Before you jump and wonder if “Signora Gioacchalina” is my new drag name, it is not. However, it is a unique nickname my sister bestowed on me a few weeks ago when one of her best friends mentioned that she missed experiencing life adventures through my social posts.

You see, the term “Signora” is a surname we give to respected elderly women from our hometown, Borgetto, Sicily. They are the ladies we visited, or let’s be honest, forced to see by our parents. The matriarchs from the old country with overly dyed beehive hairdos and the distinct smell of week-old…


As the sound of the ambulance sirens swarms a once quiet town in Queens, I find myself reflecting on the past 60 days. Struggling to put my thoughts down on paper, I cannot help but think about the poor soul who is in the back of that ambulance. “Is it someone’s parents, child, relative or friend”?; “Is it someone I know”?; “Is that person alone”?; And sadly, “is that person going to survive or not”?. The thought of that person dying without a loving family member by their side is mind-numbing. …

Gio Messale

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