I’m moving to California. Not in the way I’ve been “moving to California” ever since I first watched Pretty Woman (childhood was full of dreams) but the way in which I’ve bought my ticket, broken my lease and started selling my stuff. I’m moving this month!
I know what you’re thinking: “Why are you leaving us? What will happen to VICE Italy?? How will we survive without you???” I understand your confusion and sympathize with your devastation so I’ll answer these questions because it’s the least I can do after abandoning you so suddenly and so brutally breaking your hearts.
Why are you leaving us?
As much as I enjoy placing orders in Italian at McDonald’s, as much as I relish laughing at businessmen in Armani licking gelato without irony and as much as I was hoping to join the parliament after running a successful escort service discrete enough to not “out” all the men working in the fashion industry as secretly heterosexual (you know who you are), it’s time for me to go.
All “signs” are pointing me back to the states! First, my Visa expired and I’ve learned that writing about blowjobs can’t get me a new one. Then, an American Diner opened on my street, and while a couple of years ago I would have been thrilled to have a safe-haven that won’t judge me for using ketchup, now it’s just a reminder of what I miss (they don’t even have the right ketchup). Third, I love a boy who lives there and though I’m getting used to sleeping in my makeup in an effort to be always-prepared for Skype dates, I must admit it’s getting exhausting coming up with new ways to send him pictures of my butt.
Most importantly: coffee shops. I loathe your morning macchiato! The only thing I hate more than taste of espresso is tasting it standing uncomfortably at a bar while being rushed by other customers pushing their elbows in my sides and rubbing brioche crumbs in my hair. And the only thing I hate more than that is not having a decent toilet to diarrhea in after that espresso rips up my bowels (a hole in the ground is a torture device, not a toilet).
Italian “coffee culture” turned me alcoholic. Listen: back when I was failing High School I discovered the only way I can force myself to study is by doing it at Starbucks-that way, I feel like I’m doing something “fun.” Thanks to Starbucks, I even graduated High School and got accepted into an American college, where I studied at Starbucks! But then I came here and let me tell you, it’s a miracle I ever earned my degree or held down a single job. Whenever I had to study or write I could only choose between doing so in restaurants or bars and we all know I don’t like eating, juice is empty calories, only losers order water and milk is for pedophiles! What did you expect me to do but develop a huge drinking problem? (Yes, I tried working at home, and no, I still can’t do it-it feels too much like work). Being able to sit on someone else’s couch all day with one cup of coffee and limitless WIFI is a good enough reason to move back to America on its own-in fact I’m pretty sure that’s what brought the pilgrims there in the first place.
What will happen to VICE Italy??
I may be crazy but I’m not stupid-of course I’m keeping this column! I plan to write it until I get fired [or hired as the editor]. It’s a a strategic move on both sides because I’ll have the “time difference” as an excuse for sending everything late and the ability to tell my new American friends that I’m “big in Milan” and therefore seem “exotic.” (Americans think Italy is a third world country, and they’re right). I may be stupid, but I’m not crazy-obviously I’ll get new jobs, too! I just have to decide between opening a taco truck, teaching Pilates at Whole Foods or being Brangelina’s nanny to save up money for plastic surgery, because you can’t be a stripper in California without big boobs, and we all know that’s my One True Calling.
How will we survive without you???
If I were you, I’d miss me too. Think of it this way, girls: without me revealing to you all the men I’ve had sex with (and who they cheated on with me) y’all can trick yourselves into believing that the men you meet aren’t all assholes. It will make life easier for you and them (until they cheat on you with whatever new Erasmus girl replaces me as the “town slut”). Y’all will be fine without me-it’s myself that I’m worried about!
I don’t want to get emotional and talk about #feelings because if I start writing why I loved Milan enough to turn a “study-abroad semester” into “five years of humiliation” I’ll get tears all over my laptop and I can’t afford a new one now (see: price of ticket to California). But I am going to miss stuff. Lots of stuff! Like not having to tip service workers and therefore getting terrible service (there’s nothing like a waitress spilling a glass of red wine on your head to make you feel alive). I’ll miss post-aperitivo food-babies (and the shame that comes with them). I’ll miss fashion week open bars (and the shame that comes with them). I’ll miss cashiers yelling at me for not having exact change. I’ll miss bartenders yelling at me for ordering a cappuccino after noon. I’ll miss knowing “meet me at nine” means “I’ll be there at midnight.” I’ll miss having to take a tram for an hour to find soymilk. I’ll miss having to take a tram for an hour to find a bank. I’ll miss forgetting that the grocery store and the bank both take three hour lunch breaks. I’ll miss the romantic shades of grey of the buildings and smog-especially on Sundays when everything is closed and everyone’s inside and you can pretend to be the star of a post-apocalypse movie.
Milan is special, and it’s changed me. How could it not? It’s a city full of opportunities! A place of possibilities! A city where each Marangoni girl is also a DJ, any Naba boy does part-time PR and every IED professor also works as a Party Photographer. Speaking of parties, I guess most of all I’ll miss knowing I can go to any party and get in by saying “Marcelo Burlon.”