08 March 2020


© Pietro Stroppa, editor
This text was first published on November 5th 2005.

I was born in Rome, where I spent a happy childhood, in a large, close family. My mother was a typical “over-protective Roman matron” and not only did I adore her but I also held her in high esteem. As far as I can remember, my relationship with women began when I was five years old, with Serenella, also a five year old, with whom I went, hand-in-hand, to school. I was a handsome child with blond, curly hair. The older girls (between the ages of 18 and 19) who were my neighbors (Luciana Romanelli, Franca Bonora e Rossana Napoleone,) went out their way to talk me out for walks on summer afternoons. My brother Claudio was born when I was six and my mother hired a “nanny”, called Maddalena, from Campobasso to look after us. What I recall most vividly were her sensational breasts. When she dressed me, I couldn’t help but show my admiration for the beautiful Maddalena, innocently placing my hands on her prosperous breasts. She just laughed and removed my hand – a gesture which proved to be a source of enormous amusement to my mother.
As I grew up, I became more mischievous. At the age of nine, I remember wearing a blue overall with a white bow to primary school. When I saw an attractive, older woman, without being noticed, I would loosen the bow by myself. I would then tug at her skirt and when she asked “what is it little boy?”, I would say: “Could you please make a bow?” This was always an ecstatic moment for me because, when the female in question bent down, I was able to look into her eyes for a few seconds. During puberty, my attraction for women was at a peak and, when I was 18, I dreamt of having four wives, naturally all young and beautiful, tall, elegant and intelligent who would all give me different children: a Swedish blonde, a red-haired Irish woman, an Indian with raven black hair and an olive skin and a Mediterranean beauty. In my specific case, my passion for women was conditioned by my Christian upbringing which does not permit polygamy, added to which my parents had gifted me with the name of a Saint, Peter to be exact, and so my dream remained unfulfilled. As a young man, I read widely. My imagination was captured by the literary works of poets from eastern countries.
I was also passionate about the religious philosophies of the Hindus and the Buddhists, so different from those of Christianity. My favorite poet was the Indian Rabindranath Tagore who, better than anyone, managed to describe the magical and dreamy state that one experiences when in love with a woman “who in the morning, looks on the bed, in which he has spent the night with his divine lover, for a few rose petals which will remind him of her”. 
I remember an Indian story, the name of whose author I cannot remember, who talked about women as a paradoxical amalgam. At the beginning of time there was man who, tired of living alone, sought out his God and asked him “I beg you, give me a woman to love and protect, a woman with whom I can live an intense life of passion and emotion!”. After reflecting for a while, God took “the silence of sunlight, the melancholy of the clouds, the heat of fire, the iciness of snow, the singing of doves, the sweetness and delicacy of the white wing of a seagull, circling in the sky, the cruelty of a tiger and the song of a nightingale. He combined all these elements and thus, from this “paradoxical amalgam”, a woman was born. God gave this woman to the man who was very happy to live with her, to love her and to venerate her. After a few seasons had gone by, the man went back to God and asked him: “My Lord, I appreciate your gift, but I have some complaints, this woman is very boring and petulant. She always has some kind of problem and never stops complaining. Therefore, I beg you, please take her back”. So, God took back the woman. Time passed and, once again, the man sought out his God, saying to him “My Lord, in spite of occupying my time with hunting and fishing and journeys in discovery of new lands, I feel lonely and I cannot forget how elegantly she danced for me, how she loved me, how happy she was and how attentive to me. I beg you, give me back this woman.
So, God gave him back the woman. Time passed and, once again, the man returned to his God to complain about the woman. Then God, in his immense wisdom, said “You cannot live with her and you cannot live without her. Not only do you not appreciate my gift but you also do not know how to handle it.
Therefore, keep the woman and try to get by on your own!”.
Still today, this “paradoxical amalgam” poses a huge dilemma for a number of men, including me!

E-mail: stroppa@stroppa.co.uk