Last year on Maundy Thursday I asked the question what your last supper would be. It being Maundy Thursday again today, I decided to make what I ate today a project.
This morning, breakfast was a bowl of fresh pineapple and a black coffee in class, while reading the script of Rear Window – the Hitchcock classic. (Though the film does beg the question: how can a man be so obsessed with a supposed murder, when a gorgeously clad Grace Kelly is practically offering him sex on a plate? )
As we had an actual lunch-hour, I had lunch with a beautiful friend in a “Cuban” in Soho. There we enjoyed our steak, topped with fried eggs and home fries. Sitting opposite her, the sight of my friend confirmed once again that even for me there is real pleasure in seeing a beautiful woman eat.
After class I had a bottle of Bud ( ‘No thanks, we don’t need a glass – it’s already served in one…’ ) with another gorgeous friend at a Soho bar, just talking and laughing about our amazing and exciting lives.
When I got home, it was time to procrastinate once more as I have a deadline for my whole script looming on Easter Monday. (Famous Last words: ” Oh, but that’s ages away!”) Forgotten chocolate-bar was found in my fridge: Result.
Two written pages later (ok, one and a half) but now actually hungry, I went for salmon-sushi (Sorry, I’m aware of the nuclear risks but this was a Last Supper project!) and grilled squid drenched in soy-sauce. I ate this very greedily by myself at my desk in my room, occasionally catching a glimmer of happiness in the mirror.
It’s 23:55, five minutes before the end of my project and I think I made the best of my day.
If I should die before I wake – please notice the smile on my face.
On the subway there was a big burly man, dressed in a casual T-shirt and a cap,folding small crosses from palm leaves: Palm Sunday. It arrives even in New York, touching even the most unexpected.
Struggling with the concept of God myself, I like the joke of the man who after a flood, got stranded on his rooftop while the water was still rising. Some sources say he was drowning in the ocean. In any case there was a lot of water.
The man started praying to be saved.
A boat arrived to help him, but the man refused. “God will save me.” The boat left.
Another boat arrived but again the man refused.” God will save me.” The boat left.
And because all things come in three , a third boat arrived to help him ( Boats are like busses really – especially when you are drowning.) Again the man refused.
Then he died. Obviously.
When he got to the gates of Heaven and was given time for his one complimentary question to God himself, the man asked: “Why didn’t you save me?”
God answered: ” I sent you three boats.”
Moral of the story kids: you can’t always pin it on the Big Man, so you if you don’t like them boats, you’d better learn to swim!
It is Tuesday and I feel like a Thursday… Yesterday (or was that this morning??) I
got described as ‘ancient’ by my darling 20-year old friend, who obviously sees thirty as the pinnacle of decrepitude. For the first time in my life I’m hanging with people slightly younger than me. What is age but a number? As it turns out they are my blessing in disguise.
Last time I wrote, I mentioned that my face was falling off. Shortly after, I met up with a friend from London who was on a stop-over in NYC. The first thing she asked was whether I had stress. Stress? No. Not really.
When we established that I have a) no house b) no job c) no clue upon my return to London, she smirked that it sure was a good thing I didn’t feel stressed… So there it was. Even in a gorgeous city, doing what I love doing, hanging out with great people, my nature gets the best of me and whatever I don’t (want to) feel , my skin seems to show.
Obviously it is tricky to remedy: what are you going to do? Stress about not feeling stressed?
Well, this is where my new friends come in. Their ways are strange and wonderful:
– They limit me to one cup of coffee a day (haha, to limit caffeine and make me buzz less. I need one to wake up – but I had to drive a hard bargain!)
-They will still be seen in public places with me, even if I did look like Frankenstein’s bride at one point.
-They keep telling me not to touch my face! (DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS?!)
Most importantly, they tell me to Stop. Worrying. I’ve heard every variation possible: Go with the flow; Don’t let things wind you up, make you explode; Let it go! And a family favourite: Just. Go. With. It.
