I was at a party, all dressed up in an ‘I’m an actress’ kinda look. The only people I knew were my mum and the event organizer (friend of mum). There I am, walking in front of my mum, uncertain whether to own it ‘YES that’s my mum bro I’m too cool not to be cool when I’m out and about with her’ or do I adopt the Dory attitude, ‘WHY is this woman following me’. And it happens, I make eye contact with an old man, very well dressed with amazing blue eyes (quite short though) and I think ‘HE must have been quite a good looking gentleman back in the day!’. That’s it, I’m past him. I try and get something to eat and pretend I am interested in knowing where the wine they are pouring into my glass came from. The place is really crowded so I find a corner in which I can rest a little and there he comes, Mr blue eyes, old and short – when I say old I mean white hair wrinkled face kinda old. He looks at me and says ‘WELL what a lousy party this is, full of old people!!’. NOTE I am a very sensitive person and I was brought up with the ‘you only say what’s nice to be heard’ kinda attitude so instead of answering ‘HELL yes and you sure AF don’t help by bringing down the average age’ I went for an awkward but sweet smile. The man takes my awkward smile for a malicious one and starts blabbering about himself and what he likes and then somehow (don’t ask me how as I’m very good at nodding and smiling without listening) the word Dunkirk comes out of his mouth, I come back to my senses, stop counting his ear hairs, and I start listening to what he is saying. HOLY MOLY this guy is smart! We start talking about Christopher Nolan’s latest effort, admiring the editing, the characters’ depth, his fresh take on war movies and from cinema we move on to history and he knows everything about that too! I am all eyes and ears, bewildered by his knowledge, I decide to test him and see if he knows something about theatre and he shocks me cause not only does he know everything about what’s on in mainstream theatres, but he also knows what’s on in underground theatres! I am amazed! WHO is this guy? My mum comes, maybe worried? They meet, he kisses her hand and says something about her ‘BEING too young to be my mum’. In my head I’m like ‘OMG I’ve found mum’s next boyfriend!’. He asks for our business cards (don’t have one, LOL) and as I add my number to mum’s business card we agree that he’ll write to me whenever he sees an interesting play. I am the happiest kid in the world, I’ve found my own personal critic, a serious, charming old man.

… to be continued

Stephanie Del Bino

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