Showing posts with label m. Barber. Show all posts
Showing posts with label m. Barber. Show all posts

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Say Something

You say it best when you say nothing at all... Actions are quite often the best way to make a statement. Sometimes our actions aren't saying anything at all though. Sometimes I don't charge my phone or reply to that text before falling asleep. It’s careless but not intended to mean anything. Other times I'm really overbooked and have to cancel plans or forget to cancel plans. It’s not saying anything other than I’m probably not planning my day better when it happens. How about you? 

It's been a while for design and writing although it was not meant to be. I'd never put much energy into the timing of sharing stories or worrying about the mental health of anyone that read or interpreted my work but this year definitely had me pause before posting. Even the thought of Dream Homes or interior design this year seemed quite insensitive when so many are struggling to make their rent or mortgage.  Being aware of other people and the world changes one's perspective.. So while I wanted to share some writing, I felt the timing was not right. 

Anyhoo... this is for those people that feel I needed to say something. It's not what I wanted to share with you but it is new...

Do every one of your actions say something?

Kisses, m. 


Say Something


“Why is that people always want creatives to be saying something? Or their work must instantly be controversial?” 

When I say it, I know it was the wrong thing to say, because the young reporter instantly looks like she wants to jump back inside of her skin to hide. Her face turns sour followed by a long pause of silence that gets awkward about fifteen seconds in. Folding my hands, I offer her a lifeline. 

“Suzy, let’s move on, I’m working on a story about a…”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to strike a chord with the great D. Randall … but let’s stay with this. Is it okay if I call you D. or do you prefer Darlin?" 

"Darlin is fine but you'll still call me D." I say with a laugh as she nods but continues on scribbling shorthand notes as if she wasn't really asking so much as telling. With bit of snark I continue, “All acquaintances, fans and journalists call me D., even after I tell them to call me Darlin.”

"Uh-huh,” she’s mostly ignored what I’ve said and puts her pen down, “Now let's continue," she smiles, adjusts her recorder and pauses before starting in again, "Isn’t the juxtaposition of your characters in Leaf + Tree saying something about…?” 

“Look, it’s just a story. It’s lightness. I’m a writer and… I’m trying to keep my work light. I’ve moved away from…” I can feel myself getting nervous and starting to be defensive. 

“The darkness.” She finishes my sentence. “I read the transcript of the unreleased podcast piece for Marigolds and Make Believe with Shosh you did a few months ago before you released Leaf + Tree.”

“How did you…?” 

“Get it? Shosh is a friend from school. I chatted with him and he wouldn’t let me hear it, but… anyway this is how I started the piece on you. I was intrigued about your departure from the darker elements in your writing and the Great Pause.”

I exhale a deep breath to keep from laughing because she’s half lying about Shosh. He has a decade plus on her and she was his former student. I only took the interview because she’s his current sidepiece and I owe him a favor. 

“Actually, I was going to say: How did you like it?” I’m more concerned that she’s about to start questioning my absence than her lying. Since the release of Leaf + Tree, every journalist segues into asking about my hiatus from writing. This so-called Great Pause as the fans labeled it, as if it was a performative piece making a silent statement about the current state of the world. When it’s nothing like that it all. I didn’t even pause; I just didn’t give myself to the world. I still wrote and there was still darkness. However, the fans, they took it as a great sign that I was symbolically protesting civil unrest in the world and used it as a platform for their movement. 

“Can you comment on the social impact of your Great Pause or… let me guess, you weren’t saying anything at all?” 

“I truly am moved by it, but I can’t speak to the impact of my absence. Leaf + Tree has been out for a few months now so I’m no longer on pause. What do you make of the consequences of my hiatus?” 

“Are you really going to treat me the same as every other journalist? How can you say something significant in your work and backpedal your actions? Your last work, Days//Ages was about the power of stillness in the connection of society. What is the explanation for the parallels and timing of your hiatus?”

“Do you think you are special because you know Shosh? Did he tell you what happened? Let me guess… he didn’t. What do you think this so-called Great Pause really symbolizes?”

“I can only guess its significance is explained through the controversial nature of the sub-plot that binds your characters in Leaf +Tree. It further builds upon the theme in your last book and speaks to the very nature of humanity, our collective identity and how people relate to each other.”

“Hahaha,” I can’t stop myself from laughing at her. “Shosh redacted parts of the transcript, didn’t he? You thought you’d uncover this great truth by coming here for an interview.”

“You’re just going to blow smoke and try to pretend you aren’t saying something. It’s pure spinelessness to pretend you… I’m proud to read your work because it stands for something.”

