Cry bicycle chain
In a morning light pictured the awakening shadows, opening eyes on the gloom of the derelict we occupied. Though, the studio sketched the attic in a summer light, in which I pictured the marathon ahead starting off the renovation works. Thoughtful I rose from the king size bed, to a lingering preponderant question, ‘Where in this city does one get labor? I stepped off pulling up my Jeans, slipping in a sportive shirt, on stage imagining a choreography of avatars, timeless, onto the living ghost taking occupation in the space refurbished. Then, drawn to glance over at the muddled up bedcovers coming to life, from under which Martine jumps to the floor. Sprightly as a kitten clawing after a ball of wool, ‘After all it was her idea!’ She dresses and with a theatrical touch, and after a pause, poses a wide brimmed hat on her curt coiffed head, highlighting the parental character she occupies redecorating, the skeleton of a structure I envisaged healing.
Martine jollying off to answer a street door call, on little feet turns toward the door clearing a free conducive buzzing, blessed by a metallic channeling echo up the stairwell. Without a qualm over the comfort of a rented ground floor apartment, which we vacated at her initiative. In a disappearing act exit the room. In the wake of her knocking heels resounding the hollow wooden stairs. She corresponded a quiescent instance on the landing below as my hand slipped on the guide of the returning handrail. At the rhythm of re-engaging the blind flights of stairs, I measured an equidistant through the tenebrific keep. Catching her dull steps leading off the marble surface, to sight her flitting auspicious shadow through the outlines sketching the small panes of the internal portal. Lowering on the treads down the vestibule. A slit of light runs up the swallowing darkness. In a harsh morning sunlight, pressing the door leaf to a blinding glow, childish mirage a way by Martine roused silhouette. She stands tall on the threshold, obliterates an accosting person sunk a step lower on the sidewalk.
In a wash of light on the white marble, a touch of the achromic designed door emanated a deep green hue, matching an evanescent gleam along the walls. The figure of a man appeared rising on the ball of the feet, and stalled me to a slow pace approach. Sturdy and young in the daylight, he peered over Martine’ right shoulder, at discovering me in the shadowy dark interior. Respectful, though non restrictive speaking to Martine, with an insistent gaze he addresses me, repeating what he said before, “[French] I can work. I’m fit to work — I’m looking for work!”
At first impression a bodybuilder, the physique for manual exigencies that were forestalled. Though attractive, his refined mannerism ill fits the raw of the trade. Therefore, I laid out the harsh awakening tasks. He responded with understanding nods. Then, under the auspices of an ideal supportive learner, let me to wonder, ‘This is too good to be true!’ onto asking, “[French] What is your birth date?” In answer, I dwell in the character‘s ratified aberrant constellation, which mirrored such as an awaking eye at first light over the backdrop wall, crowding thickets and old trees, in a flocculent summer green across the avenue. Sunrise jubilating in the atmosphere, granting the aniconic transcendent Capricorn a chromatic ray sitting, breaks the rigmarole of the night before, instigate the moment, the character, by an insistent tone of voice, say, “[French] Can I start now?” instrumentalizing like a stone lay ceremony the hearth of home.
Recovering from an in trance fall through the entrails of the building, to a heart throb awakening, I deferred the blast of reality, improvising, setting a man to work, for an anticipatory breach of a punctual start, and said, “[French] Come in the morning. I’ll have time to show you what to do.”
“[French] My name is Rudy — I’ll be here at seven in the morning,” he said on a happy swing over, in opposition to Martin’s willful pressured step down the threshold to the sidewalk in the direction up the Avenue fetching her car.
Skeptic as an unbeliever over a divine revelation, I watched the athletic aside step, his sight and hands at anticipating his move. The saddle and the handlebar he grips, straightening the bike from leaning the contiguous pillar.
The texture of a different type and color of brick, which providential delineates a plummeting joint in the field of sight. A show of proximity of our entrance door with the neighboring Porte-cohere at number thirteen. Rudy wheels the bike in a roundabout at facing the down slope. Trots on the pedal, oblique, free wheeling across the sidewalk apron. Kicking a foot back, swings a leg over. Saddling, he holds back a few sporadic cranks of the feet, as he bounces through the gutter. Crossing the wide blacktop, easy rolling feet, in the deserted hollow avenue, the chain runs lingers a dry squealing taken into the distance toward Rochefort Square. Converging toward traffic through the rays of streets. Vanishing against the busy background of progressive periods of architectural prow of apartment blocks. Thoughtful I sink in the perspective of the following day, and set on at driving off for work.
At first light the chanting birds resonated from a height of foliage, bringing the edge of the park at the open rooflight, awakening a conscious taking call for a man at setting off to work. I dressed and descended the tenebrific staircases entering the Belle Epoque floor-through, meeting a golden slit filtering underneath the stuck lopsided blind. I watched the beauty of a sunlight crawl over the kick–panel at the French doors, taunting the derelict dark, creepy, exhaustive fray the floor. Scrambling, warding off achromatic ills proliferating through the depth of successive rooms.
By a miner’s lamp, I surveyed, stepping up to the wooden casing, trawl the strap, livening up the growl of the wooden slats to staggering interstices of a conscious taking light. High up the ceiling stow away, and silenced, a daylight impressed on showing off a futuristic metamorphosed living room.
Distant, an arousing screech propagating in thin air, by familiarity drawn to an attentive listening, going to open the French doors. I step to stand by the railing preying aside toward the rhythmic dry squeal at the force of a pedal pace. In a lifting mist emerged from the hazy square the waggling figure forceful pedaling up the avenue.
Turning back, my sight shifting from the derelict interior, leading right my way out on the landing and down the dark vestibule, to open the right leaf of the door to an invasive daylight. I stepped up to the curve shaped bluestone, watching nearby Rudie jumps off his bike, and step up. In a moment of a rushed exchange of eyesight, I sweep a withdrawal facing the walk-up, sparing the words, ‘Follow me,’ leaving the door open express my invitation. Listening behind the rubber tire mute the metallic resonance of the sidewalk coal plate, followed by the clang of stomping feet deafened stepping across the solid threshold. The rear wheel conceded to silence, I returned a gaze over my shoulder, watching in the light, the rusted framework parking. Hurting the wainscot pictured in a translucent white marble, cascading wide stairs, onto a roman basin. I pledged the edge to sit bronze vintage coffee stains mirrors, reflecting opposite miner tunnels, tapering visitors off into the wings of infinite smallness.
Rudy tracks back, closes the panel door to a stifling light at the gist of an overhead fan spread of translucent petals light, which filters across the vestibule and grapples achromatic apparent rungs. Watching myself rise conscious taking at eyes level, the void of the doorway, through the checkered small panes of the inner portal. On the landing, by the guide of an evanescent gleam, we moved alongside the rising stairway by the railing run into the depth. U-turning at the rear newel post, cautioned by an ascetic obscurity. Feet onto groping for the stairs, lowering into an austere underground. Meeting a feeble luminance from a bulb dangling from a pair of wires from the wall. The gradual outlines that shades the step, like the sense of his presence close by turning the front newel post. I headed along the basement landing, by sight a guide through the barrel vaulted ceiling in raw brick, seeking at the end of the railing, in turn the post to the stairway down to the cellar.
My hand on the ball of the newel, and moving in a roundabout, I tread down where light didn’t reach. Lowering, until my eye move off the plane of the landing, breathing into a waft fresh air fraying through the stale moist atmosphere. I sniffled out the current stepping on down by the creak of wooden stairs in the shadow of a soft waking light. Pursuing the flair of a source, surprised by a doormat against all logic, I tripped over the hollow of the last few rot gnawn stairs. I jumped and sprung through bend knees, fetch sniffling facing a hatch at eyes level. Peering through a depicting crawl space, at reckoning with a staggering vestibule above, and survey across the room, elongated fingers beaming sunlight from an apparent dark palm of hands, at sealing off the channel at sidewalk level. Identifying the metallic plate and by a spread of daylight, in the shadows shaping the coal shoot. I sidestepped, calling Rudy from behind, at seizing up the effective undertaking at excavating down to floor height, and how and where to dispose of the material, before I headed back up and on my way to the office.
Held back at work far into the evening, I returned home, and by seven o’clock heading straight down anxious over the day’s progress. To my surprise, seeing the naked torso, caving, I questioned Rudy, “[French] Aren’t you taking a break,” insinuating, ‘for the night?’
