I remember him as if from a film, Stephanie's father with his sculpted marble face and navy pinstriped Canali suits. He lives at the Hassler but comes to us every morning with sweet chocolate biscuits and spiked coffee. They speak to each other in Italian, she interrupts him when he starts talking about me: "babbo, she understands your creepy Sicilian accent."
is just two years ago. Two years and a lifetime. Images from then are
out of focus, things I recall might never actually have happened. I can
see their house and the garden stretched out in front of me but I can't
remember the smell of the magnolias. I can picture her mother lying
motionless on a wooden recliner by the pool, but not the color of her
Her father looks at me with a crooked smile, then
turns to her and puts his heavy hand on hers. "Amore" he says, "sono
sempre stato un gentiluomo. È l'unica certezza che ho."