I don't mind if you don't mind

Sitting side by side.
Carefully crafting a space between us, 
on this pier where we sit and in our minds, 
- distance.
And although handmade distance can be painful, sometimes it is needed.
Because I remember myself quietly singing:
'can you pretend I'm amazing, I can pretend I'm amazing' (instead of what we both know)
hoping to fake it til I could make it.
And now I am no longer that girl, searching for your weak spot.
Searching for anything at all, if it brought you to me, as if I was always undeserving.
As if I had to walk on my knees until you decided to pick me up.
- So, have I found your secret weak spot, baby?
And, so perhaps it isn't so bad to sit there
our gaze fixed on the water, thoughts hiding behind our eyes.
Side by side but far apart. 
At least we sit together.


Somehow I feel that because the seasons keep returning, 
people, events and places should come back as well.
intellectually I know it is impossible, 
yet I wait for them every time the seasons change.
And in the same manner of disrespecting reality, 
I see myself as I have been all those past times, in between seasons. 
The freckled me, red glasses, long curly hair on a Spanish beach. 
Trying to impress the mischievous italians, knowing they were out of my league.
Crazy me, residing in Italian camorra-territory,
falling for strangers and teaching children how to draw dolphins.
And the childishly excited me, having just received an e-mail offering an internship at the United Nations.
Juggling my bad self-esteem with an overwhelming feeling of pride.
This is the me I always come back to.
I think I am her.
I show up at the VIC cafeteria, as if I belong there.
I return to Vienna, because it is magnificent and I because I miss my friends, 
but more than anything I miss who I was there.
Could I still be her?
I know it's foolish, 
hoping for the past rather than the future.
But could it not be both?
I know, I know- I am a contrarian.
Am I telling a story?
Telling myself as a story as I go?
- I don't know how else to live.

Swedish vendetta in Gomorrah

Maja Lundgren's book "Mosquitoes and Tigres" had been following me around for years.
Wanting read, but always ending up hidden among the rest of the appealing friends in the book shelf.
When published, it was caused quite a stir among Swedish authors,  unshamedly revealing intimate details about a number of famous intellectuals and their real or invented harassments of the author.

The cover displays Perseus presenting the head of Medusa, the Italian connotations that initially drew me in.
The back promises a blur of reality and fiction and an authontic depiction of the Neapolitan camorra.
But Lundgren's book is more than anything a personal vendetta, vindication and resentment.

Plagued by her chauvinistic male colleagues who both conspire against her and try to seduce her,
Lundgren flees to Naples to write a book.
Perhaps she thinks the obvious and open aggression and violece will free her.
It is the subtle acts of jealousy, narcissism and misoginy inte the intellectual circles she flees.

It reminds me of Hélène Cixous :
In fleeing, the flight saves the trace of what it flees-
This is why they flee: to maintain the horror unfortgettable.
The horror we could not live in the present,
although we want to keep its awful treasure, its proof, its transfiguration.

Is this the case of Lundgren?
Even in the Spanish Quarters of Naples,surrounded by camorristi, corrupted police and desperate beauty,
she cannot escape the intrusive advances of her superior back in Sweden.
The reader cannot tell whether she is paranoid and megalomaniac (and neither can she),
or if one of Sweden's major newspapers are printing personal messages for her.

And Lundgren is maintaining the horror.
Without any real processing, she dwells on the past until it is almost untolerable to the reader.
But in between the shifts between the smug cultural spheres and the harsh neapolitan streets,
there is sharp insight, self-criticism and questioning of her mind's reliability.

Although Lundgren sees herself on the left end of the political spectra, she hates the popmpous leftist.
Calls them decadent poseurs, while she struggles hard to belong among them.
Resentment and condescendence are themes reoccuring throughout this 500-page book.
Maja Lundgren resents the establishment more than anything,
despises the Italian journalists seeking to make sense of faidas and the camorra-reality.
Most of all she hates people trying to understand Naples and its complexity and brutality,
even though her book is an attempt to do just that.

To me, the contradictions or Italy are manifested in each page of Lundgren's book.
Because it is a mirror of the intrinsic contradictions within the author herself,
or simply because that the destiny of every story describing Italy.


Livet har varit mig så nådigt att det har gett mig en dröm
och i min värld fanns det inget annat än att följa den
hur lång tid det än skulle ta, hur svårt det än skulle vara.

- Natasha Illum Berg

Experience concludeth nothing universally

its linguistic variations make different impressions on me.
Evokes pieces of the whole, or perhaps they aren't connected at all?

'Amore mio' is majestic.
Like an operetto sung from the stomach.
Real, heavy and dabbed in red blood and drama.

'Te quiero' mocks me. A simple phrase, nothing noble about it.
Intentionally withheld affection of which I am undeserving. Uninvited.
Always someone else's life, even when I was mumbling te quiero.

'Amen atom xosh dave', and I am lost in an exotic place and projected sentiments.
I know I am the receiver of this hauntingly exquisite thing which I should be feeling.
Jealousy and desperation mixed in those soft sounding words of youth.

evokes nothing in me.
Have I read and written so much about it that its meaning has beome diluted?
Must I change my linguistic register so that I can feel again?
Hélène Cixous writes:
"My love, you know when I write 'my love' I don't mean that you are mine.
But that I am yours [je suis moi à toi]."

Who cares about a word anyway.
Love is no big truth.

Já sei namorar...

I am thinking.
On my balcony. A cup of steamy coffee, blank pages and a pen to make sense of it.
Lately I have been confronted with opinions on my values and how I choose to live my life.
I've met prejudice, disappointment and condescendence.

Am I that person? Do I build walls to prevent others from entering?
Am I fooling myself with my ambitions?
Are they a digression so that I don't have to deal with being emotionally crippled?
My plans and fantasies the shield I hide behind?
Would I be better off if I just took someone in, made him some space and stopped dreaming?

But then, I think of all the things that have happened to me.
Things I have done, things I have made happen.
Success and failure.
Feelings, countries, friends and lessons.
They have all led me to this point. Made me into me.
And I'll be damned if I let someone else tell me that I'd be better trying to be more like them.
That is the whole point.
This is me.

Love made me me hopefully naïve.
Infidelity and betrayal made me cautious.
Friends have given me everything, making me safe and grateful.
Mistakes made me work harder and low expectations made me vindicative.
The world caused me to dream, to write and to never stop.

Please, don't try to make me.

I already know how to love.

Standing and living.

all elusive

I never was one to be certain of anything,
always questioned my convictions, my choices and every whish before making it.

It is easy to question things without having to make the adjustments to actually change.
and now, at the edge of it all..Do I want these changes?
Or are these dreams that make up my inner utopia,
actions that should not be taken because they will rip it apart?

Am I going back to myself or, in fact, leaving me for someone I once thought I was?
Once a dream, always a goal, is that really how things work?
And this unfamiliar feeling in the pit of my stomach..
part fact, part fiction.
part fear, part curiosity.
Add a touch of excitement ignited by naïvité.

I find myself in the middle of an eye
watching myself in its blank stare
The moment scatters, motionless.
I stay and I go; I am a pause.

                               - O. Paz

Sometimes a globe is better than a crystal ball.

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