It was a night of no stars and no twinkling wannabes. For one night, this night, he had washed the Hollywood dust off himself and naked from glamor and pretense, hid in his agent’s rustic cabin in the mountain. Years of hard work and lots of gut-wrenching disappointments had finally led him to his big break and for the past few months, he was basking in the flashing lights. But this morning, something happened.
The sun wasn’t fully up yet, but a growing crowd of screaming young girls had already huddled outside the hotel lobby. As the bulky security guards were making way for him to get into the limo, a slender brunette, barely sixteen, broke through the crowd, squeezed past the guards, jumped on him, planted a kiss on his cheek and screamed in his ear: “you are so beautiful”. Two minutes later, he was resting in the quiet of the limo and wrestling with the loud confusion in his head.
“Beautiful she said”, he kept telling himself. As he repeated saying that, the word “beautiful” seemed to rupture memory cells and let out memories of what “beautiful” had meant to him. He saw images of the first time he caught a fish and was in awe, his first kiss under the full moon and his mother’s eyes when he left his hometown for L.A. Those were true and heart-felt expressions of beauty. But this, an unknown teenager, mesmerized by the Hollywood magic-making machine, finding him beautiful, somehow made him feel fake and dirty. He felt as if he was the prostitute behind the window being adored and fantasized by lusting passersby.
The cabin was cold, the bed uncomfortable and his mind calm, as he had washed away the makeup and reconnected with true beauty under the full moon.