When Kate Moss Thinks About Her Eyes and Bones
by Chad Redden
“Ballerina, I need to answer the phone soon. It’s an interview about my eyes. A silly thing.” Kate Moss said to man on her kitchen floor beneath her, stretching. It was Michael Clark, the dancer. Kate Moss liked to hang out with dancers. He stretched himself on Kate Moss’s kitchen floor as she sat on the counter watching him. Michael Clark liked to stretch when he hung out with models. When she called him a ballerina, he didn’t mind and continued to stretch along the length of her kitchen floor.
He asked, “What about your eyes?”
“I guess I share a syndrome with Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot. Maybe not syndrome, maybe condition. Strabismus. Some say JFK had it too. A wandering eye. Do you notice it?” Kate took a drink of water.
Michael didn’t look up when he answered, “I have seen your eyes, but never noticed them wander off anywhere.”
“Ballerina, you are a charm.” Kate replied to Michael, then to her kitchen window, “Why don’t they do a report on this ballerina on my floor? He just performed on sand. Nothing but sand for a stage. I couldn’t imagine it. Then he did it. A pile of sand. Two elephants tall!" She looked back to him, "You are who they should ask about. Something more interesting than my eyes.”
Michael sat up and moved into the cobbler’s pose, “People want to hear about you.”
“People want to hear about the most boring things. People examine the oldest things too. All of because a photo of me with Mark is twenty-years old.”
“Which photo?” He pressed the soles of his feet together.
“The Calvin Klien ad. The one by Herb.”
“A good photo.”
“Just one. There are millions more.” She took another drink of water.
Michael stood up and then asked. “Can I stand on your counter?”
“Yes, ballerina! Please do.” She hopped down for Michael to take her place.
He stood on top of the counter in a crescent moon shape above, he then said. “When I think about your eyes, and your condition, I think it gives you a unique field of vision like you can be in one place and see another. This happens for grasshoppers.”
Kate straightened her spine and considered what he said, then replied, “I guess I do jump out of myself like a grasshopper. I am not sure if I am thinking or seeing now that you bring it up. I have always been this way. Obviously.”
He shifted from crescent moon to eagle, “What do you think about when you are photographed?”
Kate took another drink of water and then, “I’ve always thought about my bones. How I want to make them glow. Bones though, do not glow. In fact bones when they are inside of us are quite filthy in their own way. Making blood. Bleeding through. Why when you see bones first stripped of their flesh, they bleed.
“But there are places, a few places set aside for the sky, maybe still open in India. Towers of Silence. The Dakhma. Corpses are placed on the towers. Children in the center. Woman around them, since women should be closest to children, then the men. Birds eat the flesh. Leave the bones. But they are not clean. The bones bleed and look something like a rust or grime. So many microbes on them eating away too. Can you imagine?
“It takes months of wind and sun to polish the bones. This must happen in a dry place. Otherwise the bones turn black. Did you know that in some areas of Greece families unearth their dead a year afterward to collect the bones? If the bones are black, they believe the person went to hell. That is a sad thought to think about your husband or child. Loved ones think they were a sinner when it was something probably in the ground that turned them black.”
“That is sad,” Michael said, his eyes closed in half-bound lotus.
“But like it takes months of practice for the wind and sun to get the bones just right, it takes hundreds of photos before a photographer sees what he wants from a shoot. Hundreds. I think of each flash as a day. I see the photographer in one eye but in the other I see beyond him. I think of each flash as a day. Isn’t that cute? I do this. Then I think about my bones. I think about my bones glowing whiter and whiter with each flash. Each one is a day and I feel the wind smoothing my bones with sand in each flash. And when my bones glow in my mind, then they glow in my photos. I can see these towers of silence. I go there when I pose. I do.
“I know Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot both had eyes like mine. Yes. I don’t know what they thought about when they modeled. I’m not sure they knew about towers of silence. In Tibet, they call it sky burial, but once the birds peel the flesh from the bones, the monks crush the bones into a meal and mix it with flowers to feed smaller birds. I’m not sure they saw that. I don’t. But something, I know they saw something because when I look at them. Sometimes I see their bones glowing too. So, they have seen something like that. Something like I have seen.”
Michael moved into half-moon and then said, “I agree, when I think of them, I think of them looking at something like what you have seen. Maybe they saw mountains, the snow caps, or rock formations ground by wind. There are many things to see when thinking about bones.”
Kate finished her glass of water, “What do you think about when you dance?”
“I don’t think when I dance.”
Kate laughed and then the phone rang. When she answered it, Kate told the interviewer, “Ask me about the ballerina in my kitchen right now.”
Bio: Chad Redden wrote a small book about Thursday titled Thursday (Plain Wrap).