Megan Fox and The Aftermath
19 august 2009
Megan Fox and The Aftermath
“Olivia Wilde is so sexy she makes me want to
strangle a mountain ox with my bare hands.”
So. Megan Fox is bisexual. Have you heard? Apparently so is Lady Gaga, who explains that her hit song, Poker Face, which is lyrically about sex and gambling, is actually about fantasizing about being with a woman while having sex with a man. “She’s got me like nobody.” Rounding out the recent revelations, comes Fergie, of the Black Eyed Peas, who admits, “Put it this way, I’ve experimented, definitely, but I have never had a steady girlfriend.”
So, when I found myself seated in front of Megan Fox on a recent flight to New Orleans, I was thrilled. Hey, we have something in common, you and me. No, not a desire to commit bloodshed upon the unsuspecting wild animal, but I too have certainly had my experiences.
I just never knew there was a prize for being bisexual, or I would’ve announced it to the press much sooner because, sadly, now as a writer in my 40s, with a child, wrinkles, and a startling case of the body droop and the eye squint, I suspect I’ve probably missed the bulk of Bisexual Swag that could come my way. And hey, I forgot to become a movie star or rock star, so there’s that, too.
Nonetheless, I set out to conquer the Fox, who is, by all accounts, more than half my age. I had no intention of sexing up Megan, but I had every intention to get her to shut the hell up and hang up her cell phone. We were long past the “please turn off your electronic devices” portion of our flight, but Megan felt it was important that she loudly continue her conversation with her agent/manager, despite whatever government regulations are in place.
So, the entire first 10 rows of the plane learned about Megan’s meeting with producers and whether she thought the project they pitched was right for her. (Gotta say, Megan, didn’t sound like a great idea.) She also was concerned about the hotel room she was booked into in New Orleans, and was baffled about why she was in row two, but it was not a real “First Class”; it was a non-stop “Ted” flight, no First Class, just Economy Plus. Yep, Megan, you are in Economy Plus.
And then it happened. Megan loudly added, “... and to make it worse, there is a BABY sitting in front of me.” Okay. Now it’s on. That baby was mine. My 2½-year-old daughter was sitting directly in front of Megan Fox. And my sweet angel felt compelled to twist her body around and stare at her. Madeleine pointed and said, “Glasses. Mommy, she’s got glasses.” It was a night flight. The lights were dimmed at take-off, and Megan Fox was still wearing her dark shades underneath her dark brown Fedora.
I said, “Yes, honey, she does. Now let’s sit down.”
Madeleine didn’t want to sit down. She wanted to stare at Megan Fox, who finally turned off her cell phone when, very close to take off, the flight attendant unbuckled herself from her chair and came over and ordered her to do so. By the flight attendant’s tone and dismissive quality, I am quite certain she did not know she was speaking to Megan Fox: A Bisexual, Capable of Extreme Violence.
“My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light.”
–Edna St. Vincent Millay
I was flying to New Orleans to get over a rather disastrous love affair. They say we all get one of these in a lifetime. Why mine came in my 40s, I’ll never know. I was going to New Orleans to hoodoo some voodoo and get my swagger back. But, first, I had to deal with my daughter and Megan Fox.
The man next to me, in seat 1C, was a rather large man, who sat uncomfortably in his chair and had the Southern drawl of a true New Orleanian. He had just journeyed from Singapore, hadn’t slept in 14 hours, and wanted to get home to his wife and kids. This was his last leg of the journey and he was in no mood for Megan Fox. So, when she pooh-poohed the existence of my daughter, he loudly said, also for the first 10 rows of our plane, “The youth these days have no respect.”
I put a hand on his forearm and said, “Thank you. That is very kind of you to be concerned about my feelings.” Then I said, “What Ms. Fox seems to have forgotten is that we are on a plane from LAX to New Orleans. One could safely assume that a good portion of the plane is from Los Angeles, which enables one to conclude that some of us are also in the same business Ms. Fox is in; therefore, I would not recommend one loudly conduct one’s professional life over the phone for others to hear and report to TMZ once we land.” Seat 1C asked, “Who is Ms. Fox, and what do you both do for a living?”
“Ah. What do I do for a living? Well, I’m a Geniot. So is Megan Fox, who is sitting behind us. Megan Fox is an actress. I am not an actress. I am a film and television writer. But we both work in show business, and are, therefore, both Geniots.”
