See that guy over there, the tan one wearing the white shirt with the long brown feathered hair. The first time I saw that guy I laughed. I know that’s mean, but it’s the truth. His shirt was unbuttoned half way down his chest, his too tan chest, a chest sprinkled with quite a bit of chest hair. A brown blazer had been slung over his shoulder and fancy leather white and gold sneakers were on his feet. I remember thinking, oh my god what a freakin cheeseball. I mean this was the kind of guy they make fun of on Saturday Night Live, and here he was, in real life, on a bus in Italy standing next to me.
But then, as I stood swaying and sweating my ass off on that overcrowded bus driving across the tarmac to the Air One flight that would take us from Venice to Naples, I found myself becoming strangely attracted to the cheese. I don’t know what the hell was going on with me, but his machismo had gotten under my skin.
“What are you doing?” whispered The Husband who was standing right beside me, holding onto the overhead bar. Dark Oakley sunglasses covered his eyes.
“Nothing,” I said, as there was no need to alert The Husband to what I was doing, which was smelling the guy, the guy who was a mere millimeter from my nose. He smelled like sweat. And musky cologne. Mainly sweat. But in his defense, we were all sweating. Even me. It was hot.
As we walked off the bus and lined up on the tarmac, luggage in hand, I couldn’t take my eyes off the guy. He was hot. For a cheeseball. Man, if only I were single. And in a bar. And I could actually get away with doing something like that. Whatever that might be. Which I’ve never been able to do. Even when I was single and in a bar.
“Stop staring at him,” said The Husband, shaking his head.
“I can’t,” I said, and then laughed. That’s when I pulled out the camera and clicked away.
I could feel the husband’s warm breath in my ear, when he whispered, “He probably wears a banana hammock on the beach.”
I closed my eyes. “Stop it.”
The Husband laughed. “A ban-yan-a-ha-mach-ee.”
“You’re ruining the fantasy,” I said, cringing at the visual.
“Fantasy! Are you kidding me?” said The Husband, giving me a crazy look. “Look at that guy. He’s probably wearing one right now!”
“No he’s not!”
His friend, yeah, okay, maybe. But not him. No way. Not my guy with the button down shirt and the tan chest and the chest hair and the fancy sneakers. And that’s when I saw it, the banyana hamachee. It was yellow. Bright Big Bird yellow. And he wore it with a pair of fine Italian fancy sneakers. That’s it. Nothing else. Just the hamachee de banyana and the sneaks. Gold ones. Needless to say, I was no longer looking at him. I couldn’t look at him. Not when he was dressed like that! Now I was staring at my husband. Giving him an evil eye.
“Thanks,” I said.
The Husband just smirked.
And now I bring you, straight from Positano, a real life banyana hamachee. Enjoy.