Burbank, CA

Destination Unknown

End of July 2019

It rained yesterday morning. I know, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but in Los Angeles it is always something cherished. By others. Not particularly by me. Yesterday though I enjoyed the rain to another level. I did not need a break from the heat, I did not need to have clouds in the sky covering up the sun. I need the sun. It is an actual necessity for someone like me who thrives when the sun is shining. Nevertheless, when Leo woke up and it was time for our morning walk, despite the few drops of rain, we left the house and we walked in the rain (just like in that book my brother gifted me a long time ago The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein). Something told me to bring with me my iPod so we walked in the rain, while listening to the songs that accompanied me in my road trip, and it was phenomenal. Epiphanies started happening at every step. The dog too seemed happier. It was spectacular. The plants and the trees all around us were releasing their scent all over, and the typical ozone smell was cleaning the air. It felt like we were going for a natural cleanse for our senses, Leo was clearly smelling the air, the grass, the flowers, the tree trunks, but he wasn’t forcing his stops on me. He did not need to linger on specific spots for long, because it was all around him, all around me, and how can you not weep when perfect mother nature is embracing us creatures in such a smooth way? Indeed.

Once again –because it happened before, I could feel my cells cheering at the sounds filling up my skull through my ears. One minute I was in Burbank, the other I was in Santa Cruz, sitting by the dog beach, enjoying the Pacific. Then I was back in Seattle. I closed my eyes and recalled the moments. Goose bumps. Then again that song that I never thought I could like. I feel 17 again and I can’t help but go back in time and back to Boston, where 17 was the way I was feeling basically every other day. The dog and I danced through the streets of the Burbank hills, and there was almost no one around: who would go for a walk in the rain? So the few people we were encountering on our path were making eye contact, and we would smile at them, acknowledging we were on the same page. We were happy to be alive and we had to celebrate it. Can you tell how much I’ve changed? I think I can.

A walk that lasted an hour and a little more, that felt too short at the end, but it lasted an eternity that felt amazing. Time is a construction of men, yes. Because in these moments there is only a “now” that you can’t really quantify. I started thinking deeply, I recalled teachings from the past, from when in high school we were studying philosophy, or even geography in elementary school. History back then was a burden: I could never remember dates. What I cared for was the way the story was told, and not a lot of teachers were good story tellers at the time. But I felt lucky. Oh if I felt lucky. All these subjects that in other places in the world are not even considered part of your academic curriculum, where I am from, they are taught to you. Mandatorily. Who would teach Epic in school? Yeah, no, you fools, not the adjective to say “dude, that was epic”. No. Epic, like literature, those long narrative poems that talk about heroes from the past and their story. It’s a middle school subject for us. Middle school. Let that sink in. Or at least it was. I really wish it still is. Italian peeps, is it still taught as school? I should ask my aunts Rita and Gloria, they would know. Oh goodlordwhatishappeningtome? I have tears streaming down my face thinking about how lucky I was. I am. I swear I always thought it was a curse to be born in a place where I could not be a rockstar by the age of 16 like Billie Eilish, but then… this? I’m sorry, it’s priceless. I had such an education (basically free in my home country) that I am so mad I can only now appreciate at such a deep level. Silly goose.

I’ve spent the first days in L.A. catching up with the episodes of tv-shows I had on my watch list. I binged those and then I thought “what about all those books you got and thought you could read while road tripping?” so I brought my box of books from the car, inside, and I started binging on these instead. Being able to get all the references without having to read the footnotes –as I already know about this or that philosopher, this or that historical character, this or that rhetorical figure, this or that episode in history, is making me feel dumb. Why am I only now realizing this? Where have I been these past 20 years? Was I even being part of this world? Oblivious. That’s the only word I can think of, but rain or not rain, road trip or not, I feel different now. I’ve always been an observer, but I have never felt the connection. I knew it was there, but I felt distant. Explained why I always felt like there was something missing in me. I could not belong. I could not relate to most of the people around me. No matter how many books I read, no matter the Divine Matrix, the “being all and one with the whole”, the “coming from the same source, the Big Bang, and we’re one”, I got it, but I wasn’t feeling it in my body. And I am not saying that all of a sudden I am now in touch with everything. Hell no. But even sensing a little bit of what it feels to be one and everything was magical. And I am glad that, to share it with me, there was another magical creature: a perfect beautiful dog. (God spelled backwards, I know).

If you haven’t read them yet, take some time to read these books. They may or may not help you, but I need to leave them here as they are now part of this journey I started as a houseless person. I can’t share photos of beautiful places because I am stuck in just one for now, but I can share music and literature: how about that? Find my Spotify playlist as well, if you want to feel young inside, as these are the songs that are currently played on the radios (mostly pop … I know, I know). If you do follow my suggestion though, let me know what you think, k? Cheers for now.

Find the books on Amazon by clicking on each image.

A book a day, for now we have:

Suggested by my friend Silvia

Wife of Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda (who designed the cover)

Stumbled into this by chance. Worth reading.

Gifted by Aunt Gloria 🙂 .In Italian.

Got it in Boston never had the chance to finish it. Done.

