Tag Archive: Short Stories


Pizza for Love

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Julian stood on line along with more people than usual during his lunch hour in anticipation of his favorite pizza. The day was bustling. The holidays were approaching with celebrations underway everywhere.

Today, the chatter in the restaurant was loud, and it competed with Dean Martin’s, Let it Snow playing on the radio. Julian was hungry at 12:15 pm, which is unusual since he typically didn’t have lunch before 1:30.

Suddenly appeared, Sada – a wispy-haired, tall, and slender woman in her thirties. Her hair was the color of a tequila sunset. It was as unnatural as it was natural on her. Julian was enamored. The restaurant then seemed quiet to him as if watching a silent movie.

People moved about busily: Men in business suits with hearty laughter, others in jeans and uniforms, a group of female nurses from the nearby hospital, two secretaries in pencil-skirts collecting long glances for their curved figures, and the moms with distracted toddlers trying to have a decent conversation. They were all muted to Julian. He saw only the woman with tequila-sunset-hair and a perfect pair of painted-lips. Her spacious child-bearing hips swayed beautifully on top of her slender legs as she moved into the line like a wave above the rest.

“I ordered the Sal-Salad to go.” Her voice was assertive over the crowd yet delivered at a frequency that landed softly over the counter to Lorenzo. “Buon pomeriggio signorina. Lo sto avvolgendo per te adesso.” Then he folded over the top of a white paper bag and handed it to her. “Godere. Buona giornata.”

Sada turned to walk from the line and out of the door when, Julian, clumsily stopped her. She looked at him, not unpleasantly. He was tall and easy on the eyes with his waved dark hair and Roman nose. Still, she stared down at her arm and then back up at him in a way that questioned his intrusiveness. “I’m sorry, Julian said. It’s just that… I mean, has anyone ever told you…” STOP, Sada exclaimed! “What, he questioned? Truly, I’m sorry. I only wanted to…” “Seriously, stop, Sada responded. Don’t you know you should never start a conversation with, “Has anyone ever told you…”” Julian mildly laughed, then tried to retract it back into his throat, and suddenly with confidence, asked, “And why not?” “Because it’s typically bullshit. Don’t you want to be original, she wondered? I mean, if anyone else has ever told me this before? Don’t you want to be authentic?” Then she smiled at him wisely. Dumbfounded, Julian stayed quiet. Sada then turned towards the door then back again at Julian and said, “We should get off to a more profound start. Don’t you think? Julian was a combination of stunned, confused, and amused. Sada continued towards the door. Julian then managed to yell across a row of people, “Wait, what’s your name?” Sada smiled and said, “See you…”

The three slices Julian was starved for, handed to him at that moment on a plastic tray, no longer seemed important. He understood on a soul level that he’d just met the woman who would be the love of his life, and he was simultaneously woozy, elated, and terrified.

To be continued…

Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte ©2019 All Rights Reserved

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Eileen Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

This is a short story about life sometimes being painfully long, and other times abruptly short. It’s about fleeting-time, death, living day-to-day, year-to-year -the struggles, triumphs, and the people that we love, creating memories and losing them, falling-apart, and finding yourself. It tells of new friends, old places, and the need for trusting strangers. Throughout, there is music, dance, laughter, and madness, sometimes waiting too long-running out of time, broken hearts, and romance. Included are the moon, the sun, the sea, that has often saved us in our coming and going in fear and fury, desperately holding on and simultaneously letting go.

When once we were young and beautiful now growing-old and free – the tears, regret, joy, and walking with God in love. Sometimes you must trust in something, even a dream, each day while losing hope until there’s a miracle.

Finally, it’s about choices – good, bad, and suddenly having none.

Together we are here as if a point on a map has found us equally lost.

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

I am in between love, without life’s old shine, missing a best friend, walking, not necessarily feeling the steps beneath my feet that take me through the day. When sleeping has become the only sanctity, and you end up in an uncomfortable bed — the irony.

Eileen is a woman I’ve come to know. Alzheimer’s is her afflicting disease. We share a strong sense of humor, punching our way through life’s struggles, laughing at ourselves, jointly crying over a broken heart.

In many ways, in different circumstances, two people can find a new foundation to keep them both from sinking.

I cry almost daily for a warm hug that never comes, for a listening ear that understands and won’t judge. I’d like to be able to trust someone. Eileen cries to know how things changed and if she could possibly get back to where she belongs, feeling happy. We agree with finding happiness.

