It’s been a while since we moved abroad; or at least since we’ve been abroad on a stable basis. It won’t come as a surprise for anyone who has spent time in a different country to read that life changes radically once you take that step. No, I’m not talking about different languages, habits, culture, climate etc. that naturally come with moving. Rather, looking back over these past years it seems obvious how our lives with friends have acquired a more peculiar character. Again, I’m not talking about the different way we keep in touch with friends back in Italy (texts, social networks, etc). It’s more that the “texture” of our friendship-life has changed. How best can I describe it? Well..in some sense it’s a matter of connecting dots across a map. No trace of the continuity and reassuringly certain character of Wednesdays nights out. Nor that of large cooking gatherings over the weekends (my place?), or the stability of old faces going back for ages. All of that was a nice straight line from A to B to C to.. etc. Truth is that the past up to the present’s doorstep can no longer reveal anything about the future, even from one week to the next, so that what comes after C is uncertain. For instance, where that future will take place.. But especially, it reveals virtually nothing of who will be there. What you’d consider as sure takes unexpected turns and turns out to be very different from what expected. People that shouldn’t have been there in that particular place and time, are there for some reason. Those that should have, might not be. Or, you might find yourself in some place and time that you would have never imagined to find yourself in..with someone you wouldn’t have ever guessed. In the end, it happens that what was expected to be routine turns out not to be, ever so slightly deviating towards randomness. Taking a step back and going through pictures and memories truly is like connecting dots on the map of your life, with nothing of the linear, good old straight road ahead. Locations, faces, and pieces of that grand puzzle your life has turned into trying to fit into each other. Sometimes, some of the pieces are out of reach. Very well in sight, but out of reach. Sometimes, they are completely lost.