“Fuck Days//Ages. Fuck Leaf + Tree. Take them off the table for a moment.”

"Is FUCK off the record or on the record?” 

“You decide what you want to say when we’re done. Now get Shosh on the phone. On speaker.”

I get up, walk to the window, and open it. Next to the window seat, Shosh left me a package of CBD gummies. I sit and eat one. 

 “Shosh is on the line,” she waves her phone from across the room. 

“Shosh, can you hear me?” I raise my voice but not enough to yell.

“Yes, Darlin! Go ahead.” 

“Tell her about the Great Pause the same way I told you.”

“Are you sure?” I can hear the anxiousness in his voice. 

“Go ahead; you can even play her the podcast when she gets back to your place.”

“Suzy, I love you and we can talk about this when you come by later.” He hesitates but continues gently, “Suzy, there was no pause or silence. She has work but it’s been released under a pseudonym.” 

After he says it, she’s quiet. Slowly her face pales and twists in thought, but she remains still. 

“Thanks, Shosh!” I say to break the silence. 

“I’ll catch up with you later Darlin!” Shosh hollers and then laughs as he hangs up. 

“But I stopped recording!” she wails and pauses. After a few moments, she composes herself and quietly continues, “D., I just wanted the truth.”

“I get that. Oh, but now, you have the truth. All creatives create your so-called controversy.” 

“I don’t understand. You’re a phony! A fraud!” 

“Actually, you see, fans like you, perpetuated this legend of silence, this make-believe performative piece and iconic debate because you needed something to stand on to support your reason for pursuing social action. I didn’t create it, I just went along with it, instead of working under my name. You have to understand, being a reclusive voice of great social impact happens to sell a lot of books.”

“You don’t care.”  

“I do care. I think I cared too much. Or I would have ended this sooner.” I scold her. As I watch her eyes fill with tears, I calm my voice. “I am glad my work speaks to so many, affects and inspires people to live louder and stronger but I’m just a writer. Sometimes I’m not saying anything at all. Sometimes I am.” 

“Now what do I do? What’s the plan?” She bawls and looks like the fragile late 20-something woman that she is, rather than the confident journalist trying to be Woodward and Bernstein, like she saw Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing on the silver screen.

“Well, you can go ahead, publish the truth destroying this mass delusion and ruin the social movement built around my hiatus or, like my friend Shosh, refrain from saying something. Now, do you want to say something?”



Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Hiatus. Taking a break or pressing pause on one part of your life means you are on hiatus. Once I forced myself to take a year off from blogging but did not stop writing, photographing or drawing. There is probably still more unpublished work in that year than anything I had written prior.

Currently, I am still creative but I have put blogging on pause and intermittently been using social media. It has been a long unplanned pause. It definitely was unplanned. Let us get this in the open: I did not take a break, hit pause or go on hiatus for mental or physical health issues. I am all right and did not step back intentionally. However, my life required that I prioritize my daily responsibilities differently to deal with circumstances beyond my control.

This has kept me away from friends, sometimes checking in with friends and oh, so many things I was accustomed to being a part of my routine. I take many blessings for granted that I am involved with and there are many people that I miss seeing. Sometimes you have to accept that the universe has other plans and let it all happen… so I let go and paused. There was no force, it was just quiet and felt completely natural to focus on other things.

This has all been weird because it is hard to be restrictive with my life. Typically, I am transparent with myself; I reach out, pester and cannot help myself when it comes to people in my life.

Tbh, I cannot say I will or will not be posting regularly again, but I am not on a hiatus and the plan is just to go with the flow. It has been very Zen. Highly recommend taking breaks from all the unnecessary things you think you need to do. 

Do you ever take social media breaks? On purpose? Here is an old story that is a bit dark from the D Men about a person that wanted to get away from his life and someone gave him exactly what he wanted. 



Kisses, m.




Jackson Slater you’re an irrelevant bastard. You are going straight to hell. And no one will notice you’re gone.” says Haller Thomson.

Those are the final words Haller has chosen before we leave the shore. I keep telling myself this isn’t happening but that doesn’t change the circumstances at all. I can’t quite place the location of the boat with my eyes blindfolded. But north of the docks is as good as any guess.

What you have to understand is that I pretty much deserve to be in this position. A position that I created for myself. Although I wouldn’t have admitted it before now. Which is about 15 minutes after I should have admitted it.

I wasn’t particularly a great man or a man of character. On the whole I was a terribly shallow man with a talent for avoiding the obvious. Avoiding was a brilliant art that I mastered; especially when it came to people.  People can be so incredibly co-dependent that you might say avoiding them helps them. One might say I wrote the chapter on avoidance and I would have corrected them by handing them an autographed copy of the book.

