Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Bottle

Perfume boxes towering inside the shop. One on top of another. Two tone turquoise gold and blue-silver. Metalic sheen in the textured fold of individual boxes. Delicately coursing skywards, spread wide and seperated out at the base where length-wise other boxes straddle them and as the placement continues, further and further they become taller and narrower. The final two or three of them stand uppermost nearly
at the top end of the window- singular.

Past the window there's a counter behind of which are rows and rows of these coloured sheen surfaces. Panels that stretch for some distance then give way to other panels. The Purples, the greens, turquise and reds. Even some pinks that blink on-off between their colour and another. There's an orange section at the far corner deeply engrained with brown inscription on each compartmentalised block, lying head to head.

A man takes down a box, places it on the counter and with the other hand lifts up the lid. He slips out the glass bottle, holds up the pale liquid above his head to the window, then swivels and brings it down very lightly into the hand of the woman standing on the other side. He goes round to join her. She takes the bottle in her hand, presses her finger down on the white spray button so that the fine mesh of particles reach across the revealed vein of her extended wrist. She brings the wrist up to her neck, turns her head slightly to reveal brown hair that precludes her face, and smells.

The man stands back, composed and still. His lips never move. He does not so much watch the woman as trace the vapour as if listening to its widening exposure. When at last the woman hands back the bottle to the man, before he puts it back into it's box he does something. He sprays it infront and around of his face several times. His arms are fleshy and full- white with a propensity of dark hair just below the rolled up shirt sleeves. The woman is half turned away when he does this but her head adjusts moments before the bottle is put back into that box. The lid flap is tucked under. The man now has his hand lightly on the top of the box as if the box and not the counter supported him. He is talking to the woman. With both hands he now lifts the box up infront of his chest placing it carefully up there, in that vacuum that was first left when he took the box down from the shelf. The woman watches. It happens over some time.

Over to the other side of the shop and all the way through the back of the shop there are rows and rows of bottles up upon the shelves, boxes of cigarettes below. Sweets and confectionary extend from a rack out front. To one side there is another rack extending from the floor with a selection of salted crisps. The man behind the counter is swaddled in his merchandise. Customers; hard men over from the betting shop or younger men with some money buying in bulk, come over in ones and twos to buy the merchandise.
To make a bit of extra cash the shop-keeper leases out a counter that he doesn't have to use and the two arching windows.

The other window is taken up with a trader who sells small digital devices; watches, clocks, mobiles, batteries, computer gadjects, that kind of stuff. He prefers to work outside directly in front of the window which has been adapted, the elaborate bay glass window flattended to provide him with a small protected enclave off from the main street. The window that he now occupies is the twin to the other with the perfume merchandise. The doorway is an indentation that runs between the two.

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