One (More) Sip Won’t Kill Me!

I’m an alcoholic.

I acknowledge that, however, I’m sure one more sip won’t kill me.

Alcohol addiction is a bad thing, man. At the start, it feels like it’s helping you lose some of your trapping inhibitions before it kicks in for good and fucks you up completely.

It all begins on a Friday afternoon when you’re commuting back from the office. You’re shattered, you’re a social drinker so don’t really perceive alcohol as a relief, as an escape from a lousy week, day, moment, or whatever shit you’re going through. But it has been an awful week, you haven’t had that much food — almost any actually because of that obsession for weight control — and the weather is worryingly thunder-storming as if all the gods were channelling their fury into a ferocious war. It’s a real bloodshed out there!

Ok, so you get home right?! You don’t really feel like going out because you’re new to the city, you don’t have many friends or people you’d like to hang out with (loneliness level 100!!!), the weather, as said above, sucks monkey, donkey, junkie balls, and yeah screw it, I’m going to stay indoors. You need to relax and you could really use a glass of red wine, just one. ‘Come on, one sip won’t kill me!’ So you pour yourself a glass but a sip leads to another and another and another, and 15 minutes later you fill up a second glass, then a third, then a fourth, and the song you’re listening is so captivating it needs more drinking, so you’re about to kill the whole bottle.

Not a big deal though, one more sip won’t kill me.

You feel a little better, a little relieved…I mean, you know the feeling. It gets like you can see widely, that you could express yourself smoothly if given the opportunity; you stop overthinking, overreacting, over-feeling like a bonehead all the time. You feel so good you appreciate alcohol as an occasional cure, and even if you know you shouldn’t abuse, you’re going to have that wine or beer supply at home just in case. Just in case you need a sip…well, one more sip won’t kill me, right?

A couple of days later you come back from what was a dreadful Wednesday at the office and ask your housemate who, luckily or coincidentally, is off that afternoon too, to meet you at the local pub for a pint. Careful pal, it’s a weekday and you promised yourself you wouldn’t be drinking until the weekend and you plan to stick to it.

But then, I mean, one more sip won’t kill me.

The two of you start chatting, ‘what’s on your mind, big boy?’, he asks. Your flow of consciousness explodes in a field of withered sunflowers, burning all the stems in the deeper underground and erasing every form or possibility of life! He does the same. You’re on the same leaking boat, which triggers another pint for you both to dig a little deeper. ‘Do you still think about her?’, you ask rhetorically. ‘Please…’, he says, kind of bothered. You both know the answer, you both know she broke him apart and he’ll never get over her, so why bring it up?! You knew that would bring on another pint even if you don’t really fancy one.

Hey, it’s fine, one more sip won’t kill me.

The day is done, and with time passing by, so is your story as housemates: you part ways and ’stay in touch, okay?!’ Sure, everybody lives their lives and…who knows what happened to that guy.

You move to a new place and it’s a bit lonely in there. It’s nighttime, the house is hollow — there’s no furniture yet — your fridge is dead empty and you realise that the only supply you have is 3 bottles of red wine. You could go get some food but can’t really be arsed to go out and, you know what, the day was terrible, you deserve a glass of wine and some chillout music. You enjoy the moment, your mind travels through thoughts and memories you wouldn’t normally recall, and it’s all so relaxing you uncork a second bottle because you don’t want to lose that stream of consciousness. Besides, you know one more sip won’t kill you.

Now it’s taking off: the need for alcohol is stronger. You fall into a loop. The day after, the day after the day after, the day after that, and so on. 

