Daniela suffered a life threatening head/brain/neck injury that took her three years to recover. Her spinal was partially damaged that gave her some amnesia so that some of her memories of past events were occluded in recesses of her brain.
Rigor knew it was not a minor head/neck injury and didn’t want to add misery to her already degrading mental health by not using scary medical/ clinical terms. He didn’t have the heart to tell that she’ll be paralyze the next time and that they should take extra care. He reminded her that it’s imminent so that Daniela will not take it lightly.
“Think of your anatomical brain as a computer hardware- we need technicians to repair it. Your neurosurgeon did a great job. Now, we need to work on a software, those corrupted data. We need to recover those memories.” said Rigor
“Now that you’ve recovered, the neurosurgeon said the anatomical brain heals itself by virtue of plasticity and you have yourself to thank for that. Meaning you’ve got what you’ve put in. Thinking positively and happy thoughts, I love to call it happy software but unlike computer software our positive thinking helps our anatomical brain to ever expand and thus heal. You are progressing because you can remember a bit of what happened before you passed out. We can only hope we know what those means or if it ever happened.” said Rigor
“You are referring to the cloak and dagger scenario right?” asked Daniela struggling to start telling Rigor again what he already knew. “I heard no words but grating of metals as people in uniform dismount those decks becoming stretchers. Rolling it we entered a building and i heard a man said something about the spa. Every elevator was occupied by one stretcher and two people and we waited longer than expected. I persevered dangling below stretchers covered by transparent Spa bed sheets. I was praying for straps i was clinging not to snap. Our turn for the elevator was a relief and it zoomed like a bullet train giving me a fleeting sensation on my ears. The elevator opened to an open space, seeing through bed sheets, i know it was building’s cresting. On its center was huge lanai of cerise blood or liquid cascading down the Zenish square garden of sands and round crystals coruscating by the moonlit sky. Circumambient were stretchers of unconscious people; my stretcher filled the last space. Opposite were uniformed people started fastening straps of the first stretcher to come. One signaled the other “secured” and the stretcher stood vertical. The client or victim i surmised face the life size mirror capturing her image that was forever preserved like a still photos. Another uniformed man transferred the mirror and mounted it on wooden square facing lanai. They removed first stretcher and transferred the client to a seat with steaming head gear similar to that of beauty equipment use for permed treatment. The process started again to the next stretcher and continued till it neared me so i started escaping by crawling outside the copestone while they’re busy. Outside, the moon had gone hiding beneath dark cloudy sky. The water surrounding the harbor became choppy. I was freezing from both heights and cold air. I was looking for sign of snow but lightning struck the tower and cup my mouth cowering to the ground away from the tower. I went back to the shed as rain fell and lightning struck the tower again and this time it surged down the blood soaked sand and vitrified it. On clandestine, i witnessed vitrified sands becoming a glass slowly taking the shape of an image from the mirror. A human glass- a fulgurite. Surprisingly, several fulgurites can be created out of a single image as long as there’s lightning. Then i surreptitiously slipped from that freaky garden………” said Daniela pausing for a long time as she can’t remember what happen next.
“That’s the time i came in and found where you are using a tracker from the last message you sent. You were unconscious, head badly wounded as you collapsed in a dark hallway.” said Rigor amazed at the flow of rich information Daniela recounted vivid as crystal as if she had gain extra sensory from injuries she had or was it burst of memory as her brain grow new cells and gathered information that had been there sitting idly waiting to be tap.
“I’m glad you’re really back.” said Rigor.
Driving toward Cannes, Rigor turned left and right endlessly while Daniela tapped laptop’s keyboard carefully. On Google, she typed Modern Graffiti Arts. After a while, hundred or so information fed back. Below their name are the artist’s portfolios. Espo’s abstract arts, Delta’s shadows, Futura’s Animated ones among others. Daniela run the cursor down eyeing for a circle work of art till the line ended. She couldn’t find any, so she runs the cursor up perusing on data. Cubism arts of the nineties; Collage of events on Berlin Wall; Genealogical mosaic of Dynasties on Great Wall of China. No circle.
