A striking moment of clarity


I was ironing.  Having been away so much, there are many things to do including the small mountain of ironing.  I hate ironing almost as much as cleaning.  Let’s face it, I am not really domesticated.  The dogs are probably better than me.  I am doing a bit at a time since to do all of it in one go will just be too much!

However, ironing must be done if I am to have any clean stuff to wear and, in this weather (yesterday, when I got in the car after work the temperature read 43 degrees, so it’s quite warm), it is necessary to wear a lot of clean stuff after a lot of showers.

I have the telly on (MTV as we get it free here) but, really, I am paying no attention to either the telly nor the ironing.  The ironing is automatic and the telly plays music that I, generally, don’t really like.

As normal, I am playing through conversations in my head as I have nothing else to distract me, really.  Of course, the conversations were not conversations that had actually happened but rather ones that may happen but, if I’m honest with myself, won’t happen and, anyway, if they did happen, the other person wouldn’t say the things that I had predetermined they would say so my replies would not be so certain and, most probably, I wouldn’t be so sharp or so clever.

The basic nature of the conversations is this:

V wants to get back together.

V says he’s sorry.

I say (without completely closing it down) that that will be very difficult.

I say that he needs to be honest and open with me.

I say that to do that, he first needs to be honest and open with himself.

V asks what things he needs to be honest and open about.

I say that that is the point.  I cannot tell him, although I know some things, but that, to be honest and open, he has to decide to tell me everything and I will know if he has.

This is a stupid conversation as this will never happen.

Suddenly (and I really don’t know why this happened), I think of another situation.  I think of my parents who, apparently, are or, at least were, waiting for me to ‘come home’ asking for their forgiveness (for what, I really don’t know).  I think how stupid they were and little they knew me, even if I was their son and even if they did raise me for almost 18 years before I left, for good.

And then, I realised, in one of those moments of complete clarity that, in spite of my efforts not to be like them, I was, in fact, doing the same thing.  I was waiting for V to come to his senses and come back begging to be together.

And, then I realised that, of course, he is not coming back – begging or not – and that my life has been in this limbo state, waiting for him to appear on my doorstep whereas, in fact, he has already moved on and, damn it, so should I.

It won’t be the last time that I will enact these meaningless conversations and, for certain, I am catching myself wanting a man again, which makes me vulnerable but I know that, as these future enacted, made-up, incredible conversations happen, I will be able to stop it following this ‘moment of clarity’ by remembering that, in fact, the situation is not going to happen.  It will get easier each time.

The wanting a man part, though, will not.  At least, not for a while.  The problem with that, other than my previous track record in this situation, is that, this time, a) I really find so few men attractive and b) how the hell do I tell whether they’re gay or not, at least here, in this land where men don’t seem to have a problem with their sexuality and, therefore, have no need to be give off the right signals?  Or, rather, give off signals that I find perplexing and unclear.

And the point of this post?  None at all really!

19 thoughts on “A striking moment of clarity

  1. Hi Andy-

    Huh. Fascinating. I have made-up conversations too when things are unresolved with whomever. I was actually glad to read that you do it too. Craziness loves company!! :-)

    I also don’t like to iron although I love when it is done.

    I don’t know what else to write.

    Love to you’

  2. Do you want something else to discuss between yourself? This morning I was called from the company twice, then I WENT THERE, and….we do not have a third cylinder. Do you have one available? “Darth Tie” asked me to find a solution, so I am asking around…

  3. Um, Pietro, what are you talking about? I mean I know the bit about going there and Darth Tie – I mean WHAT EFFING CYLINDER? Please tell me it’s not the one I’m thinking of! Still, on the bright side, they have, oh, let’s say, 3 days to magic one out of thin air.

    If it is the one I’m thinking of then your comment ‘so I am asking around’ is very amusing.

    Want to come and watch the tennis tomorrow (Wimbledon Final)? It’s at the 442 pub in Via Procaccini. Loads of others may be coming, including, later, Elena and Mauro. Good English beer, crappy pub food and Wimbledon Men’s Final – what more could you ask. After, probably, Chinese with Peking Duck and my friends A & F probably joining us.

