Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If eyebrows could talk

Audrey Hepburn sat across from me. I was on the sofa, and she was sitting in a large chair. Her legs were crossed, and she was wearing the shoes she was wearing on the cover of this 1957 Harper's Bazaar magazine.

They were cute, but she was also wearing the black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's, and they didn't match. Her hair was short, pixie-like, and she looked about 25-years-old.

Audrey had her elbow on the arm of the chair, her fist to her chin, profile to me, watching, wistfully, I thought, some children playing on the lawn. They could be my granddaughters, but didn't want to get up and break her reverie by peering out the window. My mind spun. I had Audrey Hepburn in front of me, and now what do I say to her? I thought, oh, I know. I started to talk, "You know, there are only three movie stars who have really stood the test of time. When it comes to beauty, I mean. There's Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and you." If I expected a reaction to what I said I was mistaken, because she acted like she didn't hear me. I continued, this time thinking that I'm going to talk, but I'll make a fool of myself: "Of the three, you are the most beautiful, Miss Hepburn."

She finally turned to me and looked at me full face, but didn't say anything. I was startled, because her eyebrows were very thick. They went almost to her hairline. I wanted to say, "Good Lord, hasn't somebody told you your eyebrows are out of control?" but I never got the chance. I woke up.

Eyebrows notwithstanding, Audrey Hepburn has a quality I find appealing. I like to look at her. I'm sure that even in her movie star days when she took off her makeup, put on a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, her hair in curlers, she didn't look so good, but that's the magic of Hollywood, the power of the glamour factories that turn out young and attractive women by the trainload. They're all cute, vivacious, have great teeth, perfect skin, perfect boobs, but they're also fake. I believe Audrey didn't need any of the stuff they have now. There was something extra about Audrey, something that Hollywood and the publicity machines can't manufacture out of today's crop of lovelies.

Audrey died when she was nearly 64, way too young. I've seen her movies and the pictures of her as a mature woman, but when I think of her I think of the young woman with the impossible eyebrows, the huge, luminous eyes. See you in my dreams, Audrey.

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