A guru of mine once warned, “Katherine, there are two things you can’t be in show business: late or sensitive.” I have found this to be true. So I try not to be late, which can cost production heaps of money. As for sensitive, though, the Artist’s Temperament comes from a unique blend of stardust and insanity, which always includes a good half cup of sensitive. When you’re asked to dig deep, turn your guts inside out and puke your truth on the page, screen, canvas, or into the microphone for the whole world to see, you can bet your bottom dollar, all that emotion ain’t happening unless you’re sensitive.
The word “Geniot,” however, comes from the ultimate truth of Hollywood: one minute you’re a genius, the next minute you are an idiot. You, my sensitive friend, are a Geniot. The word Geniot, forcibly stolen from director Allison Liddi-Brown, has been turned into merchandise: hats, t-shirts, and the like, and a prop: a large handmade paper wheel, placed on my office wall.
You must also accept that once you walk down the red carpet and enter the magical land of Show Business, you are not just a Geniot, you are forever strapped to the Geniot Wheel. And the Wheel is always turning.
The top of the Wheel has the word Genius; the bottom has the word Idiot. Each day, depending on the studio or network’s reaction to the latest draft of a script or the box office of your latest movie, a large dart is placed on the word Genius or the word Idiot. One glance at the Wheel allows others to know precisely who and what you are that day, so they might adjust accordingly in how they greet you. This is especially beneficial to the cast, crew, and your significant other. While in production, it is recommended to check the Wheel hourly.
Ultimately, though, the biggest lesson of the Geniot Wheel is that you are not alone. So, you can’t invest too much time in what others think about you—because they, too, are strapped to the Wheel. They, too, will hit the top; they, too, will hit the bottom. And the Wheel stops for no one, so it’s best to remember that who you were when you were a genius is probably pretty close to who you are now as an idiot. Yes, their perception of you might have changed in this hour, but the only thing that really matters is your perception of yourself. You are still you, glorious as ever. So hold tight to that inner magic, watch the wheel keep turning, and smile like a Geniot.
“You learn after awhile that the world’s rules don’t have to apply to you.
Think about it. We’re here, we die. Everything between is up to you.”
–Grandma Mirabeau (on the set with Shirley MacLaine)
We were mid-flight now, when Seat 1C asked if I had ever written anything he might have seen. I said, “Well, I created the series Army Wives.” He recognized the name of the show, but hadn’t seen it. I said, “I wrote the movie The Prince & Me.” He said, “My daughter LOVES that movie!” But he was still hoping for more. I was tempted to say Transformers, but I settled with the truth. “I wrote a film called Carolina, which is basically my autobiography, with the usual jolt of fiction thrown in. Sadly, Carolina didn’t get a big release, which means I’m related by blood or heart to most folks who’ve seen it.” So I was extremely surprised when Seat 1C lit up and this very large middle-aged man said, “I LOVE THAT MOVIE! Why, girl, I’ve seen it several times. Shirley MacLaine reminds me so much of my Me-maw!” He then proceeded to quote several lines of dialogue to me. It was probably one of the most surprising moments of my life.
I don’t know what prompted me to turn back to Megan Fox just then, but I did. She had taken off her dark sunglasses and now I could see her famous blue-blue eyes. They were pressed between the two seats, so she could look intently at my daughter. Megan then took off her hat and put it on my daughter’s head. I can’t imagine why she did this, but I’d like to think it was the power of the Wheel.
Megan then reached her arm through the seats and held Madeleine’s hand in hers and she swung it back and forth. Madeleine laughed. On Megan’s forearm I could see her oft-remarked about Marilyn Monroe tattoo. It was then that I looked fully into the face of Megan Fox, the sexy siren so many put on their Top 10 Wish List. She looked like a college girl: thin, petite, about 5’4”; in jeans and a t-shirt, carefree, with a big wide smile, passing the time playing peek-a-boo with a little kid on an airplane.
That’s when I thought, okay. I get it. This Megan is beautiful—amazingly so, in person. Underneath all the bravado and the shock value quotes, she almost seemed innocent. I just hope she gets it. I think I’ll send her a Geniot hat.
In New Orleans, I wrote my previous blog about Runyon Canyon. I found it especially ironic to be writing about an L.A. icon while in Louisiana. I posted it online, and then went about my day looking for surprises and the unexpected, which live on every corner in the French Quarter. First stop was the painter David Harouni. He sits in his gallery, surrounded by his work. Many stumble in and think he’s not the actual artist, but some guy who works there. David had read my blog and asked me to dinner.
