Augustino and Flick
It is half two in the afternoon, Mirabelle Restaurant, Roma, Italia. The restaurant overlooks all of Rome. The view of St Peter’s and the hills of Rome within her sight, the perfectly bronzed arm places the tumbler glass containing slim line tonic and gin down softly on a perfect table. She should make a move, go and network. Her Hugo Boss dress was a present, a valentine’s day present. The mulberry bag, slightly too pink to be of this year.
In Italy, Flick is sitting with Miss Italy, let's call her Sarah she has lost her coke but Sarah is now too off her head to care. Miss Northern Ireland gave her coke to a male model, with his trousers hanging around his arse. Off their heads. Miss Spain pushes the male model,
‘ why did you give my coke to her mother, for fucks sake.’
‘ I don’t know what the fuck you’re saying WHAT THE FUCK,’ said the vapid model.
He launches into an impression of her that is accurate what with all the Derry vowels.
A good old fashioned working class girl, despite the tiara and the coke.
Flick, is 47, she looks younger. She tells everyone she is 42. She watches the model’s back almost salivating wanting to really Jump into her skin and live her own youth again. Fake black hair that looks better than real hair, one little bond of her extensions visible where she pushes the mop behind her ear. Olive skin. Her body con black and camel dress reveals no flaws. Her legs verge on the spindly and Hugo Boss spiky platform heels are being tipped upside down as the Spanish one lies down at an angle on a big white sofa. She has two or three dark moles on her back and her curls flop around when she rabbits about not having her coke anymore.
Flick is also thinking about ice cream, famously good here. Pistachio sometimes has pieces of shell. You can get all the usual flavors but also things like Almond. Snapping out of this there is a CRASH, someone is throwing something at the people on the street below and laughing.
Miss Italy used to be a good girl. She is toned to perfection, so much that her photos look like they’ve been photo shopped. Big brown eyes that should compel you actually look afraid and desperate in person. When she tries to calm down Miss Spain, her words slur. So what should have been a polished comment, for her to ‘calm down’, Just came out all sloppy. Her black Armani trench coat, dropped on the floor earlier on, a concierge picks it up.
‘ You probably think that you’re cooler than me, you wear designer shades Just to hide your face’, plays in the background.
Another time, another place Miss Italy would not have sung like this in a stuffy restaurant after a photo shoot, but she was mashed up.
At home, the latest Miss is very lonely. Her crown was stolen but really the title only brought her a few things of worth. Yes she got a deposit on a flat. Plus her photo was in FHM more than once, but now she has to do marketing for two bit restaurants with no serving spoons and Joker waiters who give high fives to the customers as they’re all pissed too. Sophie has been attacked in the press. She has a 2:1 degree and is actually a very nice girl. Beautiful, that’s a given, but kind as well. Her father gave her confidence some might say and her dark skin, from a relative born in Nigeria. The accolade she received has isolated her and also promoted her so that she sometimes feels pretty happy. But the restaurant openings get her down.
Her muscular legs nose out from under a perfect black prom dress, no cleavage on display only netting from under the dress. A little black bow tops off her silky nut-brown hair that bounces around her shoulders.
The two beauty queens run into the deserted toilets for another line.
Behind them, the photographer Kay shouts out.’ for fucks sake call someone Rex has fainted’,
Flick has done her best to market and promote using her knowledge of hairdressing, but they all just seem too mashed to care.
Rex has bleached blonde hair, no title but he sweetest and prettiest of the bunch. A make up artist. He has had no coke, only proscetto…………………………..for fucks sake call someone over.
At this moment her final business contact arrives. Yes thanks for the articles. Things have moved on a bit though. Maybe try to write for one of the weeklies, or maybe her style was more suited to say newspaper Journalism. Damn. Her hairdressing background comes up again. As he leaves, Felicity Calico orders a French martini, demanding sugar around the rim of the glass. She doesn’t give a toss what the snooty waiters think. Bloody hell, that model is now sprawled out on the floor looking like a robbers dog. Flick decides to go for it and orders a Black Forest Martini, this is pure cream, probably lots of Chambord. Next a fuzzy peach cocktail. A Bellini. The she pulls out the credit card and Joins the beauty queens in a drunken haze that results in her being offered a marketing position for a brand new restaurant in Hampstead. Well who knows if people mean what they say when they’re in a state who care. As they sit looking out in the sunshine, over all of Rome, Flick knows that no one can ever keep her down. One by one each sunbeam harnessed her lithe body. Her body is lifted to the roof of the building, she screams looking down on the coterie below, with the drunken merchant banker laughing beside them, gracefully next she floats down and lands, perfectly coiffed in a golden reproduction chaise longue, Just like in a movie that’s never been made.