“How can there be no circle?” She wonder
“Remember what I told you about focus?” Said Rigor
“Yes, it has to be here, I need to zoom out.” She replied and literally moved her head away from the monitor. Below on the same window read: other topics related to wall writings. She clicked the first box; another window popped on screen.
Nothing helpful, she clicked the second box and another window popped.
Revolution Era: Writings on Walls
1941- hate campaign on walls
Wall on Sky- birth of Billboards
Commissioned City Artists
Graffiti on Sphere
Daniela run the mouse enthusiastically and clicked at the sphere. Window full of circle popped. She adjusted her body from sliding on seats. The monitor’s high lumens vividly showed Daniela’s energetic response just like any Internet surfer discovering something.
“What is it? Must be good, please keep me posted.” Said Rigor
“Yeah, I got it. Globes in various states; frozen, molten, on fire and one with a crevice. A serpent circling the globe; be winged globe and lot of others with an appendage you can think. There are Emojis. It covers wide range.
“Alright” Daniela moved the cursor down. “Ooops, hello there” she clicked on the Smiley.
“This graffiti evolved from the work of a Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. This work is highly coveted among heist, it survived fires in museum and continuously inspires people. The ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ phrase and the Smiley is an Edvard Munch original; inspired from his art “The Scream” A piece of art which gave hope to people, it was an instant hit that everyone has a reproduction (replica) massively available. Generation of today however creates rendition of Munch’s art, and gives birth to a smiley icon.” finished Daniela.
Driving along the line of tall palm trees reminded Rigor of the palace’s great entrance. The exquisite marble facade of Boulevard de la Croisette is a promenade to France’s film industry in Cannes. The sea breeze of Mediterranean is a smell of foreign land invading ashore. Along Boulevard de la Croisette were rows of luxury boutiques and hotels. Most looked they had sprung up recently. Hilton hotel among others successfully set foot in, catering the needs of foreigners who made Cannes their second home and christening it a haven for film producers from world over. Off shore were moored yacht and anchored cruise liners for the embankment of celebrities and the like of Armani who prefer traveling by sea. Invaders indeed were settling for good. Despite the invasion of modernity, the galleon was forever anchored on the harbor reminisced the lost Edwardian charm. This turned out to be props of a pirate movie participating in the bygone era of Cannes Film Festival. It was left behind by movie makers. In retrospect, it was another invasion masquerading a la Trojan.
Waves of water hugging the shore eroding the sand back to the sea but hotel employees painstakingly combed the sand back to the shore for it may expose the rocky bed- the beach natural state. The sands were imported; another props. It’s so unlike Provence which able to preserved its natural beauty. Cannes is after all a huge movie set. Who cares, Cannes has the Carlton hotel and the Palais de Festivals which exudes the real Edwardian charm.
“Wait, that’s the BCBG store, my friend recommended it to me. She said they got good collections. Let’s check them out.” said Daniela to Rigor who slowed down and skidded to stop in store’s parking area. Inside the store, Rigor sat at the couch while Daniela browsed through the racks. Salesclerks were busy assisting patrons in their fittings but a salesclerk on her thirties left her patron unassisted pranced toward Daniela.
“Hello, I’m sorry. It’s not everyday that were so occupied but don’t worry we’re doing this multitasking.” she said glancing to Rigor and seemed happy of their presence.
“Something for the big night?” she asked as if she knew what they’re looking for that she didn’t wait for a response.
“Come with me.” she led Daniela across the store passing Rigor and threw him a smile.
“Here, this black dress, one of a kind.” she said handing it to Daniela masterfully; an art of selling that a long time sales clerk only can execute. Daniela gladly took it and proceed to the fitting room. The salesclerk pranced toward Rigor the way she did to Daniela; so much was happening around that the spirit of festivities visible in her.
“Hi, are you one of the Sheikh’s son? our store got crowded the last time they were here,they travel in packs. Maybe I’m unaccustomed as this store is usually deserted and when they were done, they leave our racks half empty. A real spender.” she said enthusiastically. Rigor was laughing and she goes on telling jokes while replenishing racks. Rigor however noticed a patron grimaced toward the salesclerk.
