It’s me, Crow.
I let my daughter Vanessa handle the newsletter last week because she had that long story to tell about Little Crow and that was far too much for me to write. A couple paragraphs is the max for me. I’m just not a wordy guy.
But I will tell you that Little Crow brings me a lot of joy. While I see my daughter in him, I also see the Barsetti bloodline in the color of his skin, the darkness of his hair. There’s some of Griffin in there, but it’s mostly us. Knowing he already prefers wine to juice tells me we’re going to have a lot in common when he gets older. Vanessa thinks she’s a horrible mother that has a future alcoholic on her hands…but I told her I’m an alcoholic and I’m just fine.
The winter hasn’t been as bad as we feared it would be. If it stays this way, we may open the vineyards for tastings in the spring. I’m getting a bit antsy around the house, especially since Button is upset with me.
That’s a long story…
We took a trip into Florence to grab a few things at the market. Then we had dinner at one of her favorite restaurants. Vanessa ended up calling her because she needed some advice for the kids so she stepped outside for a while to talk on the phone. I sat there alone and drank my wine, glancing at her outside the window to make sure she was alright every few minutes, nearly finishing the bottle alone.
Then the waitress came by, a young girl that was probably my daughter’s age, maybe a little younger. She gave me that look, that look I used to get every day of my life when I was a young bachelor. Asked me how I liked the wine, what I was thinking about ordering, and then the questions turned personal, like where I lived, stuff like that. I’m not much of a talker, but Button taught me not to be rude to people just because I was in a bad mood, but I wanted to get rid of her so I just blurted out my thoughts. “I’m married and my wife is outside.”
This woman had no shame. “I know. She seems distracted so…”
I could hardly believe my ears. “I’m twice your age.”
“Well, you don’t look it…”
I appreciated the compliment but it wasn’t worth the trouble it was going to cause. “I’m not one of those guys, alright?”
“What kind of guy?”
“A sleazebag that fucks a sideschick the second his wife is out of town.. And you shouldn’t want a man like that anyway.”
“I’m just looking for a good time with a man that can spoil me.”
“And what makes you think I can do that?”
“You’re Crow Barsetti, aren’t you? I’ve heard the family name…”
I wanted to be known for my own wine and my family, not for the money in my back account. “Are we done here?”
“I gotta ask. Are you loyal because you actually want to be loyal? Or because you feel obligated?”
I’d officially lost my patience. “I don’t want to fuck you. You’re ugly as fuck for trying to steal a man from a good woman. Every moment that I have to continue to look at you and talk to you is like having bamboo shards shoved underneath my goddamn fingernails. You think you’re better than my wife because yours tits are perkier and your ass tighter, but you’ve got nothing on her so fuck off and disappear before I talk to the boss and have you thrown out on your fucking ass. Does that answer your question?”
She held my stare, but her eyes started to shine with a hint of tears.
I felt nothing. Not a damn thing. “Leave.”
She finally walked off and left me in peace. “For fuck’s sake…” I refilled my glass and took another drink.
A moment later Pearl came back to the table and told me Vanessa was having a hard time with the kids because Griffin was out for the night with some old friends in the city. They somehow had more energy at night than they did throughout the day.
“Let’s get the food to go and stop by,” I said. “I’d rather be there anyway.”
“Why?” she asked. “You seem like you’re in a bad mood all of a sudden.”
I would never tell her. “Just had too much wine.”
“I’ve literally never heard you say that before.”
“Well…there’s a first time for everything.”
We ordered our food to go and paid the tab. When I opened the folder I saw the message that the waitress had scribbled for me. “Call me if you want nicer tits and a perkier ass for a change…” With lightning speed, I filled out the bill and closed the top and hoped that Pearl hadn’t noticed the obnoxious message that the bitch had scribbled in the tab.
We walked out of the restaurant and headed to Vanessa’s, where we spent the evening helping her with the kids. When Griffin came home, Pearl and I drove back to villa a few miles down the road. But the second we were in the car…I could feel it.
She saw it.
We said nothing as we entered the house. Nothing as we entered the bedroom. She did her normal nighttime routine and went straight to bed, her back to me like she didn’t want to look at me.
She continued to ignore me.
“Button.” I turned on the lamp and brought light back to the room.
I sat there with my head against the headboard, unsure how to handle this. I was just minding my own fucking business drinking my wine and that cunt had to come over and ruin it. “I can’t control what other people do.”
“But you tell her she has nicer tits than I do?”
“That’s not what happened. She just wrote that in the hope you would see it and this exact scenario would play out.”
“I saw her standing by your table for at least ten minutes.”
“Well, it felt like a fucking eternity.”
“You could have asked her to leave.”
“Oh, trust me, I did.”
She still wouldn’t look at me.
“Let’s just forget it…”
“She made a pass and I told her to fuck offf. That’s literally what happened.”
“I said let’s forget it.”
I grabbed her shoulder and forced her onto her back, forced her stare at me. “You’re the only woman I want–and you know that.”
Her eyes shifted away. “It’s just hard to watch women half your age hit on you…”
“Men would hit on you if they could, but they can’t because they’re scared shitless of me.”
“I doubt that.”
“I don’t. Button, I love you.”
“I know you do…”
“Then don’t let this bother you.”
“You weren’t going to tell me.”
“Damn right I wasn’t. Why would I want to talk about this? I forgot about her the second we left.”
Button still wouldn’t look at me. Then she turned over back to the way she was facing and got quiet.
It’s been a couple days since the incident, and while things have gotten better, they still aren’t where they were before. I’ve never given her a reason to doubt my fidelity but something about this is different and I don’t know why…