Silent Hill II: a traumatic past

Once upon a time in 2006

I was 9 and I attended grammar school. It wasn’t a good time of my life. I lived in a small town, far from home. I felt alone. I had no one to talk to. The days were grey and they were all the same to me: waking up, going to school, sport, studying and so on. I guess it’s a common routine for a child of that age. The days were so identical that I could not even tell them apart.

But at the bottom of this endless greyness, there was a light. I was the proud owner of a Playstation 2 and I had a stack of games inherited from my neighbour. One game title stood out among all.

Silent Hill II is a name that has appeared frequently in these pages. It is hard to convey the emotions I felt the moment I experienced it. I was confused, scared, disoriented. I wouldn’t have described that game as a good experience.

The long walks through the streets of Silent Hill in a thin fog, the monsters with a human appearance and the brutal and sexual nature of some moments made me feel a strong feeling of discomfort. It made me feel dirty. This is a further proof of the masterful job from Konami in painting a psychological picture of such complexity.

I didn’t understand the story perfectly. I didn’t grasp the references to Carl Jung and David Lynch. One thing I understood for sure: a guy was looking for his dead wife in a town full of monsters. And the plot, at least in appearance, is simple as that.

mountain slope covered with trees
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on

James Sunderland receives a letter from Mary, her wife, who died three years earlier from cancer. She begs him to return and meet her in Silent Hill, the city symbol of their special place. Confused, James leaves for the city but, once he is there, he doesn’t find the idyllic Silent Hill of which he cherished a fond memory.

Now everything is rotten, ravaged and inhabited by disgusting creatures, monsters and humans. On his journey to this hell, James will meet several people. The first is Angela Orosco, a mentally unstable girl whose emotional state is deeply damaged from the continuous memories of the sexual violence she endured inflicted by her father and from the psychological abuse caused by her mother.

Silent Hill and the shadows of the past

As the story unfolds, James meets Eddie Dombrowski, a severely overweight boy who has had severe self-esteem problems due to bullying. Here, the player has the sensation something is slightly off.

How come all the humans James meets are indifferent to the chaos that reigns in Silent Hill? Why is no one worried about the deformed monsters that appear in every part of the city? A further question arises when James meets Laura, an 8-year-old girl with no parents who roams the streets of Silent Hill carelessly.

As it turns out, Laura was friends with Maria, James’s wife, and came to Silent Hill on purpose to see her again. There is definitely something wrong here. It almost seems as if each of the characters is walking into a different and personal version of Silent Hill-Also, this city seems to attract a certain type of person.

One of the most common explanations is that Silent Hill is a purgatory, a place where anyone who has failed to overcome a severe trauma is finally forced to face it. Silent Hill is a shape-changing purgatory based on each person’s fear and trauma.

James still feels guilty about his wife’s death and he can’t get rid of the survivor syndrome. Every monster he encounters is full of sexual allegorical meanings.

Mannequin is an example of James’ clear sexual frustration when Mary was battling cancer. Pyramid Head, the faceless monster who takes what he wants by force. The character of Maria is also noteworthy. Maria is the physical copy of Mary, but her personality is completely different: she is the stripper of Heaven’s Night, a night club situated in Silent Hill. Maria could represent Mary’s split personality, as well as James’s sexual desire.

Still in that city

Silent Hill II is a journey into the depths of the human psyche. No wonder a game so full of metaphors, hatred, trauma and redemption gave me such a negative feeling as a child.

James’s journey will finally lead him to the truth, to the “special place” shared with Mary. There are six available endings. Not a single one of them is canon. I can just talk about the ending I had in my run that I first completed (I never finished the game as a kid) a few months ago. The ending called Leave: James has the opportunity to face his past once and for all and talks to his wife for the last time. James finally leaves Silent Hill with Laura. He has earned the right to process the trauma and leave the city. Silent Hill has one less soul to torment.

I am grateful I experienced this ending: the other epilogues had a much bleaker development. Still, a part of me will always be part of that city. Maybe Jame has abandoned Silent Hill for the moment. But, sometimes, I can still see it in my dreams. James has made his journey. I can’t say the same for me. Silent Hill called me to answer of my past a long time ago. I suspect my journey will be a long one.

But I don’t mind. I’m still in Silent Hill.

During my university time: a long, short story

I have no idea what to talk about. It happens. I stare at the emptiness of a blank page, emotionless, thinking about that beautiful monologue from American Psycho.

“I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning”.

Here it is. This is one of the best things I wrote in my entire life and it’s not even mine. I can see myself in that description. It reminds me of my time in university. I attended classes, joined more than a social club, spent hours wondering in nature but I simply was not there.

People talked to me, stuff happened, the weather changed with a fast pace since the university was located on an island. I was merely a witness of what happened to me. I remember a hill that overlooked the entire town.

It was pretty popular, however I found out about that only during the second half of my first year. It was 10 minutes distant from where I lived. During the day, the hill was crowded. During the dead of the night (around 03.00 a.m.) it was the loneliest place in the world.

