He, the most powerful one, was honored for his vision turned magic on the screen. He was a shortish man, rotund, light brown eyes with lush, transparent lashes. Invisible in his famous profile were those eyes, a canvas of adoration, blinking, hoping, like an infatuated child. That was the scariest part of all, that naked need. There was one girl after another, until there was her.
She, a model getting by, had a child to care for by herself. Beautiful, dignified, gracious and grateful, she could hardly believe her good fortune at being chosen by him to convey his genius. With increasing frequency, she felt a chill and found his eyes taking her in, observing her as a specimen. He micro-managed her, and even had her handwriting analyzed as if to break her up into puzzle pieces for him to reassemble. He was driven to mold her into his most perfect creation and destroy her with five days of horrific pecking, pecking, pecking, until she slumped into a heap on the floor.
Unexpectedly, she became everything he desired, with a career she had never dared hope for. His public fame became his desperate, private shame, as she resisted his begging for her touch, defiant always. It was her job to please him, professionally, so she clung to herself, unyielding, for her daughter and their future, as the line between her-self and his self-of-her blurred. She held herself, ruthlessly, to her own self despite his repeated attempts to violate her demeanor. She came back to do her job, time after time, until the humiliation and his unashamed demands for her body and being became unbearable.
When the final scene ended, the wig, chains and yellow purse dropped away, and the tip of a volcano of tears slid down her cheek. She took refuge for months, resting and holding her daughter. “He giveth, and he taketh away” is what she had to accept, as that vengeful one kept her from working again.
If only he were handsome, or even kind? But that’s not who he was; his obsession wasn’t love. His grotesqueness mirrored who he had become. Safe with his wife, who was observing, ever present, and to the side.