Nightmare in New Mexico

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Two fearless blondes in a Jeep on Route 66: H & I revived Thelma & Louise for a few days (no rape and no gun though.)

After 2 days on the road and a failed karaoke stop in Roswell, we drove east in the middle of the night. We randomly stopped along the way at 4am, woke up the owner of a motel and crashed in the same bed.

In the morning, we learned that we were in Tucumcari, New Mexico, a quaint Route 66 town straight from a movie set, perfectly vintage, outdated and pinupy.

After breakfast, we went seeking for morning adventures. Is it the vintage flair that gave H the idea to improvise a photo shoot in a disaffected petrol station, with me and my glittery bikini?

I don’t clearly remember how this occured. She suggested that I strip on the side of the road and handed me cow boy boots: “You can wear this!” I hypnotically said yes to everything. H is a movie director and therefore has the power of making people adopt her ideas with no discussion as if they came from God.

(I am crazy and kinda good material for that type of stuff, too.)

There we were, soon finding ourselves taking/shooting glamour-butt poses with curious glances from car drivers passing by.

All of a sudden, a biker spurted out of nowhere and stopped a few steps away from us. After the first wave of shock, I was praying super hard that he didn’t really park there because of our impromptu photo shoot. When he shouted “This is what you need!”, all my hopes vanished and I started freaking out, smelling a potential Thelma & Louise not funny moment. My panic only got worse when biker man said: “My name is Scouter, but they call me Nightmare!”

He got off his bike and helped me up on the darling. I opposed no resistance. Nightmare then started showing me the moves to play it like a Playmate. “See, you can pose like this, put your arms there, your feet up.” Cheap truck driver calendar type. “Bien sûr, Monsieur” I thought, and I let him manipulate me like a doll. I couldn’t possibly be serious so I did it full out, laid on my back, spread my legs open, arched my waist, whilst H was documenting this surreal outdoors modelling lecture.

After a moment, he got his old flip phone out and asked us: “Can I please take one for myself, so that people believe me? Give me that, please!”

Nightmare happened to be on the board of the Route 66 magazine, and he promised us to get the pictures published. This is how my belated Playmate career got launched.

I finally put some clothes back on and we hugged Nightmare good bye.

I don’t know how long we laughed at what had just happened.

No photo shoot will ever possibly equal this one.

Picture by HB – A series of our Route 66 adventures is available on her official website

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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.