Thursday, December 31

CHRISTMAS 2009

Christmas this year was a bit worse than the year before. On Monday my mother called me, saying she had decided to cancel the Christmas celebrations this year. ‘What do you mean you’re going to cancel Christmas,’ I said. ‘Everyone in this country will celebrate Christmas, so why can’t you? Our plan was to visit my brother, who lives in a town near Germany. ‘Have you looked outside?’ she asked. There’s no way I can drive through this snow.’ I don’t have my drivers licence and the trains were not running on time. So I spent a few days sulking, had an argument with my brother and spent Christmas by myself in front of the tv.

Sunday, October 18

HUMAN BODY

Five more weeks to go before I’m leaving the office for good. Even though they say the human body is designed to work, I am quite happy to be leaving soon. Not having to sell my time for money makes me feel more free than I have been in years. Simple pleasures suddenly become more profound and meaningful. During my lunchbreak I walk to the supermarket and look at all the beauty on display, the apples, the flowers, wondering why I feel so happy when I look at them. My crush on The Italian Man has faded, it has not yet been replaced by anything so far. I am so used to walking the streets alone that I wonder if it ever will be otherwise. I already know what I want to do with my free time: I want to travel more, desire less and drown myself in words.

Tuesday, October 6

ITALIAN MEN

My short trip to Italy not only cured me of Italian men, it basically cured me of men in general.
The first few days were pleasant, men of every age, posture or race reminded me that yes, in their eyes I was beautiful. How lovely to hear to word over and over again, especially when one feels rather down about oneself. While walking down the street, sitting down for coffee or preparing for a short trip to the shops, everywhere men stare at you and tell you what they think of your physique. After five days of non stop harrasment, I started to understand the icy behaviour of Italian girls. No wonder their attitude is ‘talk to the hand’ if everyone approaches you as if you are fresh meat. The first few days I wanted to be meat, to be desired only for the body that I have. But after a few days I realised: maybe I don’t just want to be desired for my body. Could it be that anyone would feel desire for my brain? An impossible question to answer, at least when you are walking down the streets in Southern Italy.

Thursday, September 17

SLOW FOOD

My Italian colleague slowly approached me at the coffee machine. Last week he had been talking about slow food, a conversation which nearly inspired me to sign up for a cooking class. When he talks to me I suffer from my own likes and dislikes, which is why I’m sort of glad I will be leaving soon. ‘Margot,’ he says. He pronounces my name like it’s his favourite dessert.
I resist the urge to touch his skin, his face, his mouth. I take a coffee cup, look into those big brown eyes and whisper: ‘Yes?’
‘Did you know that Berlusconi and Barroso recently had a clash?’ I make a movement with my head which could mean anything, hope, despair, or something in between.
Berlusconi seems to be our favourite enemy, the scandal which surrounds him never stops. I listen to his talk about Veronica Lario, about the journalists of La Repubblica who will be brought to court, about the injustice covered with a sauce of sex. Only in Italy could a true drama like this exist. And even though I don’t know anything about the hidden plans of Berlusconi it all sounds very dark and interesting. I fill my coffee cup and think about the things which make life bearable: slow food, slow talk, slow sex.

Wednesday, September 16

DRASTIC MEASURES

When I told my boss I would be leaving all she did was smile. I didn’t expect her to cry but I also didn’t expect her to be that... radiant. And just when I’ve decided to quit my job I’ve almost fallen in love. Yes, he is Italian, and yes of course he is engaged. Even though I haven’t met his girlfriend I assume she’s gorgeous and no doubt she’s also very smart.
Having a mild crush on my new Italian a colleague makes going to the office so much easier. I take half an hour to prepare my make-up, I wear stylish new clothes that make me look slim, I brush my hair until it shines. Then one day, while I was helping him with the translation of a text, somebody from the office remarked: ‘Margot, you’re falling for his accent aren’t you!’
I was too embarresed to reply. The Italian replied: ‘ it’s not just the accent!’ So I decided it will take some drastic measures to eliminate this crush. Only when surrounded by handsome young men will I feel more confident and more at ease. Which is why I’m going back to Italy next week.

