Monday, September 29

PARAGON OF BEAUTY

Not a day goes by without the joy of spam.
This morning I found a message in my inbox about a non existent book.
'Your new book has brought a lot of excitement to our editorial staff,' it said. 'It's certainly this year's best in it's genre. You seem to never going to quit surprising us. We have made a contract with you and and guarantee that the first edition will total at least ten million copies. Enclosed is the approved and edited copy of your amazing book. Thank you for this paragon of beauty.' The thought of bringing excitement to editorial staff keeps me going through the day.

Sunday, September 28

SHINE

My mother called to tell me that I have to watch my weight.
She also suggested that I’d put some raw eggs in my hair.
Just to make it shine.

Saturday, September 27

CHANGING PLACES

For no apparent reason I went for dinner and a movie with a guy from Lebanon. Half way through the movie he whispered: ‘do you mind if we change places?’
‘No, but why do you want to change places?’ I asked. He explained that he wanted a woman to sit to the right of him, just like when he was driving his car. We changed places, but for some reason I could not concentrate on the movie any more.

Thursday, September 25

WAR ZONE

Last night I shared hot chocolate and a strawberry dessert with my cousin, a sixteen year old knock-out who is still unsure about what to do with her life. She has gone through an awful summer, spending one week at the hospital for surgery and two days at intensive care.
Now that we know our genetic make-up is the cause, we are more connected to eachother than we were before. We talked about her brother who is currently in Afghanistan, where he works at the military hospital. Despite living in a war zone, he has managed to fall in love. Then she showed me her black scooter, which she wanted to be pink.

Tuesday, September 23

HEAVY

When my boss asked me if I wanted a fixed contract I hesitated to say yes. She wants me to work more hours and if possible five days a week. I wanted to tell her that I needed time to write my next novel, but instead I swallowed all my thoughts. The only valuable excuse to work less hours is if you have children or become pregnant. While the conversation became heavy I realised there's only one way to escape the office: pregnancy.

Sunday, September 21

QUIET DAYS

During summer, my mother lives in one of the smallest villages of France. The village consists of a few houses, some farmland, and has no church. The garden overlooks a large meadow, where coffee coloured cows spend their quiet days. The cows all end up as meat in the supermarkt, which changes the way I look at them. My mother spends her days saving wild cats from starvation. On the picture you see one of them.

Friday, September 19

DADDY

“I want you to call me daddy,” he said, while pressing his lips against my face.
“What do you mean, daddy? Big daddy, sugar daddy, sweet daddy or something else?”
I tried not to sound too astonished, but felt slightly afraid.
“Just call me daddy,” he said, and started to undress.

MORTAL SIN

In the end M. and I broke up over Puccini. One night he invited me to visit a concert with him in Amsterdam. The strange thing is that I don’t even remember which concert we went to, or what the music was like. All I remember is standing in the foyer and talking about Puccini.
M. said that to like Puccini was a mortal sin, like saying you liked a fishburger over real fish. Instead of moving on to the next subject I felt upset, as if Puccini was a distant relative of mine.
We argued during the entire break, and when we went back to the remaining part of the concert I knew that everything we had was lost.
After that I never listened to Puccini anymore, not even once.

Wednesday, September 17

DELICACY

Last night I had dinner with S., a friend from Brussels, who recently went through an ugly divorce. We hadn’t seen eachother for about four months, of which she spent one travelling through China. She said the cities were different than she imagined, but she liked Hong Kong a lot. Then we talked about fried chicken feet, a local Chinese delicacy.

Monday, September 15

PIMPED

Due to circumstances I had to be in Leiden today. Our office would like to recruit a stagiair, so I went to visit Leiden University. Being back after ten years felt a bit strange. Everything I used to know had obviously been pimped. The old bookstore where you could buy cigarettes had turned into a literary cafe and the lunchroom looked a lot more colourful than it once was. I could not help but wonder if I had been pimped aswell, and if so in what way. On the way back I bumped into my old roommate, now a mother of two. She said: ‘you haven’t changed at all,’ which I guess should be considered a compliment.

Saturday, September 13

CREEP

Today at the supermarket: a stranger approached me while I was picking out fruit. He said: “you seem to be the kind of girl who likes a good banana.” I was wearing a dark jacket, trainers and jeans, so nothing too provocative I thought. He smiled and looked at me to see what I would say. “It’s always good to eat bananas now and then,” I said, quickly grabbing some from the pile in front of me. What a creep.

Friday, September 12

DISCIPLINE

This may sound funny, but I’ll be joining a convent in 2009. A Buddhist convent in Belgium, to be precise. My stay at the convent will not last for ever, the contract that you sign with them is for ten days. During those ten days you get up at four and basically meditate the whole day. At half past nine it’s time for bed. One of the reasons why I plan to join the convent is because I need more discipline. The other reason is that I want to see what ten days of silence will do to me.

Tuesday, September 9

CHAOS

Last night I went to see Caos Calmo with C. It wasn’t a great movie, but doing nothing for a while was nice. C. and I talked a lot about SM. Apparently there's a secret code by which one can recognise if one is in to it or not. Something to do with a necklace and a chain of course.
The best part of the movie was the soundtrack, which in this case was enough. The movie is about pain, and how one can be waiting for it to come. I would not mind having Nanni Moretti as my dad, I thought, but perhaps he is too young.

Sunday, September 7

RIPPED

This morning I started reading a book by Paul Auster. On Sunday morning I like to wake up slow with Paul. Before I could start reading his text, my attention was drawn to a small message on the inside cover. “Note” it said. “If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.” First I checked again to see if my book had a cover, and this was the case. Then I thought: is there someone going around in New York ripping off covers? Is there a secret delight in not reading the book, but taking the cover home? Did this person have a love affair with Paul Auster, and is ripping off his covers a way of getting back at him? Did she yell at him and say: "I’ll strip all your books if you don’t leave your wife?" And who reported them as unsold and destroyed? So many mysteries.

Thursday, September 4

SOFT SPOT

I know this isn’t trendy, but I have a soft spot for my boss. When I’m moody she tells me: “Margot, you’re moody today, did I do something wrong?” Never in my life has someone taken full responsibilty for my moods. To have a boss who’s insecure feels like a novelty. She usually comes in late, around eleven, saying that she overslept. She then enters her office, creates chaos, and calls some of her friends. At twelve she’s more or less ready for work. If she’s happy she will make you laugh but if she’s angry she will slam the door and blow up in your face. She hugs you when you’re overtired and she cries if you decide to quit your job. Out of all my bosses she is the most human boss I’ve ever had.

Tuesday, September 2

SEVENTEEN

On Sunday afternoon my mother and I went to the beach. She just returned from London where my brother employed her as a babysit. One of the things she keeps telling me is how she would like to be seventeen again, and that she would move to London if she had the chance. Ever since death is in our faces her energy levels are up.
When I asked her what she wanted to drink she answered: “Sangria.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“You saw what happened to your grandmother,” she replied, “today is the day to live your life.”
So I ordered a jug of sangria, and some mineral water for myself.
After a few glasses she started to tell me about her plans for this year. Her plan is to rescue the orphans in Georgia, by sending them our worn down clothes. Their parents are alcoholics, she said, the children live their lives out on the streets. While walking back I had a flashback, the same thought I had when I was seventeen. What if my parents were normal, would I feel much better then?