Today is the last day in a while that I will have a cuppa tea as part of my morning ritual.  I’m quitting caffeine for a bit.  Anytime you decide to quit something, whether it’s a man, coffee, white flour, whatever, it seems to bring up all the most pleasant memories and longings of that thing as if your brain is trying to convince you not to make the change.

This morning I’ve been flashing on one of the most pleasant cafes I’ve ever visited – Balzac’s, in Stratford, Ontario.  When I was in college, every year the theatre department would go to the Stratford Festival and catch five plays in three days.  Bliss, I tell you. 


One year there was an actor in a couple of the plays that we saw who really captured my attention.  He was one of those ugly guys with a beautiful speaking voice who has so much presence that he is just magnetic.  Did I mention his voice was beautiful?  Like chocolate silk?  Makes a woman’s insides get trembly?  I bet I can find a picture of him… yup, here he is, though I’d rather have an audio clip:

Anyway, Stratford’s a small town full of mostly tourists and Festival people, and one morning I saw him at Balzac’s.   I went over and stammered how much I’d enjoyed him in Threepenny Opera… he smiled warmly at me… and in The Swanne… his eyes flickered and his smile became stiff but he thanked me politely.  It was only after I’d walked away that I remembered it was SOME OTHER DUDE with a beautiful voice in The Swanne. 

Oh Tom, I’m so sorry.  As an actor myself and as a fan, I just want you to know that you are so great that you made my brain go haywire.   I hope I didn’t make you think you couldn’t be THAT memorable.   Because you are the best.  Sincerely, Julie.