Frehel Diaries: Personne n'a fait ce que tu as fait pour moi
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I figured that as soon as we dropped off Nana that we would we go back to the hotel for some hot make-up sex. I rarely get make-up sex because truth be told if I hadn't been forced to see the Sauvage again, I wouldn't have. I would have deleted his phone number, blocked his email, and acted, if I came upon him, as if I had never seen him before and wasn't interested in seeing him again. But it's amazing what a little dancing and fireworks can do to my spirits. (Would-be male slaves, take note.)

After I dropped Nana off, the Sauvage asked me if I liked vodka. Now I had sworn, SWORN, to myself that I was only going to drink wine and cider on this trip, but considering the last 24 hours I didn't just want a vodka infusion, I absolutely needed one. The Sauvage drove us back to Sable D'or Les Pins and took me to a bar/cafe where he was clearly old friends with most of the staff. And again, it seemed as if our high spirits colored the world around us. We sat down, and the Sauvage ordered two shots of vodka caramel.

And had I not still been in the throws of bacchic energy I would have, perhaps, pondered the wisdom of shots on a practically empty stomach. But then, who am I to deny the Gods their due?

We slammed the shots, which were buttery and sweet as promised. The Sauvage ordered two more. I told him not to, but it was too late. He turned to me and teasingly asked me if I was scared.

Now, if you ever want me to do something, if I resist-all you have to do is say, "What's the matter? Scared?" I absolutely can not handle challenges to my courage whether liquor is involved or not. So the shots arrived, and the shots were taken.

I asked the Sauvage what had changed, what had happened, and he took my book and wrote "Personne n'a fait ce que tu as fait pour moi." (No one has done for me what you have done.) I looked at him blankly. What had I done? I tried to think. After all another woman had his child, what had I accomplished that could compare with that?

He drew a picture of an airplane going from one place to another and suddenly I understood. No one had ever traveled across the ocean for him.

Two years ago, my last sad love asked me at the beginning of our affair "What is it that you really want?" And what I told him was, "There was a night when I was in Las Vegas, when I was at a party in one of the VIP rooms at the top of Mandalay Bay. I was engaged to the man who called me the love of his life. I had just gotten my teaching job at NYU. I went out there on the terrace and watched the sun set. And I couldn't tell where the stars ended and the lights in the city began. I couldn't believe how good my life was. In that moment the universe seemed filled with so much possibility, so much surprise. I want that feeling back. I want someone to surprise me again."

Of course, my sad love disappointed me...predictably.

Sitting across from the Sauvage, I realized I had become what I most longed for: a surprise. Because of what I've survived-the pain, the insanity, the abandonment, the lies from those I should have been able to trust most, and how I've survived-both creative and determined-I do what most people wouldn't. Pain and fear don't stop me. One of my directing teachers once said to us, "Don't worry about the safe art. There will always be people who produce safe art, worry about making dangerous shit because there just isn't enough of it." And this is my strength, never worrying about living a safe life, a normal life, because the vast majority of Americans are taking care of those safe lives. I've lived a dangerous and unusual life, and that is my power, my strength. It's easy to see it as a weakness because using our strengths does not necessarily result in our happiness.

And in that moment, I thought of the Inferno.

In Canto 24 of the Inferno, Virgil cautions Dante, “For resting upon soft down, or underneath the blanket’s cloth, is not how fame is won-without which, one spends lie to leave behind as vestige of himself on earth the sign smoke leaves on air, or foam or water...” To leave a mark on this world, even the tiniest of dents, one must suffer, strive, and endure. Our gifts are given to us not so that we will use them for the benefit of all, even at our own expense. (After all, Dante spent his life exiled from the city he most loved.) So all the crap I had lived with shouldn't be interpreted, as I often do, as a sign that I have made the wrong decisions. Simply that is part of the price of my particular gift. And suddenly, despite everything that had happened, I had the strangest impression. As a person who doesn't believe in God, I shouldn't believe in destiny. But in that moment, I felt that I was in the exact place I was meant to be. I couldn't imagine my life without that moment, and I wouldn't change anything if it meant sacrificing it.

And somehow while having this grand realization, two more shots materialized.

And while I couldn't explain to him anything of what I was feeling, so I took the shot while silently celebrating the harmony of the universe. And then both of us laughed like the brave strange maniacs we were.


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