The Opening Of The Story About The Wannabe Hollywood Mom — Novel In Progress

And I’ve got sequinned tits! The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom shouts hap­pily and spreads her arms wide, because she does.

The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom’s name is really Helle. She’s nev­er been to Den­mark, but her moth­er appar­ently had fam­ily in Aar­hus, and thought that Helle soun­ded nice, or exot­ic, or some­thing like that. The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom hates her Dan­ish name. It’s so… Dan­ish.  If only she’d got­ten a more Swedish sound­ing name, or at least Nor­d­ic neut­ral, Maja for example. That works inter­na­tion­ally, too. Or maybe Mar­grethe, this roy­al name, then she could have intro­duced her­self as Mar­gareta and just mumble at the end­ing. One vow­el here or there does­n’t really mat­ter, right? But what The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom really would like is to have a real Hol­ly­woode­sque name, some­thing as Amer­ic­an as apple pie. Sam­antha, or Eliza, or why not Bar­bara, it’s the name of a former First Lady after all, and can be shortened to Bar­bie. Sounds a bit youth­ful, and who would­n’t like to be asso­ci­ated with that kind of fig­ure?

Her fin­ger­nails scratch over the sequins when The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom scrapes them over the sequinned tits, non­chal­antly, like she’s just touch­ing her intim­ate parts by acci­dent, like it’s not a big deal. The fin­ger­nails are long and pla­sticky and a light, bright, zesty mar­zipan pink. She’d like to say that she’s had them done at a nail salon, but that’s not entirely true. Alone in her kit­chen in her shitty sub­urb, The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom has slowly and care­fully fastened each nail, even though she’s not very prac­tic­ally minded. You can­’t afford to go to a nail salon when you’re a divorced, under­paid, mid-life crisis suf­fer­ing, lonely lonely lonely Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom. Not even to the scruffy, second-rate nail salon in the base­ment under the hairdresser­’s that she can see from her win­dow. She gives them a con­temp­tu­ous sniff; she can do it bet­ter her­self. Cor­rec­tion: She looks long­ingly at the rusty base­ment stairs, which look like the Gate to Para­dise, while she struggles on with the fin­ger­nails. They won’t be straight no mat­ter how much she fiddles and prods and pleads. Truth be told, they are laugh­ing her straight in the face. But still, she sits there, curs­ing bit­terly. It’s a Sat­urday after­noon in Feb­ru­ary, and she’s lit some tea candles and put them in the win­dow because it’s sup­posed to be so good for the winter blues and the gray­ness and sleet and the non-exist­ent light. She struggles on with the nails, wish­ing that her daugh­ter was there to help her. But she’d nev­er dare show­ing her­self with these kinds of nails to her daugh­ter. The daugh­ter goes by the name of Jonna, a com­prom­ise between Joella, which The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom wanted, and Johanna, which Jon­na’s fath­er wanted. A com­prom­ise none of them have ever liked, least of all Jonna her­self. Jonna is four­teen and avoids her mom like the plague. The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom knows this, and she tries to bond with her impossible daugh­ter, but in the end it’s so much easi­er to just leave her alone and ignore her, except for an occa­sion­al remind­er at din­ner time to not eat too much, because that makes you fat.

