Worm-infested cherries part 3.
By Biljana Malesevic
I woke up to the light of day, which came through the tall windows of the foyer, and waited for someone to open a disco and let me escape, which happened later that afternoon. I managed to escape unnoticed, stumbling through the snow, cold and starving, walking in my little black dress a few miles to my apartment, while passersby looked at me and talked about today's awful youth.
Of course I loved my life as it was and did not want anything to change. I chose and organised my life as I was privileged enough to be able to do that. The problem was that since that night in the disco I could not unsee some things that I haven’t noticed before. Like in those riddle pictures where you need to find the hidden dolphin, but once you find it, you can no longer unsee it. I slept the whole day, then whole week, trying not to think too much, not to look out the window and not to analyse things I knew. I was convincing myself that I wasn’t hungry when I was messing with food on the plate. The less I know, I reasoned, I'll be happier. On Monday, about half past eight o'clock in the morning, I was going to work with poor confidence, dressed as always, ready to continue life where it left off.
I noticed them immediately, two of them in familiar, expensive, silvery-grey suits coming out of the still unopened shopping centre "m" in the city centre. In a hurry and armed with briefcases, they passed right in front of me and marched into a parked black "Lexus". I covered my nose and mouth with a handkerchief, as if I'm going to sneeze, almost unconsciously trying to hide, so they don’t notice me. I've never before noticed the men in silvery-grey suits, but from that night in the disco I began to see them everywhere. Coming out of hypermarkets in early mornings, before the opening, entering markets after the the centre is closed, marching in hurry into bars and restaurants outside of working hours… it seemed they are everywhere. It’s disturbing to think how these people are messing with our food and drinks. My job wasn’t difficult, so I was just spending hours avoiding conflicts or serious work, as usual. Weekends were the worst. I would spent hours getting ready to go out to finally give up and go to sleep.
A few weeks passed in that manner, I was sitting in front of the mirror, starring at my face and trying to convince myself that I'm not dead, and that these creatures in grey suits were not some fallen angels who will escort me to purgatory and prepare me for hell. I started laughing at reflection of my suffering stare, my face which without makeup looked haggard and older than it really was, and I reached for a bottle of whiskey. Almost without thinking, I poured two fingers in a glass and brought it to my lips. Whiskey for promiscuity? Vodka for promiscuity? What is beer for? Brandy? Food? Cosmetics? Anything? I could not drink that stuff anymore. I felt nauseous, my stomach knotted and I vomited on the bathroom floor before I managed to get to the toilet bowl. The men in grey suits weren’t only dolphins in the image. Ordinary people on the streets that I normally didn’t even notice, now had noticeably tired faces, which look of obvious apathy, lethargy and defeat. Young people looked aggressive, their fists clenched, faces scrunched, like they are going to attack. It felt like I was in a movie about paranoia.