Once again, Christin and I are working hard on editing our book. Here’s the thing with the “editing” process. Writing the damn book is easier than the edits. At the last minute, we got the call that our very last chapter needed to be reworked.
I was able to knock mine out pretty fast, while Christin had some other things she needed to tend to. As I am writing, and editing, and doing more rewrites, I was suddenly taken back in time.
For my birthday, my brother sent me a beautifully wrapped gift set of my all time favorite Brad Pitt movies.
Let me explain something.
“Legends of the Fall” came out in 1994. As soon as it came to VHS, I watched it. I watched it in the comfort of my apartment, with my first husband and his sister. I hated both of them. My first husband was basically a piece of shit who did absolutely nothing. When I say nothing, I literally mean nothing. I had to go to my parents, asking for money to buy the baby diapers and formula, because he refused to work.
So when my first husband and his sister wanted to have a “movie night” and watch “Legends of the Fall” I wanted to impale myself. As the two fools are sitting inches away from the t.v screen, I am tending to AJ while trying to clean up my crappy mouse infested apartment. I am not even kidding. I would wake up in the morning, and on a daily basis see at least two dead mice in our toilet….and let’s not even talk about the live ones you would here scampering around on the wood floors.
The two idiots are oblivious to what is going on around them. Fine by me. Maybe I will call my sister when I am finished cleaning.
Then something odd happened. As I am picking up clothes, and sweeping, something drew me to the t.v screen. Before I knew it I was transfixed. I was unable to look away. It was the part in the movie when Tristan leaves the ranch. In that moment, I knew right then and there I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to perform something as powerful as the story that was in front of me on the screen, I wanted to do something creative, something artistic that would evoke the same emotion in others as Brad Pitt’s Tristen was doing for me.
Nine years later, a few random auditions for “extra’s” under my belt.
July, 2003. My love for acting and brad Pitt had never faltered. Knowing this, my brother sent me Legends of the Fall, A River Runs Through It, Thelma and Louise, and Kalafornia as an early birthday present. This was an amazing gift. At the time, my brother was only 19, and I am sure his earnings from working at a gym cost him a pretty penny to send me those movies. Yet, he did it because he “got me.” My brother knew I wanted to be an actress and knew Brad Pitt was the one who ignited that spark.
I cried tears of happiness when I saw the movies from my brother. Quickly, I called him, and professed my gratitude.
Later that night, my boyfriend at the time, T, came home from work. We were having somewhat of a “chill” night, and decided to watch a movie. Naturally, we could not decide on one.
Excitedly, I got up, went to the closet, grabbed my movies and showed T. “Look what my brother sent me for my birthday! We can watch one of these, I think you will like Kalafornia.”
It only took a matter of seconds before I realized what I had just done.
The anger took over his eyes. Jealousy took over his body.
“Are you fucking telling me you want to watch some white boy who you want to fuck. And you want me to sit here and watch it with you. Fuck that.”
T took every single movie and cracked it open. He did this with his hands, he did this with using my head. All of my movies, the very movies my brother worked hard for, they were now ruined.
I was crushed. Broken hearted. Shattered.
Not because of the physical abuse. I can handle that. Many people do not think so, but I am pretty tough when I have to be. This time was different. I knew the blood would stop. I knew from past experience it would only take about fifteen minutes before my head would stop throbbing. Easy, not a problem.
What crushed me was, the guilt I felt. I felt I did not defend my brother. I felt my silence was T’s way of thinking it was okay to ruin the movies my brother worked his ass off for. How could I allow T to destroy something that meant the world to me? I was devastated. I hated myself.
I never told my brother what happened. I was ashamed. Embarrassed. I also knew that my brother is pretty bad ass and one way or another my brother would have made T pay.
Thankfully, my brother is away on a job and does not have internet access. He will not read this, and I know no one will tell him.
I spoke to Christin tonight about how this particular story was on my mind, and I feel I need to write about it. She said to me, “Jen, have you ever thought about writing an open letter to T on the blog? A way to let your feelings out in a safe place?”
She makes a good point.
However, my letter would only consist of….
If I ever see you again. If you ever come in contact with me, with my family, with my friends, I will kill you with my own bare hands. You are safe in jail where you can be someone’s bitch. I dare you, I fucking dare you to try to find me.
I am not sure why this particular story was so heavy on my heart. Maybe because my brother has been gone. Maybe because of my book edits. Maybe because just tonight we found out 10 Navy Sailors are missing in another “collision.” I do not know.
The only thing I do know is, I am not the same girl I once was….and the acting bug, well that’s never going to leave.