Eleven days into the story challenge, and I'm starting to get it: take topic inspiration wherever I can. The latest spark came from readwriteteachmakedinner's slice yesterday, titled "The best meal I've ever had."
It's probably 1999, and I'm on an Italian beach, playing Ultimate Frisbee. A teammate of mine has a buddy on a local team, who offers to take our group out for dinner. We know nothing and have no expectations when we pile into cars later that night. Leaving the Adriatic Sea behind, we drive through dark hilly countryside for an indeterminate amount of time. We park eventually at a big unmarked house. Inside is a raucous fluorescently-lit dining room, crowded tables bedecked with red-and-white-checked cloths. (Yes, stereotypes sometimes ring true.) We pile around the one open table, reserved who-knows-when by our inside man. A feast ensues: course after course of fish and bottle after unlabeled bottle of red wine. Two dishes linger in my memory 17 years later: impossibly big hoops of fried calamari robed in golden batter so light it almost didn't seem to be there at all; grilled fresh sardines, salty, crunchy and addictive in their simplicity. In the background of my brain, then as now, I ponder the improbability of it all, how I enjoyed that meal with those people in that exotic spot all thanks to a game of Frisbee.