Meeting the Mob
I have a friend who had a grandpa that was in the Mafia or his grandpa knew a guy who was connected. Either one of those two. I bet I’ve met mobsters before without even knowing it. But they were cool people. Normal men. Family men. The Italian Mafia follow a creed that I live and die by. “If I don’t have your word, and your word is your bond, then how can I trust you? Eh? Capiche?” There is a coat of arms that we must follow if you and I are gonna have any sort of friendship. Because my friends are my family. And my family is my word. And my word is my family.
There is a blood bond in the mob. Once you take that pledge, you are connected for life. That’s really special. I think I once met an elderly retired mobster who was sitting at a fancy old Italian restaurant in Chicago. He was sitting at the head of the table, he was Italian and he was dressed maybe a little too nicely for the occasion. Suit looked just a little too gaudy. I nodded to him as if to say, “I know who you are. I know your story, but your secret is safe with me.” He didn’t nod back to me, but he looked near my direction, and that was enough to know what he meant. He was saying back to me with his nod, “Thank you. That life is in the past. But I will always be a Made Man until my last breath. I belong to the Italian army of Loyalty, and even though you aren’t Italian, I respect you and consider you one of us. You are wise beyond your years. Also, remember to not take life so seriously all the time as well. Enjoy the little things. Eat a pasta fazool, go dancing, drink a-nice Italiano wine from the Sicily. The country of my childhood where mama used to a bake’uh da bread and smack me with da broom when I was bein’ a stugats. Do I have regrets and am I haunted by my actions from when I was a younger man doing business? Sure, but I’m not gonna let it hold me down. That’s just life here in New York City, The Big Easy. My kinda town.” He said that to me verbatim through telepathy.
I forget the name of the restaurant where I saw that old Don. I think it was SalvaToni’s or something stupid like that. My pasta was only okay tasting and it was way overpriced. A little cold too. I filled up on warm bread anyway and barely had enough room to eat anything else so it didn’t really matter.