I used to walk all the way up with a torchlight and I seated on one of the three benches that overlooked the sea. At 3 in the morning even birds are quiet. My favourite time was when a full moon displayed in the sky. That was the peak. I didn’t even need a torchlight. I used to seat there for hours. One of the few times I allowed myself to be the real me.

Two years have passed and nothing truly changed. I don’t study but I have a job. That’s the difference. In both situations I try to do as little as possible.

Those years were lonely and I can’t help but miss them. I was 22 yesterday, now I am 24. Where does all the time go? Feel like I am living a fantasy and not a pleasant one.

I overlook the park and I leave. Somehow, I managed to write something. I sigh and I whisper to myself:

“This is not an exit.”

Stolen Childhood (A day in 2006)

I look in the mirror.

.Rorrim eht ni kool I

No. Seriously.

I look in the mirror.

I have blond long hair, lively eyes that look like brown bottoms. A genuine smile with a major crooked tooth, a molar. I have a red t-shirt with a shark surfing in Ray-ban. Ripped short jeans, red snickers. I like what I see but it seems like there is something off. I know it’s me but it’s not the ‘me’ I am used to. I seldom smile and I never watched myself doing that. Suddenly I feel stupid. I try to assume a more serious look. This seems more like me. I brush my teeth. I spit water and blood. I brush my teeth again. I splash some water on my face to stay awake. Tonight is the night.

I leave the bathroom and I am disoriented. I know this place but it seems foreign to me. I know where I am and where every room is. It seems like I lived in this house a long time ago. I direct myself to my room that is just next to the bathroom.

I am on the second floor.

I tried to burn the wall of my room.

I live in a residence.

My best friend tried to kill himself.

I am in grammar school.

All these thoughts come randomly to my head. I am not sure if I should scream or simply stay quiet. I choose the second option. There is a particular thought that seems vaguely interesting.

I am on the second floor.

So it means there is a first. Maybe a third. Including the bathroom and my room (which I deliberately choose not to enter yet), there is a second room. I open the door. It’s all dark. I turn on the light.

A two-sized bed, a window, a television screen and a giant wardrobe is all there is.  I notice a painting of a man with wings, covering his face with his elbows just above the bed. I assume he is an angel even though he seems angry for some reason. Before leaving the room I decide to walk all the way to the window. I can’t see a single thing. It’s all dark. Not really dark now that I think about it. There is some movement. Something completely grey sometimes appear simply to vanish the second after. It reminds me of a broken tv. It seems night but it’s impossible to tell. It could be early morning or it could be a late afternoon in winter.  I look some more until my interest fades away.

I decide to walk down the stairs. There is a huge living room with a big television screen. A table made of crystal (or maybe crystal-like). There are no windows here.

I am home alone.

No one will be here until tomorrow.

You have dinner in the fridge.

No one cares about you.

You have a spare pair of keys.

Fridge. If there is a fridge there is a kitchen. I walk all the way to the main door, a giant portal. I try to look through the door hole.  It’s the same as the view from the bedroom. Black and white. I almost can hear the buzzzzz from the television. But I can picture what it seems to be a garden. I try to open the door.

You can’t open it yet.  

I try to push the door handle. Then I try to push it.

You can’t open it yet.

I give up. Maybe I could get in trouble if I go outside. On the left of the main door there is another door. I open it. A kitchen. A relatively small kitchen compared to the other parts of the house. A fridge, a gas station, a small table, a window, some storages boxes. I open the fridge. It’s empty.

No, it’s not. There is a bowl of rice and a plate with some chicken inside on the far left. There is also a can of coke at the bottom. I take everything and, for a moment, I have no idea where to eat.

Your room. Second floor.

I go upstairs. It’s pretty hard to walk with all that food on my hands. The door is ajar. I kick it a little and it’s open. There is a bunk bed, a television, some comic books  on the floor (mainly Dragon Ball) and a desk with a chair. The desk is full of videogames.

The television is turned on. Black and white. Like outside. I sit on the chair and I eat my food but I can’t. I forgot my fork.

There is a fork beneath Dragonball number 7.

I pick up from the floor Dragonball 7 and there is (with my moderate surprise) a fork. I start to eat slowly. Then a sound.

It’s impossible to describe. It seems like a symphony but I cannot recognize the instruments. I look at the tv. 7 small spheres (at least they look like spheres) move in circle. The first thing it comes to my mind is they are souls. Then the spheres disappear. Letters take their places.

PlayStation 2

I look at it mesmerized.  Did I turned on this thing?   

I stop eating. I open the can of Coke. I drink a sip. There is a controller beneath other comic-books (I recognize Saint Seya). I pick it up. Now there are other words. They are foreign and I have some trouble reading them. I only recognize Konami. Then other music. Then other words. Then other music again and two words that stay for a long time on the screen.

Silent Hill 2.

It’s raining. Can’t tell if it’s the game or outside but I don’t care. I press X.

You are having fun.                          

Everything is alright.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

I start to play. Those thoughts I had gradually stop and I live here again. In the present. I smile.

Life is not so bad.

