Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can't take my eyes off you

I was brooding over another beer when they came in. A black girl and a black boy. They sat at the counter and ordered white wine. We shared a polite smile. There was something I couldn’t quite grasp. I wanted to meet them. I had to meet her. Then the music helped us. I know it’ll sound very cliché but that’s the truth. They aired the song Can’t take my eyes off you. I couldn’t help but singing the song. So did the black girl. And she smiled her warmest smile, looked at me and sang “Can’t take my eyes off you”. That’s how we met. Her name is Afriqah. His is Ellton. She left New York City some time ago. Her friends there thought she’d come back but she didn’t.
- You know what I miss most? It’s acting. Noone here knows I’m craving for it. To be honest, I don’t know many people.
Then comes the who I am and what I'm here for part. I decided to tell them all, or almost all. They couldn’t believe their ears.
- I told you he’d be interesting, said Afriqah.
- I kept telling her “go on and talk to him”, added Ellton.
- So I guess Thomas isn’t your real name, right?
- …er … er… talking about theatre, in my previous life, I used to act and direct.
- You don’t say!
They looked at each other in amazement. Afriqah gave me an inquiring look and asked:
- Do you think you could direct me?
Silence. Smiles.
- I think I can, yes. Actually, if I ever direct you, I want to do it anonymously. You see, if my project allows me to become famous – being Thomas Mars, I mean – that famous anonymous French guy who disappeared would be your director.
- Wow! she exclaimed, eyes wide open.
Another silence.
- How do you perceive me, Thomas?
- Well… I think you’re a woman who tries hard not to show how fragile she is. You have a lot to tell and the part you’re eager to play is yourself.
- Ellton!!! Did you hear what he’s just said? Thomas, you are SO right!
Taking up my glass of wine, I offer her a toast:
- Let’s help each other. I direct you and you help me with my project.
- Okay.
Afriqah turns to the waiter and says:
- Simpiwo*, mon chéri, can we have three glasses of Chardonnay, s’il te plaît?


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