Life is strange and unpredictable. You never know what’s coming for ya. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. A few months ago, you’ll remember I was interviewed and photographed for a Toronto Life feature , which itself was a lot of fun. Well, more people saw that interview than I bargained for.
I was contacted by the good folks over at TFO 24.7, the Franco-Ontarian TV station here in Canada. They noticed that I speak French, and that many of my love letters are in French, and they asked if they could come over and film me for a Valentine’s Day segment.
They came over and interviewed me for 5 hours. The finished TV segment is less than 4 minutes, it’s a lot of work that goes into making a mere 4 minutes! They filmed me in my bedroom here in Toronto, which I have decorated with the letters, old photographs, antique furniture and typewriters, and then they filmed me at an antique shop and a café.
I really like the way this came out. The music they use is super sweet and it makes my 9 x 15 bedroom look much larger than it actually is! I’m also a little embarrassed, just because this is my bedroom and I’m inviting all of you strangers into my tiny little corner of the world, but hey…. I WOULD DOOOOO ANYTHING FOR LOVVVVVVVE. Har har.
I think this is my favourite shot in the entire segment.
Anyway, watch the entire segment below! It’s in French, of course, but you will probably still get the gist of it even if you don’t speak French. Enjoy! Savourez-le!
Click on the above image or click here to read my latest essay in VICE about a douchecanoe that I knew for only 2 hours TWELVE YEARS AGO and wouldn’t piss off, so I lost my shit on him. It’s probably my greatest #ByeFelipe triumph.
This serves as a reminder, ladies, when a Yoko Brono uses the term “spinster,” it actually opens up a rift in the Space-Time Continuum to 1915.
So if you’ll excuse me, I need to jump in my autogyro and head to Constantinople to meet with the King of Siam. Hope he’s not a Bolshevik!
And dudes, here’s your takeaway: if you don’t want to be written about, you should have behaved better.
Check out my VICE category for all of my other essays that have been published in VICE.
And remember to check out the all-new ChristineEstima dot com! It’s where you’ll find all of my published works!
After my last post where I mentioned being homeless and a waif, I got quite a few private messages from you, my munchkins. It’s been about four months now, and I haven’t really talked about why I’m not in Germany anymore. In fact, most of my friends didn’t even know I had left until weeks (and for some, months) after the fact.
Truth be told, I couldn’t talk about it.
I figured the only kind of catharsis I could afford was to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and tell my story. So I did that a few weeks ago at Spark London, a live storytelling event in London. All the stories are true and told without notes. So, the above video is my true story.
I posted this on Facebook the day after the event, and the outpouring of comments and private messages from people on there was so supportive and heartwarming to affirming. Here’s a cross section:
-“I just watched the video. Then wept.”
-“your video really moved me. i watched it three times and it made me cry. you are such a brave woman.”
-“I watched your video. it was artful and cathartic…you are honest, and blunt as hell. and have fire and i like it.”
-“I’ve watched your video a couple of times and it really moved me. You are wonderful and brave…You have a lovely soul, which was visible when you bared it. Xx”
-“I just watched your video and while I knew so much of that I’m sitting on a bus, bawling.”
-“OH MY goodness. I just watched this piece you performed and it made me cry. I bet tons of people have said that. I don’t have the words to express how much empathy, anger, compassion, sadness and love that I feel for you but also for everyone who has gone through something like this – it’s so universal….just watched it again and now I’m in tears AGAIN..”
-“It may not be much of a concillation, but you are a brilliant storyteller, and we’re all very lucky to be able to hear your stories.”
-“Just wanted to say that killed me and I’m bawling at 9:45 on a Wednesday. You’re a gift to art.”
-“Oh, sniffles, your video is amazing. I don’t know how you told your story with an even voice. You’re incredible.”
-“That was amazingly profound. I am Verklempt.”
-“you are a good one, Estima.”
-“good for you for recognizing a situation that was wrong for you. Many wouldn’t have the strength to leave.”
-“your video shook me and awoke a memory in me I thought I’d long ago purged. I’m ok knowing there’s still peace to come.”
I feel like a digital age Blanche Dubois, in that, I’ve always depended on the kindness of random internet followers;)
I’m okay now. I’ve been okay since I did this event. It’s like I let it go. I’ve moved on and I’m so happy now. My life is so charmed and wonderful, and I’ll never let someone make me feel anything less than wonderful again.
And besides, I’m living here!
So I can’t officially complain.
Anyway, the lesson herein is this:
Live a life that you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, find the strength to start over again.
