We Need To Talk About Yasmine El Orfi
It was one score years ago…
It’s alright dude. It’s alright. Take a deep breath, release, go with it, and just come out and say it…I am the Chosen One and Yasmine El Orfi was some kind of Illuminati (anti-Illuminati?) mole who was sent to challenge me, by preventing me from achieving fulfilment of my position, and I was a chump for not figuring it all out from the start. Eh? There, I’ve said it.
Doh! I was supposed to say ‘Spoiler Alert’ for “The Memoir of the Millennium” first. Oh well, shit happens. But you all know the story anyway, right? Yeah right, ‘Truman Show paranoia’ get fucked. Sure this is my reality, but we’re all in it together.
You know she pretty much showed me her hand on a few occasions? Those times when it was driving her nuts. It was like she was being instructed that I was some blind idiot lacking self-awareness as I attempted to follow my true calling while working around the problems of messianic misunderstandings. She was the only one, to my knowledge, who knew exactly what we were working on and it was openly obvious what I was trying to achieve.
I guess what was really driving her nuts was my lack of awareness of how real the conspiracy against me was and the role she was going to play in it. And sometime I’ll explain to all you dumb fucks how conspiracies work at different levels of reality or consciousness, because I know how fucking ignorant most of you blind fools are, yeah that’s right, there’re reasons why we suffer the inanities of Truthers, and it’s not just them.
So the shit all started to hit the fan in 1999. In our flat in Hataitai, when she spectacularly kicked two holes in the wall with each foot at the same time that she punched another one. I can’t remember what triggered her, probably because I didn’t know what it was and she wouldn’t tell me. We were always discussing psychospirituality, the zeitgeist, the future, and on two occasions in ‘99 she just suddenly, out of nowhere, lost her shit and went crazy. I was stunned, like what the fuck?
Total tanties, screaming, hair pulling and foot stomping, and yeah, kicking holes in the wall. Then she went and sat in a chair with her arms crossed saying nothing like a petulant upset child. I was bewildered, scared and suddenly very isolated. I tried to get her to talk.
“You don’t know, do you?” she snarled.
“Know what? What do you mean?”
“Yeah exactly, you just don’t get it!”
It was hard for me to not get upset and angry.
“Well fucking tell me what I don’t get!”
She screamed and stomped her feet and pulled her hair again, shaking her head.
“It’s like that time when we were riding around that estuary and you were singing that song, you don’t even know why you were singing it.” she said contemptuously.
“What??? Yeah I do.”
“Oh no, no you don’t.”
It was getting ridiculous, which kind of cooled down the situation, and I didn’t push her on it. We both settled into a cold sardonic adversarial tone.
She was talking about the first summer after we had hooked up in ‘94 and we went for a mountain bike cycle tour around the top of the South Island. We were riding around an estuary in Golden Bay and I started singing something stupid like a dork, words that just came into my head.
“The estuary, the estuary, we’re gonna ride ‘round the estuary, the estuary…(ad nauseam)”
I pronounced it “es-jury”. Yasmine asked me why I was singing it. In hindsight, that was a fairly good clue. It was just a goofy thing, like I’d often do, why would there be a reason? She asked it with serious intent, which made it seem a bit odd, and that’s why it stuck in my mind.
So I figured, from her tanty performance, that she was talking about me not being aware enough about working towards being ‘The One’, a messianic figure, that people would want to fuck with. What else could she mean? She refused to say anything more. I always imagined I meant the s-jury was the ‘secret jury’, but was it more like the secret Jewry? Who knows?
“Jeez,” I said, “maybe you shouldn’t smoke any more weed. You seem to be having real problems dealing with your daddy issues or something.”
I don’t think we were high at the time, maybe. We weren’t habitual smokers. We’d have a sesh with mates once or twice a week. Her behaviour was suddenly so extreme and unexpected, it was the only thing I could think might have caused it.
