Searching for a bargain, a shopper unwittingly falls into some else’s love life.
A red candle was stuck in an old Chianti bottle; its sides coated with multicolored layers of wax from countless other candles, in the center of the red and white checked tablecloth. The legs of her chair scraped loudly on the worn wood board floor as I pulled it out for her to sit. She ordered spaghetti and meatballs.
“What are you going to have?” she asked.
“Veal parmesan,” I answered.
“But you always have veal parmesan.”
“It’s the perfect meal,” I explained, “for what has already been a perfect day.”
“And it’s still quite early,” she said, with a mischievous glimmer in her eyes.
We sat long over dinner, chatting about every subject under the sun. We talked of dreams and aspirations. We talked of hopes and wishes. We talked of children and grandchildren. And when dinner was through we shared a small bowl of spumoni and once more, hand in hand, went out into the night.
By now the sun was long gone, but darkness didn’t stand a chance in the flashing, swirling, glowing kaleidoscope of colors that were the lights of the amusement park on the pier. We rode all the rides, screaming together on the rollercoaster, enjoying the view from the top of the ferris wheel, chasing each other frantically in the bumper cars and getting rammed by other patrons because we only had eyes for each other. In the mirrored room of the funhouse I experienced the great joy of being surrounded by fifty of her and the excitement of finding the one that was soft and yielding to my touch. The tunnel of love became one long embrace and kiss and I would be hard pressed to describe any of the attributes to the ride itself. But, my favorite ride, which I always left until last, was the merry-go-round. I don’t know why the merry-go-round is my favorite ride. Perhaps it is the simple innocence of swirling with the music. Or maybe it’s the personal little envelope of space created around you and that special person that you share the ride with. It might be the artistry of the brightly painted horses and carriages that draw you into their seamless unending parade. For us, in that moment, it was all of those things.
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