Gatto notes

The owner doesn’t trust me
my hair not slick enough
or perhaps it’s my laptop
keeps peering at my plugged in AC adaptor like I'm about to
burn down his restaurant
-who would rather type than smoke cigarettes?

Gatto Nero
swimming with thirtysomething concubines
hangers on
Gatto been around for decades
new life every five years (this is why people have children?)
regulars congregate at the bar and wait for something exciting
this is old-world flavour in Toronto?

The edge of Little Italy, beside the statue of Camoes the one-eyed Poet of Portugal. Tension simmers. Even the Mod Club attempts an ethnic overthrow.
Gatto plays the two Lucios - Dalla and Battisti - and other tricolore classics, bulwarks against dehegemonization (it rankles me so I'm forced to invent words).

Already the shoe-repair guy on the opposite corner, and now the Dominion only sells Portuguese sausage – no capicollo, cacciatorre or prosciutto. Creeping fading glory. Good thing we never saw an all-College Street World Cup; I’d need a passport to go west of Ossington. Italy vs Portugal. Both sides subverted by the stupid as rocks College Promenade, a wild card, a yuppie gambit, it’s divide and conquer as the Mediterraneans go at each other allowing the Vietnamese grocers and Vegetarian sippers to team up, sneak in from the West and instill communist values all the way to Euclid.

Back at the Gatto-
a damn fine cappuccino I admit, plus pane cioccolato
lunchtime penne is tops for four blocks in either direction
packed day to night.
high quotient of goodlooking people in their forties
more mature than the Sicilian at the end of the block, haven for younger Ginos, St. Clairites and 905ers with small children, relatives of the owners, real Sicilians, famously closed in to the world (where else would you get an answering machine in dialect?)

I run into my colleagues:
the teacher/writer looking to organize a Toronto bike tour, asks my advice;
and the artist who teamed up with me for charity, recommends an even better place with an even better cappuccino but
I can hardly keep up with Gatto
also a blonde bimbo in tennis shorts who swears she's met me but no no I'm nothing if not
inconspicuous and yet my attention pricks and my glands are
stirring. Ah the hormones, that distasteful attraction, wreaks havoc on my dispassion...

If there’s one thing I know it’s coffee shops. I'm not a natural street scenester but inspiration must come from somewhere and it’s ‘write what you know’ and I know I don’t know much but fly on the wall gets the best dirt. You dig too deep then you to begin to empathize and there goes that smartass air of superiority and your audience turns on you and soon NOW magazine won't return your calls...

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