You sit on the floor with an ashtray crammed with cigarette butts, wrapped in a deadly smoke that slows down your breathing one puff at a time. You feel weak and miserable. There must be some joy in self-inflicting pain we’re yet to find out and for some reason, it still feels so damn good. Those questions you never had an answer for begin to re-emerge. You understand why you hated school so much, why you never wanted to study, why you were always the fat one girls cruelly ignored and where your insecurities came from, why she cheated on you and you could never accept the idea of having been fooled, why you became that ice-cold player girls feared most. You start connecting the dots and it all makes less and less sense. The less sense it makes, the more alcohol you need. Your brain opens up to an overthinking routine that alcohol was supposed to prevent in the first place. The loop keeps spinning, so that now every second of your day, every moment, every damn thing – needs alcohol to be cured. You become a sort of hypochondriac; every little pain leads to immediate medication: alcohol.

Even one sip: besides, one more sip won’t kill me.

The morning after you do a couple of shots of gin before going to work, it’ll help you get through the day. It’s not enough though, you sneak out at lunchtime saying you’re going for a walk and pop into the pub for a quick two pints and a shot. When you get home in the evening, your stomach burns like the flames of the deepest circle of hell. You’ve lost weight, a lot of weight — you’ve had nothing but booze for a whole week! Now your face is marked with the strains of alcohol, of the addiction, and everybody can see it, your manager can see it and has a chat with you, but you won’t listen (maybe you can’t even) and instead, keep showing up at work more and more worn out until you force them to do something about it: you lose your job.

Booze after booze — poison after poison — you run out of money, you can’t pay for the house and get evicted: you need to get your stuff and park your ass somewhere in the streets. You start begging for money — this is what you’ve come to. It’s raining, it stinks out there (you stink too!), and you think it all started with one sip — one damn sip — to feel a little better. It’s freezing, you try to wrap yourself in more clothes but it doesn’t help. Your mind clears up for a second: you get ahold of yourself and you promise you won’t be touching any more alcohol.

Bum sleeping
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In the days that follow, you scrape together enough pounds for a meal and a haircut and an acquaintance of yours that you meet randomly under the Overground bridge understands your situation and kindly lets you stay with him for a while. You find a job as a waiter in one of the bars on the road, the pay is decent, they treat you well, and a month later you can afford a room on your own. Your acquaintance becomes a true friend, the one and only who helped you get your ass off the street, and you start spending a lot of time together. You’re sober, clear, in better shape, and decide to cook a nice dinner for your friend. He comes with a bottle of red wine and makes you promise you’ll just have a sip for celebration. You’re not screwing this up again and you both take just a glass each.

The night is done, your friend gives you a ‘see ya later’ and walks out. You clear the table, wash the plates, tidy up the kitchen, cork that bottle of wine and place it on the fridge. 

You’re in bed checking your Instagram feed — a photo here, a video there, a couple of stories — you think back to all you’ve been through and how you came out of it just fine. But you can’t sleep. How could you do that to yourself? What caused it in the first place? You elaborate moments, people, yourself, and even though things seem to connect, you can’t find a reason for your anxiety, for the agony, the unresolved personal issues. A vortex of thoughts starts hovering over you and you feel like the ceiling is about to push down on you. It’s so strong you stand up, shake your head, your thoughts — you have to remain calm. 

You eye at that bottle of wine standing there, glowing in the dark, and you know that just one glass could really help you relax and sleep, that even if you exaggerated in the past, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn to dose it from now on. You take a sip, literally, put it back and go to bed. But you can’t stop thinking about it. 

It was never about your juvenile issues or your insecurities or inhibitions, about you being someone who overthinks again and again, about not being able to put your pride aside when she went with another guy — that’s all totally normal. 

Truth is you’re an alcoholic, a bad one — you’re an addict. And sometimes addictions just arise to fill a void, a moment of loneliness, of personal crisis, leading us to think they’ll be a quick solution. Though, solutions come with time, with peacefulness, effort and a strong will to change for the better. Sip by sip. 

But it’s just a bottle of wine, right? Just one bottle…one single bottle.

Just one more sip: one more sip won’t kill me.

Jim
The Britalian Post

London Housing: Can Flowers Fix Things?

The other day I walked into my house and saw a bouquet of flowers addressed to one of my housemates – no idea who.

