A Taste of Italy: A Really Short Story

May 5, 2023

Cristina Crescenzo (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer

As Maria was stepping off the airplane runway, she felt her legs begin to tremble from anxiety and not the cold breeze from the Canadian mountains. At that moment, looking up at the dark clouds, she realized her biggest fear was being away from those she loved. Maria longed for the view of a Sorrento sunset, but she knew being here in Vancouver was her first step towards independence.

After vacating the airport, she strolled down the street aimlessly. Her stomach started to growl, and she arrived at a little Italian bistro. She sniffed the air and proclaimed, “This place smells like the closest thing to home.”

She was quite disheartened to find that the waiters didn’t speak fluent Italian, only broken phrases of a dialect, thus Maria decided to assimilate by only speaking English. After perusing the menu for a while, her ocean blue eyes glanced across the words “Homemade Minestrone,” and a kaleidoscope of images of her Nonna stirring a pot of Minestrone on the stove danced in her mind.

Maria knew as the waiter graciously put the bowl in front of her that the memories of her family’s cooking would give her comfort in this new place. She was quietly sipping her soup when an older man in a tracksuit started to hit on her from across the room. There was nothing Maria hated more than being approached by random strangers, which was a regular occurrence back home. She ignored them by escaping to her favorite place inside her mind, which was her garden, and she pictured herself planting some tomato seeds neatly in the soil when a voice awakened her from her daze.

“Would you like some dessert?” the waiter said courteously, and she agreed.

The waiter then started to list the items till he said the word “Tiramisu,” and Maria practically drooled all over her red dress. Tiramisu was her guilty pleasure; she would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if she could.

No sooner was the plate put down before her than she had gobbled it down, to the old man’s disgust. Then, with her mouth still full of crumbs, she asked for her bill.

As Maria was counting her dollars, she reflected with joy on this small taste of the home she missed dearly, and was glad that her new home had connections to her past. Maria deposited the money down on the table and brushed herself off. She opened the door and waved goodbye, saying “Grazie tutti,” knowing that being in this new city on her own terms was one thing that could be crossed off her bucket list.

My name is Cristina Crescenzo and I love to write. Low Entropy is a great organization that lets me do that with topics I am interested in while I am still trying to figure things out. Above all, I just hope that my writing connects with someone and that I continue spreading positivity and awareness of mental health and the disabled community.


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