[ Excerpt from my novel "Lord Jocelyn". A fictional story from writings by my main character. Someone's time for reminiscence. ]
All Colours of Dawn
That summer of 1886 went as usual, in out part of the world, but the summertime was too short, burning away quickly like gunpowder. The boating with cousins, in the morning; cricket or tennis at noon; and after lunch, in the round hall, my cousin s tutor performed chansonnettes for gentlemen only --
Il y a des jours... et des lunes...
...Play the flute,
Be game for anything!..
& Sans maman!
Sans maman!!! --
And I watched his singing lips that knew oh so much, and I didn t believe in the frivolous words, preferring believe that there was a charm in amorousness and love was sooner tender than cruel, but I was ready for admitting that my theory was erroneous. In short, I hated the very thought of leaving for the town and going to college. But the sad cold smile of autumn never lies, and soon I had to leave.
I was late both for the beginning of the academic year and on my first day in particular. Changing in the vestibule, I passed by several swots, going straight to our classroom. Eric Hartberg told me all recent news and remarked, as thought by the way, I have four of those whom I fag.
I felt vexed: I had not any, for the present.
With a small nod, he pointed out a new student, That one seems rather amusing. Well-read, almost like me.
Almost like you? Well let s see. I went to the new classmate.
The blond boy looked at me, smiled friendly and closed his book--perhaps, d Aurevilly.
You read at breaks? Good for you!
His white skin was too pale; a soft-pink glowworm seemed to shine within his jasmine cheeks. And his eyes were like two lakelets.
I said, Something divine is in you, but what it is, I can t understand& for the present.
Scratching the book-cover with his penknife, he replied melancholically, And your mouth is rhomb-like. It opens on four sides.
I said softly and condescendingly, Before saying a paradox or nonsense, one should think twice, or else a misunderstanding or mistake would cause a lot of problems to the joker.
He turned pale, and I got surprised that a human could be yet paler; then he began coughing, and on his white handkerchief, the glossy droplets of his blood looked like lady-bugs. His name was& Let s say, his name was Ulrich. Ulrich Drottningholm. He was named after his grandpa.
The autumn came early, too early, like death of your favorite poet.
Shivering, the leafless saplings nodded to the gusty wind; two young dogs played tag running over the round stones of the yard; and I walked around the hall and learned a Latin poem by heart. Ulrich approached, and shaking his blond chevelure, he took my hand and pressed my fingers. It seemed to me that he wanted to make me kneel. I said softly but imperiously, Don t. I know, Huldericus, you are stronger than me, so, don t.
Weak, he gripped my both hands then angrily shook off his hands, and went away.
I smiled: I enjoyed my teasing. His white face glimpsed now and then the day long as he turned it or lifted it a little, having a charm and latent exaltation which kept my eye.
Far in the day I lit upon an interesting idea and the next day, on Saturday, I said to Blond, Ulrich. You are a beautiful damsel. Put your mama s coat on and we shall go for a drive! You should have a dorothy-bag about. This is how it must be!
L aventure, c est l aventure. At the Quay, we seemed to attract everyone s attention. L enfant du carnaval, he looked lovely like a young cocotte. Touching his plaid covered knee, I looked in the shade of his dark hat, where, behind the dark veil, the eyes showed blue especially languorously, and watching the rouged lips, I whispered, Ulrika, a water nymph! Ulla, the goddess of the rococo universe! Falling in love with a mortal man, you would lose your immortality.
Smiling, he said, All right.
I want to fall in love with you, Ulrika, or& I paused and added, & I d rather not. I removed my hand from his knee.