Sunday, February 10, 2013
side by side
I tried describing it. "It's as though he's always only inches from my face," I said. Oftentimes he literally was, and if we weren't together but he was on my mind, Spoke still felt just inches from my face. Twenty-five years ago, in love and on top of the world, everything was new and exciting, nothing had yet tested our strength or our love.
During this time, Spoke and I discovered MoMo Italian Specialties, a restaurant which introduced us to the more regional dishes of Italy, which then led to trips, tasting for ourselves. In Florence I ate white truffles for the first time, shavings covering a single, plate-sized ravioli and I bravely ordered squid ink spaghetti in Venice.
Our group of ten met at MoMo recently; it's in a new location with a new name, MoMo Italian Kitchen. Half of us were spaciously spread along the banquette facing the others in chairs. Spoke and I arrived last which left us facing each other across the width of the wood table.
It struck me that I have never, with the exception of a square table of four, not been seated beside Spoke at any dining event and after mere seconds, I was unnerved. I was also uncomfortable, unable to reach the table without leaning far forward. A switch was made, I was appreciative, for all was again right with my world.
As though we are extensions of each other, my husband and I instinctively, if ever so briefly, reach for each other throughout the night, sharing food, checking on the other's needs, all the while being completely engaged with our friends and enjoying their company.
This dinner was excellent as they always are at MoMo. People brought their favorite wines, and pasta dishes which were ordered by everyone, included shells tossed with four cheeses, fresh linguine with spicy seafood, cream-sauced angel-hair with smoked salmon and shrimp, and medallions of spinach baked with mascarpone and gruyere.
Espresso arrived and our table rearranged; ladies gathered at one end, sharing zabaione and tiramisu, while the guys talked at the other end, their desserts consumed before we changed seats. The girl time was nice; in a night that seemed to fly by, we grabbed a few minutes of final conversation before we said goodbye.
During pauses, I caught glimpses of Spoke down the length of table, still in his end chair, twelve feet away at least. In a flash came that old familiar feeling and there he was, as he always is, only inches from my face.