The meaning of which I discovered last night, when I found myself in a studio-apartment in Manhattan; surrounded by 10 hours worth of empty beer bottles and a huge empty pizza box, after a workshop led to an impromptu party.
My feeble attempt to a ” Maybe we should go?” was drowned out by the guitar that was being played on the bed. Then I looked around at my friends slouching on sofas and the bed and I realised they didn’t look unhappy. Why worry about class in another 10 hours: that would come and they would be there.
I got up to get a comfier seat and decided to let their spirits lead mine, and from the bed the words of Mr Marley came to me, in light Italian accent:
Won’t you help me sing These songs of freedom? ‘Cause all I ever have Redemption song
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery None but ourselves can free our minds…
Class got cancelled for this afternoon, so I find myself once again in the Bookstore cafe, supposedly to write but conveniently having lunch as well. (Haha, just got a text from my classmates who did not see the group cancellation e-mail and are now angry with me for not texting them to warn them. Sorry guys, will be more on the ball next time! Jeez…)
Anyway I’ve opted for something that looked like a baked ball of something. The lady behind the counter gave it a beautiful name and explained that it was mainly potato mixed with something, onions, spinach something.
So I tried it and I have to say it does do what it says on the pack: it is mashed potato mixed with spinach 🙂 Not sure what else I expected, but it tastes nice anyway. I like trying new things but apparently I am having an allergic reaction to something that I tried. Two days ago I woke up with a rash on my face was spreading.
Fortunately the pharmacist could give me some anti-histamine and so everything is calming down. Unfortunately, I cannot mix this with beer and I have a sneaky suspicion that this is God’s way of telling me to drink less.
I have started writing my screenplay now and I was adamant to keep writing this afternoon, but now my angry classmates are drinking away their sorrows… Oh the temptation…. If I don’t actually drink alcohol, does procrastination still count?
Nearly half-way: four weeks have given me so much and not just the course, as always when travelling by oneself, you learn about yourself.
This week we were discussing ‘the inciting incident’ in a film: the moment that sets the goal of the movie for the protagonist. To illustrate we were asked for the inciting incidents that brought us here and I was so taken by surprise that I didn’t even have time to lie: my break-up.
Yes it happened two years ago and this is still an after effect. It is the reason I chose to do this course in New York: the first time I came to this gorgeous city I was with my ex. It was bittersweet, the relationship started with a trip to Paris and ended in New York , but I never wanted that to be my lasting memory of the city.
Also, without a relationship to hide behind, I had to think about what I wanted with my life and I decided that even if any goal might be unclear, I still wanted to enjoy it.
I had to remind myself of enjoyment the other day, when my neurotic perfectionistic persona surfaced and I actually worried about a presentation. Note: the point of a story-presentation is that the group can help you with any problems you’ve come across and improve your ideas by brainstorming or mind mapping or whatever you kids call it these days. My story had a beginning, a middle and an end: it’s practically halfway there! Still I worried it was just not good enough.
Story of my life: I start something I love doing, I put too much pressure on myself, I get scared, tears/tantrums, I stop doing it, I’m back at square one. Weave in a few unbalanced relationships to rock my emotional world and that’s basically my last decade in a nutshell.
This month I also learned that if you write a screenplay along the theory of the Hero’s Journey – where the hero leaves his ordinary world in search for adventure – the last act of a film should be about forgiving/ accepting the old world from whence the hero came, to be able to find peace/ a balance with their new life. If one is unable to do the latter, history will repeat itself and bite you in the arse until you confront it. (That is a free-flow translation, perhaps not a Joseph Campbell technical term.)
So here I am, two years later, acknowledging that I am not and will never be perfect; that despite this I’ll probably be a bit perfectionistic at the best of times and a tad neurotic at my worse; that I will always love though it might hurt me, because I refuse to live in fear; that hurt is part of life – all is forgiven; and finally, that no matter where I end up packing up boxes, waiting tables or fetching coffees: I am a writer goddarnit… and not a bad one either.