Una stanza tutta per sé

The London diary & other adventures

First love

System of A Down – Chop Suey!

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I met A. by chance, and by chance we got entangled in each other’s life.
As a teenager it’s difficult to discern love from all the other feelings, and so I began a relationship that I carried on for far too long being convinced that it was something that in reality was not.
We met on a hot summer evening, and while I was relaxing with a new friend met in high school he came into my life like a fresh autumn breeze.

My summer had been extremely lonesome.
Having left all my old alleged friends behind I found myself alone for the first time, and I had promised to myself I would have never allowed anyone to get in control of my life again.
I didn’t give too much importance to our first meeting. The reality is that, at that time, for some strange reasons, all my attention was directed to the guy who introduced us, his best friend and former classmate of mine.

After that first encounter I started to hang out regularly in the place where they used to meet, spending endless afternoons with my new high school friend smoking weed and hoping to meet them again.
And so it happened.
I began to see them every day; I kept on chatting with them and slowly became part of their world, a universe made of skateboards, hip hop, punk rock, baggy jeans, and lots of weed. All I had always missed was finally there close at hand.

Pretty soon the group grew, and in a few weeks we were more than 30 people, all united by the same passions but with disparate personalities and ideals.
We were good kids, we had good grades at school, we didn’t bother anyone and above all there was great harmony between us.
We complemented each other and despite the diversities there was a complete understanding between us.
I’ve never found the same balance within any other group of people in my life.

I spent 5 years in a relationship with A., although it looked and felt more like a confused friendship than a “proper” relationship.
All our friends knew about us but no one ever dared to call us a couple.
Even after many years I still don’t know how to define what was going on between us.

I was madly in love with a person who didn’t know what he wanted, which had just ended an intense relationship with a girl who had teased him, and I tried in vain to convince him that I was the girl who could make him happy.
I became convinced that what he could give me was invaluable, and that I could have lived with the crumbs of his love for the rest of my life.

Until I couldn’t take it any more.
After two and a half years sitting on the fance of his indecision I had my first nervous breakdown, a collapse that my GP cured in a hurry with an intense Xanax treatment.
My first episode of psychological distress manifested itself and had been sedated in a jiffy, and perhaps not in the best way.
In retrospect, I realise that my mind was simply trying to send me a message, and to make me understand that something much more complex was going on.

A. was sitting on the tip of an iceberg made up of all the unbalanced feelings I had accumulated in 17 years, but symptoms were sedated and once I put myself back together I started again to live exactly as before.

I saw several other guys during the 5-year relationship with A., and he definitely saw other girls, but rather than being a consensual and mature decision, I realised immediately that it was a mere desperate search for love, the love I needed so badly and that he coudln’t give me.

I realised too late that I needed to stay away from him and that I had to distance myself to be able to get out of a vicious circle that went on for far too long.
We were lucky enough to have amazing friends around us who helped us in every single moment, and the fact that they were all boys made me soon understand that the male mind has completely different dynamics compared to a women’s one.

A. wasn’t  a bad guy. He simply approached all our relationship with the naivety of a teenager that doesn’t know how to deal with feelings. And I was far too complicated at that time.

After more than 10 years A. and I are still in each other’s life, we understood how to get on well with each other and how to be friends. The surprising fact is that, in the exact moment I let go of the idea of wanting to have him as a partner, our relationship took a different direction, a more healthy and balanced one, and we succeeded to become friends.

Sometimes I really have the feeling that he remained in my life all these years just to give me enough time to figure out that being friends was the only way to be.

Although we both know clearly that we are not meant to be together there is a great affection that binds us.
We grew up together, we experienced the joys and despairs of youth, we know all about each other and we are fond of each other.
Despite his inability to give me the love I wanted at all costs, A. has never left me.
Despite my periods of absence, he was always there upon my return.

I think there are few people in the world who know my heart like he does, and maybe that’s why he’s one of the first people I meet every single time I return back home, and each time is like if we had seen the day before.
We do not even need words anymore to understand each other.
We have experienced all the best and the worst we are able to give to each other and to the world.

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