Anthology based on answers to “What is your guilty pleasure?”
Guilty pleasures. What are they really? And why do we all feel that certain pleasurable things should bring us guilt?
I asked friends what their guilty pleasures were and tried to make something beautiful out of them: six poems. Their answers served as an inspiration. A departure point. I hope you experience pleasure, without any guilt, from the words and quotes presented below.
“I don’t feel guilty about having pleasure. I know what the phrase means, but I can never think of an answer. I guess that one thing that comes to mind is singing to High School Musical as soon as my roommate leaves the house. Currently doing that!” – Margot Service
“Eating Nutella with a spoon and listening to 2000s music while dancing alone in my room.” –
Betty – Charlotte Kay
Like no one’s watching
I love getting ready for a night out. Too loud pop music is playing through my brand new speaker. And I start to sing. Too loud. Obviously. Sipping my red wine when I don’t know the lyrics. Dancing when I do. My body and my lips are in sync with famous strangers’ words. Hopefully the neighbor doesn’t ask me to turn in down. He has a bad habit of doing that. Really, is there no respect for fun anymore? No appreciation for honest displays of freedom?
From the confines of my student room, I embrace my solitude, my rare moments of anonymous-ness, and I let myself go. Truly. I travel in the music. Take a deep dive in my unconsciousness. The walls expand. My mattress becomes softer and softer and softer and softer… until I fall through. Into the rabbit hole all the way to wonderland. An imaginary reality where I am bothered by nothing but screaming lyrics and shaking my hips. Paradise. The music gets to me. Or might be the wine. I’m getting the feels.
Doorbell. Friends. Drinking games. Laughs. Hugs. More drinking. Going out. Dancing. Singing (but not with the same unleashed freedom as alone in my bedroom). Meeting unfamous strangers. Going to bed. Getting up for water. Going to bed. Again. Dreaming. Dreaming of paradise and utter personal freedom. Dreaming of those times when I dance and sing and laugh like no one’s watching.
“Candy is the most obvious one. Destroying little kids at stuff that I’m good at and they’re not. Like hmm… in soccer! Also, judging other people at my own benefit. Because that’s just really funny. When it comes to art though, I don’t have any guilty pleasures. In my opinion, art intends to be guilt free. But I think that you can still feel guilty about liking art stuff. For example, if you’re very religious and you like a statue or a painting with nudity, or something like that.” – Adrian Tremblay
The grass is (not) always greener
We have all either taught or said aloud: “At least I’m not like that”, or: “I’m not that bad, right?” Reversed envy. From our fear to be worst. Less than others. We want to be good, do good, be better, bigger, stronger than… than who?
Others. Ourselves. We might only be better than an insect, but at least we’re better. Pet and scratch our bellies to hear ourselves purr with satisfaction. Yes. We are worth it.
“I think I’ll go with the ultimate one – guilt.” – Leda Spiranec
Guilty as charged
Yesterday I fucked up. And now I feel bad. I knew I would. And yet… I ate the whole ice cream bucket. I took that one drink that made me fall into oblivion. I bought yet another pair of shorts, or socks, or shoes. My bank account will not thank me for that one. I kissed someone I wasn’t supposed to. I handed in an assignment late for no good reason at all. I fucked up.
And yet, I knew.
I knew the guilt would have nested itself in my chest during the night. And, indeed, there it is! Happily nagging me with the infamous “I told you so” ready-made and never-comforting phrase. Yes, you told me so! And so what? What if I actually like to feel you inside of me? What if I want to know that I can still make mistakes. Conscious-unconscious mistakes. Tricked myself. Again.
“Is it too much if I say objectifying men?” – Franka Tremblay
**This poem has been removed because of its inappropriate content. Thank you for your understanding.**
“Ouff, easy! The movie P.S. I love you and Swedish candy.” – Rebecca Nilsson
“So in art I guess cheap horror films from the ‘80s. And in life… gluttony? Like chocolate?” – Matteo Carazza
“Hmm.. partying is not a guilty pleasure right? It’s just pleasure (laughs). Disney movies aren’t one, but bad reality shows. Like Too Hot To Handle! Like, I know it’s bad and I shouldn’t like it, but I still dooooo. Oeh and the chocolate milk where you just add water to some powder. I know I should like the one with real milk and chocolate more, but I really don’t.” – Sylvain Reniers
It’s 8 p.m. and I’m sitting on the couch with you. Our legs are tangled. So are our arms. Our tongues sometimes too. We are a weird construction of libs and snacks. Human Christmas tree with decorations of chocolate, candy, popcorn, chips, ramen, mac & cheese, ice cream and pizza. My belly already rambles from the not-so-good-for-you-but-oh-my-God-so-good-food abuse. Can’t imagine what someone would think if they saw us slumped like this. Judgment? Envy? Desire to join? Well, alright then! Hop on the sofa! Get under the little blanket. Join our tousled bodies. Become a part of our newly created entity. Together we are safe. We know the secret to a good time: good food and good movie. Or bad food and bad movie. Or the food we want to eat and the movie we want to watch. We don’t care so much for labels anyways. They’re subjective, misleading and create little boxes. Little boxes of shame. Little boxes that we just want to open. We just want to wrap ourselves in their content and parade them around proudly.
Comfy? Warm enough? Good. Sit back and enjoy – the movie’s about to start.
“Cigarettes and partying” – Roel Rijk
The alcoholic’s poem
I’m craving loss of control. My body has the shake of a thousand party ants in my belly. It’s been too long without the disco ball in my eyes. I feel the lack of strong alcohol in my blood. I have been flirting with the bottle of white in the fridge for the past three days, but we didn’t have the courage to approach each other. Didn’t have the courage to make the first move. Sexual tension at 13.5%. I’m waiting for the tension to hit its peak. Anticipation for the moment of liberation. And when the moment comes, we will dance under the strobe lights, to the rhythm of the shots, drinks, strangers’ lips and peeing breaks. You’ll be able to find us, dancing on the sound boxes or at the arm of anyone who knows how to keep us hydrated. Drunk enough to destroy the alcohol test, destroy glasses, destroy my neurones and my liver. The hungover is going to hurt, but that little white is so soft, so sweet. He makes my head turn when I close my eyes. The room as well. Little white, make me see unexplored parts of the dance floor. Let’s colonize clubs from the other side of the world. Losing my inhibition. Going over my limits but not remembering in the morning. Needing an awkward stop in the bushes as the taxi is waiting for me in a no-parking zone. Come on alcohol, make me lose control again.
“Anything that makes me think of childhood: old Disney Channel movies, Barbie movies, early 2010s pop music…” – Nóra Kardos
Finally home again. Back in the nostalgic smells and colours of my childhood home. I’m laying on my back, watching the plastic fluorescent stars on the ceiling of my small kids’ bedroom. My biological clock has waken me up way too early; before the sunrise. I hear dad twisting and turning in his bed. Mom gets up to take a shower. She makes sure to make just enough noise to wake her sleeping little wolf cubs up… she’s hungry. Her trick works. She manages to get everyone up and running, but only to have us all fall right back into the parent’s family-den-bed. We fill ourselves with cuddles, we recharge our love batteries. Mom, dad, little brother, dog and cat; we take full advantage of this comfy covers-cocoon. Our rumbling bellies bring us back to reality and dad gets up. He’s going to make us breakfast: buckwheat pancakes. His specialty. And we continue our follies at the dinner table. The whole shenanigans are accompanied by a dash of maple sirup and québequian folklore music. Man how it feels good to be back home. To feel like a child again.