New York City, United States, August 2000
Rob was driving his sporty black convertible down the 1st Avenue towards the Battery and at radio they were playing Placebo’s “Every you, every me” when I saw the two giant towers of the WTC for the first time. We parked just about 100 meters away from the South Tower, we got off the car and I remained 10 minutes still just to admire the size of those buildings. The biggest I had ever seen. We took a ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island. From the sea we had a great view on the skyline and the Statue of Liberty. After the typical hot dog at Lunch, we walked through Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, Broadway and Times Square. On the Fifth Avenue we met a couple of Rob’s friends from New York, with whom we went on the top of the Empire State Building and had a marvellous view on Manhattan at sunset. At dinnertime we left the Midtown’s tallest tower and headed for Mexican food in Hell’s Kitchen. The unforgettable intensive day in the Big Apple was followed by a more upsetting day in New Haven, when I realized I had no chance to get a Green Card and the time to go back to England was coming.
It was time to chat again. Just like back in 1998. But this time, he had to be non-Chinese, possibly blue-eyed.
*CREON: Hello from the United States! I’m Mattia, what’s your name?
*UKGUY: Hi, I’m Daryl… How come you are in a London chatroom?
*CREON: …’Coz I’m moving there in September.
…And so I got to know my first real love. Daryl was as old as me, he used to work at a gym in Warren Street and he performed as an actor for some London theatres. We got to chat a couple of times during my stay in Connecticut and we decided to meet as soon as I would move to the United Kingdom.
The month of August in New Haven went by pretty fast. I met Rob almost every day and I spent every second afternoon by the swimming pool with Adriana. On a Saturday Rob and I went fishing. It was no easy task getting me a fishing licence. In fact provided that I did not possess a Social Security Number, I was not allowed to fish in the United States of America. Eventually I gave up and decided to watch Rob… I wasn’t very keen in handling worms anyway. We had brought some pick nick accessories and plenty of food, so we spent the whole day by the lake, waiting to catch a fish that never came. Around 5pm we went for a walk in the spooky forest around the lake. I was just telling Rob how similar was this wood with that of the series “Twin Peaks” when a snake sprang out from a hole in a rock. We shouted really loud and after a few seconds shocked and scared we decided that it was time to go home. We run away so fast we could, leaving the confused snake behind.
I still remember the last day in New Haven. Rob slept at my side. He was still smiling, but one could see the sadness in his teary eyes. I was sick with fever and sad at the same time. We both cried, because we knew this was the end of our chapter and we may not meet each other anymore. The day after I flew from JFK to Milan via Manchester.