Lately, coffee and cigarettes is one of my simplest pleasures. I slow down; everything slows down. There is such beauty in enjoying a tiny cup of espresso, smoking my petite Vogue cigarettes, and getting wrapped up in conversation, thought, or nothing at all. At first it made me quite anxious. I was used to the New York way of life. If you want to sit and enjoy a coffee, there’s very few cafes with outdoor seating (no smoking here!) and always the trouble of finding a seat. When you do sit down, there are at least 3 people eying your table, waiting for you to leave. You feel rushed! So, you drink your coffee so fast it hasn’t even had a chance to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature and get back to all of the important things you ought to be doing. In Paris, I’ll wind up with a chilly, barely sipped espresso and realize I’ve been sitting quietly alone for 45 minutes. It’s by far my favorite pastime.
Speaking of which, have you seen the movie Coffee and Cigarettes? It’s a series of short vignettes starring icons like Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, and Bill Murray having coffee and cigarettes. It’s a simple, yet beautifully directed film that delves into the normalcies of life and showcases how enthralling their compulsions, fascinations, and delusions can be. In one scene, Cate Blanchett plays both herself and her cousin Shelly, who is jealous of her fame and fortune. My favorite lines come after Cate has just given Shelly a gift bag full of perfume she’d been given for free, and, rather than accepting the gift, Shelly bitterly retorted with this:
Shelly: It’s just… funny, don’t yah think, that when you can’t afford something, it’s like “really expensive” but then when you can afford it, it’s like, free? It’s kinda backwards, don’t yah think?
Cate: Yeah, well… the world is a bit like that, I guess, in a lot of ways.
It popped into my head randomly this morning, and it really got me thinking. This hits so close to home for me because of the world I find myself a part of. If I go out, I dine at swanky restaurants, drink what I want, and take a cab home, all without opening my wallet. Why? Because I am a model. The kicker is that I actually can’t afford it. I’m not saying I can’t afford it every once in a while, but it’s not exactly in my weekly budget. My career is still in the developmental stage, and I have very small means within which I live. So, whenever I want a free night out, or am trying to save money (guilty), I have a decent list of people I can call who would be more than happy to help out. Some of them get paid to bring models, others simply want to be surrounded by beauty. Either way, it’s an I scratch your back, you scratch mine kind of thing. Everyone wins. At least everyone who’s playing the game.
So, I’m curious: do you guys feel like it’s backwards? Or simply the way the world works?