My own sense of vanity ran deeper than any river. The great Jackson Slater renowned for his looks. And I was. My personal routine involved several hours a day before many mirrors in a grooming ritual that would make a cat’s look amateur. For the most part I had lived my entire life pretending that nothing was happening around me. I hadn’t worried about such things.

And I couldn’t be more wrong. There was plenty happening all around me, I just didn’t care about it. Besides everything went away if you threw enough money at the problem.  And if it didn’t, ignoring it often worked for me.

Jackson, I want you to know this isn’t about the money. It’s a matter of my word. My integrity. I promised to come through on my end of things.” Haller tells me softly as the boat shimmies a little faster.

Unlike most people I was hardly the kind of fellow to be drawn in. As a matter of my own personal character I felt it was my duty to be exactly the opposite. I’m the type of man who would fervently deny that a building was on fire to save myself the trouble of becoming involved. It meant caring and that would not do. People want a piece of you and then that is one less piece you have for yourself.

And lack of involvement is exactly where I find myself this windy April evening.  Somewhere in the bay I’m free of the mask and looking at the man…

Haller Thomson came into my life exactly the same way a freight train mows down your car when the engine stalls on the tracks. With the fury of an uncontainable beast, Haller came forth. And it wasn’t something I could have seen coming before it happened. It wasn’t money that he was after when he came. It was so much more.

A man with an offer only a shallow man wouldn’t refuse…

If you help me, I will help you. Give a little of this for a little of that. And I went along for it. Including the part where I had planned to double-cross the man. Because I only thought of what he could offer me.  

Except it never works out the way we plan.

Plan? I bet the great Jackson Slater wants to know. Don’t you? Well, Jack I don’t have a plan. Except for tying you up and gagging you. That. That’s a plan. Don’t struggle. We’re almost there.”

Haller wanted someone to help with a situation. It was a matter of vanity; as any man can attest to his own level of vanity. Haller was a bit different. He was concerned and wanted no more than a bit of help becoming more involved with others despite his own shortcomings.

You see, Haller wasn’t a good looking man. In fact, you might call him unattractive after he’s left the room. And for what it’s worth, I thought I did him a favor after I pocketed most of his money. At the time I thought there was nothing I could have done to draw flies to that level of hideous. But I did what I thought worked best… for me.

Haller took a new name, a new lifestyle, and a new set of bills thanks to me. He lived and breathed my routine of shallow and I gladly introduced him to the right people at the right places. And with a little less than luck he fell right into it. Haller took to it like a fish takes to toxic waste waters and grows a third eye. It wasn’t a gradual mutation either. Overnight there was a new fresh uninvolved man and it wasn’t me.

Haller began to see me, the great Jackson Slater as direct competition to his new persona. A person with an agenda that no longer matched his own. You have to wonder where the struggle began. Exactly right after he decided that he could do it without me. And for a lot cheaper. Once he realized I was taking him for a pretty penny, Haller Thomson decided that it was time to fulfill his end of things.

An eye for an eye.

And what was my request? I was tired of all that was happening around me. I wanted to escape from all of it; being Jackson Slater with the people, their nonsense, and their involvement. I simply asked this man to help to put me in a place where I would never have to deal with these kinds of situations ever again. And now much to my dismay, Haller is holding up his end of the arrangement.

Jackson, it’s been fun. Now… get off my boat.” With the bottom of his boot, Haller shoves me out into the dark water. Despite what I expect, I don’t sink. As his tiny boat moves away from me, I watch without control as the cold water splashes against me.

This isn’t exactly the escape I’d hope for but I didn’t specify when I asked. I only wanted out.

Now I am.

Completely out. Out to sea. Adrift. Letting the waves wash over me.

Careful what you ask for. Even now as I sink slowly and my eyes watch the emergency buoy float further away from me I know that pretending that nothing else exists will be the thing that seals my fate. Because not one person will notice. I was so busy avoiding it all that it wouldn’t make any difference.

Monday, November 4, 2019


You are the only one responsible for your healing because you are the only one who can heal you. People can help but ultimately you are the band-aid for your feelings & capable of healing your body, soul and mind. Much like bandages giving support and protecting your wound to keep out things to harm it is your job to keep yourself safe so your emotional state can heal. Take care of yourself dolls and kens. Here’s a old story...

Do you place healing in your own self? 


Kisses, m.



Trust your heart.” He tells me. “Your eyes won’t always see the truth.” 