When the nails are finally more or less in place, The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom starts to cry. It just sweeps over her, and she can barely get a hold of some tis­sue paper to blow her nose, because the nails are so long and in the way, and she’s so afraid that one of them will fall off now that they finally sit approx­im­ately as they should. She’s sit­ting by the kit­chen table with the candles burn­ing in the cheap IKEA candle hold­ers, tears and snot run­ning freely and her hands lie tense on the table in front of her with ten pink pieces of plastic scream­ing at her. The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom thinks that she just wants to look a little bit like someone who would fit in a glossy magazine, and the pack of sug­ary nails were on sale after all, and there was nobody she knew around, so she just seized the oppor­tun­ity, okay? The nails are like a mock­ing, aching lay­er on her fin­gers, a glued on false nose that could fall off at any moment and reveal that she’s really just… her­self. She care­fully wipes her eyes with the tis­sue. She’d like to have nice Kleenexes in pretty design­er car­tons, like they do on Dr. Phil and Oprah, but they are too expens­ive, so she buys cheap tis­sue paper in bulk instead. And then, she blows her nose and pulls her­self togeth­er. Lo and behold: She pulls her­self togeth­er. She is not just her­self, tonight she’ll be someone else, someone spe­cial, someone who’ll sip on cock­tails and hold her glass with eye-pop­ping cor­al nails and sur­vey the premises and someone will sur­vey her back. That is the main point of the even­ing: someone will sur­vey her and see her, SEE her! See The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom and then die. Die out of amazement and won­der because of this celes­ti­al being, this nymph, this god­dess! When said someone has recovered slightly from dying, this someone, who of course is hand­some and inter­est­ing and well-mannered, and of course not just look­ing for a quick fuck but for some­thing more long-term, and who straight away real­ises that The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom is the woman he’s been look­ing for all his life, he will walk up to her and they will have an Inspir­ing Con­ver­sa­tion. After a few drinks (or wine, she can accept wine as long as she gets a glass with a stem) he will sug­gest that they take a taxi to his place, paid by him of course, and in his cozy and styl­ish and pretty neat but still charm­ingly messy bach­el­or’s pad they will have a pas­sion­ate erot­ic ses­sion and they’ll real­ise that they are in love, straight away, and then they’ll live hap­pily ever after on his money, because he’s pretty well off as well, of course.

The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom returns to real­ity and gets up from the kit­chen table. Care­fully, she removes every trace of the nail build­ing kit. Jonna is at her father­’s place and should­n’t come home until Monday, but you nev­er know. She goes to her closet and hangs up her H&M dress­ing gown, a dis­count find in one of those lovely, slinky mater­i­als that feels lux­uri­ous even though it’s syn­thet­ic. She puts on her new, black lace under­wear, also from said clothes chain. The lace is a bit chaf­ing, but that won’t stop The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom. She pulls on black stay-ups too, it’s a bit bub­bly at the top, where the gluey bit is, but it’s not that notice­able. Over all of this she puts on a newly bought dress, short and black and pretty low-cut and tight. And with sequins on the tits, as pre­vi­ously men­tioned. It bubbles out on quite a few places under the dress, for a second she thinks that she looks like an over-stuffed saus­age. But she dis­misses such neg­at­ive, unhelp­ful thoughts. Men like tight dresses. She fin­ishes off by press­ing her feet into a pair of red, high-heeled pumps. Sky-high, as a mat­ter of fact, and she has­n’t worn them in maybe five years, but they are the only high-heeled shoes she owns and they still fit, more or less. Her walk­ing is wobbly, but what does that mat­ter? She will be sit­ting on a bar stool, one leg crossed over the oth­er and a non­chal­ant cock­tail (or a glass of wine) in her hand, so it does­n’t mat­ter if it’s a bit wobbly and pain­ful.

When the clothes are in place, she goes to the bath­room and puts her face on. A thick lay­er of make-up, a dif­fer­ent Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom, maybe a real Hol­ly­wood Mom? Found­a­tion, powder, rouge, black eye­liner, black mas­cara, red lips, red red red lips. See­ing her own hand in the mir­ror, she real­ises that the lips clash quite a lot with the sug­ary mar­zipan nails, but at least her lips matches her shoes and the nails were on sale, after all, it was­n’t like she could choose the col­our. The hair gets a prop­er tousle and spray­ing, then a bit more hair spray and a final tousle. The bleached hair strands does­n’t quite live up to the sought-after Hol­ly­wood locks, but at least they are blond. And if it’s not too bright in the bar, you won’t see the roots too much.

She avoids look­ing into the full-length mir­ror before she leaves. Tonight is a night for illu­sion, and The Wan­nabe Hol­ly­wood Mom does­n’t want any real­ity to get in the way. So she grabs her purse and prim, grey down jack­et and steps out, into the night.

2 thoughts on “The Opening Of The Story About The Wannabe Hollywood Mom — Novel In Progress”

  1. Can­’t wait to read more about The Wan­nabe Holi­wood Mom. ATM I have “mixed feel­ings” towards her.

    1. Thank you! And don’t worry, I have mixed feel­ings towards her too. It’s part of it. 🙂

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