From my first poetry book, The Sum of Something Meaningful

This story is a reflection of you, out there, and of me and Eileen, and what it takes to survive nature’s cruelty. What if anything, is the point? Do love and pain exist as experiences in and of themselves that we merely host like the sky does the stars? Or is each step, day, year, a way closer to healing…

For the past year and a half, I’ve been caretaking for Eileen. I thought I was ready because my mother died from Alzheimer’s, and I had witnessed first-hand the violent storm. During those years, I was losing a caretaker—heart of the home, a warm hug from the person that could always make anything better. I was missing her recipes, stories, clear-eyes with no confusion, advice, unwavering love, her kiss goodnight that I’d collect while she said her prayers, knowing they always included me, and it made me feel much safer in the world, that and the smell of Pond’s cream on her soft cheek.

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My Mother Francesca

Eileen is my friend. I’ve come to know her well, despite the times she does not recognize herself. Unlike the experience with my mother, today, a mature woman, I am learning the soul and heart of another woman. I only wish I could have understood my mom this way, those days, but instead, I later found a gentle glimpse of her romantic heart in her love letters to my father. I have learned how much like her I am.

Letter to my Dad Overseas

Eileen also has love letters from a man she recalls when she was young. Jimmy Wells sung of her praises. From photographs, she has shared with me; beauty did not miss her. Even today, Eileen maintains the same spirit and fights to keep herself!

Young Eileen

Putting on her lipstick with an aching heart, she views the picture of her beloved late husband, Sonny, on the bedroom chest-of-draws. Confused and sad, she wonders why he doesn’t come around anymore? Initially, I explained he was in Heaven. It pained me to see her become angry or hurt, thinking he’d left. Now, she no longer understands the concept of dying the same way she doesn’t always recognize that she’s home.

Sonny and Eileen

“Where is my father,” she asks – A large red STOP sign taped to the front door and an alarm that sounds if she tries to leave to find her way home to the Bronx.

Eileen 2019 – Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

I do a lot of distracting these days – Let’s get dressed-up nicely before we go!

We look for people from the old days on the boardwalk and cope with anger when they don’t show. Often, we go to the nearby beach. There is peace at the ocean hard to find anywhere else. It has a quiet knowledge of everything. We feel simultaneously small and lucky to tread on the sand or boards beneath our feet. The sun offers brilliance on a blue-sky day or peeking through stern-grey clouds. We don’t have to grasp for words to speak but listen to the waves crash and seagulls soaring above. It’s enough, and there’s comfort in that.

Long Beach NY Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

In her last year of life, my mother continuously stated I want to go home! To watch my father make her comfortable, kiss her hand with love, and carry the burden of her being lost from him, broke my heart. I can only imagine the pain and fear of feeling you’re unable to find your home, beneath a roof or in someone’s heart, and oddly enough today, I recognize this feeling in my loneliness. I witness Eileen trying to find her way, and I know sincerely a soul is a home no walls can ever confine but invite a willingness to stay, yes.

My Father and Mother

Eileen and I listen to Frankie Avalon sing his hit songs, Why, Venus, and Beauty School Dropout. Eileen is back in time, young, beautiful, gushing over boys from school, and she laughs out loud while telling me how her mother would tease her, mimicking her young daughter’s behavior. In those moments, she is entirely comforted. Then we take a walk around the corner to find people from that time. They may be near if only we believe.

Recently after taking a couple of days off over two weeks, then returning to work with Eileen, she had declined. She saw me differently. That day I was her enemy. In her words, disgusting and horrible. According to her, I’d stolen her sister and children and now was after her memories. No, Eileen! It’s me, remember? No, she doesn’t. Suddenly, a sinking selfish-sadness came upon me. Everything I did is for nothing!

Then an epiphany – I realize on some level, not only with Eileen but my other relationships, love is meant to save you and in turn, myself. Could I be this powerful, and if I love you enough, if I give more than I can bear, will you stay and remember me? Can we build a forever home?

Long Beach NY - Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

We try to understand this life, turn to God, talk about faith. I admit I’ve turned away momentarily but because I cannot remain that angry, or deny all that is purely magnificent in this world, return. I convince Eileen to return.

Through profound points of personal sadnesses, we can find ourselves on a random Friday suddenly lifted by purple light cast across the sky, and a racing flock of Sandpipers.

We all transition through much over our lifetimes. All of us connect. All of us have our turn to live, to love, to explore, to be brave, to suffer, to celebrate, to be lost, to be found, to challenge the truth, to be angry, to fight for what we feel is right, to walk away, to create, and to die. But I don’t believe we really die. We merely transition our energy into another form. I think we find each other over and over, and that time is only an illusion. Love and pain will see us again.

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Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Lately, Eileen and I dance. We listen to the music that returns a time when everyone we know was alive. Isn’t it brilliant the senses remember so well they can transcend? Close your eyes; we’re there.

