Resolutions

Have you drawn your list of resolutions for the New Year yet? More importantly, how many items on that list have you started yet?

January has come (to an end). The New Year has come. And so have a number of resolutions, right? It’s always something about “I’m going to work on my career”, “I’m going to start a new hobby”, “I’m going to be a better person.” The more common: “I’m going to start a strict diet.” So you see everybody digging into soups, raw veggies, fruit; no more fats, gluten, chocolate or alcohol. You see them exercising, going to the gym regularly and cooking plain chicken breasts – which, if you buy at Sainsbury’s, I’m not sure of how much of real chicken is contained in those super pumped fillets. Well, better that crap than KFC, Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and…hey how about a beer at the pub and a double pepperoni with cheese-stuffed crust tonight?! Come on, we’re allowed dietary fails now and then, do you really want to be that strict?

One certainly has to be allowed dietary fails now and then, and there’s always going to be one thing, one weakness you can’t just give up, like a free day diving in chocolate. But for some strange reason, one has to be really strict with diet, as well as with any other resolution.

[Wow you should’ve seen the heroic sprint of the sixty-ish-year-old man who’s just literally thrown himself through the tube’s closing doors. I assume his resolution would be something like “I’ll no longer fucking miss a train.” Sure, welcome to London!]

All you have to do is to be firm and resolute; ask yourself, how seriously do I want to pursue it? How committed am I to win over my hunger raptus? 

Despite the nature of the resolution you choose to pursue, one has to simply be strong enough to say “No.”

Do you want a piece of chocolate? No!
Do you want pasta? No!
Do you want to go get a burger? No!
Do you want a beer? No!

Do you want to go out with me? No!

See, practically a resolution is some sort of desire that one decides to give up.
And the more you’re into giving up what you like, the more stubborn you become and, somehow, capable of predicting the consequences of your actions. So the resolution itself ends up turning into some future prediction, a set of “I will” or “I won’t” statements that draw a clear path to your personal success. And among the great number of “will’s” or “won’t’s”, even a normal person can become a prophet of truths.

That Russian girl was so good at it. A seer indeed. What was her name? Something like Tamara or Erika, I’m guessing. A lonesome and sporty girl, fit and good looking. An innocent face, a breathtaking smile. She would mostly be hiding in her room – afraid of the outside – but when she popped up, she certainly couldn’t pass unobserved.
On one day, she decided to turn up and their looks immediately crossed. Bam!
Few hours on a Sunday lunch with friends and they would find an intense but fuzzy connection. Both mentally and physically. A thunderbolt – a perfect match that didn’t come from Tinder, Bumble, Happn, or any other of the dating apps. Which basically was what she wanted: something real, not based on some pervert online chatting. Something that could last or, at least, be worth the moment. This was her resolution. In fact, one amongst the many. 

From the very beginning, she would be capable of predicting that the situation wouldn’t go the long way; that the moment couldn’t be lasting more than just a moment, that her path to success could be compromised and…you’re too late, pal! She had set her own resolutions. She was already saying “No” to most things, and you fall right in between. And the more she was saying “No”, the more stubborn she was becoming, the more capable of predicting the consequences.

Although, she had only one weakness, one thing she couldn’t easily give up: chocolate.

And in that very moment, while he was holding her tight, firmly looking into her eyes, sliding his finger over her cheek, gently, she realised she had run out of it…

…kiss me.

Jim
The Britalian Post

The apology

“Oh, I’m sorry!”

If you’ve ever been in the UK, you’ve heard this word innumerable times.

Every time people do something, say, inappropriate – like unintentionally bumping into someone while walking, asking to quickly move aside, opening a door when one is coming through, doesn’t matter what it is – the word ‘Sorry’ will be always echoing sharp.

It must be a sort of a local habit type of thing, that kind of politeness that mainly expresses fake and uninterested platitudes rather than truly kind intentions. That is, people don’t really mean it. It will always be a mean ploy, a shitty apology to veil a repellent so-what attitude. It’s a lie!

