Vincenzo greeted his friend:
"Buongiorno Rosario, sembra che sta andando essere un buon giorno per le vendite. Forse avremo un altro giorno come la settimana scorsa."
(Good morning Rosario, looks like it's going to be a good day for sales. Maybe we'll have another day like we had last week.)
Rosario smiles, helping Vincenzo with the cart.
"Spero di si," Rosario responded.
(I hope so.)
Rosario invited Vincenzo to sit down and have their usual espresso that Stefania, Rosario's wife, prepared for them, along with something tasty to eat. Rosario and Vincenzo had been best friends since childhood. They lived in the same neighborhood, two houses away from each other. Rosario's father, Salvatore Bellini, was a well-known artist in Taormina. Since Vincenzo and Rosario's mothers were neighbors, as well as friends, he was able to visit Rosario's home often. Salvatore liked Vincenzo's interest in his paintings. He had a good feeling about this young boy with the big eyes.. He sensed a passion for art stirring in him. Salvatore would give Vincenzo some paint brushes and paper to see what he could create. When he finished, Salvatore was in awe. This child had the makings of a great artist. He had excelled at drawing and had such an understanding of color at such a young age. He was gifted. Salvatore saw himself in this young child.
He told Vincenzo's mother that he would like to tutor him, sharing everything he knew about design, forms and color. Paola was so proud of her son. She agreed to this without telling her husband. Thus, Vincenzo began his artistic apprenticeship with Bellini at a very young age.
Spurred on by his enthusiasm, Vincenzo tried to find the perfect spot to exhibit his work, just off of the beach, yet close to the water.
After walking a distance with the cart, they stopped. Vincenzo couldn't resist going to the edge of the water to wet his feet and look at the sea. Rosario stayed behind setting up the exhibit. Vincenzo stood still, feeling the warmth of the late morning sun on his face. The sea breeze ruffled his curly brown hair as he deeply inhaled the salt air, tasting the spray from the waves. It was invigorating. His feet sunk into the sand as the waves overlapped each other, rushing, splashing and roaring against his legs,, dragging the sand between his feet. He looked about him and was surprised and disappointed that the beach was not crowded. There were only a few tourists splashing in the waves. His self-confidence began to sink. He had been so sure it was going to be a lucky day for him. He scratched his head and mumbled:
"Dove sono tutte le persone. Questo posto è sempre pieno."
(Where are all the people? This place is always packed.)
Taormina has been a top holiday coastal resort on the Italian island of Sicily since the early 19th century. It has also been Vincenzo's hometown since he was born.
Ever since he was a child, Vincenzo loved to come to the beach with his mother. He would often play in the sand, building sandcastles.Vincenzo was a gifted child who had the ability to build impressive sculptures out of sand. His father, Lorenzo, was a simple fisherman who worked hard to feed his family. His clothing reeked of fish. Even when he came home, the kitchen and bathroom smelled of fish. Wherever he walked or sat, the fish scales would trail behind him. Vincenzo hated that smell, though he loved to eat fish, especially the way his mother Paola would prepare it.
"Mmmmmmm... delizioso," he would say to his mother, giving her a big hug. He was an only son. His mother Paola adored him. She had a difficult delivery when he was born. After Vincenzo, Paola couldn't have anymore children. Paola loved her son and was always fussing over him. Lorenzo resented Paola for giving him so much attention. Vincenzo was expected to follow in his father's footsteps. Vincenzo was to get married and raise his family as a fisherman, as many generations had done before him.. But Vincenzo had other ideas, which did not include being a struggling fisherman with a pile of snot-nosed kids.
"Non io, non sarò mai un pescatore. Diventerò un artista famoso e fare un sacco di soldi!"
(Not me, I will never be a fisherman. I will become a famous artist and make lots of money.)
Ever since Vincenzo was a child, he was mesmerized by the curvy, voluptuous women he saw on the beach, the ones who poured themselves into a bikini.. Apparently, these women had no qualms about exhibiting their god-given bodies. Even at age 40, Vincenzo would remember vividly his first sexual experiences from adolescence, as he enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh with a voluptuous woman. He was a willing teenager, 17 years old, and she was a cougar on the prowl at age 40. Rosa was a widow whose body craved a man's sexual touch. Rosa saw Vincenzo on the beach and liked his physique, so she flirted with him. His muscular build and good looks made him look older than his age, and he had a hard time keeping his eyes off of her curvy, voluptuous body. The more she flirted with him, the more aroused he became. As her final act of seduction, Rosa invited him to come to her house. He accepted her invitation. Vincenzo knew she was much older than him, but it didn't matter, all he knew was that she was a hot cougar that drove him wild, with her steamy passionate flirtation and sex appeal. He longed to become a great carnal pupil in her hands. Vincenzo hungered for the moment he could share a bed with Rosa. He was glad that she suggested he come to her house, so he wouldn't have to find a way to safely get her alone. He would tell his parents he was going to Rosario's house. When he knocked on Rosa's door, she opened it, dressed in a see through negligee. Vincenzo couldn't wait anymore. He relaxed and enjoyed himself immensely, learning as he went along. They were both convinced they wanted more time with each other, but as they say, all good things come to an end.
Remembering Rosa, Vincenzo's cheeks flushed as he became visibly aroused while savoring the memory of their last desperate sexual encounter. Even after 23 years, she still had a lingering effect on him. So Vincenzo realized that all good things don't have to end, they just evolve, and fade into memory, where they are safe and forever available to be visited. Rosa would never die, not as long as Vincenzo and his paintings lived.
Vincenzo was happy with his current mistress, who reminded him of Rosa. He had never married. He wanted to be free to paint, without worrying about supporting a family.Life was good.
It was starting to get very hot. Vincenzo was worried about his paintings. Luckily he had a tarp on hand to cover his exhibit. Rosario was getting hungry and wanted to go home. Vincenzo, desperately waiting for a sale, yelled out.
"Rosario, aspetta, aspetta, non andare. Rimani altri 15 minuti e cominceremo imballaggio. Ti pagherò in più."
(Rosario, wait, wait, don't leave. Stay another 15 minutes and we'll start packing. I'll pay you
Suddenly a man approached Vincenzo and handed him his card. He was a dealer from a famous art gallery in Manhattan, New York. He was fascinated by Vincenzo's paintings, the endless playgrounds filled with curvy, voluptuous women. He liked Vincenzo's style, it was quite unique, something he had never seen before. It was seductive and humorous. He told Vincenzo that he wanted to show his paintings in his art gallery. Vincenzo only knew a few phrases in English, which he was embarrassed to pronounce, so he asked his friend Rosario for help. Rosario was a University graduate and spoke English fluently, so he became the go-between for Vincenzo and the Art Dealer. Vincenzo could not believe his ears. Finally, his dream to go to America and become a famous artist was coming true. Vincenzo joyfully hugged his friend Rosario, thanking him for his help, saying:
"Lo sapevo, lo sapevo."
(I knew it, I knew it.)
He kissed the business card and began to whistle as they packed up the beach exhibit and headed home.
Vincenzo's face was beaming as he turned to his friend, and said:
"Sì, è stata una bella giornata al mare. Non pensi così Rosario?"
(Yes indeed, it was a beautiful day by the sea. Don't you think so Rosario?)
Rosario happily responded:
"Hai ragione Vincenzo, finalmente dopo tutti questi anni di duro lavoro, il tuo sogno si è avverato."
(You are right, Vincenzo, finally, after so many years of hard work, your dream has come true.)