Monday, September 7

SENTENCES

Sometimes I’m afraid I will mix up some important sentences. That I will say: ‘I have loved you forever and ever’ to the butcher and ‘two steaks please’ to my ex-boyfriend. That I will start a monologue about the misery of work at the bakery and ask my colleagues for two rolls. Anyway, I’m contemplating whether I should quit my job and what to do afterwards. There are so many possibilities in life. I’m looking forward to experiencing more freedom, meeting new people and maybe getting a degree somewhere. Life at the office has left me feeling rather miserable and drained. I cannot believe people chain themselves to a desk for forty-five years, work in silence and then claim they have a life. And I cannot wait to tell them what I’m really thinking, the real, uncensored truth.

Monday, August 24

CHILDREN

‘Do you have children?,’ the lady at the supermarket asked.
I contemplated her question for a while. It might have been a refreshing change from: ‘Do you save airmiles?’ or ‘Do you have a customercard?' I imagined that from now on I would be having intimate dialogue at the supermarket, that complete strangers would ask me: 'Do you use contraception?' Or : 'Are your parents still alive?' That you could discuss life, death and reincarnation at the checkout or while waiting for your bread. It’s so much easier to trust a stranger than your closest friend.
‘I’m sorry, I don’t have children,’ I answered. Of course I was sorry I didn’t have children. Was this the information she was aiming at? ‘But I do have a lot of nephews and nieces.’
‘Okay,’ she said, obviously glad with my answer. ‘I can give you three frisbees if you want.’
So now I have three frisbees which I got for free. The only thing that I don’t understand is: why didn’t she ask if I liked playing frisbee?

Saturday, August 15

SHAME

Coupland wrote something about shame and impulsivity which I wanted to quote today, but now I’ve lost the piece of paper with the quote on it. Was it that impulsivity is nothing to be ashamed of? Or that you should fear nothing, execpt your own impulsivity? In any case I have decided that I want to quit my job. You could say that quitting your job when everybody talks about recession is a very risky thing to do. Or you could say that it’s time for a new challenge, time to broaden your horizon, whatever your economic situation is. Of course I wish I was more like normal people. I wish I could feel satisfied with climbing the corporate ladder, with sucking up to bosses and people in upper management. The more I see people sucking up around me, the more I want to run away and live my life out on a farm. My dream is to escape from capitalism and grow my own food. To live life without internet, a televison or a mobile phone. Maybe one day.

Tuesday, August 11

VILLAGE LIFE

My six year old newphew is staying with us for a week. He arrived in the village with his wallet, asking if he could go shopping somewhere, Yes, he comes from London, so maybe country life will be a shock. I like being Auntie Margot, it’s new, it’s refreshing, it feels like I was born this way.
After being bored for the first day he is now slowly getting used to rural France.
First shock: Carrots grow in a field, not in a plastic bag with Tesco written on them.
Second shock: Nobody here speaks English, and all the French people have funny unpronounceable names.
Third and most unexpected shock: all the dishes that my auntie makes have courgette in them.
After dinner he plays hide and seek in the garden and writes short stories about butterflies.He also writes stories about ‘dark, dark castles’ and eyeball soup. Yes, I know there is a family connection there.

Monday, August 10

SLEEPING AND EATING

Back to reality. Left Sicily a long time ago, flying to Milan Malpensa, which is probably the worst airport in the world. From there I went to a small village in Southern France, trying not to think about work or love or life in general. My mother, who picked me up from the station, didn’t recognise me at first. She said: ‘I saw this trendy looking woman, and only after a few seconds did I realise it was my child!’
I told her I dressed trendy on pupose, to make sure she would recognise me. We got in the car and drove to her village, about an hour from the nearest town. I was quite happy to leave civilisation behind. She told me that the bakery would drive by on Tuesday, selling pastries and biscuits and freshly baked croissants.
We did not need to go shopping since there was salad in the garden, and the neighbour had already given her courgette. Being in France meant sleeping and eating, and waiting for the bakery to show up at the door.

