Memento Mori

I was walking down sunny Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn last weekend. It had been so long since I had hanged out in my favorite city in the world. I am a Brooklyn babe (like Lana Del Rey haha), and it felt even better that I was in town just for an impromptu courtesy visit.

Outside one out of the million antique shops of the street, I saw a sign: ‘Badass Vintage for your Badass life’. I love the word ‘badass’, so I got in. The store felt different from all the ones trying to sell you dusty yet soulless old stuff. It was clean and bright and every object was exhibited like in a museum.

My eyes were browsing aimlessly, curious but not caught. A French ashtray from the Galeries Lafayette, earrings, old cameras… I turned around and I am sure I let out a strange cry for I got moved in an unusual way. I got very close to the object of my curiosity. I am not good at visually describing things. Here is what I saw.

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A label was hanging from the handmade old frame. ‘Memento Mori, circa 1900. $240.’ I contemplated the Dead Lady for a long time. The quaint charm of the photograph was truly captivating. Every detail of the arrangement had been thought about, like a silent movie scene. The profusion of flowers, the old piano, the portrait of the Lincoln looking guy above her coffin, her wedding gown, the position of her hands carefully crossed on her chest. Her pale face which looked about the same age as mine. I got overwhelmed by a stream of mixed feelings. I didn’t know which one was predominant. Empathy, for her prematured death which could have only been tragic and/or violent? Curiosity about the details of her life? What was her name? Identification, as she could be me? Inspiration, as everything about this scene was so loudly narrative? Morbidity, as I’ve never seen a dead body in real life?

I couldn’t put up with the flow of my bouncy feelings. I was tempted to purchase her immediately and leave with her under my arm, just to keep analyzing my virulent emotions. But I didn’t. I wanted to see if I would easily forget about her. I also didn’t want to spend $240 on an object, because I don’t own any. Only dresses and shoes. I am certainly not an antique collector. On the way out, I saw a 19th century obstetrician tool kit. One of the tools looked like a cork screw.

My Dead Lady was with me all afternoon and all night. I harrassed my friends telling what mysterious spell she had cast over me. I went back to the shop the following day. I stared at my romantically beautiful Dead Lady again. She was smaller than I remembered, but still magically seductive. The young burlesque looking shop owner recognised me. She said that the Dead Lady was waiting for the perfect person to buy her. I replied that it was me and that she was coming back with me to London. While the shop owner was putting green bubble wrap around the original wooden frame, I started asking her a million questions. She had bought the photograph from a lady in Vermont who stored it in her attic. She had inherited it from a grandmother or greatgrandmother, but she didn’t think the Dead Lady was a relative. She didn’t know who she was, no name nor the slightest clue about her existence apart from the approximate date of the picture, between 1890 and 1910. The question started spinning in my head. What was the nature of this woman’s existence? She was such an amazing starting point for a novel, an adventure, any kind of story hunting and story telling.

The burlesque looking shop owner started unfolding bits of her work as an antique dealer. She studied something like criminology (not quite, but similar, I am forgetting the exact subject) and wanted to be a US marshal. She then worked as a private hunter, looking for super specific objects throughout the country upon request from rich people. Her job now consisted in driving the East coast of the US in a van, stopping along the road in diners to talk to people and make connections in order to hear their life story, visit their home and buy unique objects.

The girl won me over for she had exactly the life style that I dream of. Hitting the road, meeting strangers and collecting life stories. This is what I do in my own way, but I haven’t found the trick to turn it into a career just yet. I want a human and itinerant job. Talking with that girl triggered something in my brain about all the possibilities out there to create the work you want if there is no job in the world that perfectly suits you. Just tailor your own. I told her that she should write down and exhibit in her shop the human story attached to each object she sells, so people would not only buy a frame or a piece of furniture, but they would buy a piece of a perfect stranger’s humanity.

On the train that was taking me back to Boston, I googled ‘Memento Mori’. I thought it meant The moment of your death’ but my latin is poor. It literally means ‘Remember to die’ or ‘Remember that you must die’. It is a Christian thing and a whole artistic genre in itself. Puritan America was very big on it between the 17th and the 19th century. I probably purchased one of the last ones as the tradition started fading away.

