The Art of “Piazza-ing”


Cafe Commercio

5:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m

A young girl approximately the age of two resembling her mother is carried over and placed on the lap of a peppered-hair man. The tall, slim woman unwraps a yellow bag and extracts a yellow happy-face shaped popsicle and gently places it in her bobbed-hair daughter’s tiny fingers. The young girl smiles to reveal all of her corn-sized teeth. She accepts the popsicle and flaps her long, curly eyelashes as she begins to lick the happy-face. The tanned man holding her begins to whistle a familiar, yet unrecognizable patriotic-like tune. He reaches to hold the popsicle stick with his right hand while she extends her pink tongue to her chin and licks the popsicle from its mouth to above its eyes. Upon the last lick of her popsicle, the girl dismounts the man’s lap and hops to his right side. She continues to flutter her long, thick lashes, glances at the crowd from her left to right, then turns to her mother while reaching for her bottom (buttocks) to tug on her neon green pants before bouncing into her mother’s car.

Four young men synchronously buzz into the piazza as a multi-colored team of white, yellow, blue, gray, and white with gray stripes. They are oriented in an almost straight line, like pigeons on a telephone wire, with the third pigeon staggering over to the left of the group. The emitted fumes of gasoline and buzzing sounds of motors linger as the riders continue forward and exit the piazza.

The middle-aged man parks his fiery-red motorcycle and takes a deep breath as he relieves himself onto the plastic white lawn chair that seats the café’s outdoor guests. A younger shaven-head man lowers a cup of cappuccino (as noted by the texture of the drink’s frothy foam). Is it not a faux pas to drink a cappuccino after 10 a.m.? The aroma of the coffee drink sweeps the patio with a warm sense of comfort. The man quietly slurps his beverage. He then catches the eye of an observer stealing a peek from the corner of her right eye and quickly picks up his cup with his right thumb and forefinger for one last sip before he straddles his shiny motorcycle and rides out of the piazza.

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