Dani's "Flaming Heart"
Everyone now knows of Dani's flaming head, symbol of his frenetic humor, but some might wonder about my characterization of him as shy.
This brief entry is about his shyness.
Dani fell in love with the young woman who worked in the Bioladen, a sort of ecologically friendly health-food store that one finds all over Germany. Whenever the house needed 'organic' food supplies, Dani would volunteer to go.
In Dani's opinion, the house needed organic food supplies several times a day, and selecting a specific supply required a great deal of time spent in the store itself, comparing nutritional values and prices.
This process would have been made easier if Dani had asked the young lady for advice, but he would pretend to ignore her, as though indifferent. Still, he couldn't really hide his condition. He had the fever:
Dani's fever grew worse. He visited the shop more and more often, lingering among the shelves, trying hard to concentrate, or appear to concentrate, on the relative merits of two brands of fair-price peanut butter, but who could care about fair prices when life wasn't fair to Dani, in love with a girl who never noticed him despite his repeated trips to the store.
Never know how much I love you, never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me, I get a fever that's so hard to bear.
You give me fever -- when you kiss me, fever when you hold me tight
Fever -- in the morning, fever all through the night...
Finally, the crisis.
Dani again visited the store, eventually selected an item from the shelf, and made his way to the counter, where he handed the money to his love.
Then, he waited for the change, his eyes on the girl in the only moments that gazing was allowed. She returned his gaze, then looked down. Then again at him.
And she smiled.
She said, still smiling, "There's something on the floor."
Dani looked down. On the floor lay the several coins that she had carefully placed in his hand. From his fingers, they had slipped, clattering down, but Dani noticing nothing.
His face now burning bright red, one might even say 'flaming,' Dani squatted to the floor, scraped all of the loose change into his hands, and quickly left the shop.
And the story would never had been told, had Marcello not happened to be in the store as well, observing all and reporting back.
"No!" Dani exclaimed. "It was Marcello. He dropped the coins. He had to get down on the floor, sweating in embarrassment and scraping the coins into his grubby hands! It was Marcello."
We all just smiled.
As did the girl, every time that Dani, though far less often, entered her shop.