On a trip to Milan, I visited The Last Supper, which can only be seen by appointment and in small groups. After everyone had left the room, I remained, strangely drawn to the mural on the opposite wall, the Crucifixion scene by Giovanni Montorfano. In the lower right corner, witnessing the Crucifixion, are several Dominican nuns. This caught my eye, having been educated by the Dominicans in New Orleans. Who, I wondered, was the ghostly figure kneeling in prayer, virtually nestled in the skirts of the nuns?
Of all the women distorted by history and myth, Kleopatra is the most vivid example. Far from the sexual and treacherous archetype of feminine evil who lives in the popular imagination, Kleopatra was one of the ancient world’s most brilliant and powerful rulers. She survived blood-curdling family rivalries for the throne, single-handedly ruled a rich nation with an eye for turning a profit, and kept Egypt independent while all its neighboring countries had been annexed to the Roman Empire. She spoke nine or ten languages, patronized art, drama, athletics, sciences and other forms of scholarship, and had the loyalty of her subjects — rare for the members of her dynasty.
Friends and readers, let me give it to you straight. I do not want to die. It’s that simple. And now that I have written a vampire book, Dracula in Love, and fully explored the advantages, I really, really thirst to be an immortal.
Oh, I am not afraid of death. I believe beyond a shadow of doubt in the immortality of the soul. I am absolutely certain that death will be a pleasant, if not ecstatic experience. I always believe that the best is yet to come, and I extend that belief to life after death. If life is good, then death will be great.
I am absolutely shocked that the great liberal New York Times would publish an article of immense length and detail about a young Saudi prince without one mention—ONE MENTION—of the plight of Saudi females.
In the early years of my professional life, receiving unwanted and unprovoked groping and kissing was not unusual. It was the story of my life, and now we are discovering that it is not unusual. It is many women’s stories.
How many times did I speak out? None. We don’t speak out. The most ambitious, careful women never speak out. Why? Because it’s too hard to get into the room in the first place to complain about men’s behavior once we are there.
I was chased around a desk (literally) by my first modeling agent when I dodged his gropes and kisses. I was 18, he was 50. I was completely caught off guard and ran out of his office. I had just started modeling and at the time, he was the only game in town as far as agents went. I never went into the agency again.