Heaven’s night (racconto breve)

Un racconto che ho scritto due anni fa come progetto universitario. La versione originale è in inglese (in fondo al testo) e questa è la traduzione. Più che altro è un esercizio personale. Era il periodo in cui ero fissato con American Psycho e The Neon Demon. Non che questa sia cambiata con il tempo. Due delle mie opere preferite su cui baso molto del mio lavoro. In ogni caso:

Heaven’s night

Da qui posso vedere le luci al neon accendersi, spegnersi e accendersi di nuovo. La ‘t’ sembra avere qualche problema: sembra essere più luminosa delle altre lettere. Questo è il tipo di posto che penseresti esista solo nei film. La musica all’interno del locale fa vibrare i lampioni della luce sulla strada.

Heaven’s Night

Osservo il mio riflesso nel vetro opaco della discoteca. Due occhi ghiacciati incorniciati da una cascata di capelli d’oro. Le luci al neon attraversano il mio abito Missord prom con paillettes e orlo a sirena con mono spalle e cut out  di Armani completamente bianco con bordi platinati. È così stretto che posso a malapena respirare. Sono meravigliosa. Più che meravigliosa. Sono divina. Troppo divina per stare in fila fuori da una discoteca.

Oggi è il mio primo giorno. C’è ancora tempo.

Forse mi piace un po’ troppo ciò che vedo allo specchio perciò dirigo il mio sguardo altrove. La musica cambia. La ragazza carina di fronte a me comincia a urlare, alzando le braccia e muovendole a ritmo. La sua amica (non-così-carina) si unisce a lei timidamente.

Anche io sarei timida se assomigliassi a lei.

Le porte della discoteca si aprono e, per un singolo istante, possiamo vedere l’interno di Heaven. Le luci rosse accarezzano la superficie completamente bianca del pavimento. Una ragazza in topless, tanto alta quanto penseresti lo sia Dio, fa per bere un bicchiere d vino di fronte a un gruppo di ragazzi per poi sputarglielo addosso subito dopo. I ragazzi del gruppo lottano fra di loro per ingoiare la saliva della ragazza. Le ragazze di fronte a me sogghignano ed entrano all’interno di Heaven.

Spariscono nel Nulla fatto di musica, alcol e corpi che ballano.

Il ritmo della musica cambia ancora. Le porte si chiudono di nuovo.

Sono la prossima ad entrare.

‘Chi sei?’ mi chiede un uomo vestito di nero che presumo sia il buttafuori del locale. La sua coda di cavallo e il suo profumo dozzinale che mi riempie le narici mi fa chiudere gli occhi per un momento. Non è di questo paese.

‘Chiunque tu voglia che io sia…’ gli dico mordendomi le labbra.

‘Carta d’identità.’

‘Non ne ho bisogno,’ gli dico sorridendo.

‘E perché?’

Alzo la mano sinistra affinché possa vedere il marchio. Ho uno ‘smile’ proprio sotto l’avambraccio.


‘Sono con Manyu!’

Il buttafuori non sembra troppo sorpreso quando apre le porte di Heaven per me.

‘Quanta carne ci sarà stasera?’ chiedo con un sorriso, toccandogli la spalla.

Non mi risponde. Il  sorriso muore sulle mie labbra.

Perché non ride? Perché non è carino con me? Lo odio. Vorrei che morisse di fronte a me. Sto avendo difficoltà a respirare mentre mi osserva con i suoi occhi privi di intelligenza. In questo momento darei la mia vita per farlo soffrire. Vorrei conficcargli le unghie nella gola e bere il suo sangue. Ma non lo faccio. Invece, gli dico:

‘Ci vediamo dall’altra parte!’

Le porte finalmente si aprono. Ora è il mio turno a Heaven. La musica è inebriante e il ritmo aumenta sempre di più.  Conosco la canzone. È un vecchio remix di ‘I don’t care anymore’ di Jim Collins. Invece della chitarra, ci sono i bonghi.

Hai persino scritto una canzone per dimostrare a tutti che non ti importa del tuo divorzio… non deve davvero importartene nulla come dici.

‘I TUOI PENSIERI SONO FELICI COME AL SOLITO…’ Un corpo muscoloso e asciutto ricoperto a malapena da una semplice camicia azzurra slim fit di Ralph Lauren (o Fratelli Rossetti) mi afferra per la vita.

‘PERCHÉ MI HAI FATTO ASPETTARE IN UNA FILA, MAINYU ?!’ Gli urlo addosso cercando di farmi sentire contro il patetico sfogo di Phil Collins.


‘OH-OH-OH, COSA?!’ Gli chiedo irritata.

‘OH-OH-OH, MA GUARDATI! Sei appena entrata nell’industria e vuoi subito un trattamento speciale! Hai davvero del fegato, bambolina!’


‘NE PARLIAMO DOPO, LILITH!’ Mi interrompe. Mi mordo le labbra talmente forte da farle sanguinare. ‘VOGLIO FARTI INCONTRARE GLI ALTRI MEMBRI DEL SABBATH AL LOUNGE!’


Non mi degna di una risposta. Perché non mi risponde? Perché nessuno mi prende sul serio. Il mondo è ingiusto e io sono la più grande vittima di tutti.