In the mornings Rudy started afresh, and at the sweat of his muscular Ram — the organ of his aniconic volition that whispers him a destined conscious taking. In an apparent momentum of time on idle, at length of days running into the week, the condescend tenebrific buster caves out by the mechanical swinging of the pick at loosening the in-situ red ground. At the pace of the shovel receding his stand pouring the soil into heavy duty fiber reinforced bags. Exposing deeper down the raw peripheral bricks arches clearing an ancient catacomb method of pillar footings, in support of the superstructure up to the wall-plate onto which is saddled the roof.
In my absence, I believed Rudy heaved every bag on his shoulder, but sentient of the spirit of his volition acquiescing rightful the zone of his movements. After meeting off work, his behavior leaves me to wonder, ‘What’s in the hiding — for a sprightly young willful mind for such a slogging job?’ I can imagine the piggybacking bags of dead weight. I can sense heaving the load out the crawl space. Unsettling the stale atmosphere, and heavy on the feet tread the few temporary lie of concrete blocks, onto a steadfast climb up the flight of stairs. Sweating by the might of his mind, too long underground to miss a momentary escape, which like breathing out on a heap of flour held in the palm of the hand, mindful spores carried in the air, trails in his path that cognitive spreads to sit on the walls, rise to the ceiling, and fall to the floor, at living permeative through the structure. As he worms in view a weary way up to the landing above, at the pace of a growing familiarity. His entries and exits to the basement front room, spidery spinning the invisible possessive webs, taking grip by the dropping off his shoulders a stockpiling of bags of soil.
Alongside my laptop, which loads to screen the spreadsheet of a financial report, while such as a wizard breathing life into the hand that drafted the architectural lines, I lean over perusing the photocopies of the original stamp of approval blueprints. I keyed in for the single family townhouse, coding each of the floors — a conscious taking throat concentrate to the cellar as ‘level -2.’ encrypting a ‘<0>’ the Belle Epoque at ground zero, and the source of a cosmic well, to the mouth of a vortex funnel, ultimate at the attic ‘+3 level.’
There, as Martine and I lived on the floor, by avatars activities in the trades, withered away from a ghostly Laureys, and neighbor to the party wall at number 13, the presence of a kitchen sink in the room. Ceasing the hiss of water pipes at the turn of the faucets, and gargling siphons, together with the shower cubicle waste in line. Next door at the butting corridor end, silenced at the flush of the toilet the poltergeist fecal and urine through confectioned battered lead indoor piping, out the rear and over the terrace roof, with the branch venting the sewers’ stench.
At the ridge beam to a purling framing, in style anew befitting large rooflights that calls sailing the rays of the sun an energetic and aniconic transcendent volition descend a virtual photovoltaic glazing. Visibly a subtle transformation, daylight scaling a wagging daylight dragon tail, and wrangling with a cowering tenebrae aloft the vaulted ceiling. Configuring a material handling by dynamics gelatinous avatars, dexterous manipulation of tools metamorphosing the vaulted space in a futuristic bathroom. Staggering on the kitchen, as does the saddled roof walls, espoused at that level a number of rooflights suffuse the paw and claws, onto embracing, at signing off, a lively interior design.
A college friend of Martine, inscribed, brings the future into the present, when the dark period waned into oblivion. Ghosting Marc Dechrijverer in the living presence of a mirage, a beneficent organ encompassing the space alternating nightly artificial scattered constellations of starry spotlights. Sketching dwarf shadows trim the whiteness to an interior design. From a curt slumbering darkness, waxing anew daylight wiggling an evasive dragon body spilling out the attic glazed gable. Crawling over the divisive staircase partition. Blending a sunlight from the stairwell superimposed set of rooflights at bathing in a heavenly light cascade. Where, the tenebrific dragon jaws swallowed sight of the stairs, and the landing off the blueprint is coded ‘+2 level.’
Fighting breathtaking shadows, in a little group, from which Martine made herself scarce, and Smeets stands in retrieve behind me, letting me knock at the grungy panel door. In the wait, I pictured a skilled avatar and his helper, to remedy the flaw. Removing the entrance door, and block up the way. Switching to the juxtaposed built-in linen cupboard, to dismantle and bring in after, a manufacturer’s tailor made interior, sandy translucent fluted pair of doors, for a light dab at the encounter of the stairwell.
The middle aged hefty woman with an anticipatory regard opens, shying behind the door swing, a mitigated expression that says, ‘the invitation depends on the outcome!’ watching skeptic thoughtful, ‘the condescent building new management?’ as we made our entry into the dark room that shoulders the stairwell.
From a distant period, out at the front room bay window, I pictured stripping the light stifling thick curtains and valance, which I acted out also in the rear bedroom at bringing light to the dark padded furniture, and thick absorbent floor rags. Eradicating a life simmering wrath of the people’s hibernating mood, and bid sunrise beyond the living room, and farewell to sunset beyond the bedroom. Embracing the interim, timid behind their hanging frames, alternative spotlights with intimidating dabs of artificial lights rejuvenating a centenary skeletal of peripheral walls. Changing the core of the decor, hard at swallowing to mind, seeing an unwieldy lounging husband, self pitied to a flabby blob seized by an embracing comfort chair. His woman upon closing of the door, camouflaging a misery anger. She comes around restrictive mobility, by the feet of her husband up on a footrest the legs in diagonal pointing. Without breaking his fixation across, imbued in the corner broadcasting a television program. At sight of the scene, my moral obligations chilled metal cold. I said, “[French] Unfortunate, after the renovations are completed, we will have to increase the rent!”
Smeets moves up to the forefront, his genie furthers up to the woman standing in retrieve hiding her fright from the invaders. His apologetic addressing tone, submersed my survey, at bringing in the electrical avatar thread a multicore bypass cable, and link up the old installation, transit the shaft, to the floor stowed away distribution board. Looping current to the whirring power tool on the floor above and beneath, in the process triggering circuit breakers, engendering disruptive power cuts, in addition to switching over from an outlawed installation onto the new. A plumbing avatar deviates such a temporary roundabout for the water supply, and laid a wastewater gravitational drainage stumbling pipe across the threshold, at dismembering a staggered vestibule kitchen emplacement in view at the core of the servicing ablution configuration.
On the blueprint rubbing I had rubbed out a doorway to a quasi staggering carbon copy of the mezzanine, as the wizard of my mind engineered espousing the ablution block to the plummeting shaft. I brought in the dynamic hands of avatars to prop up a supportive H-beam and break down the corner of the load bearing wall, and tying steel reinforcing bars into a lattice. The avatar of a carpenter to shutter the column. Laboring avatars mixing and pouring concrete into the formwork. Healing in the aftermath the ancient wall behind a cladding of plaster boards, for painting, and the avatar of a joiner, fitting boards for a few stairs up, to befits the opening with a jamb, a door and the hardware, hygienics sigh of relief, at accessing a futuristic comfortable sanitary ware.
Taunted by the echo of Martine’s shoe tapping descend from the loft, the woman leaves her stagnating husband in a former truck driving seat to a virtual handicap, nestling together dissuasive to the transformation. At the rhythm of feet from the above straight flight of stairs, and pattern a pause at the newel post return, whispering on a walk across the short box landing ending off with a trio of stairs. The woman, frustrated by insecurity, opens the door accosting Martine on her landing. From the doorway light, schizophrenic turning back, loud and clear saying to her husband, “[French] Well, I didn’t realize that woman [Martine] came in from the dugout on her way to the Infirmary — Now Love! You just leave it [owner] to me — They’re not like us!” Let to think she couldn’t help herself, Martine later repeated what was said to her, “[French] You’re a bourgeois –!”
I came up from downstairs to hear resonant voices, and at the slam of the door in Martine’s face where she failed befriending. To the woman’s lingering words, “[French] I threw a bad spell on you!” to an apparent beginning, off the tenebrific corner in which Martine collapsed in tears down to the floor –.
Mind engraving scene of the woman’s increasing vicious assaults, transposed a virtual setting of the dark building entrails, at watching offset a twilight zone waxing moving pictures of the successive fatal incidents of a toddler girl. Waning by the arc path of daylight, effacing beyond an emergent two-way mirror, the proactive period to guild bear parents, at having failed to hold up that protective umbrella against adverse cosmic influences –.
At the stance of the present, as I groped downstairs, in view coming the internal portal, which glaze simulates through the checkered small panes that virtual zone to a future event. I watched to hear Martine’s emergent steps through the vestibule. Until, flushed by broad daylight, and stands silhouette in answer to the street door call of a buzz.
