People need to escape.
Close your eyes: what can you see?
You never asked me what I saw. Maybe you never asked it to yourself. Maybe because you were afraid because when I closed my eyes I imagined myself so far away from here, and you knew it. How much time did you lie to yourself, when looking into your eyes I yelled at you silently to go away and smiling I prayed you to give it up on me and let me go? But nevertheless, every time I gave to you one more reason to mark that distance that would sign my departure, I held you stronger. But you never gave it up because you knew another thing, you knew that I was the best to give up, the first to fall and the first to rise without a trace of pieces of relationships, dreams and hopes. I've never been good at fighting for two, maybe because I cannot even fight for myself. It’s funny thinking how most of the time I fight against myself.
The contradictions have been part of me since ever. I remember when I was six and my mother asked me if I wanted ice cream and my brain begins to analyze every detail, her tone of voice, her gaze. I wanted that ice cream but if she was late at work I would not wanted to make her angry. Every time I couldn’t take a decision and every time I made her angry so we came back at home in complete silence, each one lost in their own guilt. the contradictions were at the forefront of my life even when I was sixteen, when behind the pictures on my bedroom’s wall, that portrayed some of the most beautiful moments spent with my best friends, I hid my first savings to get away from those same people. Because the truth is that I have never been good at that sort of things, with the “best friends forever” and with “nothing can separate us”. Because life is based on a finite number and the “infinity”, that nice symbol that we designed beside our crush on our desk at school …well it hasn’t consistency, we can’t touch it and it’s just an illusion. The promise “nothing can separate us” hides a truth that we naively did not know. The “nothing” is empty and the ‘empty’ is the lack. There comes a time when two people understand they are not enough to each other …not anymore. They stop believing their own world is limited at the foot of the person who has faced, and they perceive the lack of something. I think that lack can separate us. A funny anecdote to add to this story of the savings behind the photos is that the small and crumpled blue paper envelope, with the corners tattered decorated with pink flowers and smelling of lavender, which contained the money was given to me by a particular person, and at that time I have not spoken with this person for two years. I had wasted each thing, each gift, everything that could remind me her, but I had missed this blue paper envelope, and it was there holding my biggest dreams. I knew I should had to waste that eventually, but time after time has remained there for ages. It's been six years since I have spoken with this person. Maybe it's not so funny as anecdote. But it happens. Everyone's life is a carousel to a single spin, and when you take the decision to get off from someone else’s carousel, it becomes difficult to go back, with the risk of being thrown out by centrifugal force. Everyone makes their own choices, but depending on what is another chapter. It happens, it has happened.
Even you were a contradiction. You, with your constant presence and your obsession with holding my hand whenever you had the opportunity. And I that I'll let you do it. Even you were a contradiction. As when in the dark of your room, thinking I was sleeping you whispered to me “I love you”, and I held my breath trembling under the weight of those same words. Because who was I to make me love by you? Who was I to deserve something so big? Your closest attention to detail, the commas that I called 'poetic' and that maybe they were a bit too much for one that uses only the period at the end of each sentence. I wrote to you 'goodnight' at 11:59 p.m., and you sent to me those kilometric posts that blocked my phone every morning. You asked me the reason why we insist on looking at the sky, and I answered you that people need to escape. Even you were a contradiction. Your habit of laying your hand on my knee when we were at friends' home, to tell me "I'm here, please, stay here", and your obsession in bringing me to the sea each night between Saturday and Sunday even if just for five minutes. You called our "anniversary week", because right on that beach we met each other the first time next to the La Commedia restaurant, the night between thirty-first and the first of January. It coincided with the beginning of the new year but you never care about that, I do. You said it was our beginning, but every beginning has an end, because even the brightest stars die, and even the sea ends where the wave stops.
It was December 23. We were in that little shop on the way between the Piazzetta and what we called Il Covo Dei Tabaccai. The illuminations of your Christmas tree were burned right that afternoon and you had dragged me to buy new ones before dinner. Even today, if I concentrate I can even feel the icy cold of that late afternoon in my bones, with the hands plunged in the pockets and the toes curled in my lovely black boots. After long seconds elapsed to observe something outside the window you opened your mouth creating a slight vapor cloud in the air and you said: "It's Christmas and out there there are colored lights switched on and off people." I sighed, and a second vapor cloud was dispersed in the air. "People are not blinking lights, Dave. They do not have a power button. They don't have a rhythm defined according to a synchronized order and they cannot regulate their brightness according to your mood. They're just people." I said it in one breath. I turned around the shoulders, tightening my grip on the plastic that packaged the decoration kit. You didn't answer and when I turned back I saw reflected in the glass of the window, your eyes elsewhere, as far away as the few times I had the perception to catch a glimpse. Lost. You, who were always present, now you navigate in your total absence. Even you were a contradiction.
Sometimes I wonder how we can have a sense of time and space, so necessary, without ever having the need to be anywhere in no time. You never feel the oppressive need to get off from the carousel, from every carousel. Without relationship, past and present, nothing to hold you or hold you back, free from any circumstance. Free from everything and everyone. Stop time and not be, and yet we are, and we are in constant motion. It would be enough right now looking out the window of this small building by the faded red bricks, to be able to say that nothing ever lies about himself without suffering the effects of those who are in motion. Shadows and sounds populate the streets of 12:57 a.m.. "You grew up. Too bad, it is terrible to grow. The carousel continues to turn, never stops, and you cannot get off from it.".
