Month of emotional balances and concerns. Of old and new worries. Good intentions, sweets, gifts and spicy perfumes. And of cleaning. The time has come, I cannot postpone it, I am piling boxes of “I’ll put it in its place tomorrow” that soon I will be overwhelmed and become a protagonist of “buried in the house”.
With this unattractive perspective, I decided to do a good general cleaning; I was arranging a part of the bookshop – which I think I had left for a decade because I heard the protests of the mites under eviction and the whispers of not well identified objects – when I found this kind of notebook – three-voice diary, dating back to high school days , in which my two companions (which for privacy reasons will call Grazia and Graziella) and I wrote our life in turn. All our life. It worked like this: every week one of us kept the diary and wrote on the most succulent facts, the most incredible stories or the most urgent reflections; then she handed it over to the hands of the next temporary owner, who read it, answered and told her part of the story.
On some pages there are even poems and drawings. In others there are photos that represent us as three teenagers in full hormones storm, always happy, always with bright and smart eyes. I did not resist and I started reading it, and I found another one, and another one… and three others. A real epistolary novel, except that it could never be published without being reported by many people! Yes, because we did not limit ourselves to describing what happened, we scrutinised every minimum and intimate detail: nothing was left out! A few journals are missing because the story jumps from a winter to an autumn without the central seasons, who knows maybe Grazia or Graziella will find them doing their housework, or perhaps they are already over without restraint in the waste.
To see each other like this, to read each other like this, people might believe that we are still meeting together around the city, together, united, as indissoluble as we were at that time; but we know how these things go, we grow and we no longer have anything in common. Moreover, it must be said that our friendship has run out even before finishing school … so no.
The three of us have not been there for quite a while, and without the written testimonies of our misadventures, I would have even forgotten about all these wonderful days spent together.
Because it goes like this, our brain has a limited ram and sometimes certain memories end up in the trash, they are canceled to make room for the new ones, but if you put yourself to backup mode they magically come back to the surface.
Grazia was the shyest of our fantastic trio, the one a little more dedicated to study and less skilled with the boys – although, perhaps, she was the prettiest.
Graziella was the one who always put us in trouble! An unstoppable volcano.
She was that type of girl.
Now she will probably have 6/7 children and will live in a cottage in the country side.
Ahhh, how love can change us.
But at the time of the notebooks – diaries, Graziella was certainly the one who led us on the craziest adventures.
Yes because if I (modestly) was the one with the most admirers because the most outgoing, and the one with the silly ideas like “Come on, let’s jump on the first train we find” to find ourselves in the middle of Frosinone in the universal flood and the desire to have an ice cream in full November … ... Graziella was the girl of “let’s go to the cinema” and when you turned to her to ask if she wanted more popcorn, you found her clinging to a stranger; she was the one that used to convince you to go to the gym with her but at some point she disappeared to lock her with the first handsome guy she had found. In short, the most “party girl” was undoubtedly her.
And she was the one, as demonstrated by the notebook – diary I’m reading, that carried us punctually to her dates with the transitory guy who obviously always had the unlucky friend to get out with one of us. And to one of us, if not both, occasionally happened to have to go out with her, to find us at nightmares dates.
Not all of them were bad appointments, sometimes “the loser” was nice, or even cute, or simply interesting enough to spend the three hours of make-out of Graziella.
Other times it was terrible!
In particular, a date it’s still impressed inmy mind, and I remember it even without the support of the notebook – diary (even if the draw of the story would earn publication, but unfortunately must be in one of those lost or in the hands of other protagonists of the story). It was a Spring Sunday like many, when Graziella sends a text to both of us Grazia and I to ask to accompany her on the Lungo Tevere, because she met a boy, whom we call Tizio, in a pastry shop and she wants to get out, but Tizio already had an appointment with two friends , which we will call Gaius and Sempronius, and it seems unfair if he does not come out with them anymore. After a quick phone consultation (then whatsapp was not there!) Grazia and I decide that after all an afternoon in the centre to walk and maybe be offered an ice cream is not the worst thing in the world. So, we agreed to this date.
We shouldn’t ever done it.
Gaius was not so bad, I remember that we were walking and talking about this and that, about the movie of the moment, about the books we just finished, about the school, about the crushes. In short, I could manage him.
But Sempronius no. He was hateful, vulgar, rude. Poor Grazia, shy and reserved, was sickened, she wanted to run away, but out of affection for Graziella she was enduring that appointment.
We were on the Lungo Tevere, San Pietro area, Graziella and Tizio ahead of us in a pose that was difficult to distinguish the boundaries of one and the other, and I still wonder how they managed to walk!
Grazia and Sempronius a few steps behind, she exasperated, he who spits and says things that certainly do not excite any interlocutor.
Shortly behind, Gaius and I, with me thinking about saving Grace and him probably ending up like Tizio and Graziella.
At one point, I hear Sempronius laugh roughly and Grazia become purple. I do not know what he said.
We never knew. She never told us. She did not write it in the notebook – diary. But it must have been something epically obscene because she turned around and with all the force in her body pushed him, throwing him straight into the river!!!!
And then she left, without saying a single word, and I followed her while Graziella, Gaius and Tizio pulled Sempronius out of the river (whom of course was saying all he had in his mind).
Until we got to the subway.
Then she started laughing.
I started laughing.
We laughed for hours, I guess.
We laughed with tears.
Ignoring Graziella’s calls.
And even today, thinking about it, I laugh like crazy. Even if I do not know what happened to Grazia, if she is happy, if she has fulfilled her dreams, simple but honest. Although Graziella has denied her nature and our friendship because oflove and who knows if she would do it again. Even though these notebooks – diaries will end up in the incinerator and these photos no longer represent anything but lies.
I still laugh.
Isn’t this what it takes to bring back (even if provisional) memories?