Portrait of a friend, Alessandra. When she reached 50, it seemed that the sad vicissitudes, made up of betrayed human relationships, were finally behind her. For her, the time seemed to have come to regain possession of her existence, her own passions, her lifelong interests and old friendships, but fate can sometimes be cruel beyond the most vivid imagination. It manifested itself suddenly and unexpectedly in the guise of a rare autoimmune disease that causes rapid hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo and forces the intake of debilitating drugs: Cogan’s syndrome. And it comes like a broom that cleans not rubbish and dirt but what is more precious and beautiful! Listening to much-loved music, attending a basketball game, frequenting crowded places or conversing with a friend becomes impossible. The new condition imposes many waivers. Not least is the impossibility of moving independently and driving the car. In the head, the buzzing knows no stop; dizziness is always lurking, the stick is an indispensable travel companion and friendships thin out, comforting few people remain close, the beloved cat Esther and reading.