Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Case of the Elusive Green Umbrella

Venice, Italy

We agree to meet Margaret near the Rialto Bridge at 5 PM.

We don't know what she looks like so we e-mail that I will be holding a green umbrella.
Just to be sure we use standard recognition signs and countersigns:
Margaret: The wingless dove protects its nest.
Phred: The toothless tiger rules the restless jungle.

 Margaret is a Canadian who has lived in Venice for 25 years.

 She's a lot of fun and leads us to four restaurants and bars where she is known as a regular.

As we wind down the evening and approach our hotel about midnight, I suddenly realize that I've left my green umbrella at one of the places that we ate and drank.

 It's a very fine green umbrella so the next day Mrs. Phred and I decide to track down all four businesses and see if they found my umbrella...

I make up a sign that says "ho perso il mio ombrello verde".

At the third place after two hours of searching we find the umbrella.

We walk a few steps to an open air place in a piazza and order some water and wine.

A mile later, as we are approaching our hotel, I realize that I left the umbrella again so we retrace our steps once more.

Later that afternoon I use a public restroom and place the umbrella on a sink.

Two hours later it is beginning to sprinkle and I think about the green umbrella again and go back and retrieve it for the third time today.

This is all starting to feel a little spooky, but there is only an hour left before we board the overnight train to Vienna so I hope I can hold the umbrella close that long.

About midnight on the train I think about the green umbrella and realize that it's somewhere back in Venice.

I'm starting to worry about short-term memory loss....all the ministrokes, advanced age, bad genetics and various forms of self-abuse may be taking a toll....

It's astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes it's toll...

But listen closely...
Not for very much longer...
 I've got to keep control.

I remember doing the Time Warp.
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me.

And the void would be calling.
Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.

-Rocky Horror Picture Show

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