Ohhh! And that night–that night—I threw the first tantrum I ever had in my life! Do you remember when you were a kid throwing a tantrum? I remember. I remember being on the floor screaming and rolling under the daybed. I was not going to go back! That is what this tantrum was about.
My mother said, “Did you like it?”
I said, “No.”
She said, “Well, you’re going back tomorrow.”
I said, “Tomorrow!?” I was not used to having to go back. I said, “No, no,” and I started to fight, yelling and hollering and screaming, and next thing you know I was under the daybed. I remember my old man reaching in under the daybed and dragging me out like some kind of a rat, crying and kicking.
And that was the first day of school. I hated every day of kindergarten. Every day of that lousy sandbox. And then, two days later they started to give us not only a nap but we also got graham crackers and warm milk! Next thing, I figured they were going to bring the nipples in with the bottles.
I don’t know whether girls felt this way, but the one thing boys didn’t want to be was babies. And that first day of school has remained always in my mind. And no matter how old you are, or how much of a kid you are, you look really carefully in that vast file of trivia, that garbage heap of memory, and you will find your first day of school. That first major trauma of the official world.
END OF SHEP’S KINDERGARTEN
“Goodbye, Norma Jean,
Though I never knew you at all….”
–Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
Marilyn Monroe was the ultimate movie star. She was the ultimate sex symbol. She rose to the ultimate celebrity status in: American sports; intellectual acclaim; political power. She married Joe DiMaggio, married Arthur Miller, had liaisons with JFK. I’d never been attracted to this sex goddess/sex symbol-kind of woman.
I know that type.
Too much lipstick. Too much gaud. Too artificial. Not my kind of person.
Marilyn and Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” are forever linked in my mind because, as I sat in an upper tier of a small off-Broadway theater-in-the-round in the Martinique Hotel opposite New York’s Penn Station, awaiting the start of a revival of that play, in walked a man and a woman. She wore casual slacks, a casual scarf on her head, and no makeup. They sat opposite us in the first row. It was Marilyn and Miller. The audience recognized them and everyone considerately left them alone. The lights lowered and we saw the play. The lights went up and they were gone. She had been devoid of gaud.
Years later I encountered The Last Sitting,
Bert Stern’s book of photos of Marilyn,
the images shot just weeks before she died.
It has some attractive sweet-sexy images–and I was surprised
by most of the photos.
[Note: Xs made by M. M. Color images greatly cropped from book.]
I was stunned to see how real and lovely she was.
I never knew her at all.