Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Italy: Part Three

This was the Italy I imagined. The vines of tiny green grapes wrapping up the hillside. The dark swimming hole. Cemetary perch.
We had our "Big Nice Meal" in the nicest spot our guidebook recommended. Reservations are "a must" we read. Our little host greeted us with vigor and shots of lemonchello. We asked about dining tonight at the top of the hill. He was on the phone in a flash. "9 PM balcony? He is my friend." I wore my new cream dress.
We were seated just after sunset, when the ocean glowed pink. Bread and cuttlefish ink pasta and fresh anchovies, mozzarella prawn, calamari, sweet onion tuna--all in tiny boats, bite-sized and increasingly divine. I drank a vanilla tea and we shared a tiramisu. Bisque left for the bathroom, and I sat, as I now often do with no cell service, quietly enjoying my loneliness.
When he came back he asked me what time I thought it was. I didn't know. But, my, was it dark. "Eleven," he said. I asked for a second dessert--a chocolate almond cake--and we made it home close to midnight.

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