But then though, you figure it’s not a cultural thing at all; and it should be clear by now that I’m not referring to Britons or their manners. As all people just act alike. All people can build a rather good apology to beautify their lies – the truths they seek to convince themselves with in the first place.

A lie.
She who manically dancing and partying for her birthday – her infinite beauty that hits so damn hard on everybody. The night is feisty, and so is she. Given so, she keeps quaffing alcohol rashly, sticking her deadly lips deep in bottle tops – just to feel happy, to kill that loneliness, that emptiness somebody dug in her. To feel like feeling nothing, to stiffen those muscles that cause emotional pain: love.
She gets lost in all that, she lets herself go on the dancefloor, she abandons her cause the same way it abandoned her. She embraces that positive vibe and goes down pretty hard. 

She rubs against many, and then against him – modelling her body on his shapes, adapting her curves to his lust. And he doesn’t miss the chance; he knows it’s the right time to take advantage of her.

She turns, they kiss – arousal, she feels it.

Everybody though turns the other way. Nobody wants to watch. Nobody wants to be carrying the burden of what they see happening. Nobody wants to have to lie.

But then though, as soon as she regains control, she starts draining alcohol through her thick tears. She runs away – she knows that it was a mistake. She dashes into her friend’s arms. Shuttered. Crying. 

Now she has to lie. Quickly.

She gains compassion. Empathy.
“Poor little thing. She only wanted to forget him, to go over and start over. She was just in pain. She didn’t mean to let herself go. She was just in love.” 

And she with a trembling voice, “It’s because I love him and he just rejects me! It’s his fault damn it! He made me want to do it. He dragged me into that. I didn’t mean to… Sorry! Oh, I’m sorry!”

You know. Every time people do something, say, inappropriate, the word Sorry will be always echoing sharp.

Bitch.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Do you see me?

Hey there!

I’m pleased to write this appreciation article to thank you all for reading and following The Britalian Post. If I read the metrics correctly, there have been over 2,000 views and more than 900 visitors since the very beginning. And this is awesome!

I’m kind of feeling like I’m becoming a proper blogger, like the ones who are so witty when sharing fair opinions and astonishing facts, and can have a wide reach with the audience. I’m feeling like I’m kind of popular, like I have people valuing my words – all that I present, all that I tell. I’m feeling like I can freely start chatting and many will be carefully and passionately listening. I’m feeling like I’m getting lots of e-friends I can share shit with. 

It’s like my stories are brought to life and the characters are becoming real. I can see them turning into a human shape, I can see their flesh, their movements, their expressions, their attitude, and I’m so proud I didn’t have to do anything else but writing. Damn it was that easy!

I’ve got company now. I’ve got smiles and pats on my back. I’ve got someone who pays me a visit, someone I can truly rely on.

Among many others, I start waving at them, calling their names, pointing to their direction:

‘Hey! Hey there! I’m here, do you see me?
Hey, hey do you see me?
Do…you…see…me?
Do…you…e…me?
…you…e…me?

…e-me.’

Jim
The Britalian Post

Mind the gap

I hate the Piccadilly Line!

It’s slow, it’s rammed, trains go missing, and every stop is a pain in the ass. Like being stuck on the bus on Green Lanes for ages wasn’t enough – and just to cover about one mile and spare of a terribly trafficked road. 

So I finally go down the station and hear “Next train in…” – God only knows when.
‘Ooooh come ooon..!’
Then you can’t board the first coming train, nor the second. Maybe you get lucky with the third or fourth. You squeeze in, your face splashed onto the door, the armpit of the guy next to you right across your head smells like rotten shawarma, the killer breath of some girl on the other side and the bomb farts of some corporal terrorist who comfortably lets rip right in the middle of the train. They join forces to make your journey a memorable morning experience.

No complaints if it happened now and then but I kinda get the feeling that these people work in the TFL’s customer retention – or detention!

