Our Lady of Paris

“ Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet seclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sybilla.”

“Day of wrath and doom impending.
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
Heaven and earth in ashes ending.”


People chanting, addressing their innermost private thoughts to the godheads they bow to. The Seine is rapturous and looks as if its green waters flowed with even more agitation.
Some cry, shocked couples hug each other, moms and their strollers run wildly towards the subway stop. The chaos is incredible, the disorientation you can perceive is not far from being apocalyptic. But, to the eye of the crazy, such a disarray can be seen as almost majestic.

And that’s the case of the silver-haired, dark-clothed, middle-aged man who is standing among everyone else, but definitely still stands out.
«The Lord has come to save us all, us his humble subjects, from the sins of the world!». Some are frightened by his words but most people don’t even seem to be listening. «The obscene acts that we sinners have committed will be washed away and forgiven. It’s the end!», the man yells while he frantically gesticulates.
As he speaks, his skinny hands touch his face first, then go down to his neck, they almost embrace him and just when he is about to shred his sleeves, he realises a sweet, petite young girl is looking at him from below. What most catches his attention is the more and more wide-opened big emerald eyes of the little angel.

The man remains silent.
The tiny girl unfolds her ridiculously small blanket, puts it on the bare ground, kneels down on it and starts praying. «God, help my people. Do something», she slowly whispers.
The angry and suffering look on the man’s face fades into a tender and subtle smile.

He sits down next to her, closes his black eyes and, soon after, a tear streams down his cheek.
The man takes a long sigh and he realises that he in not at peace, he cannot be now and doesn’t even seem to be able to look at a world in which he is. But, deep down, he knows he is going to be, and the Lady with him.






Paris street; Rainy day

Mr and Mrs C. had been married for such a long time that now they had started to reverse-count the time, until death would actually do them apart.
The connection between them had always been powerful, but it reached its peak in the exact moment when, walking down the 4th route, they had both seen it.

They stared at it incredulous, then they glazed at each other. What was beyond belief in their eyes was that nobody else seemed to be aware of the remarkable scene right in front of them. Not the smart man in an elegant stovepipe hat, not the two gentlewomen chatting in a low voice, not even those two arm-in-arm newlyweds, even though they looked just like young Mr and Mrs.

It was drizzling. 18:30, it was starting to get dark; and despite the sunset was being hidden by the clouds up in the dimmed sky, Mrs C. thought there were no excuses for not being able to see what was going on. That was the truth: every other person, whether they were outwalking or simply strolling down the promenade, whether their mind was wandering or they looked light-hearted, whether they were old or young, none of them seemed to have even looked at it. They weren’t just ignoring it: somewhat, it was invisible for everyone, but Mr and Mrs.

The lady gently pulled her husband’s arm.
“Dear… What do you think we should do?”. The man frowned and mumbled.
They looked at each other right in the eyes.
Her eyes were at loose ends, pretty confused. She did feel she had to help in some way, she just didn’t know how.
His eyes were the eyes of a little kid about to dive off a cliff. Those were the eyes of a concerned man, who yet is about to do something he won’t easily forget.

He settled his top hat, lightly nodded to his wife and, after leaving her the umbrella, he reached it.

By the time he crossed the street and got closer, he saw how it was really not a statue. His face was turned downwards and, kneeled down, he kept his hands right on his thighs. He was naked, except for a piece of white cloth around his bottom and lower abdomen and a spine crown on his wavy and dark-haired head.

“Sir, excuse me. Are you okay?”, Mr C. asked him.
He waited a few seconds, which felt interminable, for an answer that eventually he did not get.
He turned around to give a glance to his wife, who had stood still and perplexed on the pavement across the street. She shook her head as to tell him she didn’t quite know what to do next; he decided to give it another try.

“I know you can hear me. You look cold, would you like a coat on?” Mr C. proposed him, as he mimed taking off his own coat.

Mr C. kindly stirred the man’s shoulder. Still no answer.

“Look… I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I don’t even know if you understand what I’m saying. Dear God, I do wonder what the matter is with you.”
The poor husband stood there, down next to him for a few next moments. He couldn’t even hear that dark-skinned man breath, but his gray eyes were a little open and facing the ground.

At last, Mr C. decided to leave a banknote right to his right and go back to his wife. “Did it say something?”
“He didn’t say a word.”

But what poor Mr C. did not see was the dark circles under that man’s reddish and tired eyes, his broken teeth and the little but deep holes he had in his upper arm.

Wishing you a deathly birthday

These days I’m celebrating quite an important anniversary.

Besides every ups and downs I may have had since last May, this month officially marks the birth of the not-so-little ghost I’m overall constantly carrying on my shoulders and which sometimes whispers words to my ear I’d rather not listen to.
It’s ironic: generally, an anniversary stands for something beautiful that happened in the past, like your birth or the wedding day of your parents. In this case, it’s nothing like that. About a year ago, I started feeling anxious and sad most of the time, and this ceaseless mood of mine has turned out to be depression. I may list every single reason that led me to develop such an unnecessary and both overwhelming and nullifying feeling, but that’s not important. What truly matters is how I’m going to destroy this unwanted virus of mine.

The truth is, ladies and gentleman, as in any extended periods in your life you get to experience, you’ll end up getting used to it. And I realise how weird and disturbing it sounds, but I’ve been depressed for so long in my life (because this disorder didn’t start a year ago: a year ago has “officially” begun and has never stopped since) that I’ve learnt how to live with it. It’s a condition I’ve come to accept, eventually.

It’s way easier to get used to something we actually dislike, instead of trying and doing something to change and better it.

I’m very glad to be able to say I’m seeing and will be seeing a therapist, for as long as I need. It’s incredible how someone who gets to know you just by your words can tell you about yourself more that many people you get to see everyday can. M (that’s what I’m going to call her from now on) always says that I know myself very well and that’s great in her opinion, because I can preview any mental breakdown and, once I’m going through them, I know how to behave.

But being able to really know yourself isn’t enough.
I thank the universe for having a person who motivates me by my side. She spurs me to pursue my goals and willingly kicks the little monster I host in my mind. She did, in fact, force me to smile more; and while this may sound inconsiderate, it’s actually helping me. The key to be happy is to pretend to, and then forget you’re pretending.

I know it’s going to be a long road, I can’t even see the end of it but I definitely can sense it, and that’s what heartens me. I also know I won’t change my personality: I’m sensitive and melancholic and I don’t want these traits of mine to change. Still, I need to start enjoying life and the people that are part of it. I do love life.

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.