Once again, I’m the dumb girl who doesn’t get it. I hang up the phone and stare at the empty wall before me. Wendy was crying. And frankly so am I. Why do we get tears anyway. They don’t help. Nobody was ever cured by letting water poor from their eyes; all it really does is blur your vision. Maybe that’s the way I should look at this. Keep my eyes dry. Pack up and search for another job.
The cafe is crowded and too hot for this time of year. When Macy walks in, I see her face getting all wrenched and she immediately throws off excess layers of clothing. The next chair becomes like my bed at the end of the day, hard to find underneath the remains of the day. She sits down with a sigh and I laugh ‘hot cake.’ ‘I’m it. As soon as I walked in and the wall of steam hit me. No matter. How are you?’
‘Always a tricky question with no answer that is ever good enough. Kind of like who are you?’ Macy raises her eyebrows. I continue: ‘I mean you change at least every seven years. So this question of who are you should, if you want a true answer, be asked at least every seven years of your life, which makes it a question with many possible answers.’
She adjusts the glasses on her nose and smiles. ‘True as that might be I still require an answer to my previous question. In other words, stop dodging my question and just answer the simple and most common question in the world that is highly underestimated and hardly ever returned the favour of its kindness because of people like you who refuse to deliver the truth under its care.’
I nod in deep respect and say: ‘damn, now I have to answer with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’
‘And don’t you forget it.’
‘Well, in all honesty I’m, besides turning into an oven, messed up. Just got off the phone with Wendy, you know my colleague, who was in tears over me leaving, as were my other co-workers. I am stupefied. And that is just something you can’t work on.’
‘I know how much you hate clichés.’
‘No, not the clichés!’ I throw my head back in my neck.
‘But, let’s, on this cold and steamy day, that doesn’t make any sense in the first place, just let out some words of wisdom your grandmother used decorate her toilet with in the form of tiles; even if it was just to keep you busy during those hard working minutes.’ I cannot but burst out in laughter when I make a picture in my head. ‘So, here it is: when one door closes, the other opens.’
‘Wow, if it wasn’t so foggy in here I would give you a standing ovation for how you build up to the moment and delivered at the exact right time, but like I said, it’s just too hot in here.’
‘Why not do anything with your drawing talent. Did you ever think about becoming an illustrator?’
‘Think about it. Yes. Do it. I have neither the education, nor the practice.’
‘But you’re really good.’
‘I don’t know. It would mean I have to start from scratch. So that would mean I would still have to search for some partime job, live off of practically nothing and then hope and pray it will work out.’
‘I’m so glad Martin Luther King never gave this speech. It would have been so depressing,’ she says as she gulps down her cappuccino.
‘Okay, let me rephrase: I will think about it.’ I say with a bow of the head.
‘It will have to do. Because I know the art gallery up at Bleekerstreet is looking for artists to show off their work.’
When I walk into the supermarket to buy myself a last minute evening meal I cache the words of someone at the cash register who is quite far away to be honest, at least ten meters. ‘You know the art gallery at Bleekerstreet is always looking for new talent. You could always send them an email.’ Bread, pizza en apples, I say to myself.
And then, when I get home and I hang up my coat in my room one of my drawing comes down off the wall and lands right in front of my feet. I lift my head and raise my eyebrows. Is this supposed to be some kind of sign?