There are times when people may seem friendly but they threaten all you hold dear. But he wasn’t one of them. From the moment we met he has been the best teacher I’ve known. His heart was open to mine without expectations or worry of what I should be. 

Tonight as he inists that I do not owe him my heart, the rain pounds outside the windows and winds shake the trees reminding me of how we met…

A dark rainy evening brought me into his company.  Escaping the pain of another, I was making my way through a rainstorm. His bookstore had a light on, so I entered without hesitation. The rain masked my tears as I collected myself in the entry. He was in the back of the shop with another customer watching me shake the rain from my stockings and pull back my hair. I could see his pale blue eyes from where I stood and they were watching me. His stare wasn’t unpleasant or harsh. It was greeted with a smile before turning back to his business.  I could hear him give his pleasantries and turn back toward me. As he moved, it was as if time stopped as he walked toward me. My heart knew then before I did that I was in love with this man.  

Several special book orders later, he became my teacher giving me fiction I’d never heard of. Voraciously my appetite for knowledge was eager for more. Often I worried my hunger for more was too much for him but always he obliged my requests without question. Eventually he curiously asked to know of the hole in my heart that left me hungry.  When I told him of my wounded heart, the man that lied and left me empty, he shared his wisdom and past. Months grew to years as these things do and his words led to his hands that slowly did their work to mend my mind and soon enough my heart. 

Times are hardest when you don’t know what to trust. My heart nearly whole by his healing hands and soul wants to belong to him, but there’s hesitation. It’s when I find myself doubtful that he tells me… “Trust your heart, my love” and I know with certainty that he already has mine.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Wide shut

Love sees with the heart not with the eyes. Love is without words, without looks and without demanding someone say it to you... When you love someone and know it’s reciprocated then you feel it in every touch and breath. A look in the eye is inconsequential when love is in your heart. You feel it and you don’t need the words to be said. A kiss with eyes open is a lie even with someone telling you the words of love. 

Do you need a look and words to know it’s love? Why?

Here’s one about the blindness of love...

Kisses, m.


Ladies and Gentlemen, that lovely song was by the great Cole Porter. I can’t see you all, but I’m sure glad to hear you’re enjoying yourselves. Anyone who is just joining us this evening thanks for coming out and welcome to Limelight. If you’ve found yourself alone this is where we’ve all come together. No one is alone. I bet most you are single. Ain’t no shame in the game. Which one you say? The love game. Oh I know there’s a few pairs out there. And I love to hear that. Don’t you know it? Well, that’s the thing isn’t it? Love. It’s the blind leading the blind honeys. And don’t I know it. One of you down in front tell me what you think about that? Like I thought, you didn’t have a clue. That’s the truth. Blindsided. Now, honey, I could tell you a thing or two about being blind. You barely know what’s coming before it hits you. But nonetheless you do know its coming. It’s something about developing a sixth sense for things that are coming. They say when you lose your sight the other senses start kicking into high gear. But without being able to see what’s coming you learn to feel your way around. I wouldn’t know much about that since I was born and raised blind. Anyway, I think that analogy works for love though. Blind, can’t see it coming, but oh how you might feel it. It never surprises me that whenever I greet love my lil ol’ ticker starts working overtime in my chest. Couldn’t say what it is exactly? Yet it happens each and every time. Mr. Porter got it right when he said, “What is this thing called love?” With that my lovelies here’s another song for you.

Monday, October 29, 2018


Magic is within you... it has nothing to do with looking for it. Don’t look to photos, people or anything external to complete the magic inside of you. Like love, magic is a part of you and if you’re lucky you can share it with others... life is the fairytale, no need to look anywhere or let it happen to experience it. Magic is already a part of you, embrace it. Love yourself and ignore those garbage people that want you to be miserable by telling you that you aren’t letting it happen or can’t find it. You don’t need to find anything because magic is always happening to you so go ahead and enjoy your fairytale!

Here’s one about going with it.

Kisses, m.

Care to dance?


“Care to dance? Find a little comfort in a stranger’s arms?”

“It’s been a while but we’re hardly strangers.”

“Of course we’re not. Come let’s dance for a while.”

“I’m sorry but I wasn’t thinking of dancing just yet.”

“Simply think of it as keeping me company. Nothing of strings, rendezvous, or love affairs. Just a spin around the dance floor. Nothing more than a dance. Foxtrot? Waltz?”

“Hold me. Spin me. Thrill me.”

“Now you have the idea. Tell me what brings you out among the lonely hearts tonight? I thought your dance card was full.”

“It was something like that for a bit. And now I’ve found it to be empty.”

“Well, it won’t be long until your card fills up and the line forms again.”

