Another measure of how long it’s been since her last brant is how many new photos of Hugh Jackman there were to pick from to pimp her brant and get people to read it. Obviously there were gazillions of gorgeous photos, but she didn’t want to waste the whole afternoon, you know, staring at photos of some gorgeous person she met once and will probably never meet again — I mean, seriously, why torture herself with the way things were and aren’t now? — so she just took one of the first ones that came up on Google images so she can jump right back in.
Speaking of HJ, and let’s face it, every time Laura brants — especially after a long hiatus — she needs to kind of do a recap of HJ news — just to put her new brant post, and her life, in context. This might sound strange — because of course it is strange — putting her life in the context of his life — but let’s just accept the fact that this is the way things go when she’s starting up again. Because, you see, deep down, Laura’s really shy, and insecure, and doesn’t believe that anyone would be reading her brant right now if she didn’t have a picture of HJ’s unbelievably ginormous bulging biceps up at the top of it.
What struck Laura as kind of strange when she sat down to catch up on her branting is the oddness of her hiatus — the fact that she would cease branting at a time when Hugh Jackman was more in the news than he ever was before. Yes, okay, so she didn’t win the screening of the new movie in stupid Newton, Massachusetts. Who cares. And yes, okay, she didn’t win the charity-fundraising Lunch with Hugh Jackman back around Valentine’s Day because she didn’t have any money to bid on it. But she missed HJ’s whole world tour to promote the new Wolverine film and a few other interesting stories about him as well. One of Laura’s friends, in fact, Kathy Mintz, someone she knew long long long ago in the old Random House days, has been kind enough to email her really fabulous Hugh Jackman news — like sightings of HJ downtown and news of his future Broadway projects: Laura will dig these up and share them in a later brant — and she’s really grateful for this and wishes more friends and readers would share their Hugh Jackman news. Because what Laura’s really been trying to create here on her brant is a community — a community of people connected by their interest in Hugh Jackman and his life and his work. And if in between the HJ news there’s a little bit about Laura well, then, hey, that’s an extra little bonus.
But enough about Hugh.
It’s May 31 — practically June — and Laura has had a busy few months. If she had to characterize things in one short Twitter-like sentence — one Haiku-esque line that would capture the essence of the recent past in general and Laura’s life of late in particular, she would have to say this:
Laura feels like she is waiting for her fate to be decided.
Laura can’t remember a time when she didn’t feel like everything was hanging in the balance.
Laura feels stuck and wishes something (good) would happen already.
Laura could go on and on and on with these one-liners — no wonder people are addicted to Twittering, she’s suddenly realizing now — it’s like graduate-level branting — or the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of branting — one little line that could basically replace an entire 5000 word brant and save her, and her readers (hi Wendy! hi Janet!) some precious time.
And maybe she’ll indulge in a few more before this post is finished, but what she really wants to say here, today, is that she feels like her life is up in the air in a way that it hasn’t been in many many years.
Laura feels a little bit lost — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
For instance, she’s trying to sell her house – it’s been on the market since early February, and obviously it’s a really slow market — the slowest in decades! what fabulous timing!!! — and so it’s not selling. It will sell — she knows that — I mean, it’s a great house and someone’s going to buy it, she just doesn’t know when and for how much because it’s a very “unusual” house — architecturally interesting and a little complicated in the stairs-department — but, just like people used to tell her when she was “dating” (she puts the word in quotation marks because she never saw herself as someone who was “dating” as much as she saw herself as someone who was looking for human salve), it only takes one. All it takes is one person — one family, one couple — without a fear of heights or a fear of living at the end of a dead-end — and she will be able to take a breath and think about a less-expensive more urban future. Now of course, if her house does sell, she has no idea where she’s going — she doesn’t want to make any big decisions or lock herself into another stupid giant mortgage, so that sets up its own anxiety-producing situation: where will she go? where will she live? what will become of her? — but somehow that is a better anxiety-producing situation than the one she is in now: because the one she’s in now just makes her feel completely and utterly stuck and inert.
Laura feels like a bug trapped in amber.
Not that she’s complaining or anything — people have far worse problems than feeling dead because they live at the very end of a dead-end — literally — or feeling utterly stuck and inert — but she’s just a little tired of feeling like she has no idea what’s going to happen next. And not knowing what’s going to happen next is something that’s been happening for a long time since her line of work isn’t exactly something you can bank on — even in good times, and God knows these have not been the best of times for Laura’s work.
The stress of not knowing where or when her next paycheck is coming from is really starting to take its toll.
Which is an understatement: it’s not “starting” to take its toll. It’s taken its toll in a big way over the past few years and has aged her enormously, so a revision to that last Twittery line is probably in order:
The stress of not having a steady paycheck is fucking killing her.
Yet despite all her self-avowed pessimism, deep down, in small pockets of life — like earning a living from her writing and keeping her boat afloat — Laura is kind of a ridiculous optimist, believing that just when she thinks it’s all going to come crumbling down around her something unexpected comes along to save her, work-wise — that there’s always a Hail Mary catch she’s going to make — and Laura believes that now. Which is why she’s been throwing an awful lot of spaghetti at the proverbial wall in the hopes that something will stick — that one of the new irons she has in the fire will turn into something viable and profitable.
Laura feels old and fat.
Which is why she’s going to bring this brant to a close — with the promise of more brants soon — so that she can go downstairs and use the treadmill. Or take the dog for a walk outside on a day that is glorious enough to almost make you forgot how stuck and inert you feel. Right after this one last Twit:
Laura always forgets how much she loves branting and wishes she would remember.