And no one needs a good laugh like the truly, deeply fucked, Susie Myerson
Growing up, I didn’t think too much of what a great thing it is to smile. A laughter is a firework. I just did it whenever I absolutely felt it. Otherwise, I was the pretty shy, says I, not that shy, different says mom, fly gal. Doing my thing. However, getting into the world of adults, one starts to put an emphasis on smiling… No, not smiling. Oh yes, smiling, too. Bear with me. So, smiling is something I know I do rather often. Often. I just have it in me, always ready to get out and enjoy the people, work, life in general. Used, luckily, only when I feel it. Yet, smiling, a lot of the times, for me, is a form of dancing. And, then, we cry when we necessarily have to. But then you smile. No. Then I laugh. And when you laugh in a world of adults who forgot how to laugh, who forgot doing things without an agenda, you feel like you’re part of a Monet painting. In the moment, you feel so good that you don’t even think about the cloud you’re on, you only loose yourself in the painting.
This is me smiling as a kid. With mom, my partner in almost anything. I vividly remember the ease of that day. Holiday.
As opposed to the photograph – I don’t have – with my brother, showing each other the chewed food in our mouths, behind our parents’ backs in the kitchen around the same age or, frankly, always. Wide open smile. Grin. Or with my childhood friends, in our neighbourhood, playing around until late: hide and seek, the elastic game etc.
… And I have always loved dancing. I’m sure I was having my own party, on the inside, here. Too much of my own party, peut être. I was this kind of a kid. I had to dig really deep, that’s how shy I was as a kid. Though my mom still says You didn’t seem shy. That’s because she’s mom and she can see right through me. I know I felt so, back in the days, when somehow I did know what shy was more than I knew (but felt) about smiling. Or laughter. I, mostly, laughed with my brother, I now come to realise. Unconsciously. We weren’t the typical brother and sister that you would have normally gone, from the second you saw us, Aww on. We were just being us and loved to fall asleep – every night – with softly played on the stereo music, in the same room (as per yours sincerely ever-going request). We still have the tape. My brother does and won’t even give it to me. Just to be sure we have it. Rolling eyes.
Now? Now I talk to everyone.
Who I laugh with… Well, that’s alchemy.
And no one needs a good laugh like the truly, deeply fucked, Susie in The Marvellous Mrs. Meisel.
Now. That’s the thing.
This is my current profile picture on Whatsapp.
Truly, deeply fucked. It’s the moment you think Fuck! or you think Fuuuck!. When you think Fuuuck!, that’s when the side of the coin with the heart shaped eyes emoji wins. A mood the heart shaped eyes emoji, I think, describes best. This emoji is my name on Whatsapp ever since Whatsapp first ever met my number. It’s not any sort of statement. I’m just stuck with it and it is stuck with me. Similar to the stuck created by a licked stamp on a letter.
Because, newsflash, we are responsible for what happens to us. It’s the love or the fear that we choose to lead our lives with.
The other side of the coin is the whatever things happened before the Fuuuck. When you were snowboarding through life. In the good way, not in the Vanilla Sky way. Smiling. And then, one day, you laugh. Pause. Pause. Pause. With tears in your eyes and then the Fuuuck disappears. Into the water of the painting. Pause. Pause. Pause. That’s when you know that both the truly and the deeply were totally worth it. Fighting for it through life. Not giving up on it. Ever. No matter how hard it was. And it was. Hard!
Pain is knowledge rushing in to fill a gap. When you stub your toe on the foot of the bed, that was a gap in knowledge, Jerry Seinfeld speaking to Trevor Noah on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.
Making the pain an object, looking at it and saying Nope post understanding why it hurt so much is one way to externalise the Fuuuck. You don’t feel the pain of the stuff that hurts the most – your toe, for instance – when you stub the toe. It’s only after. Thank God falling in love is the same.
As opposed to just Fuck! and moving on. No fun.
I used to think that it was a bad thing – sort of – that I didn’t hear, while a baby, all the time around me that I am ~ Oh so this and oh so that ~ because my parents weren’t really keen on making me or my brother feel in any sort of way. They were just being themselves. Kind, but also parents. I’ve come to realise that, without ever putting it into words, they encouraged us to be us. Now, they’d sometimes be like Oh, Cristina, knock it off already, but I’m like 1. I’m just getting started! and 2. You are a big part of me enjoying as much as I can being me, literally.
Home is where I go for my best friends, a chill out time, interesting talks, advises. And good food.
Parents would do anything these days except let them [kids] be exactly who they are, said Banksy. The relationships in our family haven’t ever only been smooth, quite on the contrary for a lot of the time, but! We all were exactly who we were so that, today, we can truly, deeply totally chill together after being truly, deeply fucked. Together and apart. Hey, mom, come on, you know what I mean. She knows. Because when I talk, I talk. Because when she raised me, she raised me. Both situations involve delicious food on the table. From time to time, she says it’s too sincere what you put out there. I say it’s too delicious the food on the table. Lol. And I start with everything. Mom, Hemingway said ‘Write about what hurts‘. And then we have everything on the table. And sometimes we’re in the painting, other times it gets hard.
Chris Rock once said that kids need bullying so they learn on their own how to navigate through life. I think that bullying is almost always (fortunately, not in the home (home, home) environment) around us. It might come in the most unexpected ways from the people one expects the least. Friends even. And it hurts, but you learn 1. That nobody’s perfect, 2. That everybody’s on their own journey and is responsible for everything that happens to them, 3. How to protect yourself from the bullies and you become stronger, 4. That the challenge is staying open in a world designed to close you up. Sometimes you let a window open and you find each other again. Better. Other times, you draw an imaginary wall and you know it’s forever. Because you have to know, because the bullies have to know they are not allowed to bully you (or anyone, in fact) anymore, because, as Gaga says: Life is beautiful, but sometimes you have to be a pitbull.
And this loving force… God, light… It’s always there and how close to it or far from it you are only you know, but it’s there is something I heard Madonna saying in an interview many years ago.
It’s not about being nice. It’s about being real.
And 5. That there are, thank the stars, people who just don’t want to hurt you and want to make you laugh. That being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you.
Friends don’t lie!, Stranger Things
When I heard Don’t worry, I will take care of you in the most random (we know what random means) way, it felt like floating. I guess I needed to learn to take care of myself first, before having someone other than dad or brother taking care of me, making me laugh with tears in my eyes, so I know what it really feels like when it’s real. My real. It takes someone real and you know it’s real what you feel. And you’re on cloud nine.
That’s when you know that both the truly and the deeply were totally worth it 2.
I love seeing someone show something that they kind of couldn’t hide. A laughter, let’s say.
This is an excerpt from Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ The Women Who Run With Wolves, a book I began during the days I rediscovered laughing with tears in my eyes… Funny, funny!
Laughter is something one shares with oneself as well as with many others. There are only but a few – good, but still few – things one is better off to do alone, but all the rest are wonderful when shared – the foundational principle on which I started OZ In Paris in the first place. Almost anything, really. Drumroll. Connection. Drumroll. When I discovered the feeling of a connection, I was forever hooked. Maybe it was the moment I fell asleep with music. Maybe it was a hug. An eye contact. It’s the connection that makes a some sort of longing vanish somewhere in the water from the painting and me feel home. And when the best spots the best, you can bet it’s the best!, same Susie in The Marvellous Mrs. Meisel.
Says yours truly.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you, and hello again.
PS: I mean, I quarantined with my parents, in the mountains, and my dad filmed me:
LATER EDIT: I have just run into this.