Blue Skies in Camelot
An Alternate 60's and Beyond
An Alternate 60's and Beyond
Chapter 1: Big Girls Don't Cry
Few would contend that they envied Marilyn Monroe on August 4th, 1962. Sure, she had been one of the biggest stars in the world for more than a decade, not to mention its most potent sex symbol. But things, of late, had taken a turn.
Apart from her divorce to playwright Arthur Miller, the previous year had also marked Monroe’s last appearance on film to date, starring in The Misfits, written by her ex-husband. In the time since, Monroe had spent most of her time dealing with various health problems. Years of neglect, and abuse of drugs had left her tired and in need of help.
Having been fired from Fox’s Something’s Got to Give, Monroe spent this Saturday, August 4th, primarily on personal business. That morning, she had met with a photographer to discuss Playboy possibly publishing nude photos taken of her on the set of Something’s Got to Give. She also received a massage from her personal massage therapist, talked with friends on the phone, and signed for deliveries. A perfectly placid day, at least in the eyes of housekeeper Eunice Murray, and Patricia Newcomb, Monroe’s publicist.
In the afternoon, Dr. Ralph Greenson, the psychiatrist charged with treating Monroe, arrived at her home in Brentwood for a therapy session. Greenson heard that the actress and Newcomb had gotten into an argument earlier in the day, and he thought it best that Newcomb leave the house immediately. Not wanting Monroe to be home alone, however, he asked Ms. Murray, the housekeeper, to stay the night and keep an eye on her. It would prove to be a wise decision.
Following a brief phone call with Joe DiMaggio Jr., whom Monroe had remained close with after her divorce from his father, the starlet turned to retire to her bedroom, but was stopped by the ringing of the telephone only seconds after she had put it down. Confused and annoyed, Monroe answered, to hear a cheery voice on the other end.
“Heya girl,” The actress grinned, despite herself. It was Peter Lawford, English actor, member of the Rat Pack and brother in law to President Kennedy. “What’s a guy got to do to get a hold of you tonight, huh?”
Something was eating at Marilyn, she needed to get to her bedroom. Lawford could wait. Oblivion couldn’t. “I’m busy, Pete.” She replied, curt. “Is it important?”
“Busy, at this time of evening?” Lawford laughed. “Doing what, sleeping? Come on, Marilyn! Pat and I are having a big old party tonight and it just wouldn’t be the same without ya. You’ll come and join us, won’t you?”
Out of the corner of her eye, Monroe watched her housekeeper, Eunice walk down the hallway toward the actress’ bedroom. Droplets of sweat began to form on her forehead, and her heart started pounding. “Pete, I really must be going. Can’t I ask you to leave a girl alone for a night?”
Lawford faux-sighed. “Not on your life, doll. You’re a good friend, and friends don’t let friends stay in alone on a Saturday night…” The Englishman kept on speaking, but Monroe stopped hearing what he was saying.
Eunice had entered Monroe’s bedroom, pulled the door shut behind her with a thud. Moments later, she emerged with a bottle of pills and tears forming in her eyes. Monroe gasped. No one was supposed to find them. Her last resort. Her means of escape.
“Ms. Monroe…” Eunice babbled and wiped her eyes. “What were you planning on doing with these?”
Her ruse up, her plans of ending her pain taken from her, Marilyn was trapped. Caged and cornered, poked and prodded, held up to spotlights and examined under microscopes, she had long felt like more of a zoo animal than a person. Less an artist and more an object to be gawked at. She loathed every minute of her existence, and here was Eunice taking away from her the only way out. Monroe slammed down the telephone, hanging up on Lawford.
She opened her mouth to scream, but all that came were tears of her own. Marilyn fell to her knees. All the world, her struggles, it seemed so perfectly terrible now. It swirled around her, taunting her like the witches in the Disney pictures. Depression kills. That’s what Dr. Greenson had told her. If it kills, why won’t they let it take me? She asked herself.
In a flash, Greenson was upon her, there with Eunice, still fighting back her hysteria. They were here to help, they said. They were going to make things okay, again.
They can say it all they want. She thought. Things can never be okay, again.