Why I Love Nicole Kidman: Part Two

In case you could not infer this from the title, this is the second part of the epic Nicole Kidman story. If you haven't read Part One, I encourage you to scroll down a bit and check it out first. Otherwise, I would just sound crazy. And, now, for the thrilling conclusion...

I was so sure that Nicole Kidman would be there that I went away from our tour group for a moment to sit on one of the benches that rest underneath the tower. I put my head in my hands and prayed vain prayers to St. Isadore, the patron saint of sheepherders, good land deals, and teenage stalkers. Every crumble of gravel that I heard under the massive steel edifice served to reignite my hopes. She would come to me, approach slowly, and like an Amazonian goddess, she would take my hand. She would have to bend down ever so slightly to reach my quivering lips and with the fleshy contact of her lips with mine, my life would be complete at the tender age of 15. I eventually walked back to the bus with my hotel group feeling entirely dejected. I wasn’t so separated from reality that I believed my fantasy would actually happen, but there was a continual glimmer of hope that my poetic brain could conjure up the miracle of my dreams. I left Paris and returned to my regular life and my crippling want of Nicole Kidman to comfort me.

About a year later, my father, mysteriously supportive of my fascination, went with me to see the newest Nicole Kidman movie, The Portrait of a Lady. In preparation for the film, I managed to plow through my first Henry James novel. By the end of it, I was not sure what I had just done and where two weeks of my life went. I do consider that a good preparation for my tenure as an English major where I blanked out in the process of reading plenty of thick late 19th and early 20th century lit. We went to the theater and were part of the 54 viewers that the film showed for worldwide. My father, bless his heart, fell asleep somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd minute. I could not tell you one single part of the plotline for the film, but I could tell you that I was completely enthralled.

The one concern that I had with The Portrait of a Lady at the time was that I knew (from reading volumes of reviews) that there would be some nudity involved. I had long held the belief that I did not want to see any representation of a nude Nicole Kidman until I was drawing my last breath on my deathbed. I jokingly said that it was because there would be nothing else to live for. In truth, I had such a sacrosanct reverence for Nicole that I couldn’t imagine sullying that by viewing her nakedness. Luckily, before this movie, there was no other option as I held with pride the fact that Nicole had never revealed herself in front of the cameras. That was, until now. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what exactly was revealed. There was some build up to it, so I was able to adequately shield my eyes before the glorious fire, like one that would emerge from the opened Ark of the Covenant, would melt my face off.

In the beginning of the year 1999, news broke that “Practical Magic Star” (a title that still makes me wince) Nicole Kidman was scheduled to appear in a stage drama called “The Blue Room” which would run for a month in a London theater. I had recently turned 18 and I was proud of my newly acquired title of adult. I began making plans to fly, by myself, to London for the sole purpose of attending the stage production. I made all of the necessary arangements, including the hostel I would stay at and the cost of airfare. If I took all of the money I had earned as a grocery store dairy boy out of savings, I would have just enough. I could handle missing a week of school. I would just have to present the idea to my parents. I did so and was shocked that they did not put up much resistance at all to my request. They both let me know of their disapproval, but they also both understood how my obsession was a kinder, gentler version of stalking. They said that I could make my own decisions, and so that I did. Just before I was to buy the airfare for a round trip ticket to England, I read a report on the “Official/Non-Official Nicole Kidman Fanclub Web-zine” that the actress would be appearing in a scene of “The Blue Room” involving full-frontal nudity. Nudity for the sake of art is one thing, but when the descriptor of “full-frontal” is put on it, it is just dirty for dirtiness sake. I cancelled my plans to attend the show, much to the relief of my parents and my college fund.

It was with that simple report that the dream and obsessions that I had harbored for so long began coming to an end. I eventually took down the pictures of Nicole in my room and on my locker. I hid the magazines at the back of the bookshelf. I cancelled my Web-zine electronic mailing list subscription. In the summer, Nicole Kidman would appear in a movie that was hailed to be her amazing breakthrough performance, Stanley Kubrick’s romping sex-fest Eyes Wide Shut. Sticking religiously to my no-naked philosophy, more out of a sense of disgust than bridled passion, I did not see the movie. In it, Nicole Kidman appears, opposite her husband Tom Cruise, as the wife in a burned-out marriage. In real life, the marriage of the two stars was coming to a bitter end. My pleas to heaven had been heard only a few years too late. Nicole Kidman was single again. I was above the age of being considered a victim of statutory rape. The stars seemed to be aligned, only the stars I had in my eyes for years were slowly dimming.

I have enjoyed watching Nicole Kidman over the years in her variety of roles. It is the kind of satisfaction that one might get in seeing the success of an ex years after their departure from one another. I made no real effort to attend her movies, but I usually would end up renting them and watching them by myself in the late hours of the night. I would sometimes give a second look, but never purchase the many magazines in which she has appeared on the cover over these several years. She has since starred as a sing-songy penguin in an animated feature, as a robotic wife, and even went on to win an Oscar by putting on a fake nose and drowning herself in the ocean all nerdy and poetic-like.

I am now as old as Nicole would have been if we had happened to meet that fateful day in Paris. So many things have changed in the course of both of our lives. In March of 2003, I made my way back to the City of Lights, only this time with my best friend in the world. Miranda and I walked together, hand in hand, through the crumbling gravel underneath the Eiffel Tower. I held her tightly directly underneath the arching beams and it seemed like we were the only people in the world in the chilly night air of early spring. I kissed Miranda after bending down slightly so my quivering lips could reach hers. I then whispered in her ear “Thank you for making my dream come true.” I brought out the ring from my pocket, kneeled down, and proposed. We have lived happily together for several years now and I can think of no one that I would rather spend my life with.

As a young, innocent, and hormone-fueled teenager, I searched for the answers as to exactly why I loved Nicole Kidman. I was willing to carry that search to a different continent at least twice. I bore all of the symptoms that if my own children ever displayed, I would admit them immediately to psychiatric care. I claimed that I wanted the world to know, when I was actually just trying to find out for myself. Now, nearly half of my life later, and slowly (after writing this) recovering from a mid-life crisis, I believe that I know the answer. She was talented and beautiful and charming and gorgeous, all this is true, but it is not the answer. I loved Nicole Kidman so much so that I could appreciate what true love would be when I found it later on in life. I love my wife even though she can’t magically wiggle her nose, or have a job as a U.N. interpreter, or even haunt the living along with our ghost children. What we have is something that a movie script can’t write.

But if they ever do, I think Keith Urban could play my part very well.


Marsha said...

As your mother, I was getting a little worried about your obsession while reading this post, but was happily surprised when you so sweetly gave this tribute to your wonderful wife. May all your future dreams come true, together!
Love ya!