I am doing Meredith Lewis (@dangerousmere) daily creative prompt challenge and today it’s to make up a story or scenario using the following painting by Berthold Woltze called The Irritating Gentleman.
My first thought when I saw this (and I have never seen this painting before) is it’s a typical scene from many young women’s lives.
Oh no. He did.
Bloody hell, this moron behind me with his scraggly beard and stinking pipe.
Can he come behind me any closer? His breath stinks to high heaven and the aroma of his tobacco isn’t any better either.
Oh crap I don’t need this. Not today!
Why do all the fucking weirdos want to make conversation with me when I’ve done my best to avoid all eye contact with the opposite sex?
What is it with men?
Bloody hell. It happens ALL THE TIME. It’s like I have a sign on my head that says, “come talk to me”.
Of course the tears don’t help. But I couldn’t stop them. Not today. Not after a terrible week I’ve had. Maybe they see the tears and they want to go all ‘knight in shining armour’ on me.
Pfft. Yeah right. I know what they want. I wasn’t born yesterday you know.
Okay, now he’s whispering something lewd in my ear. I want to clock him one with my bag but as it’s the bag the my mum embroidered and gave me as a present, I don’t want to destroy it. Besides, I’d hate the idea of having bits of his red beard hair and tobacco on it.
I cringe as if I’m going to vomit. Gross. Beard hair. I think of pubes in the same instant and eradicate the thought out of my head.
Right time for female power….
Geez he’s now propositioning me.
Can’t you see I’m in mourning, you fuckwit? Just move away. Back away from my seat. There’s nothing to see here.
Leave. Me. Alone.
I cast a glance over to the older lady in front of me and give her the “signal for help” with my eyes. The universal look that all women look at each other when unwanted gentleman hangs around like a bad smell.
She looks like she’s middle aged. She has the craziest dress sense but no matter. She’s reading a book with a number on it. 1984. What a crazy title. Well no matter. This is not the time for judging someone by their looks or the books that they’re reading.
Okay, she’s looked up from her book and for a split second, she assessed my situation and returned that knowing look. In an instant, I know I have her support.
Seriously, the male species gives me the shits.
I have to contend with my uncle carting me off so soon after my parents passing, to go and live with my elderly aunt in another distant town because she needs a young girl to help her with her affairs.
“It’s for your own good,” he said.
“I’ll take care of the estate. You don’t have to worry about it with your pretty little head,” he said.
Bloody hell. If it isn’t your uncle, it’s this dickhead here.
OMG. Can he come even closer?
“YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?”
“Take THAT you bloody bastard!”
I smash a wood box over his head and he keels over, stumbling onto the man behind him who pushes him to the floor in disgust.
“NOW FUCK OFF TO YOUR SEAT YOU BLOODY BASTARD AND LEAVE ME WELL ENOUGH ALONE.”
I dust off the chips of wood with my handkerchief, bow to the applause of the people in the carriage and take my seat.
The strange middle aged lady goes back to her book and smiles to herself. I’m sure she’ll recount this story to her friends one day.