Papi and I survived a weekend together in my tiny studio. We shared my queen size bed, but thankfully he did not snore like last time. I got him to cook me risotto and he even gave me a handful of pictures from my trip to Paris that I thought I had lost forever!
It’s funny how, with time, I am starting to recognize so many of my characteristics in him. Or I guess it’s the other way around, whatever.
He has a blind passion for anything chocolate, no matter what it involves, if it contains chocolate, he wants it.
He loves shopping, browsing, being in stores. When asked what he would like to do Saturday, he chose to spend the day in the mall and enjoyed every minute of it.
He is fascinated with anything technological. He owns two iPhones, an iPad, a couple laptops, a computer…. And he’s always looking for the next cool thing. It was funny to see him play with my Mac, since he’s currently a Microsoft man who’d like to get with the program. The only thing he was satisfied with was the brightness of my keyboard, aside from that, all I heard was frustration. But he’ll come around.
His addiction to iPhone covers. I own about fifteen, he wanted to buy himself just as many while he was here…
Brian and I took him to have steak on Friday night, his favorite meal, and during dinner he told us stories about being in the military in Italy as a young man. How the Lieutenant would always send him to clean the bathrooms in the mornings, and how when he first started, they would serve rice at every meal, and it’d be full of worms. He got so skinny he wouldn’t let my grandma visit him. I love his stories, and the crazy ones about my family in Sicily or about growing up all over Italy because grandpa was in the military and he kept getting moved around.
To stay within the Halloween theme, I asked him about the ghost stories grandma used to tell us, and he shared a spooky one he had never told me before. He must have been around 8 years old when he and my uncle met two pretty girls, who told them a way to find out who their future wives would be. They had to attach a candle in the middle of a plate, sprinkle some olive oil on the plate, light the candle and stand in the dark in front of a mirror. After a few minutes, their future spouses would appear on the other side. My father was scared to try it, but my uncle talked him into it, so one night they prepared everything, turned off the light and stood next to one another in front of the mirror. After a few minutes, my father started feeling although someone was heavily breathing over his shoulder. He asked my uncle if he could sense or see anything, my uncle said he couldn’t. But my father still heard the heavy breathing next to him. He was spooked and turned on the light. He went to the bathroom and the breathing was still with him… he said he felt so frightened that he ended up sleeping in his brother’s bed that night, and by the time he woke up, the breathing had gone.
He has tons of interesting stories from when he was younger, some are from living in Southern Italy as a kid, and some others are from his first years as an air traffic controller. My favorite one is probably the one about the UFO over my hometown. He’s always believed in UFOs. He said that you couldn’t help believing if you were an air traffic controller, because there were sightings all the time. He was unloading the car one night, coming home from somewhere with my mother and my new born sister. My mother and the baby went inside and he was grabbing something from the back seat when he felt like someone was watching him from above. He said it was an eerie feeling and it made him look up. I don’t remember what he saw, but I do remember that he ran inside because whatever he sensed or saw, didn’t feel friendly.
I’m always so fascinated by these stories; I could listen to him for hours. All the things he has seen and done…
He only stayed for a couple days and then went back to Chicago to stay at my sister’s. We manage to see each other once a year so it’ll probably be a few months before we see each other again. I am overdue for a trip to Italy, so I hope I’ll be the one visiting him next year. For now it’s back to texting and phone calls, and maybe FaceTime once in a while.