Al mio fratello maggiore

Alba romana ad aprile. Click for credits and to enlarge

A man-to-man thing, after the previous post on how different women and men can be.

ψ

Roma, aprile 2004. Le 6 di una mattina fredda ma luminosa. Guardo i tetti di Roma. Sono seduto nella mia terrazza. E’ quasi l’alba e ho freddo.

Avevo risentito il mio amico la sera prima al telefono dopo tanti anni di silenzio. Scrivo velocemente a matita sul primo pezzaccio di carta che trovo parole che ho in testa, per paura di dimenticarle.

Parole buttate là, piene di emozione, forse anche un po’ selvagge.

Roba da anni 50s-60s, da epoca remota e superata?

Che volete che vi dica, era l’Italia del dopoguerra, giudicherete voi.

ψ

 

Al mio fratello maggiore

Amico mio, compagno
di scorribande felici
nella fase più piena della vita,
alle 6 di un mattino romano,
la fredda brezza che corre
sui tetti di una città pagana,
io te, compagno mio e fratello,
qui vengo a celebrare
come in un rito antico,
schizzando con la matita
rapide su un foglio
parole vive e non lavorate.

Mi hai insegnato a godere della vita
l’aspetto primordiale e forte;
io, con più timore,
cresciuto in un mondo femminile,
il lato virile mi hai insegnato,
quello con gli attributi,
che hai sempre avuto,
e hai,
non lo dimenticare!

E cazzo vivaddio gli attributi!
In un mondo spompato
pieno di gente vuota stanca fasulla,
sei sempre stato esempio,
caro fratello mio,
di forza e di coraggio,
molto più che mio padre;
tu, e i miei zii materni,
i carissimi e amati
fratelli di mia madre.

A mio padre,
che pure ha significato tanto,
devo altre cose,
ma tu sei stato molto per me,
un anno in più vuol dire,
quando si è giovanissimi:
aiuta a stabilire il primato
che sempre ti ho riconosciuto.

E qui, in questa piccola terrazza
della città di Roma,
di fronte ai templi antichi
della nostra cultura primigenia,
io qui ti onoro,
fratello mio maggiore;
io qui ti celebro,
quel primato ancora riconoscendo
che non fu solo d’età.

 

 

A questo punto vino rosso berrei
(ma è mattino presto…)
il vino rosso forte, toscano,
di quelle serate d’inverno
meravigliose
della nostra campagna.
In cui tu,
la carne arrostita sulle braci,
i piaceri dionisiaci consegnavi
della carne, del vino
e delle femmine prese per i capelli,
e dolcemente, fortemente,
teneramente amate.

 

 

La brezza ora è più calda.
Le parole cominciano a mancare.

Spero soltanto,
amico caro, forte mio compagno
e fratello maggiore,
di averti comunicato
le mie emozioni al brusco risveglio
dopo una telefonata.

ψ

Nota. L’avevo sentito la sera prima al telefono. Non ci eravamo rivisti da anni.

Per questo mi sono svegliato di soprassalto alle 5:30, con la testa piena di quella gioia, e che gioia (gli anni dell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza li conoscete tutti): noi li passammo insieme ogni singola estate nella campagna aretina degli anni 50s-60s.

Emozioni, anche dolori.

Ma tutto vissuto con esuberanza ed intensità quasi violente.

Arezzo e la campagna attorno dove crescemmo insieme. C'è un terzo amico, perché eravamo come i moschettieri. Ne parlerò. Scattato con il mio piccolo Nokia E63. Click to zoom in

Aveva la casa di fronte alla mia ma quando ci vedemmo oltre i muri la prima volta  (io solo, lui con la nonna, una cara signora d’altri tempi, avevamo 3-4 anni) non ci piacemmo affatto. Lui mi sembrava perfettino, troppo ben pettinato.

Poi un giorno sua madre lo portò da noi ufficialmente (le due mamme erano molto amiche). Contrariati cominciammo a tirare i sassi a un barattolo messo su un tavolo di pietra, così, tanto per vincere la scontrosità. Aveva un anno più di me.

Il gioco del tiro al barattolo fece scattare tutto. Da allora non ci siamo più lasciati, anche se con intervalli. I nostri cervelli sapevano volare insieme, e ridevamo, ridevamo, ridevamo a crepapelle. Aveva una mente bizzarra, umoristica, piena di idee.

Qui sotto ho 18 anni. Dì li in poi ci fu il primo intervallo. Lungo.