The forests of New England were passing before my eyes as I was absorbing the events of the recent days on my Amtrak seat. Absorbing the eternal electricity of New York, all these new stories and encounters to integrate into my life. I realised there was a funny correlation in my obsession to find clues about the existence of my Dead Lady with the same passion as I put in trying to find clues about the true nature of my own existence. I think I got a couple clues more during my New York escape. I want my work to be human & itinerant.

I haven’t found a place for my Memento Mori yet. It deserves a very special spot. It is still trapped in its green bubble wrap. It intimidates me to look at it, to welcome it in my home. I am also somewhat afraid that it will haunt me or obsess me with its strong nostalgic presence. I am not going to take that photograph as a daily reminder that I must die. I am going to use it as a daily reminder that I must pursue the life I really want.

If by an extraordinary coincidence someone has any information about the lady on the picture, please contact me: mother_chaos@mail.com – Thanks!

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Wish List To 2015

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2015 started with a great feeling, collective enthusiasm and even a lil wind of magic that we hadn’t breathed in a long time. The fun was ruined after a week (#JeSuisCharlie), but hopefully all the bad karma of the year got concentrated in January. It can only get better.

I maintain the optimism and hunger for change and declare that 2015 will be the year of activism, international artistic networking, emotional sex and customised sweaters. Oh yeah!

I’m throwing a bunch of desires in the stratosphere with the following dream list – nothing to do with a “resolution list” or a “to do list” (Bwargh for both). Dream lists actually work out. When I look back at my old ones, I realise that I’ve checked most of the items, but not in the way or timeframe which I had originally imagined. So FYI all the below will get real somehow. Let’s review it in a year.

#1. Fall in love CHOOSE love* with a girl who has an even bigger hair than me and who doesn’t need to be saved. Tell her “It’s the coolest thing in the world to be your girl!”

*My therapist tells me off about ‘falling in love’ because she says that if I fall it will smell of mind fuck pattern again

#2. Put together a burlesque number with intellectual content and empowering message and perform under the stage name “Magnolia Marshmallow” or “Moira Moist”. With that extra cash, hire a PA a few hours per month to do my boring life admin (e.g. returning my unwanted gifts to Amazon, hanging my laundry)

#3. See beyond the Western World: travel to Naoshima, the Japanese Island dedicated to contemporary art where you can sleep in a room with famous art pieces. Go for a 5 Rhythms or Gaga workshop* in Israel (depending on how much it sucks at the time)

*Gaga is a genius movement language for contemporary dancers created by the Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin

#4. Have an emotional 1-2-1 with a man to see if emotion changes anything

#5. If #4 is successful, have an emotional 1-2-2 with men, just like that because I can and I want to try everything in life as long as it is harmless

#6. Quit corporate and study at the Hacker Academy in Budapest. Join Anonymous to help prevent terrorist propaganda online. OR alternatively, quit corporate to do a PhD about human desire and question the concept of sexual orientation. The more I hang out with queer creatures, the more I start believing that sexual attraction is some kind of unpredictable energetic algorithm that doesn’t really depend on anatomy. Of course, we have a dominant gender in our field of attraction, but it is deeper than that. I don’t believe either that “everyone is bisexual”. I think we are only at the very beginning of the research on fantasies, human desire and human sexual psyche. This unknown territory fascinates me. I want to go and meet creatures and listen to them, write about them and bring their voice in the academic world. Either way, quit corporate.

#7. Dance more, always more

#8. Learn how to draw without losing my personal touch (see picture below) and make storyboards for Dadaist movies based on my own life and the life of my extraordinary friends

#9. Sell the shares I own in the company I’ll soon quit to become a hacker or a Doctor in human desire (see #6) and with the money I get from the stock market, launch a film production company with H to produce the Dadaist movies based on my own life etc. (see #8)

#10. Move to New York fucking finally

#11. Organise myself a writer’s residency in New Orleans. Hang out with the queers, the drags and the creatures all night and all day and feature them in film scripts and in academic research. Productive deal

#12. Become the chieftain of the Lesbian Sex Mafia (self-explanatory New York-based group) in London

#13. Go and kiss Mother Iceland. I haven’t felt her heartbeat in way too long

#14. Make this blog famous. Not to be famous, just to get more cool friends to collaborate with. Invite all the artists who read me and their artist friends who don’t read me yet to contribute to it by illustrating a post in whatever way they want. Turn the Human Disco into an international artistic collaboration platform

#15. Laugh even more at everything. Especially if it is not funny

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October Is For Whores

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I’m starting a new American chapter at Newark Liberty international airport, New Jersey. I don’t even get excited any more when I pass the immigration test or see my first American flag cause I feel like I partially live here now and I’m just going home, away from the mean people. I already screamed 15 times on the inside “I love Americans!” shaking my forearms like an idiot (also on the inside).

