I heard him before I saw him: Signorina! You, the one who’s getting wet. It was a mime – painted gold, dressed as Casanova.
This was December 2005. Rome. La Fontana di Trevi. It was pouring, thus, my getting wet. Thus, my chilly reply: Mimes don’t talk.
His name was Marius. He was Polish. I’ll buy you a coffee. C’mon – what else is there to do in the rain? He had a point. He pulled out a duffel bag from behind a tree. We went to a cafe – espresso for him; hot chocolate for me. Passerby gaped through the wet windows.
Q: So what does one talk about with a mime, anyway?
A: SEX. Who knew? The mime took his role as Casanova seriously: Let’s go to my place. But why not? I’m Casanova; no woman can resist! I only need ten minutes. I looked longingly at the door – still raining. Then, an exclamation point zoomed off the top of Casanova’s wig: I’ll change out of costume. You’ll see I’m a regular guy. He grabbed his bag and disappeared into the bathroom.
Some minutes later, Marius emerged – rugged, good-looking, with a shaved head, wearing a black sweater. But he wasn’t so confident without his pantaloons. Now he only sat silently, shredding a napkin. Gone were the come-ons. Gone was the grin.
The cafe clock ticked.
Finally, he said: I guess I’ll go home.
And he disappeared into the rain.
This post has been entered in the GranTourismo and Home Away Holiday Rentals August Travel Blogging Competition.