Result? I’m always late! At work, at night, when meeting friends. Thanks Shit-adilly Line!

Yet, it is the giant of the TFL, it is one of the most important lines in London – one of the longer and more paramount. It covers the distance from Cockfosters, through Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, to Heathrow or Uxbridge (depending on the branch).
Trust me, I was so damn relieved when I moved to another place away from that line. So relieved that I no longer had to suffer from disruptions, delays and packed platforms.

In the beginning.

After a while, I came to realise that I totally relied on that route, that no matter what it would always take me home. I thought of how fast and efficient it was in its non-peak hours, that I felt so safe that I didn’t even need to pay attention to the stops. I would always know when to get on and off – Mind the gap! – and whatever the distance, in the end, I would always reach my destination.

But…yes… After a while, I began to feel the gap.
I realised I was missing something only when I had lost it. 

Isn’t that what we all do?

We all realised it when he went missing, when he was gone. We all felt like an important part of our daily journeys was just over. So used to have him travelling around, so used to his presence, that now his empty desk laying abandoned in a sharp silence is the gap we mind the most.

Yet, he was the giant of our team – always reliable and paramount, although…
Although he was secretly going through his peak hours, running way too long distances, even for a giant. 

Eventually, he had to slow down his journey and hasten his departure. He had to disrupt his roaming, delay his desires and take his belongings with him.

Ultimately, his train terminated here.

Good luck, dude.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Same old story

“She ain’t listening, J.”
(Chuckling) “They never fucking do, Ed!”

Yeah, same old story.

Earlier that Saturday, I met with Edward in Holloway Road to do some jamming at the music studio. As we had still an hour before the studio let us in, we made a stop at The Coronet for some pints on the terrace out the back – just a chat and some beer before jamming.

Edward and I talk a lot, and when we’re not offending each other, we talk so much crap: frustrations about work, inconstant ambitions, questionable people, troubled relationships. Life. Oh, and of course, music and the latest concerts. Then he always ends up mentioning something about Metallica and wanting to hustle me into one of their concerts – which I would only attend for the company. 

“Fuck off you phat ass! I’m not gonna go see that shit!” – yelled I.
“You are shit, you disgusting cunt!” – Ed said back.
Yeah, we kinda love each other.

At times, it takes me a while to understand what that motherfucker is saying because of his baritone voice and that articulated West Midlands accent. Other times, my vocabulary just sucks and I’m missing his words. Not that me being Italian makes it any easier for either of us – like, me getting lost in my own concepts, him trying to shape words out of my mouth. 

All in all, no matter the context, the culture, the language, we seem to really understand each other. And pretty well. He’s a good listener, and I think so am I. Maybe boys got it easy, or maybe we have natural empathy and we feel we can figure each other out at our deepest. Unless he starts speaking some undecodable slang that OF COURSE I’M NOT GOING TO UNDERSTAND, YOU PUNK-ASS!

So after the studio session, we dropped the music equipment at my place and headed to The Finsbury pub – the one right opposite Manor House station. Good company, live music, beer. 

Nobody can ever say that we are not social people and up for partying, so as the bands were done, we started dancing to the DJ’s music and interacting with the other folks around. Actually, Edward was the one who bumped into an interesting conversation, that went more or less like this:

Edward: “Did you like the bands?”
Girl: “I’m Dutch.”

E: “What are you doing in London?”
G: “My sister is here with her boyfriend, but she’s Swedish.”

E: Are you enjoying the DJ?”
G: “I love this venue!”

E: “?????????”
G: “@..%<~#\$!)”

“So, how did it go?” – I asked thinking he got somehow lucky.
“She ain’t listening, J!” – said Ed, visibly disappointed.
(Chuckling) “They never fucking do, Ed!”

Folks, same old story. No matter the context, the culture, the language: boys and girls will never understand each other.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Last night I couldn’t sleep.

