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© Daniel Beaudoin

The glances

Modifié le : 2019/08/06

I enter the bar. Imme­di­ate­ly, my glass­es are cov­ered with a thick fog, which forces me to remove them. Despite my short-sight­ed­ness, I feel the gaze of every­one com­ing to me. We are in the Vil­lage, the clien­tele is self-ori­ent­ed. As a result, the one who enters becomes the sub­ject of a per­sis­tent, detailed exam­i­na­tion. We’d take out box­es and give me a score that I would­n’t be surprised.

I pre­tend to ignore their judg­ment, play the game of look­ing for some­one, which is not faked. I am indeed look­ing for the artist who invit­ed me to his open­ing. His works are sus­pend­ed above the seat­ed peo­ple. The place is cramped, when you look at the paint­ings, you nec­es­sar­i­ly include, below, the invit­ed cus­tomers, which is a lit­tle annoy­ing, because you can’t even go and see the price of the work, you should apol­o­gize, get close, for exam­ple, to the face of this beau­ti­ful beard­ed man, smile at him and both of them, false­ly embar­rassed, estab­lish the quality/​price ratio of who knows what.

Daniel final­ly shows him­self, los­ing inter­est in peo­ple sit­ting around a small table, like him. He kiss­es me, says he is hap­py to have me here. We dis­cuss a lit­tle bit about his paint­ings. I tell him right away, which ones I like best. They’re already sold. I dare not ask the price, I will have to over­come my cow­ardice to dis­turb these two men who seem to form a cou­ple, but who, each in turn, put their den­tist’s eyes on me. It is as if fideli­ty in homo­sex­u­als is played out only between the walls of the heart, while the body lis­tens reli­gious­ly to Car­men in a musi­cal mock­ery of propriety.

Daniel was quick­ly tak­en over by oth­er guests. I know what it’s like to have expe­ri­enced it when I launched my books. We meet every­one with­out meet­ing any­one. I am to myself again, don’t want to sit down, espe­cial­ly since there’s no place to do it. So I pre­tend to look at the paint­ings back as if I had to enjoy them. The bar­tender is watch­ing me. Will I or will I not order some­thing ? I don’t know, I have my back­pack ; the gro­cery store is not far away, and that’s where I go next.

Final­ly, my gaze lingers not on a can­vas, but on a sketch in ink and pen­cil. It is not recent. I like what Daniel’s doing. He indeed appro­pri­ates the lines cre­at­ed, includ­ing those of Schiele. It’s not with­out dis­pleas­ing me. On his web­site, Daniel also makes no secret of his influences.

I real­ly like the sketch in front of me. It rep­re­sents a box­er with a very soft face, his eyes turned upwards, his tor­so exag­ger­at­ed­ly sculpt­ed, wear­ing only briefs, which is incon­gru­ous, since the man is in the are­na. I instant­ly inter­prit this as the strug­gle for good looks, the desire that we all have in the lair of our hopes, this ambiva­lence between the strong and the tender.

I thought this draw­ing would look good in my bed­room, I would place it on the wall over­look­ing the entrance to it. A form of wel­come. The card­board gives the price. Damn it. It’s a lit­tle crazy, half of what it will cost me for the shelves for my wardrobe…

I approached Daniel and told him, with a beat­ing heart, that I would like to buy this draw­ing. He is sur­prised. Faced with my smil­ing silence, he quick­ly real­ized that I was sin­cere. “Can I put a red dot on it, seri­ous­ly ? “, the pastille being the sig­nal that the work is pur­chased. My answer is yes. He does­n’t have time to thank me for the con­tin­u­ous guests who are still com­ing towards him. He takes out a self-adhe­sive stick­er and applies it to the price of the cardboard.

I’m hap­py, but sud­den­ly uncom­fort­able. I don’t like crowds. I take a quick leave because, in any case, I have to do my gro­ceries, and they are wait­ing for me for sup­per. I’m going out, take a breath of fresh air. I am pleased with my pur­chase, even if my wal­let already regrets it. Oh, it’s not that expen­sive, but I have so much to spend on ren­o­va­tions… and I’m try­ing to dis­ci­pline myself anyway.

Many may not under­stand this attrac­tion to this kind of work. That is where our eyes lead us. They lead us through the tip of their iris­es, like search­ing heads. This impromp­tu pur­chase is indeed the sign that I want to make my house the oasis of my upcom­ing sea­sons. It is high time to make my own eyes fertile.

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