Dear Padua #3
Bouquet / Bocciata (2011 - 2012)
Bouquet is one year old. To mark the occasion, this newsletter’s schedule is all over the place. I wrote a couple of drafts. One was happy, one was sad, one was a 3 am version of a newsletter. Nothing felt right, so I let it go.
Here are some unorganized snippets:
I’ve been living unbalanced. My brain is always on doing one thing only. I dislike monocultures.
Missing the feeling of being familiar with a place. Move freely. Intuitively know where to turn. I still never know which side of the road to take the bus here and I always have Google Maps on.
I’ve been reading this book. Terrifying climate fiction that takes place 5 years from now. The future is grim. Anyway. I’ve been highlighting quotes that have nothing to do with the plot. Short sentences that created vivid images in my mind.
“Sun over the hills like a bomb.”
“The sun goes down, the sky goes twilight blue. Then indigo.”
How do I write like this? Wait. I can take photos.
Today I wanted to look at photos. I looked at so many of them in fast sequence, it made me feel things.
I remember that summer because by the end of it the school called my mum to announce I had failed my year of school — “bocciata” is what they say. I don’t even know how to translate this. Basically, you stay behind a year, taking all the same classes but with different classmates and teachers. So now I was two years older than everyone — they put me back a year when I had arrived in Italy.
Thinking back, I find this incredibly cruel. I hate they did this to me. No teenager should go through the pain and shame of this. My old teachers didn’t acknowledge the decision in any way, nor did they arrange a meeting with my old classmates to say “hey, Alina won’t be with us anymore.” Nothing. Like I had not lost everything once already.
My sadness grew into bitterness and depression. But I did finally make some friends.
The book I’m reading is The Ministry for the Future. The anger I’m feeling is new. The shame will hopefully pass. Next time, for a change of tone, I will speak about a time I felt wanted.
Bouquet’s first year was experimental. Thank you for sticking with me.