Today, I have been mostly drinking coffee

I have already had about 9 coffees this morning.

I am tired and tonight I have to travel down to Carrara – just me and the dogs because F will stay near Venice tonight and then join us tomorrow.

So, I’m doing coffee today, mostly.

I’ve had a very busy week. Monday was a pizza and stuff with one of F’s colleagues and her boyfriend. We got home late.

Tuesday was the Earth Wind and Fire concert. And we got home late.

Wednesday was out with A and, because we didn’t go out until late, I got home late.

Last night was round to where FfI is now staying – and I got home late.

In all cases there was MUCH drinking.

Let me just say that, in every case, I didn’t intend to drink much. It’s just that I did.

And, last night, I really needed to come home early but, instead, because I felt that FfI needed me, I didn’t come home early and we drank two bottles of wine between us (more or less).

The “perfect gentleman” ex-boyfriend had not only thrown her out but had also cause a number of bruises and a bite.

So, not really the “perfect gentleman” after all.

Nor is his son, who, the next day, punched her daughter when she came to pick up her Mum.

I was told the story and, given that this is Italy, having had the whole story, I could see why he lost his temper (although hitting someone because you’ve lost your temper is NEVER acceptable).

The problem is the mentality of (certainly older) Italians. The problem is the homophobia that is rife here (as is racism).

In this case, in the heat of the argument, he told her that it was her fault that his son wanted to leave home. He said that she was so horrible that his son couldn’t be in the same house as her and was, therefore, leaving home. His son is about 25 years old.

Apparently, at this point, she advised him that the real reason his son was leaving home was because he was gay.

Given that I am writing this without being involved, I am, probably, not giving the correct feel of this “conversation”. I suspect that there was much shouting at each other and that it was as far from a “conversation” as would be possible.

However, whilst in no way condoning his physical response, I can understand why he lost control.

This is his one and only son. Both his eldest and his only child. This is Italy. Whilst outwardly he does not seem homophobic (I have met him several times and he always seemed quite a “nice” man) as it certainly used to be about 50 years ago in the UK, don’t tell a man that his only son is a raving poofter! In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, the film Billy Elliot shows you (although in the interests of a good film (meaning a feel-good factor) and to show how enlightened we are in the UK now, the father eventually realises that he loves his son for who he is – which was certainly NOT the reality of the situation). And this is Italy, so even though straight men are camper than straight men in the UK and the USA, etc. by a LONG way, being gay is not seen as OK. In fact, they are STILL discussing amending a bill in parliament to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual preference (so I think marriage is way off yet).

Anyway, back to the story – and so, the ex-boyfriend got angry and, unfortunately for all involved, got physically abusive.

His son, who witnessed some of it (and, apparently egged his father on), felt the need to emulate his father the next day after being provoked by FfI’s daughter. But, then, his role model is not exactly one that I would want my son to have.

Have I ever mentioned that the last time I ever hit anyone was when I was about 12 or 13? I felt so ashamed by my own behaviour that I never hit anyone again. Ever. I was ashamed because, even if I had been provoked and even if I had been the subject of a lot of bullying (both physically and mentally), and even if the boy I beat up was my age and in my class, he was weaker than me. And I have never forgotten that nor how bad I felt about what I had done. I did what my father had told me to do – but instead of to the bullies (who were both bigger and stronger than I), I did it to someone who was supposed to be a friend.

So, my hatred of violence stems from then.

And so, I felt the need to stay with her longer than intended.

And now I am suffering. Ah well, F is only joining us tomorrow so tonight I will go to bed early and try and recover from this week.

2 thoughts on “Today, I have been mostly drinking coffee

  1. Hi Andy – that story of abuse and intolerance was quite unsettling. So sad and so wrong on so many levels. You are a good friend for staying late.

    Violence is always wrong.

    Love Gail

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