I have been away for a while. According to the reports it has been two weeks since I posted something on this blog. And for that I am sorry.
But my absence has got nothing to do with a lack of inspiration, motivation or enthusiasm. It is much bigger than that.
The truth is…. I was held captive. In a different era.
It all started when I had my doctor’s appointment with my parodontologist Victor Frankenstein that faithful morning.
Dr. Frankenstein: “Evelien Delgouffe? Am I pronouncing it right?”
Me: “Absolutely, doc!”
Dr. Frankenstein: “Come on in. Why don’t you take of your clothes, ahm, coat and install yourself on that big chair there.”
I hung up my coat and lied down feeling somewhat excited and nervous at the same time. Even more, because I didn’t really know what the surgery was for. Together with my dentist they had decided to remove a piece of my lip connecting my gums. It was of most importance, they said. So I underwent.
Dr. Frankenstein: “Now open wide.”
“Ahm…Your mouth, miss Delgouffe”
Me: “Oh, right, I’m sorry, I have a gynecologist appointment later on. I guess I’m a little nervous.”
Dr. Frankenstein: “There’s nothing to be nervous about, love. The only thing that will hurt a little is the narcotics. After you’ll be in ultimate bliss.”
He took a big syringe with a huge needle of his utensils tray. As he brought the syringe closer to my face, the needle went straight into my gums. One time. Two times. Three times. By the fourth time my entire chin was as numb as a rock. His assistant Dr. Jekyll was holding my lip down so Dr. Frankenstein could perform the surgery. I felt a little drowsy and I didn’t want to see two pairs of hands fiddling different objects in my mouth so I decided to close my eyes for a bit. Find a happy place.
All of a sudden it was as if I got flushed down a vortex of some sort. Like a washing machine. Or perhaps even, a toilet. When I flushed through the strange type of birth canal all the way to the other side, I found myself in a water basin in some kind of weird work shed.
As I regained my hearing I heard horses passing by. And carriages. Gentleman talking in low voices. Females laughing in a girly high pitch.
What is this place? Where am I? And why am I naked?!
The last thing I could remember was Dr. Frankenstein pricking that big needle in my gums. But here, the doctor was nowhere to be seen.
Me: “Dr. Frankenstein? Hello?? Anybody??”
In the nook of the roof I saw a little window. I climbed up the webby wood work to gaze through it and find a point of recognition. Maybe the MAS. Or the Schelde.
I saw people in historic garments in the streets. Women in long skirts and coats with curly hair. Men wearing high hats and leather shoes. I saw little boys selling newspapers for a penny. Smoke coming from the gutters.
Me: “I woke up in a basin in the 19th century??”
Dr. Frankenstein was so friendly to leave an appropriate gown for me on the chair next to the basin. Or maybe it was Dr. Jekyll. He had a little gay vibe going on there.
I hopped into the clothes and found a way out of that shed in order to find a way back to civilization!
I was racing through the streets. I was making myself stand out instead of blend in but I was kind of in a hurry to go back. I only paid the parking meter for 1 hour and 15 minutes and I didn’t want to be fined AGAIN.
While I was rushing I accidentally bumped into a young man.
Young man: “Careful there miss. Why is a beautiful woman like you in such a rush?”
Me: “I need to find my car.”
Young man: “Haha, I like a woman with wit. And a sense for emancipation.”
He reached out his hand and introduced himself.
“My name is Dorian Gray. And who might you be?”
Me: “Errr… Frankenstein. Lily Frankenstein.”
That’s what the sow-in label in my dress said.
He turned my hand to his face and kissed it.
Dorian: “Nice to meet you miss Frankenstein. Lily. Will you walk with me? To your car? (wink wink)”
Me: “Well…Mister Gray…. “
Dorian: “I got a better idea. Let me invite you to dinner. At my place.”
Me: “Dinner?…Well a girl’s got to eat!”
At the end of the street we entered a beautiful piece of property with a magnificent inner court garden.
The mansion was nothing I had ever seen. With big chandeliers on the ceiling and countless paintings on the walls.
Classical music was screeching from the gramophone.
Dorian: “Can I have this dance?”
I was overwhelmed by the need for passion of this young man. Who, to me, was still a complete stranger.
Me: “Err… Don’t get me wrong Dorian but you look a little young for me.”
Dorian: “Well, yes I am. I am immortal, you see. I am forever young.”
Me: “Ok Dorian, I had a rough day. I woke up in a basin in the 19th century. With no clothes and no memory. I will probably have a fuckload of fines on my car’s windshield. And I still need to pay for my dental bill at checkout.”
I tilted my skirt up and made my way to the front door.
Dorian: “Wait, don’t leave yet. I want you to meet some of my old friends.”
Me: “Old? Like my type of old?”
Dorian: “Old acquaintances rather. I invited them over for dinner. To catch up on old times. Will you stay?”
His begging bedroom eyes were strangely convincing when all of a sudden the door bell rang.
Dorian: “Ah, the first guest has arrived. Miss Frankenstein, may I introduce you to my good friend….
Dorian: “Mister Dracula, I would like you to meet Lily Frankenstein.”
Dracula: “Enchanté. De-Lily-cious.”
“And thank you for having me for dinner, Dorian. I haven’t had a bite in a while.”
Me: “Yeah I know what you mean. I’m supposed to be on this cycling diet but it’s hard as hell. It’s much easier to stay off the bottle.”
Dracula: “Off the bottle? So if I would bite you, there would be no alcohol in your blood?”
