On Friday, my to do list included “Contact Sharon Stone.”
I did not have that on my 2023 bingo card, yet here we are.
If you’ve seen the show Poker Face on Peacock, I’m exactly like Charlie Cale’s character.
They haven’t flat out said what she “has” but her ability to connect dots very very quickly and be in (arguably) the right place at the right time is part of being a projective synesthete.
I unconsciously can pick up on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
I’m either completely clueless in a situation (I’m also autistic so the two conflict with each other) or I am psychic beyond any logical explanation.
I’ve been this way my entire life, and now that I understand it’s a medical diagnosis, I can learn to deal.
Not understanding what “it” was and not understanding how to use it led to seizures, dizzy spells, and endless therapy and “specialist appointments.”
I couldn’t ever explain the “buzzy” feeling I would get, the electricity I physically feel coming off my body, or sometimes even these lightning bolt charges that are typically followed by really wise advice that I can’t explain where it came from.
I’m great at parties, and as long as I take enough of a sensory reset before going to them, I can actually stay!
On Thursday, Jeff wanted to check out an event space for a potential event he will be producing later in the month.
The event was for Sharon Stone, and it was in celebration of the beginning of Women’s History Month.
I assumed that he knew what I meant by that, that as the female representative of our relationship, I would be happy to go and get whatever pictures/ dimensions he needs.
He did not understand what I said, and thought I was saying no.
When he came home a few hours later, he questioned what we were doing for the evening.
“Did you not want to go to the show,” I asked confused?
We also had other plans to meet up with our friends downtown.
I quickly realized we couldn’t do both, and also held space emotionally for us to do neither.
Jeff said, “fuck it, it’s Sharon Stone. Let’s do it. Are you ok with going by yourself?”
“Aye aye captain,” I said choosing this time not to wear my captains hat, but instead a gift one of the bridesmaids gave me.
<tangent> This is from the Hat Shop The Mad Hatter in Venice. I went to go and get fitted for a custom hat, and when they were showing me the styles, I said “that one.”
He then said, it’s not custom technically, but the lead singer of the band Dirty Honey didn’t come back to pay for it, and enough time had passed that he felt comfortable giving it to me. </tangent>
My non-custom hat, walked my very custom self into the event.
I like to get places either on time or a little early to help me adjust to the environment.
Think of synesthesia like a level, particularly with crowds, I have to balance out what I am literally seeing/ hearing.
For reference see below:
(This reel is part of a series that went viral five times in two months totaling 4.3 million views on Facebook and Instagram only.)
I sat over by the bar as I took everything in.
The event was held at the Georgian in Santa Monica.
They did an EXCELLENT job on the remodel.
The gallery (where Sharon’s work was being displayed) was Women’s only (minus her date who wound up being her son), however the lobby bar had men, so I invited Jeff to come by.
The worst thing anyone can do in life is tell you no.
If he was asked to leave, he would have left.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
The hotel quickly filled up as I took a deep breath sitting in a far corner at the end of the bar. Synesthesia is normal for me … while I have always known I’m not normal, I had no idea this wasn’t normal for everyone else!!!!
The diagnosis was a LOT to process.
::insert Elle Woods voice:: What, like you don’t see auras and hear vibrational tones from people?
Jeff then noticed a woman waiting for a drink.
“Considering it’s Women’s History Month, I’m going to give her my seat.”
“You’d do that any way,” I laughed as we both introduced ourselves to our new friend.
We then asked how she knew everyone and our new friend explained that she worked for Sharon’s sister’s company.
Once the crowd died down a little bit, I asked if she wanted to adventure and check out her work. As we walked in, I questioned if creating her art is different for her now that she’s had a stroke.
<tangent> Sharon Stone experienced a brain hemorrhage in 2001, and she had to forge her own path to recovery. She is now passionate about mental health care from the literal brain perspective.
Going back into content creation is HUGELY different now that I know I have synesthesia.
I’m embracing the notes more (I hear notes instead of read words as I type – I’m not unconvinced I have some form of dyslexic too) and pushing boundaries in terms of explaining what I am experiencing.
The more I am “leaning into” synesthesia, the more I am experiencing it.
It’s like reprogramming my monkey brain to go back to my baby brain. </tangent>
“That’s a good question,” my new friend said.
I then took some photos of the gallery (as per Jeff’s request), as we walked into the second room where more art was displayed.
There in the center of the room, I saw the woman of the hour, and one of the most famous women in the world …
I was curious to pick up on her energy, so we just stood there next to her (and a group of others) for a few minutes commenting on her art.
When I met Pamela Anderson at a press event many moons ago, it was like all of the air got sucked out of the room.
The SECOND she walked in, there was this gravitational pull towards her.
Sharon Stone’s vibe/ energy?
She. Is. Gravity.
Sharon Stone even just walking is a mood and vibe unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.
If a Goddess and alien made a hybrid creature, it would be Sharon.
Wooahh … even just writing this, I can feel the tingles on my arm from her still.
Sharon then left the gallery, and went back into the room we had just come from.
I knew I was going to write a post on the event so I had to capture a personal photo of her at said event.
She walked to the right in the gallery, as I walked to the left to get my shot (but also respect her space).
Trigger finger ready, I shot these …
Proud of my accomplishment, I put my phone back down as Sharon turned and outstretched her hand.
“Hi, I’m Sharon,” she said as I stared down at Sharon’s hand outstretched DIRECTLY in front of me.
