The Chronicles of a Prostitute
I imagined Audrey Hepburn – the aristocratic socialite, as royalty; someone to hold in high regard. I recall the movie box: Audrey carrying an oversized cigarette holder, the elegant black dress, the elbow dinner gloves, the done-up hair, the tiara, the pearl and jeweled necklace; cute, petite, demure, respectful waif. And then, many years later, I saw the movie.
Little did I know, Audrey Hepburn… was a whore! Or should I say, character Holiday “Holly” Golightly was. The care-free, wild-spirited, high-society Manhattan debutante was out to snatch herself a man, a rich man, a wealthy “Sugar Daddy” of a man. Watching the movie, this was all I saw: She slept around… she played with people’s emotions… she commanded gifts and money… she didn’t change her clothes… she smelled of smoke… she probably had bad breath… no doubt, the beginnings of a yeast infection… her feet smelled… she was a whore!
Talk about your 60’s Paris Hilton! As an affecting youngster, I was duped with the box cover thinking she was pure, innocent, a school teacher, she volunteered at her local church, passed out blankets down at the mission. Beaver Cleaver’s mom June, she wasn’t.
I think of the T.V. shows from that era: Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show w/Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), Marilyn from The Munsters… the women of that time were conservative and matronly, innocent, dignified, and pure; house in order, kids bathed, dinner prepared, drink in hand, ready and waiting for their man. Somehow, the depiction of an independent, spontaneous, advanced, free-thinking woman in the early 60’s, completely boggled my mind; the farthest thing I could have imagined.
Mind you, seeing the cover picture in my late teens/early twenties, when I first envisioned and sanctified little ol’ Audie (we go way back), I was as naïve as a school boy. I’ve heard it said things you first learn and discover in life seem extraordinary and earth shattering to you, but to assume that past generations never knew of these (sex-divorce-homosexuality) is idealistic and asinine at best.
So, my immaculate vision shattered, I finally accepted the fact that she was a whore… and, guess what?
I like it.
[By the way, after recently finding out the movie came from a book, I found out the novella’s main character Holly was, in fact, a prostitute.]