It was as if time had taken mercy on us
and decided to overlook us for the night.
There we were, in the middle of the throbbing crowd of pub-crawlers, music blaring, the three of us nursing whiskies and drinks. The first reunion in more than 3 years. I had seen G the night before, but it is sort of difficult to lure M out of his little house in the hills. Yet, there he was for the occasion, impeccably dressed like the professor he still is, despite recent trouble at the Academy.
One would have a hard time putting together a more unlike trio than us. The too-thin M with the intense eyes, talented and famous painter and professor at the Academy of Art. Now he looked worn, thinner, but radiant to be there with us again.
The two of us were speaking; filling each other in on our respective lives these last years, him leaning in over the small table and looking at me over the rim of his glasses, talking, smiling and nodding occasionally.
G was sitting mutely, arms crossed and sardonic smile so typical of him. He is getting greyer for every time I see him, but handsomely so, he is from the south and ages with such grace.
Talk about a wild one. Mechanical engineer with a passion for art; so much that he opened up an art-gallery in Ravenna. He is married and have kids but he might be the wildest of the three of us. He had heard our stories as he remained in contact with both of us over time, and was now just observing.
And then there was me. Blonder by the day, tanned, dressed in faded jeans, silk camisole and visibly tired.
The three of us have been friends for more than 5 years. G and M see each other more regularly, but not often at all, though they live in the same city.
I believe this friendship to be one of a kind, it is like we complete and compliment each other. I like both of these guys and have seen them separately, throughout the years. But magic happens when we get together, as if it was meant to be.
We lead very different lives and really have very little in common, maybe except for the fact that we all have quite a temper and tend to overdo things, becoming ridiculously happy or hurt in the process.
The three of us spent one glorious summer together.
I was still working in the clubs, I would travel all over northern Italy, in my beloved, battered BMW, sometimes on my own and sometimes with other dancers.
Many times that summer, I would finish working at 4 or 5 in the morning, finding unanswered calls or texts on my phone from G and M; “K, where are you working? Up for after-hours?”.
And I would collect my fee, get changed and hurry home (a two-hour drive sometimes) to meet up with the guys and go dancing. Again.
G sometimes had been up all night, going out on his own, other times he had gone to bed early in order to wake up and be there.
M was almost always fresh out of his studio, he would paint and listen to music all night and then meet up with us at 99, a famous after-hours club.
And there we would dance the morning away, laughing and enjoying ourselves. I think these mornings were a sanctuary for all of us, something that each of us wouldn’t have done on our own. We would dance until lunch-time, then drive off to a small hut on the beach, where we would eat fish and pasta in huge quantities, then sample the coffee- and dessertmenu, a different one each time.
Sometimes we would walk back to the harbor, people-watching for hours and speaking about nothing and everything, all of us spent from lack of sleep but not wanting to part and go home to our separate lives. Other times we would lounge around on the beach, dozing off in the sun or talking.
As I remember it, there was always an aperitif to go to, a new upcoming band to go see, another restaurant to visit, endless talks about art, love, psychology, dreams, music and food. It was one of the best summers of my life, despite it wasn’t all roses for any of us. But we were there for each other, unfaltering. We had each others’ back.
And here we were again tonight.
The three of us, swapping stories, drinking good whisky.
All of us older, softer, none the wiser but a tad more human. We spoke for long, hurting, joying and wondering at life. And when there were no more words, we celebrated by going dancing in an open-air club until the heavens opened up and let out massive amounts of wind and rain. As the club closed and everybody sought shelter, we ran along the beach, ocean furious, through blinding sheets of rain, laughing and yelling to each other foolishly over the wind: “It is a sign because we’re back together again!!!”
And for one long blissful evening in G and Ms’ company, it felt true.