Ladies & Gentlemen, Jacque.

Aaaahhh…nothing like the real thing. A wonderful sunkissed tan. It’s not that I sunbath under the artificial light but..”Well, well…who do we have here?” I sat up, trying to make out the face talking to me. But I do recognize the voice. “Oh hi, Jack.” “It’s Jacque, Kieren. I can’t believe after all these years you still haven’t polished up your French. Speaking of which, yours truly is going to Paris in two weeks time. Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Jacque. Mr I know everyone,  I’m so gorgeous people hate me and my intelligence is so beyond whatever! “What are you doing here Kieren? Not that I care but it’s so unlike you to cruise in public parks.” Grabbing my bag and shirt, I seriously do not need Jacque on my day off. I remained quiet. Knowing madam Jacque, he’d come up with all sorts when you start. “Well I guess what they say about you male models being slightly underachieved is somewhat true, no?” Anyway, FYI, I have just completed the new slogan with L’oreal for Men and Lord forgive me, I saw you on the prints! So Kieren,who did you sleep to get the project. I could’ve sworn if I were trashed, I’d slap Jacque’s face so hard, the powder from his face would fly like tennis balls hitting the lines on the wimbledon court.  “Jacque, I’m making a move now. Hope to see you around, in ten years maybe.” As I gave him a stare Bette Davies would have been so proud. “Whatever!” He walked away.

What’s with Jacque you say? Two years ago Jacque was a very good friend of mine. I mean he was quite nice person. He graduated with marketing major. He has always been standoffish but not that approachable. He is a well read individual with strong marketing background and enjoys the occasional horseback riding.  The only problem with Jacque is that he thinks he knows but he doesn’t really.  But once upon a time stories do not necessary means a happily ever after.  Jacque became obsessed with his ability to read people’s behaviour which was great when he landed a very nice stable position at Metro Inc, a huge international advertising giant in town, in the capacity of Public Relations Manager. But everyone finds him annoying most of the times.  Shayne and Lily wanted to strangle him in his sleep one time in a party. Jason was not spared from the Jacque’s wrath.  I guess I was the only one being nice to him.     

Suddenly a  tap on my shoulder. “Oh just in case you haven’t received my text message.  I’m having a farewell party this weekend.”  “You’re still around Jacque? Thought you left. Well,I haven’t. But I’m not staying too long though. Sun is not my bestfriend.  For a microsecond there, I could have sworn I saw sadness in his eyes. Nah.. the bitch has no feelings.

Guess Who Came Home Early?

“Hello, you must be Kieren”. Yes I am pleased to meet you sir. A stocky Englishman greeted me as I was frantically looking for a Sir Langford CEO of Sylvian Management Group concurrently the PR Manager of the modelling agency.  “Here, you’re perspiring like a horse on heat.’ Hmm,..I am a horny stallion. Managing to squeeze a little laugh, I took the handkerchief and wiped my forehead. Thank you sir. Stop calling me Sir. Just call me Slyvian. He took me to another room with two other people. I didn’t get your name? It’s Kieren Si..I mean Sylvian. But I could have sworn he called me Kieren. Was this some kind of an English custom where you pretend to forget someones name as you are introduced to another person? Either that, he has a memory of a fish.

Now Kieren. Let’s get into business.  We have sealed a contract with a newly established fashion house formed 4 years ago. Yes, it is considered new. It somewhat has an eclectic feel, grundgy somehow but nevertheless classy. Okay…I blurted and paused. A lady came out wheeling a rack full of clothes. We need you try out few of these apparels and pose for us. If we like what we see, then we’ll sign the agreement asap. Now boy,go and change.

“What you’re home early!?” What happened Jason? “I left the bastard. As he dropped his bag on the floor. “Hey man, put that cigi away. You don’t smoke remember. “Sorry Kieren, just started.” Said Jason. “I see you’re packing. Obviously so. I landed the job to Milan. Mr Englishman was quite impressed especially when I came out in a low rise pubic jeans with no shirt on. “So what happened” as I continued going through my jeans. Lying on my bed with his cigi, Jason was quiet at first. “I don’t know bro. I guess I knew we were falling apart in the last 4 months.

