I clearly remember many Italian afternoons in my 12s: glued to a TV screen blasting some monsters or jumping over millions of platforms for hours melting my eyes in front of my rich, fat friends’ Super NES Nintendo console, I had visions of my brilliant future. Super Mario was epileptically jumping all over the place, squashing mushrooms and pushing turtle shells for the love of Princess Toad, and I was thinking: “I will rock the hell out of anyone… I will be a heavy metal star!!”
Don’t ask me why the image of an Italian American jumping plumber on a mission to save the Mushroom World inspired me to forecast my future, because I don’t know. I do know anyways that even at that tender age, you would catch me headbanging to early Sepultura, Metallica and Napalm Death. I was even a fan of Saigon Kick, shit, to forecast Asian things to come maybe??
Anyways: I had a dream. To be a kick ass musician by the age of 18, maximum 20. I could picture myself shredding solos in the air, in a foggy room filled by cigarette smoke, brutally headbanging in front of some other degenerates craving for more brutal riffing. And hell yeah, I did it. A couple years later (14) I started my first punk band, the silly Home Alone, and by the time I was 17, the Nerds was already the band everyone was laughing at. Why? Because we were too punk for metal, and too metal for punk. And still, we went down in the history of rock and roll.
The point is, I wanted to be something and someone, and I made it. It was so important for me to be able to look ahead and say “yes, I will be a guitarist and I will kick ass” that I just did it. It was important to be able to say “this is how I will be, in my twenties”. And that, I can swear, happened. But what I cannot say is that I had any kind of expectation for my third decade. I never felt the number 30 as important as 20, and I always considered it as a necessary step to evolution. What I only desired from my 30s was, back in my early 20s and observing some less fortunate or courageous Italian friends a few years older than myself, not to become like them. Because it seemed like they were unhappy, leading pointless lives they could not take control of. If I must be honest, the number 32 is worrying me more than 30, because I have seen so many troubled people at that age, I can only hope for a better placement in the order of things for myself.
I turned 30, and yes, I did celebrate: all of my family put together on a tropical beach on the Eastern side of Malaysia, eating barbequed fish while the sunset drops in a pool of pinkish sea, giving the night an intense splendor. My fiancée at one side, the westerners on the other side, I was the King of both worlds. I got drunk on cheap ass Orang Utan whiskey with my brother and my dad and I brought my water terrified mother on an island. I was with my family, whom I hadn’t seen for two long years filled to the brim with adventure, wanderlust and other adventure, and some nice folk even shot fireworks from the beach to the sky, illuminating my entrance into the tunnel of Thirty, the covenant of the elder, the welcome to the realm of the old fucks. Wow. I think I did it in style.
So, happy thirties to me, and for those of you still younger than that, don’t fear. Why should you, in the first place? To me, I can only forecast more adventure, more wanderlust, and even more adventure. I’ll talk about my family coming to Malaysia in another post, for the moment being I just want to remember that this coming of “age” only underlines an improvement in my beliefs, a stronger decision not to look back, and go further up the path to madness, or greatness, for the divide between the two is very thin. And if someone told me “Aren’t you afraid?”, I’d answer “Afraid of what? If getting closer to the date of my death should scare me, I should not have chosen such a life in the first place!!”. Amen. Monkey Semper Magnificus Est.