16 but not over the hill

Yesterday I turned 16 and, even though I expressly asked my friends to write “Happy 61st birthday!” on my cake because that’s how old I feel I actually am, I recognise myself that 16 is such a small number; yet, I believe that, in this relatively brief period of my existence, quite a lot of both negative and positive events have occured and they’ve made me wise enough to list 16 things I’ve learnt over my 16 years of life. Enjoy!

  1. Polite and kind is what all human beings should aspire to be in order for us all to live in a better place. Careful: that’s often confused with being stupid and naïve. It’s up to you to prove the people who think so wrong.
  2. Whenever you get a panic attack, go and seek the nearest ventilated area (your room window, your balcony, even down the street if you can’t find anything like that). Take several deep breaths, as many as you need, and put your hand above your chest. You want to feel your heart slowing down; you want to be reminded you’re alive.
  3. Never gossip about somebody with someone you’ve heard speaking ill of others. They’ll do the same about you. You know what, just don’t badmouth in general. It’s not elegant nor useful and will just create uncomfortable and regrettable situations.
  4. This is the following point of what I said before: don’t answer questions you’re not asked. (“Ugh, have you looked at her jumper? It’s awful. Why does she dress like that? Doesn’t she look at herself in the mirror?” is something I’ve actually heard with my own ears and the person who said it made it even more embarassing because it came out of the blue. For sure, I didn’t ask her what her thoughts about that girl’s jumper were because I DIDN’T & DON’T CARE. Stop talking already, for Christ’s sake).
  5. Let people talk about their feelings. If they’ve chosen you to be their listener, it’s because whether they do trust you or they are overwhelmed by negative vibes and emotions and need to let them out. However, it needs to be said that if you realise they’re taking too long, it’s okay for you to gently interrupt the conversation. You’re not their therapist.
  6. Always report what you are stolen to the police. Maybe that bike of yours you didn’t find at the parking station will never be found again, but it’s essential for you to respect the law and tell the authorities about your robbery. Omerta is what will kill us.
  7. Be very careful about the love you’re able to give and get. Offering even a little more love than what you receive creates non-reciprocal situations and, if your love is sincere, they might be fatal for you. Therefore, try to always balance the affection, otherwise you’ll just end up disappointed and heart-broken.
  8. You’ve got the right to change in order to be the best and most complete version of yourself; you don’t have to hold on to an image of your past self you don’t identify with anymore; and don’t ever care about those people who say stuff like: “You’ve changed” in a negative tone, “I don’t know who you are anymore”, “that’s not the person I used to know”, “believe me, that’s not who you are”. 
  9. Go screw yourselves.
  10. Life hasn’t got a point: you establish its meaning, which corresponds to your goals. My goal is to be remembered because I want to do something great for the mankind. We’ll see. Fingers crossed!
  11. Best tea I’ve ever drunk (and what I always make myself): gray tea + a sip of vanilla-flavoured soy milk + 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Truly worth a try.
  12. Poetry and music are what save me and my blue soul, at the end of day. Get yourself something (something, not someone) which allows you to make whatever heavy burden you may have to carry on your shoulders, weigh a little less.
  13. Don’t be afraid of your talent, of showing it and let it be a consistent part of your daily life. Careful: show it, don’t show off about it. Stay humble (your work will be double appreciated!). Also, be aware that you can always improve yourself because, as we say in Southern Italy, “nessuno nasce imparato” (“no one is born knowing anything”). Careful: don’t overvalue yourself. Know your limits.
  14. That’s the following point of what I said before: be a sponge, absorb every notion you can. Don’t presume to know everything, because you don’t. Be curious, be hungry for knowledge.
  15. Your mental issues don’t define you. What defines you is how you manage, if you manage, to fight your demons.
  16. You don’t hurt who you love. Ever, in any circumstances. May you be a significant other, a best friend, a relative. If you willingly and conscientiously hurt somebody, you don’t and probably have never loved the person you’ve hurt.
  17. It may take days, months or years, but if life carries away something or someone from you, it’ll give you another reason to stay. Briefly: after belabouring and truly beating the soul out of you, it’ll show you the proper ways to get back in the game.

    This was my bullet list for the most important and general-wise points I believe life has taught me over my 16 years. Let’s hope next year I’ll be able to point out 17 different ones (because simply adding one is way too easy!)

    And now, let me conclude with some lyrics of one of my favourite songs ever, which I’ve found extremely ispirational lately:

    “I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king

    I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing

    Each time I find myself flat on my face

    I pick myself up and get back in the race!” – That’s life, Frank Sinatra

    @layalke 🐍


    50 special

    Quando nascesti nel ’67, nessuno avrebbe immaginato che i 50 avrebbero rappresentato per te un traguardo surreale e impensabile da raggiungere. Quando nasce una vita, quando un bambino vede la luce per la prima volta, non si pensa mai che sarà destinata a finire; perché la vita è ciò che dà senso al disordine e pensare alla morte crea soltanto una serie di vertigini e di sgomento a cui non si fa mai l’abitudine.