Me: “Cero coma cero, cero, cero, cero my friend… And I had a vegan burger yesterday so you’re probably not interested in this broccoli bun.”
Dorian: “Woops, there is our next guest.”
Me: “Ok with one girl and two guys already present, the next one should either be a housewife or a queer guy according to the rules of reality tv. Or maybe both.”
A surprising presence entered the ball room and filled the void with what could only be described a James Bond-ly charm. His aura was so bright and strong I felt a minor tremor in my belly.
“Hello”, the dark handsome man spoke to me. He reached out to kiss my hand and spoke more. “And who might you be?”
Me: “Lily Frankenstein…I guess.”
Handsome man: “Your eyes are like two full moons in a pitch dark night.”
Dracula: “Yeah, even werewolves would cry for this tasteless piece of meat”
Me: “Oh bite me, Dracula.”
Handsome man: “Haha, she’s got attitude. I like that.”
Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”
Handsome man: “It’s Fyodor. Fyodor Dostoyevsky.”
Me: “Nice to meet you Frodo.”
Dostoyevksy: “It’s Fyo…”
Dorian: “Shall we sit?”
Fyodor was so kind to take my chair back and help me sit down. He installed himself at my side and continued to pick my brain form there.
We only had commenced our conversation or there were already a bunch of servants eager to fill up our glasses.
Me: “Oh, not for me I’m on a strict alcohol ban.”
Dostoyevsky: “Really? What’s your trauma?”
Me: “Oh it’s silly, really. I’m participating in a big cycling event in a couple of weeks and I’m staying off the bottle. But I could go for a coke zero if you have one cold.”
Dorian: “Miss Frankenstein seems to be coming from a different planet. Earlier she was looking for her car. She feared the parking rangers would fine her.”
All together: “Hahahaha. The parking rangers. You are an extraterrestrial miss Frankenstein.”
Dracula: “With no seasoning whatsoever.”
Dostoyevsky: “We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken. You are an enigma miss Frankenstein. A puzzling and inexplicable occurrence.”
Me: “And you are a fine poet mister Dostoyevsky.”
Dostoyevsky: “How did you guess? I write about psychos, sadists, downtrodden persons, drunks and murderers. I see desperate and hopeless people everywhere. My literary hunt is to passionately find a way out for these lost causes. I am a chronicler of the soul. “
Me: “I too am a chronicler of the soul, sir! A troubadour of the world. I keep all my stories on my blog. A compendium of thoughts.”
Dostoyevsky: “I’ll drink to that, miss Frankenstein.”
“So where can I read this compendium of yours? You got a manuscript with you?”
Me: “Heck no Frodo. I’m not even wearing underwear right now. You can find everything on the internet. Wait, you got Whatsapp? I’ll text it to you that’s probably easier.”
Dostoyevsky: “Your vocabulary is quite advanced. The internet? Whatsapp?”
Me: “Oh right. Silly me! Those are inventions of the 20th – 21st century. Let’s just say I am continuously editing my life story in a global network connecting millions of computers that will be possible to read in a couple of hundred years. It’s a story about finding a way in life based on 100% hope and 0% prejudice. Staying true to yourself and your beliefs. Even if the world thinks you’re just being blonde and clueless.”
Dostoyevsky: “Blonde and Clueless? It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”
Me: “You got that right. But it’s a bumpy road to follow, I can tell you that.”
Dostoyevsky: “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
Me: “That’s what I say! I often have the feeling I am the only one asking questions. The only one who has the courage to dig deeper. To decipher the inner clockwork. To find some hidden design. People just say I’m full of illusions. That I’m a lost cause, hopelessly going the wrong way.”
Dostoyevsky: “To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid…”
“Plus: Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time, isn’t it miss Frankenstein?”
Me: “Damn right, Mister D! I hope you don’t mind me saying this but I think you could be the ‘Backpackersguidefortheblondeandtheclueless’ avant la lettre! My counterpart in this century! I will try to print out some of my excerpts and bring it to you next week when I have my second appointment with my doctor to remove my threads.”
As I pronounced the words ‘threads’ I felt someone pulling me away from the scene. Like someone was sticking a needle into me and pulling a thread through it. And again. And again. And again. Removing me from this place entirely.
As I floated away, looking down on the scenery from a bird’s perspective…
I felt like I was looking at the decor of the parlor game I had when I was a child: 1313 Dead End Drive.
A place of Crime and Punishment.
At that moment, while floating somewhere between the 19th and 21st century with the narcotics running out, I felt it.
A feeling that something was coming.
A positive one. For as far as I sensed it.
Either professional or romantic. I don’t know yet. But something is about to put my life in a completely different galaxy soon.
In a distance I heard my friend Dostoyevsky telepathically dispensing his final life advice to me. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi connecting to Luke Skywalker.
“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness. Calculate your happiness, miss Frankenstein. Even if you cannot see the sun. Know that it exists. To know that the sun is there – that is living.”
Me: “10-4 Fyodor!”
I’m ready to jump to hyperspace.
Back home. Back to the present.
Me: “I am one with the force, the force is with me. I am one with the force, the force is with me. I am one with the force, the force is ….”
Dr. Frankenstein: “Welcome back miss Delgouffe. Seems like you had a wonderful journey.”
Me: “I have a feeling it is only the beginning, doctor.”
To be continued.
Source fan fiction: Penny Dreadful season 1,2,3; Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘Notes from Underground’, ‘White Nights’, ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ ; ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Rogue One’.