Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 15: The Charms of Bruno Cimbali

Bruno is fairly new to our TH family but already he is working his Mediterranean magic on me and beginning to strum on my heartstrings.

When I was first told about him, I didn't think I really needed him around Nilgiris; after all, everything was going okay - why would I want to introduce an Italian, of all things, to the sedate, tea-sipping clientele?

However, I was persuaded to meet him, and reluctantly tried to make him feel welcome.

At first it was slightly awkward: he was too tall and I couldn't figure out what made him tick. And it seemed like every time I turned around, there he was at the corner of the counter, just looking at me.

After a few days of this, I couldn't take it any longer. On Saturday morning I finally got up enough nerve to confront him: "Well, Bruno, the TH is simply too small for anyone to be standing around not pulling his weight. Show me what you can do."

And in the space of half a minute he had created a rich, aromatic espresso for me, crema swirling lightly on the surface, making my senses percolate with delight. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw him bow slightly: "Buon giorno, cara," I'm pretty sure he murmured.

Ahh, Bruno - are we destined to be steadfast friends, like I am with the person who introduced you and me to each other? You've already added an aromatic richness and a unique flavour to my day, like he does whenever we get together; will you also be able to comfort me at a moment's notice like he can? Will you intuit when to call me and when to efface yourself? Will I be able to count on you like I have on him for 30 years? Will you pitch in when I need pitching in at the TH? Will you laugh at me and with me? Will you talk to me? Will you listen? Will you become one of the great treasures in my life?

Well - probably no one but he can fill those shoes. A friend like he is comes by very rarely in a person's lifetime. And today, on his birthday, I want to say thanks for the gift of Bruno. And thanks even more for the gift of himself.

But Bruno ... how about another espresso?!

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