I could furtively see my beloved NYC skyline when touching the ground. I blew a kiss to “my” Empire State Building cause I’m going to dance the 5 Rhythms in its face in 11 days.

The new Alt-J (‘This is all Yours’) will be the soundtrack of this trip. My favourite line of the entire album is “I’m gonna turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet”. Whoever comes close enough to me next in life is going to hear that and I’ll pretend I invented it.

My flight is delayed and I’m eating a Manhattan chowder. I’m kind of bummed cause I returned a Vivienne Westwood dress to buy a second flight to Chicago that lands earlier, and I’m now stuck Vivienneless with 2 tickets for planes landing at the same time. Dadaist drama. Clever budgeting.

I’m transiting to Chicago where my Whore friends – this is how we call each other – already gathered. A member of the family is getting married on Saturday and we are all punk maids of honour. I’m the last one to arrive, and also traveling the furthest distance, so I will have a prodigal son moment later today when I get my collective welcome hug. They told me to get my body ready for squeezes. That’s exactly one year that we saw each other altogether, the 5 of us, after the Route 66 fun.

October is for Whores.

This group of gals is very special. I would even say “exceptional”. I met 3 out of 4 whilst studying at the tragically bad “Dance & Visual Art” department at Brighton Uni. We ended up living 4 peeps in a bedroom for two. That’s how we got so close. They went back to America after 6 months so I dropped out of Uni in a particularly theatrical manner. Good times.

We are a bunch of arty slashers, so we all are pretty hard to describe.

α is a filmmaker/puppet maker/ random stuff maker/yoga teacher/ event organiser at an architects firm living in NYC.

ε is the bride to be. She is a Chicago-based painter/pie maker/former best nanny in the world and has now a variety of jobs that I’m losing track on.

α3 is a painter/caver/photographer/life manager for all of us and also does business in her spare time, selling some kind of paint that makes your old furniture look like stainless steel. She lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. All that she does is hilarious (but that could generally apply to each one of us.)

H is a filmmaker/camera operator/photographer working in LA. She hangs out with the red carpet people but giggles about it the same way she giggles at everything else.

And there’s me, the European refugee, the only one who was not born and raised in the Midwest. Like most of the groups I’ve belonged to, I’m the only foreigner/accented. This said, even when I was hanging out in Paris (where I was born) with a bunch of French, I was told that I sound Belgian.

I sometimes wonder if there are any  people who speak like me? It is so much part of my identity now – the mixed influences “citizen of the world” twist. (I hate this expression).  I’d like to meet someone like me at least once to team up with another odd-one-out. We would have a long conversation tainted with the different shades and tones of our various life experiences.

Next fall is H’s 30th birthday. Another hot Whores gathering in sight.

Holding My Breath

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I’ve been back in London for 13 days and I’ve spent most of my conscious time figuring out ways to move back home (New York City). It is tiring, but I have a life goal at last. I spent 30 years not knowing what I wanted to do and where, and then pfiout in 5 New York weeks all became clear.

As a visualisation exercise, I designed my ideal business card. It states all my professional ambitions (“Writer/Performer/5 Rhythms Teacher/LGBT Rights activist”) and has my US number on it. My 5 Rhythms teacher name will be ‘Mother Chaos’. I burned a candle to my Virgin Mary statue telling her that I will hand out this business card within 4 years (even before).

I’ll be holding my breath till then.

I don’t know at all why I live in London, which is problematic. If I was packing all my shit and leaving tonight, it wouldn’t make a difference to anyone’s life. I wonder how long it would take for my body to be discovered if I died in the house (this is not a suicidal alert). I don’t really care anyway about making people love me here. I just want to leave.

