An excerpt from It's All Make Believe, Isn't it? *Marilyn Monroe Returns*
Chapter 42 MARILYN PEEKED BETWEEN THE SEAT headrests of the X5 and looked at Tommy with her brown eyes wide open, her face placid. Her eyes didn’t look blue to Tommy they looked almost black, and her skin was colorless except her lips were red. Tommy, who was seated behind the driver’s seat, raised his eyebrows at Marilyn as if to ask why she looked ashen. When Tommy opened his mouth his words spiraled to a low hum.“We’ve got to stop meeting like this, Marilyn.”Marilyn moved her eyes from Tommy to Celeste who was squeezed against him.Celeste stared in wonder at Marilyn’s beauty. Being a cosmetician Celeste loved the arch in Marilyn’s eyebrows, the dark long eyelashes that lent volume and flair to her eyes below, and the cachet beauty mark so stylishly situated. The small mark wasn’t a Marilyn road sign to her personality as much as it was a landmark to her beauty. However, something was amiss, Marilyn’s lips were bright red and her skin was cadaverously pale.Jen absorbed the stare of Marilyn when her eyes moved from Celeste to her. Tingling sensations warmed Jen’s body as a blanket of tepid sadness that Marilyn was coming to life. Martin was gone, vanished from his own body, the man Jen had fallen in love with, and he was gone. Marilyn’s eyes were unstable in a darkness that made her face pale.Jesus felt enlightened when Marilyn’s gaze moved to inspect him. Her neck was straining around the seat to see him sitting behind her. Thus far his eyes engaged her awareness. Marilyn Monroe was from Jesus’ distant past, in the movies. She was a shadow from his boyhood memory. She was a buxom blond actress unrewarded, a comedienne unappreciated, and a sexy voiced singer worthy of a casino cabaret stage. But this Marilyn wasn’t real. Having a woman’s head atop a man’s body was erroneous. God would never have agreed to a partial physical resurrection if any type of resurrection at all. Nonetheless, she was here. Her skin was washed in pastel. Her lips were swollen with blood. She was already forsaken to the facts of life that when one had once lived and died, one couldn’t live again.Elwood looked up and turned his head forward capturing Marilyn’s glance. Like mercury in moonlight her head was afloat without a body. Her eyes penetrated Elwood face. He was concerned about her pallid complexion with dark circles ringing her eyes. The photo of a colorless Marilyn with red lips was in his collection and she now resembled that photo. Elwood was a callow young man having yet to experience the world first hand. Inside of him were feelings of immaturity and raw adolescence. In spite of that he knew when a person was ill and experienced death first hand with his mother and grandmother. Marilyn was a woman in disrepair and isolated from Elwood’s diagnosis.Casey stopped at a stop sign and looked at Marilyn. He jumped in his seat having seen what his friends just saw. A woman’s face of ghostly appearance astounded him. He gawked at her while he prepared a question.Marilyn had finished the examination of her new contacts and turned to look forward. The contagious stare of Casey took her attention.“You look like you just died. Are you okay?” Casey asked.She gazed at Casey. Her complexion flushed with pastel pink.Casey felt something greater than life had just happened.Marilyn was mute and looked through the windshield.A measure of underlying madness moves life in strange ways. Marilyn didn’t know about that undercurrent. She was in a habitat of the now, in immediate time where the past and future were imaginary. Time was fictional, unreal, and absent. She was lost in the present, knowing she didn’t have to impress anybody not even the people in the car.Measuring time wasn’t necessary. The occasion wasn’t a complement of madness or strangeness. For the moment she was alive and breathing without drugs. She was Norma Jeane Mortenson, the daughter who was given away, the girl’s adopted parents who managed for money, the young wife of a man who married for convenience, a factory worker, a model, an actress, a singer, a dancer, a beauty misunderstood, the wife of another man whose jealousy provoked control, a druggie, an alcoholic, another man’s wife who knew that happiness wasn’t part of a marriage, a woman whose emotional ethics from past experiences encouraged suicide, a blond bombshell whose bravura and buoyancy was suppressed by the unsympathetic and circus like media coverage of her celebrity. Her past wasn’t just a measure of the moment—the moment was an accumulated folly, foolishness, stupidity—but not madness and not mental illness. Marilyn Monroe was the woman of the moment, she was Norma Jeane Mortenson personified.