When Eminem met Paulo Coelho in Venice, on Valentine’s Day
It’s 14th of February, the famous day when we celebrate love. Really late in Venice, after midnight. Eminem just finished a concert held in the San Marino Plaza, thanks to Valentine’s day and he’s free to go out for a drink or two. Wandering the streets, he finds an old bar with dim lights called “The Otheroom”. “Perfect”, he says and he enters the bar.
It’s empty, just like he wanted, only one table with one client. He recognizes him, he has all of his books and he knows he has to approach him! “Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?” Eminem asks rapidly, as he’s already next to him. The other man looks up through his glasses, points at the free seat next to him, takes a sip of whiskey and nods, without any word.
And so, Eminem takes the seat, couldn’t believe his eyes that he was sitting at the same table with Paulo Coelho. He was nervous and shaking, but he manages to say “Opportunity may only come once in a lifetime”.
Knowing how important this was to the rapper, Coelho said “How does light enter a house? If the windows are open. How does light enter a human? If the door of love is open”.
That’s when Eminem knew he had to calm down because everything was right and going really well. “Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near,” said Coelho really calm, regarding their location and their interesting encounter.
Following his guts, Eminem knew that this was the only chance to do this, here and now, and he says: “The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed”.
Knowing already why he was here, Paulo Coelho encourages the young man to say what’s on his mind without any retrievals. “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience”.
Short translate – Shoot!
Eminem responded proudly and fast: “I am who I am and I say what I think. I’m not putting a face on for the record”.
But the novelist like always was prepared: “Behind a cold face, there is always an insecure heart. Do not struggle against your thoughts; they are stronger than you are. If you want to be free of them, accept them”.
Now that he knew he could pour his heart out in front of this big man, Eminem responded “I say what I want to say and do what I want to do. There’s no in between. People will either love you for it or hate you for it”.
The novelist then replicated: “Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily. Do not try to explain feelings. Live everything intensely and treasure what you feel as a gift from God. Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.Don’t try to be brave when it is enough to be intelligent.”
Eminem was mesmerized and that’s when he realized he needed to speak up his mind to this great man:“Sometimes I’m real cool, but sometimes I could be a real asshole. I think everyone is like that. Somewhere deep down there’s a decent man in me, he just can’t be found.Trust is hard to come by. That’s why my circle is small and tight. I’m kind of funny about making new friends”. Eminem stopped!
After few seconds of silence, Paulo finally said: “Every human being has the right to search for happiness, and by ‘happiness’ is meant something that makes other people feel content.Love does not ask many questions because with thinking comes fear. This might be the fear of being scorned, of being rejected, or of breaking the spell. However ridiculous this may seem, that is how it is. This is why one does not ask, one acts.Stop thinking about life and choose to live it. All love stories are the same.”
Coelho was spreading words of wisdom about life and love, and Eminem just sat there listening to him, agreeing.
Then he finally managed to say: “Cause sometimes you just feel tired, feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength and just pull that sh** out of you and get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse”. Coelho nodded.
“I don’t hate women – they just sometimes make me mad…” Eminem finally said!
Paulo knew what he had to do and say: “All women have a perception much more developed than men. So all women somehow, being repressed for so many millennia, they ended up by developing this sixth sense and contemplation and love. And this is something that we have a hard time to accept as part of our society.If you love someone, you must be prepared to set them free.In fairy tales, the princesses kiss the frogs, and the frogs become princes. In real life, the princesses kiss princes, and the princes turn into frogs.”
Eminem raised a hand up and said:“I’m stupid, I’m ugly, I’m dumb, I smell. Did I mention I’m stupid? I like happy things, I’m really calm and peaceful. I like birds, bees, I like people. I like funny things that make me happy and gleeful…” and then he stopped.
Coelho raised his hand as well. “Our human condition makes us tend to share only the best of ourselves because we are always searching for love and approval.In real life, love has to be possible. Even if it is not returned right away, love can only survive when the hope exists that you will be able to win over the person you desire.Life is short.Every human being has inside them something more important than him or herself – his or her Gift.” Paulo said.
Hearing about the gift, Eminem knew he had to talk about his talent: “If people take anything from my music, it should be motivation to know that anything is possible as long as you keep working at it and don’t back down.Anybody with a sense of humor is going to put on my album and laugh from beginning to end.Honestly, I’d love to be remembered as one of the best to ever pick up a mic.”
They were both on fire, at this point!
Eminem continued: “Love is evil, spell it backward, I’ll show ya. As long as the wrong feels right – it’s like I’m in flight.I have nothing to lose, but something to gain.”.
Maybe, Eminem finally understood that love isn’t so bad?
Coelho added: “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.We don’t need to explain our love. We only need to show it.”. The rapper agreed!
It was really late, and Eminem really needed to go, he had a plane to catch for his next Valentine’s Day concert in Spain. He thanked Coelho for the wonderful time spent, they shook hands, while the novelist added: “When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive”. He looked up at Eminem and he added: “Don’t live every day as if it were your last. Live every day as if it were your first”.
Eminem responded “I try to treat all the money I’m making like it’s the last time I’m going to make it. Don’t let them say you ain’t beautiful. They can all get fu#ked just stay true to you.Sometimes you just gotta let sh-t go and say ‘to hell with it’ and move on.”
And then he randomly continued:”When I die, so does hip-hop” he concluded with two fingers up in the air, forming the victory sign.
With Eminem heading for the door, Paulo Coelho had one more thought he wanted to share with this ambitious young man, this time about his offensive language. Raising his glass of whiskey, he shouted at last: “Swearing when in heavy traffic”.