You know, like when you’re lying in bed, eyes wide open, staring at the white ceiling concentrating on the shadows? That’s it. And you start rolling over to the left side, to the right side, upside down, and then you find yourself wrapped in the bed sheets – trapped clumsily. A swift move that ends up with your fat ass miserably falling with a muffled thump. 

…dumbass!

Now you’re sitting on the floor, your back leaned against the bed frame, knees up and head down: “Shit! …I need a cigarette… But it’s late and I shouldn’t be smoking another…where’s the damn lighter?”

Like all Sundays, all weekends, I fuck up my biological clock and lose control over my body functions, and I had even seen it coming.

After 10 episodes of Grimm on Netflix and more than half a bottle of a red 8 pound Casillero Del Diablo, I was hoping my sight would grow dimmer and I’d feel that dizziness that gets your brain working slower and whispers good night. I was hoping. Unfortunately, that nap in the afternoon wasn’t a real great idea and I still can’t figure out how I even stayed laying down on that uncomfortable hard and broken-sprung sofa. 

The only solution I could think of was to keep drinking. However, the only other alcohol I had left in the house was a bottle of Jack Daniels. Boy, I had to try. 

Nine shots later, I realised I still had a super active mind but a fucked up stomach. After swallowing a Gaviscon tablet to ease the pain – sort of a cure to the cure – nothing changed: the night went on as before.

On the day after I was obviously tired. Not just tired, knackered. Destroyed. Zombie mode on, a whole pot of coffee, rush to work. At the office, I must have been looking at the emptiness of my laptop screen for a long while before I realised it was off and not in sleep mode. All day long, my head swaying back and forth, drifting off, jerking awake, striving hard to not to fall asleep on the job. With my mind in total confusion, I promised myself I would be in bed by 10pm at the latest. Just a little dinner, 2 episodes on Netflix, then straight to bed. Sounds good.

So I am in bed now. Comfortably covered, 2 pillows behind my head, checking videos on Facebook to get my eyes tired. “Yeah,” (yawning) “I’m knackered.” I leave the phone, turn off the bedside lamps, close my eyes and…

“Shit! I can’t sleep.”

Jim
The Britalian Post

[UNTITLED] The girl in the tower

Think of those fairy tales we were told as children.

Think of how they remain impressed in our minds and stick to our memories. Think of how we grow up fascinated by those impossible stories and romantic plots. Everybody remembers those famous titles, those characters that stand out for their heroism, bravery and passion, all in an era back in the time where magic, mystery, love and chivalry were still commonplace.

And from a commonplace, one would likely expect to read about a beautiful princess imprisoned in a lonesome tower and about her long lying in wait for her rescuer to turn up; about a handsome prince who leaps into impossible enterprises to bring her to safety – purely out of love.

Fairy tales are basically commonplaces, facts that recur almost in the same order and lead to a happy ending. The key is probably in them to be told out and be widely known, as well as in their famous titles – as if all fairy tales had one.

Some stories from today perfectly reflect this structural refrain.
Terrible news was broadcasted two months ago! A tower block burned down in West London causing the death of almost 50 tenants. The fire at the tower block was allegedly due to poor electric wiring and low-quality elements. Firemen intervention was prompt, however it didn’t prevent damage to the building and the nearby area. In the tower, a young Italian couple got stuck in their apartment and had to fight for their lives in the blazing fire. They say, she called her parents for a final farewell, while he could only hold her hands tight until they acknowledged that no rescuer would turn up and that their fate was already written. They remained victim of the fire and their bodies were eventually found burned but still hugging one another. The news was on the media and in London, everybody learned about the one which will be remembered as the fire at Grenfell Tower.

But as said, other stories might not get to be as famous as fairy tales, and although nobody will ever learn about them, they’re still tales to be told.

