Making lists helps us put order in our thoughts, and many of us make lists even when they are unnecessary. The protagonist from Caos Calmo (an Italian and French production, if you haven’t watched it do it) makes lists to remember things about his wife, who has passed away, leaving him alone with a seven year old daughter.
Eduard Limonov wrote an entire book to glorify a list: Le livre de l’eau is in fact a list of all bodies of water he has swam in, drank from, crossed, feared, dreamed of, had nightmares about, longed, wanted to see or return to.
I want to start this new year, after a rather eventful 2017, with peace. I want to take a deep breath and start a new phase of my life, without carrying the heavy baggage of the past.
My list is an imaginary one: it’s a list about the things I would have wanted to say to some of the more meaningful the people I’ve dated. It’s a list about being stricken by the right thing to say when it’s a little too late and it would be pathetic to go back and say it when things are over.
- To A. I would like to say that the day I jumped in the freezing ocean I didn’t do it to impress him. It did it because somehow, despite the cold, the wind, the knowledge that the water would have been cold, but the blade of the wind once out would have been much worse, seemed so perfect. In my mind I was playing Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra. The second my body touched the water I realized that as much as I would have wanted to dream of a love between us, it would never happen.
- To G. I want to say: Let go. Stop trying to prove to everyone you are better than them, only by letting you can be happy. Happiness is not about being better than your partner, but enjoying each other’s victories and defeats together. When you broke up with me I listened to Carlos Gardel for a week, dreamed of going to Argentina, kept my job in Africa instead, moved to India and then asia, and then Africa again, did the job I had dreamt of for all my life and pursued the life I wanted. By breaking up with me you freed me, you thought I would fly back to your nest, afraid of the big wide world, and I grew stronger wings instead. Fort his, I thank you.
- To E. I wish all the best. And that’s it. Our brief but intense, outrageous and adventurous love has had a quintessentially ‘80s soundtrack.
- To V: My heart has bled for you for years. Every time you called, wrote a message, hinted at a possible contact between us the hair on my skin would stand right up. You were right, I idolized you and unfortunately I compared other men, who loved me, to you. They always lost in the comparison, but I was setting them up for failure by comparing them to someone who doesn’t exist. I’m deeply grateful for the standard you have set: you may not be in real life what I thought you were, I may have missed a chance with very decent and loving people, but I now know that I can’t be in love without shivering with passion. And you taught me what that was. Your song is By the Rivers Dark, by Leonard Cohen.
- To F. I want to send a lot of love, he is in a very dark place and needs love, not resentment. I have no resentment for you, I cherish what we shared even if you then took a long lonesome road when I couldn’t find you anymore. Times are a-changing, I hope for you.
To you, unknown person who will cross my path next: I have little to offer and I’m not good with promises and forevers. But I’m good with lists, books and songs. Let’s travel, let’s do stupid things but meaningful ones too, let’s read the same books and fight over them, let’s be romantic and passionate, let’s fight, cook, eat, make love.
I’m not waiting for you, come find me. Or let me find you.