Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Lessons in love

It was a warm, stuffy, early October Saturday.
It seemed summer didn't really want to give up on autumn and was clinging with all its might on the street of Torino.
It was a warm, stuffy, overcrowded Saturday in Torino.
The nice weather called out people to the street. They're walking up and down the city center streets, stopping here and there to look at the windows of the shops, queueing for an ice-cream.

I wanted to have a look at an exhibition, so I went straight into the Mole, had a look inside and spent some time laying down on the chaise-long, watching at silent movie extracts.

Coming outside the heat wave hit me pretty hard: as I walked slowly along Via Po. I didn't feel like getting on a bus to head straight back home, I might as well walk a little bit.
That's when I saw it. There's a shop in the middle of Via Po that sells notes and words: old and used books and vinyls alongside recently released CDs.
I saw in the window of the shop a vinyl and I couldn't help feeling surprised.
Glenn Hansard's "Rhythm and Repose" in vinyl! In a shop! In Torino. It's just so weird, I felt I fell into an episode of "The Twilight Zone". Or a surrealist painting.
I walked decisevely into the shop and got derailed. The stacks of used vinyl called me, treacherous mermaids. I thought I could just have a look around, then get Glenn Hansard off the shelf, pay and head back home. I was busy wondering what's the differences between the several type of metal (I get Viking metal got horns helmet, but what about Dark metal and Black metal?) when a voice reached my ears. A girl's voice. "Can I take it from the shelf?"
A sense of dread filled me as my peripherical vision showed me what I most dreaded: the girl going straight to the window shelf and picking "Rhythm and Repose" off it.

When I asked the shopkeeper if he had a second copy, I already knew that the answer would be "No". I wasn't prepared to the "What the hell is going on here?" look that came with the "no".
On the way back home, I kept repeating over and over in my head: "I deserve it. I feel so bad right now and tired and it's too hot and I don't have that records, and I deserve it all because I'm such a 'balenga'. Yep, that's why. I'm a balenga" (balenga is an untranslatable word in dialect. Oh yes the dictionary will tell you it means "stupid" or "silly", but it's not completely true, but I'll tell you more about it another time).

I let the whole episode mull over my head for over a week, then I decided I needed to do something, like keep looking for it, for example.
I couldn't find the vinyl in London. The man at the counter of "Rough Trade" looked at me weirdly: "are you sure it's out on vinyl?"
Yes, I'm sadly pretty sure about it and, by the way, why do people working at records shop, keep on looking at me as if I sprouted a second head when I ask such a question?
So I bought a Janis Joplin album instead and decided to go for the last resort: internet.

Bought it online, it arrived swiftly and with it, a Mavis Staple vinyl as well.

Glen & Mavis

Browsing through the store I saw another album I wanted to get for quite some time and never had the chance to.
At the end I learnt that you shouldn't pass up a chance, but at the same time you shouldn't beat yourself too much for that, because you never know what can come out of a mistake.

So yes, I'm a balenga as it took me longer than expected to get my vinyl. But at the same time it's not so bad being so, because I know there is a girl in Torino that is enjoying the same music that is filling my living room this evening and that once this music is over, it'll be time for Mavis to start.


  1. Ciao Virgi! :)
    Non conoscevo Glenn Hansard, mi hai incuriosita.
    buon fine settimana

  2. Ho googlato un po', frugato su youtube, ascoltato alcuni brani e letto informazioni da varie fonti. Bello! Mi piace molto questo cantautore! Tra l'altro non immagini neppure quanto mi capita proprio a fagiolo! :)
    grazie per avermelo fatto scoprire!
    buon fine settimana