What can YOU say in six sentences?
Stephen Torelli has not received any gifts yet
Blanketed with snow… streets without cars, trucks, and buses or trains rumbling below, feels like an untried planet, so quiet, a shroud of white… soft, snowy, and soothing. Anxiety melts as calm captures and inches in, a breath of fresh air.
The markets seduce you, bakeries and pastry shops filled with hot bagels and breads, cakes and cookies along with fruit and cream filled treats. And plump chickens in butcher shops waiting to be devoured accompanied by chocolate shops next door frothing with hints of cacao.
“Hey Stefano,” says Gianni as he pops his head outside the pub’s door, “Come in for a glass of Gluvine,” a spiced Roman winter drink.
“No, go fuck yourself,” says Stefano, “I’m going to the cigar bar.”
With food smudged faces the elders dance and smile toothless smiles. “What are you celebrating and why are you so content?” asks the pizza deliveryman.
“We’re celebrating life,” says the old couple “and we’re content because of the beautiful people we’re dancing with.”
The pizza guy thinks for a moment about his uncelebrated life and of course his young and beautiful wife, “May I join in and dance a few?” he asks.
“Of course,” says the old couple, “please join us!”
So the young guy dances the night away, with a few toothless yet beautiful women, aspiring to learn one of life’s simple pleasures.
“Let’s take the train to Denmark.”
I wish I had thought of that.
“It’s only a three-day residency and no counseling.”
Wow, no counseling and only three days?
And for the next seventy-two hours plus ten all they could think about is getting naked.
Now, eighteen years later all they can think and say is… "What's for dinner?"
Can you go a little faster?
Where are you going?
Astoria, and I need to be there in one hour.
What’s it your birthday or something?
Yea, and it’s cold out too, and I know he’ll be waiting at the stop.
He pushes the pedal… Can’t believe these New York girls, but I kind of like her style!
Hey Joe, I think he’s dead.
Yea, but he’s got my money.
But it ain’t yours until he gives it to you.
Yea, but he owes me and I know he’s got it.
So what are you going to do, rob the guy?
Forgettaboutit, let’s feed the pigeons!
Hey Joe, let’s go home, you’ve already won 30,000.
No, I like this place.
Yea, but you’re going to lose it all.
Yea, but I’m enjoying myself.
Well, let’s at least have a drink and we’ll talk about it.
Okay Stefano, but first I want to feed the birds.
Hey Joe, if you feed the gulls anymore they’ll be too fat to fly.
That’s okay, they’re hungry.
Give some to the pigeons.
They don’t like pastrami and rye.
You win 30,000 and feed the seagulls, and what’s wrong with pigeons anyway?
Not a thing, they just don’t like pastrami and rye!
So after their spat the naïve kid asks, “Why did you call me that?”
She smiles, chomps into her toasted cream cheese bagel and says, “I can’t believe you white boys… you don’t know nothin!”
“But you called me a ‘bitch and a mutha fucka’ and I can’t be both; it’s a semiotic rule.”
“Symbiotic what? See what I mean about you white boys; you and the streets just don’t mix.”
He chews into his plain bagel with cream cheese and lox with a look of bewilderment. And three hours later as he leaves her home a sea change occurs… semiotic, symbiotic bullshit he muses as he walks the street and smiles.
He watches the feathery ice crystals descend. The six pointed snow-darts dance and softly settle upon the hatted heads wandering through Times Square. Hats, funny faces, and snowflakes, no two alike, interacting for the sake of … who in the fuck knows mused the old guy roosting on a three legged chair next to the recruiting station at the crossroads of Broadway and 7th Avenue.
"Sir, you have to move," says the sad looking cop; "you're obstructing the path."
"Just a minute sir," says the old guy, as he observes an elder beauty passing by. And atop her garden hat a sable winter-bird perches, quenching luscious ivory snowflakes.
The old fellow huddles on the bench next to the bronzed man telling him how to manage life, but the bronze man only sits and listens. If you look into his eyes you know he can hear and think but he doesn’t speak. There’s never a line waiting to gab with the bronzed man, but when you look his way on the corner of Broad and Hudson Streets in Kinderhook, New York there is always someone sitting and talking with him.
He’s a nice man and listens like a gentleman; yet the men and women who chat are the homeless, the shunned and the type who need to be heard. “Thank you for listening,” says the old fellow, “I’ll see you when the weather warms, maybe next spring.” And the bronzed man only muses, see you soon, my friend.