Still At Fran’s

‘Lily, you wouldn’t believe me if I’d tell that I’m going to Milan.’ Ok, this is where I normally would give a smirk across my face.  Shayne, in particular hates it when I do that. He said it reminded me of his ex-girlfirend (on the many). She kinda have this smirk on her face after sex. Shayne hated it so much that after the big wham bam thank you ma’am, he literally rolls over and tried not to look at her. Anyway, that’s a different story. Kieren, I believe you have spoken of it, like 10 times! Mark smiled and nodded.  Well who could blame me. I’ve always have this weird presumption that Italy is romantic. Even the language itself is sex. ‘So when will you be going?’ Mark asked. I told him that I have to meet up with the clients first and that is why I needed the photographs from dear Lily.  I tend to get super hyper at times of excitement.  Just last month, after landing the L’oreal for Men campaign, I literally howled like a freaking dog. For some godforsaken reason, I had to do that much to the amazement of the photographers. I didn’t care though. ‘Mi dispiace’.. I’m sorry in italian sound so italian no?  ‘My dear girl, have you lost weight? Are you on a diet or don’t tell me it’s the finger down the throat again?’ Two years ago, after an insult made by her then boyfriend, Lily became bullimic.  She’d chow down her food and runs straight to ‘powder her nose’.  The poor girl lost 10lbs though but all the vommiting has caused her teeth to thin and she lost the rosey glow that she used to have.  Peter said Lily was an Oprah twin lost in a parallel universe because she’d be yo-yoing her weight since then.  ‘For your information my dear, I am on a diet but,..I’m doing the low carb thing and it seems to be working and I still get to eat my favourite chocolate chip cookies.’ Good for you girl.  ‘What do you do Mark?’ I’m the chief editor of Men’s Health, just replaced Eddie Ho.  I smiled, and opportunity. I had to get off soon as I have to meet up the clients so I had to leave both of them. Coffee’s on me, as I drop a twenty.  Wave. Out and ‘Taxi!’

Fran’s Cafe

‘Great shots Kieren. We’ll let you know when the prints are out. Paul sends his regards.’ It’s not always that we get compliments from our clients. most of the time they’d be quiet, almost solemn. Wanda was on the phone, talking to her little girl. I’m already dressed up to make a move, when she hung up and told me that I have to meet up a client at 2pm for a show in Milan. ‘You’re kidding me?’ Nope, I’ll meet you at 22nd Madocks Street.  Sylvian Management Group. Heading towards the door, Wanda gave a smile and a nod.  I needed to sit down. Milan. I have never been to Italy and just the thought Italy gives me the jitters. Hey, I haven’t even got he job yet. I remembered when I was at the village, I was around 8 years old and the villager was having its annual fair.  My dad somehow managed to pursuade me to join the piglet race. You put a leash on the piglet and run, run like the wind! Those damn piglets are damn fast. Guess who won? Yup, yours truly. I was ecstatic and practically rolling all over the muddy ground with Bobo (my piglet) in my arms.  That, my friend was the same feeling I’m having right now after hearing that I might, be going to Italy.  I need to update my portfolio though. Darn it, Lily has my latest photos taken a week ago. I hope she’s in town because I do recall that she was going somewhere secluded after her break off with Tom.  Answer the phone girl! ‘Lily? Thank god. Are you in town or have you recovered and getting yourself pampered in a spa or you are still in the state of ‘my life is worthless. I’m going to die alone. If I die, you can have my collection of Prada handbags.’  No, silly. I’m in town. A spa would be nice though. Lily didn’t actually took the break off quite well. They have been together for 4 years when Tom decided that he needed some space.  Shayne suspected another woman. So did I. And we were right, when two weeks ago, me & Shayne caught Tom tongue wrestling with a gorgeous blonde in Club Ritzie. ‘Do you still have my photos taken last week?’ She does.  ‘Kieren I’m at Fran’s and your photos are actually with me, for some godforesaken reason I just had to bring them along. I made a dash out of the building without even saying goodbye to Lola. Fran’s cafe is just around the block so I’d be there in no time. Soon as I reached there, Lily was sitting at our usual spot, by the window facing the fountain. It always feels tranquil looking out at the fountain whilst enjoying a cup of mocha. Plus the people watching activity. Hmm, she was not alone though. ‘Hi, sweetie. This is Mark. Mark, Kieren. Kieren Mark. ‘Hey, you’re the guy who knocked my coffee off this morning’. Turning a bit red, I nodded. Well, this one’s on me. Nice to meet you Mark. ‘I saw some of your photos, not bad.’ Thanks.

