The Layover

Hope you had a great holiday weekend, my wonderful readers!

Today we revisit the theme of opportunity, and how priceless it truly is.

Enjoy…:)

o2

By

Rico Lamoureux

All Rights Reserved.

2016

Thousands upon thousands of different characters, each living a different story. This is how Amy saw the foot traffic at O’Hare. But it wasn’t just Chicago. Every airport she had ever been to produced these thoughts as she would people watch, a trait she undoubtedly had picked up from her father. A true daddy’s girl, she had absorbed a lot from his character, the most evident being the curious observer, the silent listener, natural traits, that according to him, reflected a destined storyteller.

Story; a five-letter word that fueled the imagination like no other word. A word that nearly became her name, until Amy’s father changed it at the last minute, his gut telling him to go with a character from his favorite book, I Am the Cheese. An instinct that turned out to be so in alignment with destiny that he couldn’t help but tell the story of how his little girl had turned out to follow in his footsteps to anyone who would listen.

How she had taken to tales from day one, her preferred pacifier being the sound of daddy’s voice reading one after another, not just at bedtime but anytime, those small but wide eyes reflecting the fact that she was somehow absorbing it all at such a tender age, subconsciously storing it for later.

Not that much later, it turned out. By age two she had begun to read and write, the signs of what was to come as clear as her insatiable appetite for more, graduating from See Spot Run and the like to desiring more substance. Remarkable was the word used by the adults in her life, including the teachers that at first glance thought she was too young for their class, but would then marvel when witnessing for themselves her ‘remarkable’ kinship to story.

It had fascinated the heck out of her when Amy had learned that she had been named after an actual character, her father deciding to test her comprehension of I Am the Cheese when she was only five. Right away she showed a fondness for its author, Robert Cormier.

One of the saddest moments of Amy’s childhood had come at the age of nine, when she had received The Rag and Bone Shop for her birthday. Finishing it in one afternoon, she had placed the literary treasure in her personal library, in the special Cormier section, then ran to find her father in his home office before jumping up on his lap and asking when he’d buy her the next book by their favorite author.

“There’s no more, sweetie” he had said with a gentle sorrow in his voice. “We have all of them.”

At first she looked as though she were going to cry, but then optimism brightened her face.

“When will he write a new book? Do you think he’ll have a book signing? Oh, daddy, can we please go?! We can write his publisher and ask when his next book is coming out!”

“Sweetie, Robert Cormier is no longer with us.”

Not really understanding what her father was saying, she wanted to correct him, to say of course he’s with us, in all the eighteen books they had of his. But then daddy broke her heart…

“He died, Amy, the year you were born.”

She immediately began to cry, the hurt in her tears being a million times harder than when she had first learned that the mythical characters of childhood were not real.

Eventually Amy learned to accept such sorrow and store it as wisdom, to draw from as a priceless asset when telling stories. Her father called it being in alignment with truth, and by completion of her senior year of high school, a full year ahead of her peers, her literary talent had prestigious colleges beckoning.

But it was Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts where she chose to attend, the alma mater of Robert Cormier. This had Amy on the complete opposite side of the United States from where she had always called home, having left her family in West Covina, California to achieve one of her biggest dreams.

Indeed Amy’s first trip back home for Christmas vacation had been a sentimental one, the week and a half of catching up having ended all too soon. But she had a job to return to, at a book store at a local mall, as well as preparing for the new semester, and so here she was on her layover at O’Hare, imagination taking her to the garden of story, where she planted a variety of seeds, of character, as she people watched.

But then Amy remembered one of the last things her father had said to her back at LAX. “Christmas isn’t quite over, baby girl. There’s something zipped up for you in the underside of your carry-on. But you gotta promise, no peeking until Chicago.”

With that same kind of excited glee she so dearly remembered feeling as a child Amy went for her bag and unzipped it. Inside the back pocket were two individually-wrapped gifts, each a soft bound book from what she could make of them. The slightly bigger of the two had a message saying Open Me First, and so she did.