I don’t really have a relationship with my housemates, I don’t know who they are, what they do, or even their names. I know that most of them are from Romania and don’t really speak English, which brings all the interactions to barely saying hi when we cross paths in the kitchen.

The flowers came along with a note that got me curious, so I read it. It said something like ‘I know you need your own space right now and I totally understand it. You’re special and I’ll be waiting for all the time you need. Please let me fix things.’ 

So I imagined a background story.

I imagined this couple being in a committed relationship, living together, building a future together, and him screwing things up at some point. A financial issue that ended up in a bad argument? Failing to take responsibilities when running the house? Obsessive jealousy or another girl? His brutally aggressive temper? Something must have caused the break-up: who knows what “things” he needs to fix. She asks for a break, for some time off with her thoughts because she needs to focus on herself for a while in order to understand her own priorities. She needs to move out, find a new place, start over. A straight course of action, even quite simple if it didn’t affect someone’s feelings. 

However, London never makes anything easy. For one main reason: housing.

Empty room
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Many times when renting in London, you’re bound to yearly contracts that, if terminated early, entail paying exorbitant fees – and sometimes we’re talking three figures! It’s not a coincidence you hear about a jillion of couples who are coerced into living together even when their relationship is over. Nasty stuff, but what can you do? The only way out is to hand away a couple of grand and still be able to have enough left over to afford the downpayment for a new place. And I imagine having to live like this; having to see all the pictures you have together hanging nicely on the walls, all the gifts, furniture and lovely items you bought for each other – every effort to make that place look like home.

Day after day, after day.

I’m assuming she didn’t want to live like that, that she didn’t want to carry that daily burden, for the pain and grief were too much to bear. So she takes that unfair bargain – another injustice London had carefully reserved for her – covers the fees and walks out. 

Apparently, she lives in my house now – somewhere upstairs. I’ve never met her, in fact, I didn’t even know we had a new person in the house. Anyway, after being parked there for days, she eventually collects the flowers. Maybe there would be a pinch of hope for that guy if she didn’t throw them away at the sight of the sender’s name.

I seriously don’t know how this is going to develop. I’m just hoping she’ll let me fix things.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson

In review: Some Good Fish&Chips!

It bugs me when people ask where they can find some good fish and chips in town.

I’m not sure they realise that it’s just some bulk-supplied fried cod or haddock and giant bags of frozen chips bought from a wholesale marketplace who guarantees (so they say) fine quality and best-in-class supplies. It’s a combination of fried food with other fried food covered in sugary and high-calorie sauces over sauces with a strong and long-lasting garlicy Tartare flavour – no different than any other junk food chain you’re going to find out there (McDonald’s, KFC, etc.).

But people seem to love it! And they still think that it can rank as a local culinary speciality. It’s junk food, mate!

I say it doesn’t matter where you’re going to get it, fish and chips is always going to be extremely oily, greasy and smelly. So listen up! If you’re in the mood for it, find below 3 spots I’ve been to that you might want to check out yourself.

So let’s got for some good Fish&Chips, shall we?

WETHERSPOONS

Wetherspoons is probably the #1 UK pub chain.

Within their wide breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, they serve both small and large fish and chips and I believe you get to choose if you want mushy peas or regular.

Price is decent, the taste is just as plain and oily as all other fish and chips.

Please do note that Wetherspoons’s food quality changes from bar to bar: meaning that, it can be even worse than what you expect!

Link here.

POPPIES

With 3 different locations in town – Soho, Spitafields and Camden – Poppies prides itself on its authenticity and is the go-to spot if you want to have some exceptional fish and chips in a 1950s vibe.

The retro decor makes of it a peculiar restaurant for tourists (a well-built tourist trap) who are looking for some “terrific” local food.

The menu gives you many options and lets you choose between cod or haddock – unless you’re really after a halibut.

(What da heck is a halibut?!)

Link here.

