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the movie-star thing


There needs to be a Hallmark card that certain friends can give you when your ex-husband is getting married to a very young woman in the very near future (say, next weekend) in a country far away (say, in Scotland), and they are planning to attend and don't know how to tell you. As it is, no one mentions the event at all: it's the elephant in the living room that people pretend not to see even as it sprays water on the walls and stands on the couch.

I gave my consent for him to take the boys, and aside from the general surreality of the ongoing situation, it is strange to think that my kids will be at the event, many ex- and remaining friends will be there (including people who were at my own wedding to the man), my famous neighbor will be there, and I will not. The point isn't that I want to be; it has more to do with the feeling of being cut from your old life, as if by a child with scissors, with the image of a new person pasted over that empty space the size and shape of you.

I would be dishonest if I said this wasn't bringing up some difficult emotions, but then again, this is what Alanis Morrisette songs are for.


I am in New York, with Dude, for the Clinton Global Initiative. Because of his nonprofit work, Dude has a complimentary membership (they run about $20,000 a pop). I scored press credentials, am eager to attend the sessions on human trafficking, the empowerment of girls and women. In the hotel lobby last night I met a lovely young woman named Sarah from an organization called Free the Slaves (she was wearing a snug black t-shirt that said SLAVERY SUCKS). The org is headed by Kevin Bales, who wrote the books I devoured just before my trip to Thailand: Ending Slavery and Disposable People. I'm hoping to meet him while I'm here.

Last night, at a dinner held in the Museum of Natural History, Dude introduced me to the actor Edward Norton. It was late, and Ed was tired. I got to tell him how much I liked The 25th Hour. He brightened and said "Oh good!" and talked about Spike Lee's general brilliance. I mentioned that I also liked the novel (by David Benioff) that the movie is based on. In person, Norton is neither tall nor studly. But then he hits you with the full force of his grin, his personality: the movie-star thing. Some people just have it.

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Sep. 21st, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
Clearly I wasn't living my own life so much as my ex-husband's life, otherwise I couldn't have been so displaced. A harsh but valuable lesson to learn, although it's interesting to reflect on why, in this supposedly postfeminist age, I even had to learn it at all.

What I'm building now is truly my own life, and no one or nothing will ever "displace" me again.

Sep. 21st, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
And Norton is great, isn't he? His ordinary, regular-guy, real-life presence just makes the power of his performances that much more remarkable. The difference, perhaps, of relying on your physical charms for your mystery/charisma vs relying on your mind & talent. (Not that either scenario exactly sucks, but you know what I mean.)

Edited at 2010-09-21 03:07 pm (UTC)

About Me

I'm the author of three published novels: the dark fantasies BLOODANGEL and LORD OF BONES (Roc/Penguin) and the YA supernatural thriller UNINVITED (MTV/Simon&Schuster). I also have stories in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2 and ZOMBIES: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUNGRY DEAD. I'm working on a psychological thriller called THE DECADENTS. I am divorced, with sons, and live in Bel Air.

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