The Dreamweaver plans a cultural outing for myself and another person
|Dawn Dream 2:
This is something I am by no means proud to share....
...but I'm at a low budget Pre-Raphaelite exhibition in the company of none other than Chris Eubank who seems, in his Jermyn Street tweeds, to be very well-read on the subject except he can't say Dante Gabriel Rosetti: it keeps coming out ´Rothetti' and it's making me smile.
And he keeps saying it. Rothetti. And I'm laughing. And he's making a very serious point. About Rothetti. And I'm cracking up. Rothetti. And he's politely trying to ignore it.
He's Chris Eubank. And I'm wetting myself. There's tension. Then he starts on about Algernon Swinbourne which comes out 'Thwinbourne' And I cannot, for the life of me, control myself. I am laughing at full sqawk like a twat and the tension is evident but Mr. Eubank is supercool.
When he suddenly refers to 'Lithhie Thiddel' I shriek out loud and a snot juggernaut pebbledashes his Gieves and Hawkes lapel. He remains calm and wipes it off with an immaculately ironed handkerchief by Ralph Lauren.
I am shaking and snorting and trying not to splutter.
'You theem to derive a thertian pleasure from the way I...talk' he averred politely.
I was so glad he said 'talk' and not 'thpeak'.
I'm weeping with suppressed hysteria.
I'm making noises a child of two might make.
Then, his face became possessed by a certain childish meekness. I held my breath.
'I wath looking forward very much,' he began softly, ´to an afternoon in your usually gentle company as we shared an apprethiation of Pre-Raphaelite art. You tell me they were an unruly group of people but they created such beautuful paintings. I was always denied that..'
I saw a tear form almost sweetly in his eye
'...I tried to bring beauty to the art of bockthing but I brought only uglineth and thuffering. And now, like thow many others, you wish only to mock, ridicule...' - the tear which he could not control sped down his cheek, - 'and poke fun at me.'
I was ashamed to my very soul, reminded of my own peculiar childhood evil of accusing people of being what they are instead of accepting them as such.
I owed an apology. But how to express it without patronising the man after making such an ignorant fool of myself?
I beheld the weeping gentleman's tears now pouring down his cheeks as he stood in cape and Piccadilly
Tweeds with Loakes loafers and - I hadn't previously noticed - a monocle.
I decided that the best way to express my profuse apology was to give him a friendly gentlemanly punch on the knee.
Which I did. He tried to ignore it. So I did it again. A punch. On the knee. Ha ha.
The knee was hard. Like a big walnut. Obstinate. Hard to crack.
With a kind of piratical 'ha ha', I again punched him on the knee. I'd sort of got caught in a loop: 'Yah ha ha' and a punch on the knee.
A sweet, bewildered smile played on his lips;
'You appear to have developed a peculiar fatthination for my knee.'
'Har Har Haaar and a punch on the knee...' I continued as if I were in Treasure Island, punching his knee with each refrain.
I could even hear Chris Eubank singing with me, trying politely to play along with the game until, with a lightning reflex, he stooped in a split second to check my blow with an ease that was almost courteous and I found myself staring into his impregnably uncompromising face, the eyes flecked bloodshot, cold as darkened windows to an unforgiving soul. I saw a vast and desolate African dawn reflected there in his face as he uttered with graceful simplicity;
'You know, I could theriouthly hurt you...'
- his hand resting gently upon my shoulder, -
'...don't you... ? It would afford me neither pleasure nor regret...
©2016 David Shaw-Parker