MoR in 1966. I'm not THAT vain to put only myself here. "My photo is arriving" he said yesterday. Well, we will see. Our frienship was about to go on a hiatus. Pauline O'Connor had just arrived. Magister will also, but in 1972

Adesso che siamo vecchi o quasi ci sentiamo ancora più vicini e non ci saranno intervalli.

Credo che sia la voglia di finire l’avventura meravigliosa cominciata insieme, anche con tutte le altre persone care accanto a lui e accanto a me, che ci rendono la vita più umana (e ci consolano delle sue miserie).

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35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As the great Norm Peterson once said, “women, can’t live with them…pass the beer nuts.”

    By the way, I posted that story about my friend. I think it was called ‘A high school story’ and it’s terrible.

    • Ah ah ah, I loved that second part: “… pass the beer nuts”. I’ll jump to your story as soon as I know who I am. It’s 4:06 am now here.

  2. For my appetizer I’d like a plate of piacemmo affatto, followed by cervelli sapevano (al dente), and for dessert I’ll take one rattelo maggiore and a single esuberante ristretto.

    In Italian, everything looks like a menu.

    • It seems you W man (+ CQ) took random words from my post and made an Italian menu out of it. Clever, no doubt.

      In case you noticed the badge at the top of the right column, Eleonora Baldwin is a dear friend and, my, she knows 100 times more than I do about cuisine, not only Italian since she is half American plus cosmopolitan. But the De Sica ancestry in her is overpowering, despite her Irish look.

      • Oops. I meant “fratello” not “ratello” (I don’t like rat for dessert).

        I checked out Eleonora’s latest post about fish. I didn’t know there were this many types of fish in the world, let alone the Mediterranean. The only fish I ever prepare (= open the can and get a fork) and eat are sardines and only because they’re cheap and I can’t afford to buy Omega-3 supplements.

        • I didn’t know either Vienna.

          The only fish I ever prepare (= open the can and get a fork)

          One good reason for frequenting her blog. Life is sweeter when meals we humans need three times a day give us some delight, even if one is single. ‘Especially’ if one is single, I’d add.

          One better idea Vienna would be to go visit Eleonora in Rome personally. She’s your age and angelic, not only as a chef.

          • I’m sure she is, but if I could afford to go to Rome, then I could afford my Omega-3 pills, too, and I wouldn’t be eating sardines.

          • You mean for Chrissake you Vindobona (ok ok, Vienna) people are all MAD – Herr Wittgenstein being a minor sample – about argument formal principles? God….God ..

            Right. Via my (right) brain I see connections between: eating sardines, too much cholesterol, lack of money, incapability of buying Omega-3 pills, hopelessness in reducing cholesterol (unless you eat just sardines). Let me add some cooking laziness, it may enter the logical equation, one never knows.

            Yes. My right brain concludes you cannot come visit sweet Eleonora (and wallow in her luxurious meals.)

            Too bad.

            We, Eleonora and I, will make a toast next week to your health.

            Prosit :-)

          • Make sure you don’t burn the toast. Acrylamide and polycyclic hydrocarbons are mildly carcinogenic.

            For the record, my cholesterol is perfect. The Omegas have other benefits. Can’t think of any of the top of my head, but I’m sure they do.

          • Ah ah ah, what can I do with you Cyberquill, I surrender.

            Wait, I know what I can do. A strange Germanic (and young) philosopher in 526 CE (Manius’ other universe) that people ‘only after days’ understand hoW right he was (since he utters logical riddles). Hows that? No, seriously, ok?

            *AND* DO NOT REPLY THIS TIME WITH A RIDDLE: I need a yes or a no.

          • I can’t give you either, because I’m not understanding the question. I guess the capitalized W in “hoW” is a clue. Another Wittgenstein reference perhaps?

          • *MoR jumping out his window, seventh floor*

  3. I have a fratello maggiore, believe me it is no picnic.

    • It is no picnic with my two sisters neither.

      Family picnics unless with grass & food are seldom seen.

      My grand grand dad used to say: “Build and or live in a family only if full of all possible virtues!” Wonder what he meant.

      Now wifey, my 2 daughters, are 3 pearls how could I live without them. But in my infancy, a brother to play males games with and to receive advise from, well, I would have loved that.

      HE was that brother to me. I was to him, he being an only child. Our brains being in sync we flew high together.

