Pretty much everyone of you knows that I have a very complicated relationship with myself. Beside the fact that I never have been fond of me, you know that I suffer from PTSD making my social skills quite nonexistent. My bad temper doesn’t help at all either.Only a couple of closest friends know the reason of my PTSD and don’t expect for me to share this. It comes from way back, before my brother died, before my severely autistic son was born; it’s a not to tell story and no one would want to hear this. Anyways, going out is difficult for me, being in a crowd is very hard, leaving my house for a faraway destination unthinkable, and if you want to see me in the flesh : it’s going to take a LOT for this to happen, no matter how I love you. But it hasn’t always been the case.
Tonight, I am going to tell you the story of my Legend. Who I used to be. The story of my Death also, a past one and the one that just happened. Tonight I am sharing the girl I was that you never heard about and that I had to kill in order to survive. Because sometimes, the only way to survive is to kill yourself.
A few lives ago, I had an older only brother. You heard me here and there slightly speaking of him, you know that he died; but you don’t even know his name.
A few lives ago, I was already having PTSD, I was also severely anorexic but I was going out almost every night. I used to go to show, parties with friends, playing poker all nights long, cause this is where my gambling problem comes from; I gamble on everything, I am a gambler at heart. And I never lost. I used to go yelling at soccer games, play bowling, go to casinos, restaurants, and make a real revolution in villages around on National days. It’s been the happiest time of my Lives. All of them. I could do all this because no matter what I was doing and where I was, I could turn around and see someone staring at me intensely : Nicolas. My brother.
Nothing could happen when I was with him. Just nothing. My brother was a giant too, like my younger son Arnaud. He was 6,4″ tall and his shoulders were large like a window. Even during crowd panics, he was grabbing the belt of my jeans and lifting me up to carry me and if everyone was running, he was standing quiet and calm. If I was having a PTSD attack, shaking, panting, sweating and terror striking me; he was bending over me, looking at me the same intense way and saying ” No you’re fine. We’re having a good time. You can’t be sick cause I mean : what for? you’re alright.”
Then I was alright. It was gone. He was here.
I must say that since I am born, the great Love of My Life has always been him. He was beyond words to me. He was everything I wasn’t. Except my beloved mother, her mother and my native american grandfather; it has to be said that everyone, relatives or strangers, always preferred my brother. He was smart, beautiful blond blue eyed child, funny, courageous and very calm, powerful. I wasn’t pretty, constantly sick with grafts surgeries going on all the time as a kid. When I wasn’t sick, I was like on steroids. I was a nightmare to everyone; even though my mother says it isn’t true.
Many of you know, that the scene of Mystic River where Sean Penn yells ” is that my daughter in there?” where a fair dozen of cops are trying to control him; I lived it myself and I was Sean Penn when I have been told my brother was dead. It’s been needed 4 guys to hold lil me, yelling “no I want my brother”.
He swore to me he would never leave me. He swore he would always come back home. That’s the reason why I have something very deep with people coming back home. That’s why, no matter what I feel alone and insecure. No man I ever known in my life made me feel secure. That’s certainly partially why I am single. Cause I never found someone to love and protect me. People don’t care you know and they just get mad at you… With my very bad temper, it can escalate pretty quick.
But despite his promises he left me and never came back home.
I was 18 and he was 22.
What only Flex knows, who is my brother’s best friend and still my friend; is that we were HUGE AC/DC fans. Flex himself still goes to shows every time they are in France.
My brother made me listen to AC/DC when I was 7. He had a Rock Magazine and I asked who was the guy in a school suit. He explained me he was Angus Young the lead guitar, he made me listen to the songs again while telling me when it was Angus playing. He showed me VHS of shows and explained me I wasn’t certainly noticing but Angus Young was real short, to which I answered ” so what?”
I fell in love sort of. Like you can fall in love when you’re 7 years old and discovering the greatest Rock band of all times.
There’s something that no one knows. Not even my mother. When I was a kid, I was vomiting about 5 days a week. Even during my sleep. That was due to the very heavy medication I was taking for my ears and eardrums grafts. (So imagine the effect AC/DC can have on a maybe soon to be deaf kid.) One night as we were sharing the same room; my brother told me : ” lie on your belly to sleep.” I asked why. He said ” the former singer of AD/DC Bon Scott died suffocating in his vomit while asleep. If you sleep on your belly you’ll be safe. Do what I say.”
Since then, I have only slept lying on my belly and still do.