  4. If you want that I act as Darth Tie, I can tell you it is not the one you’re thinking about. But, since I don’t like to be a damn’ liar, I must tell you the truth. It’s that one. So, I am really asking around! And tomorrow I’ll have to face the Cobra and then write again to our friends down in the “Holy Land” and tell them “forget the waiver, the program etc. You’ll get a new one someday. Maybe.”
    Thanks for the tennis meeting, but this afternoon will be completely spent on my sofa! Sleeping…I’ll come to the city only to pick up my father at the Central Station this evening.
    And looking for a way to become the first mouse to eat the Cobra…

  5. On a work front, may I say that I ALWAYS prefer the truth. See the Cobra by all means but might I suggest that no one says anything to our friends in the HL until I get back on Wednesday. In the meantime (two days) Darth Tie can get off his arse and do something! Anyway, I have an idea (unfortunately not a cunning plan just an idea that may or may not be any good).

    Shame you can’t come to watch the tennis. It will be fun. Well, if you change your mind just text me. I shall leav in about 10 minutes.

    Now that would be something, the mouse eating the Cobra :-)

  6. Ok, shame on me…but you know, the sofa is so interesting!!! And then, maybe, if I am really lucky, I could get out with the girl I am trying to understand since 10 years…but I have to be lucky.
    Do not worry, I’ll try to tell everybody that I rang you to inform you about the situation and you agreed to wait until you’ll be back.
    Darth Tie will cry in the office in front of yours “no one told me, no one helps me…bla bla bla”..Hope Roddick will win. Just because Federer is winning too much!

  7. Pietro,

    Just ‘a shame’ not ‘shame on you’ – remind me and I will tell you the difference.

    Did you get to go out with the girl?
    Federer won, which I was pleased about but it was a tight (close) match. Lots of people came – you should have come too! Then Chinese with Peking Duck – yum! It’s time you lived a little!

  8. Andy, your posts get better by the day. This one was so alive and true. Maybe it is all the things that went on in your life recently. Discombobulation (what a word) and sorrow can do that, to make us more alert to our emotions and thoughts.

    I would like to tell you that that moment, when these conversations won’t be needed, and you will have new things and better moods, will come. Soon. But you know that.

    It is moving your concern, because I know it but too well, even if I don’t know you. I know that to be aware that it will pass can make the situation even more unbearable. One even becomes sad picturing when the sorrow, with its last traces of love, will be gone, and the resentment will turn into trivial politeness or friendship! Who wants that? (but it will be a liberation.) So I won’t indulge on this subject (but it will pass).

    I am so surprised to learn that you can’t tell whether a italian man is gay or not. I don’t really believe this!! I can tell almost 100%. How is it that hard? If you never had a relation with a italian man, maybe OK, now it seems hard. You have to clear this barrier. But I bet that as soon as you’ll have had one all the signals will become much more clear. I’d say transparent. And don’t worry about reactions. As a people, we are much more emancipated than our televisual representatives appear to be.

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  10. Thanks, Ico. Yes, discombobulation is a great word
    Yes, I know it will pass and, when it has passed, then what? The knowing that the end is coming is, indeed, a sad thing and impossible to prevent. And the impossibleness of prevention makes it even sadder.
    Yes, I can, sometimes, spot a gay Italian man – the problem is that, if I spot them then they are ‘too gay’ for me! I want a man not someone who, dressed in women’s clothes, would not look out of place, if you see what I mean. I.e. someone like me or, rather, someone who acts like I think I act. I hope you’re right about it all becoming transparent!

