I Slept With Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe knows who I am. At least, that’s what I would like to think. In case you don’t know who I am talking about (which seriously if you don’t, get yourself checked right away), I am referring to the epically beautiful bombshell of an actress/singer/model who rose to fame in the 1950s due to her desire to “be an artist.”
Despite her wonderful persona she projected on screen however, her past life proved to be the polar opposite. Her mother suffered from schizophrenia, preventing her from being capable of raising Marilyn (then by the name of Norma Jean), and she never quite figured out who her father was. Not to mention being tossed around between multiple foster homes and orphanages took a huge toll on her views of love and sense of well being. With a childhood like this, it is almost inevitable that Monroe would be tortured by her past with a life riddled with insecurity, anxiety, depression, and addiction. Now take this very person and make her the most famous actress who had to take on the hardships of fame along with the countless demons that gripped onto her soul long before the limelight ever spotted her. While I hate to think this, I am almost certain she was doomed from the start.
I’m not here to write about her story however as that has been done thousands of times over the last 50 plus years. If you want to know more about her in detail, there are countless mediums for that. I’m here to talk about how I’ve been living with her.
Talking to her.
Singing with her.
Sleeping with her.
But let me explain.
My parents and brother have been away for the week. As a result, I’ve had plenty of time to sit with my own thoughts and really focus in on the way I conduct my days. The semester is almost over and with finals rapidly approaching, I find myself slowly becoming lazier and less inspired. As usual when this happens, the TV temporarily replaces the textbook. What snapped me out of this pointless escapade of nothingness however, was a book hidden under the family room table. A book called “Marilyn Monroe: Unseen Archives” by Marie Clayton. It was a book that remained under the table for years and I hadn’t given it much thought until I realized I literally had nothing to do (homework doesn’t count as a thing to do in this instance).
I always had a fascination with Marilyn even before I knew anything about her. I think the world still does too. People quote her on Instagram captions and Facebook statuses daily regardless of really knowing if she truly said these quotes or not. While I don’t quite remember who ever briefly told me about Monroe’s life, I knew she died by an overdose on barbiturates. I knew she lived a very short life and I knew that she suffered from anxiety. It was all of these facts about her that make watching her movies all the more saddening.
I’ve watched about six of her movies in the last five days on top of two modern day films in which modern day actresses attempt to accurately portray her and tell an aspect of her life. All of these films made me both fall deeply in love with her, but also made me want to reach out to her through the TV screen and give her a loving hug to let her know that in the modern day, we cherish what she gave to the world.
When I say I slept with her, in no way do I mean that I had sexual intercourse with her as that not only would be impossible, but my fascination with her is beyond that. Of course, I find her breathtakingly beautiful, but as crazy as this probably sounds to you reader (as it sounds crazy to me), I love Marilyn in a way I feel many of her male peers did not while she was on this earth. Watching her movies now, she was so stunning. I see her smile or laugh or wink or hear her speak and I desperately wish I could of lived in her time just to say I was around when she was. I could tell she had fun playing the character of the dumb blonde, what she had a problem with was that Hollywood believed that Marilyn in the movies was Marilyn in real life. Off screen, Marilyn loved to work out, she read and wrote poetry, she read works by authors such as Hemmingway and Kerouac, and conducted herself in a way that studio producers and directors were never interested in.
I’m currently an aspiring counsellor and believe in encouraging people, outlining their strengths, and showing unconditional positive regard. I don’t think Marilyn everr got those things. From all I’ve read and from all I’ve seen, she desperately wanted to be taken seriously as an actress and gain the respect among the people of Hollywood. Seeing as its difficult for female actors to gain the respect in the same way male actors have in the modern day however, I can only imagine how difficult (probably impossible) it would be for Monroe in her time. She constantly fought with 20th Century Fox for not only being underpaid, but being forced into the same role as the “dumb blonde” time and time again with no room or belief in her potential as an actress. Realizing this, she suffered from insomnia and turned to pills and alcohol to numb the unfortunate realities of both her past and present.
Now with me, I consider myself a pretty emotional person. I’m easily triggered by things I feel a connection with and negative feelings easily stick with me. I also suffer from anxiety and have had times where I felt like nothing and no one could help me from my depression. While Marilyn and I not only have completely different lives and are separated by more than a couple decades, I completely empathize with her and wish I could have had the opportunity to have a conversation with her. I wish I could have showed her the world now and how so much has changed since she was actively working. Coming from a Catholic background, I’d like to think she is living happily in heaven and can see me right now. Feeling my empathy towards her and knowing that regardless of time and regardless of whether or not I knew her in real life, I am a person who wishes/wished/believes/believed/respects her in the way she wanted to be. I talk to her in this house. Not literally of course or in a creepy way, but in the way that I pray to God or speak to my mama in heaven. If I can pray to God and talk to my mama, why can’t I speak to Marilyn? I just wish I could have helped her.
It’s hard to put the way I’m feeling into words, but I find it heartbreaking that she not only died so young, but also so long ago to the point that she has become more of an entity or sex symbol of the past in the present day. It feels like her part as a human being is not what people think about anymore. That is, her existence on this earth seems more like the existence of Snow White or Cinderella rather than a real life human being who once walked the earth. So that is why I feel the way I do. I just wanted to write all of my scattered thoughts down somewhere not only for myself and for Marilyn, but for anyone reading. Hopefully you can somewhat understand what I’m feeling. With that said, I don’t expect you too. All I know is I feel a sense of love and thankfulness for my week living and sleeping with Marilyn Monroe. I hope above anyone, Marilyn herself will read this. That’s all I can hope for.
A scene from “The Seven Year Itch” in which I fell in love: