I had just realized I could not understand a word of what he was saying.
I looked around trying to find somebody who could help me. I had the words in
my eyes, not in my mouth as I could not speak a word either.
Back to the city of London
It was getting late. The street was dark and full of shadows. Near the entrance to the nearest house there only was the gate to one of those private little parks you find in the middle of cities. And it was starting to rain. I could see the drops of water sliding down the pole of the lamp.
I clutched my bags, my paper shopping bags. My presents were there and I could not afford losing them.
The man stared at me, closed his eyes for a second a smiled to himself.
Then he spoke again.
What language was he using? I did not know. I only understood something like a name, and that was because he pointed at himself when he said that word:
--‘Glop’. That is what I heard. But that is not a name. It sounded like the noise you make when you swallow something at last; when you manage to finally drop something through your throat.
I asked him to release my hand. --Let me go, please. Leave me. I’m late.
He smiled again, -- So, you don’t recognize me, do you?
Now I understood him. --No--, I said. --I have no idea who you are. I don’t think I know you.
--But, you do--, he insisted. --You surely do. Don’t try to be funny. This is something serious. As serious as it was when we first met and I fell in love with you.
He couldn’t really mean what he was saying. That was my second visit to that city in my life and the first one had been a mere twenty years before. Yes, I had been living there for three months. That was when I was still a student at the University. I had been working in a laboratory; I had been awarded a grant from one of those big chemical companies; I just wanted to get some data for my doctorate, to compare different techniques in analysing the point I was then studying.
Now I immediately remembered the whole story. I realized that the language he had first been using was that very strange language two very young people had developed to communicate with each other, because neither of them understood the other’s language.
I had completely forgotten it. It was as far from my life as my thesis, my first boyfriend and my parents’ house. Those months in that city had been part of my other life, my previous reincarnation, as I used to call that time.
--We cannot stay here. Come, let’s have some tea. We must talk--. He said.