The Marks & Spencer Effect

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My life has been on hold.

I am intellectually aware that it is moving towards some kind of direction, but I quit wondering whether I really choose that direction or not. Do I have any power upon what’s happening to me in the end?

Everything has been feeling on hold since I collapsed in Ushuaia at the beginning of the year. I haven’t been able to write about it yet. Ushuaia has been by far the most extreme event of my life, almost like a near-death experience. My adrenaline is taking ages to come down.

What’s the point of extreme experiences after all? I am not even sure that it helped me get to know myself better. I’ve been stuck outside my body since then. Nothing went back to “normal” after Ushuaia. Any sense of normalcy has deserted my life, my expectations and any perspective there is to have on that side of the planet.

Many blog posts ideas ran through my head over the last months, but it has felt kamikaze to share my intimate thoughts with the rest of the world since I’ve been living in the Motherland (aka France). I’ve wanted to write posts called Gasoline, Hell Is Having To Please PeopleMetaphysics of The Lollipop, Secret Garden, and Your Comfort Zone Is A Bitch. But I didn’t and it’s OK.

Most mornings I feel like I will never write, dance or fuck ever again; those things that used to make me feel ultimately alive. I’m moderately alive, but I’m not feeling borderline either, and that’s probably a sign of progress towards the sense of serenity I’ve been pursuing all my life.

This thing happened the other day. I was walking in Saint-Germain-des-Prés with my friend J from Canada. We met sixteen years ago; I hadn’t seen him in four years.

We entered the Marks & Spencer store in Saint-Germain covered market and tears came to my eyes. Can you believe it? I instantly got moved to tears by Marks & Fucking Spencer. That’s the bottom of shame.

It reminded me of London. It reminded me of my London life. It’s not that I miss London and London people in such extent that I would cry all over it. Of course I do. But I miss my London self even more. Walking down those shop aisles, I remembered what I used to pick from the shelves when I was my London self. I remembered what my London self was eating.

I put my finger on the core of what I had been missing all those months. It wasn’t a job, or a group of people, or a person, or a place, or the architecture of a city. I miss the side of me that was free, adventurous, sexual and creative. Where have I gone? I forgot what makes my heart beat and my body thrill. I guess I’ve been building up again some ground under my feet after it all fell apart in international chaos. You can’t embrace freedom when you’re not even able to walk straight. But it’s taking so long and I’m impatient to be born again.

The bottom line is: I don’t like my French self, my “back home” self. What home? I don’t like my personality here. I don’t like the way I speak. I don’t like hearing my own voice. I don’t like the way I’m perceived. I am feeling self-conscious and it makes me be the dull version of myself, like my wildness was forever tamed. How do you recreate the magic in the city where you are from?

I want to go travel again. Alone. Alone always. I want to drive fast and I want some wind in my hair. I want to stop in odd towns and make weirdos dance for their artistry can be more gigantic than anything you & I have seen so far. I want to do epic self-portraits in stunning landscapes that would represent for real who I really am and not what people think they’re seeing because that’s just their own projection and their own issue most of the time, and I am now done with that. I want to develop my photographic blog which I will call Skin Is The Deepest and for which I had such a strong call when I was trekking in Patagonia. I visualised it so clearly.

And above all, I need to have the courage to love and make love again and run the risk of inner devastation that goes with it.

Who would have thought that picking a mango and crayfish salad from Marks & Spencer would have triggered such philosophical introspection on my urge to break my love shell. Ha! I’m terrified.

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Glamorous Homelessness

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I’ve disappeared.

Some people have been asking me where in the world I currently am. I also have a hard time following my own peregrinations. Things didn’t quite turn out the way I planned.

So. What happened?

I last posted in November from Buenos Aires, at the beginning of my Latin America adventures.

Then.

In a nutshell: I went to Brazil. I proposed someone to marry me. She said yes. Actually, she said “Of course!” And everything collapsed in front of my eyes in the course of 7 days. I left Brazil at the beginning of 2017 to explore Patagonia alone. I had big highs and big lows. I hit the bottom of sadness as I hit the bottom of the world, in Ushuaia. Because I couldn’t go any more down geographically and emotionally, I knifed my way to the surface again.

From the Land of Fire, I jumped on a plane to Buenos Aires. There was a heat wave in the metropolis. One day, as I was walking to the Recoleta cemetery to visit Evita’s grave, I was hit by the certitude that my trip was over. I had seen what I wanted to see and lived what I had to live.

I prepared my emergency exit, spending hours figuring out how to get my ass to Europe ASAP. Anywhere in Europe. The cheapest destination occurred to be Paris, my birth place. The day after, I was flying back “home” on a two day journey via Atlanta and New York. Trump was omnipresent in the background of my US stops. I realised it wasn’t a joke anymore.

I landed in Paris-Orly on a Tuesday morning at the end of January. It was my first time landing in my home country since 2009. First time I was lining up in the “Citizens” passport check in 8 years. There was a cold wave. I had no clothes with me, just a little backpack, cause I have left all my stuff in Brazil. My belongings are scattered across 3 countries.

I contacted a very few friends to open me their door because I don’t have a home right now anywhere in the world.

My friend C welcomed me with croissants for my back home breakfast and gave me tights, socks and an adaptor to charge my phone. That was 23 days ago.

Since then, everyone has been donating me clothes. Beautiful ones. So I feel like a super glamor homeless.

I’ve been hanging out in people’s homes while they’re working. I’m offering myself the luxury to process my emotions as a full time job. I’m not trying to distract myself. I barely go see things or do anything. I’m spending most of my time seating alone to preserve the exact nature of my intense emotions. The last few months have been the most extraordinary, challenging and earth-shattering of my life.

I’m writing this in London, at the Circus Cafe in Crouch End. London is one of my energetic centres. There’s 6 years of my life here. I sleep in a whole lot of different beds and sofas. I love it. I am surrounded by an army of good souls who open me their door and provide me with everything I need, may it be a bed for the night, breakfast, words of comfort or Dragon Red Chanel nail polish. In exchange, I tell life stories, listen to life stories, and do the washing up.

I’m also hanging out in London to consult a transgender woman therapist. She’s bad ass. I pay £97 per hour and she holds the sessions in socks. I take off my shoes too and we become super casual. She told me that she revealed herself in Berlin in the 80s, “like David Bowie”. Everyday after work, she would take off her male suit and hang out at the Kit Kat Klub where she grew to be the woman she was born to be. I adore her already. She says that I become animated when I talk about my writing. She told me: “You’re going to write that book and I want a copy.” So I must do it.

I’m going to experiment glamorous homelessness in Berlin next. I’m going on Tuesday. I have no plans. I want to spend my days in free art galleries and write my book in cafés. And maybe reconnect with my queer dancer late at night in interlope clubs?

This is my life as of now. I love it. I love my life. I’ve never felt that much centred and that much awake in the present moment. I know I’m on the right track, as in MY track.

I’ll return to a more structured life sooner or later. I was proposed a flat-share in Paris. I said YES! So, by the spring, all my scattered belongings will converge to the 13th arrondissement. I’ll store my suitcases under my bed and I’ll have an address and a job again.

I’m truly excited about that perspective.

Till then. Anything can happen. I’m wide open. Life is fab.