The Drunken Boat of Friendship

There are two relatively easy ways to make friends as a lone passenger in this world. Friends. Just friends. People to hang out with and talk about stupid things. Two ways in this twenty-first century of ours, as a lone passenger on your way home: 1) either you’re a hot dude, 2) and/or you go to a bar alone, drink a few glasses of wine until people start offering you shots, until someone takes control of the playlist and now everything revolves around what the next song will be, until it is 4am and now everyone is making friends, names are mispronounced, numbers saved, tattoos explained, handshakes and hugs and kisses performed, insights are had, politicians dismissed, sorrows drunk away, for a second, for a moment, for an hour or two or three, for a night, you’re on the drunken boat of friendship. How sweetly it sails. How sweet these new meaningless conversations are. How sweet it is to hear someone’s awkward way of squeezing their life, their essence, their being, into a sentence, one fleeting sentence that is your keyhole into how and who they are. “Io sono siciliano. Sono alto e biondo ma sono siciliano.” Tall blond Sicilians are not a common occurrence, so I’ve been told, and yet here they are, the genetic remainders of Northmen serving you wine and cocktails and shots. A mighty toothless crew and passengers carrying the entire genetic pool of the Mediterranean, all come together around a drunken rendering of /Zombie/. (Dolores, can you hear us?) Chords sound out into the alley, it’s 3.30am and the bar is closed, but this drunken boat of friendship keeps sailing past lava-stone walls, and this is not Chicago nor Detroit’s cold facts, neither trains nor blood soil the nocturnal tracks. Just cat feces and caterwauling cries soil this city’s nightgown, its ample bosom bursting through the undone lace, it embraces to the brink of choking all the tattooed prophets, eye-patch-poets, skull-and-bones-virgins, and rubber-dinghy-Quequeegs that wash up on Catania’s port, the ones that returned, the ones that never left and the ones who can’t, all infinitely sad, all infinitely proud, trying to make a living with a handful of sounds. Come, come y’all, and help me sing, and swing into this seasickness of old. There’s no better place to be tonight than at the mercy of God.

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“io sono siciliano”

I’m standing alone on the cliffs of the world
No one ever tends to me
Sitting alone, covered in rays
Some things are so my mind can breath
Waiting is hard, fucking takes so long
Draped in sun, hands in sand
Earth acid cleanses me, cleanses me clean
But the world it never comes
It never comes
It never comes
It never comes
I lay on my side in the edge of the room
She never expects anything from me
When all the days, the days of the year
I know I miss that part of me
Waiting…

But the spell has been broken… The world is coming now. Waiting is hard as a lone passenger in this world, but welcoming the world is even harder, unless, of course, 2) you go to a bar alone and drink until the boat of friendship begins to sail. 2) makes the waiting go away, it makes the world come, a second, a moment, an hour or two, a night. And it is in the nature of the world, when it finally comes, to stay. And when it is there to stay, I only hope that your ears are open enough to listen to what Young Signorino is doing to the Italian language. Mmh ha ha ha.

The Drunken Boat of Friendship’s Playlist:

Paolo Conte, “Diavolo Rosso,” Nobraino, Italian folk rock, No Brain being a Korean punk rock band, Wikipedia says “the godfathers of Korean punk rock.” Brigantony, my colleagues quip—they always quip—is the “top of Sicilian music;” Salmo, a rapper from Sardegna; Morphine from Boston; “Space Cadet” by Kyuss.

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