    Ovunque tu sia, spero che tu stia bene. Che ora i tuoi nuovi amici ti stiano cantando “buon compleanno” in francese e che più tardi andrai a giocare a calcio o a tennis con i più sportivi. Dopotutto, 50 anni non li compi tutti i giorni. È la metà di un secolo, è una data importante nell’esistenza di una persona.

    Ovunque tu sia, so che sei in pensiero per noi e che ti manchiamo possibilmente più di quanto tu manchi a noi. Ma noi stiamo bene. Ci vogliamo bene, siamo tutto quello che ci è rimasto. E per quanto molto spesso il mio carattere tendenzialmente scorbutico ed atrabiliare non lo lasci intendere, mamma e Vitto sono tutto per me. Le amo con tutta me stessa e cerco di prendermi cura di loro. So che è quello che avresti fatto tu e voglio continuare il tuo operato.

    Ovunque tu sia, sai che non dovresti essere lì. Dovresti stare qui, con me, con la tua famiglia, coi tuoi amici, coi tuoi colleghi. Oggi, più che mai, dovresti svegliarti accanto a tua moglie, dovresti essere coccolato dalle tue bambine, dovresti ricevere millemila telefonate di auguri, dovresti mangiare della torta. E purtroppo no, ti tocca assistere a ciò che sicuramente odi di più, ovvero il mio pianto. Detesto piangere ma non posso fare altrimenti quando sento il mio cuore farsi piccolo, rinchiudersi ed accartorciarsi, fino a sparire. Neanche lo sento più battere.

    Ovunque tu sia, non dovresti stare lì e non te ne sto facendo una colpa perché so perfettamente che non hai deciso tu di intraprendere questo viaggio che chissà se ha una meta. Sono ancora molto arrabbiata, ecco tutto. Ciò che più di spontaneo mi verrebbe da dire è che l’unica con cui dovrei prendermela è la vita, che ad aprile di qualche tempo fa ha fatto ad entrambi questo bel regalo; ma voglio essere giusta e rifrasare le parole che qualcuno mi ha detto: “Devi essere in grado di trarne il meglio, anche in situazioni così.” Dunque arrabbiarsi o intristirsi non ha senso. Sto ancora lavorando sul significato chiaramente intrinseco che ci puo’ essere dietro la tua scomparsa e accetto volentieri suggerimenti, perché ancora non lo percepisco.

    Ho conosciuto qualcuno che mi rende davvero felice. È questa persona colei che mi spinge a dare un calcio alla bestia che mi porto addosso, alla mia depressione. Mi ha fatto notare la debolezza dell’anima che dimostro, facendo vincere il mio mostro, e questo mi fa capire come non sia proprio da me. Non mi arrendo mai e mi voglio ripetere di essere incredibilmente forte, invincibile. Guarirò e, se lo dico, è perché so di esserne capace.

    Vivrò, papà. Vivrò la mia vita al meglio e godendomi ogni secondo di essa; la vivrò così bene che quando ci rivedremo, staremo secoli a parlarne e a commentarla insieme. Vivrò la mia vita al meglio anche per te, per farti giustizia. La vivrò anche per te, che non ne hai avuto la possibilità.

    Joyeaux anniversaire.

    @layalke 🐍


    Craving murdering oneself is excruciating. Pondering until the sun comes up, planning the right moment and place, crying while harming oneself. It’s a disease, a repugnant virus I’ve been ashamed of for as long as I can remember.

    Weakness is the quickest and the most undemanding path. Showing to be strong, bulletproof, requires an imparalleled effort. I cannot give up, that’s my true ending.

    Wanting to murder oneself is still murdering oneself. Of course, besides my several flaws, I’ve got plenty of good qualities and I’m talentous. I can feel the Revolution flowing within me, I’m aware of my value and this rarely comes off my mind. I’ve got boundless plans and I find amusement in shaping my future, just as if then I won’t change my mind or as if life will follow my instructions.

    When I carved my body, when I saw bruises on my legs, when my tears ran down ’til my breasts, a part of me was to die.

    I’ll never get over my grief, it’s a part of who I am.

    I’m alone. I’m alone with myself and that’s horrific. I think of shocking thoughts, I imagine ridiculous pictures. They’re scandalous and I’m freezed and I think: have I really just given birth to this abomination?

    My scream for help is quiet, it’s a monitored cry which I believe I can always sigh out.

    The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.

