I'm the ex-girlfriend, the girl in the polaroid, the one in the play, the scar on your back, the crazy tattooed horse girl by the river, the englishfrenchwoman in New York who isn't Quentin and the car accident that keeps almost happening. Up for adoption, damaged but nicely packaged, no refunds.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Episode 4: good golly miss holy matrimony!

Don't worry, you haven't missed an episode, I am not getting married. Or remarried. Actually my love life is still a train wreck that refuses to come to a halt. But that's another story. Matrimony has been a prevalent theme these past few days. Like a giant Where's Waldo painting with multiple, almost too easy, answers.

The week started off with one of my best friends from Bennington announcing her engagement to her long time boyfriend. The fact that the proposal was performed in front of her family and his kids is just perfect to me. No irony here, everyone please clap and cry. This beautiful woman deserves this and a million more movie moments. Of course if I do not get an invitation to the wedding I will start cursing her daily in ten different languages. Just kidding M. Well a little bit. I really really do want to come to your wedding. Please?

Then I got a phone call from another friend announcing her pregnancy and impending nuptials. The only hiccup was when I congratulated her and X's happiness and she mentioned casually that X was neither the daddy-o nor groom. Oh well, go with the flow right?

Driving through town the other day, oblivious to the rest of the world and singing delicately along to Jayne County, I had to stop for someone crossing the street while a wedding picture was taken on the town hall steps, overweight meringue girl at its center. It was hot, the windows were down, I was not popular.
I came across Jade Jagger's wedding photos in a gossip magazine. Of course the gossip magazine was thrown at my head from a passing car by a strange man wearing drag and I didn't buy it myself (no comment). I used to be very jealous of Jade Jagger when I was seventeen. My much older boyfriend at the time kept a photo of Jade in his bathtub on his bathroom wall. I declined having my own bubble moment immortalized but I was always furious to have this proof of previous bathtub usage thrown at me. Yes even back then I liked to delude myself that I was the only one that ever counted. Anyway, the main wedding pic is priceless. Jade still has that preternatural I'm a cheeky girl grin, her husband looks benign (a DJ, of course) but Bianca and Mick are...well... Bianca looks like she eats puppies for breakfast and currently has one painfully stuck in her esophagus and Mick is looking way way up and off to the left (probably towards his giantess of a girlfriend) grinning like the mad hatter whose suit he stole. Perfection really.

A couple of nights ago, after some therapy worthy texting, I was asked to be someone's date for a wedding in October. The words tuxedo and clinchy 30s dress were thrown about. Because I am a moron I of course said yes immediately like a giddy teenage idiot. If this ever actually happens though (me going, I think the wedding is pretty much set in steel, kryptonite, whatever) it will be a Lourdes type miracle. I will eat a dog treat if I'm wrong.

Then finally, last night over dinner with a friend and her kids I recounted my own skip down wedding lane. How the judge had asked us both to raise our right hands and swear that we weren't related to each other (gotta love Virginia), how during the actual ceremony I started crying and laughing hysterically (can anyone say "omen") and how finally we had been old enough to get married (I could say ancient by southern standards but that would be bitchy) but definitely not old enough to stay married. Of course only to realize that the lovely friend sitting next to me had gotten married younger than I was and is still happily married a few decades later. 

I did manage to get my foot out of my mouth in time for dessert but anyway, that was a lot of wedding happenstance over just a few days. I'm not actually cynical about marriage. Every single person in my family has been divorced. At least once. But it's never stopped any of us of gleefully jumping into it. All the reasons not to get married are perfectly valid. But it's nice to make that promise to someone, I'm all for naive hope. And wedding presents are cool, especially if they're exchangeable. Now if only someone would magically turn my train wreck into a shiny locomotive. Choo choo baby.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Episode 3: where is my mind?

My brain is a self-sufficient drug addict. I do not mean that as a metaphor for my incredible intelligence and curiosity (humor, of course) but quite literally. 

I haven't touched hard drugs, at least hard illegal drugs, in almost a decade but my brain has cravings which it satisfies with vigor by manufacturing its own concoctions, which by the way it does not do me the courtesy of cutting with baby powder (or rat poison to be fair). Again, this isn't a metaphor nor a ploy to avoid saying that I am bipolar. The question has been asked, examined, dissected, etc and yes if you want to get nitty picky about it I do fall in the overall category. But bipolar is and has always been an ugly word which is both excessive and reductive and which doesn't accurately describe 99% of the people it is ascribed to (those are my figures but don't forget I am incredibly intelligent, and curious). By calling every neurotic person bipolar you are insulting the people who struggle with the disease in its worse form. By calling every bipolar neurotic you are undermining the very real pain some people may feel without falling into the extreme of shooting themselves in the face or going on a Charlie Sheenesque rampage. If some of you have ever lived or loved or both with a drug addict then you will understand the chaos it can create and the disarming moments of bliss when that person is either temporarily recovering or happily high and functioning. Imagine having that type of relationship with your own brain. When you've gotten past the euphoric/nihilistic/passionate/despondent/victim/executioner/etc aspects it leaves you with a lot of scar tissue (both metaphorical and literal this time), an exacerbated pain in the ass for others sensitivity, if you're lucky a terminator resilience, and a Babel's tower worth of achievements decorated with broken dishes.
Anyway, the point of this unwarranted outpouring of my intimacy is actually quite benign. I went to bed last night with a deep feeling of loss and woke up this morning with chemical moonshine pumping through my veins. The excessive upswing was accompanied with a deep desire to dance around the house, do some work, a lot of work, go ride and ride hard, scour the house from top to bottom, basically just go go go. I try to control these moods and I had plans in Paris so those urges were all shot down apart from the dancing part (2 songs on repeat, videos below) but it did lead to a lot of notebook scribbling on the trains there and back. Ideas, plans, et al. The cushions have been quite successful in the store so there will be more of those. I discovered a new book ("Hubris, the monster factory in modern art") which I would like to translate into English. I'm starting to ponder/fantasize an idea which would allow me to conjugate Brooklyn and country living (in the US) once I get out of here. I need to make two mix tapes that accurately reflect the upswing and downward spiral of my day to day, and I need to do it in collaboration with someone in order to, excuse my language, get my head out of my ass. And I'm pulling out again this thing, this undulating hare thing, that I've been back and forth on for a while now. 
It's 9pm here and my brain's bender is winding down. It won't be a hard come down, I'm on a pretty even keel these days. I'm going to make myself a semi-healthy dinner, sit down to finish embroidering a new skull cushion and watch a post-apocalyptic violent movie. The nice part of living with a drug addict is that they do eventually go to sleep at some point.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Episode 2... Violent Femmes

