Going anywhere

This is actually not the first Christmas I spend in New York, with Avy. I was 16 the last time, dad had to go on an urgent business trip (or so he said) and mom went on her own to Italy. Avy still lived in Los Angeles back then but she wanted to spend Christmas far away from home so we came here together.

She thinks I faked a cold to get out of the Christmas dinner her mother arranged this year, but the truth is I'm too shy. All these people I had never met came over and I panicked, it made me feel like a child again but I felt I had not choice. I'm good at hiding away from the rest of the world, but I always end up regretting it.


Daddy's gone

The only thing that hurts here is missing my family. They might not always deserve it but they are my blood and all my childhood memories. It's Christmas now and everything comes back so easily. I remember the night my father said he was going out, on the 24th, and I thought he'd be back in an hour or two.

He wasn't, he was gone for a week and didn't say a word about where he had been. I was little enough to forget about it but old enough to wonder if something was wrong. I guess I've known it for a long time but it's hard to admit that things aren't as perfect as you thought they were. Innocence was always made to die.


Out and about tonight

Life is so much better here in New York, at least that's the way I feel now. I've always lived in a fantasy but La La Land is more like a bad dream. Avy talks about a plastic surface, I know what she means. Here, it's almost as if the houses have been there forever, as if the best of Europe packed its bags and went overseas.

Those of you that have been here know what I'm talking about, no? There is glamor and style here like nowhere else, this dream world suits me just fine. Avy takes me out, we go to all the department stores, shop for cocktail dresses and wear them at hotel bars late at night.

Chloe is here too, I don't know her well but she could be Avy's reflection in the mirror. They share something, sometimes I feel so very different around them but sometimes everything is just the way it should be.


How does it feel?

My first Christmas in LA was terrible. The winter weather in Italy is not like in New York, but in LA it's almost like summer all year and I hate it. Some people prefer the sun and the heat but to me, a real Christmas means cold weather or even snow.

What I miss the most is my family, of course, so many of them disappeared when we moved and we only saw them once or twice a year. Now I only have Avy, at least that's how I feel even though I know I have some family left in California. I don't know if I'm going back this Christmas or not.


Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

I'm in New York and it feels like Christmas even though it's raining. I wait for her at the airport, she's told me she's coming to pick me up and I watch the cabs drive by one by one until one of them finally stops by my feet.

I can see her hair through the window as she pays the driver and my heart stops beating for a second or too. She gets out, looking like a fairytale figure in a black dress and high heels, a Burberry trench coat over her shoulders and that smile.

I don't know if she's happy to see me until she tells me she loves me and hugs me for what feels like an eternity. I could freeze time forever in that moment and we forget that we should have taken the same cab back so we stand there together in the rain and it's cold but it doesn't matter: I'm right where I'm supposed to be.


Fairytale of New York

No city in the world is better than New York around Christmas. I love the lights and the energy, it feels so warm even though the weather can be terrible. I didn't think I'd go back any time soon after the fight I've had with Avy, but I was wrong.

She called me, just now, and asked me if I wanted to see her. I try to play hard to to get but I'm really not, because I've missed her so much these last couple of months. I'm going in the morning tomorrow, now I just need to pack. I won't bring much, this is a clean sheet and it feels as if everything is about to start over.


Babbo Natale

I've never been good with change, I like to keep things the way they are even when I'm not really happy. Not that I'm an unhappy person, I'm just a little bit dark and I think I've always been.

The biggest change in my life, of course, was moving away from Italy. America meant nothing to me then, I didn't know what was waiting on the other side of that ocean. And I remember my last Italian Christmas like it was yesterday. How everyone was there, my whole family, my parents, my cousin.

They were fantastic times, nothing has ever come close to it since. Maybe it's like that for everyone, that a childhood always glows like diamonds as we get older, but that's the way I truly remember it. And I'm afraid that I'll never feel like that again, even though I may be happier in another way.

Dad got me a silver necklace, I still wear it sometimes. It reminds me of how beautiful everything seemed and how I thought it would never change.


So this is Christmas

I love Christmas, maybe because it's always been the time of year when my family looks the happiest. I look at the pictures from my childhood sometimes, mom in her flowing dresses and mio caro babbo wearing knitted sweaters for a change. Salvatore preparing all the food and the lights and the tree and the gifts.

We were still in Italy back then, America wasn't even an option at the time. Mom talked condescendingly about that superficial country across the ocean, it's funny how she turned out herself after a couple of years in Los Angeles.

I don't remember it of course, I can only derive what I felt from the pictures and it seems I was happy too. And why wouldn't I be, I never understood what was luring in the background, I never saw those dark clouds hanging over us, and I wouldn't for years to come. Now that I do, all I want is to ignore them and go back to those happy times when everything seemed so easy.

When I wish upon a star.