Thursday, December 13, 2012

the last book I ever read (Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, excerpt four)

from Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub:

There were many things that Laura missed about working regularly, so many things that she could hardly do anything else all day long except miss parts of her life that were gone. Laura missed having a dressing room more than she missed having a bedroom, in particular the lightbulbs that surrounded her face and made her skin glow. She missed learning her lines, speaking the same words over and over again until they formed pathways in her brain so deep that they couldn’t be knocked loose. Laura missed the camaraderie of players, the kinship she had known her entire life. Actors were different from other people, more acutely sensitive to words and gestures, always absorbing new emotional landscapes. Why would anyone do anything else? Laura didn’t know how. She was always ready to go into Jimmy’s office, always prepared to meet with anyone. She wore sunglasses half the size of her face, and wound a scarf around her shoulders. Her arms weren’t as thin as they had been, and other parts of her body had started to lean slightly out, as if testing the boundaries of her flesh, but when she had to, she could still look like Laura Lamont. In April she would be fifty years old. It was always a surprise to Laura, the number. It just kept rising, no matter what she did or didn’t do in any given year. One year, Laura told Florence that all she wanted was a button she could push to pause her age, just for a little while, a few years, while she got used to the idea. Florence had thrown her head back and laughed, and Laura gamely tried to laugh along, though she hadn’t been joking.

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