“You had forgotten me in favor of the Sheikh’s son? I got here first remember? On the second thought, i don’t need a BCBG dress!” The patron shout in clenched teeth (which is rather difficult) thrusting three dresses on salesclerk’s chest. The hysteria surprised shoppers and attracted attention from passerby outside. Daniela awed everyone as she came out from fitting room.
“I was right about that black dress. You’ll stand out like a lone shadow in flood of lights.” She said with her eyes twinkling in admiration and walked toward Daniela ignoring the clamoring patron. Everyone gathered around Daniela admiring black dress’s elegance.
“And you’ll be surrounded by stars; you’ll be drowning but hold your head up high.” Said the salesclerk touching Daniela’s chin tossing it up gently. “No matter what, you’ll come out a winner leaving those loser actresses in vain.” She said bellowing enough to annoy the clamoring patron who then tried suppressing her rage.
“But girls, i’m sorry, this piece is our last but I’m sure there is one perfectly for you.” Said the salesclerk to gathering girls who rummaged back to racks.
“Thank you for behaving like a real aristocrat. Acting prima donna is so pathetic, right girls?” Said the salesclerk that sent the clamoring patron storming out the store. Rigor came toward Daniela and the salesclerk.
“Alright fairy godmother, how much would that be? We’re kind of late.” said Rigor hastily as she sensed trouble.
“You’re right, kindly follow me to the Concierge. We have something for both of you.” Said the salesclerk preparing bills and asked for an envelope from Concierge and handed each to Rigor and Daniela.
“Tonight, we’ll be unveiling BCBG Max Azria’s first giant NATURE perfume erected right in front of the store, please do come for some fun.” Said the salesclerk ushering them to the door out. Rigor went to the parked car while Daniela held her dress up high protecting from soiling it before the party. The salesclerk waved goodbye and noticed Daniela’s tired black shoes. She called out to wait a while and rummaged back to the shoe rack and got the black stiletto.
She skipped hurriedly past some patrons, the clanking noise of her heeled shoes warned it will break in a few meters of run. She stopped just outside the door and waved the shoe box up high for them to wait. Rigor and Daniela just waited sitting on car ready to go. The salesclerk skipped to the parking area thinking a few more steps will do no harm to her BCBG incentive shoes or break her ankle for that matter.
“Wait! I almost forgot this pair is perfect match for that dress. Don’t worry, you can always pay afterwards.” She said sucking in oxygen. Rigor and Daniela looked at her amazed by her display of trust. Few hours ago someone said to them about trust but here they are with a stranger who seemed to have a vague idea about trust or maybe she got good outlook on trust. Vita on the other hand is a woman of doubt.
“You know my name and my shoe size?”
“The guest’s list, you signed on it and the shoe size? A glance at your feet is all i need. Eventually, you’ll learn everything after fifteen years. Small wonder huh. Now, good luck for tonight, great life is ahead of you both.” She said waving goodbye.
“Thanks for your kindness and trust.” Said Rigor turning slowly on the curve out the parking area.
“That’s my job.” She said smiling
“We’ll surely be back, thanks.” Said Daniela smiling while the salesclerk gave thumbs up.
Nearing the Carlton Hotel, Daniela closed her laptop and admire the hotel’s facade in white finish. Every room has a veranda and an access to the terrace on top. Truly an Edwardian beauty. Stopping by the Hotel’s Valet parking, they alight with their belongings. Rigor handed the car key to the Valet attendant and off they went to the reception area. The lobby was decorated with palm in lieu of Cannes Film Festival. They crossed the lobby frequented by the babbling elite.
“I can feel the festivities in here, how ironic long ago I was wearing the servant’s clothes but now I’ll be donning princess’s frocks. It’s exhilarating. “ she confessed
“okay, let’s get to work.” Said Rigor heading for a lift.
On the red carpet outside the Palais de Festivals, two giant strobe lights on both sides of building beamed blinding lights skyward signaling the start of festival just like in the movie world where lights jump start everything. Paparazzi lenses zooming in and flashed lights stealing scenes on every equally bright star alighting from their hybrid car. Festival Marshall donning the Star Wars’s Jedi costume were scattered barring screaming fans that got hostile sometimes just to get near their idol. They were seen playfully brandishing their prototype light saber to the aggressive press people who gone beyond the stanchion and they were left envious of those who had Plume D’ Or -an ID pass designated to cover the ceremony inside.
