Who are you, Sir?
Train rides can be a boring story, especially if do these on a daily basis. Always the same distressed faces, the same problems, the same stifling ambience, the same old discussions…
However today, was not like any other day. I was about to open Les Mandarins from Beauvoir and deepen into my normal lecture mode to bridge time when my attention was caught by this awkward looking gentleman. Cut out of a 20s movies, he looked genuinely as lost as I was while wondering if this is a vision of some sort of fiction of my imagination. It felt like I got teleported in another century. He resembled greatly to Fitzgerald’s characters.
Top of his head one of those deep black ink Fedora hats, a silky foulard tie with precious dots all warn with a classic Brooks Brothers costume, pants above waist and a long sleeved white shirt with French cuffs. Furthermore this cut-out-of-novels gentleman had a small tidy moustache, slicked and tidily combed hair, and had one of the best pockets square folds neatly folded and tucked in his jacket breast pocket. The only element that contrasted with his outfit were his headphones. Nevertheless, these were loud enough to distinguish that my character was listening to 20s music. Now, you might wonder how I know all this. I stood staring at him as he was sitting on the seat just in front of me. And oh man, I could hear that 20s beat.
I did not wanted to shatter his moment nor my commuter dream and that is why I did not took a picture of him, yet I hope that I was able to give you an accurate image of this mystery man. For that half hour that we spent together crammed on that certain train, I had the feeling that time lapsed, that I was being transported in another century. Moreover, it was like I was the only person seeing this character and going crazy about it in the train compartment.
His image, his perfume, his music are carved into my memory. One curiosity will remain unsolved, what would have his voice sounded like? What would his name be like? Alain, Picard, Bourgoin? Or James, Charles, William? Would have he started blabbering in rhymes? Like Hemingway? Which language would have he spoken?
So I guess the next party I will be planning will be once again one electroswing party with the glory and glitter of the 20s-30s-40s.
Photo credits: vintagedancer.com