Winner Tapas Contest
Between different plates offering Milano's best aperitivo tasties, I pace and ponder my own faulty, lacking tactics. The note absolving her of an answer, the bold proclamation of my planned vigil at the bar where we first met, the insistent promises of future fidelity, frenzied even for me. But five months have done for me, mounted in me a moroseness that only an Italian tongue can cure. I bite the rim of my cocktail glass, cling to its alpine lifeline stem, vow to wait twenty minutes past the twenty minutes late that she would be if she came, order a second drink through glass and teeth, release the glass to the cameriere the time it takes to pop an onion, two olives, three fingers' worth of chips in my mouth and chomp as the next glass floats over the bar in a surer hand than mine. Munching, slurping, pacing, spilling, muttering between gulps, I swing destra to sinistra, sinistra to destra, as frantically as a half-full glass will allow, until I stop dead and stare. She's on time, on the dot, and dressed in the red that always makes me most want to rip it off her. I hope she keeps the smile.