Nonna

nona

I know I am putting myself and quite possibly family members in a vulnerable state here, but this had to be written. It to be honestly but with enough sensitivity to those involved not to Disrespect or Abuse their sense of Privacy. I hope that I have struck the right balance here, and that readers of this peace will come away with some value added and lessons learned. If you are filled with malice and a superficial agenda, karma will come around and knock you down.

Read on...

I received the call on 30 January 2014 which was a Thursday evening as I left for class on College Ave, at Rutgers on my way to Labor Perspectives class and it was literally the 2nd of 3rd day of lecture for the Semester of this class, so everyone and everything was fresh and new. It was cold, bone chilling cold. Mind Numbing cold. Heart stopping cold. My mind and soul were frozen still. But my body would just keep going on and on, without thinking or feeling. Or if I was feeling it was the feeling of a nihilistic and meaningless void, but I must trudge on damnedly through my existence.

My mom called to let me know that her mother... My "Nonna" had passed away. During the call I told my mom that I was strong and I was still going to go to my class because that is what she would want from her grandson. I was studying labor relations and only a little less than a year ago in July of 2013 my mom had told me about how my grandma was Union Organizer in the early 1940s. I was on a mission for her, and wanted to believe that this adademic path would help me become involved in the American Labor Union in the Twenty First century. This however, has not come to fruition yet, and it looks like it never will which is a much much longer post or even an essay in and of itself.

I went to my class at Scott Hall class on College Ave, right across the street from the "Grease Trucks". There was a girl in my that literally made me want to smash shit, but I kept my cool barely. When class was over I went home, dropped a xanax and proceeded to drink some beers. Since, Spring of 2013 things had become increasingly dark and ominous for me, to a point that is hard to comprehend for many of us, but then there is many of you that I know have been down this road. I had gone through some major drama on almost every front, and had a home that was under water. Friendships where good people wanted to kill themselves, severe insomnia. Drama with neighbors. So many things were going down, that left me angry, saddened, depressed and paranoid all at once.

I had come to a place where nothing fucking mattered at all in this life and It was real. In October of 2013, I had ended up in the ER due to severe anxiety rebound and suicidal ideation. I was like barely standing on my own two feet, when I received this call.

With all of this going on, I was somewhat estranged from my family and had not spoken with lil sister for over a year. The alienation and isolation, closed in around my neck and was strangling me. This is just a smidgen of all the gory details that led up to this.

I had pounded about 3 or 4 beers and threw on the new record by "Jimmy Eat World", I had like this band ok I guess, but they weren't like some huge deal for me. I had just bought their newest offering "Damage" on Google Play, and had not listened to it that much. But here I was feeling all this... and the song "Please Say No" comes on, and I am just destroyed I mean it all starts coming out. Even to this day listening to this song brings me to my knees emotionally.

It was a freezing night and not a single cloud
I had a couple in me so I reached out
And then I heard your voice
Felt you all inside
I prayed for the distance to keep us in line
But there's things I've done you understand like no one else
There's pain I kept buried deep inside myself
I've been saying for forever "hey that's not me"
But me with you is who I think I'll always be

Please say no
Please say no
Please say no
Please say no
Say anything you will
Except how you'd have me still
Say anything but no
And I'll go I'll go I'll go

It was the peak of summer and I thought I'd drowned
We couldn't get close
All the kids were around
But I could read you plain
You want a different life
Someday hell, you might ruin mine
I've lately come to wonder what it might feel like
If one last time we went and did this right
And someone no one possibly could know our names
Someone no one bothers to remember face

Please say no
Please say no
Please say no
Please say no no no no no
Say anything you will
Except how you'd have me still
Say anything but no
And I'll go I'll go I'll go

With you
With you
With you

If all you're really hoping for is peace of mind
Don't come to me with questions, you'll just waste your time
Exactly what you're looking for is what you'll find
All I see around me is a losing bind

Please say no
Please say no
Please say no
Please say no no no no no
Say anything you will
Except how you'd have me still
Say anything but no
And I'll go I'll go I'll go
And I'll go I'll go I'll go

My grandmother, had been bedridden and barely able to function at all for over a year. So really, in a way this was a blessing, it really was. But her death had come to symbolize both emotionally and spiritually everything that was going wrong in my family and in my country.

