Thumbs up to the good guys.

ThumbsUp

You sure would like to give an opportunity to the well-mannered IT guys that your cousin think is so perfect for you. But he’s got that little white concentrate of saliva goo that stretches when he speaks and it’s just plain disgusting!

In short, you’ve had enough of getting your ears harped with the promotion of the “good guy” who should be given a chance. It seems that, in general, you prefer whining about the bastards who treat you like chopped liver than having a calm and loving relationship.

In part, what is displeasing about the good guys is that, in addition to not being particularly handsome, they are clumsy and have a distinct tendency to be “too nice”. Plus, the more they are generous and attentive, the more the sweat circles under the armpits are wide. Women want a man who makes their heart tremble, not the cup in their saucer.

They like a prospect that keeps them on their toes by replying two days later to their text message of 500 words with a thumbs up. They don’t want someone who writes them on the same day. Some of them even reply immediately. What kind of respectful loser attitude is this?

Girls don’t want anything to do with the chubby neighbor who warmly says « Hello there!» Every time he embarks in his Pontiac Aztec. They long for some kind of vroom in their plexus. It has to rip a bit, even if it means refraining from saying “Ouch” when they are courted in the back, cheek crushed against a brick wall.

A good guy will be there for a damsel in distress, they will worry about their well being and will find interesting everything that comes out of their bullshit mill. Isn’t it lame ? Convenient for moving day and to feel beautiful, mind you, but women need a challenge, to doubt themselves a tad. Right, girls? It keeps you humble.

Anyway, your current boyfriend understood many things recently. He apologized, he promised not to do it again and you feel he is changing … It’s about time, because you deserve to be loved. Why can not you be loved properly? You are good girls, after all!

What I want to share with this passive-aggressive delirium is that the good guy might be awkward just because you trouble him, no ? Under his virgin-beige jacket may be hiding the body of an Adonis. Behind the hair t-shirt probably beats a heart of gold. Under the baldness combed to the side surely bubbles a sharp mind that will capture your complexity and your fragility.

So, the next time you flirt, when a stud makes you weak at the knees, look straight over his shoulder. You see? Behind your kind of male? That specimen with this impossible mustache who’s eating the skin of his thumb while pretending to read his coaster? Right there. That’s the man of your life.

Or not…

But you have now increased your odds of being cherished beyond your hopes, my honey bunnies.

However, if you prefer to continue playing love yo-yo with “bad boys” who treat you like shit, don’t call me in tears after breaking up for the thirtieth time. I don’t know what to tell anymore for the self-injury to stop.

Good guys of all stripes, I’m pulling for you! However, take the shirt out of your pants and wipe the corners of your lips ! I’m working hard for you lads but, for heaven’s sake, help yourselves and sex up!

Calluses from holding placards.

Revolution

I am apolitical, lazy and cynical. A perfect citizen for our government. Sheepy and quiet. I vote when they make me believe that it counts, strategic at most, without much hope. I’m Generation X. Self absorbed and unaware on purpose. No future and fuck the world.

October 1970, Montreal was on the verge of a civil war. I saw it all from my high chair. The grownups were preparing the revolution by polishing their clubs, a joint at the corner of their mouths. I have flashes of loud demonstrations, sitting on the shoulders of adults screaming their displeasure of society as a whole. A lot of red and black banners, a lot of single stars on green berets.

Very young, I jabbered words like “proletariat”, “solidarity” or “anarchy.” I knew The Internationale as well as the lyrics from Sesame Street. “«C’est la lutte finaaaaale, groupons-nous et demaiiin, l’Inteeeernationa-a-a-a-leu, youkaïdi, aïdi, aïda, taratatata!!» Well, I knew most of it. In French. Anyway, the Quebecois hippies thought I was the cutest thing.

I learned how to identify the RCMP quickly. I was sent on the sidewalk to pretend to make mud cakes. They were easy to recognize: a big mustache, mirror glasses, leaning on a blue car. You know the video from the Beastie Boys, “Sabotage”? Yeah. Exactly like that. They were not even pretending to read the newspaper. They looked directly at my house. Some of them took pictures. I just had to get inside and yell, “There’s two of them in front!” and people in my kitchen would flee hastily through the back yard.

