I sell bags worth nine thousand pounds for fifteen year olds, for which they pay me in cash, as if it was a pack of Haribo and I can not help but wonder.
Maybe their parents are in organ trafficking business? And which organs are most popular? And how do they know that the organ is in a good condition? How much is one piece of human inside and how many people one has to murder to purchase one bag?
– Which one are the newest collection? – asks Arab-born client.
– Everything you see around are the latest arrivals, – I bend my back, so I can pay my bills in the end of the month.
– Ah, – she sights, like sight people at supermarket cash register, after realising that they do not have enough cash to pay for tuna-cans, – pity, I already have different sizes and colours Boy Bags, and everything else – not what I was looking for.
– Karl is running out of time to produce new ideas, that’s how fast you buy up, – I share my insights softening the punch with flirtatious laughter.
– … – client does not find it funny, she is tapping her American Express nervously, her eyes searching for her husband.
– It’s four thousand eight hundred and seventy five, – I inform. I vision my-self as a Barbie playing Monopoly in my doll house.
– One minute, I want my husband to pay for it.
And where is my husband, who would pay for my bags? Looks like this Cinderella story is never ending.
I bet their husbands not only pay for their bags, rings, earrings, pearl necklaces, dresses, designer shoes, driver, Spa re-treats and so on. But if needed could repair broken shower, take the rubbish out, grow a tree and out of the same tree build a house with their bare hands. Or maybe not?
During the eight hour shift I have enough time to zone out and back into reality from ten to twenty times, depends how busy the day is. There are times when I come back and find that things have been moved, members of staff have ended their shifts, and sometimes I find puzzled looks of clients’. This time I found my-self facing senior manager and a good looking middle-aged man dressed in Vivienne Westwood. I pass the department on my way to the canteen where I usually have my doughnut and coffee.
– Could you assist this gentleman? – she asks in concern.
– Depends, – I reply and realise that I haven’t yet fully returned into the helpful sales consultant role, so I add enthusiastically, – but of course!
Every time I spit out the enthusiastic but of course, I picture my-self agreeing to be fucked in the ass, this always makes me laugh inside and puts natural smile on my face, a smile I am getting paid for. The department I work for pays the most, hence the comparison.
I need something for my wife, – he lulls me with his French accent, I can not even hear what’s he’s saying, on the other hand they all looking for pretty much the same, – you’re similar body shape as Isabelle, would you be so kind to try on the garments I chose for her?
Roxanne, you don’t have to wear that dress tonight, walk the streets for money, you don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right…*
– But of course!
I need. Little do I care what you need.
I stand there dressed up in black couture dress, wearing Deichmenn shoes worth less than thirty pounds, with tiny heels which once were repaired by Kaunas Drama Theatre shoemaker, thinking: I’m so lucky the dress is black as I just wiped half of my face with it. There is very little one would not do in order to change one’s life for better. But is it a better life? I could live there happily in Kaunas, without any sort of distress: Liberty Boulevard, Old Town, Žilinskas Gallery, that I never visited, random trips to capital, I would rink down the cig butts with beer and would not gave a shit: who and which type of bag one wants.
– Et voilà! – I part my arms stepping out the changing room.
I walk a tiny bit closer picturing my-self as Isabelle: he will take me to the till point, and then to the third floor for a glass of champagne.
– Brilliant! – he notes getting up from the sofa, – now, let’s mix it up with some jewellery.
That’s all? And what about compliments? – I gloom and the man notices it. Men feel the sadness of women, the sadness of women is like a low pressure, it oppresses straight to the ground. I know, that if only at that moment he had extra thousands in his pocket, he would have bought me that dress.
– Marija, – he addresses me spotting my name on the name-tag, – thank you for your help. Now, could you pack the dress up together with the earrings and send it to door five?
Door five service is available for all who can not be asked to drag the bag around the five hundred thousand square meter store.
At that moment, for the first time in my existence I got the true meaning of the saying: if you’re born a gander, you won’t sing like a nightingale.
I nod in agreement and my disappointment puts the whole floor six feet under. This is what happens when you realise that you will never ever in your lifetime pay in cash for a designer bag, that you won’t be able to ask the world famous department store to wrap your helicopter and add a colour ribbon of your choice, that you will never forget that you have diamonds worth hundred thousand pounds stored in a safe of a foreign bank, that you will not be able to order a Rolls-Royce‘o to the primary school teacher doorstep, as a thank you gift for teaching your idiot son to read, you will never afford yacht trips in the Mediterranean Sea, you will never even be in a position to afford a yacht, even a tiny launch boat and many other things. And nobody will travel to Stockholm on the Christmas Eve, so you could propose to your lover on the Christmas morning.
And if by chance you will be in the position, you will never adapt, because you will always stay a loser in a suit, who secretly holds on to a boiled potatoe with greasy cracklings.**
* The Police “Roxanne” album Outlandos d’Amour (1978)
** Dovilė Puzinaitė