The Director and the Muse
Nothing less than familiar was the pattern he found himself at this moment; watching one of his own movies in his twenty seated cinema at his sixteen bedroom mansion home in West Hollywood. He wasn't complaining though, he was proud of his accomplishments. Getting to where he was, was everything he worked for his entire life. It could seem eerie being in that cinema all on his own, but then again he learned to live with it. His name was Paris and he was sixty five. He was healthy for his age and had the soul of a twelve year old youth. Hollywood was where he was meant to be; creative by nature, brilliant with actions, youthful for eternity. The place where you could be forever young and all that shit, which he didn't and never bought into the tinsel town gimmicks.
It was only a 11.30pm on a Wednesday night and Paris wasn't tired yet, so he went into his room which he called 'the hub'. It had all the posters of his forty one films on the walls. The room was huge. To the far corner was 'the desk' where he wrote his masterpieces. It would be fair to say eighty percent of his time in the house was spent in this room, the other ten percent doing something else, the final ten percent sleeping. The back wall was the special wall, which Paris walked too. It had the photos of all his muses to date, so far there were eight. Paris looked at them, smiling and a joy ignited inside his body like the woman gave him an extraordinary power.
Paris knew from a very early age when he discovered a camera for the first time and first learnt to write, that nothing else gave him more power to achieve his creative dreams then his muses - nothing else came close. It was the muses, and it was the only Hollywood cliche he was in unanimous agreement with. But he sighed, because it was a shame to remember that he had never even been on a date in his life. At sixty five, he knew full well now that work had always been his life and he always hoped to meet a woman through his work, like his creative genius would be enough to find love. But it never seemed to appear for him and the closets woman he ever came into to contact with as dating material was his muses.
He walked to the desk and started preparing paperwork for his next film. He did this without thinking, but it was the loneliness, that was his demon and it could be his only downfall. He looked back at the muses, proud of them as his superstars, also proud how they had grown into fine mothers and wives, but secretly, really deep down he felt jealousy. But then again he thought, do directors really get it on with their muses? Did Tarantino really get with his Uma, or Lars with his long time Charlotte Gainsbourg, or Woody with the Scarlett? Maybe it was a myth after all that the director meets his muse - for real. All that told and philosophized, all Paris knew was he was a genius and that was the way God made him and probably all he was supposed to be.
There were about thirty people on the bus on route to Hollywood. Funny enough every one of the people were actors. Freya sat quietly, thinking and looking out of the window at the desert like exteriors of LA. It looked a lot different in real life Freya thought. She was twenty one, from New York and fresh out of drama school. A blonde with all the attributes of an all American, but the physical features of a European. Back at home she got the nickname "The Russian" because she looked like one, a tall Russian model with an American voice, she was very unique and her drama tutors fell in love with her for that fact.
All Freya wanted to do was act. Coming to Hollywood was her dream and she knew that was her goal in life. She didn't feel intimidated, she had been through excellent training at her drama school. It did seem weird though how every person on the bus was an actor, all with the same dream, going to Hollywood with the same aim. It seemed like some weird conveyor belt. And that cliche of a truck load of actors being shipped into Hollywood and a truck load leaving at the same rate, was living proof.
Freya walked into her flat share. The place was basic, it was next to other cheap properties one step up from trailer park status. She met her flat mates, once again they were all actors and Freya knew her life was going to be film inside out. All of the flatmates were in the house now and they sat in the lounge and made Freya at home. Two of the flatmates were together and had a baby who was a boy. He sat in his mothers hands and Freya looked at him, she thought he was gorgeous, but felt slightly sorry for him because he was going to be a Hollywood baby, literally born into a world of destitute actors chasing a dream, living the life of do or die. Andrew was another flatmate and had been in Hollywood for five years, he had worked on some pretty big films. If Freya was going to strike romance anytime soon, she found Andrew very attractive.
It was two years later. Freya was sitting in her agents office having a meeting. The agent was finishing up business on the telephone and Freya waited patiently. She was happy she had hit the ground running since she came to Hollywood. Within the first six months she scored auditions and in the first year had been in four films and done various TV promos and commercials. By the time her agent discovered her in the second year he signed her straight away. The agent also fell for the all American with European features. In Freya's personal life, she was with Andrew, which was inevitable if Freya was honest with herself. Things were good. Then the agent put the phone down.
