Until Wanda gave me one of her pills to knock me out and stop me clawing the walls. (Not before negotiating a walk first thing. She’s so New York sometimes.)

True to my word. Half asleep. Holding on to the railing walking down the front steps so as not to fall off my Adidas x Jeremy Scott wedge sneakers that were not meant for wearing in areas where black ice may be a realistic threat. But you know, they’re amazing so…

Walking. Shimmying. Walking. Taking my time. Black ice you see.

The glasses are making me feel relatively inconspicuous in spite of outfit.  Double leopard print. A Discount Universe and Topshop party.  DU bringing the sequins as per. Accessories are MAXED UPPPP.  ISLYNYC. Haus of Dizzy.  But I’m keeping it lowkey. Bit on edge you see due to ice threat and insufficent Zs.

I relax a bit at the thought of being shielded by an invisibility cloak (of sorts). My ASOS paparazzi glasses. They were a Christmas present from my bestie. She was afraid of me getting too famous and not being able to leave my house without being papped. Which is a real concern for someone with 4k followers on Instagram.

Call me paranoid, but I’ve had this feeling that someone’s been following me for the past few months. Taking photos. I mean it’s not completely beyond the realms of possibility that within my Insta crew lies a stalker? Is it?

New York is coming down with weirdos (that’s what I hear people say anyway when they pass me on the street, mostly when I’m with Wanda).

Just a quick walk around the block.  Not too quick mind.  Fear of slipping.  And breaking ankles.

Wanda stops to smell the roses.  But there aren’t any coz it’s early March in Bushwick.  So she makes do with a dead mouse instead.  

As I’m patiently standing and Wanda’s sniffing, I catch glimpse of a figure out of the corner of my eye, reflecting on the inside of my paparazzi glasses. Lurking in the background. Carrying what looks like...a camera. I’m frozen. And not just because the temperate is sub zero (Celsius. You Americans and your farenheit).

I gasp (for dramatic effect) and glance over my shoulder.  A giant man is coming towards me wearing what is best described as a sexy lumberjack outfit. Check jacket. Grey Ushanka. Turned up jeans.

His face is obscured by the camera he’s holding to it.

I think what a pro this guy is. How not to be recognized in broad daylight, while seeming perfectly normal.

I snap out of my mini daze, turn and start walking. I knew I wasn’t imagining things.

Walking fast. Breathing faster. Keep calm. Keep calm. Wanda’s little legs (wheels) can barely keep up. Dammit there’s no speed setting on her. Need to pick up the pace. Another quick glance over the shoulder. Jesus Mary and Joseph. Sexy lumberjack, I mean stalker, is still coming after me.

It’s right at that moment, the fear of slipping on black ice is overcome by the instinct to survive. As I leg it (as best I can in 4.5" wedges) I curse my footwear fashion choice - should’ve opted for the Adidas X Jeremy Scott hi top sneakers with wings. To help me go faster.

Ohhhhh Godddddddd.  The fearrrrr.  


I think I hear someone call my name.  Keep going.  Keep going.  You’re almost back at your apartment.  

“Gemma!  GEMMAAAA!”

Faster Wanda! Faster!

Suddenly, I’m stopped dead in my tracks by the weight of a giant hand on my shoulder.



I turn around and wave my arms frantically in attempt to fight giant lumberjack stalker off.  But in doing so, I realize he’s not trying to attack me. He's taking photos of this entire debacle.  

I hear him shout out from behind the camera “THAT’S GREAT! “JUST KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING!”

I’m hyperventilating.  Wanda has passed out.

“Keep going!” he shouts.

Now I'm really confused. Plus I can't see too well through these Paparazzi glasses.

“WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” I shout breathlessly.

He looks at me quizzically. “For reals?”

I stare at him blankly.

“It’s me. Sherpa.”


“Friend? Photographer?”

“Friend... Photographer...” (me)

“Carried your suitcase up a mountain??”

Nope. Nothing.

“The person who takes photos for your blog?  The person you ASKED to come take photographs of you today, pretend like I was paparazzi and chase you down the street to test out your glasses?”


And then it hits me like a 12kg kettlebell in the face.

Temporary memory loss.

“This medication may cause side effects.”

XANAX. Wanda gave me one last night coz I was up the walls with the neighbors. And the night before coz I had a fight with my roommate. And the night before coz I was having a meltdown about health insurance premiums. Come to think of it, quite a bit. Man, New York living is stressful. There's always a reason.

“Sherpa!” I exclaim.

“Duh!” he says while mimicking a rolling eye-emoji.

“Of course! I remember! But OMG I’m losing my memory??!”

My anxiety spikes.

“Quick! Wanda! Gimme a Xan…”

Reflex action.

Wanda looks at me “Who are you again?”

Jesus Christ. We need to lay off the benzos.

Sherpa’s mind is blown.

“Well I can officially confirm that you are both crazy, but I got the shot.”

Thank God for something.

Now to get in out of this bloody cold…

Which way is my apartment again?

GLOSSARY OF TERMS (in order of appearance)

Zs - Irish English and possibly also American English for sleep. 

Ushanka - Russian for ‘russian hat’.  The one with the earflaps.  Makes your head kind of square looking but keeps you really warm. 

Leg it - Irish English for ‘run really fast’ / get from or to somewhere quickly by foot.  Hence the leg part, coz your foot doesn't go too far without it. 

Sherpa - friend / helper of friends in need / explorer / human trip advisor / lifecoach / photographer / performer.


Paparazzi Glasses: Temerity Jones for ASOS / Blue Silk Bomber: Topshop Finds / Leopard Print Mini: Topshop / Sequin Leopard Print Crop Top: Discount Universe / White Fishnets: Risk Gallery & Boutique / Mouth Earrings,Emoji Badge & Choker: ISLYNYC / Gemma Necklace: Haus of Dizzy