  11. The word you are looking for is “checca” (pronounced with Ks), which is the ‘too gay’ thing you mentioned. But well I was probably bragging when I said that i can tell 100%. Of course on many occasions I can, like we all do, but only now that you said you have difficulties I realize that it might be a cultural, local thing more than anythings else. When you come from a different culture so many signs can be confused (what if it is just a local custom? what if he’s meaning something else? etc). Possibly even in different cities in Italy signs can change! Sorry if I sound superficial or stupid trying to pass like an expert when I know nothing. These days I tend to speak before thinking. :)

  12. Sorry for the late response but I’ve been away, Ico.
    Anyway, no harm in bragging!
    For example, no ‘man’ would look you up and down in the UK unless they were interested in you sexually. Here, however, it’s very common, if not normal, straight or gay! So the signals must be different and, right now, far too subtle for me. Shame you’re not an expert – I was thinking next time you were in Milan, you could give me some pointers (without me needing to go to a gay club as I really hate them) :-)
    And, anyway, I’m sure you know something, after all, you’re Italian, that’s a huge step closer than me!

  13. It seems like I comment only when you comment first. Actually, being a bit autistic these days I remember about people only when they pop up.
    I also think your posts are getting better and better. This one is very fresh and emotionally sincere.
    I had so many imaginary conversations in my life, most of the time for love reasons!

    “How the hell do I tell whether they’re gay or not.” I’m not quite sure you are not able to decipher signs of availability in an Italian man or in any man (Swedish also, why not, since you said you like Sweden). Of course Italians and Brits behave differently, especially the way they relate to one another emotionally is different, but I am sure that if a man has some interest in you that goes beyond mere friendship, you will *feel* it. Such vibes are universal. Nature finds its ways through culture. All you need (all we need alas) is some courage to live life a bit more fully. Go around a lot, see people, don’t stay too much at home.

  14. That’s OK MoR. I always feel I should comment on your posts more often but…well, you know how it is!
    Thanks for the compliment.
    And, I appreciate that I should be able to tell the difference (or even spot it in the first place but I wasn’t that good in the UK – here I feel so out of touch with it all. I like to go out and see people but not on my own and don’t really like the gay pubs that much and quite hate the gay clubs. What to do …….?

  15. “Out of touch of it all.” Ah ah, it is you Brits’ fault at any rate, you die-hard islanders. I understand. Italians are … so different. But we are humans, aren’t we lol.

    Well, the percentage of gay people being – they say – 10 % of the rest (it might be higher) doesn’t make that simple to meet someone in any straight place – not simple but yet very possible. Aren’t there areas (rather than clubs) in Milan where gays meet? There are also towns – it is well known – where the percentage of gays is much higher, like San Francisco etc. (Amsterdam?)
    I have been very impressed by the extreme beauty of the whole San Francisco bay, not to mention the climate, surely better than Milan’s. And San Francisco has a European flavour. People are really *free* there, in the good, healthy sense of the word, very open-minded, easy-going and cultivated. If I were gay I would live in such places or have at least vacation there. If you have no bonds and are free, why not plunge again into big life adventure?
    I know what I’m saying can be … not practical … I’ve always been a dreamer in any case, planning dreams I most of the time was not able to accomplish.

  16. We are all humans after all :-)
    I know it’s possible since I met my first partner ‘off the scene’ and we were together for 10 years. However, either it is by introduction (which sounds so old-fashioned) or by going to the appropriate bars or clubs since, that way, you can be fairly (but not always) certain.
    I love Milan and, right now, am already in a big life adventure! San Francisco, I don’t think, is for me. Amsterdam is nice but the weather is so ‘British’.
    I guess I shall just have to bite the bullet and start going to the bars, at least, if I am to stand a chance. I’m sure it will improve my Italian too!

  17. Well, if you have never been to SF you cannot tell. I would have *never* gone there if not for visiting my sweet daughter. But I was stunned by the whole atmosphere. It probably also reminded me of the 68 days of my youth lol.
    Well, if you’ve caught this tremendous disease of loving Milan, well, buona fortuna amico (I also like Milan, btw.)

  18. Yes, I think we’ve spoken about our love of Milan before (on one of our blogs).
    Maybe I should go sometime. A friend here hails from SF and, in fact, is there with her husband until the end of July. She did offer but I’ve been a little busy………

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