I tried writing this post yesterday but every sentence coming out of my head was a song lyric. Actually for the past 24 hours my entire train of thought has been as succession of song snippets, like the rantings of a gigantic jukebox with severe ADD. And we're not only talking lines of text but a whole damn soundtrack in the background. 

This wasn't a one-theme mix tape, my life is much too schizophrenic at the moment to have a single mood. Mean-spirited folk would take this opportunity to accuse me of not having a single original thought. I prefer to congratulate myself on my immense, eclectic, and largely useless, knowledge of music. The truth is probably much murkier, I'll see what my analyst has to say about it later on. In any event it did make me think of the importance of sights and sounds (and smells really) as definitions of moments and the associations we make between them and certain people in our lives. But first back to yesterday for a moment. My brain jukebox wasn't exactly original or avant-garde at all, let's see if you can relate to some of my associations:

headache opening my eyes in the morning - the smiths, please please let me get what i want
remembering the middle of night text conversation - nine inch nails (quite a succession of songs...)
the bad almost fatal dog fight - L7, shitlist and rage against the machine, kick out the jams
ikea hell - pulp - common people
waiting for an answer to my call for help - david bowie, rock'n'roll suicide
and the day went on...

So that was yesterday. Just audio. But this I'm-not-crazy-but-I hear-smell-see-stuff-that-isn't-there has been going on forever. Whenever I think of my father I hear the Glenn Miller Band, and Johnny Cash. And I smell Dior Vetiver cologne and wet cashmere. I don't see anything though. When I think of the original Harvey, I see little white mice and hear Stand By Me by Ben E. King. My ex-husband will forever be associated with Chet Baker, whiskey and... taziki sauce, the sight of it (ugly enough but the mere smell makes vomit). My mother instantly summons the Scissor Sisters (some of you who know me will get that). Sex will never ever ever be Barry White for me but it has been Bowie, Blur, Motley Crue, the Rolling Stones and Woody Allen's voice. Home smells like clean dog. Flying is bad Marilyn Manson and a vision of a sea of pills. Love is....well these days love is a mixture of the smell of rain and an overheated NY pavement, Dunhill cigarettes, hydrogen peroxide and Cat Power's I found a reason, The National's Slow show, Elvis Costello's I want you and every song where the guitar will make your eardrums bleed. Some things don't have a soundtrack though, they're just there, like children and cops.

Today I'm going to try and make my playlist select my mood rather than the other way round. I may go for some Gold Dust Woman (Stevie not Courtney), a little bit of the Beatles to act older than my age, some Alice Cooper (to appease the hairspray addict slut I've never been) and the newish Jack White so I don't have to think too much.

Here's a little Violent Femmes, for whatever reason.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Episode 1....

You know in movies when a crack appears on the floor, or wall, or whatever life-supporting surface relevant to the story, and suddenly the crack spreads in all directions and you know that this means BIG trouble? Well as a bona-fide melodramatic insecure narcissist this is a perfect visual to illustrate this winter and spring. 

 The first mini-crack appeared in January, when on a -16 degree C° night the electricity failed, and thus the heat as well. There’s only so much body heat that four dogs will supply and it is very hard to train them to hang on as you wander your house lamenting. This set off a chain of events which included my brain exploding from an overdose of anatomy study (literally, of course), total professional disillusionment, being conned by a money launderer, half assaulted on a train (not the fun half), stepped on by a big-ass horse, stopped for speeding (several times), losing what little employment was left, relapsing into some unhealthy behavior and….the big chasm: heart ripped, torn, squeezed, bungee-jumped and squished like a bug. Dramaaaaaaa !!! Lotsa cracks.  So basically I have been wearing my pain and self-pity for months, like one of those gigantic (now slightly smelly) fox fur coats from the 70s. A friend of mine (incredibly talented and funny whose movie Gayby everyone should see and which I will talk about in reviews) once exclaimed out of frustration in my bathroom: “I hate myself and I want to dye”.  And he did, a pink streak framing his face, à la L7 (god the 90s…). But I am pushing middle age, my hair can’t take much more dyeing and I do not want to die, never ever ever.  Thankfully I think I've been saved, Halleluiah! By New York, by old friends, by new friends, by a mentally handicapped dog and a stubborn retired racehorse, by the ridiculous factor of it all.
So while my footing is under reconstruction, and while I try to build a bridge between Brooklyn and Normandy (literally, of course), here is where you’ll find my likes, my finds, my unrequested opinions, my tastes. I hope you’ll like some of them and come visit occasionally. After all, how many true melodramatic insecure narcissists do you know?