Monica 

On the younger side of middle-aged, caffè keeper, barista, Monica, Igor’s much younger wife, with her stiff and stout, white doughboy chef’s hat, a self-designed, baby blue silk screened Cala Piada T-shirt and smiling, deep-set, grey Sicilian eyes, asked me if I’d be having the same thing once again this morning, all while comically, theatrically enumerating on her mediterranean-tanned Italian digits starting from right thumb, index to middle finger: “3 large slices of cantaloupe, 6 thin slices of prosciutto di parma and a doppio caffè macchiato with extra milk, va bene così?”. Her ironic expression of both amusement for the predictability of my order and delight to see a familiar face, because alla fine, we had developed an unspoken mutual affection having become one another’s respective  side-street English/Italian teacher, inspired my irresistible urge to respond. I squinted sheepishly but squarely into her gentle, mischievous, shining eyes and retorted with a snide, curled up Boston Irish smirk spread knowingly across my mug: “Eh, sì, the usual, per favore!”

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