“I hope you’re right. Shall we old friend? And you can tell me what brings you here.”

“It’s been awhile now. He left before there could be anything. Afraid of what hasn't happen. Beat me to the start like so many times I had in the past. The whole time knowing what it was like as I watched him run out of fear.”

“Do you remember what it was like when you held that fear? Dip.”

“Yes, I remember how the world was. Nothing like it is now. Maybe I could’ve...? I’m a fool.”

“You can’t blame yourself for his actions. We’re all afraid at one point. Some run the wrong way. Was it love?”

“Couldn’t say. I liked him. Nice fellow. There’s no way to know about that now. And the last one that filled your card?”

“She wanted something that wasn’t there. Looking for something when all she had to do was believe in it.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“The dissatisfaction? I don’t know. But it’s nothing I could change. She had to decide.”

“Some people can’t decide.”

“This is true. Feel free to lean in.”

“Can I? It’s not an imposition?”

“Not at all.  I’m enjoying your company.”

“Likewise. This is lovely.”

“It is. But let’s have a spin first. Then you can come closer.”

“Very nice. I had no idea you could dance like this.”

“Thank you. It’s been nice to dance with good company.”

“You’re welcome. I’ve enjoyed this too. And now from the looks of it your card is about to get a new entry.”

“So it is. Care to dance a little longer?”

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


We are only haunted by the past if we choose to be... When you are ready to let go of looking back to see who you were and compare yourself, then you will find peace. Who you are is a choice and based on the decisions you make in the present... the past is an illusion that plays tricks on you and the future isn’t set. Love yourself enough not to be haunted by what can not be changed. Only a ghost is stuck... between then and now. 

Here’s something I wrote about 9 years ago... about living with a ghost. Do you believe in ghosts? 

Kisses, m. 

Sleeping with Ghosts 

Sleeping with ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Yet here I am again waiting for a spirit. An entity to appear. Often I wonder, are you in my head? Truly this is madness that I’m alone in. Do I walk away? No. I wait. Here in the dark, in the silence of this old house, I wait for you to return. Each time only brings me closer to understanding true madness. I don’t want to believe. The moon rises and the shadows move across the old wooden floor. The movement seems to dance before my eyes. I’m no longer alone. The cold air against my skin sends chills up my spine and goose bumps down my arms.

Each sound that resonates in the house has me on edge. Every thump against the south wall makes me tremor in anticipation. My heart is pounding in my chest and I’m completely in rapture wondering when you’ll arrive. To any other person the small sounds would be completely nerve-wracking, but to me they provide comforting relief. The signals that precede the visits are unmistakable, the pounding noises, the intermittent phone rings, and the phantom music. In fact, the quiet nights are truly the most restless, as they indicate the unknown. When it’s quiet I wonder if any of this real or purely my imagination gone array. That this is a sadistic punishment executed when I allow myself to get carried away.

My grandmother once told me the Dead watched the living. Sitting, standing and existing alongside us, as they studied our patterns. Our every moments, they shadowed in silence. As the dead have no way of showing their existence. They no longer understand what it’s like to be human; suffering and passion, our emotions. Such things captivate them. Occasionally a human is flawed; cursed to interact with these entities often to the misfortune of that poor soul’s mind. Such extraordinary individuals tend to lose the very thread of sanity due to these frequent interactions with spirits. As a child, I was reluctant to take note of the hidden meaning behind her stories. However as an adult, I understand all too well. Ghosts - watching, yearning and occasionally manifesting to select few.

The first manifestation should have frightened me but it didn’t. Actually I practically ignored its presence as noise and flickering lights in an old house. What caught my attention was the movement. The books stacked on the table collapsed without warning. Upon investigation, I found myself face to face with something not quite human, and not quite dead. Curiosity getting the better of me had definitely led down some unfortunate paths in the past. But that night I couldn’t help myself, so I spoke and reached out a hand. This ‘spirit’ responded in a fashion by moving closer and touching my hand before dissipating. Each night for what seemed like an eternity, we’d play cat and mouse. Hiding from one other and guessing the next move. Hauntings should be frightening, but this was more like a game that I looked forward to each and every day. Perhaps it was just the beginning of true madness, but this ghostly manifestation proved to be more intriguing and less intrusive.