Martine called me down, short of branching from the newel post toward the rear of the Belle Epoque landing. As I approached at hearing distance to the male voice saying, “[French] I am the messenger of the court — I have a summons.” Martine moved aside, where I took her place. The man said, “[French] Will you sign here!” I signed the receipt on the handed clipboard. In turn sweep around and on our way, to an aftermath relieved of the messenger, the flimsy page of the handed document weighed the man in the ink of the words of the pursuit.
In a pragmatic encounter with Smeets, the eyes of the bookworm needn’t be awakened over procedures. At watching the allusive Flemish autochthon, suffocate a candle flame to a trail of smoke expression, answering cowardice, “[French] I don’t know!”
I solicited Martine from another frame of time, by her impressive vouchsafe word, “I have been a private secretary at an exclusive law firm in the city!” Hence, a shutdown phrase, and since sowing delusion, by an out of college girl, with a forefront desk seat in the prestigious law firm. Under the ogling regard of a senior partner, the receptionist auto-proclaiming up the ranks. The latent Tiger in a camouflage pelt, fashions her symbiotic Gemini, coming up with such absurd ideas, as saying, “A contract has to be handwritten to have juridical values.” Though I exclaimed in disbelief, ‘What?’ Nevertheless, commit as alien in doubts and shut to silence. Thoughtful over, ‘Where does she get that idea from?’ Induced in error with her assured regard querying my sanity, the absurd haunting me.
At the toss of churning in mind the estranged ritual of men in black robes out my past, I slough overalls and tools. Exiting the house in a hurry. Jumping in the car and pulling off the quicksand way into a not so distant future confusion. Searching up the sinuous avenue for help, crawl up beyond a bus shelter, the “Match” in a fascia display off the wayside supermarket. Winding down the window, “[French] Please!” I call out halt a pedestrian in his tracks from crossing. Inquiring, “[French] Where is the Small Claims Court of Forest?” I followed the pointer of a finger across the busy intersection, which I lost in the perspective of the unknown. I said, “[French] Thank you!” and pulled off across the main artery, to veer immediately in a side street. Gradually the man’s directive details surged on my way through a light stifling parallel backstreet. By a rare spare gap along a line of cars, I pulled in. Leaving the car I walk on finding a way through a brick archway mesmerized by the clearing of an inner court garden.
Picturing the ghostly uprooted orchard of which cemetery seclusive brick wall that remains to tell by an apposing sweep of a driveway entrance, an evolution off the main artery by an erect modern “No Entry” sign. I’ll borrow the gritty apron to lead me to the bluestone portal stairs, and onto pressed my way behind the classic double door to the brick mansion interior. Welcomed by wafting paper scent, thoughtful rising the flow of ink of pages that transit here. I stepped along a wide divisive corridor, by an old lady sitting on a wooden garden bench, I read the plastered notices. Still, uncertain, I pushed a door to step up to a transversal counter, watching from the depth of the room, a man stands up from behind his desk. He approaches with a cleric busy expression, as I slowly slip up the paper turning the printed text for his perusal, and introductive saying, “[French] Look — I have received this. Can you tell me what this is about?”
My niggling subconscious, under the pretext of the clerk of the court, who glanced down at the summons presented, told in a monotone, “[French] Just be here on that date.” Turning away, from the pottering brain of a ground system, at saying to myself, ‘That’s thoughtful of him — As if I didn’t know that?’ while in stealth my subconscious found no snares laid out and reposing my mind. I left at the sense of having helped my fate. Returning on the day of the appearance, upstairs in the corridor I stood by people bursting from the courtroom. The cases being heard afar gradually thinned the courtroom, onto finding myself a seat. Laying sight on the demon among angels, I eclipsed from the bewitched woman returning outside. Standing by the door till the familiar of my name resonated, shaking me from the scattered effaced crowds.
I stepped inside, to stand abreast a lawyer paired with the hefty woman. With an executioner voice the insults raged against me, onto whining a twenty-nine year occupancy, injecting a pensioner, and a husband on disability evildoing my imagination of a sprightly 1912 vintage townhouse in a contemporary living. Hearing the dissonant justice system, as the judge says, “[French] You are to pay a month’s’ rent in damages.” words which tossed off my shoulder a virtual material weight. Relieved, I reserved a sarcastic reply toward the judge, saying, “[French] Thank you!” brief as my way out, bearing at heart the monetary crumbs piling up the lawyer’s fees, destined to break the spell which bewitched Martine. Hence, the source by the wizard of the mind seeking the eye for an eye antidote at breaking spells. Undefeated, I walked away from the moral of a woman’s deep seated style of life, hatred, which fetched and pilfered possessions, though the financial reward will prove not to have healed the curse.
The aniconic of sunlight infiltrating room depth, refracting off the embracing surfaces, shaping a hovering mirage, ghosting futurity Christian Thomas as organ of occupancy, in the wake of Polish avatar busters –.
Radek who is the young man with thoughtful eyes, taming electric current, to feature, granting the middle of the floor-through with luminescent compensatory artificial spotlights, aware in essence a brightness during adverse weather, hushing away the gloom nestling in the corners to mere sketchy architectural shades. Shadows such as a crew scheme cowering from sight, shy from revealing the hands at a kindergarten toy of connectors of flexible nylon tube to the gas boiler. That livens the cunning son and father, apart from feeding cold water, running hot water conduits circulating the series of radiators. Fluids in pairs at the benefit of the facilities for a kitchen in style, and in the offset, beneath this particular skylight, in a changing daylight repose on the figure standing in a corner bathtub under a shower spray –.
The artificial lighting that keeps the shine on the white wash-hand-basin, to the hiss of a piping pressure at the faucets spout of water over the hands. A staggering module to the floor below, such as a cosmic name inscribed Edith Rozenberg destined for occupancy. At the conveniences, spare the thought of circulating wastewater gargling through a siphon. Draining such as flushing the water-closet, plummeting in turn a poltergeist of echoes contained to the services shaft.
Sentient of cat’s-eyes, on the lurk at the rooflights open to a summer efflorescent sunlight. Peaceful gleaming a golden guide slipping a hand down the railing, on a day course changing the nuances of the wooden stairway, which shoulders the slaving services in stealth through the dark shaft. Passing by the fluted translucent doors on the second floor, tentative in a dimming daylight down the stairwell. Returning cowering in high corners the emergent tenebrific dragon scales, which contrast more readable on the landing below encountering the fluted elusive peaceful dabs of a filtered daylight. Impeding an invasive dragon body crawl from taking grips on the stair flow that cascade down the building entails –.
In the mood of the day, the artificial lighting shaking hands our acquisition at the Belle Epoque floor, dressing the cradle at the heart of home. There, assistive mirrors inviting most memorable sunrise, waxing the white marble basin, sculpturing on a day course a sprightly living sense through the successive glazed vestibule portals, into the perspective of the wooden flights of stairs. Waning in retrieve through the double glazed street doors, onto conceding the evening to the artificial lighting.
After a site visit, which extended my curiosity into the jam manufacturing under various labels on supermarket shelves. Returning to the spacious courtyard window spread office. Seated at my desk, scrutinizing the ream stipulating virtual loads of schist spreading an access road to the construction site. Setting up site sheds, and down the items, formulating the mason, his assistant, and by a factor of a once off setup, calibrated a supervision time at building up a manhole to road level. Pricing into the labor, the concrete blocks, the mortar and wastage, to sum up and onto the next items down the bill of quantities. scrupulous, plotting the blueprint picturing the Materne Industries factory expansion. the pressure mounted approaching the bid closing date, when late in the evening, Martine called me at work, saying, “Rudy has nowhere to sleep. Can he have the little room on the mezzanine?”
“Sure,” I replied in a curt tone of voice, insinuating, ‘Let me get on with my work,’ as I couldn’t begin to imagine an alternative solution. Yet, I fell fool of the break, the wizard of the mind intrigued, springs into the tenebrific house entrails. Off the Belle Epoque floor groped up in the perspective of the half-stairway to the landing featuring a full width mock portal. Psychic, I made my entry, rotating the layout and dismantling the door, frame, and casement deep signals the massive load bearing brick wall, which call for the creation of the technical shaft dressing a firewall instead.
During the following weeks, and discrete, Rudy squatted the mezzanine floor dedicated to Alexander. In an adjacent undefined small rear room, swapping doorways for a pool of daylight. I pictured and set to work a team of avatars breaking through the floor. A joiner at fixing stringers and assembling dancing stairs. In a futuristic mirage ghosting Alexander’s friend Lorenzo staying over and sleeping on a guest mattress, of the bunker bed brought over with the move. At meeting the boys in a spiraling descend to the night-hall on the Belle Epoque floor.