Monday, June 15

LUXURY

Today I ate hazelnut icecream and pizza at the pool. It’s too hot to sit in the sun, even if I desperately need a tan. The waiter and the poolboy look at me but they don’t speak. I read newspapers that other people left behind, old news that never was important anyway. The waiter brings me orange juice and dates upon request, he even hands me a clean towel if I ask for it. So money can’t buy happiness but luxury comes pretty close. I swim with the old and retired people; some of them look like they never had a laugh. My desires are still there but I would say I suffer less. I’m starting to accept whatever comes my way; pain, beauty, happiness. Not wanting anything to change means that I’m free at any given time. From the pool I can see Mount Etna, and it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

Saturday, June 13

FRESH AIR

Would it be cliché to write that Sicily is beautiful? The past few days have been like dreaming while I was awake. I wake up at seven, have breakfast on my balcony, admire the view on the cliffs and the sea. It’s so wonderful to be able to breathe fresh air again, to admit that all my worries have been created by myself. I try to blend in and look Italian: wear skirts, dresses and heels. If I bump into someone on the street I say ‘scusi’ or ‘scusa’, even if I haven’t figured out what the difference is.
The amazing thing is that I’m never tired, since I arrived in Sicily I feel alive. Men whistle and tell me that I’m beautiful, what a relief. They say ‘a little bit of that’ and hide their face behind the darkest shades. During the day nothing happens: I look at the shops, go to the beach or visit the pool. All my judgements, all my loud and noisy thoughts are gone. Instead I read some poetry, caress the hot stones on the beach, try to look like I belong. I write down that I want to bend, not break, forget about the bruises of the past.

Wednesday, May 27

NAKED

For the past few days I’ve been feeling a bit more depressed than usual. The only cure so far is having a large creamy cappuccino with Oreste, the owner of a local Italian coffeebar. Oreste is tall, handsome and married. He has three children and runs the coffeebar with his wife. He keeps telling me to practice my Italian with him, but perhaps he’d rather practice something else. There are days when he talks about Italian or English poets, and how he would like to be a solitary suffering genius like them.
Yesterday we talked about his parents and Luigi Pirandello, who was born in his hometown.
“Did you know that Pirandello wrote a poem called Hard, Lonely, Naked?” he asked.
He slowly moved his fingers through his curls.
I told him I had never heard of this poem before. The only thing I knew about Pirandello was that he did not like to work, like me. We decided that Hard, Lonely, Naked was a great title for a long poem. It's a bit like Tall, Handsome, Married. Or maybe not.

Monday, May 25

POETRY

There are days that I miss Paris, but I’m ready for my next assignment: a trip to Sicily. My boss has decided to send me to Taormina, where I will be in charge of organising something vague. I love organising vague events, especially when lunch and dinner sound like poetry. A few days ago I discussed the menu with my Italian colleague and asked her if she had a preference for parmigiana di zucchine verdi con pomodoro, mozzarella e maggiorana fresca or if she would choose rotolini di manzo speziato con fagiolini e dressing. In the end we decided we would serve both, and add frittatini di verdure e ricotta alle erbe aromatiche all’ aceto balsamico on top. To tell the truth I’m slightly nervous but I think that things will work out fine.

Monday, May 18

CHANGE IT BACK

After C.’s wedding I spent exactly one day feeling sorry for myself. I ate croissants in bed and had three cups of coffee whereas I would normally have one. I didn’t get dressed and watched three dvd’s in my pyjamas (Zelig, Volver and Girl with a Pearl Earring) wondering what on earth I should do with my life. There would always be orphans in Vietnam I could rescue, or I could join the navy or a convent or grow vegetables in Southern France. If you forgot about love and money life seemed so full of possibilities. In the evening a friend from Spain called announcing that he made his girlfriend pregnant, and I wondered: should I maybe move back to Madrid? It seemed that the only way to be happy was to keep moving, just in order not to feel the pain. Then I got a message from my mother, which read: HELLO DEAR HOW WAS THE WEDDING AND WHAT DID THEY SAY ABOUT THE DRESS DID YOU GIVE YOUR PRESENT AND HOW WAS THE FOOD? COULD YOU TELL ME WHY I HAVE EVERYTHING IN CAPITALS I REALLY DON’’T KNOW HOW TO CHANGE IT BACK AND LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY NEWS FROM YOUR LAST SESSION WITH THE ACUPUNCTURIST. So I wrote back and decided I would stick around for some more time. It sort of feels like I am needed here.

