This past Sunday I took the opportunity to sup in what was a delightful "family-style" Italian restaurant- "O'Merta's."
Located at the Interstate Motel and Shower (Exit 8), there were ample portions on the plate and ample parking in the lot for multi-axled vehicles.
As I entered the eatery, the aroma of garlic mixed with cordite suddenly struck me- as did a b-b filled sap from behind; I found my mouth watering and my watch and wallet missing.
The host, furry costumed as the chain's kid-friendly advertising mascot, "Jimmy the Weasel" (known for quipping the catch-phrase in commercials: "You'll squeal for our meals!"), led me to a table in the main dining room decorated, as is their custom, in Early Bayonne.
After a heaping serving of Fuhgetti Boudit with a valachi gravanno, followed by Cherries Jubilee served flaming in the waiter's hand as he solemnly recited the coffee list and vowed only death would keep him from returning with Sweet n Low and a non-dairy creamer; I sent my compliments to the mattresses, and headed into the lounge for a snort- then into the bar for a drink.
Within walls lined with caricatures of the usual famed Italian celebrities: Sinatra, Gotti, Russell- respectfully referred to by their first names- "Frank," "John," and "Nipsey"- by the old-timers at the back table drinking from short glasses red wine they made with their own feet, I struck up a conversation at the rail with an unemployed physician's assistant (she may've said "magician's assistant"- it was noisy, and she was wearing a leotard, tails, and top hat ensemble) and stayed for a quick one (though I'm told eight) for the road.
I mentioned to my new friend that I wrote for the Drawn & Quarterly (published four times a year- March, April, May, and June) and was in search of a new topic, or, at the very least, a rich sugar-mama to support me.
As the evening neared its end, while trying to convince the becoming beauty (she didn't look this good a few drinks earlier) that any Polaroids I might snap of her back at my place would be tasteful and artistic, it was suggested to me by the bartender, Sam "the Bartender" Bucca, that an interesting subject for a magazine article might be "people's dreams," and also to "please keep the ruckus down!"
Bravo to Sam for his inspirational idea, and boo to the "assistant" for quickly leaving in a huff- which turned out to be a surprisingly fast German sports car.
To be clear, Sam wasn't referring to the dreams we have when we're young- like winning the Kentucky Derby or becoming Homecoming Queen (eight weeks at gender reinforcement camp ended that one); he meant the kind that come with slumber- or as I called it that night "The God Please Don't Let Me Die Like William Holden Time" (there's no camp for that, but there are twelve-step programs).
Once back at my apartment, settling in with a hearty meal in my stomach- and trying to ignore the couple across the hall loudly arguing ("I'm on top!" "No, I'm on top!" Jeez, just do it already!); I got into bed, with a notepad close at hand, having hopes high that Morpheus would visit with visions spectacular.
Snug as a bug in a rug (note to self: phone landlord, re: exterminator), I quickly drifted off and found myself in a long, dark, tunnel-like room. There were others along with me- dark figures- and we were all heading toward the light- the beautiful, bright, white light! My late Auntie Fungal, who died of Oldmonia, was there urging me on; and I saw my cousin Vinnie (Pesci was hilarious!).
Suddenly, I awoke with a head feeling the size of something a primitive culture might dance around in awe- to the sound of my door's buzzer, and crawled out of bed to greet my postman in my pajamas; how he got in my pajamas... well, you know.