Running on delusional fuel | AspenTimes.com

Running on delusional fuel

Alison Berkley

I live in a dream world.Aspen is a perfect place for that since we only get reality in small doses. It’s easy enough to escape my problems by ducking into Boogie’s for a pair of ridiculous high-heeled shoes or a little five-star decadence for lunch at The Little Nell. Or (as was the case on the afternoon of my 35th birthday last week), spend an entire afternoon getting rubbed and caressed at The Aspen Club and Spa (at the rates they’re charging, it’s the women’s version of seeing a prostitute, though I haven’t requested a “happy ending” from any of the male therapists yet).That works for me until the whole rude-awakening part, which usually happens right around the time all my credit cards are maxed out. I’ve been trying to work on this, since it does seem unavoidable. I have plenty of friends who seem to have a handle on the day-to-day thing, but I’m not like that. I have what you would call an active imagination. As I get older it only gets worse. I’m jumping out of an airplane without a parachute because I believe I can fly. Let me tell you, when you hit the ground going 60,000 miles an hour, it smarts like a son of a bitch!Like a month ago, when I was in California, my friend Sarah called me and said, “Is there something new and fun at your house you didn’t tell me about?”I’m like, “No,” and she says, “Oh, never mind then. Someone must have left you a surprise.””Tell me! You have to tell me what it is!” I demanded.For some reason, she was offended by my inability to cope with waiting until I got home to see what the bloody surprise was. I begged her for more information. Is it from a boy? (I’m picturing a dozen roses sitting on the counter with a handwritten note) No, definitely not. Are you sure? Yes. Positive? Yes! You’re not just saying that so I won’t expect it? No!The only thing I could get out of her was it was left outside. When I told her she was torturing me by making me think about this for the whole two days before I’d return home, she said, “Stop being such a baby!” and hung up.I decided it had to be a hot tub. Yes, my dad had bought me that Jacuzzi I wanted and had it installed while I was away. Or maybe it really was flowers and she was using the whole outside thing to throw me off. Either way, I had a lot to look forward to!I raced all the way home, risking life and limb to go 95 miles an hour through Glenwood Canyon. I ran upstairs, skipping two steps at a time, heart racing wildly to find my deck just the way I had left it. Someone had definitely stolen the hot tub.”Where did you park your car?” she asked.”In my usual spot,” I said.”Didn’t you see the sign?”What, the sign from God that I’ll never get what I want because I was so spoiled my whole life I’m being punished for it as an adult? No, the parking sign, she said. The one that says, “Princess Parking Only. Others Will Be Toad.”My sweet upstairs neighbor Gretchen had put it up more than a month ago, which was really great and everything, but I already knew about it. Some surprise.Speaking of toads, I’ve definitely fallen for a few of those. Only in my mind, they’re a perfect prince with a six-pack-belly and biceps too thick to wrap my hands around. Then one day, I wake up and see that Mr. Desirable Objectman has turned into a short, fat bug-eyed toad staring at me with heavy, apathetic lids, blinking every so often. “Ribbit, ribbit,” is all he has to say between eating bugs. It only takes me 10 years to figure out that I’d better get the hell out of this before I end up with warts. I’m sure I could find redeeming qualities in a rock if I wanted to. Wait a minute, I already have! That would explain all those dumb surfer boys I fell for in Sandy Ego (pronounced san-dee-aygo).I’m also like that about my work. I’ve already spent all the money from my “book deal” even though my book hasn’t been sold (or written) yet. But I’ve already chosen my Audi (test drove a TT Coupe just yesterday I really got a hard-on for), perused the MLS for a place to live that’s better for Psycho Paws (a cement bunker on 75 acres), and that goddamned hot tub since no one else has bought it for me yet. I’ve even picked out a dress for my movie premiere, and decided if Maxim or FHM wants to put me on their cover dressed in nothing but body paint, I will do it in a heartbeat.”It’s just the artist way,” I told my shrink yesterday. “I’m delusional because it fuels my craft. I simply can’t help it and I don’t see how it’s going to change.”She asked me what the hell I was doing in therapy if I was going to sit there and insist I won’t change. But that’s why she’s so good. Asks all the right questions. Challenges me. When I told her I should at least get a free T-shirt for my hundred-something bucks she goes, “What, one that says, ‘I WON’T CHANGE!’ in big letters? That wouldn’t be very good for my business.”I’m sure I’ll wake up one of these days – if I can just remember to set my alarm.The Princess is going to see Candace Bushnell, the writer of “Sex and The City,” speak tonight as part of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation Winter Words at the Hotel Jerome at 5:30 p.m. and hopes to see you there. E-mail the princess at alison@berkleymedia.com.


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