Sunday, May 17

HARMONY

Despite the weather forecast, it almost rained on C.’s wedding day. She looked so happy that it made me want to laugh and cry. There’s something very confusing about witnessing somebody elses happiness, especially if it is obviously so profound. You want to ask them: how do you do it? How can you be so certain that you want to see eachother every single day? Of course there are no logical answers to that. C. told me that it just felt right with him, she knew he’d make her happy, she knew he was the one for her. Together there would be more harmony in their lives. I don’t think I ever wanted somebody so bad or felt that I was wanted in that way. There’s something very possessive about being in love. Meanwhile I tried to see if there were some interesting Italian men in the crowd. After the ceremony I got talking to some dark eyed business men from Rome. One of them seemed quite attractive, except for the facial hair on his nose. Call me critical, but I just can’t have the hots for someone who will have to shave his nose.

Saturday, May 9

CLICK PAUSE SILENCE

On Thursday night I went to see a ballet performance with some colleagues, called Click Pause Silence. Even though I love to dance I had not been to a performance in ages. There’s something slightly perverted in watching people express all of their emotions physically, while staying inert in your chair. It confronted me with how unnatural my daily reality is. During the break my colleagues spoke about the Opera in Paris and what the difference is between the Opéra Bastille and Opéra Garnier. (“Did you not know it? If you want to hear Opera you go to Bastille, you go to Garnier if you want to see ballet”). We almost left during the second break, since we were unaware that the performance had three parts. I like to watch the movement of bodies, even without reading the explanation in the booklet that comes with the art. The explanation tends to be a bit heavy (‘sometimes you click with people, then there is a pause, then there is silence’) but the movement of silent dancers should say enough. It’s all about the inadequecy of human relations, the inabilty to connect with other people, while at the same time wanting what you fear the most.

Tuesday, May 5

SOLITUDE

There are days when I think about getting a cat. At first I wanted a rabbit, a white one with big fluffy ears, but after giving it some thought I quickly realised that I preferred a cat. It would be nice to come home to a living creature instead of to an empty room. But most important of all you get to name the creature, just as if it were your child. You would pick up the cat from the asylum, finally doing something useful in your life. You would name him Alexander Pousjkin or Friday or Olly or Sky. You would buy him special meals and special biscuits and on Sunday you would maybe treat him to a fish. You would watch your favourite programmes together, and he would jump on your lap if you decided to write. You’d be forced to sit still for hours, even if you wanted to get up and stretch your legs. You’d always have someone to talk to and there would always be someone to stroke and to caress. You’d say: “Alexander let me tell you what happened at the office today,” even if Alexander wouldn’t reply. But maybe I’m afraid of sharing my apartment with a a cat. Perhaps I feel most comfortable with what I know: my solitude.

Monday, May 4

JERK

This weekend I went to Amsterdam to meet up with my friend C. As you may know C. is getting married this month. She picked me up from Central Station wearing her favourite raincoat and sneakers. For a bride to be she seemed very calm, almost serene. We had coffee and cheese cake at a rundown cafe which appeared to be a hangout for Italian tourists. Compared to some of the tourists I felt like an adult, a feeling I had previously never had before. Life seemed easy, I wasn’t pregnant, there was nothing to worry about. C. and I have been friends for almost a lifetime, and it feels like she will now enter a whole new world. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the outskirts of her reality, but she probably feels she’s on the outskirts of mine. Even though I would never say it, marriage just seems like such a huge step to take. While walking through the city she asked me was I happy and I told her that I was. My fling with a married man wasn’t mentioned, I felt it was inappropriate to mention to a bride-to-be. Instead I asked about her clothes and if she had found matching underwear. I told her I had bought a new red dress, especially for her big day. ‘Wasn’t there someone who once gave you a red dress?’ she asked. ‘A genius who turned into a jerk?’ I told her life was much too short to wear the same dress twice.

