Everyone Loves Me

La Flor and I sit at the table. I’m sipping my coffee, a piece of multigrain toast smothered in peanut butter and raw honey sits in a dish in front of me. A bowl of blueberries off to the side. The temperature in the room is a pleasant 75. Yet, I feel as if I’m back in the freezer.

“Are you going to speak?” I asked La Flor.

“No. No. No. I am never going to speak to you again and this doesn’t count for speaking,” she said.

“Yes it does,” I said.

“No. It was a commercial. And, furthermore you blew a great career opportunity for the both of us.”

“How so?” I asked.

La Flor doesn’t realize she’s talking to me for the first time in five days. “That second rate, oily skinned, horrible hairstyle, who has no class now has my job as the image for Carmen’s Pizzeria. Truth be told, and I will tell the truth, it’s all silicon and collagen. And, a little liposuction from the hips. You think those lips are the same one’s she was born with? Let me tell you about her  ….”

“Stop right there, La Flor. Are you talking about Carmela?”

“The itch, I won’t use the B word, stole my job. I am going to trash, trash, trash her.”

“Why don’t you celebrate her success? I’m happy TT is the new manager.”

“That’s because you have no ambition.”

“Do you want half of my toast?”

“No. I’m on a starvation diet.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I’m restricting myself to smoothies and wine and ghuda cheese.”

I hear the door slam, not a moment too soon. Little Carmen comes into the dining room.

“How’s the beautiful, tough, and edgy soon to be model of the world’s most expensive jewelry.”

La Flor cocked her head toward Little Carmen, “Say what?”

“I was talking to Big Carmen and telling him how’s it wasn’t fair that use is not the image for the pizzeria. He’s sorry he did it because his sales has gone down the toilet.”

“I knew it. I knew it. Everyone loves me.”

“Of course. But he had to do it to keeps peace in the big family seeing Carmela is the Whale’s granddaughter and Big Carmen is her godfather.”

“What’s this thing about being a model?” asked La Flor.

“It’s a deal, ifs use wants it. Joe Tomalina, he’s an importer and exporter of certain things. Namely, in this case diamonds is one of his imports. And, cars left for more three hours on the street are what he exports. Well. La Roche Exquisite Jewels needs the importer to procure diamonds. But upon Big Carmen talking to Joe who happens to be a cousin of Big Carmen, Joe tells the roach he got to have you as the new image. TV, Cable, all the big mags. Use got the best deal possible. There’s only one hitch.”

“What and it better not be a deal breaker,” said La Flor.

No, no deal breaker. You still got to be the eye candy for Pepper, Whale and the 5th. They want to watch you do the shoot.”

La Flor bounded out of her chair, threw her arms around Little Carmen’s neck and began to kiss him. For my part, I took my coffee, toast, and fruit to the patio. I’m not one to interfere with love.

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