Friday, December 22, 2006

Jupiter

He knew Pete and he knew me. But Pete and I weren’t close friends. He would spend some days with one of us, then another with the other so, one day, he decided to meet up both of us and let’s see what happened. That was maybe 25 years ago.

Jupiter was always an especial person, different in the nicest way; blonde with curly hair wasn’t the everyday thing to be honest. Neither was very usual to have the entire collection of the British Encyclopedia… in English, at home. I remember his dad, John, reading all these newspapers and weekly culture and politics magazines and thinking that that was weird… till we ended up doing the same thing few years later.

I remember Jupiter coming over our place every weekend after lunch, while I was trying to do the washing up… I would finish just in time for the evening cinema film. We would sit in the kitchen sofa and watch the after lunch TV film and chat about this and that. We would offer anything to him and Jupiter’s answer always would be “No, thank-you-very-much” – that was a nicety in our time as the rest of kids used to grab whatever we were offered!

Jupiter was for me…well, Jupiter. I remember thinking why everyone would say that he was so clever… older people try to be nice, you know, I would think. With time I would realize how naturally intelligent that boy was… I never saw him bringing any school book for the weekend. They lived in the big-big city, so far and so foreign, linguistically, in values and in everything! When the rest of us were struggling with the next exam, he would be just hanging around, half bored, or just trying to explain us whatever we couldn’t understand from school lessons.

We grew up together, half friends, half brothers. So different but always so close. More than once I thought how wonderful person would be the mix of his good qualities and mines (I used to say that I was everything he wasn’t and he was everything I wasn’t) but I suppose that would be a little Frankenstein, not a real person. The fact is that we do admire each other… for being the exact opposite to ourselves!

Do you know a lot of people who picks the basic of a language just watching TV in this language? Nope, neither do I, just one. Or someone who ends up in an elite foreign university because his school marks were the top of the top? Just one, him. Or someone who has been a translator, university teacher, travel guide and a hippy all together? Not a big bunch, I suppose.

He went to the Big Apple and in bloody three months was a tourist guide, explaining to locals the history of their own city! I visited him there and I met one of the most interesting cities in the planet. A bit rough too, of course, but it’s part of the game, isn’t it?

Dad departed some years ago. I remember smokey and bony uncle dancing the same salute dance but in such a different way. I remember Jupiter with the flag in his chest, after in the piazza bar. Just flashes.

We have been together in so many projects. Talking about films in the radio, doing things for the magazine, setting up the fiesta bar every year in the street or the huge restaurant with some shorts and a T-shirt. Or just meeting in the local café every Saturday morning with coffee and lots of paper… a weird bunch. I remember him saying “everything was under control” then getting late to a key doctor appointment J when health was an issue and I remember him also in a van and buying some wine, in another key part of my life. I also remember both of us discovering something called “pizza” because we didn’t hook any girl and didn’t know what to do – the rest of friends did!

The lowest point was (my shame) when we were going to the old city and I critised his driving… he was ready to drop me there, in the middle of nowhere! Road rage, I suppose J

And now is mum Mary who has left. Hats off my friend as I don’t know a lot of people who has spent a year and a half like you, looking after old nice Mary. As the Tarot woman said, she is going to meet her important man, your dad. And I was happy when I heard that. And I am sad but at the same time, I am happy for you my dearest friend. At this very moment the funeral is going on… and I am with you.

2 comments:

Chris said...

Mel and I would like to send our own personal condolences, too. For the devotion and discipline he showed towards caring for his mother, he deserves our complete respect and love. May she rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Jup,
just one thing: even in the most Kafkaeske situation our friendship shall be waterproof.
Bol