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Audrey Hepburn || Dolan Morgan

Celebrity Training, Mon Amour: Audrey Hepburn

In 1955, starting with her left foot and moving upward, Audrey Hepburn ate her entire body in hopes of better understanding and accepting her own physicality. The painful process took a full calendar year, after which she then expelled her person in one triumphant, agonizing push. Yes, the Audrey Hepburn we know and admire, post 1955, is in fact an enormous and animated shit, albeit one of grace and peerless beauty. “Every shit,” someone said, “even and especially the largest, is a song of myself.” As such, her acting prowess increased exponentially, the spoils of which are well known, but the mental repercussions weighed heavily on the young star. She claimed that the experience of being her own crap was akin to hearing the repulsive sound of her voice on a muffled recording — except that, in place of just her voice, it was her entire body, mind and persona that seemed absurd, out of place and deplorable. “Is that how I look?” she asked. “Do I really sound like that? Is this all that I am?” She formed relationships with people, men and women, only as an attempt to wipe herself away, to rub her likeness against theirs until nothing was left — but people, she learned quickly, are not paper at all, and in fact serve only to glob more and more of you all over yourself, like a thick and expanding foam. Scared, she violently tried pushing herself back in, before it was too late. But into what exactly? Even she didn’t know — but guessed and pushed repeatedly. Yet no matter how hard or how often Audrey attempted to reverse the process, to drag her limbs back through her body, no matter how many times she swallowed and threw herself up again, she was never able to undo what had been done, but instead just kept spinning like that. For reference, try putting a turd in a tape deck, hit rewind and listen to the results. Repeat until you know what you’re doing with your life. When friends begged Audrey to accept herself, after all this time, she honestly didn’t know what they meant.

Dolan lives and writes in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. You can find his stories and poems in The Believer, Field, The Lifted Brow, and much more at www.dolanmorgan.com