this work is not my own
Johnnie finds the smell of wildfires strangely calming. People in California don’t freak like you might expect them to. They’ve got their roles to play, all of them, feng shui experts and firefighters, dogcatchers and arsonists, bankers and insurance men, police and masseurs.
this hand is more than a word
Of all the roles she’s played in her time, Helen never thought she’d play the part of one-night-stand to her lover’s brother. But sometimes familiarity breeds more than contempt. She knows it’s a mistake even while it’s happening. Is not his desperation or flattery that makes her let her guard down. It’s the fact that he smells like his brother, and she misses that scent.
this is just a little part of the big picture
Kent loves the new roles he finds himself playing in the community. A man of means with the wherewithal to sponsor a hot air balloon in the fight against childhood leukemia. He doesn’t really understand how the five grand he paid to sponsor the balloon is going to help the kids with the cancer, but he loves to watch it rise, he loves doing his part, and his date thinks he’s just wonderful.
this play will not end well
Of the roles he plays well, Dave is perhaps at his best as a consoler. The last few weeks of a campaign are hell on a losing candidate. In almost every campaign, it’s clear who’s about to bite the dust well before the fat lady sings. As Dave watches his candidate flop about like a fish on the rowboat floor trying to sustain the delusion, Dave himself is preparing a soulful speech for election night, reminding his man that the other team fought dirty, while he fought hard, and played his best hand, with honor, and so on. And there’s always the next election, almost always. Losers usually come back for more.
this air is not good
When she’s not doing the social work with the hopelessly fucked-up kids from poverty-stricken, violent, broken homes, another one of Jenny’s roles is the environmental crusader. Dave goes out his way to buy a hybrid SUV, but she’s still not impressed.
this letter will find no answer
Charlie explains the engagement to a doubtful friend with insider knowledge as emerging from the need to fill a hole, that there’s a kind of gravitational pull that he and Anna have towards each other now because of what both are missing. Their roles have changed and it’s more about each other now than it was before what happened happened. It’s like they have each lost a leg and can no longer walk without each other. He says this on his fourth scotch. And, he says, he still loves her. His friend says Charlie better stay away from the moon, then, if he’s really going to go through with it: tides change.
this need will see no end
Different men play different roles in Helen’s existence, she reflects as she watches Johnnie “twittering” his upcoming travels from his cell phone on her couch. Some themes in her love life are classical, others are more like television channels you flip by with the remote control or websites that you surf through.
this spell will change what you can see
Howard is a secret fan of Robert De Niro, and considers Travis Bickle to be one of the actor’s greatest roles. His approach to crime, so simple, so satisfyingly effective. Sometimes Howard will throw a line into a boring meeting, referring to a new optimized airport security infrastructure system measure for example as a mighty rain that’s gonna come and wipe the scum from the terminals.
this page will not turn
Among the various roles that time plays, in Anna’s experience, healing is not one of them.
this animal can think
Dave himself is neither racist nor homophobic nor isolationist nor particularly religious, but his candidates must play many roles, must be fishers of men who cast wide nets in order to catch enough voters to save the day.