Monday, 31 December 2018

Round 53

53. (thought it would be neat to finish on something from another planet - not my photo by the way)

Steve is from South Africa, but right now I’m talking to him in a market in the S.W. of France. 

He’s a tall man, taller than me and he’s more substantial; he has an infectious grin and his eyes sparkle with the fun of a ten year old. It’s snowing slightly; the winter it’s reaching its midst and Christmas is not far off; tomorrow he is flying to South Africa.

“Have you packed?” I ask. 

He tells me that he has one toothbrush there and one here so yes, he’s packed; the fact that he is alone in the market suggests to me that the same may not be true for his wife Rose.

Rose is small in much the same way Steve isn’t; she is smaller than me and more attractive. He eyes are more mysterious than Steve’s, you hear their sparkle in her voice; she probably doesn’t like the snow and that could also be why she is not in the market.

I haven’t known Steve for very long, in fact at the beginning of the month I did not know that they existed; today we hug like two bears.

If bears hug, I don’t know that that is the case.

I saw a bear once. I was in Canada driving through the mountains and one crossed the road in front of my car and disappeared into the forest. I stopped. Then I left the car and followed into the same forest; I had never seen a bear before except once maybe at night deep in the Spanish Mountains and this was daytime.

I was alone; each step I took away from the protective ribbon of asphalt where the car sat waiting, took me deeper into the realm of the bear. Eventually even I thought it more prudent to return.

It was not my car, later I returned to the hire company and took a flight home to Europe.

I am European.

The government of the country where I was born is trying is best to negotiate me out of this condition and I hope they fail. Earlier in my life I spent time blockading the South African embassy in London trying to encourage The British Government to disinvest in Apartheid.

Swings and roundabouts.

This tale is roundabout; it started with mention of ‘Today’ and a market, it has encompassed ‘Tomorrow’ and a flight to South Africa and now we have encountered ‘Yesterday’, albeit a long time ago when I was still a skinny youth.

Even then though I liked Charles Chaplin.

It was not fashionable; many critics had turned against his sentimental pathos. I had not.

I saw the hard work, the dedication and the genius; he made me laugh and he made me cry.
What more do you need in a work of art?

Last night I projected his film The Kid at the Midnight Cinema, a ramshackle affair of deckchairs, armchair and sofa, home-made raspberry and lime ice cream and a screen that is the wall of the building.

There was laughter.

There was applause.

The film was made 96 years ago.

The Midnight Cinema was born three weeks ago; Steve and Rose are my most loyal support; they were present at the first, they returned for the second and now, with yesterday, can also claim to have eaten more of my ice cream than anyone else. 

Rosie has tried the honey- ginger, the banana and now the raspberry lime; she is the only one that I let order half-and half bowls.

Yesterday when they walked in from the cold damp streets I kissed Rose, and Steve and I hugged like two bears.

Next Saturday will be the last Midnight Cinema of the year and we are going to show the greatest film ever made. There will be four flavours of ice cream available; I am considering adding a chocolate something.

Chocolate cinnamon.
Chocolate ginger?
Chocolate rum?

Rose will not be there.

Steve non-plus.

They are from South Africa, and tomorrow they fly there.

  not sure how there are 53 weeks this year but... (ALL ABOUT ROUNDS)

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