Mainyu mi trascina al bancone del bar in fondo alla discoteca. Sto per dirgli che ho voglia di un drink ma poi penso che avrò tempo per bere al lounge. Spero solo che lì le persone sappiano chi sono. La musica cambia ancora. Questa volta c’è la Demon Dance di Julian Winding. Amo quella canzone. Il mondo appare subito un po’ più colorato.  Ancora una volta ho di nuovo fede nella vita nonostante le esperienze traumatiche che ho subito da quando sono entrata a Heaven.

Mainyu mi porta verso le scale e accediamo alla parte superiore del locale al lounge. Alla fine della rampa di scale, un buttafuori , che indossa un giacchetto di pelle studiatamente rovinato e un paio di jeans blu scuro Tobago si inchina nel momento stesso in cui vede Mainyu. Non mento.

Questa cosa mi eccita.

Mi chiedo quanto dovrò aspettare prima che le persone mi riservino lo stesso trattamento.

Prima di entrare nel lounge, Mainyu mi tocca la spalla. Osservo la massa informa di carne ballare sotto di me. Rido. Le luci di Heaven cambiano al ritmo della musica riflettendo su ogni superficie del locale.

Rosso. Blu. Rosso. Di nuovo blu. Questo è mio. Questo è tutto mio.

‘Ancora no, Lilith. Ancora non è tutto tuo. Cerca di fare una buona impressione.’ Mi sussurra mentre la Demon Dance si dissolve lentamente.

‘Questa è la tua opportunità per sfondare. Vuoi essere una vera modella, non è vero? Forse anche un’attrice… chi lo sa?’

‘Farei di tutto,’ sussurro bagnandomi le labbra con la lingua.

‘Così mi piaci.’

Il buttafuori si fa da parte e ci lascia entrare. Non vedo nulla. Tutto ciò che vedo è nero.

‘Sei cibo o sesso?’ una voce maschile mi chiede appena entro. Mainyu è dietro di me. Cerco istintivamente di stringergli la mano ma fa finta di non accorgersene.

‘Refn! Che cazzo! Non vedi che è una bambina?’ ribatte una voce femminile.

‘Una bambina, eh…?’

Heaven’s Night.  Tutto ciò che vedo è luce. Le luci al neon fanno brillare il simbolo di Mainyu in ogni parete del lounge. Lo smile. Mi concentro su chi ha parlato. Un uomo sulla quarantina che indossa un completo Ted Baker. Basso. Occhiali. Accento di New York.

Forse ebreo?

Mi volto verso la voce femminile: una donna che indossa un completo semplice di Lani Dress tanto scuro quanto la sua pelle. Ora è rosso. Ora è blu.

‘Non sono una bambina…’ sussurro. Mi odio. Posso percepire da sola l’incertezza nella mia voce.

‘Questo è ovvio. Le bambine non indossano quell’abito Missord prom Bodycon…’

Sto cominciando a tremare. Io sono migliore di loro. Sono al di sotto di me. Non ho nulla da temere. L’intero mondo è al di sotto di me. Anche Dio è al di sotto di me. Non ho nulla per cui essere insicura. Mainyu ride mentre mi da un colpetto sulle spalle.

‘Lei è Lilith! Sarà la prossima grande star!’

La donna mi sorride, ‘Primo Sabbath?’ mi chiede.

‘Di sicuro non l’ultimo!’ le rispondo mentre Mainyu mi dice di sedermi accanto l’uomo chiamato Refn. Conosco Refn di fama. Tutto il mondo sa chi è.

‘Bella risposta…’ mormora Refn mentre versa quattro calici con Champagne Dom Pérignon Rosé direttamente  dalla scatola regalo della versione limitata uscita nel 2005. Premo le labbra sul bordo del bicchiere e osservo l’impronta del mio rossetto.

Cazzo, realizzo subito. Sto evitando il contatto visivo.

‘Ora… solo per essere chiari,’ parla Mainyu. ‘Abbiamo venti minuti per il banchetto. Le porte di Heaven saranno completamente chiuse.  Le mura sono insonorizzate. Lilith sarà con me. È la sua prima volta. Refn e Miki saranno insieme. Ci incontreremo di fuori. Dubbi?’

Nessuno parla. Avvicino il bicchiere alle labbra per bere quando Refn mi ferma la mano. Mi mostra una pillola sul palmo della mano.

‘Vuoi davvero fare festa senza Devi-Devi?’

Prendo la pillola e sussurro un debole, ‘Grazie.’

‘Buttala giù con un po’ di champagne.’ Miki mi consiglia con gentilezza. ‘Proprio come una medicina.’

Mi tratta come se fossi sua figlia. Mi viene un tic nervoso all’occhio sinistro ma è solo per un attimo. Io sono divina. Ingoio la pillola e la mando giù con Dom Pérignon. Non è così male. La pillola è tanto colorata quanto il mio futuro ed è tanto insapore quanto gli animali che ballano sotto di noi.

‘Guarda la sua faccia! È adorabile! E come una bambolina! Ti amo!’

