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Forever, Barbara | Gramellini’s Coffee

On January 15, 1986, a teenager named Enrico died in a car accident. Enrico had a sixteen year old girlfriend, Barbara, they were each other's first love. The life of Barbara, known as Balli, ended on that day or perhaps went out of time: this is testified by the reader who is very close to one of the protagonists and who told me the story. The fact is that every January 15th for 38 years there has been a short remembrance of Enrico on the Corriere obituary page. The words change year after year, but not the mood that animates them: a touch of joy protected by a thin film of melancholy.

“Your voice comes back vividly in my memory full of love and joy.”
“I always think of you in your wonderful 19 years.”
“I could cry because you’re gone, but I’d rather smile because you lived.”
Yesterday, on January 15, 2024, among the obituaries of the Corriere, one could find the obituary that a 54-year-old woman had dedicated to her Enrico, who later turned 57: “I will die in a light breath one day.” will with happiness intact escape into infinite time ».
The text changes every time, but the ending has been the same for thirty-eight years. “Forever, Barbara.”

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