The girl who lived in the tower belonged to a wild South.
The termination of her commitment left her without any certainty – aimless, careless. She mostly stood staring at the outside world from the window on that third level. Her eyes would be drawn by the contours of the typical row of English houses and would then meet the one on the parallel street where her friend used to live, right before she gave up the city for a change for the better – or the easier. That messy backyard was a spot of wonderful memories – drinks, chats, and fun moments – and perhaps she can still picture the two of them in that safe and steady spot. Perhaps, in that backyard, she can still see their final farewell on her leaving party. Still hugging one another – tight.

A smile would illuminate her face.

But before long, her look would lose itself in the dense grey of that gloomy sky, full of ashes, whispers and noises she couldn’t hope to face. Anxiety got ahold of her: that being a prisoner rather than a princess started contaminating her vivid and joyous personality. That feeling of failure, of betrayal, that door slammed in her face. All was painfully overwhelming.

Over time, her luminous blond hair turned dark brown and so too did her ice-blue eyes. What happened? She was not too demanding, she was not too obsessed with her own vices and comfort zones, she was not even alone – though loneliness wasn’t late to come. That’s why she laid her hopes in that inconsistent and vanishing love, in that prince who should have climbed all the way up to set her free from those hurtfully oppressing walls. Truth is, she wasn’t tired of begging someone to love her. So she kept waiting.

Day after day, the waiting never fulfilled its promises. The knock on the door didn’t come and she remained locked in her regrets, in unwittingly unsettling indecision.

What bind kept her tied to that place? Why did she stay?

She simply couldn’t run. She remained stuck in the Pemberton tower, torn between love and acceptance.

Recently, someone passing by the tower saw that girl staring at the window. She crawled out and stood still on the cornice. Seeing her on the edge, that guy on the street started shouting out loud. He ran towards the tower and tried to enter the main door apparently locked. She was going to jump, “crap, she’s really going to jump!” He called for help, caught the attention of the passers-by and asked for their intervention. People turned out at the tower but none of them could see anything on that cornice. “I swear to my life a girl was standing out there.” – claimed he all shaken up.

But nobody believed. Nobody could see.

She had just disappeared.

From a fairy tale, from a commonplace, one would likely expect to read…well, one would just expect to read about it. But so many stories remain untold, untitled, and nobody knew that that girl had actually disappeared in the July of 1720.

Facts say she died forgotten in that commonplace, in an unknown fairy tale. In the one that by then had remained untold and untitled: the story of The girl in the tower.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Parallel dimensions

How curious to think that similar events can happen and be developed in the same exact moment. How absurd to believe that a single action, a decision, a choice, can really change someone’s destiny and create a different life path that wouldn’t otherwise exist. The outcomes may align, even though the paths don’t. 

This is not philosophy but actual, demonstrable truth.

I’ll pick two different facts that happened in the same moment, even in the same place, and show how they generated two similar realities – or rather parallel dimensions – that eventuate from a simple Saturday night’s choice.

The choice of the concert

We attended a gig that Saturday night. Depeche Mode were playing at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford (East London) where 20,000 folks or so were frenetically queuing in wait for the gates to open: delirium, impatience and euphoria were the night’s main sentiments. All different generations ever wanted that night was to simply enjoy the silence.

Through the songs, the drinks, the friendship, the crowd was sweetly drowning in the love that the act was spreading. Unexpectedly – and as a magic touch – the rain fell purely, with no harm. It wetted the ecstatic expressions of the folks and everyone just started basking and dancing in that sensual tapping rhythm. Everyone was reaching out and touching faith.

The choice of the bridge

Further down the city, the crowd was fearfully running from the terror that the act was spreading. Unexpectedly – and as a merciless touch – the rain fell purely, with such harm. It couldn’t wash away the blood that began to flow heavily from London Bridge all the way down to Southwark and premises, and marked the passage of them for whom human life has a minor relevance. The cruelty wasn’t stopped and the attack happened: the stabbings had already been inflicted. Everyone was reaching out and touching faith.

Two events, two choices, parallel dimensions, same outcome.

At the stadium, 20,000 people found their own personal Jesus. 

Likewise the 7 on the bridge.

Jim
The Britalian Post

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