To sleep, perchance to dream…

.     Sleep

Insomnia. Not the one that makes you interesting in conversations, no. The real thing. The infamous hamster. But on steroids. Not getting to sleep as if it was a tradition, a form of Art. From one night to another. Until I finally faint, mouth agape, clinically dead zonked.

As a child, I rocked myself from one side to the other, my head in a pillow, until exhaustion. I didn’t care having to go through the painful hair combing sessions at dawn, so strong was my will to get me some z’s. I wanted to saw wood so bad, I had to literally shake the thoughts out of my head. Do-si-do around, do-si-do maybe I’ll fall!

With the thought that I was afraid of the dark, a strip going from my room to the bathroom was lit like a disco runway. My parents added some background classical music to calm me down. A perfect setup for a groovy waltz with my imaginary acquaintances. Yes, acquaintances. They weren’t all friends.

As an adult, I swallowed pills from time to time, just to turn the knob to “off”. And down goes Alice in that muddy hole. And up goes my corpse, face bloated, confused with some pennies residue on my tongue. Did I sleep? I guess I did.

Sometimes, I stopped fighting and simply forgot about getting a wink. In the dark, I listened with my eye wide open to the wailing of sirens; the Chinese water torture of the drip in the kitchen or the scratches and moan of the nasties. Other times, I watched infomercials enough to want to buy the God damn miracle mop; wrote my delirium, scoliosising over my computer or, if I was really desperate, tried to knock myself out with an Emile Zola novel.

Yes I tried relaxation techniques, breathing, all those things, yes, yes, yes. Yes. Results? No.

Then, I added myself a man on my mattress, and it was all the princess and the pea could take. How can I forget the presence of someone breathing down my neck while he becomes a backpack of clammy skin? Many have witnessed my metamorphosis into Gollum when their cock came to ask my tailbone If was sleeping. It wakes us from our precious sleep? We was almost to the splendiferous and it wakes usss?? From our preciousssss ssssleep???

A baby got thrown into the mix and I was done with total rest. Yes a child, now a man, he’s magnificent and my hero. Anyway, with this baby, Morpheus packed up his things and left. A mother is too much on the lookout to get to snoring. What if my kid starts walking, fork in hand, to the toaster while I’m drooling on the pillow? No. Being a mom means losing deep sleep until the toddler is old enough to go to university.

I accepted that I was condemned to join the dark circles club; that I just didn’t have the snooze gene and that my sheeps were destined to hop from here to Pi.

But, today, because life is like a box of Kleenex, I now live all alone, on my own, with no parents, no little one, no husband, no sleeping pills or chamomile tea. I do what I want, without disturbance and I sleep like a sheriff now. I’m not napping; I’m blissfully comatose for hours. Praise Saint Melatonin, I’m Healed! I sleep so well, I wake up just to really appreciate how well I’m sleeping.

In a pitch black room with plugs that tickle my eardrums, I lay or roll around, uninterrupted, in my docile blankets that shift to the whims of my trance. My peepers carrousel behind my eyelids and I whip the ass of my dragons with a mighty quill. I dream. The kind of chimera that repairs and restores. As for that hamster of mine, he’s still as muscular, but he’s become diurnal.

Regularly, I fall between a man’s sheets. I bury my head between his shoulder blades or let him interlock his knees with mine, but before I leave for Slumber Land, I have to dig a canyon between our bodies. And now, it’s impossible for me to share my crib systematically. I need to hit the hay on my island, isolated. Maybe someday, I’ll divvy up my bed more often. We’ll see. I’ll sleep on it. But for now, it’s no.

After all, having someone at my flank keeps me from some serious cradling…

 

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But let’s stay friends, ok?

FriendsWithEx

You know that former girlfriend? When the better half goes out for a beer with his ex? And it kind of pisses the other, more insecure half? And no amount of “Don’t worry, hon’, she’s just a friend now” makes a difference? Well, that’s me, the ex that everyone gets along with.

If I loved you once, I love you forever. I drank every words and fluids you offered. I wrote you poems and, for a short or a long while, I believed in us. I can move on, but I cannot forget.

In my case, relationships never last. Go figure, there is always one of the two that ends the pink section of our metaphorical Neapolitan ice cream. And all that remains is «friendship white» and «shit brown».

The secret of being a good ex is to let go and go. You have to forgive that mother fucker and you have to mosey on with your life. Because, if you stick around, it will create confusion and make it hard for the other to find a new flame. Unless that’s what you want. But that makes you a bad ex. Bad, bad ex. No. Your affair must be as in the garbage pail as that toothbrush you kept for visits. You can share a meal; have a game of pool, but only from time to time, in moderation and under the official agreement of the current partner.

You’re allowed to drop a call or stop to have a chat when meeting on the sidewalk to tell your previous paramour what you’ve been up to. But that’s it. No trip down Melancholy Lane. And you have the right to a tap on the shoulder, a kiss on each cheek and a hug with a distant pelvis. If the latest lady friend gives you that look, step back and respect the bitch. One can also make her understand that you know exactly why she loves him. And why he gets on her nerves sometimes. We’ve been there. The girlfriends of our boyfriends are our girlfriends.

