Hybrid Form

Insomnia, 5
(Inspired by Kate Durbin’s The Ravenous Audience)

This is a  movie about sleeping.  It begins with a heavily made-up movie star in a large glass room, and the glass room is surrounded by beach, then, a few yards away, water. The movie star is young in this movie, before her nose job and chin implant, before her third divorce.  In her earlier movies, the star played waitresses or guitar players.  Women down on their luck.  In this movie, the star wears long, white, Grecian-style gowns and stares moodily into the glass.  It’s unclear, from the camera angle, if she’s staring at her reflection or the water.

The movie star drowns in the water.  She practices swimming in an indoor pool; she practices and practices, although her suit is unflattering and the chlorine ruins her hair.
She visits a blind woman — the blind woman is older, never gets angry, smiles always, and twists her hair into a fetching white bun.   The movie star leads the blind woman through a garden — every foot of the garden is covered with huge purple and yellow flowers.  Things which do not follow the blind woman, or appear on her skin:

pollen dust
moles, cancerous or non, star nosed
Scott terriers
foul odors
open sores
ink spots
bleach marks, and/or sun spots

The movie star cuts her hair in a mirror.  She wears a mustache.  She has a rape fantasy about raping herself as she stares in the mirror.  The movie star wipes off her lipstick with the back of her hand. She buys a new denim skirt; she buys a padded bra to go up a size.  With a heavy African sculpture, she tries to bash in her husband’s head.  His blood stains the beige shag carpet, but he keeps getting up.  The last time he gets up, he turns into the blind woman.

The movie star offers him a star-shaped cookie. He slaps it from her hand with a smile. The movie star leads the blind woman to the edge of the water.  By this time, the blind woman has completely devoured the husband — there is no trace of him left.  The blind woman doesn’t remember being anything other than a blind woman.  She doesn’t even remember being a blind girl.  She remembers being helped out of her bed in the home yesterday; she remembers the attendant’s soft hands and beer breath.  She remembers the attendant lacing up the blind woman’s shoes and the attendant talking about her seven year old daughter.  The attendant told the blind woman, with that clicking in her throat that meant she was angry, that her daughter wanted to be a movie star.  All movie stars live fast lives, the attendant hissed, and they is the loneliest people.  The blind woman nodded — she remembered something she heard on the radio about a movie star killing her husband, but she couldn’t remember the details: a sculpture, some glass, the ocean.


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