Monday, April 27

SHORTNESS OF LIFE

Now that I have less time for men I have more time to read. Moto Taxi Guy is currently in Turkey for a holiday with his wife, I am at home reading Seneca “On The Shortness Of Life” (Life is Long if You Know How to Use It). What Seneca describes comes very near to Buddhist philosophy: don’t think about the past or dream about the future, try to be here now because this moment is your life. The only reason why I bought this book is because of it’s title. There where other titles in the series which were equally appealing (On the Pleasure of hating, On Art and Life, Why I am So Wise) but one has to start somewhere. Even if it is not always possible, one should organise every day as though it were your last. Seneca writes: “You must match time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow.” But the best part is his description of Livius Drusus: “ it is uncertain whether he died by his own hand, for he collapsed after receiving a sudden wound in the groin, some people doubting whether his death was self-inflicted, but no one doubting that it was timely.”

Tuesday, April 21

YOU ARE SO YUMMIE

Perhaps you are wondering how it ended between Moto Taxi Guy and me. On Friday morning he dropped me off at the airport in one of his many cars. I felt quite grateful, because otherwise I would have taken the train. He kissed me on the mouth as if it was the last kiss ever, and strangely enough I did not know it was. At the airport I sent him a text message to which he replied: you’re welcome have a safe flight x. I tend to read much more into an x than there actually is. He then returned to his safe suburban home and spent Easter with his wife and child. I put my phone into my suitcase and did not look at it for five entire days. Three months ago he would send the sweetest and corniest text messages ever: I miss you my darling x / I spend a lot of time thinking about you x / you are so yummie x / Last night was great x / Did you sleep well? x / Are you awake yet? x / At what time do you finish work? x / What would you like for breakfast? x / Can I give you a massage? x
There was always an x at the end of every line. At the end of this three month affair I’m thinking if I can blame him for giving me what I apparently needed: superficial contact and shallow pick-up lines.

Monday, April 20

AMAZING

A few days before leaving for London my mother was hit by a car. She came to my house in shock, her head covered in blood and her arms full of bruises. Half an hour later a policeman dropped off her bike and checked to see if she was all right. We spent the evening at the hospital where her arm was x-rayed and eventually put in a cast. She nearly fainted when the nurses came to check on her. Since the accident we have different conversations than we had before. She tells me to worry less, to just enjoy, that happiness is easy if I just stop thinking for a while. She says I have the strangest taste in men and that I don’t respect myself enough. This weekend we watched Susan Boyle’s performance on You Tube for about five times in a row. So amazing it just makes you want to cry.

Wednesday, April 15

RELIEF

On Friday morning I flew to London to escape from myself. A visit to a Chinese acupuncturist had helped me to find out I wasn’t pregnant, which was probably the biggest relief of the year. According to the Chinese doctor my blood wasn’t flowing properly. Too much casual sex had blocked my chi. I boarded the airplane with a suitcase full of presents and a sense of happiness I had not felt before. The relief of not having to raise children, of being able to move freely and go anywhere in the world. I was allowed to be selfish, to spend all my money on make-up and things I didn’t need. My brother and his son came to pick me up from the airport. Later that day we hit the shops at Oxford Street. I bought three different outfits and a lot of yellow underwear. London felt like a strange city; I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to survive.

Sunday, March 29

WASTE OF TIME

This morning I peed over a stick to see what the results would be. Two stripes means pregnant, one stripe means you’re either not pregnant, or there’s not enough hormone to be traced. I thought I knew what life was about until I started googling topics related to motherhood. There’s a whole world out there, a seperate reality of women who are desperate to have a child. According to some sites you can still expect twins, even if the results of multiple tests are negative. I think that waiting for your period is more excruciating than waiting for a lover, it makes love seem like a complete waste of time. To cheer myself up I had a haircut on Saturday. My hairdresser, an attractive woman who is one year younger than me, turned out to be four months pregnant. “That’s wonderful,” I said, while studying her face. She looked so happy and peaceful, so at ease with herself. “It wasn’t something we planned,” she said, “but it’s welcome.” I felt like I had been given a part in a Russian play. She gave me the same haircut as usual, and when I left she gave me free shampoo.