Felicity, those girls I saw you with who are they/ they are no good, you know they were reprimanded by Marco for throwing avocado stones off balcony at 3 am. They take coke, don’t be with them.Augo I’m a big girl I can look after myself.
She orders another drink and a burger, everything on it, the staff look appalled but one is smiling at her amused. Chips as well. She glances at the ring on the wrong finger and a picture of herself, throwing a wooden chair across an expensive hallway in Cheshire springs to mind. She broke the chair. That was the only thing she’d broken lately, whereas he had amputated her from life. These distracting thoughts were not broken up by the collection of anxious, coked up models and stuffy mocking waiters didn’t take Flick’s mind off the problem she had. Her flight was leaving in four hours from Campino airport. The problem was that for the first time, she had travelled to Rome alone and although Augo seemed to like her form his incessant texting, she has resigned herself to the fact that she is no longer young. Rejected so often by supposedly sincere men, she is now entirely damaged. But still a bit of all right, maybe. The waiter looks at her for a little bit too long. Her once glossy Sienna Blonde hair is faded and rough to the touch from all the highlights. Her green gold eyes are masked by slightly puffy circles. Once upon a time, she could pretty much have anyone she wanted. She’s been drinking, so everything that has happened does not affect her too badly. Her legs are longer than a gazelles. One tawny hand grasps a colored cigarette, perfect bright pink with a golden filter. Italia lets me breathe she thinks. Flick’s manicure is colorful. Her manner glacial, body skeletal. Her implants the only fabricated femininity to be seen, these draw the eye of the now seemingly deliciously handsome waiter to her. The tits are bouncy and knock in her way sometimes a reminder of when once she grew happy and fat, before he ran away with another twat, a girl one. She was twenty six. Nothing more needs to be said.
How did this all start? Augustino only ever thinks about Flick, not about who looks better him or his equally dupable brother Nando. He had in fact known Felicity Calico for some time. She sees through him for a long time, until he upped his game and almost got her. This wasn't about the thrill of the chase, he mindless puppishly loves her.
She is determined to make something of the time she has on this dump of a planter. For a long time that does not include taking seriously romancing with Italian waiter, servers, younger than her.
Augo is waiting for something to happen to take him out of this dullness. He is in his thirties, he works hard, has lost a few Jobs but has kept this one as a waiter for ages. He loves his mama and he is in love with Felicity. She had visited many years ago and they made love for the first time. She always stays at the hotel where he works but never admits to people that they are how do you say boyfriend and girlfriend. But her tawny features and bright eyes make him fall in love or lust each time that he sees her. He never dreamed she could love him as much as she did later on, that was a surprise and even when they got old and grey he was still her loyal soldier. But there are some happy endings aren’t there, he says to there son, when he drops his ice cream or in case of other mini drams. Smiling.
In a kitchen at home with his mother, he would try and fix the oven, becoming exasperated and crying out ‘ Why, Why’ and laughing before pressing more buttons. Eventually they fixed it and Mama made lasagne and tutti frutti ice cream too when she had calmed down. Then he would traipse off to Benedictine mass with his aunties and cousins. They lived in a smaller town away from the hubbub of Roma and he would drive to meet them. He was Italian through and through.
Flick’s bubble was not easy to penetrate, it would take a special man to make her trust him, said her friends. She travelled a lot to Italy for business, to build up celebrity client base that was on top of her to do list that year. A special bond exists between Italy and Felicity Calico. She knows the streets of Rome better than the streets of Manchester.
She recalled one time she and ' the girls' were all together chatting. Talking to the girls before one trip years back. There is something that makes me want to eat the place up like a Chou bun.
‘I think it’s the food, or the buildings’.
All the clichés were true of Augo and his family. The twenty stone macho Mafioso who shaves twice a day and can bench press 200 kilos, whose mum can make him cry when she tells him off. Those sort of people. The kind who don’t want to use microwaves in case it causes infertility. Only eating spaghetti and tomato sauce everyday for their tea because this what their dads ate, those kind of people.' I Just love it, ‘ Flick is beginning to bore her friends, this won’t stop her really though. She seems to only listen when it involves her, never asking how the others are, unless it really has to be asked.
Olympia pipes up, little face grinning, head briefly popping up from her relentless and impressive speedy texting.