We had an argument running about AC/DC, my brother preferred Bon Scott than Brian Johnson and I was like ” that’s not the point at all.” Because to me AC/DC was Angus Young. And we were arguing… He used to say ” you understand nothing, they are a BAND. It’s not just a guy even if he’s the best!” I used to reply ” and you say you prefer Bon Scott, well he’s not here anymore and they still are AC/DC! you make no sense and you know nothing!” So he was lifting his hands in the air ” YOU are too young and YOU know nothing : it doesn’t take only one Young to make AC/DC! There’s Malcolm too! ” Of course I was shouting louder ” I BET ALL I HAVE THAT IF IT’S ONLY ANGUS IT’LL STILL BE AC/DC AND YOU KNOW NAAAAAAAAAAAATHING!!”
I never drank in my life. I hate the smell, the taste; all of it. When friends were saying to me ” come on you don’t drink? Like at all?? it ain’t cool!!”
I always had a corner smile and replied ” I’m uncool like Angus Young.”
Then they wouldn’t insist.
When my brother died, I stopped listening to AC/DC. For real, for good. And if by chance it was on radio or whatever; it’s been since then, hard to hold my tears.
Many of you are aware of what happened to me last November. I now happen to have an auto immune disease. It’s caused by stress. When I’m too stressed, therefore pretty much 100% of the time for those who know me; an inflammation starts in my blood and takes over my immune system. Then my immune system attacks my skin in a giant migratory hives attack.
when it happened for first time in November, it’s been very violent and no one knew what was happening to me. To add to my bad (or not) luck, my friend and doc Corinne wasn’t around. I ended up at the hospital.
Every inch of my skin was covered in painful itchy things like this and edema got my hands so swollen that I couldn’t bend my fingers anymore; which for the sculptor I am, was beyond panicking.
But the real big deal hasn’t been this. I ended up at the wrong place, wrong moment.
I went to a clinic and the doctor asked me about my medical past. I explained that I have a hernia to my stomach, an ulcer and a gastritis. I’ve always had that; it’s probably mainly caused by the medications I had to take as a kid. He said ” ok then no cortisone.”
To which I agreed as I know I mustn’t take any due to this digestive condition of mine.
He said I was going to get a shot of something then left. The nurse came a while after with pills. I asked him why pills as I have big stomach issues. The nurse frowned and panicked a bit. He told me he was going to check again with the doctor cause it was weird. A few minutes later, he (nurse was a guy) came back and told me it was all ok and confirmed : I had to take those pills.
Which I did.
I happened to be a cortisone dose for a 198lbs person. I weigh 105lbs.
Then they sent me back home.
The pain didn’t take long to appear. I spare you the details but the next night and after 2 emergency docs visiting me, my mother sent me back to another clinic. And I saw her face. The way she looked at me. What she said to my elder son ” Louis, your mom is going to the hospital again, kiss her. Now.”
I know my mother. She’s not a dramatic person. When you’re sick, no matter what you have; you just get over it and be brave cause you’re lucky to be alive and should stop complaining. She’s very hard on this since my brother died and may I add rightfully so.
But she had that look. Horrors on her face. Terror too. Everything that she ordinary is not at all.
When I arrived at the second clinic, I explained briefly and fainted in the lobby. I have a very low blood pressure usually; around 90. But it wasn’t this. My blood pressure was 130, which is high for me; my blood sugar levels were alright though I didn’t eat in 3 days; but my heart… My heart rate was 210 beats per minute.
It was caused by the pain.
They told my father to leave right now and I saw several nurses running around me taking more and more blood tubes from my veins, Plugging me to a lot of machines; and rushing to put me on 5 different drips.
The nurse in chief told me : ” that’s the cortisone; you’re having internal hemorrhage. We don’t know how big nor how many, we take you to ICU.”
All the tests results revealed that I had 9 internal hemorrhages from my oesophagus to my stomach. The spasms caused by cortisone literally torn my muscles out and my oesophagus and stomach. That’s why so much pain. An incredible indescribable pain.
You would, and be right to, imagine that someone like me in such situation, all alone in the ICU would have had the greatest panic and terror attack ever.
I did not.
Not at all.
I was frighteningly calm. I wasn’t afraid a bit. Actually I was feeling weirdly good.
Some will say that it comes from the drips, some that it’s because I was out of my mind. Say what you want; on my side I know what happened to me.
My brother was here. Literally here. I can even tell you that he was smiling. Smiling with closed lips like when they were doing awful stuff to my ears and he was beholding himself to laugh at my surgeon’s office when we were kids.
So I smiled back.
I knew that I would be alright. I knew that it was nothing.
At the same moment, as I had no phone network but only wifi access, I sent a message on whatsapp to my more than friend Lady Nimoy, over worried she was, telling her I’ll be fine. Then my cousin ( who is more than a friend too but also way beyond that, so we shared our bloods to become family) pmed me on Messenger telling me ” I am sure something horrible is happening! where are you? what’s going on?”
