Winter Blogfest: Rachel Corsini

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A Wonderful Chaos by Rachel Corsini

Boisterous laughter. Swirls of cigar smoke rising to the ceiling. Endless platters of food. Seven fishes. Linguini with white clam sauce. Insalate di mare. Fried calamari. An endless conveyor belt filled our bellies and hearts with joy. The table fit to bursting with family. Loud. Wonderful. Drinking wine.  

My grandfather at the head of the table. My grandma in the kitchen laughing with my mom and my aunts. Helping to fill serving platters. There was always so much food. My grandma fed us all, filling us fit to bursting with her love.

At midnight, a creak on the stairs. Black boots. Fluffy white cuffs. Red velvet pants. Santa at Grandma’s house? I was on his knee in an instant. Squinting eyes looking into his brown ones. Hmm, he seemed familiar. A smile I’d seen many times. There were presents in his giant sack. He pulled one out and placed it in my hands. It was something I wished for. That I’d placed on my list.

I kissed Santa’s cheek and he hugged me before lifting me off his knee. I went to go see what my present was.

“Hmm, I wonder where that Uncle Joe is?” Santa said. My family burst into laughter. It was my cousin’s turn. After each gift, “hmm, I wonder where that Uncle Joe is?

Espresso poured. Cannolis on the table. Stufoli. Cheesecake. An assortment of Italian Christmas cookies: fig, lemon, Pignoli nut. Summoned by Sambuca, Uncle Joe reappeared, and Santa was gone. More laughter while sipping from gold filigree cups.

Us, the kids, curled up on the plastic covered sofa, clutching our precious presents, eyes drifting shut to the sounds of our family talking well into the hours of the morning.

Christmas Eve. A wonderful chaos. A moment as precious as a heartbeat.

When a career-ending injury and a messy breakup send prima ballerina Daniela Verdi back to Queens, New York, she fills her days with countless distractions: meaningless sex, pinot grigio, and video games.

It takes a chance meeting with her brother’s best friend, Vincent LaBate, for her to remember who she was before the stage lights and distractions of the Upper West Side. She’s convinced that Vincent could never love a girl like her: broken, insecure, and stumbling her way through life. What Daniela didn’t count on is that Vincent is as scarred as she is after divorcing his cheating wife and going through an equally messy child custody fight. Soon enough, old vulnerabilities rear their ugly heads, opening a crack in Daniela’s perfectly imperfect romance.

As Daniela and Vincent’s relationship develops, will Daniela learn to accept that a dream life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

After declaring herself a pretty pink princess during her first ballet class, Rachel dreamt of sugarplums and began pirouetting her way through life. While studying to become a ballerina, she compulsively read books under her covers by flashlight and scribbled in spiral-bound notebooks. The urge to tell stories culminated in her graduation from Columbia College Chicago with a B.F.A. in fiction writing.

Never one to keep her feet on the ground, she traveled the world from Prague to Cape Town. Once settled back in Queens, she dabbled in journalism before working as an Editorial Assistant for a medical publisher. Seeking a more fulfilling career, she earned her MAT from Queens College and currently works as an English teacher in an alternative program in NYC.

Rachel spends her time sipping coffee, trying to cook, and practicing her pirouettes. She currently resides in Freeport, Long Island.

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