    – David Foster Wallace

    I’ve never felt so alive.

    @layalke 🐍

    Night friend

    ▶ Do I wanna know? – Arctic Monkeys

    Words might help when communicating, but music is in a whole new level.

    It’s a torture. I can’t even drag on to the bathroom or to the kitchen to drink a little water, with one eye open and the other closed, that I know I won’t be able to just lay my wavy head on my two soft pillows, close my eyes and fall asleep again. I just physically won’t be able to. I’ll turn to the left side of my lonely warm bed, then to its right side; then my mind will tease me, resting for a couple lucky minutes, and eventually it’ll turn itself on. My mind is a switch I don’t have any power over.

    The thing is that I’m not either completely woken up or sleepy, I stand in an eternal hellish limbo for at least the following two hours. So, at this point, I can’t delay his call any longer. Not anymore. I’d be quite cheeky and impolite, otherwise. Plus… what would be my other options? Staying still in my scrawny bed, looking up to the cieling? Carefully listening to the extremely loud clicking sound of my room clock?

    Oh, no. I put on a sweater and I go barefoot downstairs, to my garden. As I’m living it, I get dream vibes all the time because everything around me is blurred and opaque.

    Here he is. He is so handsomly beautiful without even trying, someone I’ve fallen for multiple times and whom I wouldn’t hesitate a single moment to take a step forward with, if he asked me to. 

    While nearly everything my eyes lay on is confused and chaotic, he’s a beacon in a black night. He truly can enlighten my late times; when I look at him, he’s well-defined and neat.

    As he lightens up a cigarette, I go and sit next to him on a green hostile bench.

    Dwindling, I rest my heavy ached head on his left shoulder, while he caresses the latter of mine. My knees are touching my breast and my feet are mild, just as the arm he’s touching.

    He places his cigarette on my lips, I try to inspire as much as the taste of his breath stays within me. My hands are still in my sweater pockets, so he takes off that long blue cilinder from my mouth.

    He kisses me. The smell of his smoke pervades my entire rib cage. As he pushes aside a lock of my hair behind my ear, I lean forward. I want more. I want that next step. 

    Just like every other night, I won’t get it. Within minutes, I fall asleep in his arms. I feel like a baby, while he strokes my rosy cheeks, my curved lips, my refined nose, my dark hair, with his hands. That feeling, that relaxing regenerative feeling of being loved and cared for, that’s my heaven. It almost fades away the worry I’ll get tomorrow morning, because I won’t remember any of this and still get the memory that something happened. Something had to.

    If we could talk, I’d ask him why he’s so afraid of killing me.

    Magic sleeping pill

    ▶ Happy little pill – Troye Sivan

    Words might help when communicating, but music is on a whole new level.

    In front of my little round bluish bathroom mirror, the dark circles under my eyes seem to be covered in the bluest veins. My eyes are a broke artist’s palette; a bit red, a bit orange, a bit brown. There’s a single small section of them which is yellow. It’s disgusting. Doing this makes me a snake.

    I shake my head as if I want to scroll away the gross glance I’ve just given myself, I untie my hair from a ponytail. I quickly take off my knickers and a chemise I’ve been wearing for a few days, not really sure.

    I check my wrists and ribs and groin, no open and infected cuts so far. I may not die this time, relieving. Abstinence makes me depressed.

    My bathtub is now filled up with the coldest water. I know it because I’m leaving my left arm loose inside of it. Not on purpose, nor do I find it pleasing. It’s quicksand, even dark, filthy. I can’t see or feel my hand.

    I won’t waste time, or my grip cracking-bones feelings will come back and haunt me, forcing my stay on that smelly matress over there, and right then I’ll be fucked. I’ll be in a sweat bath for hours, days even and every second passing, my pain will rise.
    I take the syringe and put it on the mirror shelf,  lay the magic dust on the spoon basin. Lighter turnt on, my hand shakes while I put its flame under the steel. My right one, that was inside the tub, is black. I actually see everything black every now and then. Soon everything will get its colour back.

    I can feel it warming up more and even more and when it’s fluid enough to be absorbed, I take a medium-sized cotton ball and sponge it.

    I can already feel. And it’s good, I haven’t been able to feel anything for days. Running through my veins, cutting pieces of my bones and making them shapeless and majestically cracked, all of my blood inside of my head first, inside of my legs then, two separate body parts from my torso.

    This won’t be the last time. I didn’t even inject and it’s already making me experience this connection to my soul. Oh no, you can bet it won’t be the last time.

    I take off the plastic cap from the needle of my syringe and imbibe the potion through that white candid, still, with bits of dirt, ball.

