And no one needs a good laugh like the truly, deeply f*cked, Susie Myerson. The title is so connected to this quote that we gotta love the connection.
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. 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 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. Smiling, a lot of the times, for me, is a form of dancing. 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 lose yourself in the painting.
Or in the kitchen my brother and I used to show each other the chewed food in our mouths, behind our parents’ backs, when I was five and, frankly, always. Wide open smile. Grin. Or in our neighbourhood, with my childhood friends, playing around until late; hide-and-seek, the elastic game etc.
I’ve always loved dancing. I’m sure I was having my own party, on the inside, here. Too much of my own party, peut être. This is the child I was. I had to dig really deep, that’s how shy I was as a kid, although my mom 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 I knew more about shy than I knew (but felt) about smiling. Or laughter. I, mostly, laughed with my brother, I now come to realise. We weren’t the typical brother and sister that made you go, from the second you saw us, Aww. 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), to the same tape for years. Told you.
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 f*cked said Susie in The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.
Now. That’s the thing.
This is my current profile picture on Whatsapp.
Truly, deeply f*cked. It’s the moment you think F*ck! or you think F***ck!. When you think F*ck!, that’s when the heart shaped eyes emoji side of the coin wins, a side and a mood the heart shaped eyes emoji, I think, describes best. This emoji is my name on Whatsapp ever since Whatsapp first met my number. It’s not any sort of statement. I’m just stuck with it and it’s stuck with me. Similar to the stuck created by a licked stamp on a letter. We are responsible for everything that happens to us, newsflash. It’s the love or the fear that we choose to lead our lives with.
The other side of the coin is F***ck!. Snowboarding through life. Smiling. And then, one day, you laugh. Pause. Pause. Pause. With tears in your eyes and the F***ck 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 told Trevor Noah on Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.
To make the pain an object, look at it and say Nope, post understanding why it hurt so much, is one way to externalise the F***ck. 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 you stubbed the toe. Thank God falling in love is the same.
As opposed to F***ck!. Moving on.
I used to think that it was a bad thing (sort of) that I didn’t hear all the time around me, as a baby, that I am this and that gorgeous thing. My parents weren’t keen on making my brother or me 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 be like Oh, Cristina, knock it off already, but I’m like 1. I’m just getting started! and 2. You’re a big part of me enjoying me, literally.
Parents would do anything these days except let them [kids] be exactly who they are, said Banksy. The relationships in our family haven’t only been smooth. Quite on the contrary, for a lot of the time, really, but! We all were exactly who we were, back in the days, truly, deeply f*cked, at times. Today, we can truly, deeply chill together. 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 not to. And I start with everything. Mom, Hemingway said ‘Write about what hurts‘. And, then, we put everything on the table. 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, around us, one way or another. It might come in the most unexpected ways, from the people you expect the least. Friends even. And it hurts, but you learn 1. That nobody’s perfect, 2. That everyone’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. When you let a window open, you find each other again. Better. When you draw an imaginary wall, 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 said: 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 how to take care of myself first, before having someone other than dad or brother taking care of me and 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 x2.
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 things one is better off to do alone, but all the rest are wonderful when shared – the foundational principle I started OZ In Paris on, in the first place. 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 some sort of longing vanish into the water from the painting and me feel home. And when the best spots the best, you can bet it’s the best!, said the same Susie in The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.
Says yours truly.
If you 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’ve just run into this.