“This is the way the old Italians did it.”
My Father announced as he poured the last of the wine into the rocks glasses. Every time we drank my Father declared that the “Old Italians” drank wine out of rocks glasses. Not the traditional wine glasses. I suppose that could be true. I also suppose that over the course of six and a half years, repeated strenuous physical labor could leave a persons hands mangled, the types of hands that fumble objects. Torn muscles, gnarled scars, and permanent stiffness don’t exactly handle stemmed glass wear with elegance. We’d passed from late night into early morning. The fire was dying out, and the last of the drink was upon us. Multiple empty bottles stood gathered together atop an old pine wood crate that acted as our coffee table. My Father sported a flush face, as he did after any type of drinking, a trait I hoped wasn’t genetic. We clanked glasses with the conclusion of the night quickly approaching.
The night had been uneventful, which was hit or miss with us. Most of our nights, lead to drinking. Most drinking lead to my Father wanting to talk about politics, and me wanting to avoid talking about politics. Father was a talk radio hardened republican. I was a long haired comedian with a Bill Murray tattoo on my forearm. We both lived in the Bay Area.
Often time’s I’d wondered if the only thing we had in common, other than genetics, was wine. The old man stared into his glass a moment, then began what I hoped wasn’t going to be regurgitated policy views.
“You know Steve… The world is a crazy place, and it’s getting crazier by the minute.” Father was deep in the clutches of the drink. Face red, head bobbing to some unheard beat.
“When I was a kid, a small kid, maybe seven or eight. My Father sent me to a summer camp. I can still remember, the buses pulling up. Four or five buses, filled with kids my age. They pulled up with a screech, and we ran to line up. I was the last one off the bus. I stood in line, looking at all the other kids. I heard a snap behind me, and that’s when I saw him.” Pausing to take a large swallow of deep crimson wine.
“Emerging from the woods, a dirty bearded man. Clothes ripped to tatters. He was stumbling around, long yellow crooked teeth in his mouth, guy must’ve lived out there or something. Out of a hundred or so kids, he walks right up to me, grabs me by my jacket collar. His eyes wild, his stink fierce. I wanted to call out for help, but I was so scared, all I could do is stand there. He looks at me with those wild eyes. He says, and I’ll never forget this, ‘when the world is ruined, there will be nothing for you to eat… You'll have to eat lizards’. A black ooze built up in the corners of his mouth. The Counselor’s grabbed him, took him away, never saw him again. The only thing I know Steve. The only thing I know.”
He paused, glaring at me his eyes now wide. Face flushed, head swaying, doing his best to fight through the drink. This was important to him. His voice changing to a low whisper.
“The yard out back… its full of lizards…”
He slugged down the rest of his wine. Setting the empty glass on the counter, and then stumble stomped down the hall towards his room.
Steve Poggi hates writing about himself. What kinda sick bastard enjoys doing that? Poggi has been a stand up comedian for over 13 years. He wrote & directed the “Pete and Poggi” web series. He’s created countless podcasts, some of which won awards. He owns and operates his own website, and he has put all this shit on there already. You wanna know more about Steve Poggi? go to www.stevepoggi.com