This is my gender-bending pictorial take on the delicious Les Liaisons Dangereuses, currently playing at the National Theatre in London.
I hope it inspires you to add your own flash fiction/images/songs/videos or autobiographical tale of seduction, revenge, love and betrayal in the comments section or by pasting a link to your story. And remember, you can always use a pseudonym 😉
Looking very much forward to reading your stories!
Take a bowl of strawberries
put it into the freezer
wait one hour
take it out
Gently place one strawberry
in your mouth
for three seconds
roll it in sugar
Put it back in your mouth
the luscious moment.
My best friend Katrin Denkwitz and I had a ritual. Every time I would sleep over at hers, we’d patiently wait under our blankets until her parents were asleep, then sneak to the freezer and take out a bag of strawberries.
Katrin taught me the important lesson of how to gently defrost each strawberry in the mouth before coating them in sugar. Then we would look at each other from opposite armchairs and grin lopsidedly through numb mouths.
Later in my twenties and already living in London, I came across a line in Leonard Cohen’s book The Favourite Game, ‘She had a treat for him, frozen strawberries.’ I thought to myself, I know exactly what you mean, and in that moment divergent lines from the past and present connected in consoling ways.
14 Stages of Developing the Malaise & How to Combat None of Them
But first of all, how do we attract this most alluring of possible mates?
Work non-stop for an extended period of time.
Make sure you take a combination of underground transport, where the air-shafts and sudden bursts of icy drafts send shivers down your spine.
Take your coat off as soon as you enter the stuffy, crowded, germ-infested carriage.
Work in a place which has air-conditioning so that getting used to an artificially induced cold in late October will make your system work overtime.
Ignore any signs your body sends out to slow down, cause really, it isn’t that bad.
Every time you’ve slept you will feel better until later when you don’t.
Take paracetamol and adopt the placebo-thinking that this will take care of your bodily malfunctions.
Prove to yourself that you are a hero and stronger than you think by going to work anyway. Then watch yourself falter.
What Not To Do Once the Amour Fou Has Overtaken Your Body, Mind and Soul:
Don’t walk into a 24-hour-Tesco without pharmacy with your hat pulled down halfyour face at 11 pm Friday night when the cashier is counting a stash of cash. Because by that time the throat pain is so bad that you croak at him in the hope of receiving pain killers in exchange, or any pill really.
A soft sunny afternoon in Belleville. Between the stalls and the crowd, somewhat forlorn, sits Antoine surrounded by knick-knacks, female clothes and high heels.
My girlfriend dumped me. Was in such a hurry, didn’t even bother to take her stuff. So as not to have anything remind her of the past, I guess. Just took off with another guy… And that’s exactly where I was living these past two years – in our dumped past. The first year I’ve waited, hoping she would change her mind and come back, maybe get bored of that other guy and realise her huge mistake. The second year I was fuming, wanting to burn her clothes and silly knick-knacks. Is it not enough being the one left behind? But being her rubbish man as well? Actually, coming to think of it, rubbish guy is spot on.
Antoine sits on a stool, his elbows resting on his knees, his face in his hands. Sulking, at odds with the world and the role he was handed to play. Not really interested in selling his wares, he stares at the ground when suddenly a pair of shoes appear, crazy over the top 70ies shoes. But what’s most bizarre about them is that the left shoe is on the right foot and the right one on the left.
Antoine gets confused just by looking, when a matter-of-factly female voice floats through the air, “I was born like this.”
Bewilderment mixes with curiosity and Antoine looks up. What he sees behind a long fringe is pleasant. “I was told that when I meet the right guy I will be normal again,” the matter-of-factly voice behind the long fringe says.
Antoine gets flustered because she clearly means him and flirts openly, “’Do you want to help me?” Antoine stutters, “Ehm…maybe…Though really, I wouldn’t know how.” He opens his arms in a gesture which says, totally not my field of expertise.
However, Mystery Girl is of the persevering kind and not easily put out “I don’t care how, just make it happen.” A smile, which could be called encouraging, plays around her lips.
Antoine feels uncomfortable, put on the spot. He looks nervously around, embarrassed to be trapped in this awkward situation and anxious to get out of it. But there is no escape. He has to man his stall.
He takes another look at Mystery Girl. She calmly gazes back at him with all the time in the world. Slowly synapses connect and thoughts start sinking in. After all she’s sweet and unique (not least because of her feet) and to be honest, he would like to help her out.
Taking another glance at his merchandise, the museum of his life spread at his feet, Antoine’s gaze falls onto a picture showing him and his ex. Annoyed he picks it up and throws it swiftly into the nearby rubbish bin, where it makes a clunk noise when landing.
On hearing this, Antoine breaks into a smile for the first time, the cloud of misery dispersed.
He turns to Mystery Girl but she’s gone. Sun rays dance and sparkle.
Does anybody actually have time to read blogs or anything for that matter?
If truth be told, I need several lives. Fortunately, Reincarnation is there for each and everyone of us. At least the Buddhists don’t differentiate between believers/good and non-believers/bad. On a whole, they are far less judgmental and critical than the Catholics with their pre-planned itineraries of: GOOD people this way please and the BAD turn right at the corner and down the escalator which will take you to where we all know where. Continue reading →