Friday, 19 August 2011

The story of David Blue-Shirt

On one of my last days in Florence I decided to revisit the Piazzale di Michelangelo with my friend Lillian at sunset. We had seen it every day because it's on the way to the main city but only once at sunset. I wanted to see it again because I didn't have my camera last time and we only caught the end of it because we over slept our siesta. Oh, life is hard!

The view, like any other part of Florence, was as beautiful as it was romantic. We sat on the steps for a while and watched a street performer sing love songs. Feeling a little bit out of place amongst the couples and having a need to put our feet up, Lillian and I retreated to the benches and people watched. One boy in particular, David we called him, stood out to us. He was wearing a bright blue shirt and stood over the balcony by himself. We made a story for him.

David arrived in the hostel in the afternoon. It was humid in Florence and he was sweaty but he was determined to wear pants. He didn't understand shorts. He couldn't grasp what sort of shorts to wear or what length it should be worn at or what to wear it with. Pants were better. He understood pants. Still, it was hot so he waited until the absolute last minute before he changed. He picked out his blue shirt. Amelie once commented that it brought out his eyes. He didn't know if she was joking or not but he decided to wear it so it would, at the very least, be a talking point. "Hey, remember this shirt? It's blue, haha!" Stupid. Whatever, he was wearing it.

The piazzale was a little crowded by the time he arrived. Mostly tourists. David wondered why tourists repulsed him so much. After all he himself was a tourist but for some seeing large congregations descending from air conditioned buses instantly made the destination less attractive for him. Amelie once accused him of being a snob. She was probably right but like any snob, he refused to accept it. "It's not snobbery", he had said, "it's taste." She rolled her eyes and laughed.

David looked over the city and tried to name buildings. There was the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio, obviously, but what is that green domed one? He would have to look that up later. It was his first day in Florence so he forgave himself. The sun hit the horizon and the sky is tinged with pink. Pink. Amelie had told him once that on a perfectly clear sky, there is a moment just before the sun completely sets that the light will reflect against, against... something or rather, and the sun will emit a flash of pink light.

Or was it green light? Actually green light sounds better. Green light. Yes, it was green light.

The sun had set and the lights were turning on and somewhere in the distance someone was singing The Scientist. David was suddenly wary of how alone he must seem. I'm not alone, he wanted to tell people. I'm waiting for someone. Almost instinctively he pulled out his phone, only to realise that he had no use for it. He didn't know why he assumed that Amelie would come tonight, he just had a feeling. After all it was she who had always wanted to see Florence at sunset and there seemed no better day than today to see it- today would have been their one year anniversary. Would have being the operative term. Would have if it wasn't for that fight in the garden just before semester was about to start. She was seeing someone else now actually but David knew it couldn't be serious. He was sure she would turn up. Maybe tomorrow he thinks, maybe with all the confusion of time conversion she mistook the dates and will turn up tomorrow. I'll come back tomorrow. 

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