I wonder where I'm going to spend my Monday nights. And thanksgiving.
Tu vuo' fa' l'americano
I knew that 2007 was supposed to be the year of the goodbyes.
Yet, it's difficult to say a simple "so long, and thanks for the fish (and the meat, and the pasta, and the Xbox)" to someone who was so important to me in London like Ian. I know I will meet him (and his wife) again in Ney York in few months, for a brief holiday, but, as things stand now, we're not living in the same neighbor (Fulham), anymore.
Ian is a guy very difficult to forget: more full blooded and proud Italian than many real Italians, more terone
and juventino than everyone else, more clever and funny (in an outrageous way, just like I love it) than most of the comedians on the television. And american like no one else.
I guess that with Rob, my long standing flat mate (who's leaving as well the next month, expect another "epitaph"...) my best memories (that don't involve work, girls and violence) are with them.
We met when he joined Parsons Green
back in the autumn of 2003.
He has been probably unlucky as long as the football goes: the team was coming after years of success and the various managers didn't have much trust in him, since they wanted to keep the core players (included me) who got two promotions in a row.
But he kept coming to training, and waiting for his chances. Always liked by the players, he waited and waited until, back in 2005, he finally scored his first and only goal for the team.
I remember that goal since I wasn't playing: only few weeks before, in that damn February 2005, I broke my leg
, so I was watching the game with his wife. As soon as he scored he was covered by all the players, including the goalkeeper. The man-love was too much for me to join, so I just took some pictures. The all loved him.
Football and Italy
were the two main things that helped kick start our friendship. I was interested in his American college stories and he was probably happy to have an Italian around, although polentone and Milanese (and Milanista) like me.
I still think that he regrets inviting me for food the first time, and then again and again and even for thanksgiving
, since I ate everything (and more) of the great food he cooked for his various guests.
There is a common trait d'union in all my dinners at Ian's place: watching football, eating like a stuffed pig , using his toilet and insulting (the overrated) French and English football players.
So many things happened that it is very difficult to remember them all.
But some memories will stay with me forever:
- When he came with his wife to my home town in Italy , just to find some anti-American slogans by the wall in the train station
- When he played a small role in my western (and now he has even an imdb credit! )
- When we went out for his bachelor party, and I was dancing, drunk, on my crutches (yes, there is a link somewhere but it's secret, you know, I don't want to ruin his reputation...)
- At his wedding , when he put me in the "Napoli" table and I lost my balance on my crutches trying to save my drink
When he scored that first goal , mentioned before
When I finally beat him at Pro Evolution Soccer 4, with a great goal by Inzaghi, to seal a 4-1 victory against Juventus
When I delivered his St Valentine's flowers to Sarah (he was away), and Sarah for a split moment thought that I was making a move on her
And the best memory of them all: when we celebrated winning the world cup in London, after weeks of pasta coi broccoli and sky Italia.
Now he moved in New York, and Sarah too, to start a new life. I wish them luck, and I'll miss them, but I know that to replace my competitive eating skills they'll now need to buy a dog
. And every time that dog will eat Ian's food, my Americano friend will probably think:
"Damn, it eats like Olaf, it probably plays videogames better than him but it won't cry like we did when Italy won the World Cup. Oh Olafmeister, where art thou?
Buona fortuna Gianni Ierardi (e anche a te Sara!), London and my stomach will sorely miss you.