RITALINO – A story in 10 drawings by Rocco Lombardi

This  story comes from the book “Resistenze, cronache di ribellione quotidiana”, published by  BeccoGiallo in collaboration with Sherwood Comix Festival”

1

Lidia Turco…

 

Present!

 

Giulio Amato…

 

Present!

 

Rosa Bindi…

 

Present!

 

Antonino Antonucci…

 

Antonino antonu…

 

Present!

 

Again! He did it again! I bear it no more! I need Prozac!

 

 

 

Antonino, wrechted! An othe teacher left the school for your fault!

 

Where are you? Come out!

 

Here I am: my name is Antonino, 7 years old in May and with a coming brother. Joy and pain of mum and dad, the worst little pest in primary school “Cesare Lombroso”.

 

21

Pasquale, we  will call him Pasquale! As his grandfather!

Yes, Pasquale! Pasqualino! Pasqualino!

But it is a horrible name!

 

Mum gave me the most beautiful present, even if she has fear that I can become jealous and more terrible as I am!

Then grow, grow Pasqualino! You will see that we will enjoy a lot!

 

 

3

 

 

Pasqualino grows good and he is similar more and more to me.

My brother and I are a fantastic couple!

Mum begins to loss the patience…then we begin to be beatened!

In the meanwhile at school nothing changes, now I am in junior high school and also here I am the worst!

4

Good morning guys! All at your place, please!

A new teacher has come, the first to be pleasant.

And this one is perhaps Bruce Willis??

Let’s see what you can do…

Then? How are we going?

I am a genius.

You have conquered me!

 

5

The drawing now is absorbing me totally, as my brother with problems became  worse than me.

Antonino! What is this brothel? Where is Pasqualino?

In the garden!

Go and call him now!

 

This morning came a letter from University at home. There are some questions about our behaviour, useful as test.

 

Scale A

1. Fails to concentrate attention on details or makes several careless mistakes

2. Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities

3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly

4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish his tasks or duties, not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions

5. Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities

6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)

7. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activites (e.g. diary, pencils, books or school tools)

8. Often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli

9. Often forgetful in daily activities

Scale B

1. Often fidgets with hands or squirms in seat.

2. Often leaves seat

3. Often shows inner restlessness, runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate.

4. Often has difficulty in playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.

5. Often is “on the go” or often acts as if “driven” by a motor.

6. Often talks excessively, cannot keep silent

7. Often blurts out answers before  questions have been completed.

8. Often has difficulty awaiting turn

9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others ( eg butts into conversations or games)

 

Mum answered to all and resent it.

It seems deliberately to be made for Pasqualino!

Mum! Pasqualino is playing with the mower!

What…

Two weeks later, Mum was called at school.

6

Dear Mrs Antonucci, from the test you have filled out that your son Pasqualino is affected by  ADHD…illness from loss of attention and hyperactivity.

This is the reason why your son gives you so much pain and it is so difficult to educate him. As also at school it is a nightmare for teachers and classmates.

Anyway from today it s possible to heal this mental illness.

In this school we are testing a medicine deliberately tested with success in USA.

You can see that from this illness we all will take a benefit. At first your son! We need your acceptance to begin the treatment.

Yes, I accept.

 

My brother has become a special treatment, Mum says that now he will be more quiet.

What is it? Its taste? Is it sweet? Which is the taste? And you take it too? And Antonino?

Shut up! Be quiet! Shhh! My God, this boy stresses so much!

7

 

The treatment seems to function, also to much perhaps. Pasqualino become more silent and Mum seems to be satisfied, finally he has found a bit of peace. I always draw and  Pasqualino calls me no more to play with him.

 

At school his mates consider him as strange and begin to mock him above all for the embarrassment that block him when he meets his little friend Rita.

Rita and Lino! Rita and Lino! Rita and Lino! Rita and Lino! Rita and Lino!

Hi Pasqualino!

H.i.. Ri…Rita

 

Ri… Ta… Li… No!

They now call him in an annoying way.

8

 

Today our uncle Emiliano came to visit us, a very strange man…

You know, since Pasqualino takes Ritalin is no more annoying.

 

Ritalin? Methylphenidate! Ah, with this thing I went out in the ’60.

 

Sure that if it had been also once…then perhaps you had not become the freak you are!

 

But you are so sure that this Ritalin…

Then.. Of course, check by yourself then!

 

Pasqualino is more and more closed in himself, becoming inaccessible.

What happens to your brother?

 

Sometimes he has fits of rage, eats a few and wants no more to learn.

The treatment began 2 years ago, Mum begin to be worried. Again she was called from the school.

9

 

In one of the few themes he wrote, Pasqualino speaks about suicide.

Rita!

 

Then they told to mum that for this year he surely will be rejected.

 

So the doctor decided to give him more medicines.

 

Now he menaces mum and dad, teachers and classmates.

 

It happened also that police called at home. He was stopped as he had  pills in hands.

Have you any Ritalin for me? I love you.

 

10

They decided to stop the treatment. There were serious complications as Pasqualino took too many pills.

 

Today he is 15 years old, with this story I have won the first competition and I am becoming the youngest  cartoonist in Italy.

My brother at 8 years represents the first case of serious intoxication by Ritalin in Italy and no one can assure us with certainty that he will not be the first victim.