She felt it. We’re like this. Even if something happens to her mom, I dream of it and call her and it’s confirmed. We’re sharing that strange bond and link… That’s just the way it is, it can’t be explained. So I told her to not worry ( in vain of course) that I was in the hospital and I’ll be fine.
For somebody like me, fainting in public is quite horrors and a phobia. So fainting all alone in a public place is beyond any kind of nightmares I can have, and God knows I am the queen of intolerable nightmares. I fainted 3 times that night going to pee (cause, I’m sorry but I don’t pee in a bowl. Sick or not I have my dignity. Period.) And that was alright. I didn’t care at all.
As my brother was smiling to me, I realized something : he kept his word. He didn’t leave me. If he ever did : he came back to me.
Literally he did.
I also understood that dying young can be like two deaths at a time. Which is what I did to him, I killed him a second time. The atrocious sorrow that never leaves you, even after 21 years of absence; overwhelms everything and turns everything into a part of that suffering. The departed, who he was truly, what you shared, is sort of erased by that pain. Still smiling to him, I remembered who we were. and I saw the ghost of a girl I haven’t seen in more than 20 years. Me.
I went on youtube on my cell when the dawn came because I wanted to listen to some music. You gotta know that my youtube suggestions consist 100% into Gummybear, Sesame Street and Mr Potato thank to Arnaud…
Out of the blue, in my suggestions, there was AC/DC ” You shook me all night long.”Due to the context of the night.. It was hysterical.
I laughed also cause that’s totally the sort of silly humor my brother and I used to have.
Then I listened to it.
Since then I haven’t stopped listening to AC/DC. With a freaking rock attitude ( you should see me… Don’t laugh. I can hear you. lol) but no sorrow at all.
The calm that fell into me hasn’t left either.
My mother told me the other day that I changed a lot in a very unexpected way since this.
I smiled. Again.
I can tell you today, that if I am struggling every day with my auto immune disease, if I am struggling with the permanent damages to my oesophagus; this inflammation of my blood and even the cortisone accident have been the BEST THING that happened to me. I am still tired, especially since the medication I have to take for life is giving me insomnia, when I already am the greatest insomniac of the universe; I am pale due to this but also because it attacked my skin so badly that it blurred my vitiligo spots. For real.
We are more than flesh and bones. I am still here. Still bonkers, still working at night in my pajamas and smoking as fuck.
Every year I enter the Spectrum annual contest to feature the book. It failed so far because they seek only excellence. But nevertheless, I still make an unique piece every year to enter.
I always wanted to sculpt King Oberon. But.. I disagree with the representation made of him which is usually an old grumpy man or a severe one. I couldn’t explain why but it’s never been the way I felt towards Oberon.
While I was sharing AC/DC youtube links with Emilie ( you should see her rocking in her teacher office correcting her adults students homework LOL) I started to make while discussing with her, researches about Oberon. It occurs that Oberon was the most perfect and handsome, I could even say beautiful, man ever; but he was cursed thus dwarfed by the fairies when he is born because they wanted to prevent him to be beyond perfection. He never saw how perfect he was and his height has been the burden of his existence. If you look further, you’ll find out that Oberon’s character was inspired by the god Aengus. Aengus, god of Youth. Also of Creativity.
That’s how he’s represented :
I didn’t need more to relate all this to Angus Young genius dressed in a schoolboy and always mentioning how small he is. I called Milie and I told her : ” I’m sculpting Angus Young into King Oberon! For Spectrum! I never sculpted something for my brother you know.”
Anyone would have answered ” but he’s dead…” Not her. She told me to go for it. She knew what happened to me at the hospital and the whole AC/DC thing. She’s been thrilled with the related facts between Oberon and Young.
This sculpt is the most personal I ever made. I couldn’t share who was the model until it was done because I needed intimacy with that sculpt. Intimacy with myself and former self. I only told Milie and Nimoy and Denise my Click. I shared every single step of my sculpting, painting and dressing with Milie. I have to say that we are the two same bonkers : we can speak of one single topic for weeks without getting tired of it and being excited as 4 years old on caffeine.
To be frank, some AC/DC fans, which by the way are TRULY LOVELY, found out before I announced who was my model that I was sculpting Angus Young. They have been beyond adorable with me and I am very touched that they shared the final picture of the bust. Thank you again, I am honored. I never expected such a supportive reaction from his fans as the piece is not at all the way you’d expect to see Angus Young like. Thank you again if you read this. ( if anyone reads this by the way… cause this post is sooooooo freaking long that I should have confiscated tie and shoelaces to each reader to prevent any suicidal behavior. LOL)
The hardest part was to find serious portraits of Angus Young, cause apparently he makes faces as I do on almost all pics. So doing the same I can’t criticize but… COME ON it’s been a pain.
