There were similarities, to be sure. Eyes, noses, hands, feet, shoulders, hips, those cigars. Both walked behind the lead of a polished cane. And neither Winston could be remembered for selling themselves short in conversation. In fact, it was reasonable and valid and vice versa to say that, on many occasions, both Winstons sold themselves much too long.
But there were differences, to be just as sure. For, Allister's Winston tended to wear high heels, tended to redden his lips, and tended to prefer the comfort of a skirt to the comfort of pants. As to why this was, one found it hard to question Winston. One found one's self, as Allister found himself, sitting across from Winston-drawn in by the largeness, by the character, by the person. And, in lieu of questions, Allister found himself imitating Winston-who inhaled so deeply until all that was once cigar became but ash. And in the most proper and polite manner, Winston would lower what was once cigar and tap from its nubby butt.
On command, the ash would rain down over the ashtray and collect into a puddle of itself. And Winston would look down with his painted eyes and make the slightest noise of surprise to insinuate that he had not expected this.
And Allister always smiled. For, where was the surprise when this scene occurred with the smoking of every cigar? Winston would smile back at Allister. And, with the flick of two pudged fingers, Winston would swallow the cigar nub as if it were a candy. And if Allister's attempts at mimicry were not identical, they were at least dramatic. In place of breathe plus cigar equals ash, came the reaction of smoke plus breathe equals cough. And instead of the sweet simplicity of Winston’s swallowing of cigar nub candy came Allister’s gagging and almost-suffocation caused by cigar nub. This would leave Allister staring forward with bloodshot eyes- stunned, surprised, and speechless. And Winston would smile for Allister's surprise, too, should have come with no surprise.
And perhaps, Winston would redden his lips. Or perhaps he would be happy with how red his lips already were. And they would sit and smile. And Allister never knew if Winston would wonder. But, Allister would. He would wonder why and what drew Winston to be. Was it a search? Was it a calling? Was it none of the above? Was it just what it was that led Winston to write with the softened nub of lipstick on bridges and sculptures and park benches and lamp posts slowly dimming, the simple (and later, the somewhat but not entirely misleading) claim: "Winston Churchill was here."