Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Lady of Cheese -Parte una (1)

First stop, Palermo! It was decided by Mr. Moose to arrange a car for hire so we could motor to our hotel in Cefalu and then explore the island at our leisure. It was a great thrill to discover that we would not have a driver and that we would be left to our own devices, -um, device I suppose. (Finally, I though, I shall know the rush that certain young starlets feel, going out on the town sans panties...) As we peeled onto the Autostrada, We were three blithe travelers setting off to have a great time. We hoped after Mama Rosa Maria spotted a sign that said "Our Lady of Mozzarella", that it was a foreshadowing of the deliciousness to come, and the Island of Sicily did not disappoint may I add, as we were greeted by the most beautiful, gracious and seriously sensual people, ready to fill our every need - and that was just at the petrol station.

Arriving at the Hotel Kalura, our Krewe de Faboo swept up the marble staircase and into the lobby. As I was checked in by proxy, I noticed the jolie decor of our temporary Castello and its even more temporary court- I was enchanted with the beach resort-cum-disco motif, the large mirrored columns and white baby grand were in perfect concert with the masses of sinewy German tourists there to enjoy the biking, hiking and the running, jumping and climbing trees that all the sportif set seem to love so.
Mama Rosa Maria and I, whom now insisted we call her simply Rose' -toddled off to find the bar.

Our rooms were lovely of course, all facing the water, and what color! Every Pantone blue and green in the known universe were there- I had never witnessed such hues. Characteristically, Mr. Moose glowed incandescently in the light off the Tyrrhenian coast. I secretly watched as he looked out toward the water, his lips parted as though they inhaled the view discreetly, his eyes partially closed as if he felt the scenic beauty settle on his skin like fairy dust or the ash from distant Mount Etna.
I started to feel the encroaching dampness in my skivvies. Oh, oink.

Gathering Rose', we descended the stairs three girls three skipping into the lobby. I could see a twinkle in Rose's eye as she passed the white baby grand piano on the was to the restaurant, there would be trouble ahead, not to mention requests for "Time in a bottle" in German no doubt.

After a nice meal served by the waiter in the movie "Brazil" ("You must SAY the number!") -seven courses of yum and two bottles of slurp, we were on the way up to our rooms weary after the long day behind us. Rose' said she wanted to check with the concierge on tomorrow's weather and the available tours of the island adding that she would follow shortly. Hearing the slight lilt in Rose's voice I thought suspiciously to myself pressing the elevator button, hmmmmm.... could it be....? I shook off the feeling as fatigue and scampered to our sweet suite.

A little later, the Moose and I having imbibed in serious nightcaps and some serious necking, thought we would call Rose' and say goodnight. No answer. Even after a thirty minute Queen Helene' mint julep mask and Jean Nate' bubble bath grace period, nothing.
After throwing on an acceptable evening ensemble, we dashed first to her room and then to the lobby to get a key to check on the old girl.

Mon Dieu! The grand spectacle that greeted us met my grand suspicions perfectly, there she was having her Great White Way with the white baby grand in the center of the lobby, belting out show tunes. Simply splendid. People gathered. People swooned, they tore at serviettes, they slid off their chairs onto the floor, they went up in clouds of foam and thunder.
She really made you feel her singing Bye-Bye to the Blackbird was absolutely final.

Upon our making eye contact, she wagged her finger at us in a warning like an Operetta Soubrette to a desperate love interest, so we decided to join in the revelry as we were already dressed for the part of the be-smitten.

I later- during intermission- confided to Rose' that I once knew a chicken that could play the piano. Her name was Count Bessie and man, could she peck out a tune! Well, that is a bit of a white lie, Bessie and I were never formally introduced, but when I saw Count Bessie, as well as Rose' performance that night, it knew it was my clucky day.
Rose' just threw back her head, giggled and said "Oh such talk!" and "What an imagination!" then finally, "Is that Champagne?"
I certainly had not imagined Rose's charm and magnetic personality. She is one of those rare individuals that have the ability to have you eating out of the palm of her hand within moments of meeting her. I knew we three were going to be great traveling companions from the beginning.

While we are on the subject, most of my close friends know how independent and creative in thought and imagination I am. You see, I understood early on that the usual suspects will -with best intentions no doubt- actually bore you to death with white bread stories of how so and so said such and such about quack quack quack. At least my version of events are much more colorful at worst and at their best they are a precise -um, compilation and a more interesting interpretation of events- like clarified butter if you will!

Even when I was a little Cornichon I had quite the resplendent imagination, I, of course, had a very special imaginary friend- an imaginary robot actually. His name was Alexander Abraham Von Klangberg, -a Macedonian -German Jew naturally,- Who kind of resembled Jesus in Mel's "Passion of the You-Know-Who" Before the messy scourging part. Oh the fun we had, playing our own special games like "Kidnapped heiress" or "Pin the blame on the Pharisee" and the ever popular "Le Cornichon show" I was the host, like Johnny Carson and he would be my sassy sidekick, he looked so cute with the mike clipped to his metal Nehru jacket.... ah, mes mémoires..

As hard as it is to fathom, I am also aware that there are some people -(that will remain nameless until I actually know them better and then I can write about them)- that say with a wink wink nudge nudge kind of bitchiness- that I have a very fertile imagination- using the word fertile like fertilizer, i.e. bullshit- I want to state that I absolutely speak the truth, albeit my version of the truth, but as a firm believer in alternative and imaginary realms, like in art, the Real and the Surreal all depend on where you are standing in the room, my deah......

Anyway, back at the swingin' lobby of Hotel Kalura, knowing it is best to leave a party when it's at it's peak, I thought I would collect The Moose, who was in the midst of a doing a headcount, and retire to our third floor suite. On last glance, the last thing we saw was Rose' pulling the beard of a German professor type, saying "Oh silly Gustaf, the bubbles just go to my head!"

Now a drink for hanging around a baby grand with your fav songstress!

A Midsummernacht's Dream

5 fresh strawberries

1 tsp strawberry liqueur

1 oz Kirschwasser cherry brandy

2 oz Russian tonic water

Mix the strawberries in a blender and pour over ice in a shaker. Add the vodka, kirsch and strawberry liqueur to the shaker. Shake well, pour into a elvish highball glass, and fill up with the russian water.

Best served while puckishly sitting on someones lap.
Giggle while drinking.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man