F11 smallA box of candy. Coming back from a 2 weeks holiday in Malta, that I left unpolitely on Christmas Eve, and then Dublin, that I left even more unpolitely years ago. That’s what I found waiting for me in London. A box of candy.
Colored button shaped candies.
Small, square and elegant, the box.
They were waiting there for me in the porter’s lodge.

I knew who was the sender before looking at the ticket. I knew it even before looking for the ticket, that eventually was not there.
I knew it was sent from Scotland.
How did I knew it all without even looking at(for) a ticket? Here’s the story.

Once upon a night I was not reading for pleasure, nor for job. I was not reading at all. I was writing. I had just decided to get all my notes together and start creating a novel, finally. For the 10th time in a year I was determined to do it.
An inspiring gramophone was playing and I was quite concentrated, strangely sure that nothing bad or weird as usual could have happened to me, that night.
My phone rang, and I didn’t even stood up to see who was calling. It rang for a while, I didn’t care.
Unfortunately, my skype was open, and it started ringing summoning me up for a viado call with… John, the Scotish novelist.

I thought the call was something related to my last job, the one I had delivered two days before my trip to Malta. And two days before I have kissed Charles. It was something I was not supposed to do, I know. I shouldn’t have. Moreover, I shouldn’t have liked it. Though, I did.
Getting concentrated in an unplanned family trip and now in an over-planned novel is good way not to think about what was inappropriately done.

But the point is, John was calling me and deconcentrating me from my novel.
Actually the call was not related to my last job and his novel. At all.
I saw myself in the webcam.
Red tips of my hair tied haphazardly, were sticking out from behind my bespectacled face. The only thing presentable were my manicured hands. But he would not have noticed and incidentally I was not interested.
Even more, his appearance was not one of the best. The light of his small and fake webcam didn’t praise the pale hue of us, grew up in the islands of northern Europe. His skin was too similar to my own to be found attractive. But men do not seem to care about these things. We do, but only when we are attracted by the person we speak with. The preliminary stage put me in a pleasant state of careless equality with him. That’s why I was at ease. That’s why he liked me. I realized it then.

I pretended to be sorry for my ‘less than casual’ appearence.
You’re beautiful, he said.
I was eating some coloured candy. He didn’t seem to give a shite.
His face was childish. Not like his voice, that I already knew. It was very deep, the one of an old man.

‘I saw you’re on line, thought about callin’ ya’ – he said before I asked.
‘Good. How are you?’
‘Drinking Italian coffee’ he said showing me  his little italian tazzina, the small cup that makes sense only if you drink an espresso.
‘I love these cups – I say – I have one I bought in Naples’
‘Do you like Italian coffee?’
‘No. It’s fiercely strong. Too strong, it makes me hysteric’.
‘Sugar have this effect on me. Like for children’
We talked for a while about stupid things. About how some Irish expressions like ‘c’mere’ make him laugh, about what makes us hysteric and so on.
He was not flirty, it seemed like he just was feeling bored and maybe alone and so he called me.
‘Don’t you like going out at night?’ I asked.
‘Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. Tonight I’m out of money, so I annoy you on skype and some other friend on facebbok’.
‘Oh, today I was messin’ some Italian friend of mine. They don’t have a Pope anymore, nor the chief of the police, nor a governament. That’s the way they like it! They rock!”They do, actually. Are you planning a trip to Italy?’
He didn’t ask if I felt about visiting Scotland, though I would have expected it.
When I finally looked back at the over right angle of my screen, I noticed it was almost 2 bells. I was tired.
We said goodnight while my gramophone was singing ‘I love Paris’ .

The day after I casually kissed Charles (but that’s another piece of story). The day after I left for Malta and I hardly turned my pc on for kind of 10 days.

I almost forgot that conversation and that night. Till the moment I came back and found these unexpected candies. I feel a bit more like visiting Scotland now.

porter’s lodge

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