GOLDEN UNION

Wow – apparently ‘the freshest fish and the finest homemade pies’!

Their dishes are actually glowing in fried fish, mostly cod or haddock (just for a change), and definitely present themselves with an exquisite flavour due to their special home-made batter.

As said above, they also have a selection of authentic British pies and sausages – all sunk in gravy.

The chips are also so gently and freshly fried!

Link here.

Do you also have some tips for good fish and chips in town? Please do comment below and let us know where we can get some delicious fried fish with fried chips for a unique and unforgettable fried combo!

Jim
The Britalian Post

Will you be my Valentine?

Will you be my Valentine?

It may sound like a simple question from somebody who feels a little lonely, who can’t get a date, who doesn’t have anybody to love and doesn’t want to accept that being loved is just a movie thing. Maybe somebody who thinks that their Valentine is going to be their one true love.

It’s a simple question the girl handing out food samples outside Simit Sarayi on Green Lanes is asking to passers-by – a direct marketing effort to attract people inside for food. She’s nice and smiley to everyone, and some stop for a chat. Over and over again, for hours, she asks: “will you be my Valentine?”

She’s worked there for a couple of months now, I think, always handing out food and chatting with people. I heard her name is Asena and she’s Turkish. She’s from a poor area near Istanbul, from a very old-fashioned and patriarchic family who still believes in arranged marriages. Back there, they wouldn’t allow her to work, nor wear fancy dresses, nor go out much. She could only do housework – cook, clean, knit. It surely wasn’t the life she expected and she’d often dream of incredible experiences through the shows on TV. 

One day, while running her usual errands in town, she bumped into a visitor named John who seemed to show some flair for her. She was shy but not enough to hide a smile from him, a smile that, day after day, convinced him to approach her. John was English; he was a photographer travelling the world to get nice shots for his portfolio and images he could then sell. He was a roamer, an explorer; he knew facts, stories – the world – and his tales could only fascinate a girl like Asena who, of the world, had only pictured what she saw on TV. 

They met every day. They’d talk, laugh, get to know each other. She would spend all of her time with him before curfew. They’d secretly hold hands, exchange romantic notes she would store under her mattress, and finally one day he kissed her. And it was the sweetest kiss ever! She touched the sky, the planets, the top of the universe. She finally understood what love tastes like through the lips of somebody who loves you. It was all real. 

Valentine's day
Image credit: Photo by Randy Kinne on Unsplash

Always being careful not to alert her father with her constant escapes, they met at his hotel. They made love, over and over and over again. She discovered her libido, lust, passion, her and his body. And she loved it.

It was February 14th when he asked her to be his Valentine and handed her a small shiny-red box of chocolate. She glittered! She could never hope something this delightful would happen to her, that love itself would happen at all.

They would never leave each other, they were meant to be together forever – they both acknowledged it. So she decided to step up and talk to her father, to explain she’d found true love and get his blessing. It was the right thing to do in the name of love!

Against all purest and most naive expectations, his reaction was furious! He would never allow her to see anybody he hadn’t made arrangements for. He yelled at her, made her feel miserable, called her offensive names while hitting her violently, and locked her in her room for good. 

A couple of days later, hit after hit, cry after cry, she managed to escape and go see John. She begged him to take her with him anywhere in the world, as long as they could be together – as long as they could live their true love story. But John seemed to be a little off. He had had second thoughts about that relationship, he wasn’t sure it was going to work, plus he had to leave soon for another place. He sounded distant, uninterested. She was confused, “I thought this was love love”, she cried – tears of desperation, of abandonment. 

But that was the naked truth. While for Asena, John was the one true love, for John, Asena was just another experience. One that would end as soon as he moved to a new place in the world.

When she got home, her father punished her with extreme violence. He’d hit her to bleed before locking her in once again. 

The days that followed developed through physical and mental pain, tears, regret, hurtfulness. She wasn’t allowed to leave the house, her room, anymore. She would read and read the love notes they exchanged, she relived in her mind the future she thought they’d have – happiness – and the more she dived in, the more it buried her. She went completely insane. 

