I wrote this shortly after finding out about the death of James Gandolfini in 2013
Shiny red leather seat, like red velvet cake so rich you gain 5 pounds from just looking at it, empty, reserved for a former, special guest. It was here the screen went to black, where expectation, consternation, and verbal vivisection met in a cloud of disappointment and angry rants. The Reserved sign is black, too. Black on a stark white background.
The newspaper on the table says it all. Jersey Icon dies, the ice cream parlor’s famous patron is no more. Whether there is or is not a heaven or a hell, there are memories. A bull of a man, a family man, playing with unbridled intensity by a family man. Keep the space reserved for one night. The lights will go to black soon enough.