The opening of “Beyond Vogue” (Work in Progress?)
The text isn’t exactly brand new and my question is: is this worth continuing on for me? Comments most welcome!!
“Do you want some speed? Got it yesterday.”
Jacqueline was more than just a little downhearted. It had been a pretty rotten day and she just felt like flying away. This was definitely not the time for speed or anything like that. Oh! She hadn’t slept much. It was too early to regret the missing hours that had kept her up until now and perhaps too late to get ready for the day to come. She and Jason. They hadn’t done much; only chatted, talked, like friends do sometimes. Jason was a friend, or at least as much a friend he could be being him. He was funny. He could be very nice indeed but this night he had taken something before she came. She couldn’t really handle that habit of his and she definitely didn’t want to be apart of it. She had too much to think about to get into that blurry field of abstruse so called pleasure. She couldn’t see the pleasure in it, nor the point. It was all too much; too much trouble. But Jason was alright. He could go on for much longer. She could sense that.
The place was only slightly extravagant, like so many other places she’d seen; a mix of cliché, kitsch and 20 century furniture, creating a rather blurred picture. The lights were dim and Jason was obviously in the mood.
“No thanks. It will be morning soon and I wouldn’t look good, would I?”
“They’ll layer them anyway so you might as well have some. It will do you good.”
“Good? Oh yeah?”
She hadn’t slept much and he knew it. Why did he always have to go on like that? It was one of the things she couldn’t really handle with him, especially now when he was a little stoned. But she liked him in some weird way anyway. She didn’t know why. Maybe it was the guilt-thing. He had helped her much; even supported her in his own way. He wasn’t the kind of person who would support someone in an open way. She knew that and she knew him; too well it seemed sometimes.
Jason looked at her in an accusing way. She never could handle that.
“Don’t be so god damned gloomy. You’re no fun this way.”
Jacqueline hesitated for a moment. She didn’t know what to say and she didn’t want to create trouble. With Jason there was no point. There was no point with anyone.
“We can’t be fun all the time, can we?”
That was all she could say. She felt a little bit uncomfortable. Jason was Jason all right. Always there to disturb her in his own cynical, yet sometimes subtle way, but she couldn’t find it in her heart to blame him much. Jason was Jason. He had been there for her at times and she couldn’t help liking him in some way she couldn’t put her finger on or understand.
“You’re gorgeous you know.”
“That’s just what I don’t want to hear right now, ok? I should leave. I have some things to do before I go to 57.”
“Things,” she said turning her face away from him seeming absent; as absent as she could.
Jason had always had a kind of semi-shallow approach just like so many others but in his case he wasn’t locked in some stereotype, at least not to any extent of significance. Many where. At least among the huge amount of people she had met. People who had called her friend but never meant it. People who had called her cute, darling, gorgeous and you name it, but never meant it. It was all plastic fantastic. But Jason was Jason. It wouldn’t be fair to accuse someone for having a personality really.
“Well. I’m sorry but I have to go now. Phone you later, ok?”
“Darling. You don’t know what you’re doing to me.”
Irony or not? Not. A throw away line like. She didn’t want to comment on it. It was important to keep a sort of distance. Jason had meant a great deal to her but sometimes it could become too much. And now he was in the mood. She had to handle that without hurting his feelings. She knew how. She had known him for quite some time, but there weren’t any tricks involved. Just acting shallow, that was all there was to it. Jason would buy that, although unwillingly as it seemed. He was in the mood.
She headed for the door and Jason followed her, trying to caress her hair but she tried to avoid it. Things would get complicated if she stayed. She knew that but still she hesitated. She wanted to escape but something kept her there. Jason’s spell perhaps. Jason once again tried to caress her hair and she did the same thing as last time, without a sound. It was best not to say anything. She didn’t know what to expect in return. Jason seemed to be high on something. She could tell. She knew him that well. She opened the front door herself and uttered an almost indiscernible goodbye. That was all.
Having left the building she realised it was daybreak already. She just stood a block away from Jason’s and watched the sky. She took a deep breath. The air was a little cool and fresh as it was very early and the traffic of the day hadn’t started yet. Jason didn’t live in the immediate centre of the city. The freshness of the air and the silent, immaculate ascension of the sun made her feel a little better. It was quite a contrast to the somehow choking experience she’d just gone through. She wouldn’t want to blame him really but she just needed to get away. She tried to block the thoughts and started to walk. There was a place pretty nearby where there use to be taxis and she was lucky.