Yesterday, at the Jeu De Balle flea market in Brussels, I bought this love letter for €1. It was written August 20th, 1945 from an unnamed man to an unnamed woman. It was written in French but I will do my best to translate it here. This reminds me of a letter I once had to write.
I love you so much that it is necessary to tell you that again and right now. It’s 11:30 am, maybe you are thinking a lot about me right now — I don’t know. But I feel your love around me like a protection and a caress. Forgive me my love for not loving you more, but I still have a heart very much broken. I still feel quite often alone and abandoned, very close to hopelessness and craziness. I very much need your softness, your warmth, your presence. You should treat me a bit like a sickness. I still suffer a lot, without end and I very much need that you don’t switch on me too much. Now, you are to me peace and calm; near you, I can finally calm my nerves. I pray that one day you will be complete happiness to me.
It’s when I take you in my arms and kiss you that I feel so much happiness and that the world could turn around me without destroying my happiness.
Forgive me for stealing your life and for giving you worry. I hate myself sometimes for the bad stuff I have done involuntarily to you, for the worries and the pains I have given you, but I can’t do anything about it, it’s stronger than me. I would like so much to change and become more normal, I want so much to be worthy of you.
I detest all the moments in my life where you weren’t there, and that I am now in exile from you.
Goodbye, my dear.”
The original French:
Je t’aime tellement qu’il faut que je te le dire encore et tout de suite. Il est 11,30h. Peut-être pense-tu tellement à moi maintenant — je ne sais pas. Mais je sens ton amour autour de moi comme une protection et une caresse. pardonne-moi mon amour de ne pas t’aimer plus, mais j’ai encoure le coeur tellement déchiré. Je me sens encore si souvent seul et abandonné, tout pret du désespoir et de la folie. J’ai tellement besoin de ta douceur, de ta chaleur, de ta présence, il faut me traiter un peu comme un malade. Je souffre encore trop et sans arrèt et j’ai tellement besoin que l’on ne me bascule pas-trop. Maintenant, tu es pour moi, la paix et le calme; près de toi, je puis enfin une reposer détendre mes nerfs. Je prie pour qu’un jour, tu sois pour moi le bonheur complet.
C’est quand je te tiens dans mes bras et que je t’embrasse que je me sens tellement heureux que le monde pourrait rouler autour de moi sans détruire mon bonheur.
Pardonne-moi de te voler ta vie et de te donner du souci. Je me hais parfois pour le mal que je te fais involontairement, pour les soucis et les peines que je te donne, mais je ne peux faire autrement, c’est plus fort que moi. Je voudrais tellement changer et devenir plus normal, je vourdrais tellement devenir digne de toi.
Je deteste tous les moments de ma vie où tu n’a pas été et que j’ai passé en exil de toi.
Au revoir, Chérie.”
I’m going to keep this letter safe.
I left Canada six months ago without a return ticket, not knowing where life would take me. I have been living out of a backpack, rationing food, sleeping on buses and railway station benches. I have written, I have photographed, I have filmed, I have run, I have swam, I have danced all night, I have cycled, I have froze, I have bronzed, I have planked, I have made 13 different countries know my name, I have coughed up blood and screamed til I was hoarse… After a very sad September, I just wanted to feel the Earth moving before my eyes again, carrying me with it to some unknown destination.
Today I move from London UK to Cologne Germany for the beginning of another great journey…
Don’t wait up.
All the beautiful Parisian street art that I have found on the theme of love and relationships. This is the urban art that really makes my heart ache. Most pieces I find are clever, witty, funny, political, or tongue-in-cheek. But this is the work that, no, I won’t say it uplifts my soul, but I will say — it simply makes me glad I have one.
Ah, Curtis Kulig. I do love you, I do.
Love me til I’m me again.
BleedingHeart has been having a field day on Dundas Street West.
i like street art that deals with matters of the heart, specifically a heart in sadness, healing, mourning, and hope.
stuff that talks about truth, beauty, wisdom …. these are the only conversations worth having.
i like believing love is one of the few magics left in the world. i heard in a movie once that only unrequited love can be romantic, and to a degree that’s true.
i’m not necessarily interested in romance (although i dare say, i do enjoy it so long as it doesn’t enter velveeta-ville), yet love, when it is rough around the edges, seems to bee the kind that attracts me more often than not. i like things that are struggles and have imperfections. i like feeling like i’ve worked hard for what’s in my life. if and when it fails, i can at least hold my hands up and say, “i tried.”
