6. The Problem
The evening was not turning out the way I wanted at all. First Maria didn’t want to dance with me, then she implied something about lesbians, but didn’t explain what she meant, and now, there I was, running down a hallway, having to go help some drunkard who couldn’t hold his liquor and somehow managed to hit his head. Need I remind you that, though I am the perfect embodiment of gentleman who will someday become a famous doctor, I had no medical training at the time, plus I was a little drunk myself. Overall, it seemed like the evening could not go any worse. Naturally, I was mistaken yet again, because, when we finally reached the other room, I discovered that the drunkard was none other than Charles. Continue reading
5. The Room
As we were heading to the room, a rainbow of sensations seemed to pass through me. The exact feeling is impossible to describe, but it was almost like having a fever, coupled with the excitement one feels when opening a gift, followed by a sinking sensation, all of which mixed with nausea and fear. When Maria opened the room door and we walked in, all of the sensations from before seemed to be multiplied by ten. It was odd, because the room itself was quite nice, being decorated quite differently from the lobby. The hard wood floor was left uncovered, exception being a few small pillows scattered about; there was a large window, covered by the same purple drapes as the ones in the lobby, in front of which there were two large armchairs and a table with a glass vase on it, filled with white lilies; the dark-red wallpaper, along with the paintings of naked women and the ten or so lit candles – all around the room – created a sensual atmosphere; the large bed, covered in silk sheets and surrounded by thin, see-through curtains, was placed right below the skylight; finally, opposite to the bed, there was the bathroom door. I know some might be curious about the bathroom, but there are things a gentleman must never speak of. Continue reading
4. The Decision
As we stood in the lobby of “La Zizi”, staring into the void, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something lost in translation. Nothing made sense, how did we arrive at this point? I could see how someone might misinterpret the meaning of a sentence, but how could anyone think that a gentleman, such as myself, would even consider doing something like that?! It soon became obvious that I had to say something, otherwise this entire evening would get out of hand. Continue reading
3. La Zizi
If you would be so gracious, allow me to start off this chapter by saying that there are various rules a gentleman has to respect when interacting with women. These rules differ depending on circumstances. For example, if one were to greet a lady at a formal gathering, said man must bow his head and kiss the hand of the lady, then take a step back, as he is moving his torso in the upright position, and compliment her on the way she is dressed. This simple greeting changes if you are at a masquerade ball, in which case the man must bow, tip his mask, kiss the hand of the lady, then, as he takes a step back and moves his torso in the upright position, he must also tip his mask back to its original position and only then can he compliment the lady on the way she is dressed. It is imperative to remember that women spend hours, days, even weeks preparing to look their best for these events. As such, a man cannot be a gentleman if he does not recognize all the hard work women do to make themselves seem more appealing to us. Continue reading
2. Crucea de Piatră Street
As we were walking down the streets of Bucharest, marveling at the European architecture, I had a sudden realization, so I turned to Charles and said:
‘My good man, wait a second.
‘What is it?
‘We don’t know where we’re going.
Charles seemed surprised about my statement.
‘What do you mean? Didn’t that waiter tell us to go to Crucea de Piatră Street?
‘Yes, but how do we get there? We don’t know the streets.
‘That’s silly, we just have to ask for directions. Continue reading
1. The Journey
Allow me to start at the beginning. My name is Phillip, I was born in late January, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois, though my parents, Theodor and Marcelline, were both born and raised in Romania. They emigrated to the U.S. in 1917, after our home got bombed during The Great War. Luck would have it that my entire family had gone to attend a funeral when the bomb fell. Coincidentally, the funeral they were attending was for a cousin who got hit by an auto-vehicle while attempting to outrun the military, who, at the time, were trying to draft him for the war. When they moved to Chicago, my father found work as an accountant, while my mother taught ballet at a school for girls. With two steady incomes, I was brought up in a lovely home and was sent to the best schools money could afford. Continue reading
If one were to look-up the word “gentleman” in the dictionary, it is likely that the first definition that would come up is the following: “gentleman – a chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man”. This definition, of course, is not wrong in the same way that one could, for example, define Dante Alighieri’s epic poem “Divina Commedia” as a story about a man traveling through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Both definitions are, essentially, correct, but they have no flavor, they are vague and give no explanation about the true meaning behind the word(s). Simply put, definitions are, by their very nature, well… simple. Continue reading