Sunday, 28 June 2015



Berlin & Zurich, January-February 2007 

Javier left Berlin to go back to Madrid and my dreams to move to the Spanish capital were over. 

On the 10th of January, Olaf called me to let me know that he had got a great job in Zurich and he had moved to Switzerland already. “Switzerland…” I thought… “Oh my God, the Swiss! I have to call the Swiss!” The day after I called Christian and we arranged to meet in the evening for a beer in Hackescher Markt. Since then, Christian and I started dating regularly for a whole week. The second week I started realizing that he nodded to everything I said, I felt he lacked of personality and that I might have not been in love with him after all. When he cooked for me, I went to the gym to lose some weight. When he introduced me to his French friends, I decided it was time to chat with some other guy, to keep my German skills up to date. On the third week he told me that he had found a job in Zurich, but he was not sure if it was a good idea to move there, as it might have jeopardized our relationship. “Which relationship?” I thought. As I had not seen any relationship happening, I asked him to go for his new job and I thought that Zurich must have been a box in my brain, where I could keep all my exes. Christian left and with him the possibility to practice my lousy French, which I had forgot somewhere in Paris a few years before.

Paris December 2001-January 2002

Daryl had left me alone, New Year’s Eve was coming, I was scared to fly, I wanted to see my family and I did not want to be in London and miss the Euro Day in the Eurozone. These were my thoughts in December 2001. Traveling with the Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel, spending New Year’s Eve with my family in Paris and waiting all together for the new currency on 1st of January 2002 was the solution.

The morning of the 27th of December 2001, half asleep, I took the Piccadilly Line from Hounslow Central to Green Park, changed there for the Jubilee Line and when I heard: “Waterloo – please change here for the Bakerloo Line, the Northern Line – the Waterloo and City Line, mainline and European services”, my eyes opened again and I got off the train. In Waterloo Station, after the usual metal detector and the security checks, I took my Eurostar and in less than 3 hours I arrived at Gare Du Nord in La Ville Lumière. I got off the train, took the Métro Ligne 4 direction Porte d'Orléans to Châtelet and from there the Métro Ligne 1 direction Château de Vincennes to Gare de Lyon, where I got off and waited for my parents, who arrived with the TGV Milan-Paris one hour later. We rented a flat on the first floor of a nice building, not far from Place de la Bastille. The landlady, Madame Corinne, said she was going to Rio de Janeiro for a couple of weeks, she asked us to leave the keys in the postbox at the end of our stay and pointing to the door locker with her forefinger, she said: “ne touchez pas, s’il vous plaît. Ne touchez pas”.

At 5pm we decided to go out for a walk along the Champs-Élysées, we took the Métro to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile and we walked from there to Place de la Concorde. After having some rest in the square designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, we crossed the Bridge de la Concorde and we went to eat at a local restaurant on the Rive Gauche. At 11pm we were exhausted, we took a taxi back to Place de la Bastille and we reached the flat, dying for that deserved sleep. My father tried to open the door, but the key did not seem to work. My mother and I did not have any luck either. We had probably touched that door locker the French lady was talking about. I tried calling Madame Corinne unsuccessfully and at 1am, we gave up and I called “les pompiers”.

“Ce n’est pas urgent, ce n’est pas urgent, monsieur!” said the fireman and he refused to send someone out to unlock the door. In fact, it was an urgent matter: my mother had left her purse with the credit cards inside the flat as well. That night the three of us slept on the floor of the lobby and we woke up in the morning, when a French man walked next to us and said something incomprehensible. Luckily, at 7am, the neighbor of Madame Corinne came out and she asked us what had happened. I explained her that we were having some troubles with the door and she gave my father a ladder, which helped him to reach an unlocked window of the flat, get inside and open the door for us. That Friday we bought cello tape and we fixed the locker to the door.

On the 31st of December 2001, at midnight, we watched the fireworks from the Jardin du Trocadero and at 3am I managed to get my first 20-Euro banknote from a cash point machine somewhere around Place de la Bastille. Five days later, my parents traveled back to Milan and I returned to a rainy London.

