Monday, June 29, 2015

Wasted Days & Wasted Nights

Mike and his frullati
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~ e. e. cummings

We were supposed to go to Venice today, but our plans got derailed in the most revolting manner last night.  Allow me to explain that first.

Our apartment is in a nice, four-story building that has 10 apartments in it. Giovanni, our landlord, owns eight of the apartments, and one of the two he doesn't own is above our flat.  Last year, my flat was on the ground floor, and except for the French family whose kids cried when they went to bed, everyone was quiet. I can't say the same thing about the idiots people who live above our third-story this year.  They like to watch television, listen to music, talk, and argue until early in the early as 2:00 am.

I don't fall asleep easily, and the little bit of noise disturbs me greatly. When said residents started playing loud music last night, I put up with it as long as I could. At midnight, I finally gave in and took a sleeping pill.  Mike, who had been asleep but woke up when he heard me get up, got up, grabbed the broom, and stood on the chair.   BAMBAMBAM.  Nothing.  BAMBAMBAM.  Nothing.  BAMBAMBAM.  Nothing.  BAMBAMBAM.  Nothing.  BAMBAMBAM.  Nothing.  BAMBAMBAM.

After Mike pounded the ceiling the sixth time, someone up there finally got a clue and turned the music down.  By that time, it was almost 1:30, and it probably took me another 30 minutes to fall asleep.  The alarm at 6:00 shocked me out of sleep.

"We don't have to go today, you know," Mike said to me as I started to get ready.

"I'll be okay," I lied and took out the blow dryer. I looked at myself in the mirror.  "No, I won't. If you're really okay with it, I'd rather not go today."

And we didn't.

Fries and mayonnaise

 Instead, I went back to bed and slept until almost 11:00, and we headed to lunch.

"I have to tell you that it will be five or ten minuti," our waiter Eugenio told us after we place our order.  We were outside on the terrace in front of the restaurant.

"It's okay," Mike replied, "but we think you should entertain us while we wait.  Do you sing?"

"I sing," Eugenio laughed, "but I only know Beatle songs."

"That's great," Mike exclaimed.  "Which one do you want to sing?"

"I like to sing," Eugenio told us, "but everyone know Beatle songs, and they sing with me. I can't sing with other people."  He walked into the restaurant.
 Eugenio came back out to bring us bread and found Mike sitting with the leather table marker on his head.  He looked at me.
Mike with the table marker on his head

"Lui é un po pazzo," I told Eugenio who looked at me in shock.  What I'd said was, He's a little crazy, but it also can mean You're a little crazy, which is how Eugenio took it at first. "Lui.  Lui." I pointed at Mike. Eugenio broke into a smile. 

"Oh, he's a little crazy," he said to me.

"Help me," I said to our laughing waiter.

"I help you," he replied.  "Run. Run. I will distract him."


As the five-to-ten minutes turned to 15, Mike started getting bored again.  "I wonder if Italians will wave to me," he said to me.

"All you can do is try."  He started waving to people who rode by on bikes, and most of them ignored him.  After a bit, he started waving at people walking by.

"I'm not waving at that guy," Mike said as a huge, tattooed guy walked toward us. "He might beat the crap out of me."  Eugenio brought a table near us their coffee.  "No one is waving to me," Mike complained.  "Aren't they friendly?"

"Italians don't look up," Eugenio said. "They always look down. They don't see you."

"They don't see the sky?" Mike asked him.

"No," Eugenio replied.  "They see the ground, the dirt. They no see you."


"That's not nice," Mike told him.  "I'm a friendly guy."  He waved at a guy riding by, and the guy said, "Ciao."

"Did he just say hello to you?" I laughed.

"He thinks I'm a nice guy," Mike told me.

"He thinks you're nuts," I told him as he waved at a woman riding by.

"She just stared right at me," Mike complained.

"You probably scared her," I replied.

At this point, our five-to-ten minute wait had hit about 30 minutes, and we hadn't seen the waiter in some time.

"Can you see Eugenio?" I asked. 

Mike shook his head. "I think he's helping them rebuild the kitchen," he said to me and waved to someone else who ignored him.  He was quiet for a few minutes.  "Maybe I should hold my hat out," Mike said. "Maybe I can get some donations to pay for lunch."

"Go ahead," I told him.  "I dare you."

"I bet some guy would ride by and grab it," he replied.  "Then I'd be out of luck since I couldn't chase him. 'Thanks for the hat and the money, Dude.'"


 The entire time we were doing this, the other patrons in the restaurant would look at us and then away if I looked at them.  They all spoke English—British or American—so I knew they understood us. I couldn't tell if they were afraid, amused, or confused as to why I was laughing so hard.

Eugenio never returned, and a waitress finally brought our lunch—two panini and an order of fries.

"Why would they give us butter with fries?" Mike asked me looking at the bowl of creamy stuff sitting next to the fries.

"It's mayonnaise," I told him. "For some reason, they eat fries with mayonnaise here. UGH."

"Have you ever tried it? It might be good."  My husband is so trusting at times.

"I don't like mayonnaise in the first place," I gagged back.  "I'm sure not going to try it with fries."

As we went into the restaurant to pay, Eugenio miraculously appeared again.

"How was everything?" he asked.  We assured him it was, and he went outside to again wait on customers.

"Do you think he disappeared because of us?" Mike asked me.

"Us? " I retorted. "Do I think he disappeared because of *us*? I don't think it was *us* at all."

Parting note: As I finish this up, it's 9:45 pm.  Mike just turned to me and said, "Well, I don't want to jinx anything, but...."

"Don't say it," I snapped back.  "Don't jinx it.... but keep that broom handy."

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