‘Ti amo anch’io!’ urlo di rimando.

Gli altri fanno lo stesso. Mainyu, Refn e Miki ingoiano la pillola. All’inizio non ho notato alcun cambiamento. Ma adesso… il cuore sta cominciando a battermi forte. La musica è ancora più forte di prima e batte con il ritmo del mio cuore.


Il ritmo è ridicolamente veloce. È come se la mia anima stesse lottando per uscire dal mio corpo. Le luci di Heaven’s Night  sono solo rosse adesso. Osservo Mainyu e lui mi sorride. La massa di carne sotto di noi continua a ballare. Per loro non è cambiato nulla.

‘Beh… è una festa questa o cosa?’ Refn chiede all’improvviso. Fa fuori metà della bottiglia di Dom Pérignon e osserva le persone sotto il lounge. Poi, salta dalle scale. Miki fa lo stesso e salta nel cuore della folla. Mi chiedo che cosa le persone al di sotto di noi possano pensare in questo momento. Mi chiedo cosa pensino ora che le divinità hanno lasciato il monte Olimpo per unirsi alla loro miserabile gioia.

Sono sola con Mainyu.

‘Ho fatto una buona impressione?’ chiedo visibilmente preoccupata.

‘Troppo presto per dirlo.’ Mi dice. ‘Credo che piaci a Refn però. Ha un debole per le ragazze che non hanno avuto ancora il ciclo. Come tutti del resto. Ora che ci penso… piaci a tutti.’

‘Perfetto,’ sussurro sollevata.

Le persone sotto di noi continuano a urlare al ritmo della musica. Però il loro urlo è diverso da prima. Ora è più grottesco. C’è persino una nota di paura. È più viscerale.

‘Più ‘passionale’ suggerirei. L’arte viene sempre dalla sofferenza. La bellezza viene sempre dal sacrificio. Non dimenticarlo mai, bambolina.’

Tutte queste urla. Tutto questo rosso e questa musica. Non posso più trattenermi. Ne ho bisogno. Ho bisogno di far parte del Sabbath.

‘Ci uniamo alla festa?’ Mainyu sa chi sono adesso. Vorrei poter dire lo stesso per me.

‘Certo…’ gli dico. ‘E Mainyu?’


‘Grazie per questo… tutto questo. Ma non farmi mai più fare la fila.’


Sorride ancora. Il suo simbolo è uno smile per una ragione.

Entro nel Sabbath e divento parte ufficiale di Heaven’s Night.

Heaven’s Night

I can see the neon lights turn on, then off, then on again. The “t” seems to have a problem or two: it is slightly brighter than the others. This is the kind of place you think exists only in the movies.

Heaven’s Night

I carefully observe my reflection in the dark glass of the building. Two frozen lakes under a cascade of blonde hair like gold. The neon lights shine through my red gold chain strap sequin plunge Bodycon dress by Armani.  It is so tight I can barely breathe. I am wonderful. More than wonderful. I am divine. Too divine to be in a queue.

I am just a beginner. There is time…

Maybe I like what I see too much so I look elsewhere. The music changes. The pretty girl in front of me screams, moving her hands in the air at the rhythm. Her not-so-pretty friend timidly joins her.

I would be timid too if I looked like that.

The doors open and we are suddenly allowed to check out the inside of Heaven. You can see the red lights caressing the completely white surface of the dancing floor. A topless girl, as tall as you would think God is, swallows a shot in front of a group of guys and she spits the liquid on them. Her white high heels are of the same color as her skin. The boys in the group punch each other fighting for her saliva. The girls in front of me giggle and they breach Heaven.  They disappear into Nothingness. Music changes.  The doors are closed once again. I am next.

“Who are you?” asks the man who I reasonably think is the bouncer. His ponytail and his cheap perfume make me think he is a bum.  

“Whatever you want me to be,” I tell him biting my lips.

“You look like 13.”

“So, what? Not young enough for you?”


I giggle as I say, “I don’t need one.”

“And why is that?”

I raise my left hand so he can see the mark. I have a smile that is projected just slightly above my elbow.


“I am with Mainyu.”

The bouncer doesn’t act too surprised as he opens the doors of Heaven for me.

“How much flesh is there going to be?” I ask with a smile. I didn’t want to talk to a bum like him but then I remembered that quote from that writer ‘If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors.’ I am so kind. I want to see his face illuminated by the kind words of a goddess. 

 He does not answer. My laugh dies on my face.

Why is he not laughing?

I hate him. I wish he would die in front of me.  I am having difficulties to breathe as he is watching me without any expression of intelligence in his eyes. I’d gladly give my life to make him suffer. I would love to plunge my nails into his throat and drink his blood. But, I don’t. Instead, I say:

“See you on the other side!”

The doors are finally open. It’s my turn in Paradise now. The music increases its pace. I know the song. It is an old remix of the even older song “I don’t care anymore” by Jim Collins. Instead of the guitar, there are bongos.

You even wrote a song to show the world you don’t care about your divorce.

