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Cheddar chips and “La Giovanna”

An essential ritual on brown days.

There are days when I feel so tired and sad that I would just like to take refuge in the bed sheets and sleep a hundred years … which I could easily do… but it wouldn’t  be useful.

So, I drag myself and my panda eye bags out of bed, I say my “Good Morning World!” putting more intent, I place myself in the shower and cry a little … just to let off steam and get out of the shower feeling lighter.

Then I comb my hair, because in those days my hair has a life of its own and it shows all the disappointment that passes just below the roots, in my mind.

I put on makeup and get dressed, with the attention that my grandmother Antonietta taught me: clothes in order, clean shoes and a little lipstick.

And then I call Giovanna.

She isn’t really called Giovanna, but on a day like many, in front of a large portion of chips with cheddar, she was renamed like this.

Giovanna is an unforgettable name for me, key element of a couple of absurd episodes and that always makes me smile … and what better name for a friend who is always present, who loves me as I am?

So, for fair play, I was also renamed: PINA.

Because Pina is like the color yellow, it arrives immediately and brings joy.

After calling “La Giovanna”, strictly with the article in front of it, I wait for her at home.

She picks me up and we go to the least healthy and stylish place in the world, McDonald’s.

Our language is now a code. When one of the two writes: “Cheddar chips?”, the other understands. It’s a shitty day.

She prepares to listen, laugh, and drown the sorrows in the yellow cream of cheddar and cholesterol.

Because you know: in tough moments everyone tries to release the stress by using something unhealthy … those who drink, those who take drugs and those who eat fat food.

We, in the last option, are two ninjas.

And when, after discussing all the brown of the day, we look at each other we start laughing.

Because among friends you do this: first you bring out all the brown of the day, then you compare the solutions, and then you smile.

Being sick is already enough as an obstacle, if you let sadness and difficulties fill all the days, then you’ll have one more problem.

Giovanna and Pina, two women in dumbaby’s paradise, in front of a bag of chips with the cheddar, crying and then bursting out laughing and wiping their tears.

Friendship is also this: having code language, the desire to listen and the ability to eat fried stuff at 3 in the afternoon, if needed.

And I couldn’t be luckier, because I have my Giovanna ready to come and pick me up and wait for me while I sleep everywhere.

For me, after my life had changed in an instant, it’s fortunate to have a close friend who, at the cry of “Chips with cheddar”, comes armed with patience and smiles.

And when she needs it, she comes to get me anyway, knowing that I will listen and embrace her with affection … and that if I sleep, it won’t be out of boredom, but only because of Narcolepsy.

Pina, Giovanna, chips with cheddar cheese and Narcolepsy.

Short story of a true friendship.

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