At dinner, he said, “You and I have a lot in common. We both have a broken heart.” His relationship of several years had ended. He was still hurting. I felt instantly embarrassed. Mine was nothing like that. It wasn’t even a relationship. We didn’t even kiss! I’m a big fat fraud. He looked at me tenderly and said, “Your heart was touched. That’s all that matters.”
I said, somewhat bitterly, but it wasn’t returned. It was some kind of joke being played on me. Why do you think it was a joke? Because how many people take your breath away—really take your breath away—and then it’s not reciprocated? What’s that about? It was crazy. I would not be surprised if someone has a voodoo doll of me under their bed. I’d even paid a visit to a past life therapist to make sense of it all. I had surely screwed someone over. So let me make amends.
“So, yeah,” I told David, “I’m going with the past lives thing.” He just smiled, and said, “What do you really want to know?” I said, “I want—“ Then I stopped mid-sentence. This seemed important. Really important. I’d been an idiot too long and I needed that Wheel to giddy me up to the top again.
Long pause. What do I really want to know? Then I answered, “That I had some sort of affect.” He smiled again, leaned back in his chair, and said, “Of course you did.” I said, “How can you know that?” He said, “Because, don’t we all have an effect on each other?”
The Aftermath Painting by David Harouni
Later that night, we went back to his studio. The Quarter was quiet and most of the shops were closed. He poured me some wine and told me to sit on his couch. Then he turned on some music—Bach Concerto in F minor (2) by Claudio Dauelsberg—a beautiful moody, evocative, classical piece. It filled the room. I asked him what he was doing. He said, “I am going to paint for you.” He turned to the large blank canvas in the middle of the gallery, stared at it, his back to me, and said, “Just start talking. Tell me anything.”
He dipped his brush into the paint and started making big sweeping black strokes on the white canvas. By the third stroke, I started to cry. I had never had someone paint for me before. It was nearing midnight. The music was enveloping me, hugging me in this room, and this beautiful man was sharing such an intimate part of himself with me. I was silent, just watching him in awe. There is nothing sexier or more inspiring than watching someone doing their art. It’s why we love live performance. We sense the connection. They’ve tapped into the soul of not only themselves, but of all the artists who have left us. David kept painting, telling me he was feeling my mood, my emotions, and they were guiding his brush, but please, talk to him.
I told him this is a memory. I am standing inside a memory. And it’s hard to talk during it when I want so much to preserve it. But isn’t that the pain of life? Wanting to preserve the good moments, to freeze them, before they change? Of being so acutely aware that the sound of my daughter’s laugh will soon deepen. That she is already growing faster and faster in front of me than I care to admit. That I am growing older by the day and will never get back the years when I could’ve done so much more than I did. That the only shocking act left on the planet is love—and we want so desperately to make it stay.
He speeded up, painting in a blur now, throwing big chunks of gold and red on the canvas. So I continued, speeding up my words too. I told him that I was feeling the connective tissue of all our lives and that I know that I would not be here right now, with him, if I didn’t write my heartbreak story, which meant that story had to happen for this night to happen. This is the Aftermath. Each story leads to the next. And I have to trust that we do affect each other. We do play a part. We do help each other along the way.
I cannot explain the spiritual weight of the energy in David’s studio that night any more than I can explain if there really are past lives or why we fall for this one and not that one. But I can still see the first black lines he painted and where they were placed on the canvas before they were covered up by so many new layers of paint. I can still see the image of the face as it changed and morphed from one expression to the next, until he settled into whom it was meant to be and David declared the painting done.
My Aunt Kathy once said, “The hard thing about your blogs is that they are a slice of life, rather than a novel, so we never hear the end to so many stories.” I said, “Like what?” She said, “Bastille the Turtle, Sandra the Homeless Woman, Johnny the Photographer.” Bastille was gone for about six months, and then she reappeared at the big pond, alive and well. Sandra, I have not seen. I will keep looking for her.
And Johnny? The next morning, I walked down the street to Johnny Donnels’ gallery. I had written what I think is probably my best blog, called, How It All Turned Out, about Johnny’s death on March 19, 2009. I had mailed the blog to his widow, Joan, but hadn’t heard anything back. I didn’t really expect to, but I was also concerned that it might never have been received. I didn’t have their home address, and I had sent it to the gallery, which was understandably closed.