“SO FULL OF HAPPY THOUGHTS AS ALWAYS…” A hard-body with tinted blond hair wearing a black side-buttoned notched–collar wool jacket and a fitted cashmere turtleneck grabs my waist.

“WHY DID YOU MAKE ME QUEUE, MAINYU?”  I shout to him and Phil Collins as he directs me away from the crowd. 


“Oh-oh-oh, WHAT?” I ask irritated.

“Oh-oh-oh, look at you! You just entered the industry and you already want the special treatment! You really have some guts, doll!”


“SAVE IT FOR LATER, LILITH!” he interrupts me. I bit my lips hard enough to make them bleed. “I WANT YOU TO MEET THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SABBATH!”


He doesn’t answer. Why does he not answer me? The world is unfair and I am the biggest victim of all.


“Shut up! I thought we were friends!” I scream.

We reach the bar counter. I am on the verge of saying I need a drink, but I suddenly think that there are going to be plenty of them at the lounge. I just hope the people there know who I am.  The music changes into a remix of The Demon Dance by Julian Winding. I love that song and the world suddenly appears to be a little more colorful.  Once again, I have faith in life despite the horrible way people treated me.

As I try to forget the traumatic experience I have been through, we go upstairs and a bouncer who wears a Searls leather biker jacket and a Tobago patched jeans in blue waves bend the knee as he sees Mainyu. I get a little excited. It makes me wonder how long should I wait before people do that for me too.

Before entering the lounge Mainyu touches my shoulder. I can see the mass of people clubbing just beneath me. I grin. The lights of Heaven Night change color at the rhythm of the music. Blue. Red. Blue. Red. Blue. This is mine. This is all mine.

“This is not yours yet. Try to make a good impression,” he whispers to me as the Demon Dance begins to fade.

“This is our opportunity to make it big. You want to be a real model, don’t you?”

“I would do anything,” I whisper back passing the tongue on my lips.

“This is what I am talking about.”

The bouncer steps back and lets us enter. All I see is black.

“Are you food or sex?” someone asks me as I enter. Mainyu is just behind me. I try to reach his hand but he pretends not to notice.

“Christ! Refn! Can’t you see she is a girl?”

“So? There is a 50 percent chance…”

Heaven’s Night. All I see is light.The neon lights show the symbol of Mainyu all over the place. The smile. I can see them. Not entirely. The man wears a Ted Baker Tailored Fit Black Dress Suit. Short. Pair of glasses. New York’s accent. Maybe Hebrew?

The woman wears a Lani Dress as black as the color of her skin. Now it is red. Now is blue. Now is red again.

“I am not a girl,” I mutter.  I hate myself because I don’t sound confident enough.

“That’s obvious. Girls do not wear sequin plunge Bodycon…”

I can sense my own insecurity. I am better than them. They are beneath me. The entire world is beneath me. Even God is beneath me. I should not feel this way. Mainyu laughs as he introduces me.

“She is Lilith. She is going to be the next big star.”

The woman smiles at me, “First Sabbath?” she asks.

“But not last,” I reply as Mainyu tells me to sit just next to the man called Refn. I know him. The entire west coast knows who he is.

“Nice,” he mutters as he fills four glasses with Champagne Dom Pérignon  Rosé directly from the gift box in the limited edition released in 2005. I take my glass. I press my lips on the top the glass and I observe the print of my lipstick.

Damn, I realize with shock. I am avoiding eye contact.

“Now, just to make everything clear…” Mainyu says. “We have 20 minutes for the feast. The doors will be completely closed. The walls are soundproof. Lilith will stay with me. She is a first timer. Refn and Miki will be together. We will meet again outside. Doubts?”

No one says a word. I try to drink my champagne when Refn stops me. He shows me a pill in the palm of his left hand.

“Are you sure you want to club without Devi-Devi?”

I take the pill muttering a weak, “Thank you”. 

“Just swallow it with a sip of champagne,” Miki tells me gently. “Just like a medicine.”

She is treating me like a daughter. I am doing it all wrong. I do as she says. My eyes roll. I take my hand to my mouth. It is not that bad. It’s colorful just like my future. It’s tasteless just like the animals dancing beneath us.

“Look at her face! She is like a doll! I love you!” Refn screams.

“I love you too!”

The others do the same. Mainyu, Refn, and Miki take the pill. At first, I don’t notice a single change. Then, my heart begins to race. The music begins to be even louder than before. Boom. Boom. Boom. The rhythm is unbearably fast-paced. The lights of Heaven’s Night are now red and red only. I look at Mainyu and he smiles at me. The masses of flesh beneath us continue screaming at the music.

“Are we having a party or something?” Refn suddenly asks. He swallows half of the Dom Pérignon bottle as he stares at the people. Then, he jumps from the lounge. I see Miki reaching him jumping into the heart of the crowd. I wonder what the flesh is thinking right now. I wonder how do they feel now that divinities left the Mount Olympus to join them in their miserable fun.

Now there is just me and Mainyu.

“Do you think I made a good impression?” I ask visibly worried. There is my future at stake.

“It’s too early to tell,” he says. “But I can tell Refn likes you. He has a thing for girls who didn’t even have their periods.  Just like everybody else. Well, now that I think about it everyone likes you.”

