Yesterday as I happily awaited my Pizza Primavera (zucchini and mushroom atop a layer of light organic mozzarella), a man was in front of me who looked like a Russian bodyguard…big, burly…close-cropped hair clad in a light, tight shiny parka despite the low temps.
I was given the once-over which should have alerted me to some type of foreign exchange if you will, but in my thin girl naivete, can’t wait for my pizza haze, I paid little attention.
It all goes back to simple pleasures on thin crust.
When I first came in and noticed their three little tables occupied, I did what I often do when there’s no room at the inn. I parked myself and all my stuff by the window where the counter man works so I could quietly eat for that big five minutes it takes one to down a regular slice.
I then walked back to retrieve it to add extra olive oil they place on the counter the moment they see me come in, an act of familiarity that secretly pleases me.
Suddenly the Russian says, “Whose bag is this?” pointing to my Kate Spade I left near the window. “Mine,” I said, calmly at first until he started to lecture me on leaving an unattended bag in a public place. All I can say is, I was in no mood for a testosterone onslaught by some foreigner whose English made me twitch. Reminded me of my ex who has not one consonant to his name either.
I told him he should mind his own business which turned him into a raging lunatic screaming at the top of his stilted lungs. I held my ground enjoying his unraveling adding insult to injury starting to laugh. I couldn’t help it. It was right out of a Tom Clancy novel. Giggling may sound mean but trust me, his outburst was so inappropriate since there were kids and mothers not to mention all those young, innocent Italian girls working there.
His friend actually had to pull him out while, as a final gesture, he banged both fists on the front window with such outrage directed at me and Kate who, after being in my possession for well over twenty years, has now seen it all.
I told my mother to go back whence she came because I can always feel her rise within me at a time like this since she was afraid of no one, a trait, for better or worse, I’ve inherited.
I took my slice, doused it with virgin olive oil, moseying to my corner.
I think I may have scared the Italian girls behind the register but then again, may have taught them…
one does not fold in opposition at 2 in the afternoon.
This is America after all where no one, man nor beast, has any right to intimidate or bully a woman over anything, even if it comes in a bag.
And once I declared it mine, did he really think I had a bomb in my make-up case?