Monday, November 22, 2010

"Dove Vai?" (Where are you going?)

“Dove Vai?” Roberto’s words echo in my head as I order a cappuccino at Caffe Giacosa—or anywhere that isn’t the Jolly Café, for that matter.

Just a week ago, Roberto beckoned me to as I was hurrying past his shop with groceries and toilet paper in hand. “A la mia casa,” I responded. (To my home). He reached out his hand and touched my nose, smiling. Domani? (Tomorrow) Yes, domani.

But I didn’t return to the Jolly Café the next day…or the day after that…or the next five days after that. I didn’t return to the Jolly Café until today, a week later. As I walked into Roberto’s shop bright and early this morning, I noticed that he appeared sad.

‘He knows that I have been cheating on him with other coffee baristas,’ I thought to myself. ‘He is angry with me.’ ‘He doesn’t want to talk to me…’ “He doesn’t want to make me a cappuccino.’ I suddenly felt as though I had committed a horrible crime by going off to other coffee shops. I began to ask myself if there was a law in Italy that said once your barista knows your order by heart, you aren’t allowed to go anywhere else. I began to wonder if I was a felon.

I suddenly felt like I should tell Roberto all about the cappuccinos at the other coffee shops, how the foam was really fluffy at Caffe Giacosa, and how the temperature of the espresso shot in my cappuccino in San Marco Square was simply just perfect. But I refrained. All Roberto needs to know is that I only have the best conversations with his cups of coffee…I only truly love him, not my other baristas. Because he still loves me back even when I don’t spend every day standing at his bar.

In hopes to break a smile out of the somber looking Roberto, today, I told him that I liked his sweater. It was tan and simple. It was the first time I had seen him in something other than the blue sweater I had seen him in on the first day. My plot worked, and Roberto smiled, a big, wide, glowing, grin. I smiled back saying “va bene!”

Suddenly, the week without seeing me seemed to leave his mind as he began asking me to describe my family. He corrected my Italian and applauded me when I said something correctly. ‘He really cares about me,’ I thought.

I then asked him about his family and his son who works at the bar. He joked with me that I should date his son, and I laughed. When I went to leave, he smiled, and we shared a moment. Roberto is smart, caring, and wonderful. And as I’ve said—he understands my love for cappuccino better than anyone else I have met. He understands my love for cappuccino enough to let me go experience all the cappuccino in the world…he understands my love enough to let me go. And he knows I’ll always come back.

No comments:

Post a Comment