I watched my mother paint “Neither virgin nor whore” on brick walls. I remember the smell of vinegar and pepper spray on the shirt of protestors. I remember the posters of Che, the fist in the female sign, that little red book. Around me, all hands bore calluses from holding placards. To revolt was normal, necessary, as long as the pigs rule!

I learned how, if you want to stay chained to a fence, you put a metal tube around your wrists, it takes a very long time to be sawn. If it makes a click sound and tin can echo in the phone, it means you are tapped. If you use an eight-inch nail to fix your protest sign on a two by four, when the cops arrive, you just have to pull the cardboard and whack away.

I also learned that going to jail for your ideas makes you a hero but you can’t go swimming in the States anymore. Not until you get the Queen’s pardon, many, many years too late. I learned that being a rebel involves dangers and sacrifices and I started to kinda hate insurrection.

Being the daughter of activists meant that there was always something bigger and more important than me. The Mission before us, the Mission before all. As a child, I wished “raise in arms” meant “to be taken at arm’s length making airplane sounds” and not “At midnight, we’re taking down City Hall!”

My parents were of all struggles. My mother helped feminism advance, fought for the rights of workers and those of the poor. She was against this and for that. She was a great one. A rebel with all kinds of causes.

And I? Well, as soon as I could do nothing, I did. I ran to the comfort of my navel and didn’t get out much. With the occasional signing of a petition and a button with some shitty slogan on the lapel to give myself a good social conscience.

Today, my son is in the streets. Each image of tear gas in the faces of barely pubescent kids; each riot with whistles and sirens soundtracks; each impatient stick against the bridge of a scarfed nose, my heart gets heavier. Not so much by anxiety, though I worry for the fruit of my loins, but by repentance. Had I not given up the fight, this generation would not have to claim as much.

I still remain filled with a sense of Whatgoodisit? I have a feeling of helplessness before the colossal. Because, after all, we don’t have to complain if we compare ourselves to other countries, huh? Huh?

It’s that sort of thinking that keeps people muffled: bread and circuses, hockey and chips. And I stay on my ass while austerity eats away at the leg of my sofa, my salary, my retirement and the future of our children.

So what?

So nothing.

I just wanted to apologize to my parents for not having continued the battle. To my son for letting him fight to get back lost social benefits.

Because many of my generation did not want to challenge the oppressors and end corruption. My generation preferred to suck its thumb while missing mom gone trying to change the world.

A letter to the one who thinks I’m the one.

BloodyLove

Dear man that wants to love me.

Just to say that I appreciate it. A lot. I’m not an easy woman to get along with. If I were you, I’d give it a minute or two before offering your ticker on a silver platter.

I took such a long time to mend my raspberry tart, I can’t have you take a bite and risk you chocking and spitting it back. I know that you’ll tell me that you are not like all the others. You’ll tell me that you’ll do me no harm, so crazy you are about me.

Fuck you.

They all were once madly devoted but I still found myself curled on the floor, writhing with  my angina pectoris, or kneeling, riddled with guilt, with tears of my sweetie rolling down my fingers.

I’m not sure I’m made for the coupling game. At first, it’s easy, we see our future in the eyeball of our soul mate, we swoon, and we spoon, breathing at the same rate. We believe in the thing like we’re fifteen, like in the movies. But then, through cuts, scrapes and scratches, we chip away the good and the beautiful only to leave sorrow and pain.

I fear you’ll try to change me as others did before you. Small things like the way I behave, talk or do the dishes … Your hobbies and habits will become mine, or worse, you’re going to convince me that you want the person I am, only to prove me wrong with blows of veiled criticism and disapproval.

I’m afraid we will accept each other’s way of doing to buy peace, abdicate and transform our personality. Or worse, our idiosyncrasies will drive us to yelling, all veins out, about silly stuff such as how to fold napkins.

What if I never get little tender notes from you, or worse, you lay on me of kilometers of rose colored prose until I gag?  I abhor nothingness, I loathe excess.

I fear that our sexuality will perish and only blood or famine will linger in our sheets. I’m afraid of losing the flame or to get burned. My skin still remembers relationship where I cried poor, or worse, rape.

What if, over time, our hearts pour out all affection to fill with resentment, blame and doubt? What if we get to spew vile poison so badly that we’re left shaken to the core? What if we eventually say so regrettable words that I am forced to slay what is left of us?

You’ll end up leaving, tired of me and my deep-sea journeys, or worse, I’ll plant my claws into the flesh of your chest, pecking wildly, then fleeing while your gaping thorax is rotting on the shore.

