“The Italian Neighborhood”

“Cafés were separated by no more than fifty yards at any point. Apparently, the Italians were serious about their espresso. I noticed that there were older cafés that catered to a local crowd and newer ones that seemed to attract younger people and those who happened to be in the neighborhood. In the former, older men with fleshy jowls reddened by wine consumption, wearing long-sleeved Ban-Lon shirts the color of slate and grappa and baggy cotton trousers, their hair rough cut and tousled, bags under their eyes, leaned on the bar staring straight ahead or wrapped their bearish arms over each other’s shoulders affectionately as they sipped their absurdly small demitasses. Somehow this sight was an ideogram of Italianness for me: a full-fleshed, man’s man, bear-hugger of a guy holding a two-inch-tall, tulip-style, red-brown demitasse espresso cup (which his fingers threaten to engulf) as naturally as he would hold a hammer. There was, in the image, that blend of strength and assertiveness with delicacy and artistic appreciation for the finer things that was perfectly Italian.”

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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