A First Edition signed copy of I Am the Cheese.

She could do nothing but stare, eyes glazing, heart pounding.

Her hands were still shaking when she finally got to the second gift, carefully removing the wrapping paper like she had done with the first, like she had always done with gifts she knew to be books.

This one was a Reader’s Digest, dated the same year Amy was born. among its table of contents a piece written by her father. She had heard brief stories of this issue, of how it had been a turning point in his life as a struggling author, but she had never actually beheld a copy, daddy simply telling her he would share it when the time was right.

It was titled Tears of Opportunity, and with a hurry she turned to its page, careful not to wrinkle any before it.

When the grand doors of opportunity finally open, the pair of eyes that have beheld so many obstacles will now fill with emotional triumph, until one by one the tear drops will begin to fall.

Each will represent the strength it took in the face of adversity to continue to strive, continue to overcome. From the amount of rejection letters that could have wallpapered a thousand homes to the long fight involving everyday struggles…

…Looking at the name brands while having to pick up the generics…

…Acting like a customer at a fast food restaurant for a few packets of ketchup so as to add more flavor to the dry simple meals at home…

To hardship that is more painful on the heart…

Watching yet another scrape added to the many already inflicted on the inside of his wife’s engagement ring as they test its value each and every time when he has no choice but to pawn it…

…Promising her as they window shop, that one day they too will be like the privileged passersby, whose bags of cool gadgets and new clothes are not as out of reach as it seems. For the day that they are able to have pockets without holes and fun shiny devices is but right around the corner, or so he would have her believe as he fights to keep the flame of optimism alive. One that had been lit so many years ago during childhood when those who he had called teachers, mentors, had instilled in him the belief that one can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

A belief he still holds true despite the countless doors of opportunity having been slammed in his face., as it is not only for his own soul that he keeps hope alive, but more importantly for his beloved. That one day their perseverance will indeed pay off, their greatest dream coming to fruition. That yellow diamond Baby On Board sign. That priceless gift that will be the creation of their forever bonded love. This is what will make the tears flow even stronger than all the previous ones, for opportunity to provide with his passion, with his talent, will mean beating the hands of that ever-threatening nonstop biological clock, once and for all being able to afford to have the totality of love known as child.

And so these are tears he will not try to stifle, not try to wipe away, for they will be the tears of completing the hardest journey he has ever known. Tears of a soul reaching its purpose.

Tears for the gift of someone believing…

Someone allowing…

Someone supporting…

Tears of opportunity.

Amy’s eyes were full of tears of her own now, never having known the full extent of her parents’ past struggles.

She wanted to change her itinerary, get back on a plane to LAX, get back into the arms of the two who had given her so much. She could transfer schools, live at home, be close to the love she was now so far from.

But deep down she knew this was something she shouldn’t really do, for she was not only living her dream, but her father’s as well. She couldn’t throw away what they had been so excited about, what they had worked so hard for. Her accomplishment would be their accomplishment, and so she resolved to be strong, to do her absolute best, as this would be the best way to show her deep appreciation for them.

Amy took out a wet wipe and cleaned her face, then unpacked her laptop, logged on to the airport’s wifi, and began to do what she did best…

Write.

~

A Coca-Cola Christmas

My dear readers, last Monday until Christmas!

Enjoy…:)

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By

Rico Lamoureux

All Rights Reserved.

2016.

 

Ricky’s eyes took a full 10 minutes taking mental pictures of the Coca-Cola Christmas train, staring from the sidewalk through the plate glass window of the storefront that had it on display. Each car of the train set shiny red and white, with Coca-Cola Santa, falling snow, and other images that captured the magic of Christmas. There was even a Coca-Cola polar bear seated in one of the cars, wearing a little conductor’s hat and handkerchief, his paw holding a small bottle of Coke.

