“The Delicatessen”

“As soon as my feet met the sidewalk, they grew lighter, my legs, bouncier. Across the street was an Italian Delicatessen whose windows did for the gourmet what Gump’s did for the decorator. Four-foot-long sausages hung from the ceiling in their netted slipcovers, stamped in red and blue with pretty pictures of boats and harbors in the mother country. Shelves displayed wide and tall thick-glass jars filled with alternating layers of white onions, fat, black olives, bright red pimentos, and puffy gray mushrooms. Sheaves of sun-dried tomatoes the color of barbecue sauce, chocolate-colored cones of roast beef, horse collars of kielbasa sausage, heavy Parma hams, gleaming orange and yellow like the skin of fried chicken, strung from a beam with red twine, twisted like Guy Fawkes dolls or boxing bags. Side windows offered peeks of eight-inch white salamis that looked like overgrown albino cucumbers, mottled rounds of savory pancetta, brick-red tubes of Stofoloto pierced throughout with white garlic pieces, and lean slabs of Pate Negra ham. Fresh mozzarellas floated in tubs. Blocks, wheels, rounds, and wedges of provolone, taleggio, mascarpone, parmigiano, percorino, romano, gorgonzola, and ricotta lay cool in refrigerated cases. Bulging jars of antipasto and marinated garlic, bats of crispy brown baguettes whose crunchy crust one could almost taste, tiny flacons of the rarest olive oil and elegant tall bottles of it with labels showing the farm of origin: every imaginable food delight was there. Fiascos of Chianti, lantern-shaped, skirted in wicker, and cylindrical bottles of Asti, Valpolicella, Sforzato, Barbaresco, and Ramandolo ranged about like irregular soldiers. Peacock-green, 750-milliliter bottles of Italian water and a rainbow array of Torani sodas whose sweetness could almost be tasted shone in the sheen of their crimson, coconut-milk, and café-au-lait hues. Scattered here and there, like accessories or cases of edible ammunition, were blue-and-yellow boxes and low, wide cartons of dried pasta.”

Richard Maddox

Richard Dietrich Maddox's writing focuses on the search for permanent happiness, the goal of finding paradise on earth, the attainment of human Enlightenment. His work, though fiction, attempts to convey the profound spiritual Truth passed on to humanity by Enlightened Masters. Maddox approaches spiritual wisdom from a Western level of experience, presenting characters to whom readers can easily relate, offering situations in which readers might well have found themselves. His work offers, in a style which those living in the West will find understandable, the possibility of blissful existence.

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