Louis, The Waves by Virginia Woolf
The invitation was crumpled in the handkerchief pocket of my vest. I only own one suit, a cheap polyester tailored suit I have had made for my cousin’s wedding last summer. It will do, it has to, I was thinking. As I started to climb the hill, I saw the mansion raise at the top of it, each step I took seemed to erect it further up from the ground. A massive entrance framed by two spectacular pillars appeared. In the middle, motionless as if he was himself too made of stone, a man, perhaps the host, Mr. Jones. As I got closer, the man didn’t blink an eye, he was just staring blankly. His statuesque posture had me question for a second if he was even real. To ensure eye- contact I presented myself right in front of him, not letting him much of a choice but to acknowledge me. And, with all the confidence I could gather I asked “excuse me sir, could you maybe indicate me where to find Mr.x Jones? “, “Mr Jones is inside”, he said and continued his blank starring.
I entered through the two massive columns only to find out that the walls were just as thick. In the grand hall the roughness of the walls was contrasted by the delicacy of the floor. It was framed and illuminated in its center from above. An opening in the ceiling was casting light on a man and a woman standing right in the center. They were both wearing hats, as if the light they were receiving in the very spot they chose to stand in, was too bright. The silky dress of the hatted woman, decorated with pearls and sequins, was reflecting and casting light patterns on the 4 walls of the room. In this delicate light show a couple of men were having inaudible conversations getting lost in the echoing of the space. I didn’t feel like disrupting the balance of this moment, nor interrupt any conversation. If any of them was Mr. Jones, he would have greeted me by now. On the opposite side of the hall, there was a passage to another room but reaching it would have gotten me more attention than I’m comfortable with. I looked to the left, two windows carved in the massive wall adding a dim light to the scene, I looked right, a woman. She was leaning on a pillar in another room starring right at me. She was covered in jewellery of all kinds and colors: necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings... As eye-contact was made, I decided to present myself to her. She could maybe help me find Mr. Jones after all. When I crossed the massive wall to approach her, I found myself in a vaulted colonnade space. The pillars were separating the vaulted space from a second flat-roofed one. The floor however was implying three different spaces as three different terrazzos were covering it. No walls, but different rooms indeed. As I walked towards her in the hope of a conversation she rushed and moved to the other side of the room, when I tried to approach again, she ran amused to the opposite side. This hide-and-seek game seemed to have no end. Even if her jewellery seemed to blend with the many colors of the terrazzo, the sound her excessive amount of stones and her high heels against the floor were producing by each of her moves, would never allow her to win the game.
In the prolongation of the colonnade there was another room, one that had to be reached by climbing three steps. I called the game a quit and decided to go there. As I was leaving, the woman to whom I hadn’t said a word said “Good luck finding Mr. Jones” in the clatter sound of her many jewels.
I walked the three steps up intrigued by a singular column whose both ends were getting thinner as they reached the ceiling and the floor. The positioning was giving it more presence than any other pillar that I had walked by. Its anchor point was dictating a separation of the tiling floor in three different colors. A couple of people were standing around it in laughter making it look like a ritual was taking place around a sacred totem.
However, before reaching them I noticed a niche on the right I did not expect. Two men were standing against its bright red wall playing cards on a high table. One of them asked if I would like to join for a round but I replied that I would rather find Mr. Jones first, to which he replied “Mr. Jones always like a game of cards”. The mystery surrounding the person of Mr. Jones and this whole masquerade just seemed to grow bigger by the second. I approached the column as I left the two men playing. Its warm wooden material and curvy figure were
comforting. I placed my left hand on it as if it was the shoulder of an old friend and decided to take a walk around it. I glimpsed back to the colonnade and could still hear the echoing of the woman’s dance, I looked at the two men very engaged in yet another round of card game. I then stepped onto a new color of floor and was captured by a very bright and curvy room whose windows were going from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. It allowed me to take a glimpse outside and somehow a glimpse back to reality, to the world I know. However, I was quickly dragged back into the mansion as I was still walking around the column. On the floor a new color, bright blue tiles leading to a blue wall. A bench as wide as the wall topped by a window were giving me a domestic and comforting feeling. As I walked towards it, the roof shape shifted into a slope enhancing this sense of familiarity.
I decided to sit on it a few seconds to gather my thoughts and reflect on the absurdity of the past few minutes. As I walked towards the bench, I passed by a passage viewing into the main entrance hall, the one I didn’t dare to enter in the first place. The scene hadn’t change much, people were still talking, the dress was still shining. I sat down on the bench, I was seeing the two men playing cards at the opposite side but they didn’t seem to care for my presence too much. After closing my eyes for a few seconds.. everyone had left the room. I heard step-sounds echoing from the entrance hall. I walked to the closest door, the one looking to the hall, everyone stood there in silence, someone had entered the mansion, they were all looking at him, he, however was looking at me.