It was all because of those two.
And also through that first day of sales.
I was looking for a few specific things, another scary word and especially if someone uses it with a size 58.
My stuff! Also when someone else talks about doing the dishes from “my saucers” and he has just eaten a quarter of beef and a half of fries field.
Wanting to avoid too much crowds in the clothing store to my heart’s content, I slipped in as inconspicuously as possible through a smaller entrance in Bloteknikkerstraat. When I immediately stopped at a flashy orange jacket with a bright red collar, she stood there, out of nowhere, or was it from a workshop in Bangladesh or the studio of Walter Van Beirendonck?
She grabbed the left sleeve of the jacket brusquely, although I myself already felt the right sleeve between thumb and forefinger. Pure wool? Cotton ? Synthetic ?
Before I knew it, she had snatched the jacket off the hanger and was out of the picture with it.
Do you want me to describe her? Yes ? Then I would prefer to dive into horse breeding and compare it with a gelding.
Too animalistic, don’t you think? A pinch of more ancient culture? Then from the horse stable to mythology?
She reminded me of an Amazon, a female warrior among the Greeks who burned off the right breast in order to handle the bow optimally.
I remained glued to the floor but turned my head to the left, to the men’s section, to the right where the kids could choose the cutest but also the craziest attire, behind me where sexy lingerie invited a switch from old-fashioned good to daringly seedy. I looked at everything around me as though through a kaleidoscope with only orange and red glass pieces.
But the warrior, not with bow and arrow but with the orange jacket with the bright red collar, had reached the highest degree of invisibility. Until I suddenly got my sights on the fitting rooms.
The 2e curtain in the row of at least 10 cubicles slid open slightly, a chubby arm appeared from the crack, and someone held a red-collared orange jacket on a man’s arm emerging from the 3e box stuck. Both curtains closed again. Nothing more happened.
Because I was afraid of being accused of voyeurism or stalking, I did not dare to take my position with my head hanging down, barely 1 m away from the two targeted changing rooms and then, conversely, sing the nursery rhyme: Who’s in my court : Adam ? Eve ? That was asking for trouble.
I installed myself on a wooden display with piles of men’s shirts on it, but sat right in front of the 50% placard so as not to run the risk of being asked about my original price. I had never considered an objective estimate.
But nothing happened. I stooped, still sitting, to tie my shoelaces, even though I was wearing moccasins, and thus peep from a distance under the curtain. I got to see no wiry warrior legs : there was nothing to see there !
I didn’t leave the store until closing time, along with a thin, gaunt man in bright red shoes. He had big bulging eyes that didn’t match the pointed nose. His gaze pierced my retina with tiny holes, very minuscule but permanently burned in. He followed me through the Bloteknikkerstraat to the corner where I took the tram, towards the station.
When I got in, I looked back again: he was gone.
The tram ride seemed to take hours longer than the outward journey. All over the tram those cod eyes were staring at me above that pointy nose. When we finally turned into the Tourneegeneralelaan, I saw there, attached to a plane tree, a 5m high advertising panel, cut out of wood and depicting a man. The man had big eyes, a pointy nose, bright red shoes and an orange jacket with a bright red collar.
I didn’t leave the house for three days. I lived like a zombie, like a pariah, like a leper without a single Father Damien around me. Nor did I dare to tell anyone what I had experienced on that first shopping day.
Then I pulled myself together and went to the center of Zottegem. I crossed all the shopping streets, from the first to the last, all three, and bought like mad. Stuff!
If tomorrow Michaël Roskam is at my door and asks if I don’t have a script for a film, I will tear open the window and call out, even if it is of the 3e floor : “I’m coming!!! I have comforted you !!!”
I would slide down the railing, unless it’s an open stairway, with no railing and I realize it too late on the way. Without paying attention to my bruises, I would leave that to Michael, at least he wears decent glasses, an Odette Lunettes, I would scramble up and offer him my screenplay. Because since day one of the sales I always wear that on my skin and wait. Waiting has become one of my specialties since I kept an eye on two fitting rooms for a full day. But I know: one day my patience will be rewarded. Michaël has a nose for good scenarios, and not even a sharp one…