How do you continue to accept something that you don’t believe in? There’s the question that requires a leap of faith. Not knowing where the next manifestation will be. Wondering if the whispers in the house are purely the old noises of my ancestors or your ghost here to haunt? The moments of silence are those times I dread most; the uncertainty of this dark obsession. Truly it is darkness that draws me in. The dead only watch the living and do not cross the line without purpose. Your desire is to possess my spirit and you’ve made it thoroughly clear. However, when you ask for my life and beg me join you in the realm of the dead, I decline and attempt to shut you out. As if I could ever truly shut you out. Mere mortal that I am, this possession is beyond my understanding. Ultimately I question whether you’ll stop asking and just take it without warn as you do not comprehend my grasp of life and the desire to remain among the living. Although this thought rests in the back of my mind, I do not fear your return. Whether you’re here to take my essence or an evil spirit sent to consume my life, it does not matter; I eagerly await your return.

Sitting in the dark waiting. The moon’s shadow continues to dance along the floor boards in the darkness of the room. The cool air gently stirs across the bare skin of my arms. Shivers run up and down my spine as I can feel you enter the room and cross towards me. My heart races as phantom hands find their way across my neck, along my arms and down my back. I’m haunted and shall remain so…

Thursday, September 20, 2018


When something is a good idea people duplicate it, replicate it...  don’t worry what other people do or the reasons why they do it or  anything happens to them unless it affects you or you are their family & friend. It’s their life and path. There’s no reason why you need to do what they do. Indeed sometimes the risk is in not replicating what you’ve seen before... and some people will tell you that while copying someone else and posting a million of the same photos. I personally love a little replication in my photography now and again... but I usually credit my source of homage if it’s not myself. Actors call it mirroring when they copy people so it’s truly not uncommon to copy someone or copy yourself.  It’s truly up to you what you do or how you forge ahead in life. Don’t let people convince you of what you want to do. Especially people that do the same thing they’re judging you for. To each their own. Don’t listen to anyone judging you for what works for you.

Do you post the same type of thing everyday? Like a certain type of selfie over and over or do you change it up? 

Here’s one about mirroring... from the novel. 

(posted 9-27-2010)

Tell me you love me,” she says before gently grabbing my face and placing tiny little kisses on my lips. Delicate soft flits against mine. It’s 6:30 pm and I’m at a reading with the infamous Chloe St. Claire. Model turned actress turned model slash singer turned artist slash humanitarian actress. It’s the TV thing that wasn’t supposed to stay a thing for very long. My three and a half pages have become six pages and soon there will be none. We’re standing side by side with the writers, the actors, the directors, the producers and anyone else who isn’t necessary for participation at a reading. But this is different. Andrew fill-in-the-blank writer extraordinaire has called for a walkthrough reading.

She tells me “I hate how I have to be sad to play a happy character. It’s like lying and telling the truth at the same time. It’s not me.”  

Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. While I’m here reading the pages out loud I wonder what happened to the old celluloid fairytales where love would conquer all in the end. Not like this. A girl is kissing another girl on page 15 while this man watches and then they’re all talking about it over dinner on page 16. At this moment I’m glad it’s Chloe’s turn at reading and not mine, but I keep following along with it anyway. Chloe is in true form the embodiment of the character I’m reading for but she’s already playing this other part like she’s me. I can’t help thinking that she’s better than me. Even when I lean in and kiss her while Andrew whatever-his-name-is, the writer says it’s not working I wonder if it’s my fault.

How can I be less myself and more like you?” This is what Chloe says over the table when I first met her six months ago.  No one could mistake Chloe for me or vice versa. She’s tall naturally blond sun-kissed and I am an average height brunette without much sun. But she sat in front of me with the very serious question and I just smiled without knowing what to say. It was the first time anyone had ever wanted to be me. Even I didn’t want to be me.

Mirroring. This is what actors do when they meet someone normal.” Alton explains this to me over lunch one day in the Sunset eight months ago. I’ve just told her I’m moving to LA to be an actress. She’s telling me this warning while wearing my Prada mules and my Chanel jacket with the same color hair and style that I have. Who are you if you aren’t your best friend?  I think that this is what people do when they meet someone new. Steal all the parts they love and copy them until you can’t tell where one begins and the other ends. It’s a bit like leaching if you ask me. But no one asks me. You take enough parts and what’s left over isn’t worth anything. If you suck the one you truly love dry in a matter of months then where will you find it next?

Mid lip-lock with Chloe trying to get the scene right for the third time, I’m thinking about how this moment mirrors me and her. She’s no longer blond. Still sun-kissed. My paleness is warmer now and we both have the same length and color of hair. Am I the copy or is she? Her hands move in and she presses hard. More yells this writer. She grabs my waist and holds even longer. I wonder what’s she’s thinking. This has nothing to do with the lines.

