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Monthly Archives: March 2007

White Flight, “Pastora Divine”

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2 weeks ago I went out, partied, acted a’fool & somehow damaged my left cornea. Knocked myself out of commission for a good 3-4 days. Having bad eyesight to begin with, not being able to see…basically I was enabled blind. Strange in itself.

When venturing back to society, I wasn’t able to wear my contact lenses ~ or make-up of any kind until the eye healed. I’ve spent the last 10 days in glasses…bare faced. The difference in the way people act towards you, knowingly and unknowingly, is incredible. The 2 most common contrary symptoms (of course) are sexual in nature:
– men don’t notice you
– women seem to approach more, like you more, or treat you with a new-found respect

In grade 8 I went to ‘modeling classes’. I learned how to wear make-up, how to walk, how to be photographed, to act womanly (or wantonly?), how to be ‘the desired object of beauty’. Leading up to this point, I had always been ‘the pretty one’. Not ‘the smart one’, ‘the academic’, ‘the artist’, and certainly not ‘the athlete’. When I had my first runway experience I was very nervous…but at the same time, confident in my ‘looks’.

Time proved these ‘tools’ useful. Boys liked me, girls didn’t. Parents/teachers treated me, ‘the pretty one’, with plenty of leeway. My delinquency rose up. Secretly I wanted to be ‘the athlete’, ‘the artist’, ‘the academic’. I revolted. I studied. I became ‘the pretty smart girl’. Nil labels I held in the race of adolescence & onset of puberty. Times when we all scratch, scrabble & claw our way to the top of the…? Hormone chain?

Insidiously I could never go out in public without my armour…lip gloss, mascara, blush; my chosen ordnance of armour. Impenetrable to dirty stares, rumours, desires. Hide the slate. Disguise, camouflage. It was Vietnam in grade 9.

Marauding though high school, laying waste to the victims of my ego, I devastated only myself. A little further I turned inside, a little less confident with every runway, every hallway, every boy’s heart broken, every friendship crashed. I wasn’t the consummation venustas immaculata; I was the abutor, the hidden, the declaration of society’s stained hubris.

By 18yrs, ‘I’ was absent. I couldn’t be thin enough, I couldn’t be blond enough, I couldn’t win and I couldn’t detach. Caught in the maelstrom. Sure. Poor me. Step out of your skin and starve yourself to be desired. Try it. 4 baby carrots, 1 cup a soup, 4 brussel sprouts, 4 crackers, 4 cups coffee – black a day. I lived like this for almost 2yrs. The world was whirling around me, relationship from hell, no friends, no interest…automaton production of value ~ the unpaid cost of society’s values.

The demons of the exploited ego are not easily exonerated. You cannot feel ‘happy’ from the satiation of food, the words of others, material things or escapism. The years between myself now ~ and myself then have served purpose in the amelioration of my psyche.

Pages can and should be devoted to this journey……..what astounds me is how easily I can slip into the old patterns of my insecurities laid waste.

These last 10 days, I wore no make-up, I wore glasses. No one noticed me. I watched, a bystander in the flashing screens of my life. Not one single member of the opposite sex paid me a glance, a fleeting look, an extra courtesy. Every single member of my own sex was friendly, communicative and at times, familial.

I liked it. I re-acquainted myself with my demons and saw my wide-rimmed reflection. The war was over.

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The day I left Ottawa, there was a balloon festival.

As we drove to the airport it felt as though those balloons were being blown in my stomach. Flittering, nervous energy. In dreams you move as if in slow motion, everything’s calculated; that day felt inspiringly anarchic and dislocated.

I snapped photos of those balloons, visually aroused by their colourful display, their purposeless existence, such a cheerful carnival for the empty sky. However elastic, their cartoon façade was somewhat unnerving. I could put faces, places, and stories on those silent, backsliding sky gliders. I watched memories leaving me – just as I was leaving Ottawa.

Resolutions made, apartment rented in a province I hadn’t been to since I was 13 years old. I couldn’t tell you now why I chose B.C., why I wanted to move so badly, what compulsion or impellent force formed these decisions, but there it was.

Swimming through the airport, boarding the plane, fastening seatbelt…the strangest thing was the detached form I found myself in. Void. I snapped more photos. Wings cutting through the clouds, sun splashing on the dwarfish towns below, there was
no-stalgia.

Who would I be waking tomorrow? Who did I want to be? Who would I choose to become?

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