Sunday, 21 June 2015


On the 10th of January 2007 I went to pick up Javier at Tegel Airport. I was totally excited: finally I could meet the man who had stolen my heart. I was walking into the terminal, when I saw an Iberia Airplane landing. 20 minutes later, Javier came out from gate number 10. He kissed me and I realized that my heart had not been stolen after all. “Am I how you expected?” Javier asked. “Yes, of course!” I took time to find out if there was a chance. But there was no chance. That evening we went to a cinema in Potsdamer Platz and we were watching Babel, when he asked me if everything was ok.  “I am not in love” I replied. Gael García Bernal was crossing the Mexican border when we left the cinema and we walked to my place under a rainy Berlin sky.

Javier stayed at my place for a week, the first two days were difficult, due to my unexpected confession, but eventually he realized that I could not be forced to love someone and that we could have been friends. He was a psychotherapist after all. We had brilliant conversations and he told me about his job in New York City back in 2001, when he gave psychotherapy to the relatives of some of the September 11th attack’s victims. “September 11th has touched me personally as well.” I added. Then my memories went back to that time.

Boston & New York City August-September 2001

After the nightmare with Gavin was over, I needed another holiday and I thought it was a good time to visit my friend Adriana in Connecticut. Flying to New York City from Heathrow at the end of August was pretty expensive, so I booked a Virgin Atlantic flight to Boston for the 23rd of August 2001. Except for some extreme turbulence over Wales, the journey was pleasant, I enjoyed 2 of the newest movies and I got free toothpaste. I landed at Logan International Airport in the morning, I had a cigarette and I took a taxi to Boston South Station. Once there, I paid 20 dollars to the taxi driver and I went inside the railway station to buy a ticket to New Haven. “May I have a return ticket to New Haven – Connecticut, please?” I asked. “Whaaaat?” The lady at the desk looked at me confused. “I have to go to New Haven and I have to come back to Boston in 10 days” I explained. “Ahhhh, a round trip! What you wanna get is a round trip ticket!” After my British English knowledge had got me a ticket to my wished destination, I placed my bag into a locker and I left the building. I walked down Atlantic Avenue, turned left on Essex Street up to the Boston Common, where I had one hour break eating a sandwich and looking at the squirrels around the Frog Pond.  At 2pm I took my train to New Haven and in the early evening I reached the town of Yale University.
Adriana was waiting outside the station with her boyfriend Richard, we had not seen each other in one year and it was a great feeling to meet them again. Richard drove us to the Taft Apartments Building, where they had been living together for 6 months, in large one-bedroom flat at the 10th floor, with a spectacular view on the city.

New Haven had not changed: everything seemed to be exactly the way it was, as when I had left the year before. It was not London, where I could see constant changes in the skyline, the completion of 25th Canada Square, the construction site of 8th Canada Square and of the more central 30 St Mary Axe.

A couple of days later I called Rob, to let him know that I was in New Haven. We met for a coffee and we spent a couple of hours talking about my life in London. He had not changed at all, but he had a relationship with another guy and he seemed to be happy. The week in the States was very intense, I went shopping in Clinton with Adriana, I gambled in a redskin owned casino with Richard and lost 50 dollars and the three of us went to see monkeys, lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo in New York. On the 1st of September 2001 Adriana and I took a train to New York City for a day trip. We went again on the 47th floor of the Marriott hotel in Times Square, we ate at TGI Fridays and we walked along the Fifth Avenue. I had been on the top of the Empire State Building already and I would have liked to go on the WTC, but we did not have enough time to go to Lower Manhattan as our train back to New Haven was due in less than 2 hours from Grand Central Station. “We’ll go on the Twin Towers next time you’ll visit” said Adriana while I was taking my very last movie of the World Trade Centre dominating the Skyline. That evening Adriana booked a flight to London for the 20th of September.


Thursday, 18 June 2015


Berlin – Cyber Madrid December 2006-January 2007

After Rico I realized that I had serious problems having a relationship with a man in Berlin. It was time to find someone somewhere else and I picked up Madrid as my next target.

