INT. JANE FONDA'S KITCHEN - DAY
Jane Fonda sits at a cluttered but elegant breakfast nook in the Palisades, sun streaming through the blinds leaving horizontal stripes of gray and bleached white on a lap of crisp pale chinos and gold-clasped pointed flats (a penchant for kitschier taste in old age). She’s angling her coffee saucer at the corners of her mouth - lipsticked in coppery Buttercream, a new shade by Lancôme - daring the liquid to spill before swishing the creamy cappuccino in between her teeth, letting it moisten her tongue until the final gulp. She gets goosebumps and leafs through a magazine - glossy, of course - from a pile neatly stacked atop the heirloom (mother’s side) crystal table-top.
The phone rings.
Jane? Mrs... Ms. Fonda?
Yes this is she, may I ask who is speaking?
It's Paule. I'm twenty-seven years old and
I've been doing your workouts.
The one for beginners, where you're wearing that
lilac striped leotard, those pink leg warmers. And
with Leslie Lilien singing along to her song. Wasn't
she out of breath?
Oh yes, Leslie. Well, she very well might have been.
Isn't she a professional!
You must have had abs of steel yourself. You do, like,
ten different kinds of sit-ups with 4x8 reps each! Well,
maybe that's a bit of an exag. But it's still a lot! I
couldn’t follow. But then you would bring me back to
life with: “Squeeze it!” Or, “Energy!” “Feel the buuuurn.”
Oh that’s bringing back memories. You know what,
I didn’t think people would be watching my videos
Yes, on YouTube.
I'm so grateful for them.
Is that so?
I have muscles! I almost have my judo muscles
back. My biceps are outta this world.
Oh, I wanted to tell you. My friend Derek came to
the American Ballet Theatre with me at Lincoln
Center last fall. He's a New Yorker but he'd never
been - to the ballet, I mean. It was for that Opening
Night Gala of the new choreography by Liam Scarlett,
Misty Copeland dancing - do you remember? Anyway,
when I got there I looked like I'd just thrown myself
into the fountain I was so soaked.
"I saw Jane Fonda." That's the first thing Derek said
to me halfway through the lobby door; I missed you
because I was running in the rain.
Wasn't that fitting for the piece? What was it called
"With a Chance of Rain."
Well that's too much!
Isn't it? Jane do you know it's my sister's birthday
Oh, how old is she turning?
Less than 30! You know, she might not want me
to tell... Jane, how old are you?
Well, if you really want to find out you can read my
Jane leans back in her seat and takes off her glasses, smiling.
Do you know I caught you on Actors Studio once?
You still watch TV?
Well not so much anymore but this is when I still lived
at home - I'd go in the basement and watch Bravo.
James Lipton is a great man.
Can you ever tell the whole truth in an interview?
At some point, it's easy to be as honest as you
can. There's nothing special about a secret.
Well, without you I wouldn't have known about
Oh, yes. When something hits home so much your tears
spit out parallel to the ground. Does that happen to you,
do you ever cry perpendicularly?
No, more like ---- backwardly? Perpendicular but the
other way. Like if I'm lying in bed the tears'll just roll
down into my ears. And get my pillow wet. I hate that.
So I always sleep with a towel now. A washcloth by
A good catchall.
Instead of crying I should just be sweating it out. I'd
look like Jillian from The Bachelor. Get black-barred
all over my juicy lucy.
The Bachelor? Oh, that Prince Farming guy. Yes,
well. We're all looking for someone aren't we.
By Paule Kelly-Rhéaume