Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Angels of Venice: Nerio

When I didn't have the time to catch the food market, which closes at 1 in the afternoon, and on the days where I also missed the supermarket, I would go to buy my groceries at old Nerio's.
Nerio is quiet and serene, and what he sells out of his tiny little shop in the evening, most definitely covers his rent; Tourists and hungry people would have to buy from Nerio, and Nerio would have to charge a lot extra for the trip HE has made to the market in the morning, and not them.
Slowly Nerio got used to seeing me. At first I just bought a few vegetables from him, later we began to talk, and soon enough, I became a faithful customer (who gets a discount!), and a welcome guest at his shop, which could contain only two at a time.
One evening, I was feeling a great need for a piece of chocolate. I usually can manage to shoosh this screaming little inner tooth in me, but on that cold and lonely evening, I simply knew that nothing else would do; I HAD to find me a little something cocoa-y and sweet.
I passed by Nerio, bought some red wine, zucchini and eggplant, and then asked him if he knew where I could find chocolate. (His store had none of that; just vegetables and a few other curious items with which one could, perhaps, manage to make a strange meal).
Nerio peeped out of his shop, looked around with a slightly concerned face, and then said: "mmm,no. there's nothing open now... but , aspetta, wait a second..."
He left me standing alone on the narrow alley, while he turned around and took two steps into the back of the shop, and dug out a little white paper bag.
"Here, take this!" he said , and handed me the bag, which contained a stash of old fashioned chocolate bon-bons, obviously Nerio's favorites, and the ones he keeps in the shop for himself, for a moment of need such as mine.
"Nerio, of COURSE I can't take this! it's YOURS!"
" Take it ! Take it! and don't say no! Basta!" he commended, shoved the bag in my purse, and stepped back onto his shop not before giving me 2 hasty kisses on my cheeks and wishing me a good night.
I got home and carefully unwrapped the golden cellophane. Inside, I discovered, was the sweetest, highest quality chocolate of all; made of pure kindness and 100% care. Then I had a good night.


Anonymous gq said...

Hi Rini, thanks for the writing.it is lovely to read. GQ

1:25 AM  

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