Our black stretch stretch limo pulled in front of Carlini’s Trattoria. It’s Friday night. The sidewalk is crowded. I’m staring out the window of the black stretch limo. I turn to Little Carmen, “What are those two guys that look like they belong on America’s Most Wanted doing in front of Carlini’s?”
“You means cousin Paul and cousin Joe?” said Little Carmen.
“I don’t know their names. I mean the guys wearing sunglasses at 8 p.m. Tight black tees.”
“They were on America’s Most Wanted until they weren’t America’s Most Wanted,” said Little Carmen as the limo driver pulled to a stop, got out of the limo, and went over and talked to the I’m on steroids Black Tee.
“What does that mean?” I said.
“I dunno. It’s how Big Carmen explains it to me.”
“You accept it without question?” I asked.
A moment later, a beaming Big Carmen, silk shirt open at the collar, black and silver hair sticking out, is at the limo door. The driver opens the door. La Flor extends her hand. She’s wearing a black, sheik, sexy fit me better than my skin silk dress with her new pearl necklace and earrings.
“My beautiful, tough, and edgy woman, you looks more beautiful, tough, and edgy than even Sciencestein thinks probable,” said Big Carmen as he kissed La Flor’s hand.
“Dat is such a smoothie move, Ray-mo. Sees how I learns everyting I knows from Big Carmen?” said Little Carmen.
“I can see how you’ve turned out so well,” I said. I not going to take a chance to get anyone upset with the black tees standing on either side of Big Carmen.
“Why are we here? I asked Little Carmen.
“I dunno. Big Carmen said he’s happy and is tossing a party for us and some of the family.”
I step out of the limo, Big Carmen has La Flor on his arm heading for the trattoria. I said, “Hi Big Carmen.”
The entourage stops. The black tees stare at me. Big Carmen turns, “Hi, Ray. I didn’t sees use because the beautiful, tough, and edgy woman was blinding me with her beauty. If I was twenty years younger LC has no chance.”
Little Carmen taps me on my shoulder, “Man, am I happy Big Carmen is older than me. Go figure how that happened.”
Phil Carlini, the owner, leads to a table that looks like it was set for the President and First Lady and entourage. Waiters fill our wine glasses, Big Carmen stands. He raises his glass, “To my cousin’s cousin, Phil Carlini, who closed his trattoria on his best night of the week because I wanted to toss a little party. Go figure.”
Phil shrugs his shoulders.
I whisper to La Flor, “What’s going on? Why are we having this dinner?”
“You didn’t hear?”
“I didn’t hear what?”
“Big Carmen is promoting Little Carmen. My man is making his way in the world,” said La Flor.
“Why? Promoted to what?” I asked.
“He did such a great job the other night getting the things Big Carmen needed. Lil Carlo gave him an A on his report. LC and don’t know anything about his promotion, we’ll learn tonight. We know it’s a serious promotion. Are you proud of LC?” asked La Flor.
“I can hardly catch my breath.”
“I get that,” said La Flor.
Big Carmen, still standing with a glass of wine, “I gotta toast LC. Salute! My boy, my son, my prides and joys I am giving a serious, very serious promotion the details will be worked out when they are worked out.”
Little Carmen stands waves, and sits. La Flor wraps her arms around him and kisses him.”
Somethings are best left alone.