Ricky had never wanted something more in his whole 10 years of life, thinking about the amazing train set just about every minute of every day. But it wasn’t for sale, this one-of-a-kind collectible only available through the currency of special edition plastic Coca-Cola bottles. 999 to be precise. A number that might as well have been a million to the young boy, for he came from a family that could only afford one of the 50 cent bottles a week. By that calculation he would be as old as Santa, the special offer so far long gone that it probably wouldn’t even be a memory.

But such impossible odds didn’t stop Ricky from dreaming, from hoping, from believing that it could somehow come true, even under the dire circumstances he and his parents lived.

The three had come over to The Land of Opportunity half of Ricky’s life ago, the boy only having two faded memories of the long dangerous trip. The first was the awful one, the feeling of clinching tightly, chest-to-chest, rapid heartbeat to rapid heartbeat as his father held him close with one hand and his mother with the other while running through darkness, occasional spotlights trying to hunt them down.

And then came the rhythmic sound of powerful wheels speeding over iron tracks, the family of three risking their lives to hop that train to freedom.

Once on board they had laid out on their backs, catching their breaths as the repetitive rhythmic steel matched their rapid heartbeats while at the same time reverberating through their bodies.

The only other memory comes on the tail of the first, only this one much happier. Finding the train car to be loaded with Coca-Cola, Ricky’s father opening a bottle and handing it off to him.

“This is the taste of America!

Of our dreams coming true!”

Such an indelible impression that Ricky knew it would never ever leave him, the ‘taste of America’ so refreshing, so exciting!

But opportunity really hadn’t presented itself the way his parents had hoped for, their first few weeks in the land of dreams spent with more running, more hiding, until they found the only so-called help they could, from those who spoke their language but didn’t share in their belief of what help really was.

They were sent to a hidden factory covered by a jungle of cement, where they were put to work alongside other immigrants and meant to sew for 12 hours a day, sometimes more, in exchange for a small room below the constant machine spinning, three so-called meals a day which mainly consisted of soup and sandwich, and 50 cents each for their dozen hours of labor, which basically translated to 4 pennies per hour, 1 every fifteen minutes.

Ricky, who was meant to stay in that little room of theirs all by himself as his parents overworked their fingers, didn’t even want to try and imagine how long it would take to reach 999 Christmas bottles of Coca-Cola, feeling bad at just accepting 1 per week from his hardworking Mama and Papa.

He’d fill his days drawing, reading, imagining, but lately his greatest pastime was building a landscape in their small room, a scale model of a whole other world, made from whatever he could find, all centered around imaginary tracks for his dream Coca-Cola Christmas train.

Ricky would get three hours every evening up in the real world, he and his parents venturing out for some fresh air and maybe a small treat here or there. His father insisted they’d have to return by 9 every night, even though curfew wasn’t until 10, a padlock being secured into place on the gated doors leading to their humble dwelling within seconds of the clock striking that specific hour.

“Better safe than sorry,” Ricky’s Papa would say when the boy would beg to stay out a little longer, and so for those three evening hours that would go by all too fast Ricky would absorb as much as he could, always on the lookout for something new along the sidewalks, streets and gutters to add to his scale model, while at the same time keeping his eyes peeled for that discarded plastic of special edition Coca-Cola bottles.

By the 23rd. of December Ricky had two grocery bags full, 99 to be precise, his mother, who was also his math teacher, making sure he knew the answer to how much more he needed for that Coca-Cola Christmas train.

“10 times more, plus 9” he answered with defeat in his voice. He had tried so hard for the past several weeks to reach his dream, but as his Mama always said, “Numbers don’t lie.” And so he had no choice but to accept such a fact, his parents letting him stare thirty minutes more than he normally got as he mourned the loss of something he never really had but in his mind.

When it was time to go the boy’s mother placed a consoling hand on his shoulder, letting him know the time had come to bid farewell. As he turned around to leave he noticed that his father was gone.

“Where’s Papa, Mama?”

