The legacy of Esther Janssen

“ Your Opus lies not in what you have achieved, but in the legacy of what you leave behind.”  [movie The Opus]

Esther Janssen. If we would be introduced, I would not recognize her name. And yet I read her vision on lovemaking and heartbreaking, countless times. 1999’s Avantgarde magazine, September edition. The glossy paper of the clipping is decorated with my own drawings and doodles. Esther’s words are captured in a home-drawn pink garland of blossoming hearts.

Esther Janssen, 25 y.o., speaks about how being in love makes sex irresistible. She had seven partners: relationships in which she gave her heart, her body, her loyalty. When she was in love, her passion consumed and bound her.
“But as soon as that all-consuming lust is gone? I am out.”
Beauty and brains too.
The girl had her priorities right, as opposed to me and my college friends. The 1999’s versions of ourselves were either hopping beds or struggling to keep the fire of long relationships burning. But Esther knew the true value of a new partner.

She ends with the history of her and Benjamin, a model just like her. They met in a disco in Paris, where she was drawn to brown Benjamin like a magnet.
“Benjamin was the most sensual man I ever met. There was an amazing chemistry between us. We ended up going to his place. We made love without going all the way. I loved everything he did, and he loved everything about me. We waited for two months before we finally had real sex. That was the best night I ever had. We broke up years ago, but whenever I am in Paris I still hope I run into him.”

I don’t know if she was ever reunited with her Benjamin, nor what she achieved in life. But I do know the legacy Esther Janssen left behind for me;

The faith to give myself completely.
The wisdom to know when to leave.
And two novels, both featuring sensual experiences with young brown men named Benjamin.
The best nights of my life.

Reposted April 2012.
Added a scan of the Avantgarde page.

Originally published on Hyves, late 2009