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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 5 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 5
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-05-22 09:08:35
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5. The make-up

Fine, fine; I’m a lazy bastard but I had nothing better to do that morning so I decided to treat my self a second cappuccino and a nice cinnamon ban The ones I really love and in this specific café they make oversize enough to feed two or one in my size! The cue was long and that gave me the chance to notice the people around me but the one who definitely attracted all my attention was the woman behind the serving bench. Of course this was not the first time I saw her but today she had something …something overly shining on her, something …that made a clown look natural! The woman had so much makeup on that made it look like plaster.


Fine, I know that men are over reacting to make up and that’s mainly because men have no idea about make up. Most men say that they prefer women without make up and I think I have said that before but they never actually seen a woman without make up. They have no idea how they look like and if by accident early in the morning they manage to see a woman without make up and they actually realize it they really freak out. Men also have no idea what heavy or light make up means, so ladies you can put on as much make up you like, we have no idea and you can persuade us that you are natural; we are ready to believe anything.

Now having said that you can imagine how heavy the make up on this woman was. And it was not just the heavy make up that gave a strange light to her face; it was all the jewellery as well. There was a different ring in every single finger. Blue, green, red and yellow rocks in various sizes and shapes and then it was the nails. Bright red and really long. Made me wander how she could handle the spatula and the rest of the tools she had to work with. And without leaving her hands a bit higher on her wrists there were tens of bracelets and wristlets in different shapes, materials and with different rocks. I mean the woman obviously had a plan; she was probably after a very important date or something but god how she could carry all this weight in her hands? When it came my turn it was her who was going to serve me. It wasn’t the first time we met on the two sides of this bench so she gave me a look and a smile; I pointed the cinnamon bans and asked for a cappuccino. She gave me another ice cold smile and turned to the cappuccino machine to prepare my coffee making me wander if she had a plastic surgery as well.

And I had to look. Please don’t smile but I had to check what she was wearing! I could see the white blouse and the thick black belt, the top of her jeans but I had to see the shoes!!! Red high heels! Oh man, I was ready to fall on the floor laughing! I took my coffee; put it on the tray next to the cinnamon ban and paid the bill. I couldn’t take my eyes from her and I was sure that the thought of me as some kind of pervert. Well, I was hoping not since I was planning to come back again. So I return to my place, I turned on my digital book and tried to disappear in the story I was reading. When some kind of movement started from the serving bench side, not a big one but enough to make you notice it. A man on wheel chair was talking or trying to talk with the blonde with the heavy make up and it was all a bit loud and the man was heavily moving his hands on the air.

Everybody seemed to look the same direction until suddenly all the commotion stopped and the woman smiled at the man giving a hard look at the rest of us who returned to our coffees and bans and then she started doing something behind the bench. I couldn’t stop watching. Then she came from the other side, near the man on the wheelchair and took the wallet he was holding careful in his hands. She went back again; obviously using a credit card from the wallet paid the bill and then came back with a small tray that had a cup of coffee or tea and a cake, obviously chocolate cake with a lot of cream on the top. Carrying the tray she accompanied him to a table he chosen and after making sure that he had settled and he was ready, using a small knife she cut the cake into small pieces and to my surprise she helped him eat. The most amazing thing was her smile. When she looked at the handicap man she had one of the wormer smiles I had ever seen, it was like a mother’s smile. I just couldn’t take my eyes away from them. She was waiting for him to finish and then after wiping his mouth slowly with a white napkin she was helping him with the next one. Here and then the man with a great effect and hands flying to every direction, he was getting closer the table and zip some of his drink with the help of a blue straw she had added. It was an amazing picture and suddenly it was like all that make up had been a clown’s mask and behind it was a very sad face in tears.

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned it but I have issues with clowns and anybody who’s wearing some kind of mask. Psychologists call it phobia and it is quite strong, when somebody with a mask comes near me I get panic attacks that can turn really serious and imagine how bad it was when I lived in Greece because there is a festival, carnival always sometime around February when people dress up and going around the streets wearing masks and making jokes to each others. These carnival weekends were like a nightmare for me when I was a kid and for some reason I never got over it. But this was a different way to look at a mask and especially seeing what there was behind this thick mask.

The cake was over, the woman wiped once more his mouth and then touching softly his arm she returned behind the serving bench without saying another word to continue her work. Back to the make up mask and the cold smile. I stood up, put my book in my bag, zipped my jacket and I went out of the café. I didn’t want to see anything more; I just wanted to keep the picture and the smile I had been watching before. Of course my old habit followed me and the first thing I did when I found my self out of the mall was to light a cigarette.



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