I live mostly alone in a 6 bedroom house with garden, which I was calling the “Ghost House” when I initially moved in. I chose this house because of the apple tree in the back yard. I actually share the place with N², a phlegmatic Scottish guy who makes me laugh to peeing. He works night shifts with very unusual people (conspiracy theory or refusal to wear a bra type), so I occasionally see him in the kitchen, but it can be days without our worlds to collide. He is in Sri Lanka right now, where his wife lives. So I am absolutely alone. 

In 13 days, I reunited with a few people, they asked me what the highlight of my New York stay was, and I could reply nothing but “NYC itself”. When I try to get into detail, I see that I am losing most of them .

I went to a new club in Piccadilly with α5, my very intense squatter friend. Some of her underground housemates are regularly performing extravaganza numbers there. There was also a not very good female wizard. On the street, we met a drunk stripping Superman. α5 helped him dress back up. She’s currently in love with a slam singer woman married to another woman. She’s trying to figure out where she fits in the triangle – classic α5 story. I gently made fun of her, singing in a loop Triangles are my favourite shape“. 

I also caught up with my old dance and digital artist friend µ, that I have known and worked with for 9 years. In my absence, she got herself a part-time 22 year old  Erasmus student female lover. They met at a “Growing Bacteria” workshop. I called her “Cougar” for the rest of the night. My friends are fabulous worldwide and more often than not, are my reason to live. 

Yesterday, I went to my first Krav Maga (קרב מגע) class, the self-defence technique used in the Israeli Defence Forces. It was developed in the 30s by Imrich Lichtenfeld in Bratislava to protect the Jewish area from anti-Semitic attacks, so it is close to real situation street fight. There were about 10 guys and another girl in the class. We did multiple attackers exercises, like surrounded by enemies and you have to escape from the circle or in the centre of a circle and attackers sweep down on you one after the other but you never know where the attack will come from. I got really beaten up but I loved it. I don’t really know where my taste for fight comes from. Violence just really excites me sometimes. Boys usually don’t expect that a 5ft girl will beat them up with all her heart. OK, they are stronger. But I am faster and angrier. They were like: “Are you OK? Are you OK?” and after the class they asked me where I learned to spin like that. I told them: “Years of ballet, Gentlemen.”

The class was taking place in a primary school and I had a look at the kids’ names under each hanger. Oh My God! There are really parents out there who named their kid “Cougar”? I dare to hope for the kid that she’s not a girl at least.

Now, I am in the middle of the 3 day week end. I avoided 2 lesbian parties, because I don’t want to pretend and have meaningless sex for the moment. I am entering a “not pretending” detox phase. I am not yet ready for love, but I am ready for some emotion at least. Instead of drinking mojitos with the dykes, I went to see “Tracks“, the true story of a young girl who crossed the Australian desert with 3 camels and a dog in the 70s. I needed some woman explorer inspiration. It made me want to dive back into the biography of Alexandra David-Néel.

I want to go on a life-changing adventure too.

Who are the female adventurers of our times? Do I qualify to be one?

On The Road

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I went from Québec City to Montréal to New York by bus in the course of a day.

Before I realised, I was facing the giant “United States of America” sign at the border. I remember seeing this sign for the first time a couple of years ago on the same journey. Back then, I was travelling on an overnight bus and I suddenly woke up in the dark. The colossal sign was standing above me like a huge monster. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The mythical letters were shining under the moonlight and captivated my imagination, between dream and nightmare.

As soon as you pass the border, it feels different. Canada and the US are neighbours but so distinct.

At sunset, we stopped in a random petrol station, which is the quintessence of the deep America road trip culture. I have had a fascination for American gas stations since my teenage and “Thelma & Louise”. I never thought back then that I would hit the American road so much.

Seating behind me on the bus, there was a young guy crying. I could hear him sob and I was checking his reflection in the window. I felt like showing him some compassion. But I finally didn’t.

I arrived at Port Authority Station in Manhattan at 1.30 am. I walked out and was brutally projected in the New York electricity again, right at the heart of Times Square. The neons were so bright that it took me a second to remember if it was night or day. These were my last instants in Manhattan. But I had no time for nostalgia, farewells or endless considerations, because I had only a few hours ahead before catching the plane.

