It was one of those Monday mornings when I could not help myself but muse over the apparent lack of sense my life had had up until that point. What was it all leading up to? It felt like waiting for that Aha moment. I mean, the everyday stuff had started to become mundane and repetitive in its exuberance. I sat on my patio, shuffling my legs on the other wooden chair, staring at my cup of coffee. The birds in the big tree in the courtyard were making a ruckus and I wondered about my neighbours staring at me, in my light blue cotton nighty, day after day, apparently hungover. Their windows faced south, so their blinds were most often closed. Yet I could not shake the thought that they could all look into my life through the balcony, into my large kitchen windows where I so often watched my late nights turn into early mornings, spent loudly discussing and dancing with strange men. All the drinking was starting to blur it all. I had even started to write particular events down to prevent them from slipping away into some dark corner of my mush brain, full of gypsy dreams. As I took a swig of my cold coffee and lit my third cigarette, I wondered what anyone else would think of the weekend I had just had. Was this the dream or was it my mother’s nightmare?
I awoke on the Saturday and set out to meet a friend in town. He was going to take me out for a ride on his motorcycle before going to store it, as he was leaving town for a while. As previously mentioned, I enjoy motorcycles but they scare me. That day, he met up with me, handed me his spare helmet and here I was jumping on 1000 cc’s. He was the kind of driver that instantly put you at ease and we even had a few tries at some pretty crazy accelerations on the sea road. It was exulting and mind-numbingly beautiful. Those 30 thrilling minutes set me up for a weekend of accelerated heartbeats and simply pleasures. When he dropped me off back in town, I went home to get ready for the beach. I put on my sexy black tiny bikini, with that black and white top that makes my boobs almost fall out of it. I strolled through the small cobblestoned pedestrian streets. The sun was hitting my shoulders and you could smell it in the air that we were in the thick of summer. I stopped by Jean-Paul’s ice cream shop on the way. Passionfruit and raspberry in a cup, with those tiny little plastic spoons that force you to enjoy every little bite of it. I was delighted.
My friend Charlotte* was waiting for me by the rocks away from people. Her and I had quickly become friends, sharing our amazement at some particularly Southern French quirks that neither of us understood even though we were regularly lumped in with them. We took in the sun rays and plonked our asses in the pebbles where the small waves would crash. We talked about her quickly evolving relationship, and my utter lack of routine. Charlotte was the typical Northern french girl, with a big personality and loud opinions. I adore her for that. It did not take long however for both of us to overheat and get peckish. So we walked the quick three minutes back to my place and spent the afternoon eating breads and cheeses, painting our nails and being total girls. We parted ways as I set out to watch Croatia get destroyed in the Euro Cup, which led to my getting drastically inebriated. My friends tried to cheer me up and succeeded. We danced our worries away until last call, and continued at an intimate afterparty at Mike’s* house, my new best guy friend. I was joyous and very drunk. I remember for a few quick minutes looking around the tiny studio and smiling to myself. Shortly thereafter I was asleep, the wrong way around in the bed, in the middle of the apartment. They all continued to dance around my passed out corpse, not before putting a mariachi sombrero on my head. Thankfully, Mike prevented them from defacing my poor body and no pictures surfaced on Facebook the next day.
When I awoke I was surrounded by three people strewn across the floor and armchairs. Not one of them was Mike funnily enough. We had managed to kick him out of his own house! I quickly realized it was already 10am and snuck myself out. I was running to meet my bestie Amy*, who was in town because she had fallen for a guy here while visiting me. (Now, that’s not a story for me to tell, but I swear I cannot make this stuff up.) She understood my tardiness and brought my broken, hungover self some croissants in bed. She is the best thing I’ve ever had. We met when we were 16, and 10+ years down the line, we always have each others back. She is about half of the size of me and a total opposite in all personality aspects. But to use someone else’s words to describe her, she was my “wonderful little weirdo”, hidden under a very put-together, stuck-up appearance. Even though the last thing I deserved was breakfast in bed that day, she pulled through and made me feel so special. She was my secret weapon, the woman I could run the world with. Her big, blue, breathtaking eyes soothed my hangover and she gave me the best snuggles, not once judging me for being in a completely inappropriate, see-through one piece, that laced around my curves. Her tiny little self wrapped her arms around my fat rolls, and she smushed her gorgeous face in my boobs.
When she left, I got quite horny, most likely due to the black ensemble I’d put on to make myself feel better. So I grabbed my phone, texted Magnus* and he was in my bed 20 minutes later. I have always loved a bit of afternoon delight. He was the perfect person with whom to have this type of arrangement. Dependable, kinky, grounded. He was tall, dark, bearded and somewhat brutish. We both were perfectly aware that there would never be anything else to it. He indulged me and gave me two quick orgasms, and left as fast as he came. (Pun intended.) As I was closing the door on him, my phone beeped and out of nowhere I had a ride to the most epic beach party. It wasn’t just any ride, this gorgeous woman in a gold fiat came to sweep me off my feet.
Once we reached the party, everybody was there. The sun was shining and I was still buzzing from the last day and a half’s events. This particular beach was pirate themed, with colourful plush snakes resting on the bamboo umbrellas. There were rows and rows of orange beds and lounge chairs. The music was blasting some electro-jazz chill tunes. I poured myself a glass of rosé, and wondered over into the sea. There was a table propped up in the sand, where the water rose up to your thighs. A sign was nailed to the table: Place du rosé. How fitting. I rested my glass and stared at the sea, smiling to myself dumbly. Then he showed up. I had met him a few times in a drunken stupor, and had to reintroduce myself every single time. I could not remember quite if I had seen him the night before.
