Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Testing
Greetings again from Lyford Cay. I’m here at the house of some lovely friends I met at Annabel’s “Thanksgiving” party. I put Thanksgiving in quotes because it was an accommodation for me… a reasonably recent resident of Los Angeles who got quite used to the tradition in just a few short years, and Annabel being my dearest friend-and rather eager hostess, jumped at the chance to out-hostess everyone else.
I’d been holed up in London, in my childhood home, as Covid started cutting into my peripatetic life, and now found myself in Lyford, happily sunning and meeting other wonderful people. There was a bit of a flap over “some Americans” from New York who had a large party and one (yes, one) hostess tested positive. Other Lyfordians were purportedly “furious” but that’s mostly bluster since Americans are always assailed wherever they go. Luckily I can rely on my very posh British accent even if Judith (mummy) says I shouldn’t use the word posh anymore.
Over cocktails last night I’d met a lovely gay couple from France, by way of California, by way of London who like myself, take a huge interest in the health of our planet. They also live very near where I am staying and are purported to have a pool and ballroom to die for.
I’m looking forward to seeing it and discussing the intersections of our interests, even if I was confused as to why they claimed they’d had to relocate to France just to get married when California had been issuing licenses some five years prior.
They returned today for Christmas brunch and didn’t seem as eager to talk to me as I’d hoped, but I made my way over to them anyway. I was interested to hear their take on the Great Reset, as all I had was one Google search and daddy’s ever-informed dismantling of my shaky facts. They were less passionate about the environment than I’d understood—it was as if last night’s conversation didn’t happen and they seemed only to want to talk about how Covid had marginalised the LGBTQ community. Intrigued I listened. Apparently the Coronavirus had led to “a loss of safe spaces and the gay community was hardest hit”. Or so said Stephen, as his partner ditched us both.
At the risk of sounding like Daddy, I was beginning to think he was right and that the Great Reset affected every agenda the most. Meaning… if it mattered to you, you were affected.
“HOW?” I asked. And Stephen responded,
“Legal rights of trans people have eroded, and young LGBTQ are further harmed by the closure of safe spaces.”
“I see.” I said. Even though I really didn’t. I only knew that Japanese women had succumbed to suicide under Covid-19 in numbers greater than all of Japan’s other Covid deaths combined. I hadn’t heard this happening to any other bastion of society but I asked:
“Could safe spaces not migrate online as others have done?” I asked.
“Online are not safe spaces to be,” he said, “This is where they can face abuse, or get outed.”
And at which point I decided this conversation was nuts, in person-safe, yet online was a risk of being outed? And although supported by the World Economic Forum as fuel for the Great Reset, I wasn’t having it. Clearly NO ONE cares about the planet, least of all the man with the fabulous pool; and his London accent was sounding a bit more Lambeth if you asked me.
Just then I overheard another conversation about the Great Reset and I nearly flew to their side. It was coming from a tall and very good-looking South African-accented gentleman named Galen. Never mind the sticky Rum Dum Sour dripping down my wrist.
“Hello I’m Jenny and…”
No sooner did I arrive when Galen said, “In the post-Covid Era…”
“Excuse me? I lobbed. “It’s now it’s own era?”
“Well there is no arguing that the Great Reset needs to happen and that capitalism has empirically failed.”
“Well, I believe there is such an argument.” I said, "and might I present Exhibit A: Lyford Cay.”
“What I am TRYING to say…, he began, “is we envision a better, fairer world, integrating the next generation to be in harmony with nature again.”
“What you are SAYING…is Marxism.” I insisted.
Galen gave me the why don’t you go back to the nursery look which was not going to work on me. I brushed my voluminous curls to one side and looked at him with fresh eyes. He was trying to convince himself as much as me, and having taken this moment I could see that.
“What I’m saying IS…” He began again, “is we can take the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution and provide everyone with better lives.”
I could hear Daddy shouting in my ear or maybe it was just blood welling in my temples. Better lives? He was just parroting the ridiculous stuff I’d heard from that very mixed- up fellow, Klaus Schwab.
“Fascinating” was all I replied, and before I could take my leave he asked,
“What is it you do?”
“DO???” I responded. “Surely you remember from the pre-Covid era… one does not just ask what one does at a social gathering.”
His eyes steeled against mine and now it was me panicking. I was just not going to tell him I was a life coach… he would never understand the importance.
“My family is in oil exploration. I declared. And speaking of a commitment to making things once again in harmony with nature… fracking.”
I could smell a bit of Rum Dum Sour I’d transferred from my hand into my hair, but of course he couldn’t.
“Anyway… Happy Christmas!” I added. And split.