Yup, I’m a wonderful ex. So much so, I’d give myself an award:

“Who? Me? Oh, my God, thank you! Thank you! I didn’t expect this! Let me take out my list of thank yous. Hum … All my exes have counted in my life, from the loves of my life to my one night stands. I cannot thank them all tonight, because that’s quite a heap, but know that if you had sex with me, I was forever changed by our exchange of ideas and DNA.

My first one, which was not my first but this is how I’ll arrange it in my head: My hairy hippie, thank you for the trip, man! My sous-chef with that Hugh Grant grin, thank you for the sausages! My Svengali, my communist sugar daddy, thank you for Provence and all the good wine! My Rock and Roller with the engraved Zippo, without whom my co-production would not have been as successful, a thousand times thank you for giving me a son!  And to my husband … my lawful wedded one…  Who tried to so hard to make an honest woman out of me … Thank you for the fairy tale!

Ok, the music is telling me that I must stop now, but I’d still need to acknowledge my lovers who made a difference: The clown, the director, the client, that guy’s wife, the tango dancer, the masseuse, the Ravens fan, the Scott, the Pole, the Jew and the Viking. You know who you are! Thank you! Thank you! I love you all!!”

And then, a girl in a satin dress would take me by the elbow to help me off the stage while the orchestra plays “The lady is a tramp.”

So there. I love my exes. And my exes love me.

But if an old companion avoids my presence, hiding behind a group of Japanese tourists in the bus, or if I block a prior Romeo on Facebook, unable to see his face without that squeeze in my heart, well…

I guess it means that only «shit brown» remains in our symbolic pot of ice cream…

 

 

 

Slice of life of a C-list actress.

Luck

It begins with your agent offering you an audition for the role of a beautiful healthy looking woman, not too model-like, between 35 and 45 years old, to sell some gizmo. You’re a commercial actress, that’s all you are, despite playing Lady Macbeth in theater school. So, you say yes and go get a manicure.

You arrive to the casting place after spending way to long in your wardrobe and in front of the mirror. The girl at the front desk smiles and hands you a wooden tablet with information sheets. Your name here … your arriving time … your role here … Complete the other sheet, please: your name here … your age … your weight … You think about how you should order rubber ink stamps with your info on it. Then you’d just have to thump, thump, thump, voilà! You say it to the girl. It was funnier in your head.

You are surrounded by beautiful healthy women, 35-45 years old, not too model-like. You know all of them. It has been more than 20 years that you’ve regularly rubbed shoulders with their periphery. You’ve made the run a thousand times and, generally, it was all for nothing. You look at the contender that comes out of the audition room; she seems to have done well: she has that cocky sheen.

You sit down. It will be a while. But not long enough for you to touch the monetary compensation. When it’s finally your turn, you enter saying hi to everyone. In the back of the room, there are people that don’t give a flying fig about you, because you are the 28th healthy beautiful woman between 35 and 45 years old. You must not take it personally. You take it personally. The acting director explains the concept. Superficially, he is full of passion, but he is dead inside. You can understand. He’s burning the cigarette at both ends.  You do your identification to the camera. You are asked to show your hands. Inwardly, you congratulate yourself for getting a manicure.

You do what is asked of you with the gizmo. You try not to trip while naming the gizmo. You fumble a bit, but it’s not so bad, since you got the lines only yesterday. You clutch the gizmo in front of the lens and you scrunch your face the way you think the customer might like. You are thanked, neither coldly nor warmly and you leave, not confident at all. But you do that same proud cocky smirk on your way out.

The adventure continues when you learn that you’re on “hold” or “recommendation” and that your chances of having the gig are very good. You try hard not to precociously count, before they hatch, your chicks or checks, but you’re poor and you miss acting. You want to perform. Even if it’s with a gizmo. At last, your agent calls you with a fifteen percent vibrato in his voice: You’ve got it! You’re the gizmo girl. You hang up and do a retarded dance.

You receive your call sheet. Usually, they expect you to show up at the crack of dawn. You set up your alarm and go to bed while it’s still sunny out with costly and ineffective cream on your wrinkles. You sleep 20 minutes segments, never fully trusting your clock to do its job.

The taxi leaves you in the dark cold morning where the “swings», «techs” and “grips” are laboring like loud ninjas. They’re invariably in black and have at least one roll of tape attached at the waist. You look for the Kraft table. You’ve always enjoyed free coffee and muffins.

The wardrobe lady wants to see the 12 pieces of clothing she asked you to bring «in case». She doesn’t take anything, as usual. She slips you in a generic pastel and asexual suit. You then go to hair and make-up. You love it. The metamorphosis duo bitches, gossips, tittles and tattles so badly, it’s awesome.

