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.