Can't get enough of my amazing life? You're in luck, Pellegrinites! Here's another snippet from my masterpiece! This one's a glimpse into Danny's private, romantic side (oooooh). Kiva (pseudonym) was a lovely Egyptian lass I dated for 2 years during college. I think that's about all the setup this little appetizer needs. Dig in! But save room for the main course! (There's also a taste of chapter 8 below!)
(from Chapter 9, "Soft Trees Break The Fall"):
For Kiva, family came first. Her father was a successful engineer who emigrated from Egypt with his young wife in 1969. A few years later they had Kiva, and a few years after that came Kiva’s younger sister, Christine. They were a tight-knit, church-going, supportive family. The American Dream incarnate. Her parents adored each other in plain view, never even cast a nasty look toward each other (a thoroughly foreign concept in my house). They said “I love you” and hugged each other for no special reason. They always smiled and spoke in low, peaceful volumes. I had never seen anything like it, and they welcomed me like a son into their mirthful suburban fold.
Even though I had my own place, the Castle of Wadsworth, Kiva and I spent most of our time at her parents’ house. It was cozier (although immensely bigger) and more private (although she lived with her sister, parents and grandmother). At my place there was always a 20-year old male sitting on the couch with his hands down his pants, there to greet you upon entry. Our hallways smelled like stale cigarette smoke and bong water; Kiva's smelled like jasmine and summer rain. There was always food in Kiva’s fridge. Her heat always worked. Her family was kind and open and respectful of each other. It was the Egyptian Cosby Show, with me as the token white guy who’d walk into the kitchen and grab some Baba Ghannoug from the fridge…and the studio audience would go wild.
I was part son, part guest, part exotic foreigner—the best of all worlds, with carte blanche to assume any or all roles at any given time. Kiva and I would have sex and afterward I’d stroll into the kitchen wearing nothing but pajama bottoms, pour myself a cup of coffee and discuss the daily topic of The Today Show with Kiva’s grandmother (the conversations were limited, as the only English Te-Ta knew was “hi”). But the real attachment grew from something entirely different—Kiva had a private bathroom, and I fucking loved it. It was modern, sparkling white porcelain, Kohler fixtures, a ventilation system and a window. The ceiling was high, the walls a soothing canary yellow. A Monet print hung behind the toilet. From the squatting position I could see rolls of toilet paper stored under the sink, lined up and neatly stacked like F-14 fighter jets sleeping quietly in the hangar before deployment. There was only a hint of middle-eastern heritage on display—a sconce, hanging above the light switch, with what looked like hieroglyphics engraved on the rim. Otherwise the room was right out of Town & Country. Flushing the toilet was like pulling the hair trigger of a Glock—the simplest bit of force and a great, biblical swoosh came and sucked your excrement deep into the earth’s belly, quickly turning the waters placid again, as if nothing at all happened. In contrast, the bathroom at Wadsworth looked like the shitter at CBGB’s. The sink was crumbling porcelain. In the cabinet underneath was a bottle of Paul Mitchell hair conditioner that looked as if Indiana Jones dug it from the ground and the January 1996 Hustler, its pages crusty and stiff from shower steam and semen.
In Kiva I not only found a woman I loved, I found the greatest place in the world to take a dump.
Daniel Pellegrini is a recovering drug addict with an aggressive form of chronic bowel disease. That means he can't take painkillers after undergoing rectal surgery. He's here to show you just how beautiful life is.
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