Valentine's Day
Image credit: Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

So one night she did it. When her father got into her room to hit her again and swang his hand to slap her face, she pierced his neck with a paper-knife she had hidden in her tights. He fell on the floor with a horrified look and bled to death in less than a minute. Asena stared – she couldn’t move. She was terrified but relieved, and had to think quick. She got his wallet and ran off, and after a couple of miles running, she got to the port. A ferry was about to ship soon and Asena saw her only opportunity to leave that place. So she hid on the ferry and began her journey, while pain, horror, fear, love began to nurture her obsession: she’d sneer and whisper “I will find you, John, my love…I will find you.”    

The last thing she heard from John was that he was going back to England for a while to settle his work. He told her he was from London, from a North-East area called Green Lanes, the Turkish area. That’s where she was headed. 

Days passed by and Asena finally reached her destination. Green Lanes felt so familiar, everyone was so kind and welcoming and she managed to find a job as a waitress at Simit Sarayi – everyone liked her immediately. 

So now she has a new life. She’s got a job, she’s got people who care for her, she’s happy. 

Today she’s handing out food samples, all smiley and chatty. 

“Will you be my Valentine?” may sound like a simple question from somebody who feels a little lonely, somebody who thinks that their Valentine is going to be their one true love. Or maybe is a sign of obsession, of mental insanity, of somebody who’s not going to stop until she finds John.

“Sir, sir…will you be my Valentine?” 

Jim
The Britalian Post

Christmas in a nutshell (You know when…?)

You know when you can’t wait for December to kick off its Christmas vibe and the holiday feel, be finally off work, go shopping and do stuff, when your only hope is for that moment to come as soon as possible?

You know when you walk under layouts of lights, decorations, installations, when the whole city is shining just for you, when it’s reflecting every single one of those little shimmering bulbs right into your eyes, and you’re amazed, and the person you love is just as amazed as you are, and you hold hands moving round and round and round, and you smile at everything, at everyone, at each other, just like in a movie, you know when you go fast through the cold breeze because you’ve never felt this good, then you slow down near the shop windows to eye at those pricy and unaffordable items, when you stop under the mistletoe, by chance, and start kissing endlessly, but you keep kissing and caressing their cheeks even when you’re past that blissful mistletoe because they’re the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever seen, and all the time you spend together is never going to be enough because there’s not enough time in a lifetime for loving somebody you truly love, and while you’re tripping on that thought it’s suddenly Christmas’ eve and you’re having some afternoon drinks before showing up heavily tipsy and wobbling to that dinner with your relatives, you know when you chat with that grumpy uncle who, if in a good mood, makes you piss yourself as much as he can easily get mad at everything and everyone for no good reason, and you’re cool with that, it’s just family and you need to be understanding because now it’s Christmas morning and you’re having breakfast near that huge glittering tree standing mighty over a small number of cleverly wrapped presents you can’t wait to rip off, and in a moment you recall when you were a child and used to receive so many cool presents (toys, gadgets, all the best stuff) and it’d feel like that day would last forever, that life would last forever, that you were impatient to grow up and do extraordinary things – climb the Everest, the world, the whole universe – and the expectations were high, really high, and you knew that you’d seize the momentum, you’d pursue your studies, music, art, that you’d look cool as shit and you’d become popular, the very number one, that you’d leave your footprint on this world so that your life wouldn’t expire unknown, but then you go back to reality and open that one and only present with an ugly jumper your mum’s friend thought you’d go nuts for, and that’s all you get because there’s no more presents and you barely get the ugly one, and before you realise it, it’s already Christmas luncheon and there’s always less and less people at the table because most of them have made their way to heaven, but you still feel lucky for the standing ones and pray to have them forever, so you’re just fooling yourself, you dick, that’s against any natural laws but you keep believing and having faith, and between the overloads of food, nights out with friends, holiday shopping, it’s suddenly New Year’s and you toast with Prosecco, Champagne, Wine, shots, whatever alcohol supports multiple toasts, and you all countdown — 3…2…1… — and you celebrate, and you eat till explosion, and you party and you dance until even Spotify or the DJ need a break, and you stay up all night like there was no tomorrow or New Year’s was the only moment you can actually have some proper fun, and you’re not missing that chance to give the whole of yourself to that night, but the night is already through and it’s January 1st now and you’re hanging badly, “I’m gonna do dry January!”, but that’s a big fat bullshit bro, you’re going to be drinking again a couple of days later because you made a long list of resolutions, the ultimate list, the one you’re actually going to go through point by point and this time you promised yourself you would succeed and nothing would stop you, but life is tricky, and Epiphany is not a thing anymore because you’re an adult, and that dreamy youthful shine you had in your eyes starts blowing itself out, you know when you’re facing reality, and reality is brutal, and you need to cope with it, and all of your youth, all of your dreams, all of that world you wanted to conquer and all the chances you’ve been giving to yourself every single year, literally your entire life is nothing but a hurtful waste of hopes?

