Monday, October 11, 2010
I picked up this book at the library a while back. It was on the recent releases shelf and the title 'Supermarket Supermodel' made me curious. It is written by Jim Cartwright, who also wrote 'Little Voice' (a play, and a movie).
It was a thoroughly engrossing and rather different book, and what impressed me most was that while the main character Linda was female, the author is male. He totally got inside her head. Linda is an English supermarket check-out operator, and after being 'discovered' becomes a famous supermodel.
One of the parts I really enjoyed reading was when Linda met Jackie Collins at a party. An odd situation, I know. I'm not sure if the author has met Jackie Collins in real life, but I just love his descriptions of her as an ultra-feminine, captivating and focused woman.
Here is an excerpt of the day after the party. Jackie has taken Linda home and gives her a bed for the night (she wasn't well at the party, and could not remember the address of the friend she was staying with). Linda wakes, hung-over, and has breakfast with Jackie.
Those few hours in her company gave me a world of wisdom, though there were no lectures or advice or anything like that. I can’t describe it proper. It was just like she was an education in herself. She was all the education a young woman needed just by being alive.
The way she did things, taking a call, picking a flower, pouring a drink, sharing a joke with the maid, laughing, winking, watching the ocean. She was woman in all her fullness, a rose, beautiful, fragrant, feminine, but that didn’t stop her from being powerful and who she wanted to be. It was like I was gathering it from her, getting the fragrance.
It was like the good fairy from the films when I was a kid, don’t remember her giving much advice, it was just her presence made everything better, the touch of her magic got you on the right track and wicked witches and goblins disintegrated at her jewelled feet.
Suze had been a good teacher, she knew lots of things and could teach you stuff and tell you loads, but she wasn’t what she taught, she wasn’t it. Jackie was it. She really was everything Suze worked and strained to be, but Jackie was just it. It didn’t really matter what she said or did but how she was.
We listened to the soul music and now and again she’d say let’s change the track, and it was always right and took us one deeper or one higher or suited the next thing she was going to do. We both did the breath in at one point and smiled.
Too soon it was time to go. She took care of everything, paid for my flight home and got her driver to take me to the airport.
Then I left LA and, resting in Jackie and the soul music, I flew home, flew home on it. I knew what I wanted now, I wanted to be like her. Strong, glamorous, independent, doing what she wanted but still loving and a woman.
by Jim Cartwright