“Spaniards are supposed to be good lovers and Madrid is full of them.” I thought. I switched on my computer and I log into a Spanish gay chat in Madrid.

James, a guy from Miami, contacted me first. He was in the chat in Madrid to improve his Spanish, he had a nice picture and he seemed culturally interesting. He called me on my mobile phone, we had a nice conversation and he let me know that he would have paid for my flight to Florida.  It was a great offer but I had no intention to leave the European Union.

A few days later a guy called Javier sent me a message and he introduced himself. He was a psychologist from Madrid about 4 years older than me. From his pictures and his written profile, I could tell that he was good looking and smart, so I started telling him more about myself.

Since that day Javier and I started talking everyday on the phone and emailing each other pictures and music. On Christmas day I asked him if he wanted to come to Berlin for a week in January. He checked online for flights and he booked one for the second week of January. We were extremely excited: we were finally going to meet.

I decided that spring would have been a good time to leave Berlin and move to the Spanish capital and I had a lot to do to be ready by then. I surfed the Internet to find out as much as possible about my future new home, I registered on a few local jobsites and I went to the Spanish Embassy to gather more information.

New Year’s Eve came and I still had not planned anything. Most of my colleagues had flown home and I was the only one left in the office for the Italian Team together with Carlos, the Chilean guy responsible for the Spanish market. On the afternoon of the 31st December Carlos told me that he was going to go to the party of his Brazilian friend Paulo and he asked me if I wanted to join them. I could not refuse the nice offer and I wrote down Paulo’s telephone number.

At 6pm I left the office and I went home to get ready for the big night. I wore a tight black Armani T-shirt, a pair of Versace trousers and Della Valle shoes. At 8pm I took the U2 to Nollendorfplatz and about 20 minutes later I met Carlos who was waiting for me outside the station. We walked about five minutes direction north and we reached Paulo’s home. Paulo had a small but stylish IKEA flat, in what was considered one of Berlin’s gay districts. The flat was bright and the cherry wooden floor gave it a pretty warm character. Tens of plants of any size and shape were placed in front of every window and in the tiny bathroom, whose walls were covered with pictures of naked sporty men and dressed transvestites.

At the party there were other guests, whose name I forgot. There was a camp Austrian guy, who, as soon as he found out that I was born in Milan, started asking me questions about fashion and shopping, a loud American girl from L.A., a quiet Bavarian lad and a few other guys. At midnight, the fireworks started and we toasted with a sparkling wine to the future. 5 minutes later, as expected in a party where the guests do not know each other too well and do not have too much in common either, each one of us tried unsuccessfully to send SMS or to make phone calls to their loved ones. The mobile phone network was down just like on New Year’s Eve of the year before and every year before that since the mobile phones exist. I thought that there must have been millions of people at boring parties around the World making the lines overloading. Half an hour later I managed to wish a happy new year to my parents and Javier and I told Carlos I was going to go home. Paulo and the Austrian guy were getting to know each other in the tiny bathroom and the other guests decided that we should all go to Schwuz and keep on partying there. Carlos found the idea excellent and he dragged me to the gay club with them. We danced and drank liters of beer and the fun part of the night started. At 2am Carlos’ friend Christian, who I had met a few months before, joined us together with his sister. This time, my friends Ernesto and Deependra were not there and Christian took the chance to come and talk to me. We talked, danced and drank until 7am, when I decided to go home. I told everyone I was leaving and that in March I would have moved to Madrid. Christian said he would have liked to go with Carlos and me for a pizza and I gave him my number. At 8am I received a SMS. “Nice 2 meet u, pity u r moving 2 Madrid! Pity u got a bf! Wanna meet for a drink sometime? Lemme know, Christian”.


Wednesday, 17 June 2015


In June the company hired some new people and my boss asked me to coach Carla and Caterina, two Italian girls who later became very good friends of mine. The side-by-side was a great challenge but I did not mind having some extra coffee time with my new colleagues.

