SHOWROOM OF PERFECTION – The Journalist – Chapter 4

24 03 2011

THE JOURNALIST

I am on the subway in my new jacket when someone taps me on my shoulder.
“Excuse me, where did you get this jacket?”
I whip around and stare at a gorgeous women with long black hair – of course she is skinny and tall – white skin and sparkly Charlotte Rampling eyes. She is the kind of women my father pursues and worships.
“I made it myself,” I mumble.
“No way. You did? I’ve never seen anything so unique and beautiful.” She beams at me.
“It’s no big deal. I’m a designer,” I say.
“Can I buy you some coffee or a drink? I really wanna talk to you!”
“I’m supposed to be back at the hospital in an hour”
“Hospital? Girl you get more interesting by the minute” she laughs.
“Yeah. Long story. Kinda embarrassing” I say.
“I’m a journalist, Renate Possarnig and I really want to talk to you. Lets get out at the next station and talk for a few minutes. Come on. You’ll make it back in time, I promise”
We get off the train and sit down in a Viennese Coffee House, the kind one can stay all day with one cup of coffee and read papers and talk.
So starts my friendship with Austria’s number one journalist. I don’t know it yet. But my life is about to change drastically.
We hit it off immediately. She wants to know everything and I’m all too happy to talk.
She tells me that she just published a book about Kaddafi.
“He fascinated me for years. So I went there, flirted with him, became his girlfriend, one of many, of course and lived with him for a year. Then I wrote the book. It’s considered scandalous and I’m involved in a few nasty lawsuits over it.”
Just my kind of women. She invites me to a party at one of the Palais – Palais Auersberg – and when she tells me who will be there, I’m impressed. I can’t believe that she wants me to be part of this. Me, the fat and insecure, depressed and humiliated resident of the State Mental Hospital.
And there is, of course, the question of going out anywhere. I’m only allowed to leave the hospital grounds for work.
She asks me about Dr. Herman. When I tell her about our slave labor and that he pays 50 cents an hour, she laughs.
“I can see my next expose for “Profile”. They’d jump on a story like that. The addiction doctor and his Sweatshop. Hahahah.”
At work the next day, I catch Dr. Herman who drops by to check on his samples.
“I met this journalist and she wants me to go to a party with her. Andree Heller, Erika Pluhar, Anton Proksch and the major of Vienna all will be there. Wouldn’t this be a fantastic chance to promote your collection?”
He looks skeptical. I blather on.
“Look, Renate Possarnig is my friend and she invited me. You’ve heard of her, haven’t you?”
Of course he has. He would sell his first-born to have access to Austria’s cultural and political celebrities. That’s why he uses government money to have a collection that might or might not make him a well-known name.
“How do you know her?” he asks.
“Oh, my dad. You know. He knows a few people” I lie. No way can I tell him that my own designs, my own work have opened this door. He’s jealous on a good day and vindictive by nature.
“Ok, Monah. I’ll give you permission to go. But you have to wear one of my designs and be back by midnight”
“Actually, she asked me to spend the night. She plans to write an article about you, the incredible work you do to help hopeless addicts to get back on their feet. We have a lot to talk about.”
He swallows this hook. I can go.
He personally checks on my outfit – a sexy corset with a pencil skirt and a leather trench coat. I look hot, even though I’m fat. Clothes can really transform one – exactly the reason why I’m so obsessed with it.
When I get to Renate’s house, I change into my own clothes. “You look hot, really juicy” Renate comments while she puts on black eyeliner. “I know you have a thing with your weight – I can tell from the way you move and talk – but really, that’s all in your own head. This is Austria. Guys like a little meat on their women.”
“Oh, well, thanks. That’s very helpful,” I pout.
“Jesus, Monah! If you just changed your stupid ideas about models and that everybody should look like one, seriously, you would blow everybody away. There’s something so sexy and mysterious about you and the curves you sport, you could be a star. I’m not kidding, I’m not flattering you, why should I?”
I don’t buy it.
“Why the fuck do you think I want to take you to a party that everybody and their grandmother would pay to be able to go to? Why? Because I’m proud to show you off. I’m proud to bring you with me. Get this in your stubborn head, ok?”
She snatches a Polaroid camera from a drawer and starts to shoot pictures of me.
“Here. Look at this. I mean, really look at yourself and forget magazines. You are hot; you are seriously talented and interesting. Look!”
The pictures she shows me are kinda hot. I mean, if this wasn’t me, but another women in a black mermaid dress with lace-up boots and a cool red leather jacket, I would say, yes, that’s some kind of fashion icon, a sexy and classy chick with her own style. But it is I. No way around it.
“Renate, I really appreciate your pep=talk. But you don’t understand. I used to be a third of my weight and I just can’t accept that I am like this now”
She grabs her jacket and keys.
“Well, babe, you better get used to it, because we are leaving now. My chauffeur is downstairs and off we go”


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