Guy´s slender figure is reflected in the dark shop windows he is passing by, his shadow like his doppelganger. Guy´s mother used to admire the slim bone structure of her son, elegant, artistic. Yeah, but should a guy not be ruff and angular? Or, at least, tall? His mother is not there anymore to answer, the questions come belated. A jewellery-watch shop. Closed. A hippie-fashion boutique. Closed. A key-shoe repair parlour. Closed. A chain-market corner shop. Open! A little Asian woman standing in front of the door with a mask on her face and furrowed eyebrows is giving shoppers a sign to enter. The bitch! First, it is because of her kind that the epidemy spread and this is going on. Then, these chains should not operate express shops, they make enough money in big supermarkets. Little weekend and night shops have been always reserved for small entrepreneurs. They are less predictable, thus more surprising in stock, much more fun. And they can be no competition to the capitalist rascals. Guy has his favourite Paki; his owner is wearing a bright blue ribbon attaching his jaw with the top of his head, as if he had a toothache to soothe. Once he asked him what the reason was, and the guy said: “It is to smooth my beard.” And he took the ribbon off to sport a velvety thick silver beard.
Now, more and more people are wearing masks, supposedly protecting them from catching the virus and saving their silly lives and the silly lives of their folks. Damn! Guy continues the endless street, the Avenue Couronne. He takes a slip of paper from his pocket: No 476. When Guy complained to a friend that he could not stand the confinement anymore, neither to drink alone, his was provided the address.
“You come and ring, somebody comes to open the door for you. Sunday 8 pm.”
“Will you be there?”
“Yes. I won´t let you embarrass yourself alone there,” the friend laughed and hanged him off.
Good. A good friend. Once he explained the mystery of life to him:
“It is a small percentage of males that get all the chicks. They are promiscuous hunters, buddy, and they create the image of males as predators. Mind you, most of the male population is content with knowing a few females intimately in their lives.”
Or a single female, or almost none, for the matter. Like Guy.
“So, what to do?”
“So, you have to pretend you are one of the predators. There is no big difference between pretending and being an Alpha male, at least for a time long enough to get some pleasure.” And the friend taught him a few techniques. They worked. Then this Chinese virus spread around the globe and a man has no chance to fuck. Neither to drink. But he is walking to a new hope here. No 476. Only it seems to be on the other side of the street, the numbers are odd here. A long, long street, changing its name in the middle from rue du Trone to Avenue Couronne, royal names. Guy crosses the street without looking, no cars, no passers-by´s, like in some gloomy sci-fi film. It would be a damned coincidence if a car hit him here. No 476 finally, a huge wooden door ajar, he pushes it and finds himself in a small inner yard. On the left, plates with a few names of associations, on the right a creche with a cheesy name Les Coccinelles. All silent and dark. At the end of the yard there is a dark small door seemingly leading to a basement. Guy comes close, he takes out his mobile phone and dials the number his friend gave him. In no while the door really opens, and he steps in: “Welcome.” A whiff of a lemony parfum and there is a crown on his head, like the one you get with a cake on epiphany day. It stops at Guy´s small ears. “How many coronas?” the husky voice asks. “What?” “Twenty euros is ten coronas. A whiskey is five coronas.” The voice explains. As Guy is contemplating the mathematics, another woman storms past him and out of the door. There are women here, he tells himself. A pity this one is leaving already, blondish, well-built, she could have been the one tonight. Taller than him, but Guy was used to that.
So, how many coronas to exchange?” The husky voice-lemony-perfumed usherette repeats interrupting his thoughts.
“I exchange fifty Euros,” Guy utters confidently.
Fun has it price. And in the Corona times on the Avenue Couronne, double so.