There’s no place like home. Wether it’s a good or bad thing, wether it makes you feel relaxed or restless, home is a unique place in the life of a person, and everyone has a personal way to see the town where we’re born and raised.

I live in a 100 inhabitants town (yes, one hundred), a place where originally people shouldn’t have lived, but only industries and commercial activities should have took place. But during the so called “Golden age of economics” that hit Italy from the 50’s to the 80’s, people started to build houses in this little piece of field that divides one of the main italian streets and a railway, and made this place an actual town where people live: Step outside home and see trucks and cars passing a meter away from you. In case you live on the other side, be careful of not being invested by a train.

It’s a horrible place. There used to be shops and even a school when I was a child, but with the incoming economical crisis that ultimately exploded in 2008, nothing remained here except for abandoned places and houses, and a few activities: One of these is my father’s activity, which is where I work at.


That’s the portrait of the place where I grew up. But it doesn’t really matter that much in the end: Places are made of people, human beings that can make you feel great and make all the decadence around you disappear. I had the luck to feel like this during my teenager period, but it only lasted four or five years until almost everyone abandoned this place and left me and other few long-time friends alone. Having long-time friends is great, but once you turn eighteen, things unavoidably change: You start to work, and responsibilities hit you right in the head. Despite I’m basically the same 14 years old guy dressing like a thug with the same old passions that keep me going through the hard times of life (bless them), the others changed and fell into the trap that afflicts almost every person of this place: Work, go to sleep, go hunting during weekends, and let your stupid depressed girlfriend shouting at you everytime you come back home ’cause your shoes are filled with mud. That’s the average life of people here. Concerts? What are concerts? Going around? There’s no one around here, so it’s better to stay home anyway.

I never wanted to be like that, and never will be. And while I still see these friends, we’re not close anymore, we have completely different passions, we speak different languages. I spend most of my life alone. I didn’t accept the unwritten law that rules this place, that comfortable lifestyle that makes you die inside at 20 and buries you only when you’re 80.

Living a lonely life in a place like this isn’t funny, even worse if you’re a black sheep. Cause of several events, the last 8 years of my life haven’t been easy at all: Only one thing saved me from the worse, and that thing is Japan. My spiritual home. The only times I felt really alive and happy during these years have been those I spent in Japan, and also in France.

Beautiful places, beautiful people, beautiful passions, beautiful minds… the people I always wanted to have close to me and never had the chance to have here. And everytime I get a plane back home, it gets worse and worse. Sometimes I feel like exploding, having all this passion and things to share inside me that remain unexpressed drives me crazy. I tried to talk about it with someone around me here, to the closest people, but no one literally cares: There are days I really hate everyone that makes part of my life here. Screw them all and their dead lives.


Then I turn on my computer, my window to the world and the only place where I can express myself. I see a video: A group of people saying in chorus: “We miss you Alex!”

I think I have a tear on my eye: Here they are, my real friends. People I met during my trips and spent beautiful times with, and gave me wonderful memories to think at everytime I feel down, that keeps me alive. There’s also someone I never met in real life but that’s always been close to me, talking to me through this window that leads to the place where I’d want to live, wether it’s Japan, France, UK, America or any other place in the world.

Because that’s all I really want in the end: People to share my life and passions with. Even once a week, once a month, or whenever there’s time and possibility because we’re all busy with our lives at this stage. But the simple thought of having someone close who can listen and talk to me with sincerity, that shares something with me, would be everything.

There’s a crossroad in front of me: One road leads to a place with people waving at me. I can see skyscrapers in the back, and the sun shines bright. The other road leads to a black void that’s trying to suck me in: There are dead trees inside of it, and no one is there.

I’m in the middle of this crossroad, giving my life to take the right direction, to reach those skyscrapers and all my friends, those who are already there and those who will come. Maybe I still have a chance.

I can make it.



One thought on “Crossroads

  1. Nice use of photography! Your situation speaks to me, though I’m much older. I wonder if you have considered teaching Italian in Japan. There is a huge market for English conversation teachers in Japan, and they seem to prefer good-looking outgoing young people (to my disappointment, so far). I’m not sure whether you would be able to find a position teaching conversational Italian — not sure how much demand there is — but it is worth investigating, by asking some of your Japanese friends to look around for you. That would put you in Japan, with a small salary and a tiny room; but many people use that sort of thing as a first step toward relocating permanently. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the things we regret are not the things we do, but the things that we don’t do. Gambatte.

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