My grandfather taught me to listen.
Didn’t matter what people came to him for, he’d sit me on his lap, put a finger to my lips and whisper into my ear, “Ascolta.” Listen.
Have a sick child? Having a problem pregnancy? Is your horse lame? Your cow not producing milk? Is your husband a little worthless when it comes to his job in bed?
Come see Grandpa. He’s got the cure.
He got in trouble when women came to him because their husbands were impotent.
All those smiling women leaving the house? Today he’d be a YouTube sensation. Or on Oprah.
Or in court.
But he never did anything to them. Never even touched them. Sometimes he’d clap his hands, sometimes he wave his hands around in funny patterns, as if writing in the air.
Sometimes he’d close his eyes and hum some old Sicilian tune.
One time we were tending his roses in the garden behind the house. I pointed to the shed. “Do you want me to get the hose and sprinkler, Buppa?” Behind the shed, I heard the bees in the two hives Grandpa kept for honey.
He shook his head and held me close. “Close your eyes. What do you smell?”
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