New York City, 1966. 11:32 AM
We were all ready to start shooting a new project when the news of the virus hit the front pages of every newspaper and magazine in town. I’ll admit that it was a welcome change from that bony British fake, Twiggy that keeps appearing everywhere. She’s like a fish that has been out of the refrigerator for too long: she stinks. Everyone knows she’s copying me. The hair? The style? The makeup? It all screams Edie. And for heaven’s sake, that androgynous look is not appealing to anyone. Someone please send her a memo.
For the first time we were going to step outside the walls of The Factory to a darling little cottage upstate that belongs to my father but instead, New York went rogue. The streets are empty, the shops are closed, the life is gone and the city has actually gone to sleep.
The first week of the shutdown I dove head first into all the obvious rituals that I could have sworn would keep me busy: half an hour daily of the Jiggle Machine, another half an hour on the Trim Twist, organized my fashion magazines alphabetically, then organized them by color, painted my nails, unrolled and re-rolled my cigarettes, and when I got extra anxious I even considered making a pie. But now my patience is running extra thin and no amount of essential oils, baths or records can keep me calm.
Andy is not returning my calls, he says he’s busy but we both know that those silkscreens can make themselves. I need him to comfort me, I need him by my side. He’s pushing me away and I feel this strange resentment from him. Even my liquor cabinet is starting to resent my constant visitations but honestly, it’s just a few drinks here and there to get through the days. Thank god for granny’s apartment. This 14-bedroom haven is the only thing keeping me sane. One room less and I swear to god I would run to the looney house myself.
This COVID situation has really gotten in the way of my path to stardom. Andy has always said I have it in me. He’s always said I’m what film needs, what history needs. I am a superstar. And unlike all those other unruly wannabes that lurk in our shadows, my fame will not last a mere 15 minutes: it will be eternal. The world will change, people will reference time as a pre-Edie era.
I believe I am a superstar with every fiber in my body, naturally, but when will it actually happen? When will I dust my black tights, polish my earrings and see my name in lights with an Oscar in my hands? Does the world not know that I am ready and at the ripe age of 22? My due date will soon expire if the universe doesn’t get its shit in order.
You can say I’m being selfish, no news there, but the truth is that everybody’s dark secret is that they are selfish too. I just refuse to cover it up. Life is too damn short.
The Corona Chronicles is a column, contributed through a first-person essay, where deceased artists, muses and art world personalities vent about how their lives have been altered and interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drastic times call for creative measures.