well that went about how i figured it would.
brought the sparkly pig-slaughter book- which turned out amazing and holds 22 of the best photos from the purcita’- into porchis last night. the scene was perfect because eric- the norcit- was there with some friends. since i was too shy to approach him with the book first, i breezed past him and brought it right up to fabio.
he just about died! he loved it! he and simona, his morosa, went through the book ooh-ing and ahh-ing all the photographs. fabio is just the best- when he’s excited, happy, impressed, he just oozes glee, grins from ear to ear, exclaims, “dio porco!!” and “bellissima!”.
“brava, frute, bravissima, benfatta! vai, ecco eric, vai!”
he pointed at eric and told me to go give him the book, to let him see.
easier said than done.
the thing is…i seem to have a crush on this guy. not a crushy-crush like i want to kiss him or think he’s cuuuuute or anything (obviously!), but the kind of crush i had on our exterminator, kevin, when i was 4 years old (he’d come over- i mean, he couldn’t have come over that often, obviously, cause our house was not bug infested or anything but in my memories it’s like, he was there every week- and i would FREAK OUT and run and hide and spy on him and imagine talking to him and showing him my Bert and Ernie dolls and thinking he would be so impressed but if he ever spoke to me i knew i’d like vomit on his shoes or cry or something so i avoided him and must have come across as the weirdest kid ever) and the kind of crush i had on my uncle tom all growing up (he was like, the pinnacle of manhood) and the kind of crush i had on Dr. Clements, my pediatrician (i remember trying so hard to impress him with my deep breaths when he needed to use the stethoscope. i wanted him to think i was the best “take a deep breath and hold it”-er ever) and the kind of crush i will ALWAYS have on paul newman for being just breath taking in every way…
i don’t know, i’ve always been extremely shy and coy around men, like real, masculine men, ever since i was born. i guess it’s this inherent demure-southern-belle thing. i’ve always had trouble looking men-men in the eyes, i get all nervous and blush-y and stuff. (especially FL, at first. i always started out being a nervous wreck, but by the end of the evening…he was the easiest person ever to be with. so i guess that’s where the L.O.V.E. part came in…and i guess that’s why i love him so much: i found a real, true man who’s eyes i can just bathe in).
so eric is my present-day equivalent to kevin the exterminator. he’s gruff and huge and silent but very kind, and he makes me totally nervous. i mean, the dude wields knives, slaughters animals and wears a chain-mail glove for a living!
i swallowed the lump in my throat and walked over to him. i must have stood there for two minutes with an expression similar to that of a deer in headlights, blanking on how in the world to present this weird, random, SPARKLY gift to this giant quasi-stranger whose hands are permanently stained with pigs blood. finally he broke the ice and said, “yes, hello?”
“um. … imadeyouthispigbook.bye.”
slapping the book on the table, i turned and bolted. i could hardly see strait. behind me i heard him say something like, “brawbrawbraw dio porco brawbrawbraw” and in front of me i saw fabio throw his head back and laugh.
“i’ll go help translate,” he told FL, and came around the bar toward us, putting a hand out to stop my flight, and lead me back to the table where eric sat, looking through the book.
he and fabio babbled in super-manly garbled friulano for a minute, both with huge smiles on their faces, and then eric looked at me.
“they’re beautiful photographs!” he said, in simple, clear italian. fabio shook his head in agreement.
“ah. well. good. i mean, yes, they are. ok. thanks,” i said, slowly backing away.
“well, here, frute, thanks for sharing this,” fabio said, offering me the pig-slaughter book.
“no, no!” i exclaimed, “it’s for you! for yall! it’s a thank you gift.”
fabio put his hand over his heart and eric smiled and sort of tilted his head and looked at me oddly. taking my shoulders in his hands, fabio said, “grazie, biele, grazie!” like he really, really meant it. Eric asked if he could take the book home to show his girlfriend, and i said absolutely, and blushed like crazy, flattered that he liked the pictures so much (the ones of him hacking into the pig with his chain-mail glove really are pretty awesome, though).
went back and breathed a sigh of relief as i snuggled my head into FL’s warm chest, who hugged me and kissed me and laughed and said,
“oh my god, your face is sooooo red! someone has a cru-ush!”