Trains were disrupted so my middle of the night journey back to Brooklyn was chaotic. It took me 2 trains, a shuttle and a cab to finally reach the house 2 hours later. α and α² were there, awake. It was hard to hierarchise my actions because I had 4 hours to do everything : fill them in about my Québec pilgrim and my confused emotions, pack all my shit, hear their updates about the flatmate hunting situation, and potentially sleep. 

I managed to close my suitcase out of miracle (how do I do it every time? How can so many shoes fit in one bag? That’s my biggest talent : closing the zipper.)

α² went to bed and hugged me good bye. He said: “See you soon anyway. You belong here.” It touched me to the core because then, it means that my sense of belonging there is not only in my head. It is a scientific fact. I didn’t show I was moved though and simply replied : “I know. So, worst case scenario, you marry me, right?”

I went to bed next to α at 4am, a cab picked me up 3 hours later. I haven’t counted how many hours of sleep behind I am because of New York.

The taxi driver asked me where I was from. I said: “I am French, but my life goal is to move here.” He said that he would marry me. See! Even taxi drivers are on my side.

It didn’t feel like I was leaving anyway. It is just a temporary formality. My life will be on hold till I live in my city for good.

I almost lost my flight because I was waiting at the wrong gate. 15 minutes before departure, an announcement said: “Mr X, Y, Z and… Miss Σ (my first name) are asked to go immediately to gate 11.” Hahaha. Not that I didn’t try everything to stay.

At 10.45am, I finally took off to Toronto for the ultimate stage of my North American tour.

Chaos With Sand on my Feet

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I have been in Montreal, Canada for 3 days and missing my New York families already. The family I lived with and the family I danced with – the 5 Rhythms crew.

My last class on Sunday was equally intense and memorable as the first one I attended upon my arrival in the City. It felt like I had swallowed fireworks because of the lack of sleep and because I was dancing the farewell to my city. I just wanted to leave as much of my soul & DNA as possible in the atmosphere of the Big Apple. So I sweated my prayers furiously. It felt like my last dance – although I know it hasn’t even begun.

We “chaossed” for a good half an hour and I think I lost consciousness, I tranced so hard. I just remember that people around me were slowing down one by one and I was all wearing them out. The music just kept going, going, going on the same chaos beat and the more everyone was giving up, the more I was jumping high and bouncing. I was still full of the morning sun and my restless feet were covered with Coney Island beach sand. What a wonder! I was afraid the teacher would come and tell me that drugs are not tolerated and I’d reply: “No, it’s my most natural state!”

In 6 weeks of dance, I have seen the same faces again and again, I’ve become a strong part of the community although I learnt very few names. It is not always necessary to speak with people afterwards, and I don’t share my name unless someone asks for it. The depth of the dance floor encounters remains more vivid if you only retain the non verbal message you received while sharing the dance. I often don’t see the point of knowing people’s life, the sound of their voice. I fall in love every week on the dance floor and I’d rather walk out of the studio with this beautiful feeling than trying to pursue it. I loved coming in and seeing the faces that became familiar along the weeks. They became like dance relatives, I was noticing people’s absence or presence. We were acknowledging each other implicitly, getting accustomed to our mutual energy.

I loved the very pretty girl my height who seems to have Indian dance background and has equally thick and long hair as mine, but dark. I loved the other pretty girl dancing in a bra and fringed legging and bouncing restlessly. I loved the woman who looks like she has nervous system issues but dances anyway like a valid person. I loved the older man who dresses like a Buddhist monk and seems to send very quiet prayers to the rest of the world when everybody is in chaos. I loved the person whom I could never tell if it was a he or a she or something else but who had a beautiful body and danced her/his/their heart out, and I like that I gave up wondering after a while, because who cares after all. I loved the hunchback guy with a wig from the 80s. I loved the strange woman who always danced with a purse that she was continuously moving in circles, and this ritual stung my curiosity. What was inside the purse? A pendulum? Some beloved person’s ashes? I loved the bunch of tall handsome guys. I loved the bunch of shorter older guys. I loved the bunch of fatter guys.

