When I was younger, the idea of a Phone Booth came with the fascination of my planning a future, complete with Old Hollywood glamour, triggered by an evolving love for classic movies and the idea of so many layers of pearls, wrapped around my neck, that Ms. Monroe would be envious of the looks I’d eventually put together in my own head.
When I was 5, I’d raid my mother’s closet, throw on one of her Mohair sweaters, a pair of (cream) heels, an LBD – which at that point would hang on me like a sack of potatoes, but needless to say, I felt like no one could updress me – and would then proceed to layer every single pearl and colorful necklace that my little self would find around the house. Armed with the right accessories, I’d drag my little feet across our apartment in my mother’s stilettos, until I reached the long narrow foyer where a shiny, cream-colored phone laid on top of a mod-style corner table, lift the receiver, press the * button and listen to the “Swan Lake” instrumentals, all while imagining a conversation with “the love of my life” across the ocean. I’d created my own phone booth, filled with love, dreams and fascination; I’d be planning a life that, little did I know, would somehow begin to unravel with its own twist.
Things were so easy back then. My imagination ran in various directions on a daily basis and I was positive that life would take me out of the small town in the middle of North-Eastern Bulgaria and show me the world. And so it happened, but that’s a story for another time.
Back then, the “classic” enclosed Phone Booth was rare to find in the Eastern part of Europe, the end of Communism had wiped out the idea of dressing up for a night out (at least the way my Grandmother would) and I was to fully emerge myself into the grunge of the 90’s. However, over the years, the world’s Pop Culture and all of its “stars” would continuously remind me of that little girl’s passion to dress into something unusual, go out on the town and finally make that call. There was Carrie Bradshaw in her knee-high socks and little sweater dress, right before she returns to her mobile-fueled life (here), Queen Bey and Lady Gaga in Video Phone (here) and so many movie moments, I can barely keep track of. Then (24 years later), I finally got my photo op.
Snuggled in a corner at Toronto’s hip (and one of my personal favorites) “416 – Snack Bar”, a throwback version of a photo booth had been calling my name from the moment my first glass of Merlot hit the coaster in front of me. Dressed “up” in a Bulls Of Summer sweatshirt, Amanda Lew Kee for Sully Wong sneakers (here) and a Maison Martin Margiela for H&M candy bar clutch (here) – which conveniently matched the red hues of the Photo Booth walls – I took a seat in the mid-century chair, picked up the receiver and as the long cord inconveniently, but gently wrapped itself around my arm, restricting my every move, I was instantly thrown into a flashback of the past. I wasn’t wearing pearls, high heels or a mohair sweater, I wasn’t about to receive a collect call from my imaginary love across the pond, I didn’t hear the soft sounds of Swan Lake; but I did wear ME – my urban image that I had created and become comfortable with, my accessories down to a minimal with my MMM clutch strongly pointing at my still undying lust for dramatically unexpected “finishes”, looking into the lense of my iPhone, behind which a LOVE stood and took the picture.
I didn’t need to dial. I was sitting at a phone booth across the pond…with him.