The Boy Who Laughs

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Summary

This Semi-Autobiographical novel based on the author's observations growing up in Italy and the US, explores a damaged outlook of a young man on society and reconciliation with his past. After being expelled from the Liceo (Italian Highschool) Nicholas Durán, tough, alcoholic, anger filled, thrill-seeking, self-destructive teenage poet, leaves home to start a journey in Beat Generation style, through Italy, the UK, and the US where he was raised in the Bronx, looking for revenge against the boogey men of his past that made him a monster, his childhood babysitter, his father whom he never met, and ultimately himself, within a society that does nothing to help the young ones in need. If Holden Caulfield, Arthur Fleck and Henry Chinaski were brought together in a 'Fight Club' loving character, to underline the importance of mental health among young people, The Boy Who Laughs deals with a young broken man striving to figure out that the only way to grow up and grow out of one's nightmares and traumas is through developing acceptance, forgiveness, and responsibility towards loved ones.

Status:
Complete
Chapters:
32
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue

My friend, my friend,

I am very very sick.

I don’t know where this evil comes from.

If it’s the wind that hisses

on the empty and deserted field,

or if it’s the alcohol that upsets the brain,

like a grove in September.

My head flies my ears,

like a bird with wings.

My head no longer has strength

to rock on the neck.

A boogie man,

Boogie, boogie,

a boogie man

sits on my bed,

a boogie man

he doesn’t make me sleep all night.

A boogie man

moves a finger on the abominable book

and, with a nasal voice above me,

like a monk over a dead man,

he reads me the life

of a certain rascal,

chasing anguish and fear into the soul.

A boogie man

boogie, boogie...

Listen, listen, -

He mumbles, -

there are multiple plans in the book

and beautiful thoughts.

There was a man who lived in the district

of the most terrible

bandits and charlatans.

In December in that district

the snow is pure to the devil

That man was an adventurer,

but of the best species

The highest.

He was elegant,

and also a poet,

even if small,

was his strength,

is a certain woman,

Over forty years of age,

he called her a bitch

and his beloved.

-“Happiness,” he said,

is dexterity of mind and hands.

All clumsy souls

are known for their unhappiness.

It does not matter,

if many torments

are fruit of ambiguous

and liars gestures.

Between storms and torments

in the cold of everyday life,

in severe losses

and in sadness

–always appearing smiling and simple -

is the supreme art of the world ”.

Boogie man!

Don’t dare this!

Who cares about the life

of a scandalous poet.

Please, to someone else

read and tell ”.

The boogie man

stares at me.

And his eyes are colored

of a blue vomit,

almost wanting to tell me,

that I am a thug and a thief,

that in a shameless way

has robbed someone.

...

Night of frost...

Peace at the crossroads is silent

I’m alone at the window,

I don’t look for a friend nor a guest

the whole plain is covered

of a friable and soft lime,

and the trees, like knights,

are gathering in our garden.

Somewhere he cries

an evil night bird.

And the boogie man still

taking off his cylinder

throws the coat carelessly,

he comes to sit in my armchair...

Listen, listen! –-

he says with an unpleasant voice,

looking me in the face,

even closer

even closer I bow. -

I have never seen

Never a rascal

suffer from such stupid and vain insomnia.

Ah, maybe I was wrong!

Tonight is the moon!

What needs

this little drunk and lazy world?

Maybe with her big thighs

“She” will come in secret,

and you will read her

your languid exhausted lyric?

Boogie man!

You are a very bad guest.

This fame

has been around you for a long time.

I am furious,

and I throw my stick

right against his face,

at the root of his nose.

The moon is dead,

dawn dawns at the window.

Oh you, night!

Why so much trouble?

I’m standing here with my top hat.

There is no one with me.

I am alone

With a shattered mirror...


-loosely adapted from The Boogie Man, by Sergej Esenin, 1925.

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