“Oh, he just had to go take care of something. He’ll meet us back at home. Come now, we have to beat the padlock.”

 

Besides the open-wired light hanging from their ceiling Ricky’s and his parents only had one other electrical device in their room; a digital clock supplied by those who ran the factory, so as to ensure there would never be an excuse to be late for work.

The speed of the poor boy’s heart only increased with each passing minute, refusing to come into the room and shut the door as long as his Papa had yet to return.

When it finally struck 10 the loud hard clank of the metal gate could be heard slamming shut, but no sounds of footsteps followed. No signs of Papa…

“Mama, where is he?!” Ricky cried, thoughts of the bad people of the night hurting his dear father filling his head. For years his parents had told him of such scary thoughts, to ensure the precious one never ventured out alone.

“He’ll be fine, Ricky. Papa is big and strong, he’ll be fine. He may have picked up an extra shift upstairs. Sometimes they allow that. He’ll be fine.”

Mama’s words tried to comfort, but she couldn’t really hide the worry on her face she herself felt.

To help redirect his mind she laid him down and told him a story until his eyes got too heavy to hold open, at which time he couldn’t help but fall asleep.

 

Ricky woke at 5 a.m., like he and his parents always did, only this time it was not to the sound of the alarm, but rather to the sweet smell of hot chocolate.

He wiped his eyes and found a cup of it being offered to him, then looked up to find his Papa smiling down upon him. “Merry Christmas Eve, Ricky!

“Here you go, be careful, it’s hot.”

The boy took the cardboard cup into his hands, the cozy warmth of it spreading to his bones.

He blew through the small opening of the top before taking a cautious sip.

So sweet, so yummy, much better than the powdered milk he was given every other morning.

“When does the offer on that Coca-Cola Christmas train end?” Papa asked. “The day before Christmas? Christmas Eve? Today?”

“Yeah, but-”

Ricky froze in mid-sentence, Papa stepping aside to reveal three large garbage bags full of empty special edition Coca-Cola bottles.

The boy was speechless.

“Well, we better get up there and go get it then!”

~

Three decades later and that Coca-Cola Christmas train now set in a six-figure home, Ricky, his wife, their three children and his dear parents all gathered around it, a toasty fireplace crackling on one side, a grand Christmas tree sparkling on the other as he tells the tale of their past, including how a determined Papa had spent all night rummaging the city for empty Coke bottles, and how that display of determination became instilled into Ricky, who eventually became an executive at the Coca-Cola company.

An annual story time tradition

of a

Coca-Cola Christmas.

~

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Thank you for helping supply the wings of opportunity!

After The Fact

My wonderful readers, the subject of today’s post is one I wish didn’t exist, but unfortunately it absolutely does.

I have a long-standing policy to not publicly comment on both religious and political issues, for when one does so they are automatically building a wall between them and anyone who has an opposing view. Some might believe my opening message has me in violation of such a rule, but in reality it simply does not, because what’s going on in Syria is not political, it’s a human story, or more accurately, a lack of humanity.

Why is the world not outraged by the massive suffering going on in this country? When a black life is taken on the streets of America by a police officer those streets are then filled with protesters, voices giving rise to injustice. This is often the case in most places around the world. But does it really have to be only in ones own backyard for people to care?

The streets of every major city in this world should have been filled with human beings standing up for their fellow human beings. The hundreds of thousands being robbed of being human, by the evil that is Bashar Al-Assad. But instead we demanded nothing of our incompetent leaders, and as a result…

s1

By

Rico Lamoureux

All Rights Reserved.

2016

I slept in the same state as when I was awake, always in fear, knowing that at any moment terror could thunder down from the sky above. My dreams were full of running, hiding, praying. So when I heard the unmistakable speed of what sounds like an incoming jet I thought the barrel bomb was just another part of my nightmare, but when the earth screamed out all around me I knew otherwise. That this was indeed the real thing, everything around me instantly decimated, the end of my own little world.

