it's taking me a lot of time to write this letter, nearly a month actually. I still cannot believe you've gone away. I still don't want to believe it. We've never met, but you were... you ARE so important to me that it's hard to explain. I'll try to do it anyway.
It was 1987 and I was just 17. You came in Italy for the Glass Spider Tour and my mother decided we had to come and see you in Milan (at that time I lived in Naples). I did not really want to come and see you. Of course I knew who you were, but I didn't really care much about you. She quite forced me, somehow.
But I was a good girl, so I came to see you... and from that very moment everything changed forever! When I went back home that night I was just not the same person I was before.
It was love at first sight, I daresay. But not a “sentimental” kind of love. It was much more than this.
I remember having spent the next few years looking for anything about you: your records, your history, your thoughts and maybe your very soul. And every time I discovered something, I noticed that it would bring with it still more new and fabulous things. It was like some sort of magical plant that always carried new and fascinating flowers and fruits. It brought constantly new things in my life. Lindsay Kemp, for instance. And the decision to study mime for three years. And then literature, and poetry, and arts, and music, and theatre... these are just a few examples, but they changed dramatically the course of my life. There are loads of things in my heart and in my very soul that simply would not exist without you.
Then I decided that I could actually become a writer, so I moved to Milan, where I still live now. Oh, that was quite a big change to me. It was not that I spent all my time listening to you and your songs. There were times when I didn't even think about you for months. But, now I know it, you were always there in the back of my mind and deep inside my heart. You were my true inspiration. If I go and read the oldest things I wrote, I can easily spot you everywhere, well hidden under words and tales, like a precious jewel that had to be kept secret.
I even managed to hide a few hints about you in a couple of stories I published for Walt Disney comics magazines...
I saw you singing three other times, but I've never tried to meet you. Only once I wrote you a letter trying to thank you and explain how much you were important for me, but I never sent it. It must still be here in a drawer...
Do you want to know a very silly thing? I was sure that sooner or later I would work with you somehow. On a book, maybe. A wonderful book it had to be. I did not consider myself a fan, I wanted no autographs or this sort of things, I never talked about you. Not even my partner knew I like you so much until last month. He simply did not expect it. Oh, but I was so sure that we were going to work together that I never even dreamed to try to contact you somehow, not even when I could actually do it. Only I was waiting to come up to you. To be good enough to work with you. And I've been waiting too long. That moment never came, because I was too much lazy and scared. I will never, never forgive me for this. This will be the biggest regret of my life. Nothing and no one can fix it.
That's quite silly, isn't it?
When I knew you died I felt totally crushed, overwhelmed by this event. And I still feel like this. I never expected I could feel like this. It hurts a lot. I've had losses in my life, people I dearly loved have died, and it was always painful. But not a half as painful as this. And then I feel ashamed and guilty for feeling like this, because I know I have no right to be so. I was not a relative of yours, not a friend, not even “a true fan”... but I simply can't help it. I'm heartbroken. And I also know that this will be another great change in my life, because it touched things inside of me I thought might be forgotten forever. It's going to turn everything upside down. Nothing will ever be the same. I'm not the same person I was at the beginning of the year, just like it had happened that night in 1987. Only this time it hurts a lot...
Now I'm actually a writer and a cartoonist. Maybe a poor writer and a poor cartoonist, but it's still something I would have never done if it were not for you. And maybe one day I'll be able to write something really good, and new, and beautiful. And I know that if this will happen it will be because of your inspiration. If I'll ever be able to create from that magical plant a single beautiful flower I'll owe it to you: that will be your flower!
David, forgive me, I'm just a silly thing and I don't really believe in anything, but I still hope that my message could reach you somehow: thank you for everything! Thank you!
I love you, and I will love you forever and ever!