I was born nostalgic, for things I had never known, for moments I had never lived, constantly harassed by recurrent images of what never was. As time passed, I couldn’t manage to shake off the lingering itch the past liked to cause, and after a while, I grew addicted to its presence I many a time tried to ignore, unsuccessfully.
I miss everything, all the time, even the things causing me displeasure or discomfort, and I can’t help but feel ripped of all that time leaves behind. The many tribulations of being unapologetically nostalgic have unmistakeably left deep marks all over my being, psychologically, physiologically, in ways I can’t even begin to describe, without however refraining my thirst for more. Today, I remembered my first steps on computers and the internet, getting accustomed to the likes of MSN and the strange chatting habits the new generation would never understand, finding songs on Limewire and co. and waiting five hours for them to finish downloading their sad two or three megabites of sound. There were games like minesweeper and solitaire, replaced today by loud mind-numbing graphically enhanced ones, and ridiculously fun programs in “accessories” like paint, today supplanted by over-the-top phone apps. I’m aware that I sound like a geezer sometimes, talking about the present like this destructive phenomenon governed by silly technological advances, but that’s only because I believe it is so. I miss the genuine authenticity of what we famously call user experience, how things were used according to an emotional jump of the heart, or due to little brain tickling innovations, and not ever-so-quickly changing fashion dictations. Unable to let go of anything rendered obsolete with time, I still store items like floppy disks; those little plastic squares that could only store three word documents and a few low resolution pictures, predecessors of the almighty usb. I am also fond of VHS tapes and radio cassettes, the fact that we could stop and continue where we had left off, or manually rewind and fast forward with a pencil making the listening experience all the more valuable and deserved. I still wait for the scratching sound a vinyl makes as the player’s needle delicately makes contact with its rugged surface… I love rusted metal and peeling paint, worn out clothes and faded armchairs, the smell of how things used to be and how things lived. Today, we sit on chairs to watch television or play video games whileas my grandmother sat down to rest and observe the world we have grown used to ignoring, making room for useless activities and shockingly stupid pleasures.
I miss the past but I somehow live in it, refusing to let go of the genuine experiences we’re nowadays deprived of or too demanding to appreciate fully. Nostalgia, forever my bread and butter.
Not a day passes without someone pointing out how tall I am, and I’m not even that tall. I at times find it amusing to be able to reach what others struggle to touch, but if I’m completely honest, there’s a whole world down there I do not know.
Most of my good friends measure around ten centimeters less than myself, making it impossible for me to wear heels, not that I desperately need to. However, I won’t deny I don’t sometimes fancy a change in my wardrobe, climbing into the cute platform shoes I bought on a whim but never get to wear for lack of equally tall friends. I do not find it pleasurable to have to bend down in order to hear what others are trying to say, or be obliged to wear longer dresses to protect the innocence of the shorter people; I therefore tend to relinquish my girly rights for the sake of the greater good – I know, I’m a charitable soul. Moving on from the somewhat cocky and self-absorbed remarks I’ve just typed and don’t really identify with, I do actually have some issues with my height. A fortnight ago, I was invited to a friend’s house party in the mountains; the moment I arrived, I inevitably hit my head as I tried passing through the low arched door. Now, not to blame the door for my subsequent half hour of pain, I will however point out that I was the only one struggling with that particular problem, yet again singled out by my stature. I was wearing flats, I promise. The deadly mix of height and somewhat inherent clumsiness is one I apparently have mastered, receiving tree branches in my eyes and mistletoe always hanging way too low it ends up receiving my kiss – I won’t complain, that has effectively saved me from some awkward smooching obligations. This brings me to another series of misadventures I tend to struggle with, which is the male population I seem determined to attract, maybe happy to rest their heads on my bosom; I simply do not feel comfortable being with a man I appear to be the one protecting. I have no problem with shorter individuals, but being a hugger and shelter seeker, I find it difficult to be the small spoon when I am clearly the ladle.
I would continue the list of my height-related misfortunes, for they are plentiful, but I’m afraid I do not enjoy putting down what I clearly was given as a gift; I am tall, and if anyone wants a weather forecast, I’ll be more than glad to help.
Christmas has passed, at least for most of us, and I must say I feel full constantly, even when I’m not eating. I believe, with everything that has been shoved down my throat over the past few days, I’m on the verge of turning into the bloody gravy-smothered turkey.
Everyone wants to feed everyone, to show they can cook things best, or by pure festive generosity, and I just can’t take another bite. From canapés and cocktails to delicate entrées, turkeys and roasts and catered buffets, followed by cookies, cakes, chestnuts and their glistening glaze, I now dread the thought of the still upcoming luncheons and invites I’ve year-long awaited. In a world where daily struggles and fear are omnipresent, food and feasts act as ointments on an open wound, soothing everyone’s pains for as long as the high can last. Unfortunately, even with stomachs full and ears ringing with carols and laughs, the terrible thought of January 2nd and the imminent ending of our beloved holidays pounds on our satisfied tummies not too long ago replenished and filled with Christmas delights.
We eat to forget that this joyful time has to end, that reunions only last for as long as our jobs permit, time together shorter than we’d care to admit, and that the beautiful tree can’t forever stay lit. Decorations will soon be taken down, santas will leave all the malls in town, and life will resume its boring self, once again. The nauseating thought of regular days lurking round the corner makes me feverish with angst; today I’m a stuffed turkey with a broken timer, and my edges are slowly starting to burn.
