January 4, 2018

“The Zen of Anima” by C. Angelo Caci

There are those “things” of life that lie just beyond our reach. I’ve come to believe they must. Otherwise, if everything we pined after were within our grasp there would be nothing to aspire to, reaching would be nothing more than a routine, a perfunctory act devoid of passion. Sometimes it’s the reaching without the grasping that keeps us going. This is what I’ve come to believe. And it was on Palm Street, Venice, California that one such instance occurred. By the way, this was when I lived in Venice some years back, and wherein I must say, to some extent, mine heart still dwells — sometimes. It was with She. Don’t even know her name — never did. Just she. She, who lived not far away from me either, as a matter of fact. She, of whom I’d lusted over all the while I’d lived there — privately, I mean. Unbeknownst to me, she was waitressing at Paolo’s Italian Cuisine on Palm Street, which was much to my surprise, and delight, when I’d entered. I was only at Paolo’s restaurant the one time. I never returned. After all, I’m not a total glutton for punishment. I’m not referencing the cuisine either. Patience, dear reader, as you’ll soon see what I mean. I can remember to this day even, and with such astute clarity, the aura of red lust on green envy capriccio.

Even though the décor at Paolo’s is predictable, nothing fancy. In fact, the décor, as I remember, was little more than let’s pretend we’re in Italia. Not very convincing either, all told. I can safely say this even though I’d never been to Italia, and in all likelihood never will —doesn’t matter. The place-mats there are all silkscreened with each one featuring a different photograph of Venezia, Italia. I was somewhat bemused at the time, you might say, and not without more than just an element of fantasia simply because I’d never noticed the similarities of the canals of Venice to the canals of Venice (Venezia). I was also quite stoned as well . . . and famished. I thought while engrossed in the picture of the Canale Grande that despite Huxley’s expanding universe this might very well be observed to be a rather shrinking one instead. I say this because I’d thought that I’d recognized a house that a friend lived in on Grand Canal on the placemat. Quite impossible. Anyway, while I’m perusing the canals in a gondola upon the placemat I’m ever so gently drawn from this muse by this very attractive waitress — She, as I’ve alluded to, whom I’d lusted over for so very, very long. Sumptuously outfitted in a black miniskirt, she’d inquired as to what I’d like, or if I’d like something or other, and indeed did I wont. However, what inevitably must have been interpreted by her as an affirmation that I did indeed want — ahh, if she only knew — she’d whirled about with the ease of an accomplished dancer, and I was heretofore very beneficently granted a twinkle, just a twinkle mind you, of such salacious creamy inner-thigh, enduringly enough, despite that fact that this twinkle didn’t even last long enough to finish its twink!

I’d resolved with the speed of a quantum leap to the target of my appetite, and did so without even a glance at the menu beforehand. I intuitively knew I’d order something, anything, ala Alfredo. Go figure? After her disappearance in a cloud of steam, having passed through a pair of double-swinging doors into the realm of the kitchen — which de facto appeared to me as Dante’s infernal where all pleasures of the flesh simmer and bubble releasing the musks of tantalizing, gluttonous, proclivities — she’d reappeared with some cool, lemony, expunge served in a tall glass and perspiring with cascades of droplets all of which seemed to contain, and telegraph to me, subliminal messages of caprice.

“Thank you.” I must have gasped this, as she’d cocked her head just so. As if she’d noticed my zipper was down exposing the lude undertones narrating my pant. Her reaction caused a wave of angel hair aldente to cascade down her delicate and slender mostaccioli neck, and it’s no doubt because of this vision that caused me to have ordered angel hair pasta, but of course. Also, of course, Alfredo sauce, as well as a side of creamed spinach. Despite the fact that I didn’t remember even ordering, I nonetheless must assume I did simply because this’ what she brought me. Surprise surprise!

Anyway, the ensalada placed in front of me to the left of my creamed Bathsheba contained a generous portion of pine nuts, two very supple olives, and one nubile, yet old enough to eat, cherry tomato that I’d uncovered, and indeed undressed, beneath a bikini-sized leaf of lettuce. I remember this distinctly. And, I must have done more than just tip-toe through this garden salad, and done so to the apparent amusement of my winged, angel-haired, provocateur, as I’d not even noticing the warm, sweet-glaze of the young, spring-nectar of the pride of Venice upon my puss afterward. She did. I think so anyway. I thought I’d caught what surely resembled a smirk upon her face as I’m sure the marinara-tint of embarrassment upon mine didn’t go unnoticed either. Could she have known? Anyway, After I’d shamelessly indulged, I compensated by telling myself that the price of all this splendor in the green was only a couple bucks more than a big and sloppy quickie from the wide-spread, cholesteroled, thighs of McGreasyland. I was, after all, on a budget those years.

I vowed to return. Perhaps next time I’ll order something Calabrese, or perhaps even Siciliano, and free myself of social inhibitions, plunge into my carnal nature as I shamelessly gorge on the fresh kill of the illusive and fleeting meatballs, or perhaps the wild sausages of wildebeest. Shed of shyness, I’ll toast to the finest local-grown . . . the scent of a sprig of spring basil, the voluptuous, leafy limbs of oregano intertwined in a passionate and nude embrace with a virgin bathed in olive oil . . . Oh, but to wallow in the primordial ooze of creamed spinach, even if only bathed in just a hint of her mint.

As I’d stated, I’d never returned. Simply because. But I’ve never really left either.

© 2017 C. Angelo Caci

A bio, or portrait of the artist, would best be conveyed in a literary still life: laptop with reading lamp clamped to the lid, Merlot in a cut-glass goblet, a pack of Garcia Vegas, or Grenadiers, and a pair of reading glasses set on its lenses with one obtrusive stem slightly twisted sticking straight up and readied.

Check out this story in our anthology: The First Annual Two Sisters Writing & Publishing Featuring International Writers by clicking here.

C. Angelo Caci Author Photo

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