I loved everyone really. I thank them all for the bliss dance floor times. It’s been a privilege. I will be back for sure.

The God Bless You Dunkin’Donuts

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After a long failed day and 3 and a half hours of sofa sleep, I jumped on the F train at 5am with α, direction Coney Island.

We wanted to reiterate the Sunday morning sunrise experience, but actually seeing the sunrise from the beach and not from the highway this time.

It was still dark when we arrived in Coney Island, the fun fair was deadly silent apart from an odd pop music spitting from speakers somewhere. Fun fairs are often scary and depressing but empty fun fairs are scary and exciting. We wanted to jump the fence and sneak in the Ghost House.

We first went in search for coffee to salute the sun with our caffeine intake in the blood. We miraculously found a 24 hour Dunkin’ Donuts. α pushed the door saying “God bless 24 hour!”. The man at the counter was very sweet and slow and we had to explain several times “one everything bagel with cream cheese and one with butter”. He served us and instead of saying thank you or you’re welcome, he was saying “God bless you” in each sentence: “That’s your regular coffee, God bless you”, “One cream cheese bagel, God bless you”, “Here’s your change, God bless you”, “Have a nice day, God bless you”. We named this branch the ‘God bless you Dunkin’ Donuts’.

We walked to the beach and we weren’t sure in which direction to look at to see dawn breaking. I told α : “It is so random where the sun rises”. She looked at me very politely and replied: “Well, technically, it is always east.” I pulled myself together and explained that I have some very specific kind of genius.

While we were waiting for the show with the seagulls, α told me a very good bird story from the time she was living in Delaware in a beach house. After having an argument, she ran to the beach to find some peace of mind. The ocean and the scenery calmed her down, and to enhance this moment of bliss, 2 beautiful white doves flew over and landed close to her. She took it like a sign from the gods and closed her eyes to embrace this instant of plenitude. When she opened her eyes again, the doves had vanished and were replaced, exactly at the same spot, by 2 ugly sick-looking brown seagulls. I peed myself at the anecdote because I thought it sounded like a zen allegory or some wise metaphors from a fortune cookie: ‘You may think you saw a dove but in the blink of an eye a seagull appears.’ How can I ever be depressed with friends like that?

The sun finally rose and we danced and hip-hopped at it, then we walked along the ocean and we talked about having children or not, love patterns, and the Ministry of Silly Walks by the Monty Python.

The ocean was throwing yellow carnations at us. α and I love carnations because of the dance theatre masterpiece ‘Nelken‘ by German choreographer Pina Bausch, our spiritual Mother. It is the first of her pieces that we both ever saw, even before we met each other and before we knew we’d adopt dance theatre as a life style. Pina Bausch is one of the cements of our friendship because we took a very random journey to Wuppertal together to see ‘Kontakthof‘. We were 22 and didn’t know each other very well yet.

So we sat our butt on a rock and I finally showed her the pictures of my pilgrim to Wuppertal last January, when I left a postcard on Pina’s grave signed with our two names.

When our butt was frozen, we took the F train again. α stopped in Brooklyn, I continued to Manhattan to have coffee with β² who was in town only for a day and a half. I haven’t seen him since our Air Waves experience in Reykjavik last year. We met each other in LA last September, then we met again in Iceland a few weeks later, now we have a brief coffee in NYC.

He walked me to the door of the Joffrey Ballet School for my ultimate 5 Rhythms dance class of this chunk of time, and we hugged each other saying: “So, where next?”

I love catching up with people in different places every time.

Failed Day

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I reached my NYC home on Friday night at midnight, returning from New England. I hugged α² as if I hadn’t seen him in months. He had fixed me a cute Boy Scout bed on the sofa because him mum is visiting and she borrowed “my” bedroom.

I met her early the morning after and it was the most awkward parent introduction I have ever experienced. I rose from the sofa with my morning hair and she was already glowing with effortless elegance at 8am.

I was going on a day workshop at 11am called “How to fuck like a porn star” taught by Madison Young, a queer sex positive feminist porn actress whom I discovered in “Too Much Pussy” by Emilie Jouvet. I went for breakfast with α², his mum and β but I told in front of Ბs mum that I was going to a painting workshop. She was very excited about it and asked me super specific questions and α² and I struggled not to laugh, I just couldn’t look in his direction as I was trying hard to make something up.