‘ Yeah, but the customer service in the states, c’mon you can’t match that over there.’
they all laugh apart from Flick, an in joke. how many people visit America once and never can eat an english salad without commenting on the bigger, better salads in the states, or the friendliness.
'Why are you laughing, you have GOT to be kidding me, he still hasn't brought the bill girls!', Flick then goes on to two tell the group about her pasta, she is 'learning from Augostino how to make it, it is the best pasta in the world.
when do you go,?’ , a side conversation develops between three of the group.
Olympia and Lucy are wearing matching t-shirts with pictures of cartton characters on, althought they are opposites physically they are the same when it comes to the things that make them laugh.
Ok, best pasta ever, oh let’s toast tot he common cold, to herbal tea I know ‘ To Crocosia’,
eyes narrow. What does that mean exactly??
'um we just made it up one night when out on the lash actually, they go quiet.
Um tonight, i’m going on business, back to the same place, hopefully the networking will pay off, major magazine here I come. Let’s hope anyway.
It didn't quite work out how she'd planned, but it was alright.
Back in her room she turns on the TV, turns to the news, ‘In breaking news, two bodies have been found in Yorkshire, a young woman has been arrested, she is believed to be the murderer.’
Flick absent mindedly drunkenly looked at the screen as she mused over what could have happened A good girl by all accounts, has killed. She sounded familiar. The good girl is her father’s pride and Joy from a good Kerala family, Indian Christians. The father appears on the screen, he looks like Lucy's Dad.Flick passed out.
On the screen, still playing:
He had been the attorney general of India and he will fight to prove his daughter’s innocence. He looks very sad, His face is contorted. He is tall, upright. He has flown in from India and cannot understand why anyone would blame his daughter in the way that they have. A Journalist shout’s something about her being found with a knife, but Flick is asleep then. She misses the bit when he loses his cool and spits out something about the bloody Britishers. Flick might have missed her flight and so she decides to call back the waiter from the terrace. Hotel Splendide’s staff were somewhat discreet and as a rule, would not miss one waiter during the afternoon, particularly when he was visiting a Russian Princess lookalike and famous Journalist in her room. Flick is now unsteady on her feet, unable to work out exactly where she is, but feeling ok. All she can think of is sleep.
They were all perplexed when they heard who had gone up there the first time Augo and Flick did it. Augustine was more than a little round shall we say. He had thick brown hair spiked up, big muscled arms and a very big sticky out belly that Flick had decided would be so soft and nice to go to sleep on. He walked into her room and they kissed. She bites his ear Just a little and wishes they had an audience. An old pearl that fell asleep as the world went by Augustine thinks as he tears off her seamed stockings. But a very smooth pearl. He doesn’t know she has lost all of her money; it’s hard to make ends meet sometimes. She doesn’t even have Botox. But the microdermbrasion and miu miu shoes add up.
He holds her. She smells of lemons and oranges and vanilla. Her skin is really soft. Feeling the pressure to please her, whiles the would prefer Just to hold her he is in awe of her expectations of him. In his mind he berates himself, why does he love her, she is too difficult, and she will never stay with him. She can be shallow. He cannot think of the words in English to make it make sense so he swears in Italian instead.
‘Putt Anna’, Putt Anna,’ he mutters as he gets undressed.As strange quirk. She knows what this means and watches everything in the mirror sadly as gasps sporadically and wonders why her own heart cannot be mended, even now after so very long. He looks at her with puppy dog eyes. Felicity, I love you. Save it cornetto fan she mutters, tipsy again . Stalking off to get ready, she witches on the shower. The cornetto fan Augustino is a principled man.
He really care about Flick, she is just too much of a bitch, he thinks. Who would want a waiter.
Augy, what are you doing in there? She calls out.
‘ Nathing Flick Why are you going in there, I’ve finished for taoday, you come back here?’
‘I’ve got a plane to catch’
Naked she makes a call, ‘ Per arriva l’airporto? ‘ in broken almost Italian she tries to order a cab, he grabs the phone and orders it properly. Giggling Flick Jumps in the shower. He follows her.
‘ When will you be back bellissima?”
‘ Um, probably a couple of months now, I’m sorry Augo.
Ok, ‘ Can I take your number and call you again? He sounds whiny that’s it. She sighs deeply inside and outside. Why is he so trying. Could she really see him with her at home with her other friends. He was hardly a brain surgeon. But he might Just love me.
