Saturday, December 26, 2009

Charming regulars 9/09/09

Last night mio marito had a night off, so I was alone with a trial barman who just wants some experience. Ethnic Andrea came in; he runs an ethnic furniture store where we bought a lot of the lamps for the restaurant. He confided that he and his wife were basically finished and she wasn’t coming back from Argentina, where she had supposedly gone for the August holidays with their young son. He said he was flying out to Buenos Aires the next day with his other son from a previous marriage, to visit and try and come to an arrangement. She’ll probably have heart failure when she sees me, he said, she has no idea I’m coming! He had some saying, which he excused himself with me first (I think for being foreign, as opposed to the chauvinistic tone): ‘donne e buoi di paesi tuoi’ – get your women and your oxen from your own country. I smiled and said, don’t worry that can be easily adapted to ‘uomini’ instead of ‘donne’ (‘men’ instead of ‘women’).

He was with Lurch from the Adams family, an ex-heroin addict who was from a high society family with money to burn; he was an excellent mathematician before the drugs burned his brain. Now he is whiter than white, with a knife-thin face which makes his protrusive nose seem even larger. I have never smelt anything like his cologne, it almost knocks me out. He puts on the innocent good guy face but looks like there is an anger underneath . Drunk Domenico, a regular at the bar next door, rolled up and insisted on buying him a drink. Lurch said, ‘No, no - I don’t drink,’ – it’s bad for him, but he accepted a tonic water. Then when the practice barman, whom I could have done without since he left a real mess behind him, gave him the tonic he said a stick a wee drop of gin in there too. So he got a bit wasted immediately because his thin ex-junkie body can’t take it. Domenico then vomited outside to everyone’s disgust. What bad luck, why couldn’t he have gone next door usual? He came back in and insisted on having another drink, something awful like gin with apple juice. I tried to discourage him but didn’t want to push it, having seen how dangerous these Sicilians can become if they feel threatened. No sooner had he drunk it than he spewed it up in front of the counter. Gross. I couldn’t believe this was happening in our nice locale.

This place is for the people who got left behind.


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