I arrived at the workshop in an amazing 3 floor Brooklyn house with patio and hot tub only to find out that the porn star was in hospital because of food allergy, so I went back where I came from. Brooklyn was so sunny, it made the walk lazy and pleasant. I wanted to meet the family at the flea market but by the time I got there they had left. Bummer.

I went back to the Brooklyn 3 floor hot tub house in the evening for the after party – a Play Party. I got there early and hanged out awkwardly. Everyone was friend with everyone and was talking about Burning Man Festival, where I have never been. When the party really kicked in I realized that instead of queer friendly alternative and experimental as I expected, the crowd was borderline tasteless middle-class straight couple swingers. Only straight couples were walking in, 2 by 2 holding hands in ridiculous outfits (Superman, nurse, fishnet unitard with strategic holes, T-shirt with a picture of their dog) (no kidding). Some dudes were friendly and chatted me up but I told them that I was totally in the wrong party and that I’d soon be bored to death. I had a couple of cool talks but I spent most of the time pigging myself at the buffet ‘Eat as much as you like’ style, petting the cat and writing blog posts with my iPhone on the couch surrounded by bare butts. A man in latex told me off: ‘Stop texting!’

I got seriously hit on by a short old deaf guy with skinny legs who didn’t get that I wasn’t interested. Not only I didn’t feel like talking to him one bit, but I had to shout and repeat every sentence. He finally understood that I was at the wrong party cause I am exclusively into girls. He replied with a sassy face ‘No worries, I love watching women together!’ I hope he was trying to be funny. But I know he wasn’t and he had just said the worst line ever to tell a lesbian. He tried again later ‘So, you told me you are into girls, but guys must be into you cause you’re kinda cute’ with a cow-boy accent. Did it really have to be my last night in NYC? Bummer.

That was my biggest NYC failure, but it was extremely funny. I think I had a good time after all, not the good time I was aiming for but who cares, good time anyway.

I left soon after midnight and walked home. Brooklyn at night isn’t scary, there are even some gentlemen on the street. It is only piled with trash.

I slept with α on the couch, only a few hours because we wanted to catch the sunrise on Coney Island, our Sunday routine.

Failed days make the funniest stories.

 

The Last Days

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New York is crying my impending departure with heavy rains.

Today was the last day at my Broadway office. I gave a bunch of fake hugs at 5.30, and a few genuine ones. I expected to click more with my co-workers – apart from a handful of cool dudes. My legendary magnetism for Americans didn’t quite work this time. Why?

Some aspects of my NYC adventures had to be challenging, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to be brutally uprooted from my natural habitat in the next days.

I’m not sad to leave though. I can feel nothing but gratitude for the blast time. As if the best lover of the world had made me climax intensely multiple times throughout the night and I was forced to leave in the morning to abide by grown-up obligations. I will feel the waves in my body long after the adrenaline was shot into my craving-for-chaos blood. New York is the best lover I’ve ever had, and I possibly love Her more than I ever loved any physical person. It sounds far fetched but it is not a figure of speech ; and it is not original either. Carrie Bradshaw said it long before me, and a bunch of girls walk around the City with a “New York is my Boyfriend” bag. If so many of us feel the relationship with the City, it is because it does exist. I never meant to be the only one.

I’m writing this getting soaked by heavenly waters at the intersection of Broadway and Chambers street with “First Love Never Die” in my ears. It is a good rain song. I am going to slalom my way between the umbrellas down Broadway till the south tip of Manhattan, and blow a kiss to foggy Lady Liberty. 

Tomorrow night is my last extatic Tuesday 5 Rhythms dance class until further notice. I will look at my lover Empire State Building in the eyes and dance to the universe my burning desire to become a true New Yorker. Oh Yes! Manifest that shit!

A 24 Hour Brooklyn Snapshot

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It has been a Brooklyn week end. I kept being carried away from my original plans and found myself bouncing through improvisation and plans B like a flipper ball. For the best. This is certainly a New York thing, and more broadly a metropolis thing. It is incredible what one can fit within 24 hours in a huge city with so many life paths crossing each other every instant.