There was something different about the twinkle in the agents eye as he looked at Freya, the smile was singing, it was a mood Freya had never seen him in before. Just from the phone call, the agent spoke excitedly and there was a spring in his voice, so Freya knew the meeting was about something important. The agent told Freya that one of the biggest directors in Hollywood was interested in her auditioning for his next film - the director was Paris Woods. Freya was enchanted straight away, she knew of the Paris before she even got to Hollywood, as a child she watched all his films. When the agent got off the phone to Paris, he knew the minimal dialogue that came his way is that Freya was his potential new muse.
Rarely did Paris participate in his own castings, he left it to his casting director. But he attended this one and he knew the reason why. The casting went on and on this day. It was going to be an eighteen hour day with no breaks, right now the session was into the eighth hour. The actors kept coming, giving their rendition of the characters, and then leaving. All of them were professional. A few big names had been through the doors that day such as Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mark Strong and Micky Rourke.
In the waiting room, Freya sat - in character. She was a gifted actress anyway, but learnt how to be one hundred percent professional when on the audition circuit. She had become a lot more experienced as a performer in the two years she was had been at Hollywood. A queue of actors were all around her, waiting, biting nails, some in character, others not. Freya kept cool. She felt something good inside, not about the audition, or the character, or the film itself. It was about Paris. She somehow felt she was there to meet him. It was like a sixth sense was working between them.
Freya walked into the room and Paris' eyes froze. "She has finally arrived" was all that occupied his mind. When Freya went to the center of the room and introduced herself, it was the casting director and his plucky assistant who did the talking. Paris couldn't say anything, all he could see in front of him was his superstar. The superstar he had been searching for. The type of superstar producers wait all year in their office to land on their laps, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. The audition didn't begin because Paris wouldn't let it. He kept looking at Freya and Freya looked back at him. She knew she had won his heart and the audition was over before it even began, as in she got the part. The silence continued for five minutes.
Lights glittered in every direction. Paris was happy and humble for another one of his films to get to the Oscars. Event regulars knew his face and greeted him like a member of the family. Fans screamed his name, squealing for autograph's. The man was a legend. Then there was his new superstar on his arm, the brilliant Freya, who became a star instantly from the lead role she played in the movie. Fans screamed her name as well and presenters begged her for interview's. It was all so new to her, unreal almost to think three years prior she was a young woman fresh off the Hollywood bus with nothing and now she was on the red carpet at the Oscar's, competing for the best actress award. She beamed her smiles and knew in the back of her mind, she had Paris to thank for where she was, so she showed him the most respect by staying by his side the entire time. She knew she was his muse now and she wasn't going to disgrace him in anyway because he was too much of a legend.
The next award to be announced was for editing. The silence was the usual at awards ceremony; quiet just before the winner is announced, totally serious on the verge of release like when a man is about to cum. The name announced was Sandra McDonald - Paris' editor. Sandra jumped up, elated. Paris hugged her, proud for her. Sandra walked to the stage. She had been Paris' editor since she started in the business, they had worked together for thirty years. She was a delicate woman, brunette, sixty years old and sweet. Paris looked at her like one of his children, in a way she was his longest term muse, but he didn't see her as the general type of muse.
Sandra accepted the award humbly. It was her first major award, let alone an Oscar. Deep down as she faced the audience and talked like it was her first time seeing the world, she knew it was a long time coming. She thanked many people, as they do! But mostly she thanked Paris and said her success was because of him which Paris thought was very nice. He loved his Sandra, but their was something in her voice and the way she looked into the audience directly at him when she mentioned his name, that spoke something much deeper.
It was a private party to celebrate the movie, at Paris' house. Paris was in front of the mirror, sharpening up in his suit. He was looking forward to the night, he loved throwing parties and events, that was one of his specialties. However it was this night he was going to do what he had never had the guts to do before, and that was to ask his muse for a date. He was nervous because of certain things; such as him being old enough to be Freya's dad, him not being good enough because he had never ever been on a date with a woman before. Or it being just creepy that Freya was his 'project' and now he was going to abuse the relationship by fucking it up with this type of move. Maybe he was thinking too much, but he took a deep breath as his bow tie was perfectly in place and decided he would never know unless he tried. Plus she had recently split up with Andrew, so she was available.
The party was in full swing. All of the people from the movie was there. Other Hollywood stars were there aswell. Paris was having a ball, in the thick of the social action, charismatic and making people laugh, on top form. Guests warmed to him because he was such a respected ambassador to the community and the industry. He was respected and Hollywood stars did what they could to honor their inspiration. Then Freya turned up, making a somewhat late appearance as if the diva in her was being unleashed. When Paris saw her he thought that Hollywood had trained her well! His eyes grew like he was a twelve year old boy with a crush, building up the Dutch courage to pop the big question of asking the girl out. But a man appeared next to her, it was Channing Tatum and Paris' heart punctured when he saw them holding hands.
