The Perfect Travel Buddy

Original Italian by Paolo Giordano, part of the New York Times Magazine Decameron Project.

nyt magazine paolo giordano perfect travel buddy

The abstinence started with Michele’s arrival.

Michele is my wife’s son. We haven’t lived together for four years now, since he moved to Milan for college and Mavi and I moved into a smaller place, tailor-made for two.

When things started getting real bad in the north, Michele called me. I’m coming over tonight, he said.


Milan isn’t safe.

But the trains must be full. And really expensive.

Trains aren’t safe either. I’m car pooling.

I objected that an infected train was still preferable to six hours in some stranger’s car.

The driver has a really good rating, he said.

A couple of hours before I was supposed to pick him up, I lay down next to Mavi. I told her: I fear I’ve forgotten how to live with the three of us together.
I haven’t, unfortunately, she replied. Can you get the lights?

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