My mother whom is a devout Catholic, had come to the conclusion that my Nonna should not have to suffer like this and she wanted her mother to have what I guess came down to assisted suicide. I have always stodd by my mother's side unquestioningly when the the rubber met the road and the shit would hit the fan.

It was so cold, and I remember getting up the next day to go to the wake/funeral and it was supposed to be in Brooklyn, but ended up in the Queens. I had been rather house poor over the last two years, so I was not aptly dressed for an occasion such as a funeral let alone my "Nonna's".

Still I ended up there before anyone else had, and there was at least 10 inches or so of snow on the ground. My immediate family is small, and the extended family ain't that big either. The other sad fact was that there is/was a big rift and disonnect between some parties involved that to this day I still can't believe are irreconcilable, I used to have an inkling of hope barely... a deluded fantasy that maybe something would change because of this (My grandma's passing) but nothing had changed this sad state of affairs. So, I am at this funeral lower than low, like man you have no idea how fucking bad things can get inside a persons head grief wise. Tradegy wise.

My grandma's death seemed to completely engulf me and clearly demonstrate what was the death of my reality, my family, and all my friendships and country. I remember standing there as the priest said his last blesssings and prayers, and I just felt so bad so deep down bad inside that this is all we had left in ourselves. Humanity. I saw the pantheon of urban detritus and concrete and steel, with arctic air being sucked into my soul and freezing it forever.

It's like we had all gathered to see one of the 'elders' of the tribe, the family transition to the other side, and underneath it all we were seething with this hatred and anger coupled with denial and pride. I tried very hard to hug my sister and tell me non-verbally to call, to please reach out to me. But it still took a good year, for us to reconnect. To reconnect... to be connected... to make connections... family... humanity.... This is all we should be doing and I DON'T MEAN VIA TECHNOLOGY OR THE INTERNET OR SOCIAL MEDIA. We need desparately to converge and bridge the gap of all this isolation, because it's so damn fatal to the soul.

This isolation and alienation causes concrete and palpable damage to ALL OF US. Regardless of your faith or the lack of, ethnicity, economic class or political beliefs. It's sleeps in the same bed as addiction, which is covered up by the warm blanket of denial.

I want someone who lives up to this grandeur in my head
And you don't do much to sell me I'd be best with you instead.
I hate the way I feel, but I don't think I can change.
I just breathe you each day.

Are we only damaging the little we have left?
Both of us swimming in the same polluted mess.
Are we too damaged now to possibly connect?
To honestly connect?

A lot of time's been wasted putting off doing the work.
If we both step up to own it then I'll take what's coming first.
Of everything you say, it's the truth that really hurts.
But how could that be worse?

Are we only damaging the little we have left?
Both of us swimming in the same polluted mess.
Are we too damaged now to possibly connect?
To ever reconnect?

I'll say when I'm ready.
You'll know when I'm ready.
When I'm ready (are we only damaging, damaging)
When I'm ready (are we only damaging, damaging)

Are we only damaging the little we have left?
Both of us swimming in the same polluted mess.
Are we too damaged now to possibly connect?
To honestly connect?

Social Isolation for Dummies

I was knee-deep in the heart wrenching throes of what has been defined by Hegel, Marx, Feurbach and others as "Social Isolation", and had no idea what to do about it anymore, except not live.

PTSD and Isolation

For those of you with a more visual sensibility and penchant for grasping concepts. Watch the below listed video.

I know that sadly many of you will stop and come to a screeching halt right here and now. And why.... Just because of the mere mention of Marx and/or "Social" because of a inrrational fear that was beat into us mentally and intellectually for a large number of us. But if you just READ! And make your sense of own thoughts, feelings and determinations you just may walk away with something of immense value. That is all I am asking, and how these ideas and the concept of "Alienation" applies directly to you personally as a Human Being.

