Never mind. On wards and upwards and all that...
While everything I write doesn't always rock my world, my objective is to post the story anyway. At the end of the day,what we like comes down to personal opinion.
Opinions will always differ.
Thankfully not everything is for everyone.
Here's to individualism!
Here it is.
Hope you enjoy my words.
Love Big & Love Hard
Underneath it all.
©Sandra Fitzgerald July 2016
The stylish man went into the store. He clapped his hands and then gave them a rub as he scanned the merchandise eagerly. He was a lean man who appeared taller than he actually was thanks to his square shoulders and erect spine. His clothes fit him well, though his white shirt was slightly off colour. His brown shoes were polished. His tie, tied tight and sitting firmly in place.
‘What’s new?’ he all but bellowed, with a smile set with practiced ease.
The sales assistants flocked, how could they not? The man had so much charm it covered them like a comforting blanket, his charisma verging on overwhelmingly addictive. The defenceless staff couldn’t help not be drawn to him.
The man held out an open hand at the lucky candidate. The salesman’s heart leapt as he felt the man’s grip tighten, applying the perfect amount of pressure, before raising his arm to lead the way to the back of the store.
Coffee was made and a great discussion had. Topics such as needs and wants, the latest clothing trends, the gusts of the cold winds outside and the two new cars the man was debating were spoken about in much detail.
The man nodded and smiled demurely at all the offerings; though in actuality he couldn’t tell the difference from one garment to the next. However, he had new-found faith in the salesman. He now trusted him, you see, to make the right decision for him.
The man looked down, and then sat his long fingers heavily on the salesman’s shoulder, squeezing a little more firmly than needed. He’d had enough of looking at yet another blue suit.
With much nervous fan-fair, the salesman sought out an empty change room, and opened the door. He quickly unwrapped a brand-new crisp, white cotton shirt instead of using the more traditional “try on” option as he would for other customers. Fumbling more than once on the excessive packaging, he hoped the man didn’t notice his anxiety. His desperation to please was starting to get the better of him.
The shirt was hung on a hook to the right. The carefully folded trousers were placed gently on the wooden slats below it. The salesman asked if there was anything else the man needed, with an offer to fetch him more coffee. The man thanked him, taking him up on his offer before the door was carefully closed for him.
The salesman rushed with as much grace as possible through the busy store. Hurriedly closing the panels behind him, he frantically turned the kettle on to heat a glass specifically designed for this particular purpose. He bent awkwardly, feeling the niggling discomfort in his hip, to retrieve the milk from the mini-fridge set into a make-shift opening beneath the bench.
Unconsciously arching his back in search of the ever-elusive relief, he steadied himself to prepare the ultra-modern coffee machine. No one knew how much pride he took in preparing and producing the perfect latté, or the tremendous joy it brought him when he saw the satisfaction on his customers faces.
Returning to the store, the salesman found the man chatting to another staff member. He felt his brow furrow slightly and a thickening in his throat before he made a conscious effort to force away the fear of losing another sale.
Turning up the corners of his mouth, he passed the man the perfectly-made latté, crossed one arm over his torso and lifted his fingers to his chin in contemplation. It was good, but not great. The shirt was exactly the right size, amplifying his slight frame to give him the illusion of a more masculine physique. The trousers however, could be better.
‘No,’ the salesman stated lowly, disappearing in the throng of hanging apparel before producing another pair of pants.
Once again he opened the dressing room door for the man and ever-so-carefully rested the new trousers on the bench, asking if he would be so kind as to try on them on.
The man’s smile grew, causing his sunken cheeks to crease. He placed his half empty coffee on a nearby table and let the salesman close the door after him.
The one-sided debate over vehicle choices ensued before the salesman heard a thump, followed quickly by a grunt. Without thinking he swung open the dressing room door and immediately froze. After an uncomfortable pause, the salesman smiled apologetically as he curled his warm toes inside of his leather shoes. He quickly set the lock back in place to give the man his much needed privacy.
In that exact moment the salesman, with his sickly wife resting on their overstuffed couch at home, had realised something.
The man, with all his pomp and swagger, with more charm that any one man should be allowed… put his pants on one leg at a time. He had to button his button and raise his zip… like any other man.
But this man? This particular man balancing, red-faced on one foot in the change room of a humble department store? He had holes in his socks.
Strip away the layers, remove the falsehoods, the showman, the persona and you’re left with a man.
A man with a life like any other, with the same highs and lows, good times and bad.
You see… underneath it all… he was still just a man.