Dear Sir,

   Yesterday, I went to the Brüsel bookshop. I bought there the film "the File B". I viewed it. Intrigant.

   I am asking to myself so much questions after having seen it than before, if it is not even more. I can then affirm to you that never I would have been interested in Brüsel if my mom had not been victim of what I call a space-time distortion, in the Law courts of Bruxelles.

   I briefly explain you the history:

   This day there, my mother had gone to the Law courts to know the judgement of an affair related to her. She already had been several times there, accompanied by her welfare officer. But this time, she had gone there alone, the assistant being suffering.

   As usual, she moves in the hall of the lost steps (what an odd name!). She knows her way, she takes the corridor "on the left", then "that of right-hand side". She finds odd not to see numbers on the doors, neither the windows "on the right side", nor the benches on which she is accustomed to sitting down to smoke a cigarette... She skirts this corridor, and does not see numbers on the doors. Arrived at the medium of the corridor, and thinking that she does not recognize anything, she decides to make half-turn to turn over to the room of the lost steps and to ask her way. This moment, she notes that she sees the same thing exactly, behind like front of her... She makes half-turn nevertheless and manages to turn over the hall. She asks the room where she must go while mentioning the number, and an employee says to her that this number does not exist! My mother says in vain to her that it is always with this number that she went in the past, this woman says to her that this number does not exist. My mother does not insist, thinking that she has to make a new employee.

   She thus turns over in the same corridor. No numbered doors, not of windows, not of benches. She skirts the corridor, thinking that she will find her way well... She takes different other corridors, without never neither going down nor to go up (significant detail for the continuation).

   She crosses people who do not pay attention to her, and continuous to saunter in the corridors. At this point in time she sees an hospital. She thinks that there must be not badly sick people "here" so that there is a hospital. She sees nurses equipped with a blue dress, a white apron "cross behind", and capped with a small white veil. She does not find anything special with that, and carries on her way...

   She passes in front of a restaurant. She posts herself at the entry, and looks at inside. This restaurant is very beautiful, and clashes with the ugliness of the without end usual corridors of the Law courts. There are people inside who look her with a suspicious eye. Nobody says anything to her. In the restaurant, there are large windows, by which my mother sees the blue sky, without cloud. However, this day, it was raining cats and dogs in Bruxelles...

   She takes again her way, starting to wonder whether it is not likely to be late for the judgement even if she had arrived in advance. She always seeks to find again her way, but she does not see any more the room of the lost steps. It is at this time that she starts to panic... She wonders how it is possible to be lost, whereas she already went several times with her welfare officer in this building... She does not see anybody any more in the corridors, and starts to open all the doors which she meets. Each door gives on large empty parts. Neither furniture, nor anybody!

   Her anguish grows progressively with her steps... She then sees "very dirty, very old, with cobwebs staircase". She thinks that, perhaps, she would find as high somebody to help her. At this time she sees people passing, but they seem not to see her. She climbs this small stair, is on the "stage", and is on the point of assembling the second slope when she sees again, on top, the same people!!! She thinks that she must be mad, that she had bad seen. She look downstairs, then quickly upstairs. The look and the people are the same.

   This is at this precise moment that my mother thought that she would do a heart attack. Trembling, not knowing anymore whom to speak, knowing still hardly to swallow, she went down again the few steps of this staircase, and saw an elevator, just beside the staircases. she said to herself that she was anyway lost and that she had thus nothing more to lose. She entered the elevator (as old and dirty as the staircase), pressed on the button indicating one "0", believing that it would not move, considering she had not left the ground floor, and the elevator started to go up from two or three stages!

   While leaving the elevator, she saw a man and asked him the room of the lost steps. This one indicated it to her to hardly two steps from there...

   She turned over to see the employee, tried to ask to him whether she could speak to her lawyer. This one announced to her that the judgement was finished for a long time. The lawyer had already returned to her home...

   Here is about the history lived by my mom.

    I had to ask her to tell it again to me, two days ago, because details had escaped to me. While she evoked this history, her emotions were exacerbated... Never I saw my mother in this state, never. And God knows if sheis not easily impressed...

Friendly yours

Katty Van Laecken

Back to the library