“Perfect,” I whisper relieved.

The people beneath us continue screaming. However, their scream is quite different from before. It has more passion. More fear. More visceral.

“More ‘passionate’ I would suggest. Art always comes from suffering. Beauty always comes from sacrifice. Never forget that, doll.”

All those screams. All that red. All that music. I can’t stop myself anymore. I need it. I need to be part of the Sabbath.

“Shall we go?” Mainyu knows who I am right now. I wish I could say the same for me.

“Yes,” I say. “And Mainyu?”


“Thank you for this but don’t make me stand in a queue ever again.”

He smiles.

No wonder his symbol is literally a smile. As I join the Sabbath I officially become part of Heaven’s Night.

Training arc- il mio e quello di Tanjiro (breve storia)

Sarà un post estremamente breve. Tutto quel parlare di Goggings mi ha motivato. Mi sono ripromesso di scrivere ogni giorno (dalle 500 alle 1000 parole, se può interessare). Ho una lista quotidiana di cose fare. D’altronde sono obbligato a restare in casa. Tanto vale, mi sono detto, stabilire una routine produttiva da seguire ogni giorno. Molte persone di successo hanno una routine che seguono religiosamente. Ho pensato di provare a farne una tutta per me che comprende i miei interessi, le mie ambizioni e i miei sogni.

Midorya (un quindicenne di 49 chili) segue la simpatica routine di spostare un armadio con sopra All Might (un trentacinquenne di 225 chili). Se non si spezza la schiena acquisterà una gran stamina!

Ecco qui:

-Doccia fredda: E con fredda intendo ghiacciata. Questa è un’abitudine relativamente nuova. L’ho introdotta due mesi fa, ma solo recentemente inizio la giornata con una doccia fredda. Aiuta la circolazione, aumenta il buon umore e, di conseguenza, la produttività durante la giornata. Ne faccio due al giorno.

-Lettura: minimo cinquanta pagine al giorno di un romanzo. Altre trenta pagine di un libro di self-improvement. Il mio obiettivo è quello di leggere almeno un libro a settimana. Per il momento, ci sto riuscendo.

-Studiare: … niente da aggiungere. Minimo indispensabile.

-Scrivere: già citato. Solitamente scrivo in inglese, ma ho deciso di fare un’eccezione per questo blog. Per il resto, la mia ambizione futura riguarda la scrittura (…chissà mai cosa vorrei fare da grande.)

-Allenamento: 100 push-ups! 100 addominali! 100 squat! E 10 chilometri di corsa! Ogni giorno! Il grande Saitama di One Punch Man ha creato questa meravigliosa -ma incompleta- scheda che seguo-quasi-ogni giorno. Non è la stessa cosa di andare in palestra ma si fa quello che si può. L’ultima cosa che faccio durante la giornata. Come ho accennato nel post precedente, mi piace allenarmi di notte in modo che nessuno mi veda. Non vado contro la legge del coronavirus: qui è permesso. Mi piace semplicemente allenarmi da solo.

-Pugilato: Dieci minuti di vuoto. Non è abbastanza ma sono alle prime armi e senza un istruttore temo di fare più danni che altro.

Non c’è altro, a parte, gli anime e i manga che occupano dalle due alle tre ore della mia giornata. Il mio obiettivo è quello di essere il più produttivo possibile, ma soprattutto quello di stabilire un ritmo. Per fare ciò, non devo esagerare dato che miro a seguire una scheda del genere per il resto della mia vita.

Detto questo, chi è Tanjiro? Il protagonista di Demon Slayer, uno dei shonen (manga per ragazzi) più di successo di quest’oggi. Non voglio raccontare la trama (che non è male, ma neanche un capolavoro) dato che devo ancora finire di vederlo. Tuttavia, sono rimasto impressionato dall’allenamento cui il giovane Tanjiro deve sottoporsi per diventare un Demon Slayer… Va bene, dai: Tanjiro vive con la sua famiglia in mezzo alla foresta. Un giorno va in paese per vendere il carbone e quando ritorna trova i suoi familiari brutalmente uccisi da un demone, creature che vivono di notte e si cibano degli umani. L’unica sopravvissuta è la sorellina che si è trasformata in un demone. Tanjiro decide di diventare un cacciatore di demoni sottoponendosi a un allenamento durissimo in modo tale da trovare una cura per la sorella, trasformarla di nuovo in umana e vendicare la sua famiglia. Nonostante io non abbia una storia tragica come questa, anche io mi sto sottoponendo a un duro allenamento come quello di Tanjiro con la speranza di riuscire a diventare un guerriero (cringe, eh?).

Per il momento, ho avuto scarsi risultati. Tuttavia, all’incirca due anni fa, la mia prima storia breve venne pubblicata in una rivista letteraria gallese. Ovviamente, non si tratta di una rivista importante e ben conosciuta. Non ho guadagnato nulla.

