It is always hard to know what to wear to meet an icon.
I imagine this is what Cameron Diaz is thinking as she heads to our meeting in a dirt hole behind a Chinese restaurant somewhere near the Lower East Side. I love this hole; it is dark and and wet and fecund, like…well. Wet holes, I write in my notebook, oooh. The actress enters the gaping chasm—like a mouth, like the void, like… well—and seems perturbed, a propitious beginning.
“Does it bother you that I’m high right now on four kinds of Vicodin and a drug used to treat alopecia in animals?” I ask. “Does it?”
“I just…thought we were meeting in a restaurant,” she says, her blonde hair coruscating blondily in the dank.
“I’m not really about that,” I explain. “As you can tell from these.”
She takes in my finger tattoos carefully. My knuckles read DELEUZE. The remaining three fingers are exclamation marks. “Okay.” She gets it. Her blood red lips evoke a menstruating vagina, and I am not scared about that because I am a modern man. “I love to eat pussy,” I tell her, though I know the fact is axiomatic. “I love women.” She gets it.
I sit on the ground with the star of There’s Something About Mary and think about ships. Big, old, colonial ships on dark, moody, masculine seas. Cameron, blonde and shining, at the front, carved in wood. There’s something in there, I’m sure of it. A truth-meaning swimming just below the surface like a shark. Maybe a binary. I live to point out binaries. The ship thing is an important and worthwhile tangent and I indulge it for paragraphs, with an emphasis on shark-as-phallus.
The conversation moves to her long-ago tryst with Justin Timberlake, and the fact that she purportedly believes in sexual fluidity: “What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?” I ask. “That’s Lacan. I gave a guy a blow job one time, it’s no big deal.”
The 42 year-old nullipara—swathed in a gauzy white fabric like the waves cresting on a trade vessel doomed never to reach India—seems intimidated. She sits silently in this noisome cavern, looking sexy but upset. I light five cigarettes and pass her two. She declines.
She starts to talk about something but it is impossible to make out the words over how sexy she is. Her sexiness is a presence, a third in this conversation. I realize we are in the middle of a verbal menage.
My notebook is a list, now, of all the things Cameron is: a ship, a wave, a sex organ—two, a light, a beacon, a metaphor, a minx. She is feline, a kitten with a pussy. She’s a baby and an image of the earth viewed from space. It’s crazy how many things she is, she’s so many things she’s not even human.
I try to explain this to her and she starts to get up, seeming angry, perhaps premenstrual. “This is offensive and weird and a waste of my time,” her beautiful mouth says, beautifully. “I’m sorry if you were offended,” I say. “But, as we all know, ‘Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.’ Freud.” She leaves, not appreciating the compliment.
As I watch the actress walk away, I know she is really running. She is running from the truth (me) but she cannot out-run time. She is a 42 year-old woman. Soon she will be dead.
I pack up my things—cigarettes, a pair of underwear I stole from my ex’s house while she was in Florida, a comb—and walk home with the insouciant air of a man thinking about ships.
Monica Heisey is a writer and comedian in Toronto. She is on Twitter: @monicaheisey.6 Comments