“Oh I’m not the one with the problem,” she retorted.
“Yeah well, I’m not the one who just kicked…hey look, you put three holes in the wall! Fuck Yaz, that’s awesome!”
We chilled out and it didn’t get discussed further at that time. In the coming months we both continued to work on the ideas for how we were going develop “TranzMissionRide” into a media brand dealing with psychospirituality and social politics to deal with impending societal dead-ends.
I thought I kind of understood what was affecting her. I was the man. We all knew that, right? It could be a mind fuck, which was why you didn’t focus on it and kept it real by working on where it led. But who knows?
Around that time we were walking down Kent Terrace away from the Embassy Theatre after seeing “The Matrix” for the first time. We were pretty excited. There were a lot of ideas in it that we had been working on.
“It’s you, right?” she said.
“Yeah I wish,” I replied, “have you seen me try to hold a wheelie on my bike?”
“Yeah, but you know?”
I laughed it off, and she didn’t say anything more about it, ever. Or at least not to me.
As the year progressed she continued to show that her situation was bothering her. I did what I could to give her space and freedom to move, but she chose to stay involved with me and the project, at times wholeheartedly. At other times it was like she didn’t want to be there. I wanted us to be a team like we’d always been, but if she wasn’t into it, then I didn’t want to be holding her down. So I let things flow as best I could and didn’t push her on anything, like the fucking computer.
Our desktop editing system was a lemon that had developed some major bug. We both had a good understanding of how the software and hardware systems worked and where the issue probably was. The place we bought it off were totally dicking us around, big time. Were they trying to fuck with me? Yeah nah, the guy was just a dick, who knows? Yaz had a law degree, and that kind of problem was way more suited to her skill set, so she took responsibility for it, and then didn’t sort it out. I didn’t want to hassle her, and ended up busy, driving miles every day to make some cash, building house frames, to pay the rent, the computer loan, the credit card, blah blah blah.
’98 had been a huge year for us. We had achieved a massive amount in a short space of time. Yaz had been a leading influence in driving us to make some brave moves and committing to some big targets. I was excited by the challenge of extending myself way beyond my comfort zone, but I was often struggling, out of my depth.
We’d put my name on the letterhead, Steel Edge Productions, and we’d boldly made production commitments. There were times when we were really up against it and I was totally shitting my pants that we wouldn’t pull it off. Yaz was a champ, she had the winner’s faith that I was trying to develop. I knew how my weakness was frustrating for her, she’d tell me, and that put me under even more pressure.
I knew it was an important part of my development, and did my best to roll through it. Unfortunately there were some mornings when I had to get up to try and puke the butterflies out of my stomach before trying to run it off. But we made it.
So in ’99 I was very conscious about keeping things cool and not letting the pressure get too high in the boiler, while still staying productive and setting goals. I didn’t know how my partner was going start working against me.
We’d moved out of the city up to the Kapiti Coast. I’d seen a cool cottage advertised for cheaper than what we were paying for our small one-bedroom flat in the city. I talked with Yaz about issues concerning us being somewhat more isolated up there. We always considered everything in depth. I didn’t want to be leading her into a situation where she’d have less opportunity to pursue things independent of me and the project. She had her own friends and family in Wellington. But it wasn’t too far away, and she was supposedly still totally committed and into it.
We were in the city one night at our mates’ place, the boys’ flat. A day or two earlier Yaz and I had been discussing ideas about gen-x individualism and their blind spots concerning collective social orientation, or something like that, the usual shit. The lads had been discussing something in which they displayed exactly the thought systems we had described.
I was excited about it, and driving home I was going blah blah blah. Yaz interjected with an unexpected nasty tone.
“You think maybe it’s just you?”
I was a bit taken aback by how she said it, but she was raising a point we had been looking at, so I thought she was engaging me combatively. We had been developing awareness of how we influenced our realities. Our mate Olly Brunton, who lived at the flat, was also working on such ideas in his personal development and we had talked, on a different occasion, about ‘puppet master influence’.