Però, vedere la mia storia stampata su un giornale con il mio nome sotto mi fa sempre piacere. Non importa se il mio allenamento non avrà frutti. Non mollerò mai. Perché questo che gli anime insegnano, no? Per citare Baki: “Io voglio conoscere la sconfitta… per il solo motivo di combattere”.

Per chi fosse interessato, eccola qui:


This hanged woman is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life for the simple fact that she’s not beautiful. Her plump body, covered in pimples, moves slowly at the mercy of the sea breeze, and the branch of the tree she hangs from creaks slightly under her weight. I wish my classmates were like her. 

Silent. Peaceful. Dead. 

I look at her closely. She is ugly – objectively ugly. It makes sense that she’s ugly. After all, why would she have committed suicide if she was beautiful? 

And I know what ‘suicide’ means because my father’s friend did it. He killed himself, I mean. Why? Because he was depressed, which apparently is another way to say ‘unhappy’. And I’m also sure that besides being ugly and sad, he was smart. I think the dead woman hanging in front of me was smart. I’m smart, too, and I often think about death. 

A red butterfly flies over my shoulder and I’m still, and in complete wonder. I have never seen anything like this on television or at school. The noose is tight around her neck, which has now turned blue and dark, and her eyes are open but they don’t look at me. This makes me feel sad because I would like her to look at me. I look at her brown eyes, but they consider the grass beneath her more interesting than me.  

I was uncertain about this little trip of mine as I should be at school right now, but here, in her company, everything changes. I sit on the ground so she can finally look at me in the eyes. I think she is short-sighted though, because I notice a pair of glasses just underneath her fat, half-white-half-blue body. 

I observe the tall, magnificent tree the she hangs from. The tree number is 9030, and I know that because it’s the tree that was assigned to me when I was born. All the trees in the main park of the city are numbered. When you’re born, they give you a tree with a number and a certificate saying that particular tree is now yours. I think that’s something nice. 

I like having something like a tree growing old with me. It’s strange and special, just like me.

I move her glasses with my foot and lie down with my face underneath her body. Its shadow covers all of my head and part of my shoes.

From here I can see her pink panties.

She wears a white skirt which clashes against the bluish colour of her skin. I take her glasses and wear them and I see everything around me is blurred. I take them off. 

Why can’t people be silent and quiet like her? Why does everyone have to be in such a hurry in this world? The teachers are always hyperactive and looking for new ways to scare us about things that should not scare us at all – like homework or tests – or to show how much better they are compared to young kids.

She’s not snooty, nor angry, nor critical, nor superior. She simply exists and occupies space in the world. A bit like me – immobile, silent, and in peace – at least until I grow up and become miserable, just like everyone else: like my parents and teachers, or the caretakers, cleaners and couples in movies… If all the people in the world were like this corpse then this would be a more pleasant life. 

“Do you want to be my best friend?” I ask, staring at her underwear. She doesn’t reply. I wouldn’t have answered either. I see she is full of bubbles and growths in that area. Maybe she has that thing my classmate has on his face, but instead she has it around her panties, maybe even inside. 

I open my backpack and take out a sandwich that I eat lying down. Once, a boy in my school almost choked to death eating like that and became almost as blue as she is. Since then, I always try to eat lying down. It could happen to me with a little luck, but I have never been that lucky. I’m ten years old.

“I do not have much time,” I say to my new best friend. “I should be at school.”

Every time I have the chance I run away to come here, to this special place. Not because I don’t like reading or studying, but because I cannot bear the other children. I hate them all, from the first to the last. But this is life, according to my father. I just need to accept it and enjoy it like every other kid. With a smile. Never forget to smile. 

“But you’re different, just like me. I do not belong here. We do not belong here,” I tell her calmly. “You have chosen my tree number to commit suicide and I am truly grateful. It makes me feel special.”

‘Special’ is another way to say ‘loved’ or even just ‘considered’. Now I can proudly say that, from the thousands and thousands of trees in this ugly city, this woman chose mine. She had not even looked at the others. I can picture her last living moments, stood at the foot of my tree: she climbs with her depressed flab that wobbles with every reach; she makes a strong knot; she jumps into the void. 

Lucky for her, my tree is in the heart of the park. She needed my tree – number 9030 – the one hidden in full view. 

I would like to stay with her some more, but I’m afraid of being discovered. It wouldn’t be the first time in my life a person ruined a special moment like this – something important, something private, something mine.

I walk away from my best friend. It’s morning and the chances of someone coming here are very high. Maybe some old woman, walking her dog before she dies. Maybe someone else, who wants to join my new friend as a corpse. 

“Should I give you a name?” I ask her. 

Eve is the name that comes to my mind and that’s what I call her. We are our own kind, I think. Somehow.

“My name is Adam,” I tell her, “and yours should be Eve. So we will have something else in common. Do you like it, Eve?”

She is silent, so I assume it’s a dry and loud ‘yes’ to me. 

I suddenly hear small leaves crunching under someone’s tired shuffle. I decide to leave. Today I have been the witness of a great event. It will be my secret. I will never tell anyone about her.

On my way back to school, I can’t decide what I enjoyed the most: having seen a corpse, having glimpsed her underwear or almost being caught in the act of talking to her.