Us, at the mercy of our emotions, while the drops of water are flowing on the cold glass of the window that separates us from the storm that is life. Perhaps it is true that no matter who runs off with the rain but who stays with the storm, but how much courage do you have to have to face it? Because the storm is not only rain, the storm is so much things, too many things. Lightning in the sky as wounds, wounds that become scars, scars that become art. Thundering break the regular sound of the rain beating on the roofs. And the wind. Strange how something as invisible and light, like the wind, can make change the direction of every obstacle that stands between himself and his destination. But the wind does not have a destination, yet he continues to run, to run away from something equally invisible, by his own ghost, a bit like me. The wind, something so mystical and fascinating while he wriggles in the silence of his theatricality. He comes with a scream broken by sobs, and in the space of a breath, he bends at his feet everything that is in his path. He does not ask questions, he does not wait for answers, he takes everything that is offered to him without giving anything in return, if not a lifetime thrill suffocated. Sometimes it seems he's laughing, but one of those destructive laughter as to want to hide a bitter weeping, one of those hysterical laughter, wet from tears and stuck in terrible screams of pain. Yet he never cries, the wind never fold under his own emotions, he fights till he is exhausted, he fights till he hurts himself. He fights against everything and everyone, heaven and earth, and his strength is almost sharp, painful and alive. The wind is a bit like love, a painful wound that reminds you that you are alive, and this is all that he gives you in return. He destroys everything that is in his path along the way, all your certainties, all your plans, he takes your breath invading every tiny particle of you. He scratches your skin, until he gets to your soul leaving you deep scars, because he is so selfish that he must be sure that, even when he will go away, when he will slip away as silently as a shadow, nothing in your life will be like before his arrival, nothing will ever be the same. You will no longer the same.
And yes, maybe it is true that no matter who runs off with the rain but who stays with the storm, but if people need to escape and the carousel keeps spinning without stopping and you cannot get off from it, then I wonder how much it is worthwhile to stay. "I'm here, please, stay here" you said to me, while I was not there more already for a long time. And through your gestures, your smiles you kept repeating that yes, that ‘us’ was worth it. It was worth fighting, in the rain, with the wind in your face, confronting lightning and thunder and looking in the face the shadows of the night. Fighting those same lacks. And I'm sorry, please forgive me because all that was not enough for me. Because a few years ago I promised myself that I would have always tried to do my best to realize my every dream, to give life to every little seed of hope. But you … you were not in my plans, and when I meet you, well … you changed everything. And you, you know, you were a contradiction because you were an obstacle to the realization of the plans of a life, and I wanted to stumble in it every time I tried to overcome it.
We are surrounded by shadows, we ourselves are shadows because no one really knows the person who stands beside him. We are as black silhouettes with undefined contours. In the dark. You have never known who I really was, and if you had had any idea of the person that I am, you would not have reserved at me the same caresses , the same eyes in the dark of your room, the same words. If only you had opened your eyes you'd be awakened by your clumsy dream that you defined reality, but I think you never really tasted the reality. And now is a bit like when your body trembles, but the shivers are not caused by the cold. It rains a lot and a lightning has just pierced the gray sky, and if you're wondering, yes, I counted until I heard the thunder shaking the air like you taught me, to understand how close to us has fallen the thunderbolt. And you know, the storm seems to be pretty far away because I got to count until seven. But our storm is right here in front of us.
I do not know what's wrong with me, probably everything. Because in the end, I am a contradiction by myself. I'm incapable of loving, incapable of being loved. Yet you were one step far away from successfully. You saw something in me that I could not see and that I still cannot see. You tried Dave, you fought until the last because you really believed in that 'us'. You cared about that and you kept me. You held me in your arms up to melt our heart beats, and maybe, maybe it was then that I lost my lack. Because when that plane took off, I wondered where I was going, because you were my hometown.
It's been six months, half a year since I took that plane at the mercy of my fears, dragging me behind the remains of a person who was no longer myself. I was frightened by the constant need I had of you, that kind of addiction that tightens your throat and overcomes you, that makes you feel alive even for only a few hours, even just for a few minutes. Dave, you made me feel alive and this scared me to death. Because to be alive means to feel emotions, raising your eyes to the sun and be blinded, launching into a full tub of ice and feel the cold shake your whole body, jumping from the top of a mountain and to savor the sharp wind on your face. But then I turned up at the sky and at that point I realized that despite my eagerness to know the world, despite my fears, my uncertainties, despite my projects, despite people need to escape, despite everything, the immensity of the sky could not be compared to the immensity of what we had. And while I feel the raindrops sliding down my back, with the weighted sweatshirt over my shoulders and hair plastered to my face, while another lightning illuminates the sky and it’s reflected in your eyes jarring in the blue of your irises, and the same thunder rumbles in the air, I'm asking you to hold me back. Hold me tight like in that day when I tried to hurl you out of my carousel. Teach me to see what I cannot see in me and teach me to believe in us. Teach me to face the storm, because maybe this time I'll have a little less fear.
Because now I need to stay.