I was recently reading a forum about the everyday things that happen in movies that just do. not. happen in real life. Like having untouched eye make-up after an all night session of bosom-heaving crockery-flinging sex, for example. And having kept your bra on that whole time. Movies are movies and believe me when I say eye make-up smudges if you so much as flutter your lashes at the man of your dreams and as for the bra, well shit you gotta get that off because you don’t want him to see you wearing a bra from Target, do you?
One movie moment I had hoped was real is that ugly girls are simply beautiful girls hidden behind Buddy Holly glasses (and my evil parents subjected me to purple Buddy Holly’s, so you see why I am the way I am). Unfortunately, my legally-blind shortsightedness meant that removing my glasses also meant a real chance of me not being able to traverse an empty football field, so with all good faith in the movie makers, and desperately wanting to be Laney Boggs (because dudettes, she did get Freddie Prinze Jr), I went under the plastic-surgical knife and lasered my way into bew-di-ful-ness.
But it didn’t work.
So now I’m perfect-visioned and just as unbeautiful. This experience would have completely obliterated my somewhat naive belief of movies as a window to our lives, except that there’s one movie stereotype that is real, in fact it’s too crazy-real, and happens to me way too often.
During the darkest, quietest minutes of the night, when everything is so creepy-silent that you can actually hear the clock ticking from the living room (that always amazes me, that I can hear the clock from another room), there I am deep in a slumber that came too easily, cosy under my goose down duvet.
I start to move a little, a leg kick, a head twitch, my eyes flutter and if you were close enough (but at this time of the night only Freddy Krueger would be close enough and we don’t want that, no sirree) you’d see my eyes, apparently wired on too many of its own brand of red bulls, trying desperately to break the REM record.
A breath escapes me, barely, I shudder, I look like I’m trying to wake myself up. But I can’t and as quickly as it started, I’m lying there in perfectly still silence again.
And just as your heart rate slows a little, you release the grip you had on your seat, reach for the popcorn, I lurch upright in bed, I seize, shiver, grasping, gasping – I want to scream but I can’t – there is no air in my lungs! I choke on the cotton ball that is the inside of my mouth, and I wheeze, gulping for breath.
I’m drenched in a cold sweat, my pillow’s soaked, my sheets are soaked, I’m soaked. But I’m awake and that’s all that matters right now.
So, I have nightmares. A lot of them. This is the movie that is reality for me, more often than I would prescribe for myself. Sometimes I don’t remember them and sometimes they are so vivid it’s all I can do to not think about it during my waking hours.
And aside from paying a shrink the small fortune that is my monthly food allowance (cos food is more important than sanity, right?) to shrink the nightmares right out of my head, I’ve tried self-helping, but you know, unless I have demons that are so well disguised that I mistake them for the mole on my left cheek, I really think I’m a fairly well balanced person.
Anyway my mum says it’s cos I eat too much chilli and clearly, chilli short circuits my membranes and sends them into a hell-raising chainsaw-wielding pit of eels and nightmares. Clearly.
But what am I going to do? Give up chilli? Shyeah, right! So anyway, tonight I cooked up some penne arrabiata, with super super super hot chorizo and a healthy sprinkling of chilli flakes, cos you know what else the movies have taught me? What don’t kill me can only make me stronger!
|Penne arrabiata with spicy chorizo and sundried tomato|
|140grams spicy chorizo, chopped in strips
200grams penne pasta
1/2 medium onion diced finely (process the hell out of it if you have a food processor)
2 cloves garlic chopped (big pieces)
5 pieces of sundried tomato, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato puree or tomato paste
Chilli flakes (bring on the nightmares, baby)
1/3 cup water
1teaspoon olive oil