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characters around town

June 1, 2006

This morning, as I waited in Village Apothecary, I saw the most singular apparition. A college aged man walked in, with an absurd fake mustache that curled at the ends and a cheap old bowler hat, and asked the pharmacist for laudanum. Having read one too many Sherlock Holmes stories this week, half of my brain wondered what sort of crazed criminal this man was, though he honestly appeared only slightly stoned. He joked with the pharmacist, after hearing that they hadn’t had the asked-for drug in about a hundred years, confirming his thought as to how the stuff was made. Then he asked about witch hazel, and proceed to go buy some. When the girl at the register said he looked like someone she’d met before, he said it couldn’t be him as he’d just come into town on the steam engine.

After a quick lunch, I was out of the house again, this time to attend a Ralph Williams lecture on Shakespeare. While normally I find the playwright slightly overrated, I wasn’t attending out of personal interest. Julie is in the class, and out of town getting surgery done, so I went to take notes for her. Professor Williams entered eight minutes late with two buttons too many undone on his shirt. I realized later that this was on purpose, as he changed mics halfway through and didn’t seem to notice how open his shirt was. He ran in, and then leisurely walked about the room shaking hands with everyone there. I wondered if he’d notice that I wasn’t a usual member, but remained anonymous. Then he proceeded to lecture for an hour and a half on Othello, with the final bit devoted to King Lear. He recited large portions of the play completely in character, laughing, shouting, almost crying. His face was a caricature of itself, bringing to mind the drawing of John Kerry as an ent. Those insane hands of his gestured and flailed, and brought out a surprising amount of the play in the ears of one who’d never read it.

I’ve lost what few words I had. The third character was a boy, with beautifully thin arms and shaggy brown hair. During the break I walked outside, and noticed a plant that was familiar and well loved. I bent down to try to recall it’s name, and perhaps find some seeds, when he commented that it was a geranium, wasn’t it? We didn’t speak more than two sentences, though, before it was time to go back to class. It’s too bad that I’ll not be in that class again, most likely.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2006 10:12 pm

    I have info for you on the DMB concert…and need to have you write out a check for Torre Church in the amount of $49. Are you going to be in town on Friday afternoon?

  2. June 1, 2006 11:39 pm

    I will be in town, and I’ll even make sure to be home.
    Yay Dave!

  3. June 2, 2006 1:03 am

    There is no such thing as too many Sherlock Holmes stories.

  4. June 2, 2006 12:38 pm

    Ahh…Ralph Williams. He’s definitely a character. I run into him everywhere.

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