She daydreamed she was driving along the PCH, cruising in a black M3, electro bumping through the seat like her own desperate heartbeat. Her husband next to her, proud of her. His beauty overwhelming her. Blind to her flaws. Understanding what she was trying to do.
But she was single. She divorced a few years back, college boy, something about a moissanite ring and a lack of communication. She had leapt out of his car too fast, he took it personally. Too controlling and manic, he said. And she thought he was too sensitive. They tried and failed. So she moved to L.A., studied scriptwriting, returned to her hometown, smarter, broke, unemployed.
She wanted to die the second she saw it on facebook. Her ex had since remarried and got the new one pregnant. Time to pull a Virginia Woolf. Shove some rocks into her pockets and step into a river. Gun in the mouth. A quiet fall off a tall building. Her life ruined. She would need some kind of voodoo jungle worship, some kind of ayahuasca exorcism to snap out of this one.
She was thirty-three years old and jealous of everyone. If she saw another cute couple hand in hand she swore to God she was going to throw herself through a glass window. The American dream mirage. Diamond rings? She’d fallen for it. Another sucker. Still buying engagement rings, still kneeling, still proposing. It made her sick that she couldn’t just get it. She moved back in with her parents in their tiny bungalow. Her poor mother. First generation immigrant schoolteacher. Couldn’t understand why a “cute, smart girl with a degree couldn’t find a nice boy with those same things.” She wanted to say, “He gave me a fake diamond ring, mom. He didn’t love me.” But that wasn’t quite it.
Man, she wanted a dude. A crazy dude who maybe kept a dismantled AK-47 under his bed and subscribed to The New Yorker. Oh, yeah. That was kind of hot. That was the kind of movie she wanted to write. That might solve some problems. Bonnie and Clyde, only with language and words. All those movies she watched by herself in the movie theater, all that money she spent on Blu-rays, all those wonders of sight and sound were not lost on her. Vermilion damask wallpaper, beautiful burnt bridges, Our Lady of Guadalupe, neon dance clubs, classic white Jaguars, Christian Dior, William Bevan, J.D Salinger. She knew what moved her. She had heard and seen enough beauty to write ten perfect movies.
She had been told she was pretty, nice hair, soft mouth, a nose that wasn’t fucking enormous, but her soul had turned sooty, and no one could possibly want that. She had lost faith. There was no God. Couldn’t be. Not if she was to feel like this. TO GOD: “If I wasn’t supposed to write movies, then why instill me with the desire to do it, ya Dick?” She wished she were friends with Zooey Deschanel, maybe Parker Posey. Some connected brunette with an empire mind. Someone to pass a script onto. Some girl who just didn’t give a fuck. Then maybe she wouldn’t have been so weird. Doubt never would have crept in because she would have had this connection. Instead of this desert mind, the hot sun baking everything down, like a desiccating wind.
She daydreamed she had found him and stole away with him forever. Maybe he’d be Latin, straight teeth, big mouth, brown eyes. He would wear black shirts and black boots, maybe play the guitar. It would be instant. A ferocious, demanding, intoxicating blast of attraction. She could hear his name lilt on the tip of her tongue. An undiscovered ocelot. And he would be the one who wanted her. He would think she was awesome. He’d be an artist. He would actually read. Someone who wanted to read more of the script she wrote about the two sisters in love with each other. Her stories hooking him as if they were alcohol, tobacco, sex, drugs, gambling, or caffeine. She could whip him around at will. Her brain frenetic for him, back and forth, lose the thread of him, find him, lose him again. Wondering if she would ever turn back into her normal self again. Not caring if she didn’t.
On a whim, at a club, she saw him. For real. Something told her she had to flirt with him. Just go up to him on the dance floor and talk to him. If he liked her, then try it out. See what this was about. He emerged from the booth after playing for a while and then all she had to do was talk to him.
A new frontier. A new city. The Far East. Hong Kong. Walking with him. Flipping her hood over her head to protect herself from the rain. Stopping for a taxi, taking her, kissing her. Feeling his warm hand on her back. Above, another screaming jet incoming from Honolulu. Lucky, lucky her. It was 3 am, her birthday. God had finally whispered to her. She’d found a fella. A disc jockey who took her to his gig in China. For her approval, he made her mixes before posting them onto his blog. She was finally free to not to cringe from the dumb music boys chose. He knew exactly the tracks she liked. He put it on for her and it was great. Then they made love.
He took her on a Kowloon ferry, the boat’s foamy neon wake crossing Victoria Harbor, to a casino on the Hong Kong side. She looked up at the high-rises, at the blinking tower lights and he watched her. The one she wanted.
Her career taking off. Her man along side. Later disappearing with him to Mexico City. The flames of her former life still burning back there, somewhere in the dark. All she ever wanted to do was dream for a living. She never wanted to stop dreaming and she had been setting it up for the last twenty years so that she could just sit and dream and get paid. Building word worlds. On her flight to Distrito Federal, she listened to club music in her headphones and remembered when she was very little, building Legos with her brother on the kitchen table in the small bungalow in which she grew up. That memory now for a reason.
And this afternoon she sits in a movie theater in the Coyoacán District, not far from Frida Kahlo’s blue house museum. Thrown upon the screen the movie she wrote about the two sisters in love, all of which she had once only daydreamed. The pieces there, her every effort, raw and exposed. The audience, silent as a church. Holding his hand, she tries not to cringe at the lines she didn’t write, knowing he still loved her. And the projector is a quiet whir in the darkness behind them.