A month appeared reduced to a week, and a week in a day, experiencing timeless hour flits. Too evident gotten my converted state of mind after driving off at sunrise, the cruise in an awakening day. Pulling up at work and lead a fatal way crossing the threshold, I got to sit at the pair of butted desks. Bathing in the white fluorescent light, till at the return from a site visit, Eli Godard sitting across sharing the desk configuration. My conscious caught up that moment in the afternoon, onto glimpsing at the construction manager in the making of his site reports into the evening when workmen on site leave for home. Martine breaks in, sentient of her justificative phone call, her voice intoned desolation, saying, “What must I do with Rudy?” In urging her silence as the phrase echoed in mind without trace to a solution. I sought in her living style, and thoughtless the words rolled over my lips, “Why don’t you treat Rudy to dinner?”
The following day, Martine over the phone, asks, “When are you coming home?” which elasticity of desperation I let reach the brink of breaking. I pleaded, “I still have so much work to get through here.” in the trend the next day, her persistent homecoming call awakened a premonitory glimpse through a maze of alternated angles of glazed partitions at the secretary. The next moment her vacant chair, reminded me, ‘She’s gone home for the night!‘ the notion called again, and as I glanced on across the space that the secretary shared, stall on the Chief Executor Officer. Through the still crystal of a honeycomb mosaic, amplifying the man’s eyes warding off. He left lurking a suspicious squint, given to fix and read mischief on the sly. Without lending a thought over his control of the switchboard, the Chief Executor Officer vacated the office. The construction manager crawled off in his wake. I glance at the hands of my wristwatch, which pointing on the dials angle around 10 PM. invasive and unnoticed to an aniconic in the early hours of the morning possessive cold. On the assault throughout the vast derelict exposed at the peak of the umbra, the cosmic vacuum driving a fear drift in me.
I stepped out in the moonless night, light pollution gleaming the lonesome Audi. Stepping in the car to pull off with a headlight sweep of the mundane red brick facade, into the shadowy leading street out the industrial zone. I hit the highway north, accelerating at the mental rhythm of getting through my work. Every night in the grip of a growth of impatience, I believed to control the speedometer needle pivoting and peaking the notches, onto setting by the nights anew a cruising speed. Possessed by lost time home with Martine, sentient of the deserted lanes, and driving a magnetic levitation through the tunneling golden haze of the floodlights worming into a shadeless black Indian ink spill. With throttle to spare I wasn’t yet speeding at two-hundred and ten on the clock. At the off ramp I slammed breaks, the tarmac fray a screech of tires to a fist punch of the intersection in my face. My heart throbbed as I pulled off, veered and driving through the sleeping commercial zone. Guided by a bird’s-eye view over the weaving buildup community narrow rays of street, I arrived home hard at finding a dark gap among overnight glittery undulated covered condensation film over cars that lined the curb. At the top of the avenue, I parked by the local elementary school, and tracked back far down along the leading row of townhouses. Making my entry by the dabs of naked light bulbs, climbing to the loft. Approaching Martine, she sleepish said, “[how dare] Your boss hangs up on me!” in a flush I rehearsed the office scene, to the flagrant shy roll of the eyes. Shrug off the Chief Executor Officer in his mischief, replying, “I guess so!”
We left the attic moments before that morning, and pacing at half a flight of stairs behind Martine, to the echo of feet descend the tenebrific entrails until the muffling belle Epoque landing. At the inner portal catching up by sight Martine across the vestibule, opening the door leaf to a sprightly flush of sunlight, to a mirage embracing her silhouettes. I overheard and interceded by a pronounced Polish accent and sheepish voice said with a lisp, “[French] I’m Adam — I’m looking for work!” to the emergent figure against the avenue. Approached the youthful stubby man, I asked, “[French] What can you do?”
“[French] I’m a laborer,” Adam said, and flushed an avatar buster twins with Rudy. On second thought, I asked, “[French] Do you know other workers?” and glanced behind me, pointing after the infiltrating daylight the deep green thick scales peeling off the entrance door. Ongoing with the wave of my hand over the wall paint onto the achromatic interior, ‘Off it has to come!’ I hurried gesticulating a free way to the shadowy stairway entrails, at ramifying by doorways throughout the house in need of refurbishing.
“[French] Yes,” Adam said.
“[French] Well!” I replied, “[French] Come to see me this weekend when I’m home.”
Adam turning about, clears the way for Martine and I to step down onto the sidewalk. Splitting ways bypassing the young man. I turned thoughtful over the bid heading for my silver metallic gray car parked in the distance. Stepping in. pulling off. Cruising southwards, to merge in a trickling of outbound traffic, immersed over the gamble in order to win the bid. Wayside road signs flipped by such as consuming ideas, the number of bids we are tendering against in the direction of Charleroi. Short of the destined city, I borrowed the Gosselies off ramp, there rested our decision. Weaving a way into the industrial zone, to pull up in front of the building, resolute, ‘I have estimated the raw cost, it is the Chief Executor Officer to have vision at winning the contract.‘
Seated at my desk, contemptuous toward my employer, the wizard of my mind in gripes over his behavior the night before. Once again, I wondered over a mentalistic misrepresentation by the Egyptian iconic stand and branches of the scales. Exemplar and only device amongst the zodiacal constellations, at imagining a pharaonic warding off his Libra appropriation. Rightful characterized by the upright vulture claws on the corpse, wide spread wings, the beak ravaging to body to the bones. The man who reckoned I wasn’t to be interrupted on the job, headed off. Returning from the hearing at the opening of bids, a lost man for whom, the Flemish construction company implant the branch in Wallonia — submitted to resign — Going home, to no return. Leading the way by word of mouth into the vicinity of home, I am entering the St. Eloi Hardware Store. Waiting about a few men of the trade at the counter to end their transactions. At my turn, I asked the attendant behind the counter, “[French] Can I have-,” and spared erroneous naming the outfit. I pointed with a nod of the head toward the exit, at the mannequin I crossed moments before. Walked over to the standalone proud in blues, the bibbed long pants, a jacket breast open showing a white woolen lining, at imagining myself cozy in all weather working the winter through.
At first light, I slipped into overalls. From the attic, by the guide of the handrail, I descend the stairwell to the last tread. Underneath the brick shaped barrel vault ceiling, where Rudy accomplished his workload. I called on a pack of Polish aliens to join me and Rudy. In the tenebrific shadowy underground, the workload devised by the wizard of my mind. I scheduled the crew of illegal avatars busters into a workforce, handing out the hammers, and by a lit soft light bulb, at breaking in the rear wine cellar, bare to the structure, the supportive dwarf walls to staggered cast concrete storage shelves. Shoveling rubble. Stuffing bags. Carrying upstairs to the front room of the basement floor-through at piling up.
That morning, will be a regrettable timing, haunted by a deliquescent workforce, dissociating the wizard of my mind, from picturing the upper structured entrails. Platforms of staggered floors, from prolific doorways to rooms, in an enlightening flow, sunlight cascade to vanish into the tenebrific shadowy underground, Rudy stands emergent from a squabbling Polish crew. Driven be my autodidactic psychomotor choreography of a harmonious avatars schedule of activity with the appropriate tools and material. Attentive, I failed, at the lack to notice Rudy in a beehive of a pretentious movement, as he behaved increasingly elusive, misleading on himself, incessant over zealous attention devotee to Martine. Until that morning, blinded by the tenebrific convoluted underground claws and jaws, I lead Rudy away and upstairs in the light of a discrete corner. Mistaken a hearty resentment over the Illegal migrant workers, I said at a moment effaced by a crew whistling an activity slowdown, “[French] Rudy! This is not a hotel. Will you just take your things and move out. I justified my act, saying, “We need the get access to the room in the making of the shaft.”
The words stoned the Capricorn to silence, shameful bearing the weight of a latent whole crew, for who he was my watching eyes. Hardened to retreat from an existential harmony, Rudie wheeled his bicycle. He saddled. Free wheeling off across the sidewalk, to ride in diagonal on the down slope the deserted avenue. Engendering feet free cranking and lingering in his wake the dry chain squeal. Not letting up on a moment the cry of emotions, such as his first day destined for hope, despair visibly looked at him in the eyes.
