The genuine fake

“Gold watches ‘ latest. Silver ones. Strong and durable. Your reliable partner in these times where time is money. Brother?” he stares at me. Well I am determined not to give another cold shoulder to my second ‘victim’ and face the cold stares of these beastly strangers around me. “I have no money bro”, I say to him in my politest voice, though chokingly. “But you haven’t even heard the price”. I compose myself and at the same time try to think why this guy has chosen me. Well okay, with my artistic instincts I dress differently albeit stylishly, I must admit. But . . . “Okay, how much?” “Which one?” “Err . . . The gold one. This one”. “What’s your offer?” I tried to search for a polite way of telling him off. “I have no idea whatsoever. In fact, my friend, I hate watches I have not worn one in all my life!” The vendor leans over and speaks in a loud whisper. “Dude, this is a gold watch. Pure and simple. Love watches or hate them, but gold bro!” As far as I am concerned gold costs a lot of money, which I don’t have at this moment. I put it to him clearly in no uncertain terms. These vendors do not give up I tell you. This time he speaks directly into my ear, singing me songs of how precious gold was, and how man sometimes killed man for it. I become curious to know how much his gold watch is going for. “60 bar”, he whispers carefully in my ear. I think about it for a while. Though I am not interested . . . 60 sounds reasonable for gold. In fact it is too god to be true. I start making the calculations in my mind ‘ If I catch the train today, and caught it again tomorrow in the morning to work, maybe I will have saved a bit to be able to afford this ridiculously cheap gold watch. “Try it on”, he offers, strapping it straight onto my wrist without notice. I must admit the thing fits my hand like paint fits a house. He takes my hand and holds it up to show off how his watch had fit my hand. He is even calling it my watch ‘ it is no longer his. Again I am a reluctant spectacle for the other passengers. I have more than just ‘sixty lousy’ bar in my pocket. But I am not going to let him have it cheap ‘ or rather have me cheap. I am going to negotiate. Downwards! “I only have forty bar”, says I feigning regret. “Only forty? Oh come on, make it at least fifty-five” Only if you tell me how a guy turns forty bar into fifty-five quid” Silence. “At least for gold . . . make it fifty okay”. The fool was now pleading. I feel sorry. Okay I’ll make it forty-five”. I slam the whole discussion. Phew! The train was finally here. The queue begins to move and the excitement is getting a bit out of hand with some overzealous youths jumping the queue. I count forty-five bar quick-quick and slap it on the now-eager-and seemingly-ready-to-bolt vendor. I am beginning to get suspicious ‘ since he has swiftly removed the watch from my hand. “Here”, he says digging into his dirty bag. “This is the watch worth forty-five stupid quid” What he put in my hand and bolts in a direction I don’t not even see is . . . some sorry looking, half baked sort of . . . rusty piece of zinc and whatever else passing for a watch and grey in colour. I stand there wondering if the damn thing even works when I get shoved and pushed in the stampede to get into the train that ensures. I realize I have to shelve that bridge for a while or else I wont even get to be a standing passenger in the already teeming train. As I jostle, receiving a few punches and knocks in the ‘pressure’ I am more than convinced that indeed fate and coincidence do work hand in glove.

April 2006
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