After a short while she was home. As soon as she came in she put on a Loreena McKennitt record and started to make a cup of coffee. It was high time; high time to be home and high time to relax. Perhaps shrug the past night off her shoulders if she could and she tried to do her best with that. After this how was she going to get into the right mood for the day? She didn’t know. All she knew was that she had to have a couple of moments for herself before things started to get serious again. A new day was coming on; a new day with new obligations. She had to get in the right mood for the day. She felt like trash. What to do now? Better take it easy. Better relax.
The music and perhaps the scent of the coffee somehow, gradually, made her feel better. She had to; she couldn’t show up at 57 in this state of mind. Having coffee she browsed through the latest issue of Cosmopolitan. It was a standard thing to do for her and she found a couple of entries that might be good for her she thought from judging the pictures. Some people weren’t doing very well it seemed to her. Oh well. She didn’t really know them, she wasn’t all that hype. She smiled a little, thinking about a director who told her about the importance of branding. Branding? She could see herself not doing commercials for coke but being coke. The absurdity of the thought was refreshing indeed and the coffee was much needed. It had been a long night. She hadn’t slept all that well lately. Too much fuzz around her. She really couldn’t say no, and so she somehow had to pay the price.
Well. She should know the name of the game by now. The game. What a game! “You’re so chique”. “Come on gorgeous. Give me more of that…” whatever. Oh, what a mess! She’d better not think. She had a lot of that coming later; she knew that. The people at 57 tended to be pretty cynical. She wondered why the agency had given her that job. It wasn’t exactly something she felt fit for doing. She supposed they had their reasons. Maybe it was low season or something.
It was still too early to leave home. She wasn’t supposed to be at 57 until 10 AM and so she changed the music and continued, now browsing the morning paper. She wondered what was in it; the same as yesterday. She sighed and had a sip of coffee. Why is it that there’s never any news in the news she wondered. It was all a waste of paper it seemed, and yet it was one of the biggest morning papers around. Oh well, she thought. She went through the movie shows and all that. Entertainment was her thing. It wasn’t really entertainment for her; it was more than that.
She had to put on some make-up. Not much; only a little. They’d do the main thing at 57 but she still felt like a dump and so she thought that she needed it. She felt that she might not have the strength to manage the day so a little make-up certainly wouldn’t hurt. Something extra? She wondered what that would be.
Cosmopolitan next! Her inner self laughed at the thought. Did she want to be in Cosmopolitan? Could she take it? She knew the tools of the trade so maybe, yes. But it was a long way to Cosmopolitan and she was not seventeen anymore. Thank god for that! The strain. She could handle that now. She could handle most things, at least to some limited extent determined from time to time. As long as nobody noticed she was ok. But all things must come to an end – so they say – and she wasn’t too sure about much anymore. Would she get promoted? What did promotion mean in her case? She couldn’t say that she’d been used but she’d never had the chance behind the camera and the camera is so intimate, like a lover but hardly seductive like one. She hadn’t had any lovers in the industry. She didn’t fancy them. There was always something wrong. If it wasn’t personality – the general thing – then she was being used. She simply couldn’t say no; that was her biggest problem it seemed.
Industry. What a word. She felt as if it was a place for plastic outcasts; some doing well while others lived on starvation. Suffer for your art. All of a sudden she threw her head back. She had to stop thinking. What was the time? It was getting late. Did she have to grab yet another taxi? She guessed she had to. 57 was a 5 minute car-ride and so it was too long to walk considering the time. She enjoyed walking to her jobs. It made her feel more fresh and better for the camera. The camera that treats her like a whore always. She had to stop thinking like that! There was no point. No point at all. She had to phone a taxi. Had to get some things together first which was quickly done; she knew where she had her stuff. She picked up the phone and rang the taxi-company. The voice that answered seemed familiar but what did she know. There must be many telephone operators in such a big place.
The taxi would be there in 5 minutes and so she left the apartment. All of a sudden Jason came to mind. Jason and speed. Why speed? Because she was in a hurry? It will do you good, he said. Oh yeah. Sure. Everyone’s on drugs these days. And they’ll layer them anyway. A touch of cynicism; a trait Jason shared with many.