The imagination cannot prepare you for the daze, the confusion, yet all minute when compared to the sorrow, the loss, of discovering that the destruction as taken loved ones.

Before you can even collect your bearings the second killer introduces itself, my throat catching fire, the fierce burning immediately becoming wild as it spreads down to my lungs and up to my nose and eyes. Within seconds my natural instinct is to give in to my body wanting to buckle, but doing such a thing would ensure death, for the chlorine gas blankets the ground, just waiting to put me into a permanent sleep.

On out I stumble, tripping over rubble every few feet, the sun above hurting my eyes even more so as I try to find my way. But to where? Everything looks the same, nothing but piles of cement, both big and small, the neighborhood I’ve spent my entire life in looking like a place I’ve never been, my fumbling steps taking me where? Survival instinct just says keep going…

But I don’t know how much longer I can, and then I hear a baby crying. I look around, still nothing but grave rubble, and so I try to focus my ears to work, following the sound, moving the boulders…

And that’s when I discover the small blackened arm. I hurry to unbury…

It’s not a baby, but a malnourished child, as a result, small for his age, about five, as old as the war itself. For some reason this gives me determination, to save this child at any cost, so that they might still have a chance at seeing what they’ve never known: peace.

This shot of adrenaline allows me to lift him from out of the ash, like a phoenix rising, and on up I send him, to lay across my shoulders, as far from the lingering gas below as I can get him.

I walk, how far I do not know, but finally come upon rescue workers, through my teary eyes, heroes, who take the boy from me and douse my face in the most refreshing water I’ve ever experienced.

As we’re driven away I can’t help but think…

Rwanda…

Cambodia…

The Holocaust…

The world only mourns after the fact. Future generations will bow their heads in shame, unable to understand what we Syrians have been dumbfounded by for so very long now…

How could the world just stand by and do nothing…?

How Tinsel Came To Be

Just under two weeks until Christmas, my wonderful readers!

In the tradition of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ I thought I’d pay homage to the beauty of tinsel, so gather all the little ones around and enjoy;)

t

By

Rico Lamoureux

All Rights Reserved.

2016.

 

It was many winters ago when tinsel came to be,

a whole town of folk gathering to see—

Candles and fruits, trinkets of glee,

an annual tradition of decorating a tree.

 

For those who were chosen to add to the display,

it was quite the honor, quite the hooray!

To be artistic in capturing the season,

each branch, each pine, adorned with reason.

 

When all was said and done it was prim, it was tall,

but the crowd had yet to truly be in awe.

For every year someone would add to the spruce,

something unique, something brilliant,

they would introduce.

But this time the town folk were left with all of the same,

nothing new, nothing to gain.

But just as the crowd began to sigh,

a young lad stepped forward with a glimmer in his eye.

He had an idea, something special in mind,

if they would just be patient

he would set out to find…

 

Onwards the boy ran as fast as he could,

past storefronts and stalls, to the edge of his neighborhood.

For this is where the old silver forger called home,

a grinch-of-an-old-man who lived all alone.

 

“Whataya’ want?! Whyarya’ here?!”

was snapped as the lad rapidly appeared.

The boy looked around with a quick hurried quiver,

until he found the pile of shiny shredded silver.

He knew the ol’ man wouldn’t even try to understand,

so he just snatched what he could, filling each hand.

Off in a flash, he left the grinch’s threats far behind,

or so he thought, until he heard the hooves of a horse’s grind!

Sprinting down alleyways and streets,

he dared not slow at the least,

afraid of getting caught by the beast on his beast!

 

The poor lad could feel the fire, the brimstone, the flames of attack,

not knowing if he’d make it all the way back.

 

But then he saw the crowd awaiting his return,

giving him the strength to escape the burn.

On through it he pushed, until he got to the tree,

where he then covered it in the shredded silver for all to see.

 

Oh how it glimmered, how it shined so bright,

a perfect companion to the candlelight.

