The Flipside of the Coin
The saturated Italian sun shone through clusters of Cypress trees, landing speckled on Archer’s shoulders. The city glistened in the distance, another adventure’s course laid out before her. Atop her trusty steed, the Dolomites to west and the Adriatic to the south, she and her moose journeyed onward towards the rigid and dark Gothic architecture of Veneto.
Upon her arrival into the town square, a vivacious, magnetic woman dressed in colorful, flowing fabrics and dozens of stacked golden bracelets immediately hooked her elbow around Archer’s, guiding her into a lush and dense garden. Butterflies danced around them, vines twisted around every nook and cranny of stone hedging, and a half dozen magical boxes broadcasted large, oafish men scrambling about in pursuit of a brown pigskin oval.
The woman handed her a crystal champagne tulip, brimming with a bubbling varietal she had never seen before. “When in Veneto,” Archer said before clinking glasses with the stranger. Somewhere along the way, the saying has been popularized and adapted for the more popular location of Rome. But the true saying originates here with Archer.
She took her first sip. A rush to the head, the flirtatious froth setting up camp on her taste buds and changing, moving, brightening alongside her spirit. What is this tantalizing tingle of effervescent liquid gold? As she turned to face the mysterious, strange woman, Archer noticed she was gone. Catching her eye, a single gold coin appeared in Archer’s flute. The bubbles popped and fizzed as it settled to the bottom of the glass.
Archer greedily gulped down the remaining few sips of the delicious elixir, leaving her with nothing but the coin. She shook it out into her hand and examined it. Etched into the back of the golden disc in Italian, Archer read aloud “finire a taralucci e vino.” A proverb meaning, “to end up with cookies, biscuits and wine.” In other words, “all’s well that ends well.”
So as she exhaled, Archer took another sip and turned her attention to the rousing pigskin sport picture show, displayed in blindingly clear cinematography. As her most prized sportsmen scored an abundance of points and her Bubbly flute was continuously replenished, she had no choice but to agree. “All is well that ends well,” she whispered.