(my) Garden State - 29 December 2004

Christmas time. Family is calling. Home is calling. Friends are calling. Time goes by, but nothing really changes. More Jack Daniels please.

Grappa ... or how to fill my ego

AlessiaI had some meeting in Vicenza, the next morning. So I was promptly up and ready to jump on the train and travel in the nice Veneto, only 250 km away, to spend some time. I soon met Alessia, and we drove to Bassano.

Alessia used to be part my small group of friends in that area something like 6-7 year ago. It seems a different age. It was a different age. For some reason, I've meet all of them this year after years of silence. Anyway, Alessia was and still is fun, she liked and still likes to drink, even if she was just 16 when we first met, and she lives and still does in a beautiful house so she could give me a place to stay, if the projected level of alcohol in my veins was too much to handle to get the train back in the middle of the night. At the end it wasn't, but the last train passed long before I started to drink in the third of fourth different place (out of 7 or 8 we visited that night).

I always tried to get in touch with her at least once a year, and this time, the "once a year" was almost christmas. I must admit that seeing her after the 2003 summer, I was quite stunned by the difference. No more blonde dyed short hair, but back to the original color, with longer hair that seems to fit her better. So, probably for the first time since we first met back in 1997, we both had our "normal" hair, and not some dyed/coloured version of it. Quite impressive. And since she works in the filmmaking industry, we have always much to talk about.
She loves the beatles. I don't. (doesn't really matter, but I could prove a point, one day).

My friend Santa ClausAnyway, after a good home made lunch, we drove to Bassano and started our drinking tour, seeing for the first time the famous (so everyone says) local bridge.
What really impressed me of Bassano, compared to Milan or even my town, is the different relationship that seems to link everyone. Drinking Girls
In Milan, people hate you. In my town, just like Derry (still reading the book at the time), people just ignore you. You don't exist. If they know you, maybe they nod. If you've been away for a while, then they look just through you. Grownups and kids as well. Only few friendly faces, the usual ones, see me and not through me.

In Bassano, everyone knows everyone, or at least the youngsters. "Hello how are you? Let's go and have a drink". I heard this sentence everywhere. And I soon started to talk with all Alessia's friends, and, as usually, I played my one man show, talking about London, life sex and porn. I like to tell stories. Always did. And people seem to like to listen to my stories, no matter how crazy and insane they are.
Fiction? Maybe. Just like writing a story for a movie. And the attention of the audience is always ego-filling.

The ManAt the end, every single fiction film is just an ego project, anyway. Everything is based maybe on true events, but the story probably happened differently. A lie? If you can tell a lie an make that believable, then who can say what is true and what is not? I said in my life a lot of lies. I said in my life a lot of truths. But truth, like someone else said, is just an undiscovered lie. I'm a good storyteller. Something like Stuttering Bill, without the stutter but with glasses.

Alessia's friends, mainly girls who enjoy drinks, were very friendly, and I spent a fantastic evening with them. And talking with Alessia On the bridgeabout the same old stuff, it makes me realize that I have many memories drawers still locked in my mind. I enjoyed the act of talking and trying to understand how could I forget about all that. And, with a sensation of passing time, even the worst episodes seemed just like small chapters in the book of my life. Back then they looked much more important.

I had still few days left before going back to London. So, with It in my (big) pocket, I decided to check out the friends I used to have when I was living in a different city, in a different century.

By the way, still thanks, Ale, for the beautiful evening.

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