Consciousness, the doors opening like a ceremonial armpit, miming some early French new wave flick, when things were still run by extreme pathos and lots and lots of postproduction. Purposefully delusional, my head came to light and I didn’t remember how I got there. Found myself in a shop, DVD’s and CD’s on display shelves and cardboard boxes, discs in cases piled on the floor, like the perfectly controlled mess of aesthetics and mediating thought-masquerades. I might have died, I thought so, but was having a tough few seconds believing if this was hell or heaven or limbo. Already my pelvis region was itchy and I was scratching slowly. An arbitrating stage of transitional media-containers on display on a street where no one was settling but always moving from a certain state of something to something else certainly more static than this, I was leaning towards limbo. My head was still spinning ahead from the heavy medicine and the time wiped out. To my left there was a desk and behind it a garcon who seemed obnoxiously busy disintegrating an orange with a rusty herb knife while athletically holding an open magazine on his crossed legs. I stood quiet for a moment and watched this rusty powder chromatically tracing heavy stains of red dye along the sparkling orange meat, and with this person looking completely satisfied with how this thing was happening and probably felt the same late afternoon indifference that usually creeps in on you after working a hard day with fewer victories than your serotonin levels really need…. For sure, I recognized something in him, or her, couldn’t see properly, or couldn’t tell if my gaze was dozy or the space was hazy, was something wrong or everything quintessentially right, I had no way of knowing cause the vast projection of this garcon peeling an orange with rust took over and away with any sense of experience. Boy was I puzzled. I noticed I was standing on a fury doormat that said something in gothic letters. I squeezed my eyes some and tried to focus and I believe it read: If you follow the logic of a déjà vu, you will twist time. I looked around and wondered, looked at the garcon at the desk and wondered again. I kind of supposed this place served some niche-determined agenda of poshly isolation and flamboyant seclusion. Yeah I can be quick on imaginative preconceptions when low on water and headaches the size of gasoline trucks. I staggered towards garcon with the intention of asking for a glass of liquid, anything, any potion to smear off this horrible taste of gall that had suddenly risen from the deeps of my body. God knows what these smiling French Canadians had been up to inside me, what de-constructivist funny game they were playing with my pelvis-region, one thing was sure as hell; something felt wrong but probably nothing was. Probably I should feel ashamed I had left the hospital too soon, but I didn’t really, no, this state of anaesthetised indifference was quite entertaining and appreciated. I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
If you follow the logic of a déjà vu, you will twist. I had made contact with garcon, asked for water and he had pointed to the back without much looking up from his magazine and orange devouring. To the back, as if asked the question more than a million times. Can’t remember if I thanked him but I am sure he wouldn’t have bothered either way and I liked that vibe of arrogance/indifference. Most people don’t understand that vibe, most people take it personal and take on defensive stances and try to be arrogant/ignorant themselves to counterweight the cosmic imbalance. And they shouldn’t really, cause that’s the thing; it’s never personal this attitude. It’s not about you and you as a symbol of politeness and gratitude and smiling graceful interiority. It’s not about negating essential laws of courtesy in human interaction, no? It’s simply more cosmetic than that. The Attitude.
The shop was rather long, I realized. Couldn’t really see in detail where it ended, after a while I started towards the back and glided by layers of sci-fi intensity, complex noir, an endless theatre of fetishism.
I heard the door open and someone entering fast and determined. I found my hand again scratching my abdomen and by the time I had turned around to see, the person was already at the desk talking to garcon - still head deep in the magazine. It was a girl speaking; the garcon was probably male then, just because it would complete the picture; both genders represented right there. She spoke French with strong Asian accent, fast and without pause, boy this girl was excited I could tell. She mentioned names that sounded familiar but the delivery of what she said was so far from my comprehension and right away demoted me to a rare extra in this deadpan drama piece. The tsetse fly on the wall, diseased with sleeping bag drowsiness. Suddenly the girl was shocked by something garcon had said after what felt like at least 7 minutes of pure excited monologue from her. Her hands went straight to her face and covered her nose and mouth the way things go you know. She turned around and started running towards me, towards ‘to the back’, and I didn’t move I just stood and waited for her to hit me with all her tiny power and hysteria, goodness she had the fever of a hysterical, all delicately eager and provoked into enthusiasm by some newly arrived pastiches. She raced down the isle I was on, everything zoomed in and time just slowed down a bit, and I felt it was for me, so I could either react or move or simply enjoy the defenceless state that was brought upon me after operation, and I already told you what day I had so I chose the latter. Seemed to me the only option, at least an experience. Couldn’t tell if she picked up pace or time started running at normal speed, but when she was three steps away from collision her arm hit an almost empty iron shelve rack holding what seemed to be a petty collection of poorly bootlegged films. Time swashed back to normal and the hysteric was on the floor right in front of me. She looked puzzled about the outcome of her running; she looked as if this was her plan B or even C; pretty surprised but still all right and sort of prepared either way. Her face, though, was soon transforming into a pure and twisted pain, as she realized there was something of her arm stuck on the display rack. A tiny piece of her skin in soft feminine white with flesh and small-teen-black hairs, I found it very decent and maybe even appealing at the time. The colour resembled purity, perfect purity, the flesh and tiny drips of blood made it clear that this was really happening, and the girl started a horrifying shriek that resembled the gist of agony; indeed an emotional contrast of expressions right there. I bent over slightly to approach her and felt my own pelvis-pain set in immediately. Thought about highlighting the mutual pain both of us was suffering from, but she seemed on the verge of passing out every second, then coming back to consciousness then fading again. It looked like limbo – once again it looked like limbo and I couldn’t shake it. Blood was slowly leaking from her elbow where there was clearly some of her missing. Skin, now a red tiny crater inch wide, it was surely an attribute or gesture. I didn’t move my body at all, but I opened my mouth and we had a short and reptile conversation:
Okay, this might sound senseless, but I think we are both in pain
I had an operation done yesterday and I am heavily sedated and unreliable. That’s why you shouldn’t receive help from me since I am more or less helpless myself. You see I am in the middle of a perfect dehydration – one thing the doctors told me to be careful about. I am a mess as you can see. This shirt isn’t even mine, really.
私に私の肌をお返し、お願い (pointing to the skin hanging from the iron rack)
Yeah I see it, you ‘ve been hurt. We’ve both been hurt, the two of us. I had an operation and you’ve hit a dvd display and now some of the skin from your elbow is stuck there.
黙って私の肌を与え、私はそれを戻って欲しい! (Still pointing)
Yes. You’ve been hurt. We both have.
She had passed out. I looked towards garcon, he didn’t pay attention, the attitude was maintained, the picture perfected. The hysteric was lying there and her pockets had been emptied from the fall. A purple lipstick, Canadian dollars and quarters, grey Oakley sunglasses with yellow lenses, Hollywood chewing gum. I bent down, eating the pain without making a face and groped my way to the glasses. I had the impression it was all right. I had the impression it was okay by her that we exchanged this.
When I was outside of the store again, the street was empty and everything faded to greenly yellow. I started crossing the street, no cars in sight, only the same parked ones now in yellow tint. I sat down on a plastic chair and sunk in it, feeling the internal quivering of everything around me. It was satisfying. On the other side of the street the store was illuminated by its name and now I could see clear as ever. POSING STANDARDS CD/DVD COMPANY. It was tremendous. I watched the store and I regarded myself, drained on the plastic chair. I could now feel the chair beneath me and the breeze touching my starving legs. I was stepping out of the epiphany.