You are then taken to a plastic chair in a corner. And you wait there with the other actors, extras and wannabes. You linger a mighty long time. Between interminable slowness and what the endless hell is taking so long??

A hundred people are foraging around you. Everyone is best of friends. They chirp to each other on their right shoulder where their walkie-talkie is attached. You, you’re just a guest in their big family. The other thespians share their daily life. You will learn that one is freshly vasectomised, the other hasn’t pooped yet and the old lady just lost her son. And by «son», she means «poodle». We become generous with our intimacy. Especially carnal. You never talk so easily about sex with strangers than during a shooting.

It’s finally your moment to shine on the sound stage. They put you near the gizmo. They all focus on the gizmo. They look at you, through you. You’re an accessory to the gizmo. And right now, you’re casting a shadow on it. Move left … again … back … stop! A little green strip at your feet so you can remember your spot. The director explains what he wants and what the customer wants. Most of the time, it is diametrically opposed. Anyway, the only important thing is the gizmo.

The girl with the iron hand in a boxing glove yells “SILENCE ON SET!!!” and everyone gets quiet. Not a sound except for the dzzzzz of the lighting and boom ba doom of your heart that yearns to do well.

In three, two, one, you take the gizmo. You speak of your love for the gizmo fifty eight times from three different angles. Between takes, they powder your nose, dab the sweat off your forehead, and place your shirt back into your pants. You’re hot. You’re thirsty. And you’re starting to think you’re really not believable with the gizmo. But it’s over. Thank you, please leave. Go sign the contract over there, ma’am. Thank you.

You put back the clothing that molds your personality. You say your goodbyes. Best of luck with your vaping, Stephen! I hope you get the loan from the bank, Myriam! Yes, I’ll take a look at your web series, Peter! Ok, bye, then! Bye!

The journey ends with your ride back home where you verify how much you made. You realize that maybe you’re not the actress you hoped to be, let alone a star, but you just earned the six weeks salary of a waitress for having some fun with some nice folks…

… And a gizmo…

So, you cry your failed career all the way to the bank.

Love.

Love

Love my hand on a chest at rest. Love when the mirror says yes. Love a hot shower on my neck. Love when my hair is a mess while I do nothing but feel blessed. Love when the air smells of coffee and sex.

Love when I can feel my muscles underneath the Lycra. Love to nurture every chakra. Listen to each voice and have the choice on witch one to trust. Love to write, exposed bust and slippers on, at dawn…

Love red in my decor and wood on my floor. Love cheese, meat and nuts. Love chips, beer, cold cuts. Even if it goes for my guts. Love rays of sun bouncing from the crystal on my stove. Love having fun with the petal of a rose on my nose. Love this, that and those.

Love being a girl and play dolly with me. Love getting dirty and fart jokes. Love the elderly. Love the old folks. Love the paws at belly of a begging squirrel. Love to pause for a birdie, chirping angel. Love slamming the heels of my boots on the concrete but for the grass, love to do it bare feet.

Love the drunken stagger of a young child. Love that rosy cheek, soft and mild. Love how they have to throw their head back to see underneath their hat. Love when they curl their fingers on their parent’s index. Love to think of my son, my pride, my blood, my flesh.

Love a graffiti tag when it’s inventive. Love a rebel when he’s sensitive. Love to surprise passers-by with a smile. Love when they boomerang it wry, shy or agile. Love the blacks, love the gays, love diversity. Love the lights at night, shinning bright in the city.

Love giving myself the luxury of being poor. Love liberty, love to soar. Love the countryside, love a log on an open fire. Love a man at my side, love to be filled with desire. Love when the sky serves me a cup of storm. Love nature in every shape and form.

Love hipsters, leftists and bums. Also love a crisp white shirt. Love guitar, bass and drums. Love music with some dirt. Love to whistle while he hums. Love the blues that hurts. Love the beat that numbs.

Love when a lady smells of vanilla, a gentleman, of lemon. Love pouring honey on my tongue out of the teddy bear bottle. Love to be a shoeless Cinderella, an uncommon woman. Love to watch hockey, UFC, racing, the full throttle. Love to mountain bike, adrenaline I like.

Love to dance, biting my lip, a bit trippy. Love pot, love scotch, love to party. Lose my stance; swing my hip, a bit tipsy. Love to seize the day and release the evening. Love bacon and eggs in the morning. Love to stay in silence for a long while after that.  Hush, hush, all quiet in my flat.

Love to find pianos in uncanny places. Love painted toes and naked faces. Love pin-ups from Elvgreen and Vargas. Love to win some green in Vegas. Love a fucked up movie or a book. Love to boogie, love to cook. Love clean teeth and a sharp brain. Love the window seat in a train. And love, love, love to dip my finger in wax to make a mold of my print.

Love Jewish humor and British accent. Reverse it and it’s still true. Love the Vikings, Love the Celts. Love eyes that are Prussian blue.

Love to love. Raven and dove. Come push or shove.

But to be loved, I hate.

Sadly, that is my fate…