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fantasizing…

I’m waiting for my pizza.

There is a restaurant here in my town that serves the most divine pizza.  Granted, it’s not the old world pizza that is flat, and has a small amount of fresh, delicious ingredients, like fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil from the region.  This is straight up American, with thick, carbohydrate-rich crust, and about seven pounds of cheese.   Slices so heavy you have to have a rub down after dinner.

The atmosphere at the restaurant is almost as surprising as the low prices.  Located next to a scrap metal dump, this restaurant sits unassumingly, pulled back from the street, almost daring passersby to notice it.  Not that you could miss the delicious aroma.   Wafting through the streets, traveling the airspace to your nostrils, you would HAVE to stop and ask yourself, “am I starving to death all of a sudden?  I believe I’m going to pass out if I don’t get some delicious Italian food right this instant!”  Don’t worry.  It happens all the time.   Finding a parking space on a Friday is a rarity, though, so if the sudden hunger hits you on the weekend, best get there early or the wait is astronomical.  Coming into the restaurant you will notice that the dimly lit ambiance isn’t as much romantic as it is homey.  This is a local favorite, and families come together for laughter, the breaking of bread, maybe a little booze.  Adding to the flavor of the familial atmosphere is the ghost in the bathroom, who runs in and out of stalls, waving the doors.  Maybe no one else has noticed but me.  It’s like a customer loved the food so much, they never wanted to leave.  And who could blame her?  Perfectly proportioned toppings, with that homemade crust, so hot and delicious, and melting like perfection on your taste buds.

I’m anticipating the ranch dressing.  A trick I learned working at a pizza bar, when you have decent ranch, dip that thing in and it’s like heaven in your mouth.  I don’t always do this, because of course the pizza is perfect enough as is.  But the ranch dressing here is so good people come in just to pick up a tub.  It’s good enough to eat by itself.  By the spoonful.  My mouth is watering.  I want my pizza now.  I want my mouth full of ecstasy now, please.  NOW.

Of course, the pizza that I’m waiting for isn’t coming until Friday.  Or Saturday.  And here it’s only Thursday.  And I’m not getting DeLuca’s this weekend.  I have a frozen pizza in the freezer, waiting to ‘self-rise’ in my oven. 

Sigh.

Hey, I can still anticipate.

accidental happiness, Stardate 5.18.2010

 

Tuesday was my birthday, and if the birthday celebration is any indication of the coming year, mine shall be full of interesting occurrences, random treasures, spontaneous moments of fun, and a protective hand to guide me along.

My sister, a dear friend of ours and I all went out to a little Italian restaurant for my birthday meal. I order my favorite Manicotti, which is freakishly delicious, and the fabulous tortellini soup. The food, as always, is scrumptious, but just as wonderful is the surprise entertainment we encounter. I guess I’ve never been to the restaurant on a Tuesday night at 8 PM, and we happened to sit in an area that was being serenaded by an older gentleman. Apparently, a gaggle of people come in every Tuesday, all old friends that have been frequenting the establishment for a number of years. After they have their meals, the one old guy starts singing show tunes for everyone, and I guess this is the weekly tradition. “Sing for your dinner” kind of thing. His beautiful baritone wafts through the house, and everyone on our side of the building claps their approval after every song is sung. He sings an old show tune, part of a romantic ballad, and then something in Italian. He crescendos and vibrattos and makes a delicious meal even more charming, with his enthusiastic performance to a familiar and well loved audience.

After the old crooners leave and we finish our meal, we start to walk across the street to the cyber café. I’m in the mood for a good round of foozball, and then some serious Facebooking. My Super Poke Pet is probably dirty and lonely. Walking part way across the street, I spy something shiny at my feet. I don’t know how I happen to see the glint of metal, as it is well past eight o’clock, and the sun has already put itself to bed. Yet somehow, with my less than eagle eyesight, I catch the little nod of a piece of something, winking up at me. Quickly, before the public bus can squash the Manicotti out of me, I snatch up my little find and scurry into the café, twirling this something in my hand. At first I think my new treasure might be a sobriety medal, which I find sad and funny at the same time, as the café is but two doors down from a bar. “Oh no,” I think, “the old guy just couldn’t pass up the weeknight special one day more”. It would be a sort of tragedy, and so much a part of life if it were true.

In the light of the café, however, I notice that this something in my hand is worn and bent, dented and scratched. Looking at it closer, I see it is a St. Christopher medal. Or maybe I’m forgetting, I did show it to the man at the counter, perhaps he was the one who declared it the medal. Either way, it seemed a good find, and almost everyone I’ve told this story to has shared the sentiment: this is a sign of fortune. Good luck. The medal was meant for me.

And though I am not a Catholic or a Christian, I am spiritual. I do seem to have a connection to the “other side”, and it doesn’t really surprise me that a token of blessing would find its way into my hands. Nor does it surprise me that it should find it’s way to me via a pothole in the middle of a busy street that is home to a yummy restaurant, a comic book shop, a tattoo parlour and a bar. I could have found a nice shiny St. Christopher medal, that was new and unworn. But I like the fact that mine is beat to hell. It’s like someone used up all the three wishes out of the Jeanie bottle, and dropped the bottle to run off on their next adventure, leaving the treasure behind for the next guy. It’s a little worse for the wear, but I imagine if this medal could talk it would have many stories and adventures to share. And as I tucked it into my coin purse, and headed out into the night air, I started to think about all the new adventures that lay before me, and the many more stories it was about to absorb.