Usherettes in their seventies gala costume assisted guests to where they supposedly go. Costume speaks that of nominated film Austen Powers (how they got nominated? don’t ask) Everyone from award giving body and organizers were in costume celebrating other nominated film’s costume design. Movie makers were all vying for the coveted Palme D’ Or award. Rigor and Daniela arrived early and were directed to go to canopies were storm troopers were guarding guests. They were ask to wait for someone to usher them inside the Hall of Palais. Canopies were labeled GUESTS. Vita brushed off speck of dusts on Igor’s shoulder.
A brunette woman in green silk strapless gown approached them with a fixed smile. Rigor recognized her from the store; the hysterical patron. They avoided her at all cost.
Beside the line of canopies was a gigantic screen flicking scenes the official Cannes cameras captured stationed along the length of red carpet. Thunder of claps, whistles and screams grew as well coif blond woman alight her hybrid sedan. Rigor and Daniela looked up to the screen to see an astounding woman clad in crystal embroidered dress. She waved to the crowd and Rigor and Daniela barely recognized her as the their host. She looked totally different from the time she gave an invitation to them both. Then best friend of their host followed appearing so light in her pink chiffon gown. She knew exactly where the wind blows as the gown flown dramatically. Being aesthetically pleasant is not enough, she knew the fact as an A- lister on Couture shows. Proper execution steals the scene.
“There goes lovely duo who shares the same passion for arts and films. However, the Dame proved her edge as an advocate to French Cinema shows success. Her best friend is here to support her dear friend’s cause, how sweet. Now that ends a rivalry rumors between them. Nevertheless, tonight two film nominees which both has time travel elements are vying for Palme d’ Or award as only one will come out a winner. O, there they are.”
The screen flicked to the arriving Jedi each holding an attache case housing the awards while lovely ladies in their seventies costume were holding an envelope; they then proceed to an entrance while the camera panned back to the red carpet presenter.
“So, whose inner strength will come out powerful tonight? Will it be the Jedi’s mediclorian or Austen Power’s mojo? More importantly, defeated is not an appropriate word we use for those who will not bag the award, for an inner strength will never be defeated. It’s all in the timing, the question is whose inner strength will be unleash. We’ll find out tonight.” The red carpet presenter ended.
Darkness lurked in, paparazzi and spectators headed in all directions for a nearby party which then left the red carpet deserted with only strobe lights brightened dark clouds. Everyone found comfort inside the brightly lit hall full of cameras which fed scenes to home televisions world over. A celebration of glitz, glamour and wit unfold.
Note: Pop Culture has always been embedded in our lives. We are all ardent consumer of everything Pop. Earlier days of our lives or our formative years had been encroached with images shown by an intrusive media which turned out to be our go-to guide on what’s cool or not. Readily available Pop Culture had been the staple of what’s cool to be accepted by our peers.
Peer pressure is a force to reckon with for it always sucked us in to be competitive- keeping up with those fads and crazes which from time to time leveling up the ante. Those who lead the game of Pop obviously become princes and princesses; and few who really raise the bar so high become King and Queen- but there’s a catch.
Raising the bar so high comes with a hefty price- what’s with the substance abuse to cope with the stress brought by the impossible demands of Popdom and thus we all are trap in a world that threatens to burst any given time.
This is the story of Rigor and Daniela maneuvering in an ever changing Pop World. They have their fair share of heartaches and mental illnesses brought by the world that Popped.
Follow their journey to the ever changing Pop world where their child’s game of retail therapy that Pop is known for leads them to find a cure or a therapy (that is not a pseudo science or pop science) but something Pop icons and Pop luminaries pioneered and led Pop world to achieve Mental Health.
Discover the gift of Pop………
Disclaimer: This journal chronicle events from my past career describing activities on and off salesman’s duties. All events described herein actually happened irrespective of the order the blog was posted. Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them and that the author is not responsible for any assumptions that may arise; to construe from the fact presented is discouraged as the author is still trying to make sense of it. You may do so at your own risk.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to which i may earn commissions upon your purchase. It will cost you nothing extra but it will help my blog up.