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2009-08-14

Mari Poisson.How we made wax figures in the dark

Publikuota: Kita

007 HOW WE MADE WAX FIGURES IN THE DARK

  

           In autumn and in winter I like to stay inside and not go anywhere. I belong to that human species, who do not need summer.

           I usually use summer for preparation. I prepare for the gloomy and the wet season. I dream about what I shall do, when I’ll be staying home long hours. I visualize my jobs in the rooms and at the writing desk. I plan my winter and take care to have enough activities.

           Sometimes, after having planned too many things, I even go to some place at the beginning of summer. Somewhere, where it is colder.

           But sometimes even in winter one has to go outside.

           Last week, for instance, Martha and me decided to make wax figures in the dark. Namely in the dark.  But not quite in the dark, as it appeared later.

           We at first lit seven candles and later two more candles, the red ones, the thin ones. They did not want to burn, though.

           So we turned the light on. And started dropping the wax into the water. Later we made some things out of the warm wax. Martha made herself a string of beads. I wanted to make some figurines. Oh, I forgot to tell that we were at Martha’s place, had quite a bit of wax and that the whole sight was unbelievably mythic.

           The wax was hardly visible in the dark and it seemed as if we were taking it from nowhere. Huge shadows of our hands could be seen on the walls and with no effort from us they made motion figures as in the theatre of shadows.

           Then I thought that I would be afraid to sit in the light of the candles all alone. I could not do that. I would be afraid. But of what? I don’t know. Sometimes I am afraid to stay alone, though I taught myself not to be afraid of loneliness or darkness. But still… I am scared. What am I saying here? Afraid? I get horror-struck. I feel the most real horror. I become all ears and listen to every sound. It seems to me that somebody is walking around scratching or even knocking… it is good I have only one room, so there is no problem to look at every corner.

           Martha’s place is very interesting.

           She has made one big room out of her three rooms.

           She has had all the partition-walls removed.

           The only space in her house, where you can close yourself, is the toilet. So it is difficult for me to tell in which space we are sitting now. Most likely it is the kitchen, because Martha warms up the wax and makes some tea on an electrical stove.

           But Martha’s bed, covered with a light flowery cover, stands close by, either. The fringe of the cover is lace. It looks very much like an ancient skirt, which always has an underskirt, the fringe of which must necessarily be seen.

           Martha has hands of gold. She has taught me a lot of things. Sometimes I just steal Martha’s ideas. I confess, I do.

           Martha’s main idea is this: if you want a thing, first of all you must make some space for it in your house. It is a fascinating idea, isn’t it?

           I stayed at Martha’s for the night as we had agreed before.

           She decided to sleep on the floor and let me sleep in her bed.

           Sure enough she could have slept on the sofa. But the sofa was at the other end of the room and belonged to the reading zone. So the sofa stood too far from me to talk before falling asleep. And we were planning to do that.

           I felt a little bit uncomfortable, because I occupied Martha’s bed.

 

           But I was the guest and Martha did not like to sleep with somebody in the same bed. So everything was done according to her rules.

           But still I told myself that in the future I would not make such silly agreements.

           Sure enough, I still could call a taxi, instead of going to Martha’s shiny bathroom. But… I washed myself, put on Martha’s embroidered nightgown with long sleeves and went to her chic bed, in which I immediately felt as if I were in Paradise.

           In the morning I looked at what we had done through the night.

           Nothing impressive, really. Just some primitive wax figurines, which could only be made by people, who had never dealt with wax in their lives. And even more… by people, who had no real inborn talent for that.

           We could have done something which we know better. I started considering what we could do better by the candlelight in the dark.

           There are some ways of casting lots. But I did not want to mention them, because a crowd of people, who are hungry for something interesting, might gather around us. Then I should solve other people’s problems, as if I did not have enough of my own.

           I must admit that the string of beads, which Martha made, looked beautiful. She hung the string on the window. Meanwhile the figurines, which I had made, lost all their fascination in the daylight. They looked regrettable.

           Some things can only be created at night. Namely, at night. And you should look at them only at night. There is such a thing as night art. Night aesthetics. A night spectator and a night estimator. There is a night audience, night music and night conversations. Night is much more complicated than day. It is deeper.

           Last night I forgot that we were planning to make wax figurines. It was past eight already and we were still standing on the stairs of the editorial office.

           The front door was not yet closed but it was dark as hell on the stairs.

           At times I forgot myself but then the smell of cat and vagabond urine would bring me back. I also felt the smell of the mould or something. I wanted to get outside as soon as possible. But at the same time I wanted to stay inside. For Richard.

           So we were stamping at the top of the staircase, smoking, laughing and shouting. We had a really good time. I even forgot I was hungry.

           Then unexpectedly it grew dark.

           What’s the time, Richard? - asked Zu.

           Past eight already.

           It’s nonsense, - said Zu. Where does the time disappear?

           We were ready to go out and started descending the stairs.

           Halfway down, Richard put his arm over my shoulders.

 

           As far as I can remember, I was waiting for that mysterious motion.

           A thought came to my head about not going to Martha’s that night and another thought, that Richard probably mixed me up with Zu.

           But I decided not to pay any attention to my doubts and for the second time thought about not going to Martha’s. I pressed closer to Richard and hugged him around the waist.

           We silently walked downstairs hugging each other. I could hear Zu’s steps far ahead. I pressed to him still closer. Richard hugged my shoulder and asked: Are you hungry?

           Would you like to eat out? - he whispered .