    I took off my ponytail before. Where’s my elastic band? On the side of the tub, which is now overflowed by water. I lean slantwise and forward to stop the tap and I almost fall. I could’ve died, not sober though. I don’t deserve to die sober.
    I roll all the way up that blue elastic band to my upper forearm, just a few inches up away from that greenish vein.

    It’s time, I’ve wanted to do so, so bad. I almost forgot to push the air out of my syringe. 

    I clench a fist and, as I feel it coming and warming me up, it spreads out.

    Better than any orgasms in the world. That warmth and strength which sew every cuts, repair those busted bones, lighten that darkening hand. It starts from my throat, like a soft punch and, as a long arm, it goes way down to my guts. I wouldn’t be able to talk neither if I wanted to.

    I’m the queen of the world and nobody can fucking stop me now. I’ll take advantage of the power and energy I’m feeling now and get into the bathtub. I may fall asleep.


    ▶ On the top of the world – Imagine Dragons

    Words might help when communicating, but music is on a whole new level.

    ​The entrance door is open and I can clearly see the peach leaves the wind chaotically stirs. They’ve stopped now. But then they swing more and more and even more.

    While they caress each other, they look alive.

    Every now and then I can hear the deafening noise of any car. I can clearly hear it; on the other hand, my bed is just a few meters away from the street.

    I close my eyes in order to solely focus on the words and the tune I’m listening to through my hearphones.

    “And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down

    And it’s a long way up when you hit the ground

    Get up now, get up, get up now”

    It doesn’t mirror my mood. It’s a way too cheerful rhythm and a way too optimistic song to make me avoid to feel alone in the desolation I feel.

    The bed mattress I’m lying on is extremely downy. It feels like it wants to swallow me.

    It’s just a feeling, a quenchless misery which twists my stomach, which tightens my bones, which dries my throat. My eyes are weary and their lids, they’re heavy. I’m always sleepy, but I never want to sleep.

    Watching the leaves doing that bizarre dance of theirs with the air is sorely relaxing. They just dance, not pondering the reason behind so. And they dance majestically, with no esitations. They’re the wind’s companions only and, even though they all follow its direction, every one is unique, peculiar. Perhaps the wind chose them because of this.

    @layalke 🐍

    You is smart, you is kind, you is important

    ▶ The living proof – Mary J. Blige

    Words might help when communicating, but music is on a whole new level.

    I’ll go straight to the point: this movie made me feel ashamed for being white. As it should, actually; I’m not complaining, but now, as I’m typing these words down on a Microsoft Word page, I realise I’m so so incredibly lucky to have a fair skin and to be a millenial. Sure, there are still a lot of things we can totally work on as a matter of human and basic rights, but now, to make things even more understandable about what’s my point of view, let me quote Louis CK’s show Chewed up part about being white:

    “I love being white, I really do […] Let me be clear about that: I’m not saying that white people are better; I’m saying that being white is clearly better, who could even argue? […] Here’s how great it is to be white: I can get in a time machine and go to any time and it would be fucking awesome when I get there! That is exclusively a white privilege. Black people can’t fuck with time machines. A black kind of time, she’s like: “Hey, before 1980, no, thank you, I don’t wanna go […]”

    Now, besides the humour, which by the way I find hilarious, I don’t think better words about this topic have ever be spoken by a white guy. Here’s the good thing about us white people who want to eradicate bias: we are willing to recognise how loathsome, deplorable and unapologetic behaviour our ancestors showed off and we want to change how things are going to be like from now on.

    The actual reason I’m publishing these lines is because The Help made me feel so empty, valueless and furious inside, I knew I needed to do something, even in my own little way. I sincerely apologise for what we, as a race, have done. This won’t change the hundreds of years of suffering and violence of any kind, of course. But I do hope this will be the first of many steps my peers and I will take towards the path of equality.

    It may sound arrogant, but I find myself in Skeeter: she wants to be a journalist and a writer, she’ll follow her morals (although she’s surrounded by ignorant and close-minded people) and because of this, she stands out from the mass. She’ll speak the truth about what’s like to be black in the 60’s. She’s outstanding, she’s cheeky and impertinent and I truly admire her.

    Anyway I’d be a hypocrite if I said she’s the one I respect the most: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer play two of the most iconic and badass characters I’ve seen on TV in a while, even though they’re absolutely different women, and that’s possibly why they’re so close: they complete each other.

    During the vision of the film, I’ve cried an unhealthy amount of times. Blame it on my hormones or on the fact that I’m an easy-movie-crier, but it touched my deepest and better hidden soul strings. And I hope this sweet but powerful stroke began a majestic tune I’m going to spend my life on playing. Fighting for equality, fighting for us as a whole world population, fighting in order to stop injustices. Remember what the past used to be like and, based on that, make the world a better welcoming place. That’s what I’m going to do.

    Immagine correlata