THIN AIR

Last night I spent an hour on the phone with the possible father of my child. He was on his way to spend the weekend with his family. He said that I should see the doctor on Monday, if nothing happened during the weekend. I asked him: “What if you were single, would you then consider keeping this child?” He said that it wasn’t his decision to take, I would have to take that decision by myself. I rephrased and said: “If this child was born, and you were single, wouldn’t you be happy with it?” He replied by saying that he couldn’t give any guarantees, and that there would be a chance I’d have to raise the child all by myself. "What do you mean?" I asked, touching my stomach with one hand. His exact words were: “Well, there might be a day that I would just stop calling you and disappear into thin air.” That killed all the romance I still had inside. There´s nothing romantic about being a single mom. I guess it is less painful if he disappears into thin air today.

Saturday, March 28

WORST CASE SCENARIO

The worst case scenario would be that I am pregnant. At first Moto Taxi Guy didn’t believe me when I mentioned the word ‘pregnancy.’ He figured I might be making up another story, one that would prevent that he would lose interest in me. To tell you the truth, I could not care less if he would lose interest, perhaps I would be quite relieved. My intuition tells me that he has already found himself a new girlfriend, one that is just as gullible as I was, and all his talk about ‘how he never felt this way’ was sweet and empty, some easy pickupline. Of course I am not surprised when the word ‘abortion’ comes up. Moto Taxi Guy sounds like he has dealt with this situation before. I mention he must know the way to the nearest abortion clinic, judging from his experience. Since a few weeks he doesn’t think I’m funny anymore. I’m turning into a real woman: demanding, suspicious, a bit needy at times. This is not what an extra-marital affair is about. I should be happy, adoring, craving for sex. Instead I feel like throwing up and crying when he smiles.

Friday, March 27

FLOW

One of the good things in life is that I always get my period on time.
The pain is usually quite bad and starts about three days in advance.
That’s why I was surprised that this month I did not seem to get my period at all. I threw up before breakfast on Wednesday morning, right before leaving for work. The emotional part of my brain said: I must be pregnant, while the rational part of my brain said: This cannot be. The fact is that I would not mind having children, but I would mind raising them on my own. I can just imagine the conversation when the child is grown: “Your father was married to another woman and I was his sidedish while she was away.” The child will grow up hating his parents for being so completely irresponsible.
Every now and then I run to the toilet to check if there is some good news. Meanwhile I’m just waiting for flow to come to town.

Sunday, March 1

MENTAL

There are some things that a woman should not want to find out. For example: why did my last boyfriend dump me? Was it the hair, the jacket, the pink sweater I wore on our last date? You could ask him and risk making a total fool out of yourself, or you could pretend to be this wise and detached woman and add the mystery to the other mysteries of life. The subject came up this weekend when I went to visit a friend in Amsterdam. She recently moved in with her boyfriend and has this amazing job. She also just returned from a trip to Thailand and wears all the right clothes. I feel that no matter what I wear - Karen Millen, Ralph Lauren or Chanel - I still look like a fourteen year old. When I told her about the recent developments in my love life she laughed and ordered some more wine. At the same time there was something judgemental in her face. I told her not to judge the situation, maybe this was just about sex, maybe life was too short to be a saint. She asked: “what happened to your last boyfriend, why don’t you give him a call?”
We were sitting in the same bar where we had lunch before.
I said: “He proposed to me and then disappeared into thin air, do you expect me to call him and ask him how he is?”
“No, not if he’s a mental patient,” she said. “Then just let it go.”

Tuesday, February 24

MATURE

If you believe in perfection you could say today was a perfect day. No drama, no nightmares, no irritable bowle syndrome or unexplainable cramps. I’ve been trying to live without wanting more than what I’ve got, without having unrealistic expectations of men, colleagues or family, and so far I feel my situation has slightly improved. Yesterday I told my Moto taxi guy I might be falling in love with him. I asked if he could please do something to prevent it or I’d go insane. He responded in a very mature and friendly way: he took me to Ikea. There is no other place on earth that makes you not want to settle down or have a family. I pretended to be interested in kitchens, cutlery and multifunctional wooden cupboards. On the way out we bumped into somebody he knew and I felt like I had ‘guilty’ written all over my face.
When they shook hands I wanted to say: “don’t look at me, I’m just a friend.” But I didn’t have to say anything. We exhanged a smile and walked towards the exit, trying to look innocent.

