“After the session, I stop in a department store to buy red lipstick I don’t need — all red lipstick is red lipstick, no red lipstick is needed. The man behind the NARS counter puts it on me … ‘It’s hard to tell what suits me at the moment because I’ve been crying a lot.’
He waves the lipstick brush in my face. ‘No more of that.’
I wave goodbye to him and skip out into the street, leaning towards mania, most likely, and I dance at the stop sign and I walk and walk as one is not intended to do in Los Angeles. I realize: I am frightening people. It is such a blessing not to feel frightened.”
— Your Voice in My Head, Emma Forrest.
During my three months in LA, I have already met some of the most incredible authors and artists who are living and working (almost exclusively at the same time) in a modern writer’s world. Heck, some of them are my teachers. And they bring me candy. I’m not kidding.
But meeting Emma tonight struck such a strong chord with me. She is beautiful and has an air of glamor about her — maybe a combination of her poise and her accent — but she has survived Sadness. She explained that her memoir, Your Voice in my Head, was inspired by the unexpected passing of her therapist and father-figure and, during her time at the podium, warmly read a lovely eulogy about him. She talked about how the book is a love letter to her parents, whom she called “the loves of her life.” (I can relate to that big time.)
She only briefly mentioned that this book is also about her broken heart.
Once I started the book, I couldn’t put it down. She describes her relationship with this man so acutely, and yet never blames him for anything. He texts her constantly, he suggests they have a baby together, he agrees on a name. She allows the idea of this baby with this name become real. And then he just walks out. Just decides it’s over before any of it gets to really happen.
“He meant everything he said, when he said it. But this is his default. And it won out. Right now you’re depressed about one thing. Before you were depressed about everything. These are good time for you …”
One of the many dangers of writing non-fiction is that people will assume things about you. They will connect the dots that you’ve supplied them, but then Google you and create more dots for themselves. I am no better than they are. Even though Emma read excerpts from a story about her struggle with this journey through depression and heartbreak, I couldn’t help but notice that she is currently quite pregnant. She even cracked a joke about how it was affecting her thought process.
I looked her up on Wikipedia, hoping to find a sentence that said something like, “Emma Forrest married a charming, beautiful man whose accent is just as cool as her’s and they are expecting their first child and have never been happier.”
This sentence would never appear on Wikipedia. Not just because it is a run-on, but because happiness isn’t static. It doesn’t fit in a dictionary or an encyclopedia. It’s too fleeting. Instead, I found this sentence:
“In June 2012, Forrest married Animal Kingdom (film) actor Ben Mendelsohn at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.”
Truly truly truly, I wish them (her) all the best.