Madonna was late for our appointment. Her assistant called…Something about a strained hamstring, an injury related to the Super Bowl halftime show. When she arrived I was surprised by how small she was. She’s like the size of a garden fairy- when she apologized for running late, she didn’t have a single wrinkle on her forehead. She ordered warm water and lemon- she’s just begun a cleanse. Though by the looks of her, there was nothing that could possibly need scrubbing.
Miri: Madonna, Madonna, Madonna WA ‘sup with the pleated mini-skirt and the boots you wobbled around in during the Super Bowl halftime show? Most everyone I asked about the halftime show (now over a week ago and I’m still not letting it go) thought you were great. I KNOW you were great. WERE. Past tense. They defended you. They told me to just hush, that you were lovely and tasteful. You made them feel like they hadn’t aged. You swept everyone, save me, into a time warp. But I wasn’t falling for that crap. Madonna, time passed and we got older and so did you. Period.
Madonna: Do you know I study the Kabbalah? We are infinite.
Miri: Okay, so maybe time is a construct. But gravity isn’t. You know what I mean?
Madonna: I do. Gravity is something to overcome. I’ve overcome gravity with the help of the Kabbalah. Gravity is earthly.
Miri: Look, for over a week now, I’ve been trashing you, an entire workweek wasted pinpointing where my discomfort with your performance came from… And today I figured things out. I’ve got zero interest in watching Madonna pretending to be Madonna twenty-five year ago. I wanted to see you now. Twenty -five years have passed. You’ve got to have something new. If we’re lucky we get to keep finding new facets of ourselves, right?
Madonna: Absolutely. New facets. And I have. I’ve written children’s books, traveled to Africa. Adopted a child. Been married, gotten divorced. I’ve lived. But when I perform I’ve got to give the collective conscious the memory they have of me, otherwise I remind them they’ve gotten old. It’s simple marketing. That can’t really confuse you?
Miri: I’m not confused. I’m disillusioned. You were something. You were wild and there must be more of that inside you. You must be able to offer up something that wouldn’t make the middle aged feel old, but invigorated.
Madonna: I study the Kabbalah now. I have tools to transform my life.
Miri: Madonna, you don’t need to go back to your cone-bra wearing, stage-stampeding to convince me. You’re talented. Madonna twenty-five years ago was breathtaking. You surpassed edginess. You touched your crotch, oozed sexuality and not docile sexuality, but take-charge sexuality.
Madonna: Look, I agreed to talk to you because somebody said you were connected to the higher ups at the (Kabbalah) institute in LA. I’m not going to candy coat this for you: Like I said before, we are not allowed to remind middle aged America that they’ve, you’ve, gotten old. It’s my job to create a scene that transports ‘em back in time and keeps the current youth from gagging. And in order to keep all of them happy I do what I know while looking ageless. Think Demi? She’s at her best ever. The hospitalization is a blip. She’s got her look together. She’s not trying anything new. Being skinny is always safe. I can’t try new moves, I can’t risk that. Nobody listens to women with waning estrogen. I’m keeping a paycheck coming in.
Miri: You still need to make money?
Madonna: Jesus. You are ridiculous. My life is expensive. Just like everyone else’s. You want new material? You got any new material from all your fracking and facet finding? Right. I didn’t think so. I don’t know what planet you’re living on, but you’ve got two choices: move there permanently or get some serious work done. Start with your frown lines, or your lids. They’re both emergencies.
Madonna slapped her linen napkin onto the table and four bodyguards appeared out of nowhere. She was lifted by her elbows and burst into a showy rendition of “Like a Virgin.” Her sheath dress dropped to the floor and beneath she had on a white cat suit. Just like her to go wild and switch a cat suit from black to white. Edgy.