THE ITALIAN THING

The Writers Desk

CHAPTER 1

The telephone rang. I picked it up. “Hello?”

On the other end of the line came a flurry of Italian. I knew instantly that it was Mike’s uncle calling from Italy. I didn’t understand any of his words, other than, “Ciao, Patrizia!”

I quickly answered, “Ciao, Zio,” and then in English said, “hold on. I’ll get Michael.”

I wasn’t sure if he understood me, but he answered, “Si, si.”

My husband, Mike, was in the bathroom, which was usually a long ordeal because the bathroom was also his reading room. I rapped on the door and shouted, “Mike! Your uncle from Italy is on the phone!”

He opened the door and I passed him the phone. They talked for several minutes, and then it became quiet. When Mike came out, he closed the door and I heard the ceiling fan running. I was thankful we had two bathrooms…

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