Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Forty-two year old Man Child

Our landlord's son lives upstairs from us.  He is friendly, helpful and speaks great English.  He speaks such great English because he likes to practice on the captive audience of his father's American tenants, us.  He thinks my name is Anne, despite many direct reminders that it is in fact, Anna.  I have an issue with that.

It is always a great debate when something goes awry in the apartment.  Do we call Alfonso?

The checklist goes:

  1. Do we have anything to do in the next forty-five minutes to an hour?
  2. How bad is it?  Can it wait til he leaves for  work tomorrow? (catching him on his way out can shave a good twenty minutes off the interaction.)
  3. Do we have a good 'out' prepared?
  4. Can Baby be employed as a reason to have to cut off his monologue? (this has proven, unfortunately, to be totally ineffective as he regularly ignores any reference to needing to put Baby to sleep, change her, etc.)

The person sent on the mission to make contact is decided by the high tech, marriage-saving game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  The Home Team, stays back, watching the clock and preparing for a reconnoissance mission.

When asked about the safety of a squeaking, squealing and wildly careening ceiling fan, we were regaled with a lecture about the complex workings of a "frictionless" motor.  The intent, I believe, was to assure me that the fan wouldn't leap out of control off the wall and into Baby's crib.  I am not convinced.

When asked if it was ok to mount shelves into the tiled kitchen walls we were offered a commentary about the ingenuity of European storage solutions.

When we asked about the new recycling system--we were trapped outside the apartment with a sleepy, fussy baby while Alfonso stood on his soap box and told us about how the citizens who elected the communist government was getting "what they asked for" (recycling???) and it "serves them right."  He then went on to talk about how his father taught him not to be afraid of the ocean by throwing him off of their boat when he was six. (???)

Alfonso is not married.  He has a friend-who-is-a-girl.  I am not convinced that he isn't gay.  He has a cushy job as a bureaucrat and is obsessed with decorating his apartment.  Yesterday I went upstairs to give him the rent and was trapped while he asked my opinion about whether he should reupholster the base of his couch white to match the newly redone pillows.  He had been shaving and had a little goatee of shaving cream dangling from his chin as he gesticulated and talked.  It stayed on his face, much to my psychic attempts to make it fly off and land on his white pillows.

It was really hard to keep a straight face.  Really. He is really helpful and sweet.  And despite all this I
kind of like him.  Jack is still undecided.

Last night the man-child threw a party.  The last time he threw a party our bedroom REEKED of weed.  Hmmm.

Last night they seemed to have laid off the ganja, but were (Ali swears) tap dancing to Walk Like An Egyptian.  Now, gentle reader, humor me.  The thought of people tap dancing to Walk Like an Egyptian is wacky enough, but for some reason, the image of a bunch of 40 year-old Neapolitan Bureaucrats tap dancing to Walk Like an Egyptian is absolutely ridiculous.

The sound of  high heels dancing upstairs on marble floors to horrible American pop music at 3:00 AM is just indescribable.  When one has to listen to it after half the night has already been taken up by a restless is unbearable.

enter the dilemma.  If one of us goes up to confront a dancing, drunk Alfonso...he might never return!


1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention that his entire apartment is based an a nautical theme. And what a sexist Italian he is (is that redundant?). Like if a woman uses a polysyllabic word, he says, "Ah, you know what that means! Bravo!"