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Gabbi WernerGirl Friday – the Book of Bad 13. Club Exclusive

Von | 05.07.2013, 9:34 | Kein Kommentar

It is a sad day when punks and hippies get along well. That day, an old woman walked to our door and rang the bell …

Welcome. To the stories I told in many hotelrooms. To a man who had trouble falling asleep. A business deal, men usually pay for different services in hotelrooms. He just paid for my words. Here they are.


„The story“, I said to R., „is titled Club Exclusive. I was living in this house, with punks and hippies. We did not get along well. With the exception of one afternoon – that, oh, that was a sad day in a way. It must have been about one in the afternoon, early spring, but not a particularly nice and sunny day, more of the murky grey kind.  A day that doesn’t want to be remembered, so it hides behind the clouds.

Now imagine that  cloudy grey on a woman’s coat. And the same mousy hue, only with a slight touch of iridescent blue, for this woman´s hair. The colour of her skin is just as ashen as her outfit and hairdo. She looks as if she herself was washed too long in too high a temperature.

Notice, from your bedroom window, as I did that afternoon, this woman walking to your door and ring the doorbell.

I went down and answered the door. The woman did not introduce herself. She said hello and I helloed back. She started to delve deep into her handbag and took out a black and white photograph of a man.

The woman held it out to me with a very knowing look on her face, as if I got the picture just by looking at it.

At first I thought that she might be a member of some kind of religious cult, trying to get money off me or to get me to one of their salvatory meetings, , I was ready to close the door on her.

But then she asked me a question. She asked me if I had seen the man. Now, he was a man that you would never notice. Cheerless and completely identical to all the other office nestlers our city seemed to harbour in the millions. Therefore: no, I had never seen him.  She was not in the least deterred by this, and pointed at a Datsun that was parked five meters next-door. „That is his car“, she said, as if that finally explained everything, I felt she became a bit impatient by my lack of understanding the ever so obvious.

„I know he is in there“, she said. And then it started to dawn on me. Although she was standing with her back to the building across the street, I realised.

We lived opposite this brothel, called „Club Exclusive“. Nothing exclusive about it, a sad place, with only the word „Club“ in neon letters. Probably because the word „Exclusive“ was too expensive to have done in neon as well. The idea that anyone would ever want to have a party there was a very sad notion. For the party in this place was over for a long, long time. I never saw any of the girls who worked there. However, I did always know whenever the owner was drunk. He would  play the same song over and over again. It was „If you could read my mind“ by Viola WillsAnd if he was in a jolly mood he would sing along, through a microphone, the whole night long. Most of the time, the place seemed completely desolate, no business was their business as usual.

„He is in there, that is his car“, the woman said again. And I had to assume that she was right. „Hasn’t come home last night, and that is his car.“ I asked her whether she had asked at the club itself. She shook her head, stared at me for a bit, waiting for more information. I just stared back, I did not know what to say anymore. The woman shrugged and said good-bye, and walked to our neighbour. She was calm, determined to find the assurance she didn’t want to have.

I went upstairs, but I was just too curious to find out whether she would be able to confront her husband. I saw her take the picture out at four or five more homes, to no avail.

She stood there, on the sidewalk, holding the photograph in her hands

All of a sudden her movements became a bit more agile and, resolutely, she crossed the street. She held the picture in front of her, as if it was her shield of armour, and rang the bell of the club. The owner opened up and tried to look surprised when she shoved the picture right in front of his eyes. He started to play dummy in a far too obvious way, the woman kept pointing at her husbands car, the owner just smiled demeaningly.

He then went back inside the club, shutting the door in her face. The woman shrugged again, turned around and kept walking from the club to our house and back for some time. Then she  turned to the Datsun, with a briskness she had not shown before.  At that moment I was sure she was going to wreck the car up. But she did not. She put the photograph of her husband underneath the wiper, and walked on to her bicycle and got on it and rode away.

By now my hippie flatmates had joined me behind the window to watch  the events, and we thought that this was the end of that afternoons entertainment. Each of us made some comment about it, and about prostitution in general. The feminists said it was cool, a good way to pull money out of the male chauvinist pigs´ pockets. The men felt the girls who worked at Club Exclusive didn´t seem to mind.

Suddenly I saw a door open, two houses next to the club. The owner stepped out and looked around and gestured that the coast was clear. The husband ran to the car and drove off.  He hadn´t noticed his own picture, clinging to the windshield, that now accompanied him on his way home.“

To be continued. After summer. Girl Friday will take a break

Link to German Translation: click Girl Friday – Buch des Bösen 13. Club Exklusiv

Artwork: Gabbi Werner


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