The gypsy Bulgarian
Distinct fossilized, by moist over a century, which homogenized the lime-mortar and bricks to a rock hard massive substructure. Adam cramped up in a little space high up a cliff of the doorway, shouldering the vaulted ceiling. With an electric Hilti percussive hammer at hand, days on end chipping away the walls at heeling the plummeting shaft and vamp up a shoe fit to a series of varied bends. Toeing off to the horizontal an exemplar ghostly futuristic sewer pipe, the decor of a cornice along the stairwell. Drop blindly behind the wall, into the wake of Rudy’s excavation. Forward through the technical room, onto evacuating poltergeists set to continue from a workmen’s toilet, through a siphon in discretion connecting into the existing sewer running underneath toward the manholes in the Avenue.
There, an immoral imprisoned crew, the floor at ankle deep, lining the hole by a damp proofing membrane. I was surprised to see Radek taken away from wiring the electrical controls, and readying the laundry and storage rooms in a flood of fluorescent light, rising to sight a white ceramic tiled floor, and given time the terracotta brick walls killing the capillary effect, and throughout the cellar at finding a dry working comfort. Hiding the packing of Styrofoam insulation panels between an embedding two-phases poured of, a concrete bed, eventually onto a screed. He gave directives to the Libra son, and onto the father hunkered by the threading serpentine nylon tubes, into a layout to each individual room, looping returns connecting to the boiler. After I fell in despair, over the mocking Polish snow monkeys, at a black pipe threading stand, for the gas feed, in pair parasite picking.
‘Coincidental,’ I asked myself in the aftermath, of rising by a waft expelling moist warm air a path up the stairs. Quasi circulating hot water underneath the tiled floor, wriggling the air off the surface from the improvised tool shed, and a material storage room. I left from scheduling a workforce beneath the renewed staircase, the office where we held a construction site meeting. Coming up on the Belle Epoque landing, with a straight view through the hollow of a crystal mosaic of the open portal door, across the vestibule in a subtle mid morning daylight. Martine silhouetted on the doorstep holding back the door, asking on an assertive humorous note, “[French] What do you sell?” Words that fake the giggly mind into distraction. Figuring by her arms, shaking his head from side to side. The sheepish and agitated little frail man shapes on the wide sidewalk. Bypassing Martine with shifty eyes. Pilfering past me as I waxed an approach, leaving me feeling transparent. Confusing, he repeated, in associating him with a Bulgarian gypsy peddler. Yet barehanded. In an incomprehensive tongue repeating, “Flores.” leaving to presume, ‘[French] — I’m selling flowers.’ at least I expected a double parked delivery panel van behind the dithering figure, while Martine in a witty sense said, “[French] No!” eventually, he withdrew from a peering perspective into the tenebrific interior onto catching the newel post I came from, lamented a regard turning away. I watched the figure in his stride uphill, anticipating alongside the curb of lined cars, a disappearing act amongst bumpers. Instead, he continued taking distance up the sidewalk. Until, small and in the blur of the distant school by the sweep of the avenue, I break lingering on the absurd encounter, grasp duty and returned inside.
Thoughtful over healing the structure, I turned for the walk-up portal. Entering the juxtaposed doorway to the Belle Epoque, where daylight at either tunneling extreme nods off sprawling to die on the floor. I headed off toward the rear. Seizing up the successive interleading doorways. Referencing short of the room in the wake of the day under the skylight, where workmen chipped off plaster and vacated the bleak building entrails of raw bricks. On hold for an alchemic to sample the meshed spores, which at the grip of the brick, apparently nourished off the mortar beds and header joints. Ingurgitating chunks of wall, in an aging body, porosity of a terminal life at liberating the latent spirit of the previous owner. The belle Epoque porous intoxication permeating to the rear walls of the offset rooms. The trail of dry rot missed jumping across the night-hall doorways, traced to a subtle underfloor branching, equaling above the ceiling ever so invasive, and dispersing as to engage workmen in dismantling the master bedroom.
Spirit busters in space-suits spray lethal chemicals over the infested zones, timely offset in the aftermath. Adam’s hands shake out paper bags the gypsum to water whirring a motor, to a dough making sound, a contemporary mixture. With a plaster trowel I spread the past on the wall. Drawing-up by straightedge. Cutting with a spatula, and floating to a felt, steel troweling smooth, and leaving the wall stealthy healing beneath.
Adam leading the demolishing, strip the platform roof open to the sky, the partition and the window to a skeletal bare room. Hands at carpentry, and assisted, I re-structured the roof, to dwell over the master bedroom remainder floorboards after a surgical intervention. Forgotten the breathe of the walls in hibernation, osmotic slow and timely, when the least expected spurs the ill-willed zombie prickling the nostrils.
In essence unrelated rotting in the spirit of ancient backyard toilet, which evolved at bringing hygienic facilities in house. The clumsy partitioned off room along the rear window, left the traces of steam seeped, crackling a blistery paint. In a muddle over the floorboards that bear the traces of the seat shaped tub, which faced at extremes the water closet in it proper state of decomposition, hence the effluent surface lead piping, which son and father high on an extended two floor up ladder, ended stripping and passing down along the exterior facade ending with the bashed up downpipes to pile up in the back yard.
Across the black granite night-hall, quasi on hands and knees, an avatar tiles his way through to the feet warming bathroom floor. Outlined and apart from the mezzanine above, in a staggering ablution block of stifled daylight. Driving from the industrial zone of Hasselt, the avatar glazer by a suction of padded hands, cornered out two mirrors. Reflecting across the quarter round bathtub in a white scintillation from the chain of embedded heavenly spotlights. One’s proper entry ghosting the avatar busters through the door abreast in the phases of occupancy the far portion of the vanity cabinet, and fully disclosing the water closet. Picturing in the juxtaposed mirror, the lead-glass that fakes a featured little twin windows, and yet the other end, ending the white marble vanity slab, which at the hand taps water circulates the siphons in stealth and gravitating the waste to the core of the service shaft.
In the wake of Teddy portraying, proclaiming without a qualm, not paying alimony for his son. He expressed, “[French] I go to the North,” the red-lantern district, and raised suspicion after having said, “[French] I’m fishing back home.” Basha stands in retrieve of a workforce crowded in the midst of the interleading doorway, a skylight haze combined with the rear outsized portal daylight, to a lie of sandpapering dust. For he failed to seduce Basha, brought in competing in a flimsy silky dress, a Cinderella amongst a Polish crew in dusty work clothes. The wrangle swiftly resolved through Teddy negotiating with a union leadership with me, begrudging Basha policing the crew. In the aftermath, while hours on end, at length of days, the women herding, Christina, sisters in jeans by the cans on the floor. They brushed gel on the paint, and Basha repeatedly remind Martine, “[French] Teddy is lazy — He doesn’t work.” I granted an opportunistic machismo, such as Cinderella with hands too delicate to hold a paint scraping tool, strip the paint of a century of applied coats up to bare wood grains. Her fine fingers too soft at sanding the wooden doors along the trims of the beveled small panes. After pay day, angelic swift as she appeared, she failed to return, as a crystal palace revived from the tenebrae by a checkered mosaic of movements in view through the successive three-fold of interleading doorways.
On a visit at the wallpaper and paint store, Martine returned sprightly imaginative over a white and canary yellow combination. Living in her shadow, Jean-François Smeets trespasses, the gills of dry rot found of late in hiding underneath the threshold, which edges the outside white marble landing the indoor floorboards. Stepping across alluding to a Mafiosi figure, across the contained destructive spores inside the wooden floor structure, a serving of the widow. With a profusion hold of Mariette Somers as financial consultant, diverting her wealth through an assured stride. He hurts sight through the lattice of a supportive working platform in a room draped with transparent protective plastic sheeting over the finished woodwork. Stopping short of the trundling scaffold tower in the middle of the room, rolls eyeballs, lifts his head, entering a toady eye exchange with ‘Michelangelo.’ there, Teddy distractive high. Where, earlier I climb and joined him, paint roller idle in the liquid yellow of the tray, at finishing across the flash ceiling surface. I brought him a helping hand, repair the sculptured cornice, together with a ceiling rosette, for him bound to finish in a decorative white. Now, in my leaving stride, Teddy turned away from Smeets, protesting from above, “[French] Painting the ceilings take too much time. I need help to finish the job quicker.” I refrained from thinking, ‘patience for detail,’ and behind me called, “Valdek!” at his presence by my side, I ordered the stubby workhorse to join Teddy.