Wait, (I thought REALLY QUICKLY) she may be Sharon Fucking Stone, but I’m also Jen Fucking Friel.
“Hi, Sharon,” I said snapping myself into a shockingly composed state, “I’m Jen Friel.”
My new friend then thanked her for her contributions to her sister’s company, and specifically women’s mental health.
Two other women approached, all very lovely, as I realized my opportunity was closing.
Now, Now, Now, I thought, ASK HER YOUR QUESTION!!!
“Sharon, if you don’t mind me asking, is your art different now ::whispers:: after your stroke.”
(I whispered the last part out of respect. I know she has spoken publicly about her condition, but that doesn’t mean someone wants to hear about it in that exact moment.)
Without skipping a beat, Sharon steps in even closer to me, looks into my left eye and said “I was reincarnated. I’m a different person in the same body.”
Yes and-ing Sharon Stone, I said “I’m not surprised – I believe you.
[Also GREAT body to come back to, btw, I thought but didn’t say.]
I have synesthesia, and I was only diagnosed last year. I know I’ve been using it in my art, I just didn’t know it wasn’t normal. Now I can push myself and do more now that I know what it is.”
“I would really like to talk to you about that,” said Sharon Stone as one of the most present and intense people I have ever met.
Cementing our new bestie-ship, I asked for a photo.
I found out this weekend telling this story that by her looking in my left eye, she was looking into my soul spiritually. I’m autistic, so I am VERY AWARE of eye contact because it makes me uncomfortable.
With Sharon, I not only didn’t feel uncomfortable, I felt very seen and heard.
There’s not an OUNCE of bullshit in her body.
She really wants to talk to me about synesthesia, and I am going to make that happen.
We then rejoined Jeff.
“We” meaning my new friend and me (not my new bestie).
I told him I could barely breathe. She was SO intense and present!!!!
Playing back in my head what JUST happened, I said “I stood there taking a few photos for my post and THEN SHE WALKED UP TO ME!?!?!
She’s one of the most famous women in the world, and she goes ‘hi, I’m Sharon,'” I said yet again just to believe it to myself out loud.
“I think you’re the only one who will be surprised by this,” he said.
I then found out there was a downstairs and was stopped by the security asking if I knew the password.
Nope, I said, and RIGHT as I went to text another friend (who was also at the event) said friend came up the stairs from the same place we were trying to get into.
She’s my password, I laughed knowing she gave birth to the man in charge.
I’m also good friends with the mother of the owner of the hotel.
Thanks to EXCELLENT timing with synesthesia, she “just happened” to be RIGHT THERE as we were trying to get in.
Security then shared the password, as I thanked them and we all adventured into the speakeasy.
I then said hi to the owner congratulating him (and his business partner who I haven’t seen in a few years) on a such a successful event.
Like a good nerd, I asked the meaning of the password.
Like a good hotel owner, he explained it has historical significance.
I then texted his mom back to let her know we had a table if she cared to join.
This has been a night of such epic moments, I wanted to make sure all that wanted to be included in said epic-ness could.
I’m a very inclusive person.
I still couldn’t believe what was happening, so I grounded myself by texting close friends (which was surprising but also refreshing to have service).
Then, since the tables were so big we invited more people to sit with us.
It was all either friends of Sharon or friends of the owners – so in this moment, we were all united.
I laughed to one of my new friends that we were in an IRL Sex And The City “power lesbian” episode. Only, in this version, everyone has been to therapy and knows about boundaries and consent.
It was not only one of the coolest crowds visually I have ever seen, but everyone just had true BOSS energy thanks to the tone Sharon set.
I have never been commented so much on my look and my own vibe, and was even photographed by one of Sharon’s friends.
Because obvi, we are new besties.
I was a really big hit, but recognized it’s also because of my own vibe and while I might pick up on A LOT OF THINGS people put out there … I will ALWAYS be a voice and not an echo.
I’m a really kind person, and I truly do believe that if you are kind AMAZING things will happen.
Well, if you’re kind, and are diagnosed as being autistic so you are aware that while synesthesia makes you super human, autism has some SERIOUSLY traumatic blind spots.
After some of the most intelligent (and grounded) conversations I have had in recent memory, I exchanged phone numbers and signal contact info still pinching myself in disbelief over how awesome this evening was.
From now on, I can literally hear Sharon Stone’s tone and take that with me.
Practicing my “Sharon Strut,” we made sure as we left to walk our new friend out to somewhat of a direction of where her car was.
As we hugged, she goes, “oh I’m this way too.”
As we walked multiple blocks away, and INTO A CAR GARAGE, we discovered that Jeff had parked DIRECTLY next to our new friend (without knowing it).
He had to move the car from a meter and parked it in a random garage in case we would have to leave our car overnight.
OUT. OF. ALL. OF. THE. SPOTS. HE. PARKED. NEXT. TO. OUR. NEW. FRIEND. WITHOUT. KNOWING. IT.
What you can’t see on the other side of this photo is how EMPTY the garage was. AND this is on THE OTHER SIDE FROM WHERE THE EVENT WAS HELD!!!
They BOTH parked on the exterior which is counter intuitive to parking closer to where the entrance/ exit was.
I’m very excited for my new bestie-ship with Sharon Stone.
I have a feeling we can do a lot of really really wonderful things together.
::sings:: Welcome to your liffeeee … step into your destinyyyyyy.