I replied to Yaz in cocky debate mode something like “Aw yeah, but even if I’m projecting, it’s their realities that are producing what I’m…”
Yaz screamed. It was just like that day back in Hataitai. Stomping her feet and pulling her hair.
“Aaaaargh! Can’t you see what you are?! You’re just like your father!”
I was dumbfounded. What the fuck? I was nothing like my old man, unless she meant…? My father was a chronic mansplainer to my mum. My mum wasn’t the smartest woman and it was sometimes easy to get frustrated when she couldn’t work something out. I’d developed, to a lesser extent, my dad’s bad habit of mansplaining. We didn’t have that term then, but I understood it, was aware of it, and it was something I tried to fix. So that must be what Yasmine was accusing me of. But, to be fair, that vocal inflection was also a symptom of being a know-it-all smart arse Wellington wanker, of which Yasmine was also not immune.
“Hey I’m sorry,” I said, “if I’m talking down to you, I don’t mean to do that, I’m just excited and debating your interjection.”
She screamed again, with the stomping of the feet and the pulling of the hair.
“It’s not that!” she yelled “Aaaaargh! You just don’t get it!”
This shit again. “What do you mean? What are you trying to say?”
She didn’t reply and just kept on with her tanty. I pulled the car over to the side and parked. We were up Vivian Street about to get onto the motorway.
“What are you doing to me?” I yelled at her. “I’m not forcing you to be here. This is your choice. You freely made the decision to get involved in this. If you don’t want to be on my ride, then get off, get out!” I leaned across her and opened the door. “Go on, go stay at your mum’s! I don’t have anywhere else to go, you do, so fuck off if you don’t want to be with me!”
“No! I can’t! You don’t understand!”
“FUCK! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!”
I was in tears now. I grabbed a handful of her beautiful long curly strawberry blond hair and yanked it hard.
“There! Is that what you want? Now get out and go!”
“No! I can’t!”
“What do you mean you can’t?! Stop fucking with me!”
I completely lost it and punched her hard on the arm. “What more do you need?! Now fuck off, please, please just go! I can’t take this anymore! What are you doing to me?!” I sobbed.
“No! I can’t! You don’t know!” she cried again.
I gave up and just wept. I didn’t know. And I didn’t know what to do. I had nowhere to go. There was no reason why she couldn’t get out and jump a bus up to her mum’s or ring for a ride. Yasmine slammed her door shut. I drove us back to the coast.
All I knew then was, for whatever reason, Yasmine was going to fuck up my shit. It explained how she could have been so thoughtless and insensitive to me on her birthday. That too was very painful. Later it became obvious when she turned it around on me, ridiculously.
Beforehand I had to wonder if she was sick. In the first week of the next year when I was high as a kite, well off my rocker, I told some mental health people who turned up at my place after someone had rung them, that I was high partly from discharging prolonged emotional stress from the break-up of a relationship that I suspected must have become co-dependent or something, “I guess you guys see a lot of illness from co-dependent relationships, right?” I’d blabbed, just showing off, while trying to work with what I’d guessed they’d been told, when they asked why the relationship had failed.
Yasmine and I had been in some kind of like textbook functional anti-co-dependent relationship. We were way too fucking smart for that shit. But I wasn’t going to tell them something else. She was the sick one? Or maybe she’s part of a psychospiritual conspiracy against what I represent, you know, look who her parents are? I wasn’t even considering back then, thank goodness, that it might have been something more. She did love telling the one about how when she was a kid in Tripoli the nice American couple who used to babysit, Uncle Bob and Aunty Doris, were actually CIA spies. Yeah right, as if?
Who knows what was going on with Yasmine El Orfi?
To be continued.
(This is a section to be included in the existing memoir “Dreams Love Fucking Life Near Death and Some Other Shit” and it comes before “Prophecy 2001”.)