New Companion

I went to see Tatziana, the gelato lady. She’s from Italy and came here four years ago with her husband Lorenzo to open up their little shop. Gelato is a family trade, Lorenzo learning from his father back home since he was a boy. I told her my story and how I’m dating someone.

She nodded, her eyes looking directly into mine and said, “You need someone strong.”

The eyes can say a lot. My expression changed from casual conversation into a knowing glance. Like playing darts, she hit a target we both understood. I wondered for a second what marks and quiet histories and secrets make up Tatziana’s life story in order for a connection to be so readily made between us. But, I let the moment be what it was–a reverent exchange we both recognized without having to fill the space with words.

I took six Belizean dollars out of my Guatemalan coin purse to pay for my Italian cappuccino. “You will be happy to see your new companion soon,” Tatziana said with one eyebrow raised as she put the money in a plastic bucket on the counter behind her.

Now she was practicing her archery, finding the center of many concentric circles inside of me–her title for him accurate and effortless and pleasing.   

My new companion. Bullseye. This is what I will call him.

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