Dunkin’ Donuts, 1st Avenue & 56th Street. A vanilla crème donut for me, and one for Vittoria, in this place, six years ago. She'd had enough so she began to feed me what was left of her donut, and after a bite or two I said no, you better eat it because you’re so skinny, and that annoyed her so she dropped the gooey chunk right into my coffee, PLUNK. See? That’s what you get for crossing me.
We then talked about the life we’d lead on her island, Ischia. I remember the wistful expression that crossed her face then, a poignant sadness, as if she knew it wouldn’t happen as planned. I believed it would. But it turned out she was exactly right, she’d anticipated all the traumas that would come. Not specifically, just in the vague way we might recall a bad dream.
Now if in the next week or two she actually comes here to New York, I’ll bring her right to this spot. And then, after we eat our vanilla crème donuts, we’ll go up to the Met, and I’ll show her that huge painting, "The Storm," by Pierre Auguste Cott, that entranced her when she saw it for the first time.
I’ve always been an optimist—like a bright-eyed little boy. And that’s how I am now. So full of hope. I will not worry because I rely on an ancient Roman cliché: Amor Vincet Omnia.