I met him within the first three hours of landing in France. I’d just set down my one suitcase in my apartment, and decided that now was good a time as anyway to explore the small town, I had decided to make my creative prison, so to speak. Fighting jetlag, I wasn’ts particularily keen about my decision, but it was only one in the afternoon and although I’d been awake for almost twenty four hours, I still couldn’t go to sleep.
So I headed to the center of town, stopped at the first café I found, and sat down. A Scotsman was sitting to my right and noticed me immediately.
“I’m Stevie,” he said extending his hand to mine, before I had completely sat in the chair.
“Cait, just got here,” I said.
“Here as in the café, because I can see that, or Aups?” he muttered and then took a sip of wine. He was quite “refined.”
“Aups,” I replied. He flicked his hand up, as he gestured to the waiter.
“Une rouge pour la mademoiselle,” he says in a perfect French accent. The waiter hurried away and brought a glass of wine to the table. I pulled out a cigarette and lit it, I had a stash of Marlboro, that I brought with me.
“So they kicked you out did they,” he said as he motioned towards the cigarette
“Nearly, I actually came here to finish a novel,” I said.
“Fancy yourself a writer? I guess the young are allowed to have dreams,” he said as he downed the rest of his wine and once more motioned to the waiter.
“I suppose,” I replied not feeling like defending myself at the moment. I sat with him for over two hours, and learned that he was from Scotland, he loved the queen, and he thought that Julie Andrews had the voice of a fallen angel.
I left happy that I had made a new friend and passed out in my loft. The next day I was up early and went shopping for food. I saw Stevie across the street and waved at him. He waved back, but didn’t seem to remember me. I figured he probably had to much to drink the day before, he looked as though he might have been eighty.
Several days passed before I saw him again. I was sitting at the café answering emails and watching youtube, when he walked up to my table and asked in French, whether he could sit with me. Of course I said yes.
“I’m Stevie,” he said with an out reached hand. Its then that I realized he didn’t remember me. He may remember the past, but the present is covered in a fog that’s impossible to discern.
“Cait,” I said, not wanting to embarrass him.
Most times we talk, it’s about memories. He never mentions what he did that day, but he loves to tell me of the old days. When he worked in London, and had a secretary, when he was important.
I see him every day, but he never remembers me. Stevie, I promise I’ll never forget you.