Breakfast With The Don

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
As a naive college student I had breakfast for years with someone who I found out later was a Mafia Don

Submitted: June 30, 2008

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Submitted: June 30, 2008

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BREAKFAST WITH THE DON
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Every morning of my sophomore and junior years of engineering college saw me at the Howard Johnson’s in East Orange New Jersey. I didn’t own a car so my Dad left me off there on his way to work. The hour was early…too early for class so I used the time to have breakfast under the orange roof.
 
Breakfast every day on my meager budget was an English muffin, toasted, orange juice and coffee. I sat at the counter and soon became a “regular”.
 
There were two other “regulars” that stood out from the crowd.
One was a very large bear of a man who never spoke. The other was a rather short man..or maybe he just looked short next to his giant of a companion. Both were always dressed to the nines, perfectly coifed and suits that looked hand tailored . The smaller man also wore diamond rings and a watch that looked like it could have been used to support a family for a year.
 
Before long the smaller man and I began to chat and over the months then years he questioned me about my family and school. He seemed to be quite a gentleman but after awhile it became clear that I new almost nothing about him or what his business was or where he went after I left for school.
 
I made the rest of the journey to college in downtown Newark with a very nice fellow I met in my freshman year. He lived nearby the Howard Johnson’s so it was convenient for him to pick me up and escort me to class. The other added attraction was that we were getting very fond of each other and this fondness would blossom into love resulting in our marriage two days before our senior year.
 
One day I commented on my two interesting breakfast mates to my husband to be. He smiled and shook his head as you would at a naive remark a child would make. I was puzzled by his reaction but he quickly put my puzzlement to rest with announcing that didn’t I know  that these guys were clearly gangsters?
 
Yes my friend had an Italian name, but so did I!I hotly exclaimed that he was being bigoted and too ready to paint all Italians with the same brush. I was indignant. I couldn’t imagine my gentlemanly breakfast companion rubbing anybody out…..no..it just couldn’t be. He had even offered me help in securing a job when I graduated!
 
Many years went by. I graduated, married and had a son and was living happily in the New Jersey suburbs when one day my husband laid the morning paper across my plate. There in bold headlines was my old friend’s name . His much older face looked out at me. He no longer looked perfectly dressed. He looked sad and somehow deflated… and he had reason to be. He was under arrest for federal racketeering crimes.
 
My husband had a smile on his face as he took in the shock on my face. I know it was too good an outcome for him to just let it go and I waited for what he would say. I didn’t have long to wait.
He took a stance like a stand-up comedian and speaking into his rolled up napkin as if it were a microphone he cleared his throat and said,
 
“Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Other women had breakfast in Tiffany’s…but MY wife had breakfast with a Mafia Don”!
 
Looking back on it with wonderment at my total innocence I now understand who the mute giant was….The Body Guard…and the dapper man I so admired was The Don.
 
 WOW!
 
 


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