The room of lost souls

Modifié le : 2019/08/06

Twen­ty-thir­ty hours, in the lost steps room of Berri-Uqam sta­tion. I’m with a friend, wait­ing for anoth­er one of his friends. We’re sit­ting. Cof­fee is obvi­ous­ly ter­ri­ble. My friend eats a dry pota­to flour dough­nut. In front of me, the flashy tick­et office of the STM and, sit­ting on the bench­es, not impa­tient cus­tomers, but hag­gard beings.

Just ten min­utes ago, even more of them did noth­ing, wait­ing for bore­dom, like a ghost, to decide to haunt anoth­er wreck. In the donut shop, the employ­ee, rather cute, fake dia­mond in his ear, small like Robert Red­ford, is in a bad mood and seems to have eyes sin­cere­ly only for me because he looks so much in my direction.

Cus­tomers don’t like his deroga­to­ry remarks ; my friend did­n’t like him, where­as I thought he was rather nice. When he asked me at the counter what I put in my cof­fee, I told him I only want­ed cof­fee. He replied that it would make the com­pa­ny even more prof­itable. I laughed heartily.

As we became the only cus­tomers, he approached us by gen­tly mop­ing and start­ed talk­ing, how much he hat­ed his job, how he should nev­er have left his oth­er job as a cloth­ing sales­man. And that if it con­tin­ued like that, it would be bet­ter to sell his body while he was still in good shape (thir­ty years old). These prob­a­bly advances that I has­tened to divert by sug­gest­ing that he could go back to school. Defi­ant, he replied that he was wait­ing for a job at Via Rail and that he would rather have $19/​hour to serve cus­tomers than wipe the ass of the sick. And the pas­sion for doing some­thing you love does­n’t ring a bell ?

He would­n’t answer, his lips sud­den­ly very stiff.

A hand­some lit­tle man, though. I have to make myself a card. I wish I could have tak­en a pic­ture of this guy. He would not have sold his body, and I would still have had my very pure plea­sure to admire him. I could have naive­ly giv­en him back a lit­tle self-esteem. How will this boy end ? From what’s he run­ning ? Why is he not suc­ceed­ing ? Amaz­ing exis­tence of failures.

For my part, I redeemed myself, as a New Year’s gift, some equip­ment for my stu­dio. The old one, pro­grammed obso­les­cence oblig­es, starts to let go. Every­thing makes me want to tell sto­ries, includ­ing that of my friend who, in need of love for a friend who could­n’t make it, and reluc­tant to appre­ci­ate the boy from the Dunkin Donuts, ate his dry donut in front of me.