And all of a sudden it’s just all over?

Yeah, you definitely know when.

Jim
The Britalian Post

I’m Neapolitan

I’m Neapolitan.

I’m chatty, open-minded, honest, caring, appreciating. I’m Neapolitan.

At least so I’ve been told. Too many times. It’s some sort of etiquette people have placed on me that’s probably supposed to define me, my personality, to say who I am just by highlighting this feature: being Neapolitan. Apparently, that explains everything.

This was no choice of mine, I just happened to be born there, in one of the most beautiful and dangerous (so people say) cities in the world; a city where history lays in every street, alley, corner, smell, thought. Yeah, it’s so strong it embraces you, and never lets go. It grows on you blooming some affection, wish, memory — smile. Now do smile, this is what Neapolitans do despite the tragic circumstances. Indeed, drama there is everyday business, it’s how deep people feel, how engaged they are when they either love or hate somebody or something. It’s a never-ending passion that nobody can control, that makes you speak louder and louder and louder because the louder you are the better you express how you feel. Silly, right? Very! Yet, it’s our proper cup of coffee — the strongest you may ever drink. It goes straight into your nerves, awakens thoughts, placates the spirit. However, that spirit is never going to be quiet, not if you’re Neapolitan. That spirit functions continuously and triggers genuine creativity, whether it applies to art, music, food, or dodgy stuff, what us Neapolitans are best known for. Great endeavours are the result, great stories; great sufferings. Believe it or not, this is what Neapolitans do: they suffer. They parade through shame, bad looks, prejudice, through the burdens of having too much to offer and too little to ask in return. And all is veiled with pride, with a sense of belonging we hold on to — to feel just a little better, just a little stronger. To go through another day, and another day. And even when the day is done, we’re not done doing. We’re not done wondering what tomorrow is going to be like. We’re still trying to ease our head on the pillow, close our eyes and accept…that we’re Neapolitans. That tomorrow the sun will shine sharply, that we won’t be finding any parking spot, that we’ll be dealing with chaos, the chaos we have created, the chaos that makes us stand out (or stand down) among other populations, cities — realities.

Because the reality is that we’re never going to be treated as individuals, as single human beings, as people; we’re not to be treated any differently but we actually are: as we are Neapolitans.

So I’ve been told. Too many, one too many times. That sort of etiquette defines me, my personality, it says who I am and apparently that explains why I’m chatty, open-minded, honest, caring, appreciating. And why I’m to be treated differently.

Yeah, I am.

I’m Neapolitan after all.



Jim
The Britalian Post



Lines

My mum said life is made of multiple lines.

Not just one. Straight. Direct.

Multiple.

Multiple lines; separate, parallel, intertwined.