It was obvious Freya was Hollywood's next top big thing, because she had only been at the party for five minutes and practically had ten film offers from directors and producers whom flocked around her. She didn't get the best actress award in the end, she just missed out on it to Carey Mulligan, but that didn't matter, there was plenty of time. She was known as The Russian in Hollywood too, that never left. Her presence suggested she was the in demand knockout where no film industry person could resist the chick. This was all because of Paris who gave her the big break.
Soon enough Freya arrived at Paris and gave him the biggest of hugs like always - like a father, which Paris hated for the first time and he knew why. She introduced Channing to him, they kind of knew each other through one film project or another, but Channing shook Paris' hand like he was royalty anyway. Freya said they were a couple only after Paris had indirectly forced the question. The love birds acted all in love and Paris was ready to break, inside he was done, the jealousy was going to kill him eventually. But he acted happy for his muse and how she had bagged a Hollywood A list to go with her rising status, Andrew long kicked into touch.
In the garden, Paris had found a quiet spot. He was fed up with the party, angry inside and ready to destroy - it was only destructive thoughts. The dark side to every human being was being unleashed more than ever inside of Paris right now. Hate. He was ready to hate with a passion that could kill. He wasn't a murderer! Again it was only destructive thoughts, however he wasn't mature enough to realize he was experiencing the bitter end of love. He made a bottle of rum disappear and he threw it into the swimming pool. The possibility of a drunken guest going skinny dipping and stepping on it, slicing up their foot amused him for a second. But he was too drunk to be assed to go in a get it. Instead he removed another full bottle from his pocket and cracked on.
Freya appeared by the door. She was looking for Paris and found him when she saw the lonesome figure sitting in the distance of the garden. She walked over and sat next to him. Paris looked a wreck, he was so drunk he looked like a different person. It was a shadow of his former self in a disturbing way. Freya didn't know what had happened to her director. Paris loved his muse with everything he had - professionally. But in the end dating the muse was a myth, it was never going to happen. Even though Paris was putting on a brave face, Freya knew exactly what this was about, he liked her and she felt sorry for her genius hero and director. She looked straight through him at the truth of the man, like when one is drunk, underneath, on his own, Paris was terribly lonely.
Three years later, their was a poster of Freya in the room called the hub, next to the rest of Paris' muses, Freya was number nine. Paris was in the center of the room, on the floor, depressed. It was serious depression, like the really serious stuff only genius poets and writers suffer. It was excruciating, fucking soul air bending, making it almost physically impossible to move inside and out. Paris knew this all too well, he suffered it from a boy, but had always been able to handle it right the way through to his old age. But not this one. When a poets depression is mixed with broken love, fucking hell. Especially at Paris' level in his career and status in life, this very well could be the big one to be his downfall.
But at least a part of him was happy for his Freya. She had married Channing now and had been in movies from Spielberg to Nolan. He got a text on his mobile and it was from Freya, just wishing him well and seeing how he was. Paris smiled, but literally didn't have the energy to text back. He was going to face his depression head on and lay on that floor for as long as it took to pass. If it took days then he would be there for days. That was the discipline required to overcome the poets depression instead of doing something stupid like topping oneself.
It was day three and Paris was still on the floor. He got a call from Sandra his life long trusted editor and she reminded him they had to meet to talk about a project. Paris was pleased the depression was thinning and he could manage phone calls. Then it hit him, so unexpectedly it felt like a set up. Sandra asked him out. It took minutes to uncover what Sandra was actually saying was genuine, and she replied every time it was. Paris asked her why now and why it took her so long and she replied that she felt it would ruin their working relationship. Right then Paris knew he wasn't the only one experiencing these things.
Paris said yes to both requests; meeting for the project and a date. He didn't know why, but Sandra seemed completely right, his heart told him that. She was always one of his muses, but she was a different type of muse, a production muse, not an on camera muse. It was odd, like something had sneaked up on him and hit him through the back door. Sandra was always there, for more than thirty years, it just took that long for her to show herself. She had always been single just like him, growing old alone. But also just like Paris, it was their time to get together, their time to be an item. God had made them wait until old age, but it seemed worth it in the end. The weight on Paris' body disappeared, like he had been unchained and set free. He stood up a new man, the depression gone, and he had the feeling it wasn't going to return for a while.