excerptum: talisman

Stephen King Peter Straub
The Talisman

Chapter 13
The Men in the Sky


And now something else occurred to him - the time his mother had taken him with her to see her friend Myrna, who was a real ballet dancer, practicing in the loft of a dance studio on lower Wilshire Boulevard. Myrna was part of a ballet troupe and Jack had seen her and the other dancers perfom - his mother often made him go with her and it was mostly boring stuff, like church or Sunrise Semester on TV. But he had never seen Myrna in practice ... never that close up. He had been impressed and a little frightened by the contrast between seeing ballet on stage, where everyone seemed to either glide or mince effortlessly on the tips of their pointes, and seeing it from less than five feet away, with harsh daylight pouring in the floor-to-ceiling windows and no music - only the choreographer rhytmically clapping his hands and yelling harsh criticisms. No praise; only criticisms. Their faces ran with sweat. Their leotards were wet with sweat. The room, as large and airy as it was, stank of sweat. Sleek muscles trembled and fluttered on the nervous edge of exhaustion. Corded tendons stood out like insulated cables. Throbbing veins popped out on foreheads and necks. Except for the choreographer's clapping and angry, hectoric shouts, the only sounds were the thrup-thud of ballet dancers on pointe moving across the floor and harsh, agonized panting for breath. Jack had suddenly realized that these dancers were not just earning living; they were killing themselves. Most of all he remembered their expressions - all that exhausted concentration, all that pain ... but transcending the pain, or at least creeping around its edges, he had seen joy. Joy was unmistakably what that look was, and it had scared Jack because it had seemed inexplicable. What kind of person could get off by subjecting himself or herself to such steady, throbbing, excruciating pain?

No comments:

Post a Comment