I grew conscious intrusive in the lives of our neighbors, living at the other end of the party wall, bringing to mind, ash blond, a shingle hairstyle, beautiful and rather petite, when I found myself synchronized in an emerging step and greeting eyes with the woman next door at number 17. Lovable, Dominique crosses the wide blacktop avenue toward the thicket hedged of the park, returning my regards. She approaches the cars in an exchange of glimpses. Pausing between bumpers fetches her car, that lined the curb along the yellow gritty sidewalk. To my surprise continuing glancing over from underneath the tailgate. With a hand she brings down the back door. Coming around the car. Stepping into the driver’s seat, and pull off. Heading downward picturing in the driver’s window takes her glance away, as I drove off heading up the avenue. Affording her husband a brief thought, the day having inviting Martine over, which led onto sharing an evening together over a spree of musical blues –.
Conscious of her hues of Virgo kindness itself, at living by the hammer holing out the brickwork at either sides of the chimney. The work proceeded with a hole at the living room interleading casements nib of a wall, which kept ongoing at the kitchen doorway. The banging quietened inserting a hanger metal I-beam onto caulking the ends by a ‘dry mortar,’ and timely moving in, workmen vacated as we took possession of the apartment. My impatience lingered on, to get over with the joinery of column-boxes suspended from near the ceiling, matching the chimney depth, and shallow at the interleading doorway nib. To find myself urging late into the night, whining and whirring an electric router at hand finishing off. By the nights, I grew to feel sorry, to a forceful thought. Pitying the couple with two small daughters bearing me out, urging me into taking a break before the hour strikes ten o’clock. The evening quietened down grafting with hand tools the flat slotted strips, to the occasional whining of screws in the wooden side panels, repetitive in each of the combined box at either side of the brown mantel piece. Silence returned deep in the night, hand fitting the sprockets, staggered adjustable shelves, and missed the chance to apologize, when the thought arises stacking Martine’s collection of books.
Soul of a lawyer
After a morning meeting with workmen in the cellar, over ‘level +1’ scheduled to start with avatar busters renovating the vacated floor. I armed Adam with a sledgehammer, and called him along up the stairway. We entered the apartment, to stand facing the lateral wall, surveying for what it reserved in its guts, and said to the Polish youngster, “[French] I’ll show you how to bring down walls on a suspended floor!” He handed me the sledgehammer, and with the grip of the handle and hammer thrower discipline I sling the head over my shoulder. Coming down with a golf driver swing, I feel a mis-struck shot. At skirting height repeating a dampen plaster bounce. With a relief stretch sensation along my spine, a buffer bounce through crumbling to a puff of dust a brick to light from the room behind the wall. Smoking out along the floor a slit of light toward the front, then toward the stairwell. To my sportive regret, I handed over Adam to pound a symmetric triangular opening, repeating, “[French] Keep you eyes on the angles of the wall in the corners!”
Through the cleft in his mouth, Adam lisped saying in a tone of voice, “[French] Yes” — ‘I’ll try my best!’
The rubble piled up to an effective shock absorber system, while above the wall is been hammered to bring the middle to shear, and dislocate the top angle walls rolling down to lie and slide down the heap. The quasi staggered vestibule vanished conceding to the street front window daylight poured in an exchange with the bay window. From a settling dust airing a new living room, mirage the hearth of home from a traditional fireplace on stand by, while alongside standing back in resignation through a pair of doors the tenebrific middle room. I coughed my lungs out, and said pointing eyes to the floor above, “[French] When the Fat people have left — next in turn!” abrupt given to take conscious of the scene, the chunks of wall, and one man’s struggle to shovel rubble in bags. Piggyback down to the basement. In time at loading through the half-height window into a container parked in the avenue. I said, “[French] Adam! You are going to fetch Basha’s husband to help you clear this rubble.”
Martine shadow out through the Belle Epoque landing portal, and distractive, in a glimpse from the wake of the floor-through lights. I watched from my desk under the skylight her evanescent ghostly routine gait, at catching her last trailing words. The study in a changing daylight no sooner recollecting, wondering, ‘Where is she off to?’ Be it on Thursday with a glimpse over my laptop from faxing the bank a summary of the wages for collection of the cash the next day. Ending a wagging doubt, pulling down the Toshiba screen, hiding the nightmarish recurrent reality of a spreadsheet, after plugging in workers’ clocked in and out times for the days of the past week.
Comes Friday wearing denims, and ever more often shedding my blues. By afternoon, I returned from the Charles Woeste branch of the General de Banque across the city with the cash. Sitting at my desk, stacking individual package of money. Scrawling names on envelopes, and slip banknote inside, I returned in an anticipatory routine for the field office by late afternoon. Descending the flight of stairs to the basement, I held my step in retort at the stairs to the cellar. A crew dissonant of finishing earlier on payday, the posted blueprints and progress charts on the walls ignored, as workmen scatters about the tool storage, the adjacent laundry, cheerful changing into city clothes. In front of me treading down, the stairway airs through open risers an unusual commotion of gathered men. at the bottom newel, as I swirl around the post to a workforce packed underneath the new red wood staircase, in going home freeze in time. a riposting glare. expressing in a unified gloom, from which milieu emerged a speaker, taken by surprised by the men’s sudden silence.
“[French] What is going on,” I exclaimed, feeling amongst the trespassed stranger, my landing in a snake pit. Recollecting, he who dubbed himself as “Flores,” and the estranged little figure seen in the vicinity on consecutive Fridays. He ignored his trespassed presence, taken in by his preoccupation with the close circle of men’s regard telling me, ‘Need you ask?’
On the quiet, I sought an answer from Teddy obvious in the leading of the argument. Nothing forthcoming, I called at reviving the cheers in Adam, who shrugged his shoulders. Radek’s evasive glimpse shifted the clarifying fall out. In a shield of exploits, I shifted sight onto Valdek, who gestures in substitution an echo in his silence, ‘I was an office manager in Poland under the communist regime.’ Caesar, the son and Andre the father, they eclipsed, onto emerging a secretive pact over the torture of their labor. Instinctive unsettling points out an extortionist, taking in his stride the threats of reprisal, as he heads off for the newel post. Regret in his eyes, and unrelentless stalking behind, and as he moves around with a body twists through a reluctant gait at threading up the stairs to vanish.
I moved in the tracks of an evanescent panderer, and lost him in my thoughts, distracted by the entrance to the basement apartment. My mind infiltrated a rear room, to the space dedicated at reprocessing doors. A workshop to a door lies on a pair of steel trestles. Ghostly Valdek at the gruesome task of acid washing. Scrubbing the blistery coats of paint. at length of time bend over a vintage door, stripping until bare to the wood grain, onto hosing the door down with clear water, to lift to stand up against the party wall stored by size –.
There, calling to mind, the glass factory in Hasselt, which undertook the restoration of the stained glass panels, which Adam and I, removed in the light of certain doors, and diligent packaged the opalescent glass, dispatched, wondering, ‘When will the factory remove the temporary glazing, and returned the restoring stained glass?’
In fear of these lead glass panels in a technical keep, while anxious to see the opalescent glass take their place to the portal of the Belle Epoque landing. Entering, I ahead for the skylight light over my desk. I moved around to stand by, watching down the tunneling space in my wake the undermining shadow of Smeets. In the sly he made his entry with a six-packs of beer at hand. Walking up to the table a secret mission, he places the pack in a precise spot across the wide spread fresh tablecloths. Given Martine’s touch of a dual large underlayer against a contrasting smaller top, by an evanescent ghost, which flair Basha’s housekeeping presence.
“[French] The men deserve a refreshment after a week’s hard work,” Smeets drummed in my head, censoring a volatilizing culture. Turning the incident into a weekly frustration, stone deaf to my growing objection, bringing a tenebrific infiltration in the hearth of home as daylight wanes behind me on the horizon. I pictured Teddy trailing the familiar faces up from the cellar, to stand in the shadow of the Belle Epoque landing on the flight of stairs without showing face, an instant coinciding with Martine’s appearance. She walks up to me by the kitchen, to pace roundabout my desk. Rubbing of her prolonged absence against me, she says, “Oh! We just had such a lovely lunch.” sprightly she returns heels over toes, paused stretching on the ball of the feet up to reach in a kitchen cupboard, while behind her, Smeets unbuttoned his long brown coat, which he hung over a chair backrest by the entrance and lifted his Tweed Cap which he placed on the seat. Martine brings up to the dining table a bottle of red Porto, as I snub the ritual, onto breaking a monomaniac behavior, thoughtful, ‘What does [me as] a foreigner know?’
Smeets with the knack of passing the word at inviting the Polish crew, sets men in the shadows of the stairwell. Their body perfume lingering from the tail of the crew snaky on the sly up the stairs to the head.