Saturday, February 21

LOVE AND MARRIAGE

There’s a small piece of information that I haven’t shared with you yet: the guy I have been sleeping with for the past months is married. No, I didn’t know this when we first met. All I knew was that he had a thirteen year old son, and there would obviously still be contact with the mother of his child. It turns out that his wife needed a break and now she has decided that she wants him back. Their son has a rare form of ADD and needs his father to be around. I’ve never been in a situation where I’m ‘’the other woman” (it’s such a cliché) and where I feel jealous just because he has a wife and child. He now gets away with “I’m being a faithful and responsible husband” while still having me on the side. Yesterday I felt desperate enough to type “why do men cheat” into google and was quite surprised by the amount of hits I got. If this question is easy to answer (they cheat because they can, because it makes them feel good, because they need a change of menu now and then), the question google doesn’t seem to answer is why women let them get away with it. If it works for me it’s because I need the affection without having a man who controls my life. In theory this would work out perfectly. Because our time is limited it makes it more intense. He gets the thrill of the chase, I get all the affection without having to cook. But in reality it just feels wrong.

Monday, February 16

TRUTH

Valentinesday was almost like a normal Saturday. There was a card from my mother, and a short message from a friend. She sent me this self help book: Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.
All those books give the same warning: don’t ever ask if he loves you, you’ll find out soon enough. If I’m in a relationship I have to ask when he is planning on leaving me. There is no point in hiding any insecurity, he already knows. For the first time in ages Moto taxi guy didn’t perform as I expected him to do. On Friday he announced that he would make me tea if I would get into his bed. When I asked him if he was planning on leaving me he said I was naive. How could a man give a truthful answer to that? Blame it on the weather but something went wrong that night. His equipment failed him, and when he asked if I was dissapointed, all I said was: “how can I give a truthful answer to that?” And then I kissed his cheek.

Sunday, February 8

OLD FASHIONED

If I haven’t written for a while it’s because I was overloaded with work and had the flue. On top of that something very embarrassing happened: one morning I woke up and realised I was falling in love. How can Margot, the unstoppable sex machine, the woman who has no emotions, who is out there to enjoy herself, fall victim to such an old fashioned feeling, one she thought she had forever erased from her life? Maybe it started because of something Moto taxi guy said when I came back to Paris, something about the fear to commit. “I’ve noticed you always buy one bottle of shampoo at the time,” he said, as if he had done some major discovery. “So what,” I answered, not knowing what he was aiming at. “You know that’s a trait of people who are afraid to commit. They never have a collection of toothpaste or shampoo, they always buy one item when they shop.”
It’s something I had never thought of before, but I guess it was a simple truth.
If my fear of commitment even shows up in my non-existent collection of toothpaste, perhaps it is time to move on. I wanted to defend myself but he said: “Look, just think about it, I always buy ten bottles of shampoo at the time. The things I need must be within reach.”
So I had a long thought that evening about what I want from life. We didn’t have sex, even though it would have been easy. For the first time in ages I knew that being close would make me grow more fond of him. I don’t want to change the way I live. I cannot imagine a cupboard full of shampoo.

Wednesday, January 14

BARAKA

New Year’s eve was a small disaster, just like I expected it to be. The highlight of the evening consisted of watching Mamma Mia, which I must say I enjoyed. Moto taxi guy brought some champagne, which we drank naked while watching tv. After that we watched Baraka, and it felt like being sucked into the screen. About a hundred times a day I say want to change my life, but is it possible to really change? There is an endless chain of endless lovers and not one can set me free. My New Year’s resolutions are very simple this year: in 2009 I plan to inflict my prose upon the world (I know you want it, don’t resist).
There should also be some room for travel and perhaps a few exciting love affairs. I won’t lose any weight, I won’t take up sports and I definitely won’t be friendlier to men. Perhaps I should accept the fact that other people won’t change my life, at least not drastically.