The Fab Four, AKA, La Flor, Little Carmen, Carmela, and TT, are sitting with me at a corner table at Marzelli’s Trattoria. Geno Marzelli, older, stooped, wearing a silk, handmade Italian suit comes to our table carrying a bottle of expensive wine.
Skip that, I’m rewriting the scene.
“No, you can’t. I don’t want to change a thing. Don’t ruin everything,” said La Flor with a voice sharp enough to slice a hunk of parmesan cheese.
“I don’t want to be part of the mob. I don’t want you to have hot merchandise. I doing a total rewrite.”
“I’m on strike. Who said anything about mob? Not me. Not Big Carmen. Not Pepper. Not Whale. Not the 5th,” said La Flor.
“And, may I add 2 + 3 doesn’t always make 4,” said Little Carmen.
“Huh,” said La Flor, Carmela, TT, and me.
“I’m going to have you becoming a nun and going to South America to live high in the Andes,” I said.
“You are sick. TT call Dr. Phil or somebody over there. We need an intervention and we need it now,” said La Flor trying to play Mozart’s piano concerto without a piano.
“May I intervention to bring this statement to a concluding (I think Geno meant to say, stalemate), said Geno Marzelli.
“We all turned to him. Wine makes the sun shine. It makes the grass green. It makes the birds sing. I give you my best wine. Besides, the beautiful, tough and edgy eye candy is the apples in my eye.” Geno places the wine on the table, bows to La Flor and walks away.
“I think he’s the 5th,” I said.
“Leave it alone, Ray. Do you see how nice Geno was to me? Are you jealous? Of course you are. You could take lessons from him, and so could you, LC.”
“Use wants me to starts practicing bow wowing?” said Little Carmen.
“Yes, and think of ditching the Carmen’s Pizzeria T-shirts with a pepperoni pizza on the back.”
“But I gots a box full, there must be a hundred in there. What am I going to do with them?” asked Little Carmen.
“Do I have to think of everything? My job description says I only have to be eye candy, look beautiful, tough, and edgy. It’s taking all my time.”
“Yah!” said Carmela.
“Ditto,” whispered TT not loud enough for Little Carmen to hear him.
“I thought you rescued me. Instead, you sold me out,” I said gesturing a finger at La Flor.
“Oh Ray. How simple minded you are. Read your job description, out loud please so we all can help you.”
La Flor telling me what to do? I created her. I take a Carmen’s Pizzeria to go menu from the inside pocket of my silk Italian suit. I turn it over because it is on the back side where my job description is written. I start, “Large sausage pizza with Carmen’s special sauce, fourteen seventy-five. Order before seven and get a cannoli.”
“That’s use job description? I thought it was mine,” said Little Carmen.
“Apparently so,” I said.
“Ray, read between the lines, not the menu. Didn’t you listen to Big Carmen? He’s really, very, very, very, smart and handsome,” said La Flor.
“Is he is handsome as his only son,” asked Little Carmen.
“Oh my baby hunk, don’t be insecure. I’m wearing your rock. I have your fur coat. And, might I say keep the furnishings coming.”
“All of which are being donated to the poor today. We’ll stop by the church,” I said.
“I’m doing it right now. We suddenly found ourselves at St. Mary’s. We all went to the small building in back of the church that took donations for the poor.”
“Please stop writing. In the name of all that’s good, please stop,” pleaded La Flor.
La Flor, the generous, beautiful, tough, and edgy woman, handed her $10,000 fur coat to the nun taking donations.
“Not my coat!” she hollered.
La Flor seeing the look of gratitude on the nun’s eyes, handed her the $5000 hand crafted black leather boots with spike heels.
“Not my boots!” La Flor shouted.
La Flor, a walking saint, takes off the hot ring and hands it to the nun, “I hope this will help buy food for the hungry,” she said.
“You are the most generous, wonderful, kind, and compassionate woman I’ve met in a long time,” said Sister Monica.
“It’s hard, Sister living in the same house with self-centered, cheap, Ray.
“I understand,” said Sister Monica glaring at me. She turned back to La Flor, “If they give you anymore hot merchandise, bring it over here where it will do some good. Now go back to being eye candy. It keeps those guys calm.
“Thank you, Sister. Now let’s get back to Geno’s I need some wine.”
Can you follow this story? I’m having trouble.
I look at the back of the menu again. She’s right. Between the lines of the menu, are some small words printed with a ball point pen, the hotel variety kind. I read them to the Fab Four, “Use do’s a good job and use gets a bonus on top of the bonus. Don’t ask no question on what use is to do, jus do it. If use don’t know what use is supposed to do, use can clam (yes, it was written clam instead of claim) use is crazy and get off light.”
“See, it’s simple. Anyone can do that job and you’ll finally be making a contribution to society instead of blabbing about me and my entourage on your blog.”
I want to say lots of things. My lips won’t work. My vocal chords are in the Arctic circle and it’s December 21. I feel like I’m hyperventilating when a hand crashes into my back, my forehead hits the table and bounces back.
I hear La Flor say, “Big Carmen how do you get more handsome every time I see you. You make my heart flutter.”
“Beautiful, tough, and edgy one, use the one making my heart turn into chicken cacciatore.”
Big Carmen tells a guy at the table next to us to find another chair. He takes the guy’s chair and pulls it in between La Flor and me. He puts his right arm around me and pulls me tight to him, “Use pulled it off with use intellectual wit, Ray.”
I summon my courage, I said, “What does your organization do?”
“We helps the poor. The unfortunate. The underpriviledged. And, of course ourselves. Use hear what I am saying? We are a charitable organization.”
He whispers, “Dat was for the Feds. Use every heard of Robbing Hood?”
“Robin Hood?” I corrected.
“What I say? We do the same ting. Use is going to manage it cause I’m too busy with my pizzeria.”
I look at TT who’s looking at Carmela. I said, “Why not TT as your manager. Keep it in the family. He’s hot for your godchild, Carmela.”
“Use don’t mind? Use not gonna take it personal?”
“Where does that leave me?” asked La Flor.
“Sipping coffee on the patio with me.”