After what’s happened in Italy this week, I took the time to go through the pictures from #theItalianPavilion that I snapped this year at Folklorama 2016.
My heart breaks for Italy, the people who crumbled with the earthquake, and those who have the strength to rebuild their homes and help others with their bloody, sore hands.
I’ll count down the minutes to the moment I feel it’s officially over.
I’ve kept track of them since I was 10; since my parents peeled off each other. Since I’ve actually felt like something that wasn’t a mirror image of a cartoon character, or a TV show persona, or a midnight action movie with an audience of seven or eight.
When I was in elementary school, a loud talking Italian girl with glasses (and curly hair so thick you’d lose your rings in it) showed me a book about Greek mythology. She would read this little yellow book of stories every lunch hour, and I’d listen from time to time when I wasn’t rolling in the snow or losing my teeth falling off the play structure or explaining cannibalistic serial killer documentaries to my classmates.
“Sirens,” she started one day, “are beautiful yet dangerous women that lure men to their death with their songs.”
“So,” I replied, picking grass in pinched bundles from the knees of my uniform, “they kill men with singing?”
“Yeah,” she responded. “Probably.”
I decided I would be a siren. I’d sing to draw the attention of all that I could, and drown them in my uneven sea of half-assed emotions. As I got older, I couldn’t find the time to be a siren so I stuck to it on weekends, but anger formed like sticky, hardening concrete.
I’d rip people apart with my hands when I could, and if couldn’t muster the strength to shred them into ribbon, I’d cut them off and burn them down despite the guilt that overwhelmed me afterwards. “May the bridges I burn light my way” I say, but if nothing, burning bridges has resulted in piles soot and ash I’m not willing to clean up or acknowledge.
I’m not ready to fix my broken windows or stop throwing tantrums, and I’m not ready to stop crying in restaurants over falafel plates or buzzing around the downtown guts of my city on an electric scooter I can’t afford. I’m not ready to move forward or willing to reverse. A sensitive gridlock of my constant bullshit.
But I am ready to self-destruct; I’ve kept track of that since I was 10, and I want to start anew. To piece together little broken shards with my burned, chewed up fingernails. To stitch together what I ripped apart and cut away with so much anger. To finally throw away your pink, rusted razor and bottle of shower gel you left in my bathroom over a year ago. To stop inhaling self-pity and exercise caution,
because those who self-destruct get a chance at being put back together
(if they don’t burn away completely).