           Yes, - I answered and again we pressed to each other. I thought Zu would be waiting for us downstairs, but said nothing. Instead I only pressed closer to him.

           Earlier whenever a guy would put his arm around my shoulders, I always tried to get liked by him, to flatter him.

           I always thought the guys did not like me and I probably would never be liked by them. My friend Maria told me once that I was not sexually attractive. I said nothing to her but I knew that I just did not want to put any efforts in that. There was no such guy, whom I would like as much as to make efforts.

           Do I like Richard?

           I do not know.

           But I know one thing: I really liked the fact that he hugged me, not Zu. That he whispered words to me, not to her.

           I felt dizzy with victory, with joy of total victory. I triumphed. As some adolescent. As a teenager. I managed to turn the triangle upside down. It used to be: Zu, Richard and me. Now it is: me, Richard and Zu.

           Zu was shouting something from downstairs. Most likely she was standing on the threshold, because some dim light could be seen coming from outside.

           When we almost reached downstairs, Richard took his arm off my shoulders. He did not want Zu to understand what was happening. I felt a painful stab into my heart. It only lasted a second. Then Richard took me by the hand and I felt happy again.

           Freedom has always been the most important thing in my life.

           But it seemed that others did not really value freedom.

           Freedom - it seems to me it is better not to talk about it aloud, because people could think that the only thing I want, is to work for myself, to take care of myself, to live for myself. Otherwise, to become a spinster. And that would mean I am an incurable egoist. And more to that, my friend Maria had mentioned once that spinsters had no charm. I did not want to have no charm. Though… it is hard to tell…

           Everyone wanted to find a good job, all girls wanted to marry. So I thought I had to desire the same things. To work for somebody, to serve somebody, to do laundry for someone, to cook for that special someone, to iron his shirts, to darn his socks.

           I started scratching Richard’s hand with my thumb nail. I expected some reaction from him. But he only firmly held my hand or rather squeezed it firmly. I noticed him touch Zu’s fingers on the door knob.

           We went outside hand in hand. All three of us. Me, Richard and Zu. Or rather Zu, Richard and me. Then we walked silently through the night town.

           Girls, do you want to eat something? - asked Richard.

           I said no, Zu said yes. How terrible. I did not know what to do.

           We walked further. All three of us. There had to be a way out of the situation.

           And there was a way. I caught a taxi and went to Martha’s. Later we made figurines from wax and still later it was another morning. And then Saturday came and I did not have to go to work.

           We had agreed to do that about a week ago. We had decided to spend the evening together, to make figurines from wax and to chat while lying in beds. Friendship with Martha gave me inspiration.

           Sure enough, I could easily change all those female pleasures into sitting with Richard in some cheap cafè (or more exactly in a beer bar) or just in his untidy room. I thought about his untidy bed, either. (Richard calls it “a bachelor bed”. It sounds better.)

           All of a sudden I remembered how Zu boasted last week that she washed Richard’s bed linen and bought him two new pillowcases. She said she could not stand pillows with no pillow cases.

           I just gasped and said nothing. I did not want to look naive because it had never occurred to me to buy pillowcases for Richard’s pillows.

 

           I returned home.

           I entered my flat and looked it over with a glance of a person, who was finding a place for a new thing.

           Yes…

           Clearly there was no space for a man.

           That’s why I don’t have one, I thought.

           I tried to imagine where I could put a man, if I had one. I had to create a place for a man in my flat.

           Sure enough, he would sit in front of TV.

           So it was necessary to create a zone for a TV set and a man.

           And that meant I had to buy a TV, to place some armchairs in front of it and also a little table for an ashtray, a beer, newspapers and food.

           Because I would not drive my man to smoke on the stairs, read newspapers in the toilet, eat and drink in the kitchen. No. He would have his own zone.

           I was baffled by the thought that a man would sleep in my bed. I tried not to think about it. Maybe the problem would be solved spontaneously. I did not need to dramatize the situation. I would stand it somehow.

           But the man will not only sleep in my bed, he will also sit at my computer whenever he wishes. He will ask for food whenever he desires… will bring his friends into the flat… will never wash the bathtub after himself. And he will take our joint money whenever he pleases…

           Still more… I will have to serve my man’s zone. I will have to buy food and beer for him, wash his clothes, make dinner for him every day and give him my flat and car keys…

 

           I decided to overcome all the difficulties and inconveniences and to create a zone for a man in my flat. I wanted to have a man. Strange but such was the truth.

           I decided to buy a TV and a black terrier, so that my man would be occupied with something. That he would feel needed in the house.

           And still more… my man will be free and happy, because I will guarantee independence for him. I will be different from other women. I will not regulate my husband. The moment he talks about freedom to me, I will let him go. Grant independence for him.

           I took my phone, placed a chair where two armchairs would stand in the future and called Martha. I explained everything to her. I consulted her.

           Martha laughed but finally admitted that my thoughts were really original.

           She liked the combination of a man’s zone with making figurines from wax in the dark.

           Probably your ideas are good, she said. We have to protect men.

           Not long ago she found some information in the internet about the mutation of male chromosomes and the possible disappearance of men. She informed me that, as science declares, in some thousand years men will disappear.

           I raised my chin up and shook the hair. I felt as if I were the saviour of the world. That was even more exciting than making figurines from wax. There was only one more thing to decide-what breed of a dog I should buy for my husband to take for walks.

           First make a place for a dog, - suggested Martha.

           She is right, - I thought.

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