Skip to main content

The Love Series: Kill It Before It Dies




When it comes to love, I always follow one rule: kill it before it dies. Pull the plug, fire the gun, serve the final blow. Until recently, I had a very singular (if a bit narrow) vision of the future: as a rigid, endless, long-term concept – a circle, not a line. Future to me meant eternity, the closest thing to forever that our mortal nature allows. And that’s why I never cared for fixed-term love - I just didn’t understand it.

Writing this down just makes me realise the absurdity of the self-imposed rule I have lived by for so long. I think about it rationally and wonder how out of touch with reality I must have been to truly believe that the only choice I ever had was between always and never, how crazy I was to think that the in-between is nothing but a bridge you cross frantically to get from one end to the other, without ever stopping to contemplate the view from the middle.

I used to dress my lovers with layers of hope and potential. I tried them on like shoes, to see if they’d fit.  I would throw them in the ring for the hell of it, curious to see if they’d survive. I waited to see if they could function in my world, hoping they’d turn out to be a flesh and bone replica of the unshakable archetype I had in my head.

I didn’t know then, that you build your life around people, and not the other way around. That you don’t know what you want until someone shows it to you. That measuring the worth of a person against some unachievable ideal that only exists in a mind under the influence of toxic ideas of romance will only set you up for failure and disappointment. The end of hope, no matter how small and insignificant, always comes at a price. Even when I’m the one to pull the trigger, mine is always the only name on the casualty list.

In the past, upon the realisation that there would be no-long term future, I arbitrarily chose to interrupt temporary moments of happiness just because I knew that those moments would inevitably stop coming. But I try to play it differently, these days. I have met some extraordinary people, some of whom I’ve had to leave behind, but I feel no sadness or regret for what could have been, for my time with them has been a structureless collection of moments of perfection.

I am a self-professed lover of beautiful things. I let them fill me and sustain me without complications or thoughts of a future where this specific kind of beauty will no longer be available. I try to do the same with people, now. I strive to revel in the joy of the present, trying to limit my obsession over a before that is irrelevant and an after that is never guaranteed.

I was sitting on the balcony of my old flat yesterday after a day of packing. I lay there, covered in the blue light of a late-summer night, when the days don’t end and the sun takes its sweet time. I looked at the canal, the big park, the ugly metal sculpture in the distance. I thought about the people who live on the boats and brush their teeth in the river, comfortable with a life that’s always changing and moving beneath their feet. I focused on that familiar landscape and finally accepted that I will never see it again from that specific angle. And I felt sad, but also strangely at peace with myself. I have lived everything there was to live in that house. I have taken everything it offered me. And I am so glad I did, I am so happy that the thought that I would one day lose it never stopped me from making it a home, hanging paintings on the wall, putting up new wallpaper, getting flowers for all my rooms, filling it with the beautiful smell of freshly baked bread.

The view from my old balcony

For a long time, that house was the only receiver of my love; I gave it all and I took everything I could in return. It’s over now, and I am filling the holes in the walls as I try to fit a thousand days in a dozen black bags. I am leaving, now, it’s not my home anymore. But every crack on the wall, every scratch on the wooden floor, every stain tells a chapter of my story. It’s proof that I was there. A testament to the love that filled those four walls. I look at it this way, and it all makes sense.

To the lovers of the moment, I say: I may not be your home but let me be the immortal flaw, a crack in your wall, a souvenir from the short journey we shared and the affection I unselfishly gave you. Wear me like a badge of honour, irrefutable proof that I was there with you at that time. That’s the closest to forever we may ever get.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Valerio's Press Review: "GQ Magazine, April 2021"

Welcome to Valerio's Press Review, the series in which I read a magazine or newspaper (okay... look at the pictures) and write mean things about the people in them. It's fun! 1) A revitalising afternoon of clam-digging on Southend beach? A day of snorkelling by the port of Dover? Make sure you pack Rolex’s newest submarine watch! You don’t want the fish to think you’re poor.  2) Dolce & Gabbana’s latest collection. The question on everybody’s lips is: do you really want to look like your rich friend’s beach house bathroom? The answer is, and always will be, yes. 3) Sam Claflin for Barbour. A GQ insider told me that his puzzled expression is due to the fact that, for the whole duration of the photo shoot, Sam couldn’t help but wonder if he’d remembered to feed the cat before he left his flat. Models... they’re just like us <3 4) GQ’s Staycation must-have items. If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only bring one item with you, what would it be? Duh! A £32

La (Not So) Dolce Vita

Being Italian has been the single most beneficial asset in my dating life. Growing up in Naples, I was just a guy. In London, I became a “charming” Italian guy. In Milan, my Neapolitan accent is a liability. In the UK, apparently, it’s the sexiest sound known to man (and woman), the immigrant version of the siren song.   After taking residence in the Big Smoke, I quickly realised that Brits have a very precise idea of the Italian man, made up of mainly preconceived notions. They’re harmless for the most part, certainly romanticised, often flattering, but prejudiced nevertheless.   You know what they say: if you can’t beat them, join them. And join them I did. I first came to terms with the extent of my super-power that one time in 2015 when I held the door for a middle-aged woman at a Pret in North London. I said something like “after you” or “good morning” and as soon as she heard the effortless way with which the Rs rolled off my tongue she almost dropped her butternut squash salad o

Getting on with it

A friend of mine messaged me the other day about an opportunity to pitch a piece for a new magazine looking for articles about happiness and well-being. She swiftly withdrew her suggestion upon realising I had literally nothing to contribute to the subject. I can’t seem to shake off the ever so slight suspicion that my particularly abrasive brand of defeatist sarcasm is unlikely to go down well with an audience that’s after feel-good stories for a much-needed start-of-week pick-me-up (that’s enough hyphens for today). Life in the time of Miss Rona is predictably slow. Aside from the customary episodes of wretchedness which stud my life that I have already discussed at length on this platform, I have very little to write about. I am of course binge-watching the Crown (hence me casually using words like “wretchedness”). I have also decided to finally do something about my life-long shampoo addiction and reduce the frequency of my hair washing from once every 24 hours to once every 30 hou