My Nonna's house was a place that I literally grew up in, and spent many of my formative years in. Her immediate family, was a literal extension of my immediate family, that was inseperable to me. My Nonna played a mission critical role in raising me as a child, this is by no means a disrespect to my mother, it was more like my mother was so close to her mother and her family that it was a natual evolution for things to be this way. I lived within walking distance from my apartment in the Pelham Houses to her home on Bouck Avenue in the Northeast Bronx.

My Nonna had bathed myself and my sister in the kitchen sink of her house many a times. We shared many of our birthdays and other family gatherings at her home. One of the most fondest memories that I remember is of my Father and/or my Grandfather going to get Whitecastles to take back to her house and have a crazy feast of White Castles hamburgers. My Grandma also took great care of her sisters and her family, if someone was put out or down on their luck, she opened her home up to them with no reservations and ensured they had food and shelter. She was such a beautiful and intelligent woman in her lifetime, and unfortunately I did not know, and sadly quite possibly in my younger years I was ambivalent of these things as well.

Although my Nonna was second generation L'Italiana, she became a extremely proficient and fluent in the French language, and became the president of her School's French Club. My grandma used to send me down the hill to Thruway, which was a small grocery store at the bottom of the big hill on Bouck Ave. My grandma was also in her later years, quite interested and involved with natural living, eating healthy and homeopathy as well. She and her husband were also quite active in the Democratic Party in the Borough of the Bronx.

I stumble when there's something hard to say
I needed time so I took it and got me some space
Oh it isn't that I understand
You just wondering wherever I am
And the look you give is like I'm lost
And you don't see how it could be equally be turning me off

I guess there's some things, you should never have, never known about
We got a good thing, but you're better off not asking me how
Well is it so mean, just to let it pass, let it all go
Because there's some things, you should never have,
Never known about, no never known about, no never known

Id be lying if I told you it was just a kiss
Id be lying if I said there wasn't more to it
So what you think its gonna help?
When you worry about everyone else
The options that I think you have
Are say goodbye or get over it, goodbye or get over it

Because there's some things, you should never have, never known about
We had a good thing, but you're better off not asking me how
Well is it so mean, just to let it pass, let it all go
Because there's some things, you should never have,
Ever known about, no never known about, no never known

You know I don't ever sleep,
Just staring at the ceiling
I lay there and hate myself
Wishing I could be somewhere else
With someone just like me
Nothing complicated
All the feelings and fantasy
Can you trust, can you trust

That there's some things, you should never have, never known about
We had a good thing, but you're better off never asking how
Well is it so mean, just to let it pass, let it all go
Because there's some things, you should never have,
Never known about, no never known about, no never known

When I was thirteen my grandma came down to Tieman Avenue and the "Park" which was a haven of deliquent activity to say the least in the Mid 1970s and found me "Bombed" out of my mind on "Seagrams 7" and "7Up". She was fierce and fearless, came right up to me, and grabbed me and took me home on the bus. I will never forget that.

Nonna, was also a Union organizer in 1940s, and one of the last gigs she had work-wise was that she was a "Companion" to a Japanese Manhattenite lady. My grandmother suffered and fought through more pain than a woman of her beauty and intelligence should ever had to go through but she did it with grace and without fear. She saw many people that she loved unconditionally deal successfully as well as unsuccessfully with a number of different addictions and types of mental illness.

I promised to her in her death that I will travel to France and also to Paris in her honor. One of the things I will study and would like to see, is the various sites of the chronology of the Paris Commune

Please I know it can be hard to stay positive, but you must try to at all costs. Or you will find yourself in living hell.

Take the time, make the time, to know your family. Love and respect your family. I know this sometimes can be one of the hardest things we can do as human beings, sometimes we just cannot forgive. Believe me, I know and understand this. But here we all are in the 21st century and we are quickly becoming callous, denialful, superficial shells of what GENUINE and AUTHENTIC human being really are.

Pride, Avarice, and Regret coupled with an "Unwillingness" to "Let Go" is going to kill us all. Is it too late for us to ever possibly Reconnect with grace?

I cannot answer this question... yet... Maybe I will never find an answer... But I still think that it's worth contemplating.

But I need your help.

In closing I will always have you Nonna And you will always have me

I don't know why this is.

GATE, GATE PARA, GATE PARA, SAM GATE BODHI, SVAHA

With LOVE Eternally