Tag Archives: mother

satellites_an encounter told by memory #3: 2004

2004_1

we haven’t heard from M in two days. the last time I saw him was at the train station where he took a train for Bologna. he asked me for money, but I only had twenty euros so I couldn’t give him any. I knew he needed them to get dope once he got to Bologna. his mother has been talking on the phone with my sister who kept her informed on what he was up to. a few months ago his parents sent him to this rehabilitation center near Varese. it’s an hidden place on the mountains where they use the same method they used with vietnam reduces when they had to be reintegrated into society. it’s a long process, where they rebuilt your mental schemes and give you as many rules as possible to make everyday life bearable without addictions. but M didn’t make it and decided to leave. they put him in this room, with a chair in the middle, where he was supposed to think about it for a few hours before making a final decision. but he’d already made up his mind, so he took a train for milan and showed up at my place. he only had his backpack, with a jumper and an electric razor inside. he tried to shave his head in the train’s toilet and looked like a scabby dog. after a week at my place, mostly spent getting drunk and laying on the couch waiting for me, he decided to leave. you work all day and I’ve got nothing to do, he said. now he’s vanished, though,  and his mother keeps calling in to check if he made any contact with us. I’m starting to think of the worst:  that he ODed in some filthy toilet or in some remote corner of the train station where nobody can find him. all I can do is walk up and down my living room, unable to relax, nevertheless find peace, hoping, maybe, deep down, for something tragic to happen, that would set the right tone on this all story and finally put it to rest. until the phone rings: it’s him. the mother-fucker acts as if we talked five minutes ago, of course, and hasn’t even the slightest idea of how worried we were.  he says that he loves me and I’m his good friend, which means he’s full of heroin to the bone. he says that once he got to bologna he visited his old flatmates to borrow money he then used to buy dope. he says that once the money were gone he met this american man who was so kind to him and bought him food and let him stay in his hotel room. he says that he feels good and he’s happy and that that’s the life he wants to lead. that when you have dope that’s all you have to think about. I immediately hang up on him, slamming the receiver so hard that it must have sounded as a fuck you on the other side. and it was. my mind goes straight to M fucking the guy in the hotel room. I think about the guy’s face in his intimate parts and I curse them both. I think about how unpleasant and ugly this american man must be and how M could end up like this: kept on heroin by some old rich bastard. I think about a year ago, in Naples, when we kissed on that landing and how it seemed the beginning of something. I think of how I hate my life right now. I think that having an addiction is much more dignified than working in a crappy office and that at least M was able to make a decision for his own life and dedicated it to heroin. I pick up the receiver again and dial N’s number. M is still in Bologna, I say. I know where you can pick him up.

2004_2

I call N and ask him to pass me M on the phone. he’s taking him back to the rehabilitation centre. hearing his tone when he’s not high breaks my heart a little. I’m going back there, he says, it’s for the best. I swallow to avoid bursting into tears. I visualize the highway, full of sun, like California, and him, on the backseat,  looking out the window. I see his long hair and his unironed t-shirt and his metal rings and leather bracelets and the muscles of his lean arms. I imagine the landscape, unfolding out the window, and always regenerating into something new. I know how difficult is for M to stay sober. I know that he would gladly smash his head against that window and inject into that uncatchable landscape the right quantity of blood. just enough to feel the pain. just enough to make its vision bearable. I crave M as much as he craves heroin, yes. and that’s making me want to crave heroin, yes. but the only thing I’m trying to get hooked on it’s actually him. ‘I can’t call you or write to you from there’, he says. ‘I know, I know’.

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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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scars

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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