in every relationship i’ve ever had, no one can ever tell me i didn’t try… that i didn’t invest time and energy and heart and soul into it.
but my heart bleeds for no one. my heart is the strongest muscle in my body.
one sunshiney day in Trinity Bellwoods Park in downtown Toronto, an irish couple that had been together for three years were deeply in love and prone to romantic gestures worthy of a ralph fiennes movie. kelsie, whose heart was inextricably linked to callum, come ruin or rapture, decided to send her ginger-haired lover on a scavenger hunt throughout the park.
as he followed balloons, notes, photos, and scientific formulas that described the tapestry of their love, he knew that soon he would be in possession of a bottle of bubbly, a pain au chocolat, and the key-owner to his heart.
just another one of those wonderful things you can stumble upon in your city …. if you’re paying attention.
For me, Valentines Day is like the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, except every third person is a woman puking into her handbag, looking for her morning-after-Bacardi-breezer.
That being said, I hope your Valentines Day is full of …..
Ewan McGregor’s peen ….
… and not full of Richard Wright’s infidelity….
…with copious amounts of dancing The Lindler.
Mmmmmmm, Christopher Plummmerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrowr.
A few years ago, I backpacked around India for a month and blogged about a lil love affair I had whilst there. One morning in the small village of Pushkar, during the festival of Diwali, me and “Crewe” (I gave him that name on this blog to protect his privacy) climbed a mountain before dawn, and found a hindu temple at the top. We watched the sun rise over the village, and marvelled at the above Hindu monk who prayed during the event horizon. I took that photo from a distance.
Crewe and I still talk, and he’s now pursuing his dream of being an artist (so proud of him!). He painted this below scene, inspired by the photographs we had taken of the Hindu monk:
he’s started a tumblr under an alias, so you can check out more of his work here.
the horseshoe moustache is thankfully gone now (this photo of us was taken during Movember), so at least my chin can take a break this weekend.
Enjoy your weekend (and all the rug-burns that comes with it), munchkins!
when this blog was still hosted on blogspot, i quoted that Closer line in the footer. i downloaded the opening song by the devlins. i visited postman’s park where the Alice Ayres plaque actually exists in London. i never met any handsome doctors at the london aquarium, but i did have an affair with a man who lived around the corner from Whiteley’s in bayswater (where Anna has her photography exhibit).
and i started calling people “buster.”
my best friend is in his late 50s and lives in saskatchewan. he calls it the ‘Katch. he teaches at a university. he writes me emails about his prairie home (sans companion) and how it’s like the return of the rube from whence he came. i miss him. he always tells me about my life, he sees it better than i do.
today he writes, “Many times I wonder where my pal Christine is at. She’s an exploding nova.”
i haven’t seen him since the spring when he was briefly in toronto and took me out to dinner at Queen Mother. we talked about my love life. i think he wishes i were 30 years older, or he was 30 years younger, but we’re more than that. we’re soul mates still trying to figure out if we even have souls.
after dinner we went to go see a play about cosmonauts and their daughters on front street. he wanted to leave at intermission and i had to scold him like he was my son. then he saw the oozy theatre reviewer sitting across the aisle who was a thorn at his side for years. he nearly marched over there, fists clenched, lips pursed, nostrils flared, and brained him.
i emailed him when my health went south and begged him to come home to toronto. because i needed him. i was hysterical and inconsolable. now he’s returning for the winter holidays, and i’ll be in NYC.
Life loves her little tortures.
mo’ staches, mo’ problems.
super scary blurry dance party avec allegra.
i fink i’m in trouble. you know that fing women do – where they over-fink fings? (thmile when you thay that)
i’m obsessing about the inconsequential non-sequiturs of life.
for example, last night after Mo’gasm, i did a lot of graffiti hunting and snapped some amazing photos, but my camera fucked up, and for some reason, half of my pics are corrupted, meaning i have to go back, retrace my steps, and find those rare gems again before they’re taken down.
OBSESS! CHRISSY MAD! CHRISSY SMASH!
that’s one little issue of many that i am rolling over and over in my brain as if it were a messy joint.
sometimes i can’t believe the things i allow myself to daydream.
wildly fanciful scenarios that aren’t based in any kind of reality.
it shocks me how courageous my imaginary self is (when it comes to matter of the heart), and yet how pussy-footed my real self is.
i’m cerebral ballsy.
cringeworthy but accurate.
my chin is red & raw to the touch.
totally worth it.
don’t worry, i like you.
i’ll kill you last.