Tag Archives: knife

satellites_ an encounter told by memory #1: 1999

it’s july and it’s hot as hell outside. M and I spend the afternoons in his room with the light filtering through the blinds. we positioned two mattresses and a rug on the floor. on the rug there’s a huge ashtray, a box always full of grass, roll papers and all our getting-stoned equipment. M has a long pile of CD’s with the whole discography of Aerosmith and Nirvana and Red Hot’s Californication. we don’t leave the house unless we run short of our grass supplies, in which case we have to face the sun and it’s like fighting on the frontline. M only has his underwear and we basically just talk and chill and he often takes short naps.  I personally can’t fall asleep during daytime so when that happens I just hang out by myself, keep changing CD’s ’cause I want to listen to different tracks and think about when this summer will end and how comforting this situation is for me and how it was before getting here and how I pushed back all the shadows. I also watch him sleep. something innocent takes over when he’s passed out. something you’re not able to see otherwise. he relaxes into this long and deep breaths that make him look like a child. and I get lost following the line of his skinny legs and his face pushed against the pillow with his fat lips and his long eye-lashes. in the rare occasions we feel like going out, we go to this park in the valley. there’s a crystal clear water stream that comes down right from the mountain and runs through it.  you can rent this small pedal boats and go till the end of the park where there’s this old rusty bridge we usually stop under, sometimes even for hours.  the trees are so tall and their crowns create shadows and the surface of the water reflects everything as perfectly as a mirror. it’s beautiful. it’s a place for us.

I left home a few months ago. there was this big fight and I ran outside as fast as I could and my father came after me on a bike with this big butcher knife in his hand. I got into this field of tall grass where I knew he couldn’t reach me, turned around and raised my arms crossed in the air as to say ‘I will have you arrested this time’. He went mad. I knew that was to worst thing I could do to him and that’s why I did it. after that, going back home equaled suicide. my mother, as usual, remained silent, not knowing what to say or what to do, hiding behind her broken heart and her ever-present depression.  I actually don’t even know where she was when it happened. she must’ve been seating on her  bedside staring at the wall or in the terrace on the back looking at the neighbors garden, hoping for something to distract herI always tell M that I envy him because his parents seem so open and smart and sensitive and seem to want the best for him. but M never comments on his family. it’s like running on this open road for miles and suddenly bump into a big wall. silence.

sometimes V hangs out with us, she’s from Naples. sometimes M and her start making out when we’re in his room. usually, I just continue doing whatever I’m doing and glance over at them once in a while. they don’t seem to realize I’m there in those moments. I feel left out, but it’s not so bad. days are very long. in the evening we cook something and drink ourselves senseless in the garden. sometimes we stay there till the morning. when we wake up the sky is clear and the grass is damp. we get up without saying a word, collect our empty bottles and drag ourselves inside.

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the first thing I remember about the sun is the blinding light. the next thing I can recall, one of my earliest memories, is this nun in primary school slapping my face very hard. it was mean, because she caught me by surprise. then, then it’s me again, very small, in the bathrooom, looking up at my mom and dad kissing each other with love. for years, I couldn’t remember that moment. as if someone deliberately erased it from my mind. and then it was back. so vividly, so suddenly, like something that I should’ve never forgotten in the first place. the young me, the kid, observing love and tenderness for the first time. the weirdness of it. I suppose a part of me needed to remember that, even though I knew it wasn’t enough. visualizing an happy memory  couldn’t obliterate what happened afterwards. it all got so messed up. so permanently. other memories, I dont’ know. me running and my dad jumping on a bike and coming after me with a huge knife in his hand. one of those knives butchers use to cut big chunks of meat. I ran even faster into a field where I knew he couldn’t reach me, I turned around, looked at him, and raised my arms crossed in the air, as to tell him I would have him arrested, just to make him even more mad. it worked. he got mental. I can also see myself in my room, putting some music on and trying to shed a tear. failed. I also remember me begging my mum to please take me away. failed. when she felt too guilty for not doing anything she would take my father’s side, saying he was actually right: that we needed that kind of education and it was all my fault. I guess it made it easier for her, she hated feeling guilty. now, when we argue and I reminder her of that, she just changes the subject or pretends not to remember things. I call it selective memory, she’s so good at that.  once we were at my grandmas, in the countryside. I fell from a bike right in front of my father. a sharp stone dug a deep hole right above my knee. my father just looked at me with disappointment while I was crying and bleeding. when I look at that scar now, I’m not even reminded of that day anymore. It just doesn’t matter. after all my father sensed I didn’t like him, why would he help me?

during the last couple of years we lived under the same roof, alcohol didn’t make my father aggressive; or maybe his aggressiveness did not make me violent towards him, anymore. I would just ignore him. and he would cry in front of his friends saying I didn’t know how much he loved me. I remember thinking that wasn’t the point. and why when people hurt each other they always remind themselves of how much they love each other? there’s this guy I was with for a vey short time. I liked him and I liked fucking with him but he was living with his boyfriend. whenever we weren’t together I would think of the best possible way to hurt him. little things I could say or do that would hurt his feelings without giving him enough reasons to respond or fight back. his sensibility would detect my meanness without giving him enough elements to start an argument. I would often drive half an our to see him and live after five minutes with a stupid excuse just to make him feel bad and not in control.

the exact moment I stopped being victimized by my father was when I was fifteen. he came back home after spending two years in jail. I suppose it was fucking hard for him because things can change so much in two years and he really didn’t know how to act. I would yell back at him. we would get into this very physical fights where we would punch each other in the face or try to strangle each other. sometimes, when it was just the two of us, it could go on for an hour or even more. it was like a game, like playing the war. we also took little breaks when we were too exhausted. he did this thing where he would hold my throat tight using just to fingers until I was gasping for hair. and even that didn’t stop him. in those moments I remember thinking how good he was at that. I had to hit him right in the face to get rid of him and the day after he would have bruises as reminders and get even more mad. he also had this small scar on his cheek that I left him. I remember wondering what it would feel like to look at yourself in the mirror and being reminded every day of your son hitting you. I suppose the same thing as with the scar above my knee happened: after a while, it was just a scar like any other.

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