She wasn't to blame. Carla? Nah...wasn't her doing. One o'clock lunch on a Thursday, nothing much going on, down on the border of Ontario and Chino, where we used to eat Mexican food down off the 60 Freeway and Mountain avenue. Those were good days, when Don used to say he needed a cell phone, and it was only to call his wife when he was heading up Cajon pass during the fires, but we got him one. 1989.
Carla said to meet at Canatarro's, and I knew where it was. Carla pointed to the ceiling when we sat down, with the trellis's and the fake wine grapes and vines poking through.
Old style, I said. Reminded me of times we used to eat at pizza dives when I was a kid, Italian red-sauce hangs in San Leandro; Italian Villa, the Pine Cone, Jake's, spaghetti and meatball joints with red checkered table cloths. They've never gone out of style.
Now it's Vince's, Graziano's, Canatarro's, working crowd ristorantes for pickup trucks and four wheel drives, places I used to avoid and now find refreshing, cool dark spaces and lovely waitresses.
Hear that Henry Mancini? Sharp organ chords playing against strings, you know, pre Pink Panther? Early lounge? It lives.
Poinciana? Cal Tjader? Luzon? Smooth, baby, as oil on a backside in late sun on the Caribbean, before dinner and after lunch when time melts and you can set your watch to any old place you want. Drink up... order some appetizers, you ain't goin' anywhere for a while, relax and enjoy. Shower together, the humidity is forever, you know.
I need this. Back at home, smoke some old butts hanging around in ash trays from the nineties, is okay...I say...is okay. I know better, but I know too, is not a thing that lasts, okay? Let it go, let it happen, is okay. . .
Tomorrow? I talk some bizness..work a little bit on my craft. . .take it slow. . .doctor's orders. . .is okay. Is okay. Not Carla's fault.
Is okay. . .blame it on Jay-Lo, Clooney, 'Out of Sight'. . .blame it on Caritanno's. And the vino...