When Smeets stands back moving in line of the opening door, inside the room holding aside the brass Cupid lever, Teddy rises to light. Each man saluted under the blind grapes of ceiling height spotlights projecting a search beams, dabs the library wall, other set on the dining table. With a toady exchange of smiles, the men work their way past the backrests of chairs to stand cornered at the extreme head of the table by the kitchen wing of cupboard doors.
Smeets closes the door on the last man, and from an earlier ritual, takes a bottle from the pack, uncaps, and hands out one after the other, bid the reticent men to sit. He pours himself a glass, and allows to guffaw the exploits around immigrants, humble gaze of men sitting at arm’s length from the beige-yellow, over the white tablecloth. Their latent sticky workday grit from soiling ‘the mistress of the house.’
In an embracing moved by Basha, her eyes spoke up for some, and all of them, ‘You’re stealing away your work!’ taking a stand, distant and watchful behind, seeing the parade of her people. She abstains, frowning Teddy in the neck, regurgitating dissonant echoes, saying, “[French] My money goes to my wife and children in Poland.” I wasn’t inclined to join in, taking a hold of the backrest of a chair at the opposite head of the table. Seeing the men’s eyes on the loose over the beer wrapping, I moved on stretching an arm and hand out the name scrawled white envelope.
The Cat in symbiosis with the Aries, without a qualm stood up earlier, a bloated chest, urging the men to finish their drinks, leading them on their way toward the exit door.
Thereon a trickster scene, Teddy backs up from the door, Cupid at hand. Under the scrupulous gaze of Smeets, the flock of men pause the parade out, turning heads away from a clear exit. Eyes on Smeets’ hand, which slips in his large trousers back pocket, bringing to light a double folded wad of cash. In the palm of his hand exhibits the hues of a large denomination of Belgian francs. Fingers the corner he peels a worn ten thousand banknote, exposing another and plays on a pause flipping between the two of them, holding short of exposing the worthless hidden bank bills that makes the bulk in the middle, while enticing greedy watchful eyes.
With a careful rehearsal bank teller’s clipped fingers, Smeets hands out, last, feeding Teddy’s envious leap of the eyes, to a croak, repeating, “[French] thank you!”
“[French] You did a good job!” said Smeets for each of the men’s rolling eyeballs. In an apologetic tone of voice added, “[French] I have nothing smaller [than a five thousand bill,]” fumbling the corner between his fingers, insinuating, ‘a ten thousand bills might be an exaggeration for now,’ though asking, “[French] Will that do?”
“[French] Yes Sir!” Teddy answered, as I stand in retrieve at the dressed table, watchful in the wake of men out of themselves for the undue generosity, which sinks their weight as a workforce to heart. Smeets thrives in Martine’s shadow to echo his distant words, ‘All men are bought!’ the last of the men closed the door, and at loss of diplomacy, I confronted the egghead, saying in a curt tone of voice, “[French] You are undermining the progress of the work!”
“[French] No! How can that be — The men need an incentive to work?” Smeets purred in reply.
“[French] Right!“ I said, angry that neither Martine awakes to my plea, raffling me off, saying to her, “[Your] ‘Uncle’ is making this ritual, the rule.”
Wondering over a crew late for work, I then had dressed, came out the bedroom, had breakfast to a lingering wondering idle on standby impatience mounting. Stepping off through a tunneling view of interleading doorways to the French-Doors. Thoughtful pulling down the cremone bolt, symbolic rolling the sticky interlocking stiles releasing in front of me the golden oak grain of the glazed pair of doors. Breathing a waft of air from the park across the avenue, I stand leaning against the wrought-iron railing a glance down the hollows of the avenue. No sooner withdrew sight from the vacant bus shelter, which in diagonal and in the hollow of the thicket run, was backstage to a pool of lawn tending to draw police identities checks at the hour of working commuters. The agitation surged instead in the blind angle to the neighbor’s house. Scattered men regrouped, a ghostly coming out the shadow of a parked car. Men abreast, stunning and timely dissonant, heading up the sidewalk picturing ducktail coifs, pacing up the sidewalk on the way for a night out in a nearby disco. Sportive in their shirts, raised collar, loose tie knots, open breast jackets, on a pair of long pleated pants, in reality I was seeing ‘beaming faces?’
A little frail figure jumps in the lot, and turns onto leading the group, I seized Basha‘s husband and my workforce teamed repetitive glimpses unveil ‘taxiing’ a ride. Following their glances pointing across the apron amidst the curb lined overnight cars. Let him ghost, a gait from the driver’s seat, and roundabout marvel his acquisition over a childhood deprived toy.
The men in a life changing excitement echoed louder, as I am left transparent high on the balcony, in spite my left hand resting on the railing, and that in the angle beneath, each of the men clocks in, by the chime of the metallic plate that sealed the coal shoot. After the last of the men, I too retired inside. Thoughtful both hands bringing the door leaves to a close, pricking ears on a resonant marble of the movement through the adjacent vestibule. The wall muffling their boisterous stomping meddling a return of normal voices onto the walk-up. Changing to crystal clear Indian file their passage by the portal, I miss on greet them. Returning a blend of trample and voices fading away the stairwell down. Lagging behind, given time, I descend into the inestimable recovered hellhole, walls glow a refracting fluorescent lighting, catching up with the men changing in working clothes.
Destined for ‘an eye for an eye’ retaliatory justice, Basha turned up later, bringing her toddler boy by. quiet over her alcoholic husband, the blues of fear in her eyes, by his threats at reporting her to the immigration authorities. By ten o’clock, taken for granted the spread of worker through the house. Incidental by the sinuous flight, I approached the French doors detecting the little lean figure, in the midst of curb lined cars in the shadow of a raised hood. As I wondered, distracted by a sluggish police car. The avenue reflective in the glazing, three of the four insiders, eyes prowling, heads rolling, the officers crawl by sight around the raised hood. Two officers crank down their window, with a questioning intrigue, the little frail figure looks over, and jumps out the shadow. Without a qualm, the officers let him flit, as he disappears in a nearby doorway.
The sound of breaking radio voices awakes the peaceful avenue, until afar the sirens rise from the distant stifling ray of streets. Aloft the echo off the rows of townhouses dissipating to single out aniconic a traffic approach. To sight suscitated out of the blacktop, a deep blue special force vehicle crossing over Rochefort Square. Trailing a winding down dying wailing to the deep purr of a motor moving up the avenue. Standstill by the police car in the middle of the road, a squad of men in bulletproof outfits with machine guns jumped to the street. The squad heads off approaching. Signaling a code through the coal shoot, while disappearing beneath from my angle of view.
At the underground distribution nerve, where the thick load bearing wall infringes the habitable space, providing sufficient shaft space to channel a dual exhaust duct looping boiler stacks through the roof. Gather from the attic the effluent pipe to run along, divert beneath the vestibule toward the front, out into the infrastructure. There, as I said to Rudy on his first day of work, “[French] We need to excavate this space!” Teddy envisaged the correlated turn-up of Basha’s husband as the normal intrusions. The avenue provided. Ghostly in the wake of Rudie, such as a registered electrician threaded a three phase electrical cable through the street front wall indoor. Emancipating at the end of the six meters espousing the ’13’ party wall the soul on each floor their labor. Alongside the coal shoot, a provisional conduits sticks out the wall for a television cable. Toward surface boxes, run a meager telephone cable, alongside the intercom distribution box. Such latent intrusions of a communication system, raised apprehensive over Teddy the sudden turn of Basha’s husband, as a water pipe branched meters on the opposite wall are inoffensive, until sighted above the ingenuous black pipe feeders to a symmetric series of gas meters, raise an explosive awareness, for the few men without issue. The glare of a stowaway in a breathtaking instance, inflamed suspicion of fallen prey. Teddy question the synchronized activity and far outreaching consequences, he called out at Basha’s husband for an answer, “[French] What have you done — What’s going on upstairs?
Noisy boots stomped through the vestibule, onto storming boisterous to echo the staggering hollow wooden staircases. Raiding upstairs doorways, muffling the blustery noise, suffocating, appeasing the agitation on the floors. Engineered to the test. At such moments ghosting in the street the compressor truck, which pumped through a leading wrist size ringed pipe flocks to egress in a grid of ceilings drilled holes. A fleecy compression felting out the hollows of the floor joists, at nestling to the room the sixth sense to the living souls.
