hilarious porno, but yeah.

The train is ready for departure but the guy is stalling.

"Sir, the train is leaving"

" minute..."

"Sir the lady is yelling"

".... Tell her to wait...."


"....Jesus, what's the rush, i'm doing you a favour! Go then!"

After that, he just goes away and i fling myslef on the departing train, ticketless.

A lot later, i'm home.

On the return train, a guy with crotches asked to a lday if the seat next to her was free. She ignored him. The seat was occupied by her purse. I offered my place to the guy.

While returning, i saw my father hanging out of some bar, looking like a child molester. Neithere here nor there.

One note: having a scruffy outlook, a t-shirt with jesus on a cross and the phrase "DEATH OF A SALESMAN" on it and a pair of cool headphones blasting weird music in your ears will make you feel like you're in a movie and keep people away from you. Yet the town's immortal psycho drunk ( a guy named "Cavaliere", whom i remember since i was a kid and is stuck to the age of 70 since then) will approach you and call you "Evil", to then start yelling how he will kill all women.


martedì 2 agosto 2011

The Art Of War and Deafeat

I'll clear things up right away: everything i'm about to state in this post IS A THOUGHT and doesnt pretend to be truth. Everything i will express is a reflection, might change after discussion or further thinking and should not be taken as something personal or offensive in any way. To make it clearer: if anyone reads this and feels hurt, i will loose any respect i have for you and consider you a complete idiot. Grow a pair and start thinking about uncomfortable possiblities too.

Illness is a bitch. I'm not talking about the weird world of mental illness, i'm talking about actual diseases that have a personality of their own. I'm tired of complaining about my own dewpression and hearing people who complain about it. Face it: as much as you like to claim your special position in the world of today, where if you dont have a major problem or peculiar illnesss, you're not a real person, your depression IS NOT as important as a disease as the real, physical, debilitating ones. I have depression, i use meds and i fight with it. It's a real, tangible monster but it's nowhere near to what a crippling illness like cancer or lupus are. If we feel that bad, we still can kill ourselves, its still legal, where actual victims of illness are FIGHTING to survive. Depression can be crippling but isnt a big FIGHT. It can be overcome. Most chronic and terminal diseases do NOT have a cure and might not have one for a long time. But still, it seems that the army of the depressed calls for more attention, since we are loud and obnoxious. Let's shut the fuck up and deal with actually improving the chances for people who are in REAL danger.

That said, as a person who has ill people in his life, sometimes i have to face the realization: the war will not be won by everyone. Every case is different and every person has a set of weapons of their own to fight the war. But some will not win. Yes we will still fight and try as hard as we can but yet there's some diseases that are concretely HOPELESS. There's some tumors or viruses that are as intelligent as any creature with abrain and seem able to dodge any healing bullet that gets shot at them with a deft way that defeats the purpose of investing time and effort in it.

Sometimes i wonder, in such cases, waht's better? Using the time left hopping from hospital to hospital, injecting chemicals, radiation and surgical tools in the patient's body to find a solution that is more of a 0.00001 percentage than even a slight chance or spend the time left by lessening the pain and making life better for the person (and i say person instead pf patient, EXACTLY because i'm making that distinction). Shall we fight for one month or one week of life added just to use it in hospital rooms and chemio therapy session that debilitate rather than heal, just to reach the end anyway as we knew from the very beginning?

I'm not talking about the type of illnesses that can be sent to remission or actually won over. For those, war is the only option. I will give my own life gladly to save the ones i love, whatever option shows up. I will fight for them even when they have nom ore strength to fight.

But at waht point, the whole thing stops being a fight and becomes a torture? If the person i love is suffering more for the attempts of curiong them, and getting weaker and weaker, am i using them as a guinea pig for my fear to keep them there? Shall i just try to make their time in this world better, instead of focusing on the war. Or do i have to keep fighting, even if its pointless.

Is it ever pointless? I really do not know. Again, do not fucking yell that i'm "insensitive". I love the ones i love and i am seriously questioning these points. So watch your mouth.

lunedì 1 agosto 2011

Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

Music it's a distillate of pure emotion, and thats what it's supposed to be, no matter what type of music it is, it's almost unavoidable that at times, it gets tangled up with tragedy.

I personally think that music is the disembodied sound reconstruction of life. I'll explain this better: people, humans, try to put their lives and minds in a concrete form, so it becomes everlasting. They takje their emotion and give thema from that can be given to others. Or be sold, used to entertain, communicate the same emotions to others, communicate. Whatever the case is, music is the universal form of transcription of thoughts, emotions and unspeakable pulses of the mind and soul. So in its wholw, it is some sort of gigantic web of interweaving stories and jpiurnals that influence each other and tell about people and their lives much more than any newspaper, book, or picture will ever be able to do.

The death of an Amy Winehouse might leave ME cold when i hear about it, because to me her songs were somehow a meaningless spound that i didnt connect with. But for another person, this artists dying and ceasaing to create her music, is a tragedy. When our weavers die, the parts of us that were connected to them through songs, the moments in our lives that had their music and their emotions as a soundtrack, die with them. Or become something diofferent, they transfigure like a bug to a butterfly.

You might not realize this right away but it's evident if you think about it.

Or viceversa. I used to remember with a special place in my heart the beautiful show that Dave Gilmour èplayed in Milan: three hours of pure maniplations of the soul throiugh sounds. I remember putting an arm of my friend, who was sharing the moment with me and feeling like we were creating a special bond.

The same friend went with me at the Roadburn Festival, a dutch three days of rock and muscial experimentation. I 've seen and expoerienced music there as i've never did with anyone else. We had our ups and downs but we had that magic anjd the music that came with it. Listening to the bootleg recordings of those days still makes my heart ache.

Now my friend is ill and might disappear. The memories and the music have a whole different shape. Its the aural version of those memories and of ourselves in those days. Before age, before drama, before illness.

A musician takes a part of his heart and makes it become a series of songs. Puts them on some support. Thpose songs somehow enter your life. You might be a fan of those songs, they substain you in the hard times, enhance the great times and make them memorable. Or those song might simply have entered your life cause they were on the radio, everywhere. Think about it. Think of the memories. There was always music with them. It was a part of the memory.
So then the artist dies. By drugs by accident or by anything. Something will change forever. Those mem,ories will have a different taste now. It will be a Tragedy of its own.

Some love stories with music even start with the tragedy. Maybe the tragedy was part of thew love right from the very beginning. Like Nick Drake. Who can Listen to “Pink Moon”, without thinking how the whole album is a manh baring his soul in a room a bit before taking his own life.

And if people die, there's music that keeps waht they were or what part of your history they created, eternal and shapeless. It's a flow of memories and feelings that is always there, made bvy us, for us.

How much closer to beauty can you get?