“Well, you must feel well rested.” Shit. Yes, I have. “Why, yes I am, thank you.”
He was tall, smiley, and so-very charming. I found him very handsome, even though in perhaps not the most obvious way. Some of my friends thought he was a bit cocky and not their type, but the charm was undeniable. He did this thing; when he looked at you, you felt like he only saw you, even if it was just for a moment. I have always liked people like that. Let’s call him Avery*. He reminded me of the Artist with the mirror, in the way his eyes would later come to undress me. I had already learned by then, to enjoy a moment just for what it is and to let it be enough for me. It was inevitable that I would put a target on his back. He was just the kind of lust I craved. When I first met him though, I somehow did not think he would be into me.
Anyway, I was stood there in the sea, sipping my rosé and smiling. Avery was staring at my face, studying it. He asked what was making me so happy. I let it slip about my afternoon delight session and my breakfast in bed. His jaw dropped and he stared at me in disbelief. I just giggled. I wasn’t capable of anything else. He stared a little longer and went back to shore. He was with some pretty young skinny thing that day, and I didn’t make anything of it. I was still high on my weekend as it was unfolding. Out of nowhere, Mike swam up to shore and just appeared on the beach as we cheered. Mike was the reverse of friends with benefits, in that we cuddled and shared our thoughts. Cuddles & intimacy, instead of sex & distance. I hugged him really tight right then. It was one of those magical afternoons of love and friendship in a heavenly setting. I will forever remember the warm feeling in my stomach and the sheer joy of getting to experience this day, these people and to have these memories. As people started to leave, I realized it was soon time for my dinner with Amy and her new boy’s friends. I looked around and caught Avery’s eye. He came over to tell me my body was “banging”. I had put on some weight so it made me smile to hear someone say that, in spite of all the perfect young bodies around us. He planted a passionate kiss on my lips in front of everyone and I left.
I drove the gold car back to town quite inebriated (something I had not done before and would probably not do again). I somehow cleaned up and got myself to dinner. I ordered the largest beef tartar and two coca-colas to attempt to sober up. I was feeling all outrageous Christine and made a fool of myself. If these had been my people, they would have had the biggest laugh. That was not the case here. I distinctively remember one of the women just sitting there, expressing her judgment and worry for me and my “destructive habits”. Eff those women. You don’t know me, nor my habits or mental state. I am clearly happier than you in this moment in time, and you do not have the right to judge me for my behaviour, without getting to know the real me. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I am different than other woman. I am most likely just like a lot of other women, who feel the same way as I do. What I can say is that we do not exist in the literature, and we have not had a voice up until Chelsea Handler and the likes. Even then, it was at first a comical expression. All her works have been about understanding others, and why they did not or would not understand her, in my opinion. That is something I love to share with her, that curiosity of others and their lifestyle choices.
In an act of rebellion then, I texted Avery.
A: Where are you?
Me: Just finishing dinner with friends and you?
A: Just having a beer at the bar
Me: I’m stalling! Having a cola haha
A: You taking me home??
Me: Should I?
A: Yes you should
Me: Haha – that’s a biased opinion ;)
Me: You wanna?
Me: Ok. Let me text you when I’m walking back.
*Christine leaps in ecstasy.*
We went back to mine a few hours later. We sat on the same wooden chairs, out on the patio, in the shadows of the kitchen light. He picked me off my chair with one arm, in a smooth gesture reaching in between my thighs. I knew in that swift motion it was going to be good. He kissed me again and I got goosebumps. He smiled and stared again. I must have looked inquisitive because he answered me right then. “You just have the cutest face”, he said taking my big cheeks into his large hands. Oh boy, he was good at this making-me-feel-good stuff. He dived into my mouth, his tongue gently, yet purposefully caressing mine. He pushed me onto my king sized bed, a motion that I usually liked to perform. He promptly took off my dress and his jaw dropped to the floor once he faced my ensemble. His hands went up and down my thigh as I lay sideways. His left hand grabbed my right bum cheek firmly, as he continued to look right at me. He laid his body on top of mine and my hands ran up his arms to hold his neck. His skin was soft and he smelt of virility. His hands knew exactly what to do; my body became his puppet. He looked me right in the eye as he first went inside of me. It was a perfect match. I could feel him in exactly the right places. Sharp, focused and sensual thrusts. He made me orgasm with ease and I was addicted. There she was, good old Christine.
What is it that Hank Moody said? An morning of awkwardness is far better than a night of loneliness. Except I am rarely awkward in the morning so it’s a win-win. He left early in the morning and here I was sipping my cold coffee. Hank would have been proud, except he would have been drinking bourbon and it would have been far from his first double in one day. So you tell me, was this the dream or the nightmare? Because to me, it had become daily reality and I could not decide whether I was being shallow or if that was living life fully. Am I running away, and drowning myself in rose and convenience? Or am I fully experiencing what is in front of me, because I will never be this person, in this place again? I know one thing for a fact: enjoying each moment and each person for what they have to offer was making me feel high, buzzing. I wanted more.