The cocktail book had fallen into a puddle in the shower, it tells you how to make the best French Martini Cocktail
2 Shots vodka
One Shot Chambord
• Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour in martini glass making sure the foam floats on the top. garnish with a raspberry
Augo, my recipe is getting wet can you help? Felicity calls out, impatient but pleased to see when he ran in to help her, I don’t have to blink twice when I need you do I .
‘ Blink twice’, he looks somewhat puzzled.' i mean you are alwayas there, she smiled, looking young with dripping wet hair. Wishing she could do the Ferris Buewler mohawk.
‘ If you like, I could use some Italian lessons.
‘ Flick, he reaches inside the shower curtain and grabs her arm softly, ‘Flick come out with me tonight, miss your plane.’
The steam is rising around the beautiful marble bathroom in Hotel Splendide’s second best room.
Golden taps with C and F on them respectively, a giant bath harped like a kidney and soft fluffy towels were lifting Felicity Calico’s ratty mood.
Suddenly remembering the time she flung the chair across the hall, dinner with a brown eyed boy didn’t seem such a bad idea.
‘I’ll miss my flight’
‘I’ll miss you’.
Let me think, she lied it was already decided.That was the first time, sometimes she stayed longer, other times not so long.
Her honey blonde locks got the full treatment, purple shampoo to bring out blonde highlights and also some old school hot oil, never enough in those though. She car hear him singing. It isn’t good. What is he singing, how can we be lovers when we can’t be friends. Who sang that.. Michael Bloody Bolton ! Oh no, she instantly regrets agreeing to stay… then as she puts sugar scrub on her arms and legs she can hear something else, ‘ Nothings going to change my love for you, you outta know by now how much I love you, ‘ not glen. Glen Maderios, crooner of MaJorca or somewhere. Hmm.
Augustino then sings something in Italian, far more authentic.....he has been waiting for her to return, since the last time she visited on business and they talked for a while. She had a little Italian phrase book and with her rather serious looking friend was trying then to see every sight there was. From the Coliseum of course to St Paul’s Basilica. They even toured all of the art galleries and came back from each day with little stories to tell.
He wasn’t as young and stupid as she thought as she got to know him. He lived far from the centre of Rome in a not so nice area, lots of graffiti and smack addicts. But she was his golden haired dream girl. Wherever she went there was laughter. The dull corridors of the hotel brightened with her there he felt. He had not married before. No one had caught his eye, then there was the scandal his first girlfriend in a very small town got pregnant and his family were very unhappy. She kept their son, but it was awkward, he had pictures of course, but she was unfaithful to him and kept criticizing him about his weight. How am I meant to get his respect when you don’t give me yours. He’d shouted. ‘Maybe he’s not yours Augustino’.
He has to have Felicity, she makes him feel taller.
To a few sniggers, they leave and go out for pizza the third time she was there. Sniggers as Augo was a bit of a clown, why did he think she was serious? thought his fellow waiters. She has eaten a lot today but was so nervous before the business meeting that she still feels ravenous. A thin Roman pizza with parmesan cheese on top. They also order a seafood risotto full of squid ink. Romano pasta, that is tubes of pasta, al dente with a tomato sauce. Another glass of wine. Another Juice for the driving Augustine.
‘Felicity, you are a true Italian, where did you learn about parmesan on pizza, this is Sicilian.’
Flick ponders, should I mention Lucian, the last one at this stage.
‘ Well, I’ve always admired the Italian style,’
Why am I keeping him sweet, I’ve had better spaghetti out of a can’.
Felicity, why do you have to go, you always go, always coming and going. I want you to stay.
He puts his fork down, he is eating a lot of delicious stuff. Lobster pieces are poking out of his fusilli, with pieces of octopus and broccoli. He puts more parmesan cheese on his plate and gives up on getting an answer.
‘More wine miss’, Flick says yes and starts to feel queasy.
‘ Augustino, my life is in England you know that.
He sparks up a cigarette and looks the epitome of Rome.
Dusky skin and a challenging look in his eye. He shrugs. His black trousers and black shirt the uniform of the mafia. But underneath he is kittenish, with Flick.
‘Stop texting me Johan!!’ I know !! cries out Flick in anger. Christ he is so stupid!! Waking up in a rage, realising what had been on the screen. Lucy's Dad.
Her highlights needed doing.Someone had said that her sister looked amazing on a photo they were both in. This was major.
She is trying to decide whether to go or stay in Italy. She knows about Lucy being down. Only half his text came through. She didn't like the sound of this. Then a call she doesn't pick up.