    • I meant: I have “been” a fratello…, and I still say it was no picnic. The frustration of having to wait years to get a permission and then seeing the youger ones getting it the minute you got it and again you were expected to look after the urchins, should something happen while you were there, it was your fault for not preventing it; you were not there? Then it was still your fault because had you been there you could have prevented it.
      Believe me, the fratello maggiore can not win.

    • I do understand Paul. My situation was different. No first born I was the irresponsible not the responsible. Don’t want to remove any blame from the stupid things I did (not so many), but, when a young boy feels he’s not deemed ‘predestined’ by the deity of the house – ie my dad to whose judgement I took too much from my mother’s side -, and this boy feeling important only for the family name he’d continue… Basta.

      One more thing. Brothers and sisters – one doesn’t choose. My ‘eldest brother’ (the one in the poem), I chose myself. And he chose me.

      Nothing sexual between us tho LOL, quite the contrary.

      As soon as we got the foggiest interest in the other sex, our scientific hunt began. We had hunted lizards, mice, birds, you name it: it was time for bigger preys we thought :-) We were 12-13.

      Our first move was a girls orphanage 20 minutes only on foot, *Istituto Thevenin*. The girls, from 8 to 16, were ready to eat us alive. They could not. The darn nuns were ALWAYS watching for virtues that didn’t give a damn to remain virtuous, or so it seemed to our boys’ minds

  4. What a sweet photograph of you!

    I must tell you, at some point, about the town (population 16,000 tops) in Pennsylvania where I grew up: Three Catholic churches and nothing but boys with surnames like Petruso, Petrillo, Gianti, Limano, D’amico…the list goes on and on…

    • Thank you Jenny. I’m just surprised by the amazing thick hair I had.

      I wonder if you went to those churches too. Yes, Italians are scattered all over the world.

      One blunt question allow the silly man such as I am: did you feel desire for these Petruso, Petrillo, Gianti, D’amico and so forth? :-)

      Dunno why I said this. It is so early also today and have difficulties in understanding what am I doing here.

      • There he is: the charming and disarming Man of Roma.

        This is your blog, so it’s not the place for relating funny or annoying episodes from my ehm éducation sentimentale. :)

        We will just say, generally, that as Italians are scattered all over the world, girls (all over the world) like them.

        • Why it is not the place. Look at Paul how many tales he scatters all over the blogs he visits.

          Just silly male curiosity ;-)

          girls (all over the world) like them.

          What? Even 62-year-old weird Italian blokes like me? Next time you comment don’t forget your telephone number sweet woman :-)

          • Ha! Roma, that’s your second time round on the bike.

            But who’s counting? ;)

          • I have to bite my lips not to say what I’d love to say Jenny.

            So I’l just mention:
            1) you forgot your phone number
            2) and btw send me also a pic, shot from indoors, of you bending over looking out a window.
            :mrgreen:

          • How delightful that you remain your 12-year-old self!
            :)

          • I well hope I do! And thank you Jenny and hope you won’t mind my new post. If you do I’ll take your name off.

  5. @Readers

    One anecdote may be funny or annoying, according to who is reading. It regards ehm our éducation sentimentale.
    ______________
    A couple of summers we both went for a maybe 15 days to Marina di Massa, on the Tuscan sea-side coast, although the rest of the summer we continued to spend in Arezzo’s country as usual.

    We were 12-13.

    One day while we were driving a tandem bicycle along an isolated road we saw a woman walking alone on that same road who had a great ass – we thought. I frankly still think today she actually had.

    In any case she was carrying a bottle of wine in her left hand and we being behind her but not that close we pedalled up to her and BAM! I slapped her ass with my left hand (I was a leftie and was freer since sitting in the back seat).

    She yelled a bit at us but not much, and laughed also, she maybe being 30 or something.

    Terribly excited by our success (she had laughed!) we made a big U turn thru side roads and there again behind her we were, pedalling this time up to her with all possible smoothness in order for her not to be aware of us.

    BAAM I went again. She turned surprised, she probably not thinking we would dare again, and this time she yelled a tad more angrily, but not that terribly angry, or so it seemed to us.

    Made therefore even more daring and a bit like drunk not to try our luck a third time, there we drove behind her once more but before we could get as close as to slap her round buttocks again she turned round abruptly, holding furiously her bottle in her hand towards us. Then, in her Tuscan manner she really YELLED this time. Something like that:

    “Se un la smettete di fare i bischeracci vi spacco questa bottiglia su quella testaccia!!! Coglioni chessiete!!!” ( in short: “if you don’t stop play the jackassess I’ll smash your heads with this bottle!!! Assholes!!!!”)