Every single line you tread is not omniscient and predefined. It’s always multiple lines. They’re made of choices, possibilities, coincidences. They can be taken singularly or as a whole. You can leap from one to another; you can cross the line or toe the line. 

Most times you have to toe the line: follow rules, legal rules, social rules, behavioural rules, relational and human. In all other cases, there’s not a line you can’t cross, I mean other than the one separating the platform from the train down the London underground stations – unless you don’t really hold your life dear. Pretty much what I do, figuratively speaking, and risk falling into that gap every single goddamn day! 

Like her story.

She had a well paid and secure job in Italy, a solid relationship with a reliable and stable person, a nice house, a cute and lovely doggy – all the comforts and simple pleasures one would hope for when they reach a certain age. One single downside: she just wasn’t happy. 

She would hate that job to the point where it makes you break down and lock yourself in the toilets for a jiff of relief. Her relationship had been falling apart for a long time, no more talking, sharing, sleeping together; no more love, if that ever existed in that form. Her apartment was located in one of those old-fashioned buildings far from the city centre, those family-friendly, boring-friendly, sad-friendly areas, the whatever-friendly type that kills excitement, hopes, dreams, or even the most simple and genuine daily moment you may ever want to rely on. The city itself, for how young and vibrant, was running out of the appeal it was initially offering. She couldn’t stand that anymore. It was being too much, or too little, to bear. To break the routine, she decided to visit a family member in London for the weekend, and on the Friday she landed, they made their way into the local pub for a drink or two. Actually, make it five or six. As soon as they walked through the doors and waded into the cluttered crowd, her look crossed with one of the bartender’s, and in a matter of minutes, they started chatting. It wasn’t more than teasing each other, more than two pretty buddies hitting on each other through the night. 

The bartender had quite a story himself. He decided upon leaving a decent office job, a fun and fast-paced environment, maybe a career in the long term, for the unknown, for no other relevant opportunity. He felt he wasn’t the right fit, that he wasn’t fulfilling his greatest passions, his inclinations, somehow what he was good at. It was a reckless decision, and yes he did regret it for a while. He started looking for more suitable opportunities out there that, with the job market becoming extremely demanding and highly competitive, were late to come. And with time passing by and he getting more and more broke, he had to go back to bartending to cover expenses and debts, and swinging from a place to another, he ended up working at that pub.

The two of them spent the night together, talking, telling one another. It was surreal. If it wasn’t more than making out they were expecting, they realised they were on the same page, somehow on the same line. 

At the end of that weekend, she went back to Italy and faced the truth: that life, that seeming stability wasn’t the line she wanted to pursue. She decided to quit literally everything: the job, the relationship, the house, the dog – her entire life. She decided to move to London, a little scared as in all big changes, but without any second thoughts. She embraced a new life, a new line. Him. Happiness, for once.

Sometimes not all negatives turn out badly. She could’ve opted for another pub on that night, he could’ve found a job earlier and never started working there – all wouldn’t have happened. Their lines would have remained separate, probably parallel, but never intertwined. 

See, life can’t be made of “would have, could have, should have”. It’s made of choices, possibilities, coincidences. It’s made of lines.

Multiple.

Not just one. Straight. Direct.

Just like my mum said.

And I will always feel blissful for the line that took you through that door on that Friday night, the line that gave me the opportunity to meet you. The line that I’m hoping to tread together.

I want to live multiple lines, but one single life.

Ours.



Jim
The Britalian Post



An ideal world

In the real world, I’d sit in front of my laptop, put the music on, and dream of what an ideal world could be.

. . .

In an ideal world, the Twin Towers wouldn’t have fallen; terrorist attacks wouldn’t happen because terrorists wouldn’t exist. Only Trump would. But he wouldn’t be president; Clinton would be president, or Michelle Obama, who’s a cool and strong woman, or any other cool and strong woman. Any woman, just for a change, an ideal change; to prove we’re not gender-centric. Nor terrorists. Or how about a female pope, without an act of terror? That would indeed be a change. Ideally.  

