'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

03 February 2011

The Boy and the Green Umbrella

A memory fragment.

1975, and I am on a train from Paris to London. Looking into the passageway from my compartment I see the most beautiful, elegant young man I have ever seen. Dark, well tailored suit, knee length jacket thrown over his shoulders and a green umbrella in his right hand. He continued to stroll past my door, or loiter in the corridor outside for the remainder of the rhythmic journey to Calais. While wandering on the Channel Ferry I continued to notice him in the distance until we met by chance on the deck of the boat, as we approached the white chalk cliff face on the way in to Dover port. As the spray washed over our faces we introduced ourselves, only to be separated a short time later at the Passport desk. I waited on the other side for him which seemed to please him. On the train to Victoria Station we spoke of Australia and sheep, Milan, where he came from and Germany which was his Fathers birthplace. This explained why the beautiful Italian boy with blond hair was named Hans. He looked like a young Helmut Berger. He spoke Italian, German, French and was to stay with family friends in England to improve his English. One week after parting at the station I jumped off the Tube and literally fell into him. For the next three days we explored London the cinema and tourist spots gently and together. I returned home with another brief, platonically romantic memory.

A 2015 Update
Carol Burns, Tom Cossettini and Dylan Evans in rehearsal
In 2014 I was thrilled to hear a line 'The boy with the green umbrella" uttered by Tom Cossettini in a new play written by Dylan Evans. They had asked for submissions of stories of love and received hundreds. I was honoured to get a mention in the play script with this story.
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