So at this moment while Chloe is groping my breasts and Andrew what’s-his-name is screaming for more intensity I realize that she’s really me and I’m pretending to be someone else now. And it doesn’t matter when I wipe her saliva away from my face and he yells, “That’s it! Can you do that with Inza tomorrow?” Because she’s done it. Become me. A better version. And I’ve become someone else. Me with my three pages left, a mere walk on cameo in this TV thing can’t compare to the other person I’ve fallen into. That’s the real version of me, instead of her. That’s mirroring 101.

 “Do you want to come over?” Chloe asks me in the bathroom while doing a line of blow off the counter. I take a tissue and wipe my lips clean before reapplying more color. I’m watching me watch her in the mirror. Every detail down to her eyebrow shape is a slightly accentuated version of mine. There’s nothing original about her. She’s taken my nervous twitch and smile. Pursing her lips that same way I do. Lifting her eyes with the same arch and curve. These little unnoticed pieces are now her. She is me. Standing next to me in the mirror she says she’s impressed with my ability to jump into character after pushing her breasts up in the vintage Gucci halter. I think she’s lying because I need to prepare to be someone else now. But I say ‘why not’ instead of excusing myself.

I think back to the last few days before I left the city and always come back to that moment I met Alton for lunch in the Sunset. She wasn’t saying or acting any differently than she normally would have. In fact I think it was the one time she was most herself. Alton and I were inseparable aside from living arrangements several months earlier. She wasn’t me and I wasn’t her, but we were more the same than different and it could have gone on like that forever. Being me was who she was. I can’t remember the last time I’ve talked with Alton since that day. I can only keep remembering how much she looked like me and talked like me in all the other memories. Stealing my words and my look with the guise of friendship. There’s no real connection without the mirror to remind that you aren’t really you.

It’s a quarter to seven when I wake up at Chloe’s. She already up in mid tree pose and not breathing or concentrating. She’s too busy staring at her picture on the back cover of Entertainment Weekly that’s lying spread out on the foot of the bed. I smile when she breaks position and asks about the freckles on her face being noticeable in the picture. I shake my head while telling her they’re unnoticeable and then try to tell her something about the black and white contrast in the photograph when she picks up the phone and starts dialing. It’s then I decide I need a shower because she’s too busy trying to be her being a better me to listen to me.

Somewhere between the infomercial versions of Price is Right and Let’s Make Deal she’s talking with her assistant about a script adaptation for Dostoevsky that her agent sent over. She keeps sending it back and tells her assistant to call her agent about this problem. I smile and the assistant hits speed dial over the speaker. The conversation isn’t great. Chloe drops three “I fucking don’t want to’s” before ending the call. She throws the oversized script at her assistant before falling into a tantrum. The rant begins and something about her face reveals that she does have freckles. The phone rings again and her agent is on speaker once again. Her assistant hands me a cup of coffee and I start to read the Harpers Bazaar that’s on the table.

It’s fifteen after nine when my phone rings and I decide to leave the scene of dysfunction. Tucking out front door with my heels in hand and phone cradled beneath my neck I whisper into the line.
“Hel-lo.” I serenade into the line while quickly stepping into my shoes.
“Jemma darling, how are things?”
“Wayne Baby! Great.” I forget my place and scream. “Look, the place you set me up with has been fabulous. Thank you again…”
“Look Honey, I need a favor. And I couldn’t just have anyone call you for this?”
“Anything Wayne, you’ve been a…”
“Alex is coming into town today. He’ll be at the airport in four hours. Can you get him?”
“Of course.  I have a fitting in an hour and a half, but I should be able to swing it.”
“Thank you doll. I’m glad you’re enjoying things. Sorry to run, but I have to...”
“Oh. Well of course.”
“Bye Jemma.”
“Kisses. Wayne.”

Looking in the mirror is never enough.” This is the advice I get from a woman I might call mentor if she wasn’t chain smoking and eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger.  She’s telling me that the “mirror doesn’t tell the truth” while wearing something nameless you might find in a vintage shop in the Haight, although she insists it came from Versace circa 1982. And she keeps telling the wardrobe mistress she’s a 7 not an 11. I want to laugh every time I see her. But she’s right about one thing. The mirror is not your friend.

I’m thinking about the enemies not in the mirror when the wardrobe mistress is fighting with an assistant over another actress’s size. As the wardrobe mistress verbally assaults her entourage the young woman looks uptight and it’s hard to believe she was in that BIG movie last year or on the cover of Glamour this month. I’ve never seen a person look so scared of the truth as the wardrobe mistress pulls a curtain to shut out the enemies not in the mirror.

