Hello Project,

I just read the post with the story of the guy who worked at the hotel in South Tyrol, it’s truly a beautiful story. Maybe my story is very simple but I think it’s worth telling.

I’m 26, until recently I lived in an area that has severe problems due mainly to the fact that there is no work. I worked as baker since I was 16. Until a few years ago, I lived well. Certainly I was not rich, but I was missing anything and also helped financially my family. Then the bakery where I was working closed and I found myself completely out of work at 24 and then I started going to the employment offices, posting  my curriculum every day, going for an interview more or less every week and so on. The best work I got was as a substitute for someone who was sick, but the longer working period last year was of 21 days, with breaks even two months long. In practice I came back to be completely supported financially by my parents, who do what they can but do not sail in gold. Attending various agencies searching for work I also found many young people who were worse off than me, guys who worked in a year no more than a couple of months and some also had family to support.

The story I want to tell begins in an employment agency. One morning I arrive at opening time to get the numbers for the row. In front of me and there’s a guy who seems amiable and I think is also a nice guy. We were the only ones there and he asks me for information on how the office works. It is evident that it is the first time he goes into an agency for employment. We get into the office and get the numbers, we sit down and wait. And inevitably we start to talk. He tells me he is 22 and has worked only for few days, always small jobs “in black” [undeclared work]. He does not even know who his father is, his mother told him that he did not want to acknowledge him as his son, that she had no money for lawyers, and so it’s over, but maybe it’s even better. The mother is disabled and lives with a minimum pension and they are really in bad economic condition. He asks me if I’m married and I say no. He tells me that he really desperately needs to find a job and as he says so he is deeply troubled, almost ready to cry, I try to comfort him a bit but he’s very upset and depressed. He goes for the interview before me, then went I. When I finished I see that he was still there waiting for me. We go out together, it’s about 10 in the morning. I should go to take the train to get back home, but I see that he always follows me. I ask if he should go home. He tells me that he does not want to go. We take a long way together and we go to the beach, sit on the sand and start talking but he begins to cry and I do not know what to do, he’s hopeless. I try to understand why he reacts this way, after all I’m also out of work but I do not feel the anguish that way. I do not understand why he follows me, basically we just had a chat at employment agency. We try to talk, I try to understand but the silence is louder than words on both sides. At about one o’clock I say that I have to come home and I have to go to catch the train, he asks if he could come with me. With this expression, apparently so simple, he puts me in trouble. He is a nice guy but behaves in a strange way that alarms me. I met many guys but never one who behaves like him. I feel embarrassment. I think I’ve not figured out exactly what he wants from me. I told him that I would tell him to come with me but then I do not know what to say to my parents, and he said: “Do not go now, give me half an hour, only half an hour.” I tell him it’s okay, we sit on a bench on the station square and he begins to tell me his story. I’ll call him Christian. He starts by telling me basically that he is gay, I do not expect such a thing but it seems absurd to me to tell such things someone you know a few hours, however, I do not comment. Then I realize that this was only the introduction. He continues by saying that in his village there is a place where guys go to prostitute themselves and that he had never gone there, but he needed money and then he went there twice, the first time he made a little money but the second time he had been beaten and stolen. He pulled up his T-shirt and was covered with bruises, because he had been kicked while he was on the ground. Now he was afraid to come back to the village because those who had beaten him are dangerous people. It seemed rather unlikely, and I could hardly believe it, but the bruises were very evident and he really had been savagely beaten, there was no doubt. When he stops speaking he’s very anxious and does not know what to expect from me. I said, “Let’s go for the ticket” On the train I saw him in terrible embarrassment, then I made a risky step and said: “If we don’t help each other …” He understood immediately and I saw a flash in his eyes. In the meantime I was thinking about what I could tell my parents who did not even know that I was gay. I had, however, to find a rapid solution. We come to my house , I tell Christian to wait because I have to talk to my parents (my mom does not work and dad is retired). They’re in the kitchen watching television. I said, “Do you love me?” They said, “Sure!” and I said, “So now you have to prove it to me!” Dad turned off the TV and said, “What happened?” I said, “There are two things you have to know, I start with the easiest: I’m gay …” Mom was about to speak but dad made a sign with his hand, as if to say: Let’s go ahead and see what’s the second thing . And I told the story of Christian and as I we knew each other. Mom wanted to warn me but dad said: “But now where is this guy?” I said he was in the street and dad said, “Do it up!” I went down, Christian was expecting a negative response but I made a sign to go up. I can say that I have two wonderful parents. Dad tried to figure out exactly what was going on while mom set the table. The story of Christian was very precise and dad was convinced and believed him. Christian showed my father his bruises and it was evident that they had really beaten him up badly. When Christian was about to cry my father rebuked him in a somewhat rough and Christian calmed down. We have been talking all afternoon. As evening came Christian began to be afraid to go back to his house. Then dad understood and told him: “Do you want to stay here tonight?” Christian said, “Maybe!” Dad added: “Where there are three people there may well be four. But you have to call your mother.” He said he had a phone and could call, but credit had finished, he called with my cell phone and told her mother he would not be back for the night, the mother was upset but then he managed to calm her down. My story with Christian began this way.