When I walked up to the gallery, the door was slightly open. A big bowl of loose change was within arm’s reach. All the photographs had been taken down, the walls naked. I pushed the door open and walked inside. In the corner sat a lawn chair, just where Johnny always sat, waiting for the curious to enter. A framed picture of Johnny sat in it now. As you can imagine, a heart skips a beat.
Then a voice spoke, crackling overhead. “Yes? May I help you?” I forgot about the intercom system Johnny used when he was upstairs in his studio. He had a single camera rigged so he could see and greet wanderers. I spoke to the box: “I was a friend of Johnny’s and I had mailed a story to his wife, Joan, and I was wondering—” When the voice interrupted, “I’ll be right down.”
Moments later, an older woman with dirt smudged on her clothes and her face walked in. “I’m Joan, Johnny’s wife.” I introduced myself to her. She smiled. “Oh, Johnny loved you. He always reported back everything you said.” She told me she loved my blog, loved how he came alive in it. She was there, packing up his gallery. The rent was paid until the end of the month, and she only had a few days left. She had no idea what kind of store was going to move into Johnny’s space, but she hoped it wasn’t a t-shirt shop. She told me about Johnny’s funeral, aptly called A Celebration of Life. She gave me a program. On the cover, “Don’t wear no black for me ... unless you think you might look good in it.” Inside it said, “And even though we shared an eternity, there was still not enough time!”
Joan Donnels told me they were going to do a big retrospective about him at the museum. They took his photographs, his letters to her when he was in the war. I thought quietly, it’s funny how we admire and value someone’s art so much more after they die. She would later mail me a documentary about Johnny’s life called The Pink Satin Suit by Anastasia and Will Lyman.
Joan started telling me some of the stories she had heard about Johnny, stopping on one about a valet parker who worked at a nearby hotel. He loved Johnny like a dad and just can’t get over it. I said, tearing up again, “Everyone loved him so much. He touched so many people.” What more can we really hope for in a life? Then I remembered Johnny telling me how he and Joan fell in love almost instantly. And this time, it had even more meaning. It does happen for many people. I can stop calling it a joke.
Then I looked at her and asked, “How are you doing, Joan?” She held my eyes, and said gently, “It comes and goes. It comes and goes.”
This red heart appeared near my doorway in the French Quarter.
When I returned to Los Angeles, I had my swagger back. I had pitched a story straight from my heart called Valentine’s Day, and from that pitch, I wrote a script that turned into a movie that is being shot all summer in L.A. I visited the set and saw the Aftermath of what had once started with the nervous dream of Fade In.
Each step leads to the next. Each turn of the Wheel takes us closer to the top, where the sun is shining and we’re alive and feeling on top of the world. But the bottom is pretty nice too; a bit chilly sometimes, but there are a lot of good things to learn here, so wait it out, because it’s always darkest before the dawn, and who knows—you might get to ride on an airplane with Megan Fox.« Back To Blog Index
|thank you.||- By Guest on Dec 03 2011|
|i thought I was the only one who had had a love not reciprocated. (I know, I know, I can\'t possibly be the only one). your story sounds eerily similar to mine. thank you for sharing it.
p.s. I\'m glad Megan Fox turned out to be SOMEWHAT of a human being.
|You matter.||- By Guest on Aug 22 2012|
|You wanted to know if what you say matters. The answer is resoundingly yes. Very few people speak as eloquently and from the heart as you do. There\'s a universal soul that everyone seems to share -- we all seem to be little bits of it, alienated because we\'re trapped in ourselves, and craving that fundamental universality. Your writing grasps at that. The stories you tell and the deep compassion for humanity underlying your tellings resonate with that universal soul and so are edifying. They help connect people to what matters. So yes, the answer is: what you are doing matters. It matters greatly.
P.S. This is the only piece of fan mail I have ever written in my 42 years. So there!
|Beautiful words....||- By Guest on Nov 18 2012|
|I too am happy Miss Fox lightened up.
I want to say that I find people's blogs boring, and how I ended up at yours was a google search for a picture, and one of the pics you used popped up. But then the name of your blog post intrigued me, so I read on. I am glad I did.
I have quoted you on facebook and took the excerpt about David, and posted it in a bulletin on a site I use. You never know who you are going to meet, or in what form. Some people are unaware of the amazing affect they have on people, you never know who is reading you, or quoting you or thinking about you at any given moment. That story was one of the most beautiful memories I have read... Thank you for sharing.
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