Spinning Magnolias

September 8, 2008

Magnolia Pettes is a model, a beautiful girl with large green eyes, long blonde streaked hair and a body girls envy and men covet. At every party she is the It Girl, in every room it was like spotlights were only on her, she is the star where ever she goes. She can have any man she wants, any drug she wants, and she can have it now.

The only thing was, at 22 years old, she already felt old – she felt used up.

She was getting sick of the coke binging, sick of feeling slutty the morning after, sick of walking through Yorkville Park at three in the afternoon, getting breakfast at the coffee shop while children next to her were getting there after school snacks.

The jobs weren’t flying in anymore. Her agency called her less and less. Partly because the jobs they were offering her were crap and she kept turning them down, but partly because when she did accept them, she showed up late, high and/or drunk.

No one wanted to book her for modelling gigs anymore – she was only being hired for openings of new clubs and restaurants. Expected to be the ‘date’ of expensive clients.

At the cafe she sipped her coffee through a straw, watching a girl play with her dog. It dawned on her that this girl was probably the same age as her, she wasn’t extraordinarily beautiful but she wasn’t ugly either, she looked like she could have been a student, maybe she has a boyfriend. Her clothes weren’t necessarily front-page worty either – last year’s UGGs with ripped up Rock’s, but this girl, who had nothing better to do at three in the afternoon but play with her little white poodle looked genuinely happy.

And this made Magnolia wonder if she would ever get there.

Her penthouse suite had lose its allure, the sexy baller types with wads of cash they gave her had also lost its thrill.

Nothing seemed to excite her anymore.

Sleeping with the new It club owners was boring now – she could barely fake an orgasm. Her so-called friends were only interesting to her when they were high.

She wondered if there would ever be a normal life for her. She wondered if there would ever be a boyfriend in her life. Maybe even a relationship.

How did she even get here? She half-laughed to herself. A place in her head that she actually wanted a ‘normal’ life with a relationship??

Sadly, she knew exactly how she got here. She just didn’t think that her life would ever lead her to this conclusion, this need of normalcy.

So she stopped.

She slowed down, and she stopped.

Magnolia changed her phone number, not telling anybody her new one. This was so refreshingly weird that it almost frightened her. No missed calls, no searching for a vibrating cell phone in her bag – it just seemed so quiet.

Just peace and quiet.

Rumors started flying about her – she was on a bender. Or in Europe. Or in rehab.

They weren’t too far fetched though – hadn’t she been there already?

She was still going out and partying, but with no phone there was no way to invite her to after parties, no late night booty calls.

Sometimes her friends tried going to her place after the clubs, but she placed her buzzer on DND and her doorman never let them in. It made her look as if she was still partying, as if she had somehwere better to be.

In truth, she was getting to bed earlier so she could wake up earlier, for her 11 am yoga class, three times a week. She was naturally ultra-slim, but she was noticing her body was changing now, sleeker, more strong.

She bumped into a club promoter in the park as she was sipping her coffee through a straw again. The kissed air and he started shouting at her in his fake British accent.

“Hey Magnolia! I’ve been trying to get ahold of you! Where have you been, love? Holiday? You look fantastic!”

She shrugged but thankfully didn’t have to reply because he kept on talking.

“There’s a new club opening darling! It’s called Rehab! Isn’t that so tongue-in-chic? Everyone’s gonna be there – you have to come! I insist! VIP, bottle service, anything you want!”

She half-smiled, told him she would try to make an appearance, which seemed to satisfy him because he jumped on his phone and left.

She felt her world slowly shut down around her. Calls were non-existent, her only contact with the world were the coffee shop employees and her yoga class.

Magnolia sat in Yorkville Park again, this time at 9 am, fresh out of her early yoga class, watching the birds fighting over a piece of bread, and she wondered to herself, “Is this what it feels like to be alone?”

She saw a shadow form from someone standing behind her, hesistantly she turned around and recognized the man’s handsome face.

Paul, an old party friend, a banker type who had married a model. He looked good as ever in his Armani suit and Prada shoes, his dark hair falling over his dark eyes, and she suddenly realised what she looked like. Her own long blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail, no makeup, with her purple yoga pants on. And Paul sat down at the chair next to her.

“What you been up to?” He started. “You look terrific! Pilates?”

“No, yoga,” She said with a smile.

“Oh. Sheniss was a pilates freak.” That was her name, the model wife, Sheniss. Magnolia once pulled out her hair in a bathroom fight.

“So how are you and Sheniss? I heard your honeymoon was in Fiji? Sorry I missed the wedding, I think I was in London on a shoot.”

“Oh no worries. We honeymooned in Mexico. And now we’re in the process of a divorce.”

“Oh my god – I’m so sorry.” Magnolia was surprised that she actually did feel sorry for him.

“No, no. It’s honestly for the best. We, we weren’t very… compatible I think.” He shook his head for a couple of seconds. “Anyway, she moved out, I get my condo back, it’s almost like it never happened. You know, I’m having a dinner party at my place next Saturday, you should come. We could catch up.”

“Definitely, that sounds like fun.” She smiled, she knew she wouldn’t go, but it was nice of him to offer.

She returned to her penthouse, which now seemed extra large and empty now that everything was packed up and moved out. All that was left in the echoing rooms was a couple of rugs, huge, shaggy, luxurious things that she was leaving behind.

She decided there was no way she could really make a change in her life if she felt like she was stuck, stuck in the same place physically.

Her place sold within an hour after it was on the market, at 40% over asking. She immediately put down a deposit on a huge authentic loft conversion on Queen St West – away from the posh little neighborhood she was living in – away from the clubs and people she knew. Her new place was a penthouse, but it felt more true to her now.

Polish concrete floors, exposed beams, original brick walls. It felt right to her.

There was no doorman, but the building had a gorgeous rooftop patio, with gardens, benches and little bonsai trees. It felt like so calm above the busy city. It felt like home.

The Saturday of Paul’s dinner party was her first night in her new home.

The week leading up to the move-in was her and her decorator picking out paint, furniture, appliances, and new rugs – even better than her original ones.

And she even got a job. She had called her modelling agency and informed them she was leaving the business. She got a job at a luxury boutique, the first time in her life working an 8 hour shift was so exhausting for her, but at the same time, exciting.

It was exciting for her to feel normal. She started reading more than just magazines. She was in advanced yoga. And she was doing everything on her own.

She felt empowered. She felt like herself again for the first time in a really long time.

She realised she never actually knew who she was, until she stripped it all away and was alone, all by herself.

But she wasn’t alone anymore.

She was in a relationship now.

With a little brown yorkie named Max.

Magnolia and Max lived happily ever after. For now.

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