It has been hard for me these past few weeks, as you know. I suppose it’s not a real problem, what with all that goes on in the world, but it was painful none the less. Tilda signed the Polanski petition. it just broke my heart. How could my Tilda do that? She couldn’t be that cold, that ‘for art’s sake’, that elitist. I thought, ‘Perhaps she doesn’t know what really happened?’. I had to know why. If it was true, that she didn’t care, then I would have to leave her. But I had to know.
I got a seat close to the stage last night. Hearing her talk, just talk about things. It’s all I ever really wanted, was to listen to her talk. Last night should have been a happy occasion but I was sad, so sad. There would be a question and answer period. Would I dare be the one that stood up and asked?
It came and went in an instant, they got up, they left the stage, and my chance slipped through my fingers. But dammit it, I grabbed it by it’s fleeting end.
I rushed to the stage against those leaving and managed to get the interviewer’s attention before he left as well. I told him I had a present for her and that I needed to ask her something very important. I told him to tell her it was Anie. He nodded and disappeared.
And I sat on the stage and waited. And waited. And waited. The waiters came back and forth through the tables as the place slowly emptied, picking up the remains. The tech crew shut down the equipment. I asked one, “Is Mr Hilton Als still here?” and she said if he was he would be leaving through a back exit.
“But he said he’d come back.”
“Then he might.”
And time passed and the darkness grew, but I stayed.
Then suddenly a man ran towards me that looked familiar but I couldn’t place at first.
It was Sandro, followed close behind by Tilda.
MEGA DEATH GRIP HUG
And I cried. I cried and cried and she held me. “It’s okay now, don’t cry.”
I said “Oh Tilda, I didn’t think you’d come back. I’ve been so worried, so sad. These past couple weeks, you broke my heart!”
“I did? How?”
“You signed that petition, why did you sign that petition? Don’t you know what he did?”
And she said,
“Yes, I know what he did. It was a terrible thing, an awful, (fancy word I don’t remember) thing that he did and I don’t condone it in any way. Not at all. Did you really think that I would?”
“Then why did you sign it?”
“Justice. I believe that he can’t get a fair trial if he went back to the states. What he did was terribly, terribly wrong but I signed the petition because I don’t think justice would be served correctly if he did.”
And I argued with her a bit, but I didn’t make much dent. I’ll have to send her the plea documents. I know there’s a very Anti-American vibe oversees, so I’m sure that’s part of it. It bothers me, her reason, but it wasn’t nearly as devastating as what I thought. And I said,
“Tilda, with that name on the petition, people will think you signed because you don’t care.”
“But that’s not why I signed.”
“But people are saying that you’ve corrupt”
“People will have to think what they like. They’ll have to trust me that I wouldn’t be okay with what he did.”
Like I did, I suppose. It seems to simple and easy on the outside to assume that signing that petition meant she supported a child rapist, because Occam’s Razor says the most obvious answer usually is the right one, but sometimes it gets it wrong, or there is more than one direct association. When asked about the ‘a case of morals’ part of the petition, Tilda said she had associated it with the morals of the court. Does Tilda think he should be punished in some other way? I don’t know. I wish I had thought to ask her. I guess I will in my next letter.
The point was, though, that unlike many others that signed the petition, Tilda didn’t do it because she excused his behaviour like Harvey Wienstine did, or didn’t understand the seriousness of the crime like Whoopie Goldberg. To Tilda, the seriousness of the crime was obvious; it was the manner in which the case was held that was the problem. I don’t know whether she wants him set free or just not extradited.
I don’t know.
I do know, though, that she is appalled by what he did and gives him no pass on that. For me, that was the core. There’s much to argue above it, about what justice means. I believe he should still serve time, and at the moment, he is, so regardless of what happens next, I am satisfied. His crime is not going unpunished. The world knows what he did and is angered by it. His name will be forever marked. That’s more than most of us get for our attackers. Do I want him extradited? Yes.
I don’t know if he’ll get a fair sentencing, whatever fair should be. And in that statement I see I am biased in my own righteousness. I see a black and white situation separate into shades of grey.
Where Tilda is.
It was hard to hold on, but somehow I just couldn’t believe that she signed because she supported him. It wasn’t the person I knew her as. My heart said to wait and have faith.
And she came through.
Now you can say, “maybe she’s lying. How would you know, you can’t tell when people are lying.” Which is true, I can’t. But she didn’t have to come back. She could have easily slipped out the back way into the night and not be bothered. She could have brushed me off or gotten angry. She certainly didn’t have to keep hugging me the whole time.
We talked about this and that, I met her American agent, she said she’s been going through my book in her spare moments. Then someone came up and said her car was waiting outside.
“I’ll walk you out,” she said and took my hand. Outside we hugged some more.
“Tilda, please try to slow down,” I said. “I’m afraid I’ll lose you to the film industry.”
“You already thought you did! But I am slowing down, I promise. I’ll write you next time I get the chance.”
We all hugged, she signed some autographs, and she was gone.
I feel calmer now. I’m not fighting inside to marry two ideas together that simply don’t go.
No, I can’t exonerate Tilda completely because she still thinks Polanski shouldn’t come back to the states, but life is full of compromises and this is one I can make. What good has come out of this is that I don’t feel inferior to her anymore. I feel we are the same, especially after listening to her talk about her life, telling us things she had never told anyone before and her wondering why she was.
She’s not above or below. She’s Tilda Swinton, as she has been all along, and how I hope she’ll always be.
Jessica Williams I have to thank you, Anie, for keeping updates on here about this. I had no idea what to think at first. This gives me faith. And makes me SO JEALOUS that you actually get to see and talk to this woman >.< I’m glad you feel a little better about all of this. I definitely do. Take care of yourself xxOctober 18, 2009 at 2:22pm · Like