By Gabrielle Marceau
Julia, I saw you in Nylon Magazine standing under a cherry blossom tree. You looked bored so I did too. But what I wouldn't tell you was that I held onto that shade of lipstick and the grain of the photograph until they crystallized like sugar on a stick. Are you in Japan? I asked the glossy page. Or are you on a soundstage, or in a parking lot in Los Feliz, just outside the Mexican restaurant where they interviewed you (it was the first time I saw the work “fuck” in a magazine: you're from New York). Your face is like a mistake, making fools of us who think there's one more step at the top of the stairs, waving a foot in empty space. Oh, it's not a cherry blossom after all.
You made Hamlet 2000 when you were 18 and could talk about beauty as a form of oppression. But who looked better in a schoolgirl uniform than you? I'm sorry, I'll stop.
Those were your greedy Shakespeare years. Ophelia is very millennial; she feels in media, in cornrows and modrobes, she swims on the 37th floor and in polaroids, pouting like a flower. How did you do that btw? "O"phelia is such a tragic bore, her Livejournal is 85% Radiohead lyrics. She's the reason a million girls put rose petals in their bathtubs, to perfume that first time he came and then changed. Try not to be a body: get thee back to a nunnery.
Julia, do you still shop at the Gap? Do you kind of like the smell of nail polish remover? Me too, how weird! What's your take on Simone De Beauvoir?
I thought you stopped working in the mid-naughts but IMDB says you've made at least a film a year since the beginning. Do you remember The Prince and Me? I was too old for that movie. I was listening to the Pixies. I was still, but just barely, a virgin. You thought your ample intelligence could redeem any saccharine teen rom-com. You've made a lot of TV movies since.
You were my first friend-crush. That doesn't mean I didn't want to kiss you.
When I saw that Calvin Klein ad I wondered if you were really crying. I also wondered what place in the world had that kind of light. Here's another picture of you that is a space and a texture. I tried my whole life to look that beautiful in a windbreaker. What did that blue do to me? A tear says something different than a smile, but it's both that gets you true love.
Come on Julia, every day is asshole day.
Somewhere between Claire Danes in 1997 and Kate Winslet in 1999 there's you in 2001, in a blush slip-dress, flush from screaming at Mekhi Phifer. Somewhere between his hands on your neck and his hands around your throat is desire, I thought. Every colour is your colour but especially red. Or blue, I don't remember. I wanted to be Kate so I could be wanted by Leo. And somewhere between the space of the screen I killed him.
I'm not sorry.
Hey, do you remember when you were a child and were drawn to the dark green of a forest at night? Remember the silver streak of fear for all that was indescribable in there. Do you think, had you gone into those woods, that there would be enough light from the moon to see the trees. Do you think that, once you did go into those trees and couldn't see the forest, you would realize what was unspooling inside you: a thought of distillation. How could a colour be a girl? How could a girl contain an era?