read chapter 4 here – greenlydia
The past two weeks have been fantastic, the fog has lifted and I’m riding the high. I’ve painted out my lounge, unpacked boxes that have been standing around since I moved in last year and planted a whole bunch of herbs in my rooftop “garden”. I think my agent breathes a sigh of relief during my highs as I’ve finished off all the projects that were still outstanding as well as accepted a new one from a private client who was apparently referred by a mutual friend, I need to remember to buy Michael a bottle of wine.
I’m excited about this project, it’s by an author whose book I thoroughly enjoyed when it came out a few years back but she appeared to be a “one hit wonder”. It’s slightly odd that she’s gone from Ney York Times bestselling author for an adult scifi novel to something for the younger generation but how am I to judge or question it. Hell, work is work! The storyline is intriguing, I’ve only been given a brief layout and rough character sketches but it looks like it’s going to be a winner if I can get my end of the project perfect. Who knows, maybe a children’s book will make the top selling list, after all Winnie the Pooh and Peter Rabbit are pretty famous right? She might just be the next Roahl Dahl.
After finishing off going through a mountain of emails, sadly most of which were spam, I head down to the grocery market. I pick out some fresh fruit and grab a few items for a sandwich before heading to Papa Mateo’s in the hopes that there is some of the fresh olive ciabatta I love so much. I really shouldn’t eat bread but you try walk past Papa Mateo’s and tell me you can resist the temptation of that fresh baked bread smell.
I’m not even all the way in the small bakery slash coffee shop before I’m drawn into a gian hug by Mama, she’s a short little Italian lady who still has a thick accent. “Winter! Why you no visit anymore, look at you, all skin and bones, come, sit, sit”. She’s already ushering me to my usual booth, I hadn’t planned on staying today but before I could even voice my protest she pinned me down with that look of hers that has you cowering in your seat and not daring to argue. Papa has often joked that Mama learned it by her father and it was the reason they were married today. So I took a seat and looked around to see where Papa was today. “Here here Winter, I’ma coming. I saw your bright hair at the market and went to make your favourite.” He sets my olive ciabatta down in front of me; it’s stuffed to the max with sprouts, avocado and of course only the best ham. No matter how many times I tell Papa no mean he ignores me and puts it in anyway. I’ll just take it out when he’s not looking but I thank him with a big hug anyway. He urges me to sit and eat before walking off to serve other customers.
I often wonder why Papa and Mama never had any kids, I brought it up once and their answer was that they were simply waiting for me to come along. When I first moved here and started illustrating I was living on hopes and dreams, the stereotypical “starving artist” so I decided to get a job until my art started bringing in a decent living. One day I had followed the heavenly smell into their little café, counting out the last few coins I owned for a loaf of olive ciabatta, Papa must have felt sorry for this bedraggled poor teenager and hired me on the spot.
I smile at the memory and take a bite of my sandwich, I sit back and take in the scene around me, business seems to have picked up and I’m really happy for them. One customer in particular gets my attention though, she’s sitting with her back towards me but I can see her furiously punching away at a typewriter. Who even owns a typewriter anymore? Something about her seems familiar but I can’t place where I’ve seen her, pretty but plain with a chewed paintbrush holding her hair up. I shrug and get Mama’s attention, asking her to wrap up my half eaten sandwich and promising to come visit more often.