Yesterday at that time, I was writing a blog post at the Civil Service Café. All of a sudden I got overwhelmed by a wave of sorrow. I knew the reason. I didn’t want to cry in a public place although I usually “like” doing so, because the variety of people’s reactions in different countries has always interested me. I started crying outside at the closest intersection and a man asked me if I was fine, I said yes and continued my way. He raised his voice as I was moving away: “It is a beautiful day!” Yes, it was. Thank you, Noble Stranger.

It took me a moment to find back some peace of mind and gather enough strength to kick my ass and take the conscious decision to enjoy the last rays of sun. As I was leaving to the park, α² invited me to join him and β for a drink at one of their cult local bars. I poured some Chardonnay down my throat and laughed with my temp guardian angels, and my joy revived. We then moved on to dinner in a place with the most awful paintings ever made on the walls (I’m tempted to go back just to get evidence of this), like paintings of Jay-Z with a crown made by a 6 year-old.  From there we went to β’s roof terrace with Manhattan view. NYC from above!  As it was windy and dark up there we hanged out in his brick-wall living room and cuddled the VERY large cat he lives with. We then went into a gay bar crawl until late, first to the Metropolitan and later to the Dynaco, which has a really cosy Brooklyn vibe.

As I was waiting at the Dynaco counter to order my second amaretto sour, I overheard the word “green card” on my left so I raised an obsessed ear. I understood that the man sitting close to me had recently got married to a Japanese man who just got his green card last Thursday. I don’t know how I engaged the conversation with the guy, named τ, and after we chatted for a little bit he told me his very inspirational love story.

τ randomly met his husband-to-be 3 times in different spots of the world before they said YES! to each other, surrendering to fate. They met in Japan 19 years ago and had a few week fling which they didn’t pursue. 1 or 2 years later, τ, who had in the meantime moved from Oklahoma to NYC, went to a party organized by friends… and Japanese guy (I didn’t ask his name) was there. Second encounter. They both had no clue that they had simultaneously moved to the Big Apple. But τ was taken at the time, so it was another “rendez-vous manqué“. Some time later – I am uncertain of the time frame – τ moved to the West Village. After a few days in the neighborhood, he randomly bumped into Japanese guy on the street, who happened to have himself just recently moved to the area and was living 2 blocks down.

They’ve now been together for 16 years and got married after gay marriage was legalized in New York last year. And Japanese guy got his green card this week! I remember α telling me “New York takes care of you if you trust it”. That’s a sumptuous illustration. It gave me a great lift so I exchanged details with τ for when I live here. If only I got as many gay girls’ numbers as I get gay guys’ numbers, I would be Shane F***ing McCutcheon. (τ said that he has a powerful bad ass gorgeous lesbian filmmaker friend I’d really like. Sounds like I would.)

Back home after a hectic night out, I put in a frying pan whatever was comestible in the house for a middle of the night snack with α². We debriefed our respective break-ups and laughed a lot, but we tackled the deep stuff at the same time. We are doing well and are cute little people. I don’t need any other type of love than this one right now. It is moisturizing like a heart balm.

I slept 4 hours, my NYC week end average. α woke me up at 6am as her friend κ from yoga training was on her way to pick us up and go watch the sunrise on the beach. We drove to Coney Island and watched the actual sunrise from the car in BedStuy with Dunkin Donuts take away coffee. We stayed on the sea side for 3 hours doing yoga assignments and funny photo shoots. We passed Manhattan sublime island skyline with the bright morning sun reflecting on the skyscrapers and stinging my European eyes. We passed Lady Liberty whom I still find tiny compared to what I imagined all my life. (But I love her symbol dearly.)

We landed at the Civil Service café for breakfast and α² met his wives (he calls α & I like that). I soon took off for the Sunday morning 5 Rhythms dance class, the “Church” one. But NYC played a trick on me and trains were so heavily disrupted that I never made it to Manhattan. Too bad. I love dancing to chaos with no sleep and a huge shot of sunshine in my system.

As a consolation, I went to lie down in Washington Park with α². We watched people playing tennis and tried to figure out who in our group would be the most disastrous player, and what if we all played together.

Tonight, α will practice her yoga teaching skills on me.

It feels so unnatural that I legally don’t belong here.