narrative; hugh c. WHO: Hugh & Heart. WHEN: Friday evening near the end of October. WHERE: A film set in Michigan. WHAT: It's Autumn, and when he's not in front of a camera, Hugh is haunted by a string of almosts. WARNINGS: None.
"Down girl. Yeah, I'm back," Hugh leaned over, giving Heart an affectionate tousle behind her ears and around her neck. The Labrador looked thrilled to have him back in her space and it was difficult to be very melancholy with such a warm welcome. "Shh, I'm gonna get my make-up off, and we're gonna go home. Sit."
Heart did, looking up at him expectantly as he slid into the chair, and he gave her a fond look as he reached for make-up pads.
It was nearly 9pm, and he could feel that they were coming near the end of the filming. It was in the air both as an expectancy and a sort of celebration, but also in his body as something that seemed more complicated.
Hugh was well aware that when he finished filming, he'd be out of a project, and the next month would likely include lots of open time while he sorted out auditions and found something else that would occupy December or January. He didn't mind the 10 hour days - they'd had a few this week - or even the 12 hour ones. He craved the busy-ness of the film set, because when he was on set, embodying someone else, he didn't have to feel anything lacking in his own life.
And when he was finished. When he pulled the make-up off, slipped his hand through his curls to loosen the gel, and put his own clothing back on -- that was when he could feel the missing things as if they were ghosts.
The thing he'd used to do, he realized, was that he hadn't allowed anyone to get close enough to allow their absence to create a presence of its own. And he could maybe curse the fact that he had allowed this, but it wouldn't change anything. It wouldn't change that despite sitting in that emptiness right now he still wanted to try to change it again. He wanted… something that couldn't be filled through work and never would be.
Heart shifted, and he put a hand down on her head. "Almost." She stilled.
Even the word rested in the room, lingering. Things he'd almost had. He breathed out staring at his now clean face in the mirror. One of his curls had fallen over his forehead, and he reached up to push it back, and his hand froze halfway there, the memory of another hand that plucked it forward on purpose, always on purpose. He dropped his hand, leaving the curl, and then after a second, he ran his fingers through them - bringing them forward.
He stood, Heart stood with him, following him. Next week he'd see Theodore, at least, if they didn't run a 10 hour day, and he hoped - hoped it wouldn't. The idea of seeing him again brought a smile to his lips as he reached for a plastic goblet to pour out a couple of ounces of wine. The week after that he'd be back in Repose and maybe Theodore would be agreeable to some film nights occasionally? Hugh would figure out ways to distract himself from the lack of a project until he got another one lined up.
Back in his own clothes, film make-up removed, he looked in the mirror and after a look-over he grinned. "We're going out," he told the dog. "Or I am. You're going back to the room after I take you for a walk."
Going out was a distraction too, and he knew it. But tonight, it wasn't an emotional itch he had and he was beginning to recognize differences. The emotional ones were dangerous and he was better off sitting in his room riding it out, but a night of dancing? -- that'd be fine.
He raised his phone, snapped a picture, uploaded it to Instagram, slipped the device back in his pocket, downed a final sip of wine, and smacked his thigh. "Let's go."
Heart was to her feet instantly, and Hugh held the door to the trailer open for her as he headed for the cars.