On my end of the room the pants feel far too tight already. But I’m at a fitting to make them tighter because the physical being of the character hasn’t truly been captured by my performance. As they are fitting me for the next smaller size of pants because this is what “the character” would wear, I realize that it’s how you see things.

Perspective is a way of life, maybe the only way? We all live inside this tiny little image of ourselves. It’s not how they see us at all. That doesn’t matter. It’s only how you see yourself that matters most in the world. “But how can you ever really know who you are if the mirror lies?” it’s what I’m thinking when I must have said it out loud.

“Take a picture.” This tiny little girl with the schedule for shooting whispers and hands me the latest script revision. It’s now three less pages most of which will land me on the cutting room floor. She smiles and leans in again. “Cameras don’t lie. And it’s not the mirror that lies… it’s your mind.”

On my last day in the city I took a bus and then a walk down by the Presidio and ended up by Crissy Fields. There’s this place in the city that I like to go to. It’s past the Marina before you get to Crissy Fields close to the Wave Organ. It’s a corner of earth where nothing looks like anything else. You look at three sides of water and see something different. Along the way there are no real residences unless you live on a sailboat or a yacht. I pass this part of the Marina where Wayne has a friend with a boat. A “somebody” who owned and lived on this boat. Passing. Remembering that it was close to where I went to this party once.

These parties always happened there but this one wasn’t great, filled with people that didn’t like each other like Reggie and Ashton and important people who mattered like Wayne. Adrian was there with me. Things were ok then before we left for there and... Most of the parties weren’t great then but you don’t know that until you’ve left them. That was when the tourists would show up. When things stopped being great the scene tourists always managed to appear. The teenage girls and boy with their Ugg boots, Converse and laced up jeans matched with some dying pieces of Heatherette matched with a laced up tank from Diesel under a vintage bomber jacket produced by Levi Strauss. Elitist brats wasting time and drugs on this party in the Marina for kicks wearing their faux scene clothes trying to imitate the scenesters who were already bored and leaving.

One time at these parties a body was found dead after the tourists arrived and left. The newspaper reports were of multiple rapes and assaults among the children before this body was found drawn and quartered hanging over the side of a boat in a net. A boat that someone who was somebody owned in the Marina. It was the rawest form of survival of the fittest. Baby scenes picking away the competition that looks exactly the same. The whole mess and scandal forced the owner of the boat to sell. There’s a rumor that you can hear the cries of the rape victims and see the pieces of dead flesh floating around in the waters of the Marina. Even in the chill of the breeze the view is spectacular. When I walk alone to the edge of the water I’m almost expecting to hear the screaming voices echoing through the organ.

Everything the same in nature is different without trying. Reflections in the mirror are nothing like the things in nature. Animals don’t have mirrors to see themselves. How can they know what they look like? By looking at each other. It’s in the similarities of each other that animals know what they are. There is no need for begging and borrowing.

You have to go. I can’t.”
“But you’re….”
“Shh. I can’t be happy for you and let go.”
“Don’t do this. I don’t want to let go.”
“Then don’t. You know I love you.”
“No, I don’t... Tell me you love me.”
Thirty seconds of jaw dropping silence follows the scene. It’s like real-life imitating art, imitating real-life. Inza’s back on set for the shooting and the intensity between her and Chloe is unmistakable as they struggle to break away from the kiss. It’s hard to believe that there’s no love between them. I can see why Chloe misses her. Maybe that’s why I went home with her. There’s just that piece missing in her that wants to be seen. To be loved. The mirror lies. The camera doesn’t.

I’m on a boat to Staten Island with this friend of Andy’s who I’ve only met five hours ago. Being on boats reminds me of Jemma and being in the Marina where those kids killed those other kids playing scene. I need a hit just thinking about killing and Jemma and looking for something in everything. I’ve been everywhere and no where trying to find something in everything. Alex hasn’t been at Andy’s since 4am and doesn’t answer his phone. Someone at Andy’s says he went to LA already. We weren’t leaving until tomorrow night. And I’m still trying to remember what happened when I was losing something somewhere this morning while taking a hit outside of Tiffany’s and what you were doing when the car disappeared. I keep thinking I need some candy to handle this memory that isn’t complete… while I’m ringing up Alex again the view is amazing. I tell this gorgeous woman about the view before she says that I’ll catch up to Alex in a little bit and not to take the candy. After she touches my hair she reminds me that she’s already booked my flight to LA to follow him and we’re just killing time. I like killing time with her it lets me like her smile. We’re talking about things that matter, when she giggles about the whores and Van Gogh instead of blushing like other girls might I know there’s more to this one than meets the eye.