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John Dutterer

Marilyn Apocrypha #1

It is seldom recalled that Marilyn Monroe was an abstract sculptor, and she spent a few years creating elegant machines, glorious objects that appeared to long for a function. One such form lorded over the emptiness of a living room in a Mediterranean chateau. This piece was a child-sized humanoid, constructed of metallic hands and less recognizable appendages. We all admired it, but Marilyn was dismissive of such praise. (In fairness, even in those days there were rumors that she was not the creator, just the front for some faceless artist who abetted her out of sheer admiration.)


A group of people—Marilyn's friends, her manager, some hangers on—circled the sculpture as if it was the sun. With her mixed air of being both relaxed and pensive, Marilyn smiled, her thoughts always elsewhere. I took this possibly unique opportunity to draw close to her, and whisper to her cheek the message with which I had been entrusted. "You are the woman for whom we have been waiting 5,000 years."


She didn't look at me even then, and did not know how to answer. There was a smile (mere politeness) rapid blinking (stifled tears) and lips parted (still looking for the words that would either uphold or deflect my proclamation.) Everyone else was leaving; Marilyn remained in place, self-consciously accountable. I soon realized that I had added immeasurably to a burden that threatened fragile shoulders, threatened the threads that tether a person to the Earth, at least for a lifetime or so.






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