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Showing posts from 2018


So three months ago I started a new job. I was really thrilled at the opportunity to work for a national broadcaster and I was determined to make a good impression.

I did my best: I tried to be as presentable as possible despite my hate for ironing or any form of clothes flattening, I became extra careful with the way I talk or the words I choose and - of course – I doubled the amount of effort that I put into pretty much everything I was asked to do.

For about 24 hours, I succeeded in my attempt to appear smart yet humble, ambitious yet poised, respectable yet easily accessible. I answered questions about foreign politics, social issues and international trade.

Everything was going extremely well. Until of course someone asked me my middle name.

 “I don’t have one!” I blurted out.

Awkwardness and dismay filled the room.

“So you’re just… Valerio”

“Yes, but you can call me Val!” I replied cheekily while unintentionally throwing a vintage pop-reference to the 1980s masterpiece 'You…

A celebration of the season

It’s that time of the year. Yeah, the one that comes right before the most wonderful time of the year, you heard me.

It’s a genuinely strange time, and people are in a peculiar mood.

Most of them are just sad that the summer is over. I, for one, am not going to miss the scorching, brain-melting heat that we’ve experienced this season. I’ve never been a summer person but I’ve always tolerated it well as a child, because at the time summer meant playing with my friends all day long and going to the beach loads during the seemingly endless three-month break from school.

It’s not as fun when you have to get into a crowded train with no air conditioning on your way to work and expel all the liquids in your body in the form of sweat and tears with your hair clumped on your scalp and the smell of a thousand strangers lingering on you for the rest of the day. No thanks.

Some people, on the other hand, have a delightfully hypocritical/optimistic approach towards it. They see the fall as an oc…

The circle game

It’s 2:40 am. I'm in a semi-deserted shopping centre in East London. Rough sleepers are dozing on both sides, their faces pressed on the filthy floor, with cubicles of cardboard to shield them from the fluorescent lights and the prying eyes of strangers. They look like props, artificially placed on the set of a dystopian film, perfectly blended in an upsetting atmosphere of decadence.
The junkies go up and down, frantically looking for something or someone that’ll get them higher and higher. The security guard casts a glance full of disdain at the rotten flesh that carelessly shows through their clothes. Their skins are hanging off their bodies, but their smiles persist, revealing crooked teeth ruined by their favourite cocktail, neglect and methamphetamines.
And then there’s me. Casually strolling around as I sip a large cup of sprite bought at a 24/7 McDonalds as I returned from a night out cut short by yet another headache.I take a moment to contemplate the worst things that th…

Gluten is joy

Don’t let the title fool you. This is not a post about gluten. It’s a post about joy, or lack thereof.
I couldn’t sleep last night, so I started thinking. And that’s often when the trouble begins.
Anyway, I looked back at the past months, trying to summon up precious moments of joy and happiness that would stand out from all the exhausting days spent working tirelessly for my higher purpose.
I have spent the past 300 days working really hard. I haven’t stopped a second. As a matter of fact, I think I haven’t had a proper break in four years.
My life is not that much fun these days. Hence the need to find comfort in recent memories that may distract me from the dullness of these dark days made of Sainsbury’s meal deals and Harvard referencing. It took me five minutes to find something… and believe you me, I had to dig really deep before I got there.
I have found a few moments, in the end. Luckily, I am not that miserable. But the more I thought about it the more I was able to identify a…

Arent’ you just tired of people telling you what to do?

We are slaves to people’s validation, painfully waiting for someone to determine our worth. We deny who we are, shaping ourselves into the unachievable ideals that someone else has set for us. We refuse to believe that we’re good until someone else tells us so.
You’re too stupid or too nerdy. Too solemn or too playful. Too fat or too thin.
Your accent is too strong or too fake. Your clothes are too colourful or too dull. Your work is too derivate or too obscure.
We waste all our energies on trying to convince someone else that we are important, that we are deserving of attention, consideration and, ultimately, love.
And what are we, in the end?
We are ghosts, blurred reflections of our past selves. Disfigured, scarred, amorphous beings who are too scared of being themselves, too reluctant to own their flaws, too weak to challenge the blindness of these vulgar misconceptions.
We want to be part of the game, imploring to be chewed by a world that is eager to spit us.
We’re at the bottom of the py…

Picking up where we left off

Iris had listened attentively to all his words, her face covered by a veil of graceful melancholy. 
She paused for a second, trying to compose herself. 
She glanced at the mountains, their geometric silhouettes calmly burning in the indigo sky, then took his hand: “Gaining a clearer understanding of the world and how it works is a paradoxically confusing experience. I have always assumed that, as you get older, you kind of learn to figure stuff out, you find the key to handle life, you finally take control.
As it turns out, growing up is a painful experience. Or at least it has been for me. You slowly strip yourself of layers of childish obliviousness. The same obliviousness that protected you from the harsh realities of an often unpleasant world. Once you leave it you’re naked, vulnerable, exposed.
At first, it’s just a crack, almost invisible to the human eye. The years go by and the cracks extends, it widens, it splits you in the middle. Before you know it, you’re broken,” she said…

The first day of snow

I want to live every day like it’s the first day of snow.
I want to savour every bit of that childish pleasure, the pure feeling of awe and novelty of the child who discovers new pieces of this beautiful world.
I want to see the beauty even where there isn’t any, I want to magnify it when it’s there and then I want it to move me the way only beauty can.
I want to scream it from the rooftops, call everyone I love and let them know, invite them all to cherish this magnificence, the rare gift of a generous sky.
I want to live every day like it’s the day before Christmas, bury my adult worries under layers of candid carelessness.
I want to forget my schedule and sit for hours behind the window pane and just watch it happen. I want to freeze this feeling and this moment, like a snowflake in the glass, and pray it never stops.
I want to smell the crisp winter air and feel the snow coming, let it kiss my face. I want it to remind me of who I was and who I could be, if only I let myself live every…

10 Things I (Really F*cking) Hate About You

I've been trying really hard not to lose my shit. Life can be frustrating and painful and, every day, I have to teach myself to resist the impulse to randomly start slapping people in street. I let myself fantasize about it, though. A man should always be allowed to dream. Some people come up to me and suggest I try yoga, meditation, aromatherapy. "Oh my God Valerio have you tried herbal teas? they're like TOTALLY helpful" HORSESHIT. This is what I like to do to release tension. I want to vent my frustration on a public forum and let people think I've lost it. If I can't yell profanities on the street then let me at least write them all here in my safe, mindfulness-free space. Don't be a hater. Speaking of hate. Take a look at the title of this post. Does it ring a bell? You don't have to be a 90s rom-com aficionado like myself to remember the popular chick-flick 10 Things I Hate About You, with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. At the end of the movie, the gir…