Like icicles dipped in the starry night sky,

its beauty transfixed, catching everyone’s eye!

All was in awe, for this was the greatest addition,

with even the old man having to drop his disposition.

 

Thus is the tale of how tinsel came to be,

giving that extra something special to our beloved Christmas tree!

 

 

If Only They Knew…

My wonderful readers, I always look so forward to sharing a story with you:)

I have a little reveal once today’s is over, so, see you on the other end…;)

image

By

Rico Lamoureux

All Rights Reserved.

2016

 

Richard looked to the wide-open night sky, a sense of deep gratitude as he took in the amazing display of that picture-perfect pale moon, countless stars so diverse yet all breathtaking!

But…

He was now a participant in a number of physical activities he had once known, including:

Back in his ol’ neighborhood, out on the street with a bunch of other kids, “Hike!” giving the signal for all to scatter about, Richard running fast and far while looking to his back, seeing everything so sharp, so clearly, the quarterback releasing the football high into the air, the Nerf spiraling like a heat-seeking missile, somehow, someway finding his hands perfectly for a touchdown!

Dribbling a basketball down a court of sneaker-screeching teens, side-stepping, pivoting, seeing that netted hoop from a three-point distance, eyes signaling to the brain, brain signaling to his arms, legs, feet, hands, just what to do to ensure the ball finds nothing but net!

But I’m…

Richard as a young man, the joy of driving as he basks in his beautiful ability to use depth perception, the wide open road inviting him to anywhere he sees his future going.

But I’m legally blind…

Ah yes, the left side of the brain, the logical side, allowing only so much fantasy before it reminds Richard of his reality, the truth giving his subconscious no choice but to give way as he wakes to the blur of his world now, the days of his youth, the days of being visually free a thing of the past.

And so he starts his day, rinsing his face, looking to see that he at least still has the same level of remaining sight he did when going to bed the night before. Grateful for such, he’s eager to get to work. To sit down with magnifying glass in hand, holding it up to the one eye that still works and bending over to the table in front of him, until he’s less than an inch away from the paper he’ll use to tell today’s story on, his other hand taking aim with ballpoint pen.

There was a time when he could write for hours on end, adding to even more hours and hours of reading, honing his art, his craft, his passion. But nowadays he has to pace himself, only having so much time for each before that remaining sight begins to strain, giving him no choice but to retire from his love for the day.

And so he heads out into the world by way of public transportation to run his daily errands, careful with just about every move he makes, the steps he takes, the distances he judges, all taken with caution, for the graceful movements he once displayed are now lost to a condition that affects the retina, a condition not obvious to the strangers around Richard, who are so quick to bark at him if he happens to not avoid their sudden change in direction, or their impatience when he must take a few extra seconds to find the right coins in his pocket, to look down at a curb and make sure it doesn’t send him falling over into the busy street of drivers enjoying the wide open road.

If only the world knew just how hard life could become…

If only the world knew he was giving it his absolute everything to share with them his gift of storytelling…

If only they knew.

Sometimes storytelling is at its best when it’s autobiographical, with art imitating life being the best stroke of substance to share with the reader. Well, for today’s story I decided to go in such a direction. Yes, Richard’s story is actually based on my real story, all of which is chronicled in my autobiography, Power of the Pen. Normally priced at $2.99 on Amazon, but FREE to all followers of this blog:)

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That EXTRA Something

Hello my wonderful readers!

Hope your start to the new week has been a great one!

I had a beautiful time writing the conclusion to Friday’s story, and I hope you enjoy it just as much:) If you didn’t catch the prequel, just scroll down to Lacey’s Becoming first.

Have a fun week, see you on Friday;)

 

extra

 

By

Rico Lamoureux

All Right Reserved.

2016

Like Marilyn Monroe emerging from Norma Jeane, like Lady Gaga projected from Stefani Germanotta, Lacey had unleashed her inner sensuality as part of the process of becoming Jean Patchett, the famed 1950’s supermodel who had defined sophisticated sexy.