    Taken aback by such fierce and terrible reaction we lost control of our tandem that hit the side-walk curb – which caused the front tyre to burst – and we fell headlong over the side-walk asphalt.

    Gosh now of course we felt more humiliated than excited and didn’t know what to do in such embarrassing situation. She was looking still furious at us but after a while her eyes softened a bit (possibly seeing how young we were and how embarrassed we were? For some other reason? We will never know).
    She then smiled at us and laughed. We laughed back and felt some joy coming back. But I guess we learned that, when gambling with fortune (and maybe at that age, I don’t know, when playing with people) one has to know when it is time to stop.

    • I’m howling, laughing, picturing this wonderful scene, so full of life and mischief. Storytelling extraordinaire, here.

      What I especially like is her smile back at you two junior high school boys.

      That smile was generous and in a way, supportive of your prank.

      • Cheri, you have this potential of making me joyful each time you comment. Thank you Queen.

        [Btw my new Sex and the city (of Rome) season II *1rst post* is based on these stories. I made them slightly better)

        Right, we were elated, childish proud since in the end she was supportive of our mischief and we of course hoped she was not completely indifferent, in a ‘certain way’ I mean, and frankly now I think we were right. Not that it pushed us further along the damnation path :-)
        Since many other more important stuff happened in the years that will follow.

        Prank, nice word, I use it seldom: High time to make my vocabulary richer. You folks help me a lot.

  6. [...] the preceding post I was saying that, not having had brothers but sisters and needing to play males games etc. I was [...]

  7. Ciao, Man of Roma. Ovvero “cittobischero”( decidi tu se questo deve rimanere tra noi!). Io che ti conosco dal vero posso solo sottolineare che la piacevolezza e l’arguzia gentile che qui si possono cogliere sono assolutamente rispondenti alla tua persona. Mi fa piacere farlo sapere a tutti quelli che ti conoscono solo virtualmente.
    Un abbraccio, a presto…

    • Ciao sposona bella, che piacere grande grande vederti qui! Ecco qui ‘l cittobischero a rapporto.

      Sei troppo gentile al solito. I miei lettori – persone meravigliose come hai potuto notare – sanno invece quanto sono verro, non ti preoccupare di indorare la pillola ah ah ah.

      Dai, ti abbraccio fortissimo. E poi, diciamocelo pure, abbracciare una bella sposona come te, mi ha fatto sempre tanto piacere :-)

      Nel senso cioè, non tanto e solo perché sei bella, ma al di là d’ogni cosa perché tu sei la persona meravigliosa che sei, oltre che vera e degnissima compagna del fratello maggiore mio (launcison dubbi, ah launcison veramente dubbi Maremma pulitha…)

      PS. Lo vedi che in realtà son quel che ssono, un verro … non sarà colpa di quei cattivi maestri fratelli maggiori che si diceva? Pure qui forse, di dubbi non ce n’è tanti :-)

      Ari-abbraccio

      [sorry if we use here some Tuscan slang)

  8. Scusa se aggiungo una piccola nota, ma spero di farti cosa gradita. Ho notato che la traduzione dall’inglese è molto poco fedele:trovo che sia un vero peccato per il tuo blog. Puoi fare qualcosa per questo?

    • La traduzione in inglese quando la fa Google una volta va bene e una male.

      We’ve talked to each other on the phone right now since I thought you mentioned my translation of the 30-year-old woman’s words to us – glad you liked it Sposa.

      I’ll soon try a translation of the poem myself Sposa. Some of my readers understand some Italian though.

      • I tried to Google translate the message in French. Got the general feeling but not much else. Good thing I could make out some of it with my minimal knowledge of Italian and what I remember of Latin.

        • I’ll translate soon Paul (we used some Tucan, that is why Google got crazy a bit. Manius is obsessing me, new chapter almost ended).

          La sposa is ‘my eldest blother’s’ wife.
          Ciao

  9. @All

    Above you can read a comment by LA SPOSA, whom I officially present as THE SPOUSE (of my fratello maggiore), one of the best persons I know, endowed as she is with Tuscan finesse & intelligence and knowledge.

    AND, in a blog such as the MoR’s, why should I omit her delicious cooking capabilities & astounding beauty? I wouldn’t be cittobischero (plus MoR) if I did, what dya think ;-)


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