Eileen and I developed a second language of gibberish. How it makes us laugh to make no sense at all and at the same time, understand – that we don’t need to.

Over many meals and walks together, we’ve learned of each other’s families, friends, lovers, our dislikes and likes, the disappointments, and been plain silly. We’ve balanced the most serious from medical test results to the simplest, enjoying a chocolate-malted.

She has cried to me about her fears, and I won’t forget. Life, people, nature, time, leave imprints.

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Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Eileen and I are an example of finding what we need at the right time until the next time we need something different, more or less. We’re an example of our human experiences, the frailty and strength, the kindness we all need, and love most importantly.

A Bench Along Our Way

A Bench of Someone’s Memorial along our Way – The Written Message So True

I miss a companion and have become one to another. I recognize we all portray what we need most, and in that, I don’t think anyone of us can truly ever be lost. We only need someone to help us remember, to remind us to live from that most profound part of our soul that doesn’t need explanation; just being is enough.

(YEARS FROM NOW, on the beach, I’m confident, Eileen, will let me know she’s reunited with her, Sonny, and dancing into the Mystic, like my Mom and Dad (Fred and Frances) where someday I’ll join them with a love of my own.​

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIA PISCIOTTA-DELLAPORTE at Long Beach, NY 2019

 

 

Fuck you! I didn’t do anything wrong. FUCK YOU!

 

I was fast asleep. Dreaming about details. You know? I wasn’t dreaming about Paris or the Amalfi Coast. No. I was dreaming about a list that I had to write: The shit details of my life…

 

I heard breathing. In the noisy sleep that I was experiencing I heard loud breathing. It was dreadfully close. Someone with his jaw dropped-open and head hung back. An exhausted pulling of air in and out in counts of threes, then a whistling through narrow airways until it gasped for more and saved itself from choking.

 

It was close I tell you. Caterpillars with their sixteen legs crawling upon my skin, I could feel a thick presence—A humid sweat caught by a chilled breeze.

 

As if we were on a train, or that he was at one point, alone. Traveling east through a foggy mountainside. The curves around stirring nausea in his gut from one shot too many of whisky. I could smell it, and sweat through a damp, dark trench coat. So slovenly, and my naval began to pull inward hoping to find the womb in which I could crawl back.

 

I was aware of my bed, the permanent hip-imprint, and unraveled sheets like unsettled sleep. I was aware of the stranger in my bed breathing down my neck, and I wondered why I had to be aware of his travels. I imagined papered-tulips on old plastered walls covering sounds, yet I could not stop the noise!

 

My entire body was begging for quiet rest. Only, good sleep comes when I need to focus. In the numb zone! One day, Alzheimer’s will come and take the focus like a bird to a land of thoughts, and I will be left a shell. Somewhere in my confusion, I know I’ll feel relief.

 

Yet, another detail to get done. I always cared about each one too until the broken pieces of the world around me built a cage, and I couldn’t pass beyond, or find myself. Ah, that fog and fucking breathing!

 

Eldin, was looking at pretty young girls with firms asses, middle-aged women with full-fallen tits, thin, full-figured, dikes, druggies, and dumb bitches. I wondered why each one, not fair or smart enough to shine my shoes, made me feel disfigured in my own skin? I hated them, and him for his weakness. His profoundly firm arrogance initiated a want for him—to ravage and engulf that persona until it became my power to crush him to death!

 

The rain began to splat down in sharp speeding darts. I could hear each one bouncing back upward off of the asphalt. I knew sleep would not come but at least solitude, a most valuable commodity helps assess the loneliness.

 

I’ve been thinking about breaking into pieces leftover ceramic tiles from a shelf in the garage, and painting them then puzzling a feminine sculpture—torn-apart and gathered back together with all of her scars. I’ll prop it against the happy green dining wall so that it stands-out and screams: I am here! I am here!

 

My skin begins to itch. Blotches between dry-aged lines connect thoughts to an overwhelmed brain, between two swollen red ears. Perhaps I listen too well—Things you do not know…

 

©2019 Maria DellaPorte – All Rights Reserved

(Me to my dear friend, Amanda – What do you think? It’s amazing! You are so talented. Thanks, but do I sound insane or scary? Not at all! I love it! I love to write, Amanda. Ideas come to me a lot in my sleep. Out of the blue it’s like someone is telling me a story. I then incorporate my own emotions, but I worry: What if people can’t tell fiction from reality? For instance, I’m done writing today and going to the gym, but someone may think that I’m Annie Wilkes. Who is Annie Wilkes? Yes, let’s go with that.) Have a nice day everyone! 🙂