From the form-fitting skirt that clung to her like a second skin to the elbow-high gloves that hinted both naughty and nice, the ends of which seamlessly merged with her perfectly-creased top.

Matching her gloves in color, a centered white scarf shot straight up to Lacey’s neck, where it snaked around an extra-sharp collar that stuck out like a pair of propeller blades.

Indeed she had taken flight up to a stratosphere all her own, the face of allure covered in a netted veil and topped with a wide-brimmed hat.

Lacey had signed with one of London’s most well-known casting agencies a few weeks prior to this first day of shooting, As expected opportunity was only available through Background work, the tight knitting of Paul Thomas Anderson’s inner circle preventing anything further. But Lacey didn’t see this as an obstacle, knowing that even the most A-list of artistic minds wouldn’t ignore a wallflower blooming out of obscurity every now and then.

From that first strut onto the set the crew was taken aback, starting with the Third Assistant Director, who was in charge of signing in and herding Extras. At first he thought that she was a principal actor, referring to her as ma’am as he politely asked her name while fumbling his papers around in search of the day’s call sheet.

Lacey refused to say her actual name, as she was now Jean Patchett, instead handing over her passport so that he could find her listed.

“Just an Extra, my dear” were the only five words she said, the Third A.D. quite surprised and still very shy as he found her name on the roster and checked her in before escorting her to hair and make-up, then wardrobe.

Both departments simply had nothing to retouch, to add, to adjust, for Lacey was already 100% prepared, leaving them speechless other than to say, “She’s already camera-ready.”

Onto the set she strolled, the interior of the 1950’s London café being the finishing touch of taking her to that special place of believing it was real, she, as Jean Patchett, was real, her confidence, her being, turning the head of every soul in that place as she took her seat adjacent to the main table that all the lights had been centered around.

Minutes later and Daniel Day-Lewis walked into the scene, his character unable to just glance at Lacey’s character, the two sharing a moment of intimate introduction through the eyes before he took his seat.

And thus their dance began…

As she mimed conversation with the gentleman seated across from her Lacey and the other Extras could only really hear the dialogue between Day-Lewis and his supporting actor, the instinct of his character making him drawn to her, their shared gaze becoming a whole new subtext to what was being said, in turn transforming the scene as it progressed.

Of course Anderson recognized this artistic flow for what it was, yelling “Cut’ only after it had run its course. Hushed voices followed before “Take 5” was announced and the lighting crew adjusted their set-up.

Amidst members of the crew placing light meters and measuring tape in front of Lacey’s face, someone else approached her.

She recognized him to be Paul Thomas Anderson.

“You’re doing a great job,” he gently assured her. “I really like the direction this is going. Please feel free to follow it wherever it takes you.”

To someone else this might have been too much pressure, to play alongside these giants of artistry, but Lacey was seeing the whole experience through the eyes of this supermodel, the lights, the cameras, all part of who she was in this moment.

“Action…”

As he delivered his lines Day-Lewis’ eyes again found hers, the reactions between the two saying so much more than the words being spoken.

Together we can create magic, both artistically and…

Unbridled passion will fly us high above, into the universe, into each other…

To create like gods, to become infinite…

As their soulful intermingling played out Anderson and his crew were respectful in capturing but not interfering in this beautiful exchange between the two, making sure all remained quiet between camera set-ups, all in attendance giving a standing ovation once it had come to an end.

 

That evening the character of Jean Patchett was written into the script, significantly lengthened to that of a supporting role.

Only after she had returned to her small London flat did Lacey allow herself to let go, falling to the floor and breaking down into tears of joy.

~

 

 

 

Lacey’s Becoming

Hello my wonderful readers, it’s December!

Has the Christmassy spirit hit you yet?

Got a real special story for you today:) Not that they’re not all special, LOL, but this one is quite powerful in the sense that it explores the discovery of one’s passion! A topic I hold very dear, as I believe in doing what you love:) After all, don’t you think the world would be a much happier place if more people took this route?