My Road Trip Playlist

The day part of me died

Haircut Madness

Everybody has monsters inside pushing from underneath our skin, or that’s what we used to sing along with you. These demons we learned to dance with, like you did sing. We were on the verge, one step closer, about to break, we all wanted to heal, to feel, to find somewhere we belong… when you guys were saying that you knew you were not the only people with those things in mind, we felt it, we knew back then that someone else could finally understand.

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park Portrait SessionI could write my whole biography by just quoting every single word of your songs, I do too have memories tattooed upon my soul (DBS). I still cannot believe that the voice I kept hearing in the back of my head in those dark days, your voice, is now gone. And I hate that I cannot see what I am writing because my mind is foggy and my eyes are casting tears. Those tears I could hide day after day, sitting in my room, listening to you. Over and over. But now I just can’t hold them in anymore. No. Not today. I can’t.

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I remember those days I was being laughed at because I was listening to “that kind of music”. Can’t you hear they’re just shouting? How can you call this music at all? And I explained to those who could understand, that there was more, that you knew better, that you were… well, couldn’t you just sense it? And this is how I ended those explanations, because you can understand only if you feel it too. Even my mother eventually got to know you. Chester Bennington and the Linkin Park are part of my soul, that part of me that I wish I could say “won’t go away” but instead, today has died.

8484c67d8c6442e8858d143a070ae09fI was in high school when a new friend, who crossed my path, made me listen to this brand new American band: the Linkin Park. We spent hours sitting in his car listening to their songs on repeat, and the one I always wanted him to play first was “Crawling”. Why? He asked. This is how I feel, I thought back then, until each and every word of all the other songs, one after another, one album after the other, started sinking in my brain, feeding my soul, healing my wounds, leaving only scars, and above all, making me feel I was not alone. Because you were there. But you are not anymore.

450845802I want to write more, and more, but nothing makes sense now. I keep picturing you in that room, eaten alive by those thoughts you tried, we try, to fight every day. But we are, were, doing it thanks to you. We have semicolons spread all over, through the lines of the book of our life, because of you; because where there could be periods, ending it all, we took a break, we breathed, we shouted, and then we kept going. Why you decided to write that period though, to end it all, we will never know until we are here. And it hurts. Like hell. It hurts to know those thoughts were stronger than you, because now we think they could be stronger than us too. They took you, and Chris, and all the others like you, like us, and if there is just one little positive side of this fuc*ing coin is that, as of right now, we hate those thoughts even more. We hate they took you from us, you let them take you instead of fighting them, again, again, and again. We wanted to fight them with you. And now you’re gone. Just gone.

Were there signs we ignored? And we’re angry, and we should be, it’s not fair… You said this, right? You said it. It is not fair. Who is going to catch us when we fall? I can’t think straight, and I do not even know why I am doing this because, after all, I am just talking to myself. In front of a screen. The voice bouncing back is not yours, anymore. You’re gone. That part of me is gone. The one screaming that I wanted to heal, although these wounds will never heal, and that I was paranoid, but your paranoia was probably worse, saying I were numb, that I wanted to be more like me, I wanted to be in the energy, not with the enemy, is gone… I did not want to let it go, let it go, let. it. go. But you let it go.

“The sound, of your voice, painted on my memories, even if you’re not with me, I’m with you” kept me alive. I wish screaming it all out, all that pain, the frustration, would have kept you alive too. Inside crying “save me now”…

Like a punch in the face, this hits hard.

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I know I’ll be with you soon, we all go back to the whole, where everything started, the energy of our souls, and I’ll be looking forward to that moment. I’ll kick your energy’s ass because how could you? Leaving us here, all alone again, without a light? But you know? You taught us better. So after that, I’ll hug you so tight, that we won’t be the one to leave this, in pieces. You are gone, while we are here thanks to you, because of you. We love you Chester, always will, and if you’re still asking who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do. Too.

You were that foundation
Never gonna be another one, no.
I followed, so taken
So conditioned I could never let go
Then sorrow, then sickness
Then the shock when you flip it on me
So hollow, so vicious
So afraid I couldn’t let myself see
That I could never be held
Back or up no, I’ll hold myself
Check the rep, yep you know mine well
Forget the rest let them know my hell
There and back yet my soul ain’t sell
Kept respect up, the best they fell,
Let the rest be the tale they tell
That I was there saying…
In these promises broken
Deep below
Each word gets lost in the echo
So one last lie I can see through
This time I finally let you
Go, go, go.

Test my will, test my heart
Let me tell you how the odds gonna stack up
Y’all go hard, I go smart
How’s that working out for y’all in the back, huh?
I’ve seen that frustration
Been crossed and lost and told “No”
And I’ve come back unshaken
Let down and lived and let go
So you can let it be known
I don’t hold back, I hold my own
I can’t be mapped, I can’t be cloned
I can’t C-flat, it ain’t my tone
I can’t fall back, I came too far
Hold myself up and love my scars
Let the bells ring wherever they are
‘Cause I was there saying…

No, you can tell ’em all now
I don’t back up, I don’t back down
I don’t fold up, and I don’t bow
I don’t roll over, don’t know how
I don’t care where the enemies are
Can’t be stopped, all I know; go hard
Won’t forget how I got this far
For every time saying…

In these promises broken
Deep below
Each word gets lost in the echo
So one last lie I can see through
This time I finally let you go, go, go.

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