If the marrow of my bones had a face, it would be this one. This is the legend of me, the legend of us, the legend of who we were, the legend of Nicolas, The legend of Nefer; the legend of genius and the legend of what love is made of.
This is my annual one of a kind piece for Spectrum, Ecstasy of King Oberon ” you don’t need to be tall to be a giant.”
Because I think that alike Oberon, you can only look up if you want to see Angus Young.
Because I think that often perfect people and geniuses only see the detail that doesn’t matter considering their greatness.
Because I think sometimes you must be short or it would simply be way too much so the Gods couldn’t allow it.
This bust is paperclay, each details even of the crown is sculpted, even the petals, icicles, butterfly wings and flowers are clay. The crown can be removed. He’s dressed into paper. He’s been painted with a painting technique of mine ” Anatomical painting” with 37 layers of oil paints. The teeth are cast in resin by me from real teeth.
From the moment I decided to sculpt him, I told Milie it wouldn’t be for sale. It’s way too personal to be sold. But some got mad after me as they already wanted him though they didn’t know who he is. I have been told that I am selfish, that I am arrogant deciding on what to sell or not to collectors, that I was unfair.
You see, us, sculptors; we sell parts of ourselves. Literally parts of our beings. I know I am a hooker and I never deny it. That’s my job. I am paid to give of my flesh and bones to collectors. I am VERY grateful to them for buying those pieces of myself. But hookers have their limits too. They don’t kiss. That’s the part that you cannot buy.
A sweet friend of mine told me on facebook, “but Nefer what if someone gives you a million dollars? you can’t refuse.”
She scored on that one. Because the very only thing that worried me at the hospital waiting to see if I was going to live or not, was my two sons and my mother. I am in charge of them and they only have me to provide for them. My father too. It’s already quite a huge responsibility on my shoulders. But to this, must be added Arnaud’s severe autism. Being a single parent isn’t easy, but I manage it very well with my mother; but autism changes the picture quite dramatically. There’s a couple of sentences which sum up very well what it is to be the single parent of a very handicapped child : ” I am not allowed to die, even of old age.” and ” If you are a cripple, you better be a rich one.”
Autism costs A HELLUVA LOT. Nothing is the same, from food to clothing and things you thought that were virtually unbreakable are actually broken faster than in a snap. Have you ever broken a tub like you would of a porcelain cup? No? It’s the third one he breaks. You buy 5 tee shirts for your kid in summer? That’s cute. I need a minimum of 45.
And so on… Also, PLEASE spare me this : NO I CANNOT EXPLAIN HIM OR TEACH HIM. Imagine that during 13 years I thought of it already. If we could teach or explain him : he simply wouldn’t be autistic. That simple.
This is why I need to earn money so bad constantly. I am alone in charge of a whole family and this is not the random family.
Thus I would never deny that I am for sale. I believe that depending on circumstances, we all are somehow. I am truly glad that some have the luxury to not be for sale therefore to despise me; but that’s not my case. I am for sale from head to toes because I have no other choice. Don’t get me wrong, I do not complain about it; I just state facts for it counts very much to me to be precisely aware of what and who I am as also why.
This piece is my hooker’s kiss. The only reason I’d agree to sell it would be the only priceless thing that is my main and only worry : the future of my children. That’s the only thing that has a proportionate “priceless value”.
Therefore, and as I am not pretentious and above anyone deciding to frustrate everyone by not selling this or that piece, Oberon is for sale.
Inside of him are some drops of my own blood as in every of my unique piece. But also a note imprisoned in the clay where is a message to my brother Nicolas.
I will reveal what’s on it and proof pictures, only with the buyer.
Ecstasy of King Oberon is for sale for one million dollars. You can contact me to get details on my email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing him. I accept bank transfers as a payment method, for I don’t think anyway that such transaction is allowed on Paypal and the fees would be totally indecent. I can arrange a shipment by private courier, an appointment to my place or the nearest airport my place ( Nice France International Airport) or, depending on terms and location, I can bring it myself, with Milie, to the buyer but only after validation of the payment.
That’s the price of my past. That’s the price of my Death. That’s the price of my Life. That’s the price of that part of me that I refuse to give.
That’s the price of my hooker’s kiss.
Now, dear still here and surviving reader, allow me one last comment…
“HEY NICOLAS!! I WAS RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!! ONLY ANGUS YOUNG IS AC/DC NOW!!!”
Cause I didn’t know it until a month ago but it happened. Since last summer, Angus Young is the only left founding member of AC/DC and he toured anyway with the insane success the band always had.