Part of the book Fucked-up Mind! (still being translated to english)
I wanted to get to the top. I needed to get to the top. I could see the sun rising up there, when a wild Pluto stood in front of me, blocking my way. Behind a tree, came Dante Alighieri, who told me:
– Come, come, young artist, in that way there is no passage, come with me that I will teach you the other way to reach the top.
And that way I followed him and so we entered the gates of Disneyland.
– Through here we will have to cross many theme parks for you to achieve your goal, but first I have a much-needed question to ask.
– Do it – I said to Dante.
– So, okay, I get it, reading all the Divine Comedy is hard work, but at least my entire wikipedia page you could have gone to the trouble of checking out, huh?
– Yeah… I even considered it, seriously, but in the end, it didn’t seem that necessary, because I intend to finish this text in less than an hour.
– So not even a quote in Italian will I get to say?
– Wait a moment…
– Una bellissima ragazza è il sole, una creatura straordinaria, uno che fa galoppare L’immaginazione – said Dante for no good reason.
– A quote from me, not from Marcello Mastroianni.
– Yeah… let’s continue the journey!
– But you don’t even know what Disneyland looks like!
Guided by Dante, we entered the first of Disney’s theme parks: a thematic city occupied by thousands of passionate Goofies. Goofies in love, abandoned, stooged Goofies.
– To love is never to have and yet to lose, to love is to have and yet again to lose, to love is to remember and to be forgotten, to love is to forget, but always to remember. Let’s interrogate one of those Goofies, my young artist friend.
– They all look different, but they’re so alike in their goofiness.
– Anyone will do. Hey, you there, yeah, you writing that letter, come here! And the Goofy came.
– What’s the letter about?
– I don’t understand why, but I loved with all the nanoparticles of my being, and yet that wasn’t enough. Is mud preferable to my presence? I don’t know, I really don’t know, I thought I did, but I don’t know. And if that’s all I knew, what’s left of me now? I don’t know.
– Yeah… pretty goody, Dante.
– Yeah, let’s move on to the next one.
A city after a rainbow is what came in front of us. A colorful city, taken by smiling mouse. As we entered it, we were greeted by a smiling Mickey Mouse.
– Hey, fellas, everything’s perfect today! I hope you’re having fun!
– Why are you so happy? – Dante asked.
– Hahahaha, why else would I be, because I am! Look how I smile, of course I’m happy! Hahaha.
– What’s the point of all this? – I asked.
– Hahaha, because I’m happy! I have to be happy, don’t I? What, do you want me to be something else? What good would it do me to be anything else? You want me to be miserable? Is that it? Why would anyone wish someone else to be in a miserable condition? Just because nothing in my life matters and all the meaning has been destroyed, crushed in the gutter? You want me to cry around the corners? Turn into an alcoholic? Is that it? You may well go away and torment another mouse, for this one is a happy one! I have to be! I am! Yeah, yeah, look how I smile!
– I don’t want to smile like him, let’s keep going. – I told Dante.
We crossed a bridge over a lake of flames, pieces of pig floated in the water painted red, some pieces like mouths still moved and screamed:
– Never, ever again.
A worm retorted with tumors along the way. We made it to Duckland. An angry Donald Duck was enraged across the street, quacking unrecognizable words. Dante put his hand in the pocket of his jacket and took a coin, then with his finger threw it in the air. The coin went up, then it fell in front of us on the sidewalk, attracting the attention of an Uncle Scrooge that until then we had not noticed.
– A coin, a precious coin, did it fall out of my purse? Hmm… is that yours? What a lack of attention with your money!
– Yeah, I’m such a fool, thanks for giving it back. One question, do you know what’s wrong with that duck over there? – Dante asked.
– Hah… my nephew, he’s angry at the lady duck he loves. She finds a different way to start a discussion with him every two seconds, never knowing what she wants from life, and it affects everything in their relationship. He keeps screaming that she doesn’t really love him, that she doesn’t know how to recognize his worth, and then he hits his head against a wall. That nephew of mine always had a problem with his lady ducks. The first one, another crazy one, disappeared one day, leaving him with three eggs as a gift. Hah… and you would think he took care of those eggs? No, he left all three to me. And worse, even today, he calls them nephews himself. The three bastards don’t even know he’s the father! But I’ve learned my lesson in life. I was once a duckling like him, losing my way to all the pretty worthless skirts that went by. They never knew what they wanted from life, just caused trouble. That’s why I gave myself to my beautiful coins. Do you know how to live a good life? Simple, just depend on yourself for everything. And only money gives you that chance. Hah, I remember the first time I could fill up a giant safe with my gold coins, I went swimming in it and broke my spine. You think I was crying? No, I replace the bones with the best adamantium. Yes, now that metal is part of our continuity! What can’t money buy?
