Equalizing the disadvantage with feminine wiles-The Rules of Retribution-part 20

Pressing 5 à sec’ is a franchise that offers dry cleaning for reasonable prices in France.  Though I wash my clothing to economize, some materials keep better with dry cleaning.  Little did I know that one casual visit to ‘Pressing 5 à sec’ would give me a glimpse of the microcosm of French society or one aspect of it. 

Since the Covid pandemic, only one client is allowed into a small branch, Pressing 5 à sec.  Clients must form a queue outside the shop.  After 1 minutes of waiting, I was next in line.  Then a man came from behind, glanced at the old ladies and me, told me to step aside and went inside the shop.  Stunned, I turned to the old French lady behind me, but she looked bitter in disapproval.  The man yelled something in French at the staff, a coloured woman.  She tried to stand her ground, but the man yelled louder, hitting the counter.  The staff grudgingly obliged and gave him a ticket for whatever needed cleaning.  The man came out and walked away without glancing at the women he had wronged.  

Would he have behaved so had there been a man?  No, because there are French men who would admonish jerks.  Granted, these heroes are outnumbered by the misogynists, but the noble ones exist, and they sustain my hope.

Adam tries to order more drinks.  ‘Another glass of…’ but he is interrupted by another man who cuts in. ‘A beer for me!’ The man looks at tall Adam towering over him and hastily apologizes.  ‘Oh, pardon.’ The man has done his hair up in a trendy fashion, but his belly flaps.  A beautiful blond woman comes into the bar.  The French man notices her.
The man goes to chat her up, but she gives him a cold stare and turns away.  Adam follows her.  ‘Since when do you turn down free drinks, Eve?’ Eve replies casually, ‘I don’t accept one from a loser.  They all are, but that one was particularly pathetic.  I’ve seen him.  You and I have an everlasting memory thanks to that FRUIT.  Even the tiniest thing sticks notwithstanding repeated reincarnation.’
Eve remembers, I saw that loser push an old woman to cut in at a dry cleaner.   There were only women.  That staff was a woman too. Moreover, he thinks his trendy hairdo alone makes him irresistible.  I’m not going to indulge him with his fantasy.  Besides, I am done with feminine wiles though it was invented as our only weapon against the physical and social advantages men have hoarded.’ Adam said sadly, ‘I’m sorry.’ Eve glances back at him, ‘Maybe it had its purpose.  I started wondering when IRIS turned Nemesis of retribution, but not of revenge.’

THE CHARACTERS

SERPENT, aka NAGA, the eight-headed deity.  The snake represents the frailty that sees us stray from the path and often into darkness.  Big predators make the headlines, but ordinary people are tempted to commit small-scale cheating when shielded under the mantle of anonymity.  On good days we can fight off the temptation, but on bad days when we have just lost something, and the world seems unfair, our hands reach out for it while a sinking feeling spreads inside our hearts, warning us that this is not the way to get even with life.  However, God or the universe may not mind if the gain is minimal?  So we tell ourselves.

NAGA represents the second chance and atonement in life.  

GODDESS IRIS/NEMESIS: Instead of picking one from the existing religions, all of which I respect, I opted to represent the universe's will via Goddess IRIS.  God gave us light, and Goddess followed it up with the sound, but as sound travels slower than light, no one knows her existence despite benefiting from her gift, music.  Something turned this once open-book IRIS into NEMESIS, Goddess of Retribution.

THE SPIRIT of LOUIS XIII: The king of France who reigned from 14 May 1610 to 14 May 1643.  Enigmatic character the world may not have fully appreciated, not unlike the current, which can be substantial even if the river looks calm.

OMELETTE: the dog who was the pet of Louis XIII in its former life.

TRUST: The Nephilim, rejected by the angels and the man, opted to take over the dark throne vacated by the Serpent.  Devil was the name imposed on the Nephilim by the man, while the name he chose for himself is TRUST.

ADAM: Of course, the first man was created after the shape of God.  He is remorseful for caving into peer pressure and distorting the reputation of IRIS.

EVE: The second woman was created from Adam's rib.  For centuries she used feminine wiles to manipulate men to overcome the massive disadvantages.

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