Friday, March 17, 2006

Act Two

Like most holidays the best usually comes last. My final two full days in London were perhaps the best. Through the cold and clouds the sun prevailed. I was vibrant and awake. With 48 hours left I asked myself what was it that I must do before I go. The answer screamed three words. Culture. Beauty. Art. I completed my international experience with all three.

As I walked to the entrance of the British Museum I had no idea of what was truly before me. I was knocked off my feet by the most extensive collection of objects from ancient Egypt that I have ever seen in my life. It was exquisite and I could only look at artifacts and art in awe as I walked the hall. Just when I thought that I’d seen all that I could see I noticed other museum patrons climbing a flight of stairs. Although I usually warn against following the crowd this was an exception and what they led me to was nothing short of exceptional. On the second floor of the British Museum encased in glass is what is believed to be the mummy of one of the most beautiful women in the history of man – Cleopatra. A chill ran through my body. Here in front of me were the remains and objects of one of the most talked about figures of all time. It was simply incredible.

Incredible is also the word that I would use to describe my first kiss with Othello on January 1, 2006. I was the unlikely stranger who in the heart of Brixton met someone who would hold a dear place in my heart. Finally, the time had come on this visit for he and I to reconnect. We spent hours in the flat just talking to each other. With every thought he expressed I was reminded of why this young man had captivated me. I believe so deeply that the best is yet to come for him. I pray only the best for him. He is so kind, so passionate, so ambitious, so open and such a genuine soul. I enjoy his company. Later we went to dinner and he shared with me stories pictures of his family.

As my time in London was winding down, I sat in the front row of the Apollo Theater as the curtain raised on the evening performance of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? The cast led by Kathleen Turner gave great life to the characters created by Edward Albee. During the second intermission in a place not at all familiar I heard a familiar voice. Othello who works at the theater had come to check on me and hear what I thought of the production thus far.

Seeing him again brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. I knew it would be the last time I would see him before my flight left in the morning. I knew it would be the last time I saw him for at least several months. Before he left my company he wished me a safe flight home and confirmed that I planned to return to London again. I assured him that I did. We clasped hands for a moment and then he walked away. I thought it was so fitting that the last place I would see him on this journey was in a theater, my dear Othello. His stage awaits.