“The Penniless Pensioner: Misaligned, Maligned but Marvellous” : Chapter 49: Good-Bye Naples, Good-Bye Scampia and Good-Bye Don Lupara….for the time being

Seven hours after departing Bucharest I was at my seaside home on the Bay of Naples. Don Lupara gave me a call and invited me to dinner at the “compound” the following day. Perhaps it was my imagination but the scent of Ginevra still lingered in the house that was to be the home of Ginevra and our child. I took a long walk on the beach and went to pick up a couple of pizzas and a bottle of Piedirossa red wine then turned on the television to watch an unending number of stories chronicling drug gang violence and this was a time that Naples was at peace!

Don Lupara’s boys came to pick me up and off we sped to the family compound. Malvagia, Lupara’s wife, the sweet old bird she was, gave me a bone crushing hug remarking how thin I was and that I should eat lots of Neapolitan cuisine to fatten up. For Neapolitans food is medicine and it is so irresistible even the terminally ill find it difficult to resist. I hadn’t eaten much in Romania so I was starving and ate like a maniac puffing Malvagia up with pride as she insisted upon preparing all meals despite the fact Lupara could afford Michelin starred chefs! Malvagia’s stuffed veal cutlets could accomplish world peace.

After our feast I waddled over to Don Lupara’s library for grappa and coffee. Nothing like grappa and coffee to clear the mind. Here I was in the room with a vicious killer that executed two teenagers before my eyes yet I loved him like a father. All who loved Ginevra I loved. Isn’t that despicable?

Don Lupara was stooped and in state of exhaustion. With tears rolling down his eyes he thanked me for “disposing of” Cyclops the murdering dog that killed Ginevra. He asked about the fear in Cyclops’ eyes before I pulled the trigger. He had laughed at me and dared me to pull the trigger but I told Don Lupara he had shitted his pants. He showed me Ginevra’s six shooter pistol framed on the wall saying we must never forget.

Don Lupara offered me his business but I refused. He chuckled and said that ordinarily he would have been insulted and killed me but Ginevra would haunt him if he did. After many more grappa’s and tears we said good-bye and in a strange ritual we cut our arms and mixed our bloody limbs together. We were blood brothers…Neapolitan blood brothers to the end and beyond into immortality. My seaside home was mine he said and ordered me to visit every year which on Ginevra’s memory I agreed.

I returned to my villa and cried myself to sleep. I knew that any more involvement in this Scampian narcotic business would come to no good. Time had come to leave Naples, Scampia and Don Lupara. It was back to a mental hospital for me but not as a patient.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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