being from wisconsin i never really thought i’d have an original kind of life.
my parents worked hard. we were well-off as the saying goes.
there were trips to europe. cadillacs and lincolns. lots of air conditioning.
electric guitars and cashmere coats. minks as well. only later when
i was sitting on the edge of elizabeth taylor’s bed did i realize--
something was different. my orbit had changed. the world had tilted.
elizabeth who was reviewing some jewelry designs for the company i worked
for was not feeling well so we had been ushered upstairs. earlier downstairs while
waiting i shamelessly fondled her academy award for “butterfield 8” and
spied husband no. 8 passed out in his room at the other end of the house.
he was actually no. 7 elizabeth having married richard twice.
i have never met a more generous, funny and charming woman. we spoke
as if she’d known me forever. ‘did i need anything--a sandwich?’ ‘get him a
glass of water--something!’ ‘oh look--sugar likes you.’ i had fallen in love in
just ninety-six minutes. as we were leaving i gave her a small gift that i’d
originally purchased for my wife. as i handed it to her apologizing for not
having it wrapped she looked at me with those violet eyes and taking my
hands into hers said, “oh honey--i don’t care about the wrapping!”.