From Reading Room/8:

Mark Probst

Back to the issue 8 page

            Teddy and Jack Lemon were friends, the kind of friends who didnít see each other any more but when Jack, who never appears in this story, brought Long Dayís Journey to Broadway in the late 1980s, he invited Teddy to the opening and the cast party. Teddyís children predeceased him and he left no family except an ex-wife in another town. We donít know how he actually spent the day of the opening or if in fact he and Jack ever acted together.

Teddy slept on his right side, knees together and pulled up, head in the cup of his right hand, left hand between his legs. Late morning and he stirred. Sunlight came through a long rip in the curtain and he was somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. His mouth was dry and his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. He turned and still half asleep sat up, a short fat man with a hairless torso. No pajamas, he wore blue boxer shorts with white stripes and, even in his sixties, had a baby’s shiny perfect skin, a baby’s full belly. Once he’d been lean. Now he was sweat-bathed. He was usually sweat-bathed when he woke. He blinked and began to think about the evening, his very short-term future, more or less nine hours ahead. A play that was opening. A revival—revival that I’m not in. I’m not in anything anymore because I’m no longer an actor.


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