I come to you on this day with a wish
That your hearts these holidays will tenderly enrich
Family, friends and strangers too
May all your benevolent wishes come true
May your houses always feel like home
And your loved ones all be comfortably warm,
May your gardens be forever green
And each day be better than those you’ve seen.
Merriest Christmas one and all
May snowflakes not bombs on our cities fall
I wonder if I alone feel the urge to write even when I have no particular subject to write about. The simple act of making words bond and mingle on a once empty surface has such a magical dimension to it, allowing me – and whoever gives lonely letters the time of day – to partake in an exquisite game of sense and irremediable sensibility.
Here we are on the Eve of Christmas, garlands hanging and chestnuts roasting, snowmen melting and houses welcoming the briefly departed warm-hearted loved ones all aglow with the joy of reunions. I feel irremediably disoriented today, this is my first Christmas with no grandparents; I will not run this time, as I still could a few months ago, with arms wide open to embrace the fragile body of my ever-loving grandfather as he watches his home fill up with laughter. Tis strange to allow the emptiness to set in, as my memories comfortably replace my now vacant reality; how I miss the peace exuding from your souls, dear unforgotten, as you sit quietly observing the youth carry on. You’re here, still, somewhere beneath the tree, hiding in the halls and carefully crafted wreaths, forever effortlessly replenishing our hearts with tenderness and strength.
This Christmas feels alarmingly devoid of my beloved; both my brothers find themselves abroad, one working, the other engaging in long-awaited social gatherings, and I here, staring at the twinkling lights strewn all over the house. I’ve been through this desolate state before, ardently wishing we’d all find ourselves in each other’s company, by the emulated fire of modern heaters, sipping brandy and biting gingerbread men’s heads off their patented lifeless bodies. I wish, knowing wishes so rarely come true, I wish and I sigh, my heart adamantly blue.
However, this does not change the joyful verity that I am blessed with more than I would dare dream, I was given a home, a family and faith that someday this world would wholly know how it feels to stand under mistletoe and not worry about any war or foe. Peace on Earth will finally come, and the little boy shall play his drum for whoever lends a friendly ear, impatiently waiting for a better new year.
I awoke this morning, heart somber with untold goodbyes. If I had to count the numerous times a film or book ending have caused tears to trickle down my cheeks, I’d inevitably declare forfeiture before reaching the list’s conclusion, crying my eyes out once again. The simple memory of each termination makes my eyes water, blurring the rest of my day in a sadistically cathartic manner, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Life has always felt terribly dizzying to me, in ways other than my sudden hypoglycemic fits and blinding blood pressure drops, but cinema and literature have constantly transformed the crippling tornadoes into whimsical escapes. My love for food is probably only supplanted by my eternal endearment for the art of storytelling, the seemingly effortless recounting of what was never there, but feels all too familiar and close to home. I am Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver, Jo March and Huckleberry Finn, I breathe the air they exhale through paper and screen, wipe my eyes from the dreams they refreshingly colour my existence with. Then it all ends, the credits and final song, the index and author’s salute, and I am left there heaving and out of breath, coping with my own reality, one too far from myself, yet forced upon my being.
Do endings really end? My philosophical moment seems to have rung, yet I ponder this very question every day, never quite satisfied with what I’m answered. I don’t believe in endings as I don’t believe in beginnings, we come to this Earth and hop onto this previously drawn continuous cycle, managing to ease ourselves into its worn-out seats. Cycles don’t start, cycles don’t finish, they repeat and renew, our lives turning the wheels in directions we see fit or destined, paving our journey with stories continuously stitched to our own.
I like to think I am the sum of what I’ve read and seen, the journeys I’ve embarked on when I hit “play” or turned to page 1, making every story I’ve meticulously chosen… gloriously live on as I do.
Over the past few years, I’ve come to notice a pattern in my writing, especially when it comes to my endlessly renewed blogs. I hear my thoughts reaching towards my fingers, ready to lie down as they escape my pen, or flow poetically from my keyboard, then, for some obscure reasons sadistically cooked up in my brain, I suddenly feel threatened by invisible rules, social impositions that prevent me from being this overly sensitive emotional ball of words.
I have what has repeatedly been described as a nostalgia-infused style, words escaping my heart to suddenly repose on fragile shreds of paper sporadically placed around me as I tiptoe my way through life. However, every time I start writing something for my blog, it’s as though an automatic tuning effect takes place, and I start sounding like a radio host, or better yet, a toaster’s installation manual. I tend to exaggerate, but it’s nothing short of the truth; I have the strangest tendency to transform into someone completely different, yet quite the same, doubling for myself while my other side rests or hides away till it all feels safe again. Writers and artists have always had a disturbing habit of figuratively ripping up old projects after some time, feeling completely disengaged towards the piece that once felt just right. Whilst there is nothing I would like more than to call myself a writer or an artist, I don’t feel I’ve earned those titles quite yet, but that won’t stop me from feeling peculiarly close to the persona and all the emotions the resemblance entails. I often feel inadequate, lost, maybe even somewhere away from myself, watching little old me struggling with what truly makes me…well, me.
When I write, it’s as though I light up; I can feel my skin glistening like the lights on a Christmas tree, but the fire is short-lived, washed away by fear and insecurity. I whole-heartedly want to expose the world to my writings, to the innermost workings of my soul, but I’m not quite sure of one thing: is it the world or myself that isn’t ready?