Savory Dial
Joanne Faries

Serena shuffled her menus.  She’d hear the key jiggle in the lock and the doorknob rattle. Joey would burst through the door, rangy six foot energy and rush to kiss her. He’d been known to talk through the kiss. “Yo, darling. What a day. Mmm. I’ve been waiting for this sugar.” After kissing her lips, he always grabbed her by the cheeks and kissed her forehead. “God, I love you. What’s for dinner?”
Tonight, Roma’s ziti – a worthy repeat in her repertoire, but necessary.  She dialed, “Ciao Vito. It’s Serena.  Apt. 210. Two number fives, house, extra garlic bread. Cash. Thanks.” She hung up and reached into the cupboard for the blue dishes. After finding placemats she finished setting the table.  “No plastic silverware for this presentation, plus real cloth napkins.”
Joey mumbled something the other night about home cooking. “Rattle some pots, buster,” she said. He shut up, finished off the moo shu pork from Dragon Palace – a favorite discovery. The day she left her parent’s farm in Iowa, she vowed to tease her tastebuds with international cuisine. No more fried chicken, corn, and fried pies.
Serena’s blog – Menu Mania – compelled her to order in. It was her job and a service to her followers. She jotted herself a note – check out 7th and Lexington. Yesterday on the subway, two ladies discussed a new Greek joint.  Serena wanted to cruise by and pick up a menu. She never ordered blindly. If the restaurant passed muster, then she’d test delivery.
She contemplated New York City – a conclave of confectionary delight. Pasta perfection. Chinese noodle nosh. Korean kick. Columbian combustion. Swedish suave, French frivolity, Ethiopian epicure, and Russian red beets soup. (Joey hated Moscow night.) Her tongue tingled at the textures. She licked her lips and blushed at her love affair with this gourmet town.
Her food swoon ended as the door swung wide. She received her kisses and gave Joey an extra hug.
“Perfect timing,” she said at the door knock. “Wash your hands.” Serena paid for the meal, unpackaged, and dished generous portions. She poured a burgundy. Then she took her time letting Joey savor the garlic richness, as well as admire her new low cut sweater. She wore her hair down, and brushed back a lock, giving him a sultry look.
“Um, Joey. We gotta move soon,” she said and then sipped her wine.
“You kiddin’ me. Why?” he sputtered. “I love this apartment, and Vito’s ziti.”
“We’re out of places in this delivery zone. New menus abound. Gotta dial new territory.”  She patted his arm. “I found a perfect apartment in SoHo. Gelato ‘round the corner.”
Joey sighed. “Gelato, huh?  We’ll go for dessert tonight.”

First published: May, 2014
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