Ok, without further ado, enjoy…:)

l

By

Rico Lamoureux

All Rights Reserved.

2016

 

Life-changing moments are unmistakable, not only moving your world but shattering it, leaving you with a new perspective that indeed becomes part of your soul.

For Lacey this occurred at the age of seventeen, during her early morning English class. As she and her peers filed into class and took their seats they had noticed the flat screen TV and DVD player set up in front, all getting excited that this was going to be a laid-back period.

Their lesson was on character, their teacher wanting to expand their understanding on such now that they had been studying story for several weeks. He didn’t say much before starting the film, one sentence in fact being the only words he chose to speak.

“I’ve been a student of story my entire life, and simply know no better way of sharing with you the importance of authentic character.”

The first image of the film had some of the students sighing in disappointment, its faded look compared to what they were used to clearly dating it to a time before they were even born.

But within that first minute of My Left Foot all skepticism appeared to have diminished, a silence falling over the class as Christy Brown used the only part of his body that he had control over to remove a record from its album cover, place it on a record player, and start playing it, then proceeding to create art with that determined left foot of his.

Not a single word was spoken for the reminder of the film’s running time, these young minds beholding a level of brilliance they had never seen before.

Time would later show that the most affected had been Lacey, utterly and completely moved, her mind shifting back and forth while watching, being sure that it was a documentary whenever the main character was on screen, as he was just too real, but not so sure when analyzing the rest.

She had tried to watch for the credits when they began to roll, but with the simultaneous ring of the bell and students scattering all about to leave she wasn’t able to see if this indeed had been an actor or not. With red puffy eyes, it had been all she could do to hold back the tears, too embarrassed to go up to her teacher and ask for the answer.

And so she had headed to the bathroom with her cellphone, locking herself in a stall and not caring if she would be late for her next class. She had to know…

Daniel Day-Lewis. An English-Irish actor who had portrayed the real-life artist Christy Brown, with ten credits to his name since. She had seen none of them, up to this point her young adolescent mind having only been filled with the fluff of someone her age being used to digesting.

 

For the last few weeks until graduation Lacey studied every performance of this actor who didn’t act, but became, with her inspiration only deepening when she learned of his unparalleled methods, including the fact that he had refused to leave his wheelchair throughout the downtime of being Christy Brown. It had never before occurred to her that art could be so beautiful, reflect such truth. Her heart now knew what path to set out on.

Naturally she couldn’t wait for a taste, looking up acting classes in her local area before trying out a few.

To Lacey it was like holding at a brittle leaf when she had beheld a beautiful rose, finding the so-called acting exercises to be rigid if not downright claustrophobic, the experience helping her realize that her Day-Lewis DVDs was all she really needed, these master classes giving her permission to just let absolutely everything go when embodying a character, her bedroom becoming her training ground.

The more she explored the more Lacey’s thirst grew, until she could no longer stand it, answering a casting call at her local theater. She had scheduled for the last day of auditions, using the time to become.

She was offered the roll that evening, but went in two days later to inform the director she had to remove herself from the production despite his pleas for her to stay.

It had just been announced through the trade papers that after a four-year hiatus Day-Lewis would be returning to his craft for a film that was scheduled to start shooting in early 2017. Knowing of his long breaks between projects, Lacey was determined to be a part of her distinguished maestro’s work, even if it only meant as a Background Extra.

Other than being a Fashion Drama set in 1950’s London the world had no idea what this film would entail, let alone its title, for this is just how its writer/director, Paul Thomas Anderson, preferred it. So with unwavering optimism only youth can provide Lacey set out to London mere days after graduation, convincing her parents, only after several rounds of opposition, to allow her to use a portion of her college fund to head out across the pond in pursuit of her dream.

 

To Be Continued…

Part two of Lacey’s journey will be posted on Monday.

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