Maldives

Pristine water, white sandy beaches, crisp air and a great companion the very ingredient to a memorable  holiday. ‘Stop yelling Peter! I really thought I’ve packed your loafers. Can’t we get one here? I mean, they have a couple of great stores here and I’m sure we can find one nice.’ Peter, still frantically rummaging the suitcase was mumbling. He wasn’t very happy as it was his favourite shoe. Now, this has been going on for a year now. Jason is a carefree individual. Generous and hardworking. There isn’t a single bad bone in him. He is well liked amongst his peers and clients. Peter on the other hand is a aggressive, sometimes too compulsive and overbearing. The type that does not take no for an answer.  Two years ago, I bumped into Jason in a pub called The Suicidal Cow. Your guess is as good as mine.  I told myself to approach the owner one day and ask, whether the cow had deppression which led to this tragic event, hence the name. But I have a feeling that I’ll probably just let my imagination go rappant. Back to Jason.  Blonde, blue eye the boy next door kind. We were knocking down tequilas at the Cow. He was practically homeless. A 24 year old good looking guy with a college degree on his back.  I was taken aback after hearing all his heart rendering life story. Losing his dad when he was 3 and mom had to take care of 4 kids.  I introduced him to my then agent Marcus who start away fell in love with Jason (not that way) and got him a stint as a model doing a runway show. The rest is history.  How we became roomies? Well, I did say he was homeless. Back to Maldives. First day didn’t go as planned as Peter was far to silent throughout the day. Even at dinner, Jason was trying his best to cheer Peter up, but only got shrugs instead.  ‘Hey Kieren, yup it’s me Jason’. ‘Hey dude, how’s beautiful Maldives, you bastard!’ ‘First day is really crappy. Peter’s in bed now and it’s only 11pm.’ Poor lad.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep

Photo Shoot

Wanda, my agent is a high strung lady who manages me. Bless her for being able to cope with a lunatic one day, an angel another day, a drama queen one day, diva, an ‘i don’t care’ loco, coffee junkie, perfectionist,..hang on, this list can go one as far as Neverland. Peter Pan would probably abandon Neverland if I were to reach there. She is a doll most of the times, but last week.  She just had to book me up with Paul Smith for an commercial ad for a new perfume. I have no qualms of course. I get freebies! Aftershave, EDT, shower gel..man the works! Oh and I get to have my face flashed in many of the major magazines across the country. Not to bad but, did she have to make an 8am appointment.  Yes she did. I’d probably have something like 3 hours sleep. Those damn terriers were making such racket, Mrs Lambert finally came out of her ‘coffin’ (she’s a vampire too!) and started screaming her lungs out.  ‘If you don’t get your freakin mad poodles, I’m gonna call the cops!’ . ‘They are terriers you old hag!’ a lady shouted back. I never did get her name though, the owner of those pesky rats. With my LV man handbag (nice) slung across my shoulder, I made a mad dash across Beach Street towards Lola’s Studio, knocking some poor guy’s coffee along the way. ‘Hey! that’s my coffee you moron!’ I looked over my shoulder and gave him an apologetic look. ‘I’m free in an hour, if you are around, I could meet you at Fran’s for a cup, no?’ ‘Black!’ he said. A smirk on his face. 8:05am. Wanda was already talking to Lola, the eccentric photographer but much loved by many celebrities. ‘Sorry, sweetie. I have a rough night last night. I couldn’t sleep and these dogs were barking all night. I only…’ ‘Enough!’ exclaimed Lola. That brought Wanda to smile and a shrug followed. ‘Get changed and Andre do something about those darn dark circles.’ I don’t have dark circles.  Do I? Andre, the town’s bitch but a darn good hairstylist & make up artist grab my shoulder and flung me across the room to his ‘love chair'(so he said). ‘Hey! take it easy.’ ‘Andre, can we skip the..’. ‘Look, if you want to look absolute fabulous, then shut up!’ When a Queen speaks, peasants listens.  An artist at work does not listen to excuses or all these petty unimportant stories. Because believe me honey, when I’m finished, no one’s going to listen to your blabbering, you’d be a work of art.’ I was not even allowed to breathe.  Thirty minutes later, I was in a white linen shirt & pants by Marions. They are really light and airy, super comfortable.  Bobby, my elder brother would never be seen in this garment. His jeans were to ‘used’, its almost in tatters. But back at the village, we never did have the time, or occasion to wear anything snappy. ‘Look up, stop blinking!’. Click, click, click. Pose, pose and pose. An hour later, work’s completed. I get to see the photos taken with the PR for Paul Smith, our client. She was happy with the results and mind you, I sure look darn good. Momma would have been so proud. Bless her soul.

Blue Sandals – Chapter One

It’s 3am. Lying in bed and trying to get back to sleep. Those darn white terriers next door need a kick on the butt! Not that I don’t like dogs but, those two have a habit of barking for no obvious reasons. Back in my small village, they’d probably end up getting kicked or worse, thrown into a wok. Rats! If I am not going to get my beauty rest, i’ll end up looking like a freaking racoon later.  That’s no good for photography. Oh yes,. no one wants a model with Tesco bags for eye bags. Ooh, and don’t forget black. Heck, I’m getting up, maybe read a book. Oh hang on, I don’t read books. Magazine perhaps. ‘Come on then Kieren’, I had to motivate myself. I suppose every now and again we have to, motivate ourselves i mean. Not that i do need it. Damn dogs! “Shut up!”..Damn! Now I probably got some neighbours up. Who cares, except for Mrs Lambert on the 1st floor.  Ever since her husband died, she dramatically (and i mean literally) changed into this old nagging sea hag. I rushed to Jason’s room, to the window to see if my yelling woke her up. Jason’s room is facing Mrs Lamberts bedroom, easy to see as we are staying on the 3rd. Hmm, no light on. Safe for tonight.  The last time we ‘woke’ her up was during Jason’s birthday.  we have this ‘curfew’ thingy at our block. The management wants us to shut down any loud music at approximately 12 midnight. It’s not like we have Cinderella around running off home. I mean, who stops partying at midnight right? I’ve suggested to Jason that we should have the party done at Ringo’s. But no,.. it has to be at our apartment. Anyway, Jason’s off on a week holiday at the Maldives with Peter. Cute couple. But then again, between you and me, Peter isn’t really a Manhunt International contestant. But Jason isn’t clingging on Peter for his money, or because of that nice Mercedes or all the fancy IT gadgets. He gets paid $5,000 per runway show and he has just landed a 2 year contract with Banana Boat, big bucks man.  Unless, if it was Shayne and maybe Lily to an extend. If you don’t have  a big fancy car, fat wallet and a fancy crib, you ain’t gonna find out what colour undies they have. Tarts! But still, they are my friends. Damn, I’ve read all these magazines before. Maybe a warm milk would do. Maybe.