Pinocchio e La Favolosa
After so much blood and gore and fecal matter, I was relieved when Samantha said she had a sweet story to share with me, one she promised would be dolce, dolce, Dolce.
This time, we met for Aperol spritzes in the West Village at Bar Pisellino…which is Italian slang for penis.
“Really?” I asked when I found Samantha waiting for me at the bar, cocktail already in hand, “Con te Partiro” blaring over the speaker system. “You couldn’t have picked a bar with a more obvious name?”
“Oh, honey, it’s just good PR. They know their audience. Best Aperol spritz in the city AND the name translates to ding-a-ling? Welcome to the cougar den.”
“Well ring-a-ding-ding,” I drawled as I looked around the room, indeed full of women of a certain age and promiscuity. One walked up to us wearing the most fabulous Dolce dress, strapless and turquoise. “Ciao.”
“Fendi?” I asked, petting her handbag and speaking my love language: Italian fashion design.
“Never!” The woman spit on the floor. “Roma has a war with us.”
“Carrie, this is Annalisa.”
I endured European air kisses. “Have we met before?”
“Bella, no, your column is about disposable men, remember? I come from Napoli and am such a, come si dice, favolosa character that I simply had to manifest in your little stories.”
“She’s like a cross between your friend Amalita and my friend Claire Ann,” Samantha said. “But so much more fabulous. Plus, she knows what it’s like to be a woman boss in the full Madonna-whore equation.”
I suddenly felt jealous of Annalisa. “Samantha, are we breaking up?”
“It can’t hurt to start seeing other people.” Samantha sipped her cocktail. “You never know what the future may bring.”
And just like that, I had to picture my world without Samantha.
“Annalisa and I have a mutual friend,” Samantha was saying. “Do you remember my short little lover, Jeff? The big dick with a little man attached?”
I did remember. Jeff had picked up Samantha with his charm and business acumen while seated at a bar, and it was only when he stood up to leave, having secured a date with Sam, that she realized he could only reach her nipples. He cracked her when he joked that she must shop at the Big & Tall Whore Store.
“You made it work with him for two weeks and then he just disappeared without explanation?”
“I get bored.” Samantha waved away the question. “Annalisa has informed me that Jeff was a real-life Pinocchio!”
“I’m going to need some details.” I leaned forward conspiratorially. “Did his pisellino grow a few inches every time he told a lie? If that was the case, all men should suffer the same affliction.”
“Sweetie, trust me, he needed no help in that department. And there is such a thing as too big, even for me.” I remembered: Mr. Too Big. If a woman of Samantha’s talents had given up, I worried about the poor guy ever getting laid.
“This man, Jeff, the tiny one, he is working as a waiter in my favorite restaurant,” Annalisa explained. She lit a Monopolio di Stato cigarette and began waving it around.
I had to ask: “Can we smoke in here?”
“I dabble in la stregheria, come si dice, witchcraft, like all women,” Annalisa said, ignoring my question and talking loudly with her hands. “Sibyls, curses with toenail clippings, herb gardens, psychic powers, animal familiars, yes?”
“Capeche,” I nodded, afraid to say anything else.
“This Goffredo, Jeff, he is such a good waiter while we are entertaining some Americans visiting from the other side. They make fun of the food and think we do not notice, ask for macaroni with gravy, worse than classless Germans. So I say he needs a vacation, I can send him anywhere he wants for two weeks. He tells me he always wished to be a big shot on Wall Street when he grew up.”
“So you made him a real boy,” I nodded.
“Who had to shop in the boy’s department at Bloomingdale’s,” Samantha added.
“This, he did not care about,” Annalisa shrugged. “He wants only to meet a beautiful woman and make love to her for the entire fortnight.”
I raised a questioning eyebrow at Samantha. She nodded in confirmation.
I couldn’t help but wonder: could Annalisa put a spell on me, too? If we all fantasize about living la dolce vita in Neapolitan novels or Tuscan villas, why are so many of us still stuck in the daily grind of the city? Without his strings to hold him down, Jeff had made his dreams come true, in the form of Samantha. Why couldn’t I?
Annalisa swished her Dolce into the kitchen, the staff too stunned to stop her.
“Let’s hope she doesn’t drop ashes in the moozadell,” I quipped.
Samantha lowered her voice: “Wouldn’t matter. She is acting boss of the crime family back in Naples.”
“The don is a Donatella?”
“Everyone thinks her husband is in charge, but she runs things while he serves a life sentence.”
“So the godfather is a fairy godmother, flitting around, granting wishes on stars.”
“Oh, honey, I am going to miss your little jokes.”
“Samantha…” I teared up.
“Let’s just make the most of the time we have left together, shall we?” Samantha soothed.
Annalisa emerged from the kitchen, heavy appetizers plated in both hands. “Mangiamo!”