Skip to main content

The Love Series: (Not So) Happy Endings

Today I came across a faded pink post-it note in an old book of mine. I recognised my own handwriting, hasty and unintelligible as ever. It was a Maya Angelou quote, sieved through the filter of a shaky, sceptical hand: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

This got me thinking. About life, literature, and the importance of good stories. You’ve heard this before: life cuts me, and I bleed stories. They’re the backbone that holds my sense of self. Without them I would shrivel and collapse, calmly but steadily implode.

I like to think I’m able to amass the chaos, the facts and the anecdotes, the places and the people that come crashing in and out of my life, and shove them into the reassuring boundaries of a story, the straight lines of an archetypal narrative, the solid silhouette of pre-written characters.

It’s a tool for survival, the shelter in which I seek refuge during the storm of the week. I have been accused of living in a permanent state of denial, of being out of touch, turning a blind eye to alternative realities that are foreign to my eyes, but possibly more valid than my fantasies.

So I’ve tried to change a little bit. Some things have happened. Or more precisely, some people have happened. They came and they left and, for the first time, I chose not turn them into a story. Exhausted and in desperate need of change, I thought that maybe I would keep some things to myself, leave some of these stories untold. I decided to be an internal observer, to stay present -  but remain still.

I sat back and, contrary to everything I believe in, I just let things be. And just like that, I was haunted by the ghost of the unspoken word, an insidious thought that penetrated my dreams and turned them into nightmares. It whispered in my ear, begging to be banished, pleading to be turned into a more-or-less cautionary tale.

And that’s exactly what I'm doing now. I have returned to the crime scene, as they say. And here I am, with nothing tangible to remember it by, only memories and impressions made blurry and unreliable by the state of emotional and physical intoxication I was in when I first collected them.

This is an experiment. It’s the story I tell today versus the story I’ll tell in a couple of months, when the dust will have settled and the bitterness will have lost some of its fierceness. It’s going to be a completely different story, then. And maybe that’s for the best. Maybe that’s the only way for me to finally learn that time is relative and so is my perception of the damage caused by some of the incidents of the present.

All I have to justify this feeling is a song, the memory of hands on legs, formerly meaningless details of my face that I now have to confront every time I wash my face before bed, a bag of ground coffee that stayed in my life for longer than the people I drank the damn coffee with. 

It’s the small things: a crumpled receipt, a bench in the park, a bike in the hallway, a sign in the street. It’s a reminder that the most bittersweet stories are those we will never be able to tell because they only existed in our heads, little more than fairy-tales, well-rehearsed prayers to recite at night to dispel the monsters produced by the sleep of reason.

It’s the story of two paths that crossed, briefly, of a person who set to live a story of their own, leaving a vacuum that only I can see, deeper and larger than my capacity for love and gloom, a trap we’re both bound to stumble on, sooner or later.

I am torn between the shoulds and the coulds, the graceful acceptance of the fact that everything ends and the foolish hope that makes me say: I don’t want to change you but I still want to save you. I don’t need your love, but I need you to need mine.  I want to talk to you about the things you can’t see now but will only see when the time is right, be it tomorrow or in twenty years, when I’m someplace else, doing God knows what with someone who is capable of receiving what I am willing to offer.

You're not for me. But I still want to sit and listen to the stories you can’t bring yourself to say out loud, to be let into your truth, finally catch a glimpse of your authentic self, minus the drugs and the booze, free from the chains you’ve wrapped yourself in to convince everyone (and yourself) that you’re stronger than you really are. I want to prove you that you're not broken - but you just choose to "feel nothing" because it's easier that way. And forgive my arrogance, my claim to know you better than you know yourself. Allow it, ‘cause you don’t see what I see.

I don’t want you but I want to be there for you, present, I want to prove you wrong, show you that love is real and that you're capable (and worthy) of it. I want to heal the wounds you’ve neglected for far too long, make you a believer in the beauty you can’t see in this very moment, and show you how to recognise it when it finally falls into your path, one day, in the shape of man that is not me.


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

The Love Series: Dressed For The Occasion

I think we’ve all been there before. You’ve finally managed to bag a hot date. You approach the whole operation with scientific precision and military discipline. You pick the best time for both of you, scour Yelp for the cheapest restaurants with a minimum hygiene rating of 4/5 and proceed to send your location to the group chat so your friends know where to find your lifeless body in case your date turns out to be the millennial Ted Bundy/Aileen Wuornos. Everything is ready, planned to the last detail. But then the big day comes and, oh shit… you have nothing to wear. You lean into your closet and ouch, all you can see is a blurry cluster of old, faded, Salvation Army-ish items that all of your friends will promptly veto and report to the authorities (wearing them in public would indeed qualify as a lewd act) the moment they receive your panicked snaps. It’s like Primark’s reduced section on steroids. A felt jacket? Too shabby. A funky silk shirt with oriental patterns? too

Fifty shades of public transport: a journey to hell

This was meant to happen, sooner or later. I bet you all saw this coming. I mean, everyone who knows me has heard me complaining about any form of public transport at least once. And after spending one year in the busiest city in the world, where the tube is basically a national institution just like the Queen and cucumbers in sandwiches, I am ready to speak out. Even though I promised myself that I wasn't going to merely look through all the legendary stereotypes about public means of transport, the circumstances force me to mention at least some of them, clearly enriched with the inedited shades of absurdity that have been coloring my life since its very beginning. I'd start by describing you one of the most uncomfortable situation that my daily life offers me. No, wait, I'll reword this.  I am not talking of one particular episode. I mean, that's it: my life is an uncomfortable situation. But let's start from the beginning. I wake u