I feel deep gratitude to my parents, because what they did for me and Christian goes beyond the imaginable. I felt strongly supported, especially by my father, I felt his unconditional respect and affection and Christian was fascinated by my father. He did not have a father and to see how  my father behaved made him a very strong effect. My father the next day accompanied Christian in town to do the HIV test and Christian presented him as his father. The test result was negative and on the other hand Christian had always used a condom, however, then he redid the test and it was negative as well. Christian begun to live practically at home with me. After about six months we were told that a food company in Emilia was searching for expert bakers. I got a contract for six months and he got one for training, then things went better and we continued to work there, in the province of Modena, we rented a room near the factory, and we always talked with my parents via msn and Christian used to send a text message to her mother every day. Then on May 20 of this year, it was a Sunday and we did the night shift to prepare supplies to bakeries that had to leave at about 5:00. At 4:00 o’clock comes all hell broke loose, the earth trembles beneath our feet, all the building  is creaking and pieces of the ceiling are  falling down. We run all out. Luckily the two of us were near each other. The panic was terrible, at least until we could not go outside. We were terrified that all the building could collapse on our heads. The building had held but did not seem in good conditions. A few hours later came the civil defense and put the seals because Fire Department had to check everything. One of the buildings was declared fit for use. With the help of firefighters the machinery has been transferred to an accessible area and eight days after we resumed production. It all seemed over, but on May 29, about one o’clock, in the afternoon, there was another violent shock of an earthquake. Christian was not with me but in a different department, I ran out to look for him, I think I had never been so terrified, I saw a cloud of dust rising from the building masonry that had been damaged from the first shock, then I saw Christian running towards the building that had collapsed. Fortunately, the building was the one already damaged and no one was there. We hugged each other tight: we were both alive! For a moment I thought that if Christian dead I’d be dead, too. Then we had to wait again for civil defense and firefighters. The building where the machinery had been set has been declared fit for use and we resumed production. In our factory we are twenty workers and we all worked from morning to night to restart production. The owners, a family of Modena, thought they could close the factory because practically about a half of the buildings had collapsed, but the people of Emilia is really great and we performed miracles. The factory didn’t close and now we are going almost at full capacity. Throughout the period of the earthquake our parents were very worried because, in the worst moments, there was not even the opportunity to call because everything was monopolized by the civil defense. After the second quake collapsed also the house where I and Christian had a room and we lost everything we had with the exception of the money that we brought with us always, we have also lost the computer to keep in touch with parents, the company gave us a tent and we put it up in the inner square of the factory. At the time of the earthquake I realized how much strong and altruist Christian was. When we finished working we went to the kitchen tent of civil defense cooking until the evening. The company has not fired anyone. We have been satisfied all of the minimum wage, but we continued to work all of us without exception. Project, in the evening, when Christian hugged me tight it looked so good to be alive, so nice to be able to hug strongly, even if in a tent and in a country after an earthquake. Now we are still in that company and I think we will stay there because after the earthquake we became like a family. We helped each other to cope with difficulties and it was a beautiful thing. Project I’m happy! I feel like a complete man and I know I have beside me a man who sees the world as I see it, an honest man, loyal, selfless, who deserves happiness. I’m incredibly lucky, Christian has really changed my life!


If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:

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