Don’t tell me not to be afraid, that we’re the same, that we’re meant to be together! Don’t tell me that, because you’re going to make me believe, you asshole!! I already hate that you’re filling me with hope. You’re there thinking you can approach me with that perfume of golden promises? You want to put your hand on the barrel of my gun and let my guard down? I fear you! God almighty that I fear the pain of love!

It’s not because we found each other that I have to lose myself, understand? I easily feel trapped and am ready for terrible violence to keep my throat from feeling the noose. If I were you, I would go on my way, I’m too much work.

Do you know why I love you? Because the scars on your soul are similar to mine. You’re tempting me. I want to succumb, to let you in…

Bastard.

There. I said I love you. In front of everybody. Are you happy?

No … probably not … Something in the tone, perhaps?

Yours, for now…

The «out of her wits» girl.

Killing time and zombies.

Gamer

It’s on a warm summer day, sitting on a burnt orange and avocado rug, that my love affair with video games began. My cousins were going berzerk in front of the big tube TV in the living room. On the screen: little white bars and dots. I try the thing, without really understanding why there is hysteria around me. Pong!!! Pong!!! What the hell?

It doesn’t take five minutes, I’m hooked. Look at all that futuristic technology! Had I known what was yet to come in terms of realistic graphics, I would have creamed my Fortrel shorts on the spot.

To win and conquer through a machine! Goodbye marbles and plasticine! I found blissfulness in triangular pew-pew-pews shooting at rectangular aliens.

I didn’t have a console at home. I had puppets and Chia pets. So, as soon as I could get my hands on a few quarters, I went to the corner’s greasy spoon and ate ghosts. The feeling of that ball in the palm of my hand and that «Waka waka waka» in my brain until insane…

I was introduced to the arcades in the years of crimped bangs and Toni perms. That’s where my allowance came to die. Ha… the sounds of my adolescence… A melodious cacophony where the beeps, the pows and kraaashs were back vocals to coins that clinked and acneics that growled.

I’ve always had a weakness for flippers that gave me that famous trust that will make me popular among my prospective lovers. I also loved holding that plastic gun, making a badass move off the screen. But I hated the cable attached to it that broke my momentum. I drove cars, threw coconuts, hit the punching bag, my smile transformed by the black lights in a Cheshire cat grin. Half of my gastroentitis were caught by touching all those clammy controls.

When Kurt Cobain made me tie hunting shirts around my waist, the beige computer finally joined my everyday life. A gift from my mother for my studies. Still no Nintendo, like most of my geeky friends, but settled for floppy discs to fight dragons that glitched or diffuse simplistic bombs on a canvas of gray bricks.

It’s really in the era of g-strings out of jeans and duct tape against terrorism that I started my obsession. My addiction was exacerbated by two catalysts: a nerdy son and an engineer of a husband. Then, the pixels multiplied. The resolutions increased tenfold and so did my pleasure. Boxes of happiness were connected from the telly to my veins and X, X, A, LT, X, B, Y!!!

I gave myself small doses by dragging a game boy in my purse. Only the true ones will know what it’s like to have a Korobeiniki or Overworld theme ear worm. This was a time when my eye twitched continuously after having spent far too many hours in the sewers of New York.

Today, during the era of the emoji poop, I’m on my own and console myself with my own console. I’ve got the control non-stop and loving it. I wear whorish leather armor or dress as a radioactive pin up downing Nuka Colas. I can start my life as I see fit, as often and differently as I wish.

I mate with the arcane mage and create damage before I reincarnate into a bike that rages as in engages in metal cages. I’ve got mad fowls on the throne and wild Animus on the couch. I don’t care about a mere arrow to the knee; I’m the Queen of Blades! If steel wins battles, gold wins wars. I suffer and I survive with no Gods or Kings, only man… or workaholic orcs… Because it is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.

When I grow old, if I have enough mana left, I dream of wearing a virtual reality helmet before I finally meet the boss. Wii!!! Saint Server Admin, I wish for an old folk’s home run by Ubisoft!

All this to say, that RPG passion is personal. Be lucid when ludic. If I do not bother you with how I kill my time and zombies, get the fuck away with your Candy Crush requests.

Otherwise, I can easily prove that video games make you violent…

“Finish him!!! »

 

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…

 

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.