– But still, have you never thought of falling in love again, even in your new self-sufficient condition? – I asked.
– Ah… yes… of course, I always believed that with a strong lady by my side, accompanying me in the way to all my goals, I could become much richer. But you think I found one? Today’s female ducks are all being conditioned to satisfy societal roles much more than anything else, they get lost in an ego that is no more than the ego created by society for society itself and lose sight of the whole. None can conceive in their imagination the kind of union that could override everything else as I imagined. But you want to know who is the lady of my life? She’s here!
Scrooge then took a coin out of his pocket and showed on one side the outline of a female duck. We moved on to the next park.
The park’s way started to disentangle as we went by and quickly became a heap of loose stones. We started going down and everything around us became a gray horizon of stones. Dante was in front of me, intrigued.
– It’s strange, my young artist friend, we should be going up, but we’re going down, and I don’t know why. Tell me what was your initial question to be climbing to the top?
I was going to answer Dante, when suddenly down in the valley of stones, a giant Walt Disney appeared, carrying a cartoonist in his hand, and promptly bit him by ripping off half his body. Then, with his eyes wide open, blood falling from his mouth, he turned to me and to Dante, pointing with his index finger and said:
– Man is the father of all gods. Man is the father of all demons. Man is the father of all the ways. Become a god, or fall to the abyss like an insect – he looked at the body of the cartoonist while talking to us.
– Oh, great Disney, who knows everything, who sees everything! My friend, this young artist, wants to get to the top, but it seems that we only can go down from here, can you advise him on his way? – Dante asked.
– There is no fixed path to the top, to get there, you need to build your own path, with its own meaning, if you wait for a ready-made path, you will only follow the one they have already written for you, you need to keep going down this quarry. Look! – and Disney pointed to a lot of rocks with an opening that seemed to be the entrance to a cave.
From that cave, we began to hear somebody singing.
“Its home from work we go, Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, its home from work we go…”
And from there they came out singing, the Seven Dwarves. They carried their mason’s tool on their right hand and a bag in their left, thrown over their shoulders, inside each bag there was a baby, or two, depending on the dwarf. There they came towards us: Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy and Grumpy. Grumpy was carrying two babies in his bag, two girls who couldn’t stop crying.
– Ah, that damned – started Grumpy – had children with all of us, and then ran off with that feisty Prince, leaving us to take care of the children. This is what happens when you let yourself be deceived by those pretty illusions that appear before you. You think you’re the hero, you see that woman there all helpless, mistreated by an evil witch, thrown out on the street, harassed by hunters. You take her home, give her food, give her a bath. In the beginning all wonders, only songs, parties and orgies, then the children begin to born. One day she says she has to go around the corner to buy a poisoned apple and never comes back. And you stay there, having to go through your day by day like nothing happened, waking up early to mine your diamonds, but also having to take care of a those screaming, crying, pooping children.
They kept going, until they disappeared on the horizon.
– You don’t want to end up like them, do you? – asked Disney.
– No, but I still don’t know how to build my way to that top – I replied.
– Hmm… – sounded Disney, before swallowing the remains of the dead cartoonist on his hand. – I could help you, but … but… no, no. That would not come out free, you should never give anything free, otherwise it will not be appreciated. But I don’t see anything anyone like you could offer me. Yeah, I, The Great Walt Disney, have everything, have everything. So, you’re lost!
– Wait! – said Dante, and came to whisper in my ear.
– Yeah… – I started – I can guarantee you, soon, the rights to Star Wars. I know some people!
Almost immediately as I said “Star Wars”, a big smile opened up in Disney’s bloody mouth, and he, opening his arms to the air, made the sky before black, turn red, a wind crossed between us, lightning flashes began to strike over our heads, and through the stones of that valley began to pour out water, hundreds pools of water, organized in parallel, appeared around us, and from them emerged hippopotamus dancing ballet.
– So, you got my attention! – said Disney.
– So, big, mighty Walt Disney, how can you help this young artist? – asked again Dante.
Disney came his hands down, rubbed them against each other, rubbed them very fast, until they formed something inside them. So, he descended them to our height, revealing five South Korean cartoonists.
– Here it is, they’re yours now, and that’s all you need to have in order to build this path of yours – and as soon as he spoke, Disney turned into a dark wind typhoon, which attracted all the hippos dancing ballet to himself. The hippos revolved around the typhoon, while the typhoon dwindled to become so thin as to disappear from reality.
– Yeah… what am I gonna do with five South Korean cartoonists? – I asked Dante.
– That’s what you’ll have to find out for yourself on your way!
We continue to descend the quarry, yet without any right direction, me, Dante and now also the five South Korean cartoonists.