Addressing to emblematic rhyme ‘[Avenue Queen Marie] Henriette,’ and sporadic in her gait to the scene, by the presence of ‘Mariette [Somers.]’ Martine in a flamboyant spendthrift morning, returns in a breach of the bewildered agitation in the stairwell. Coincidental, turns around posing a six-stack shoeboxes in Smeets’ hands, exchanging a symbolic possession of the townhouse. Sprightly, with her hand fumbling for the master key in her handbag. Opening the door, with a twist of her figure and arms turn taking the shoeboxes back, onto wiggling elbows spread her way past the door inside the apartment. There, she leaves me in a transparent straight on the alert poise, to watch her passage. Taking distance through successive interleading doorways tunneling for the daylight in the back. In a right sweep, swing her body for the wing door, vanishing, to picturing her in the night hall.
Relative hyperacusic, my ears pricked, I followed through hush pockets a muffled recourse of events upstairs, while watching Martine’ sporadic return, in the brief silence of a sown confusion. Soft fettered footsteps emanating submissive and peaceful at the lead, and backed up, of a stampings pair with accompanying voices, which echoes a return from the height by the attic down the building entrails. When, a similar foot hustling plunged my mind picturing, hence, the hell hole. Keeping a camaraderie to fear, during a morning break. Alert and dead silence to a tenebrific fetch, destined to bring out men from their hideout, at the sound of footsteps on the rise, in the shadow of the mind, up the staircases.
In the light of the door, the man in Martine’s shadow, drops the body language implying ‘I’m a Business manager‘ to a hesitant baffled expression. Smeets turns a peering eyes over his left shoulder. Eye catching along with the gleam off the blind clustered spotlights, the shine and shadow of oak balusters on the rise. He weaves sight up the leading handrail along the evanescent wainscot run taking an acute turn to an alarming incomprehension. Stamping a tumbling cascade seized him timely with an eye popping stare into a World War II scene as a young commanding officer. The living fright of the surprise in his eyes fell out to light at the first man in a dark special task force outfit of the intervention squad. At the illusion of his unit of soldiers, seeing himself in a German town with facing an Industrial Revolution Buildings. His mind gave me a trail to a bird’-eye vision over the street scene, staged before I was born. With sight of him watchful in the middle of an intersection, at the instant he gave the order to a hail grenades down a series of egress windows, the basement to flashes of fire, smoking out the scream of families, which had sought shelter from the advancing allied bombardments.
Smeets carried the war weight shuffling his big feet around, facing the men of the task force, trickling from the blitz in reality Polish men macerated expression over their fate, Watched unheeding flitting men, to whom he repeated, “[French] they’re only earning a living [give them a break!]” His commands ignored, brings home reshaped a phantasmagoric genie at sight of the silhouetting figures moving in the light of the street through the vestibule out.
In a returned calm, I retrieved to the open French-doors at seeing on the nearby sidewalk,Rudy ghostly saddling his rusted bicycle, wheeling evanescent spokes, and without the squeal of the chain, riding by the front of the police car, and off behind the task force vehicle kept a lingering smirky glance at the rounded-up men to read, ‘Well done for you bunch!’ the search of hand pursued fumbling trousers pockets. Keeping in check identification. When from the midst of the group in a pushed questioning, the prolonged camaraderie fissured, and reluctant Basha’s husband steps forward. The group of men reshuffles, leaving behind the stolen car, while escorted into the Anti-Riot vehicle. the avenue ran deserted.
To the police car that pulled off and moved straight by, and without looming in mind the highly publicized illegal immigration deportation, inflicting penalties on employers, the task force vehicle which turned in a wide circle and down the avenue disappears into traffic across the square, returned the avenue to the calm of the park. I close the French doors to a heel-over-toe move and sight in the light at the end of the tunneling rooms, Martine gesturing under the wings of a veil, arabesque in an ochre dress, urging me on, by her insouciant calls, “Come and see what I got?” I approached, protest her insisting, persistent dramatic scene silent in a lagging step. Leading with head shifts, with the flit of glimpses over her left shoulder, hooks a look at the doorway into the night hall, and disappears.
Zigzagging my way through the wing, I stepped into the bedroom finding Martine marks at the foot of the baldaquin bed the shoeboxes placed in a row on the floor along the wall. Stupefied by her blithe over the boxes, and weary by the uncovered fluorescent blue glow in the far right. Her gaze stealing approval, and not forthcoming, softens her eyes, styling me over. With the pick of the lid, rhymes with a glamor eyes glare Eeny Meeny Miny Mo, “Green, Red…” To step in the red pair. She leaves the room and confront the full door-length mirror in the night hall. In a flutter of arms returns to the shoeboxes. Bends over waning the joy in her voice a peeking disappointment under the lids to the last box again, settling for what she wears, saying, “maybe with these” — ‘they go together with my outfit?’
Over time crossing Mr. Laureys in an exchange of friendly greetings on the sidewalk as we stepped to-and-fro our mutual vehicles parked along the curb. I noticed the cheerful withering expression flawed to a plastic grin. Sight retrieving into the gloom of the eyes, and definite by his wife sulking me in the face. His girls partake an awry enmity of avoidant looks, duped by a lawyer’s letter dropped in our mailbox, a swindle at number 13 daren’t exerted with our previous owner.
Martine marked the looming library, as she sits leaned forward, broody, elbows on the dining table with her head in puffs of smoke signals, derived from thoughtful impatient draws of the cigarette at hand, and visibly forging a glowing arrow pointing responsibilities outward –.
I stood by across the table pondering over, the childish slender sapling, which made a way to sight, in clearing the derelict cumbersome trash. The sapling stands emerged from mowed grass, beyond the erect wing pergolas post to ivies taking root. Grown slender in their species with spring leaves seeking light, peaceful by the cradle of a brick century old Terra cotta walls. Erroneous having taken root against the number 13 party wall deep in the back courtyard corner. told by an injunction that the squatty roots are responsible for wrecking the neighbor’s photographic studio.
I interrupted Martine distant in thoughts, asking, “Don’t you have legal connections?”
“No.” Martine replied off the cuff, off the tease, preening her out of college job by Adriaan Wolters’ office, echoing her words, ‘the firm of eccentric lawyers!’
Finding myself in a legal riddle with the sly photographer, by the vacuum of my presence, handing over Martine to receive on my behalf, an insurance claim form, ‘in good faith’ Mister Laureys’ words were going to tell me.
The plight of an innocent sapling at stake, I traced Martine’s ghostly moves across the brown marble mantelpiece in a roundabout move of the table to the intercom. Welcoming Laureys into the apartment. After the visit, she closes the door and turns her back on the visitor, to sight Martine in an emergent mirage passing by her antique chest of drawers returning to her seat. Spotting by a sweep of her hand the evanescent double folded sheets of paper nodding down from touching the marble top. At finding the exact spot. By the specter of time beneath the bottom shelf of the suspended library, then a standby writing space, or again a reading shelf left on the page books, littering a cumulating brochure mania. A paraphernalia of literature left to Basha blustery quadrupling hand sweeps. She flairs a restoring respectability, by images, shapes, book sizes finding a place, bar a few curio left for the decor. I couldn’t knit a communication with her, over defining the volatilized form. I went on seeking in the most improbable hiding places, abandoning right of the open hearth, going through Martine’s period bureau, in vain.
By the sulfuric neighbor, avenging an insurance claim, in turn, I ordered the sapling be uprooted, ready for the day in the twin lights of the glazed street door. In additional to the claimant, a six men drove in dark suit, jacket, white shirt and tie, show on the public sidewalk. Insisting by decree of adult experts, and counter expertise and lawyers at being invited. I opened the door to an invasive bustling movement. Climbing a stampede through the entrails bringing the building to trembled up to the attic. Ill at ease with the crowd in confinement, the motto of the spell rhymed to mind, ‘what you do onto other will be done onto you.’ I couldn’t find the serious at testifying over the frivolous in plight over a dismantled toilet, quibbling and counter arguing in the absence of proof, while I had knowledge about the shower, and whiteout kitchen in sight, in the aftermath of occupying the attic. Decisive, the throng descends to the basement moving through a dark tunneling way emerging at the rear in daylight. I mourned the sapling ghostly in the yard, failed reaching maturity, while given the opportunity for men to gaze, surveyed, bickering over a pencil drawn fissure without respect for the old age of the wall.
The crowd spread across the width of the sidewalk, onto squeezing through the next door number ’13’ door and up the stairway to the bedroom. Eight pairs of eyes peering at a damp stain on the party wall, which tour ended downstairs, for a round table meeting, and taking chairs, Mr. Laureys turns to me. He say, “[French] But I gave you the forms to complete and return to me?”
“[French] You never gave me any forms,” I argued. Laureys ceased his prayers, misguided, a destined monomaniac volition, perceptive, nestling a daughter’s cosmic cradle.