One evening after work I decided to skip the bus and I walked home. As usual I could not find my keys and I was standing in front of my flat searching for them in my thousands pockets, when I heard someone unlocking from inside. Seconds later the door was opened and I was shocked again. A huge guy, holding an iron in his right hand, was in front of me. He was the very same guy that had slept on the floor outside a few weeks before. “Who are you? What are you doing in my flat?” I asked rudely. “Hi, I am John. Gavin gave me the keys… He is still at work and I am ironing his shirt for tomorrow…” He replied. After a short conversation with John, I found out that Gavin had just met him the day before and apparently it was love at first sight. That night Daryl and I realized that Gavin could have given us some problems after all.


July came and I went for a couple of weeks to Rosas with my parents. I really needed a vacation from the stress of the city and from the intruders. One Saturday night I was sitting on the balcony with my parents, when my mobile phone rang. Between the line interruptions I heard a panicking Daryl saying: “…I cannot stay…. I will go to Brighton… there is this voicemail… burning the flat…” I run to the nearest phone booth to call Daryl back and to try to get a clearer idea of what really did happen. Gavin had disappeared and Daryl had found a voice mail from an unknown guy, who was probably one of Gavin’s many lovers. In the voicemail the guy had threatened Gavin saying that he would have done anything to ruin his life. “He said: I will make sure that Mattia and Daryl are outside and I will burn the flat together with all your Gucci clothes.” Added Daryl. How he did know our names was a mystery. Daryl went to his friend in Brighton and a few days later I was back in London and I saw that the wooden gate of the garden was burned to ashes. No one was in the flat and as I was scared to be burned alive, I decided to stay awake and watch some television. The day after Daryl came back from Brighton and Gavin called us and told us that the police had arrested his stalker. A week later Gavin came home, picked up his clothes, put his keys into the postbox and left. That was the last time we saw him.

VOTD: Sexy naked rowers fighting homophobia here

Sunday, 14 June 2015


Just after 3am I took the N9 bus to Hounslow from Trafalgar Square. I sat as usual on the front seat on the second floor of the red double-decker, so that I could enjoy the view of the London night scenery. I opened the window to get some fresh air, as the stark smell of beer, sweat, vomit and cigarette on wet clothes was unbearable. At Piccadilly Circus a straight good looking guy, who had most likely had too many beers, got on the bus and sat next to me. At the Hide Park Corner stop the bus-driver argued with a man, who had tried to get a free ride, sneaking in with the other passengers. When the bus reached Knightsbridge, the cute straight guy’s head was resting on my right shoulder. In Hammersmith I watched the police arresting some blokes, who had probably broken the window of a café, when the guy’s head finally slipped on my laps. Eventually I woke him up, he found out that he had missed his stop and got off in Chiswick. As the cute guy left and we reached the more residential and uninteresting Brentford my eyes started getting heavy and eventually they closed in Isleworth. Suddenly the bus turned on the right, an empty bottle of beer rolled fast and crashed on a metal bar, my dream was interrupted, I opened my eyes, looked outside and I shouted: “Stooooop, stop!!! I have to get off here!” My guardian angel had woken me up at the right time.


I was walking in the rain along the Hanworth Road when I had the feeling that someone was following me. I looked behind and I saw some people about 50 meters away. I did not feel safe and I decided to walk faster. The rain got heavier, I started running and my shoes were splashing on the wet pavement. When I reached home, I noticed that the door of the building was open. I went up the stairs so slowly and silently that I could hear my heart beating. The first floor was clear and as I looked above, it seemed there was no one on the second floor either. I speeded up, I turned left and I was on the last set of steps, where the unforeseeable was waiting for me. All of a sudden I was under shock: a dark figure was lying before my eyes and I could not move. I did not know if the man was sleeping, or if he was dead and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to find that out. He was a tall guy, with long hair and was probably on his thirty. Eventually I took courage and I tried to touch his shoe with my foot, to see if he was moving. He did not react. I said a few words and suddenly he woke up. He pronounced something incomprehensible, which was probably the follow up of the dream that I had just interrupted. I told him that I could not understand him and I asked him if he would let me walk across to reach my door. “It’s raining and cold outside, do you mind if I sleep here, mate?” he asked. After giving him my permission, I reached my flat and locked the door. Daryl was sleeping already.