When I met Maryse, the first thing I noticed was her mouth. When it was at rest, it was pursed.
And when she smiled, it was tickle-me wicked. Flared nostrils added to the effect.
Her eyes were very dark and soft. She was voluptuous, like a new-romantic Mae West.
It was the early eighties. Maryse was the Queen of the scene. She was cool and wore tons of make-up and big earrings. She moved into my building, and that's how we met. She was a little older and wiser than me.
She used to say things like "Coffee. Hurry. Emergency." or "Cigarette. Hurry. Emergency." She'd laugh so hard it would make her wheeze and turn into a coughing fit. I adored her.
She would pose for pictures by deliberately not looking at the camera and she'd pout. It was one of her favourite things. One day I stopped by at her place on the way home from Art school, and there was a guy hanging out there. The guy turned out to be an animator! It totally changed the direction of my life. You get what I'm saying here?
Maryse and I became very close over a ten year period. She was my Queen Bee.
We lost touch when I got married. These things happen I guess. I didn't hear of her for almost two decades. I missed her from time to time, but I had small children and there was no Facebook back then.
And then just this spring, we found each other again. We were both pretty happy. She mentioned she was taking it easy, that she'd had something "really f*cking scary" happen to her. But she didn't want to make a big deal about it so I didn't press it. I assumed it was going to be ok.
I didn't know she was dying. That she was being brave.
We did some catching up. She'd had a great career as a producer. Her son was all grown up and she was so proud of him. Maryse was planning a trip to Montreal and said she was "THRILLED to know I'll be seeing you if/when this happens. I can't wait to inspect your brood :)"
She wrote some really nice things to me. She said she was proud of me and always knew I'd prevail. I'm so glad I have these FB messages. For a moment yesterday, I was in a panic because I thought I'd lost them. But it was just a little FB fail.
Late on the night of the 26th, I heard from a mutual friend that she'd gone. And here I am drawing this tribute. I think she'd have liked it. I can still hear her laugh-wheeze-coff.
Good-bye my Queen Bee! I'll never forget you.
This is the second in a series called "YOU". I draw YOU. Read the rules.