In an ideal world, Britain would be against Brexit and for immigration. They would value the foundation of their entire history and country, a golden culture they could pride themselves on and show off to the rest of the world. There would be no settlement status to apply for, no borders… and no risk of going back to a diet based on fish and chips and beans on toast. And there would be no pineapple on pizza – a something only a terrorist would do. Ideally.

In an ideal world, glaciers wouldn’t be melting, I wouldn’t be melting in my room right now, the Amazon forest wouldn’t be burning, nor would our environmental attitude – our respect for the nature, for this planet, for everything we claim like it’s ours – whether it’s earth – our earth, or home. Nothing would be burning, Nothing would be burning, other than the burger I’m cookin…”shit shit shit shit shit shit!!!” Yeah…now this is an act of terror: it should really not be burnt. Ideally.

In an ideal world, there would be no racism, no black and white other than chocolate chip cookies, no prejudice, no clichés, no hate speech, no “Jim, stop being a Casanova!”… “But I didn’t do anything!”… “Yeah, but all Italians are Casanovas!” We wouldn’t care if our children weren’t fulfilling their parents’ ambitions, dreams, ‘what’s (supposedly) best for them’, because they’d have their own ambitions and dreams; they’d make the mistakes they need to make or they would never know what’s right or wrong. At the same time, we’d be respectful of our parents, understand that they too are individuals, that perhaps their dreams shattered into a million pieces, that they have made mistakes they wouldn’t want us to repeat, that they found themselves loving a child way more than they love themselves. And we would keep that in mind when we act selfishly or want to hold our (unique) ideal identity against them. Just like an act of terror. Ideally.

In an ideal world, I wouldn’t have to lose weight and be such a food addict. I would drop the food apps and prefer walking to Uber and public transport. Consequently, I wouldn’t miss the bus that often, I wouldn’t have to get off the station smashed as fuck on a freezing winter night, chase after that massive double-decker and have the doors shut in my face, seeing that slimy grin on the driver’s face glowing in the shadow. Ass hole! Oh yeah, the driver also wouldn’t be an ass hole. Or a terrorist. Ideally. 

In an ideal world, I’d open the door and she’d be sitting right there – lying in wait, reading, smoking that rollie she never gets to stub out. I’d join her on the couch, approach the wine glass she’s generously filled with some fancy Italian red, get her legs onto mine, caress them and her beautiful feet. She’d talk me through some clumsy stuff she’s done over the day, because as much as she’s deadly charming, sensual, arousing, elegant, she’s also so damn dorky. She’d spill her wine – as usual. I’d laugh at her, she’d laugh at herself, we’d both laugh and we’d put up with her being such a lost cause when it comes to clumsiness. We’d stop. I’d kiss her on the cheeks, then on her perfect lips. I’d smell her skin and she’d smell exactly like she did on the first night we spent together. We’d look at each other, into each other, we’d still put on a shy and excited smile even if we’ve known each other forever, and in a matter of seconds, we’d be making love and it would be as great as it was the very first time. We’d be hugging while smoking, dropping ashes on each other, burning the couch, the table, making a miserable mess like we always do. We’d know we can’t wait to do extraordinary things together and that life would be our playground. 

I know I wouldn’t care if Trump was still president, if terrorists starred on the daily news, if Brexit happened, glaciers melted, prejudice and discrimination were still a thing, food addiction was a weak spot and transport took the piss; I wouldn’t care if the world wasn’t ideal because she and I would be ideal in any kind of world. 

. . .

In the real world, I’m still sitting in front of my laptop writing this bullshit. I’m alone and the playlist I had on has just done playing. I stand up, go check if the door is locked, take a sip of Guinness, lit up a cigarette, and sit on the couch with that only dim light coming from my desk that illuminates the silence.  

And in that silence, I dream of what my real world could be.

If only terrorism didn’t exist.

Ideally.



Jim
The Britalian Post

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