The Italian | The Dreamweaver

I was talking to a strikingly handsome Italian man I had met earlier that afternoon when I took him away from the moving van he was removing furniture from.

I walked him over to a table where I had certificate that needed a witness’s signature on to authenticate a poem I was submitting to a competition and he reluctantly agreed as he mumbled some unfriendly sounding Italian words under his breath.

A few minutes later, I saw him talking a break and asked him if I could buy him an espresso and he smiled and thanked me for the kind gesture.

I went back inside to the cafeteria and waited in line at the self service coffee machines watching as others were making coffee so I would be sure to know how to operate the machine once I had to step up to the machine.

When it was my turn, I loaded the portafilter with ground coffee beans and when I reached over to grab the tamper, a young Asian man’s hand and mine touched as we both reached over for the same tamper.

Just then, I saw my childhood friend Jill walk by and I stopped her to ask if she could help me with the coffee and I told her the story of the Italian man.

I brought the espresso outside to the man who was grateful to finally have, as he said, "some good coffee."

I ran into him a little while later and he introduced me to his wife’s family who he was helping move to Chicago.

He then asked me if I could give him a haircut and I said I would do it free of charge.

He said he would only let me cut his hair if I charged him forty dollars and I jokingly said that my usual price was a hundred.

But first he insisted we go into the amusement park and visit the Italy concourse.

When we arrived on the corresponding floor, he said they even use special aromatics to make the concourse smell like Italy and Italian food.

He said we had to walk up a few more flights to get to "the surprise."

As we were in between floors on a landing, there was a table where a woman was sitting and checking people's tickets.

My old friend Jennifer was standing in that line and our eyes met and as I walked by, she put her hand out and for a brief moment our hands touched.

The Italian asked me if I had known that woman and I told him she was my girlfriend when I was a teenager.

He then asked why I did not marry her, telling me how he himself had married his high school sweetheart.

After walking up a few more flights of stairs, we slid down a giant covered slide.

After that, he jumped up onto a bouncy house where a group of schoolchildren were resting.

One young girl asked me how many times I had been to the amusement park and though it was only my first time I told her I had been there about five years before.

Then I woke up

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