Thursday, December 15, 2005

Jamie Lee Curtis - The End

So Jamie Lee Curtis is gone now. Well actually she goes today but last night was the last time I will see her and it was a strange event, not at all what I expected. There was no "sex and the city" shennanigans. Nothing like that. I got to her house through the security gates, up the drive and round the back to the tradesmans entrance where she stood in her kitchen wrapping bone china using an industrial roll of bubble wrap. She waved at me through the window to come straight in. She barely looked up from her wrapping to say "hello." She looked kind of sad and tired. We stood in the kitchen a while making inconsequential small talk. A single bottle of fizzy white wine on the side accompanying some cans of beer.
"Do you want me to pour you a drink?" I asked.
"OK." I opened a cupboard. No wine glasses. "Oh no! I've packed them all already. Make do and mend." she said forcing a smile, and pulled out a plastic childs beaker. It was translucent blue and soft. It had a picture of "Tigger" on the side. I poured the equivalent of a generous glass of wine and handed it to her. She took it and said "Let's go through."
I followed her through the dining room to her once opulent sitting room. It was totally bare. The walls stripped of all the pictures hangings and awards. All that was left was a settee a TV and a load of taped up cardboard boxes in the corner.
She lifted her plastic beaker to me "I guess this is the last time then." she said and tapped my can of beer with her plastic mug. Her words echoed round the empty room. It felt cold though I'm sure it wasn't. She sat down on the settee. I sat next to her with my beer.
She grabbed an over sized throw cushion and sat there hugging it like a cuddly toy, looking round the room. She didn't say a word and we sat there awkwardly. There didn't seem to be anything to say. All my enthusiasm was gone. I guessed hers too. So we watched TV. There was nothing on so we watched a load of rubbish. I remembered the many times we'd sat there watching some action film laughing and joking and having fun. I topped up her beaker a few times and we made an effort at conversation, but it was forced and stilted. The sadness crept like night ending a sunny day. It was tough.
I felt she didn't want me there, not this time. I said I was going to leave.
"Must you?" but she said that out of duty, a knee jerk reaction. Always be polite at all times and always say the right thing.
"Yes I think so."
I went toward the back door.
"No Mikel you will leave through the front door."
"No it's OK it doesn't matter."
"No Mikel." she was very firm. "Today you leave through the front door." she tapped her pockets and started looking around "Where's the key?" she was getting flustered. She wiped her eye with the back of her hand, a fleeting movement so maybe I wouldn't notice.
"It really doesn't matter. I'll go out the back way."
"It bloody does matter Mikel. You will leave through the front door. God! Where's my fucking keys?" her voice was cracking. It was even more poignant because it was the very first time I'd ever heard her swear.
She found her keys and fumbling with them dropped them on the floor, she picked them up again a tried the lock again and opened the door.
The cool night air fell into the hallway round our legs. She poked her head out sniffing the air. "It's not so cold tonight."
We stood there staring out the door waiting. Waiting for what? Waiting for the inevitable last moment I would ever see her again.
We waited some more. But what was the point? I stepped out into the night. My feet crunched the gravel. I expected her to call after me something like "Don't leave just like that." but she didn't say a word the light from the door was illuminating my footsteps down the drive until she shut the door and my feet were plunged into darkess. I didn't turn round I kept on walking.

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