Saturday, April 2, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor's Eyes

It was very sad to hear of the passing of screen icon, Elizabeth Taylor. She was arguably the most beautiful woman who ever lived. The headlines of her passing were quickly followed with articles about the color of her eyes. Were they really violet?
Quoting film critic Todd McCarthy who once wrote “What should abruptly stop me in my tracks, but a pair of eyes unlike I’ve ever beheld, before or since; deep violet eyes of a sort withheld from ordinary mortals that were suddenly looking into mine from mere inches away.”
It was a time when I didn’t need but could afford to pamper myself with lush facials and body wraps. I decided to treat me to four days at a posh spa. As I was signing in, the tranquil, eucalyptus scented lobby became a flurry of quiet excitement.
I turned to see Senator John Warner – a handsome dude – kissing tiny Elizabeth Taylor right before she was whisked into the inner sanctum of the facility. I was sure it was a hallucination brought on by the uber-relaxed vibes floating loose in the atmosphere.
Later that morning I was in the luxurious locker room, padding around in the daffodil yellow terry robe and matching slippers that were the uniform for all the female guests. My schedule had me headed for an exotic Jacuzzi soak before a massage. As I write this piece, I wish I could go back in time. Why is it that life offers you the very best when you really don’t need it?
As I tucked a few items into my locker and snapped the key, I realized I was standing right next to Elizabeth Taylor. My locker mate, she smiled sweetly, closed her door and walked into the Jacuzzi room. Mere mortals are always stunned to see folks from Olympus using lockers.
Once I collected myself, I found my assigned Jacuzzi and settled in. All the ladies grew quiet as Ms. Taylor entered the large room. She was dressed in the standard issue yellow robe and clearly had no makeup on. She looked down shyly, and then up at the ladies. Her eyes were the most luminous violet.  It was an unearthly experience.
The women began to chatter among themselves, perhaps in an effort to make her feel comfortable.  She seemed so lonely in that bubbling hot tub for one. I’m a nurturer. My mind scrambled like a hamster in a wheel trying to come up with a conversation starter. I could find nothing in common to use as an ice breaker. She seemed so isolated. What does one say to a goddess?  
Yes. Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes were a deep, majestic violet. Incredible to behold.

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  1. This is so poignant. Thank you for writing it. There was a time when I could not get enough of Liz Taylor and I had a cousin who was practically a stalker.

  2. Consuelo,
    Thank you. It was almost like looking at a little lost kitten. A feral cat. I was afraid to speak for fear of frightening her. But she was soooo beautiful. Violet eyes.

  3. Love this post, Barbara! What an amazing story. I've heard others say she had a fragility about her.

  4. Thanks for posting this, Barbara. It brought tears to my eyes. Elizabeth Taylor truly was a very special person.

  5. Living here in poverty-stricken West Africa it's so very easy to become distant from, and indifferent to, events back in the "real world", and the death of Elizabeth Taylor was unknown to me until I read this blog.

    My co-author Saffi will no doubt call me a big softy for shedding a tear reading your story, but I've been a fan of Elizabeth ever since I first saw National Velvet (no, not when it was first released!), and your blog is a moving tribute to a true screen legend.

  6. Mark, that was a lovely comment. Thank you. It means a lot to me. Be well.