Among the four men at the table he stood out. I don’t know if it was the huge smile or the boom in his voice or just that he was the brighter of the two men facing me. I’d seen him and his companions there before, almost always at the same table. The short cut, black and gray hair was in a slightly unruly wave. The face was lined with age without being too old or sad, it was just the face of a man who had known a few years while keeping happy and healthy. It was a dark face and I imagined him as a man who had worked outside, perhaps a building trade. He had on a white T-shirt with something printed on the front in black that was almost entirely hidden under the ‘azzuro’ blue nylon jacket emblazoned with a round logo containing a white ’N’ he wore over it. I’d even seen the jacket before, it must have been a favourite. I’m far too inquisitive and a few short moments with my phone and Google led me to discover the Napoli football team so I guessed that was where he had grown up, Naples, the southern Italian port.
The four were talking a mix of English and Italian, but the man who held my interest was speaking almost exclusively Italian and so fast I could only understand a few words given his speed and my bad Italian. I always wanted to understand more as he smiled and laughed.