So, as I said, my reality has been formed by Hollywood's version of reality. As a child, I thought that Father Knows Best was real and that my life was fake. When I think about it now, I may not have been far wrong.

I tell you all of this as a newly made bystander. As I have been reintroduced into my world by electroconvulsive therapy (more commonly known as ECT for those oh-so-fortunately familiar with it and electroshock for those who are not)—reintroduced to my life at the ripe old age of fifty-two. My memory—especially my visual memory—has been wrenched from me. All of a sudden, I find that I seem to have forgotten who I was before. So, I need to reacquaint myself with this sort of celebrity person I seem to be. Someone who was in an iconic, blockbuster film called Star Wars. (How trippy is that?)

One thing I do recall is that one day when I was a toddler, I sat planted closely to the television set watching my mother in a movie called Susan Slept Here. And, at a certain point there's a scene where my very young mother tilts her face up to receive a kiss from Dick Powell. A kiss on the mouth. A romantic kiss. So, she has her eyes closed, waiting. But instead of kissing her on the mouth, Mr. Powell bends down and kisses her on the forehead. I sit there, registering this and then look quickly over my shoulder to see if anyone else had seen what I saw. To see if I should be more embarrassed for my mother than I already was. I tell you this to illustrate that I didn't know the difference between movies and real life. In my life, they tended to overlap. Cary Grant (yes, the Cary Grant) became a family friend, even though he wasn’t precisely that. And characters that my mother played in movies became confused with the person who was and is my mother. So in a way, movies became home movies. Home became another place on the movie star map.

Later on, I worked out that my mother’s appearance in the classic film Singin' in the Rain was not unlike my own appearance in Star Wars. When she made that film, she was nineteen and costarred with two men. I was also nineteen when I made Star Wars and appeared opposite two men. How this is relevant, I have no idea. Maybe I was just grasping around for a sense of continuity.
Excerpted from WISHFUL DRINKING by Carrie Fisher. Copyright© 2008 by Carrie Fisher. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., NY.


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