Deja Vu

Here is something short and sweet.  Still feeling rusty.  Enjoy!



The man sat furious but resolute.

He imagined himself implacable, immovable in the face of his plight.  Surely under the grime, coarse scarf and dark great coat, his foes will see the light of his resolve.   He flexed his shoulders, noting the coils of tension.

Ohhhh, it felt so good.

“Okay.  Ten minute break!”

The man blinked as the dark seventeenth century gaol disappeared, replaced by the glaring hot lights of the photographer’s studio.  Hands tugged at the coat.  Smiling sheepishly at the assistant, he stood.  As the garment fell from his arms, he realized how hot and heavy it was actually.  In his mind, it had been a cold brutal winter.  He’d even shivered.

He accepted the offered bottle of water and idly walked over to the refreshment table filled with the usual fare: bagels, doughnuts, containers of juice, coffee.  Ugh.  Too bad he couldn’t have any of it – needed to watch his weight and all that.   Oh, and chocolate doughnuts – his favorite – large, freshly baked, lots of delicious gooey chocolaty frosting.   The tip of his tongue poked out as he leaned over in concentration.

He stood up.  Wait a minute.  He didn’t have to obsess about his weight any more.  He snorted.  His “sex symbol” days were behind him.  He no longer had to ripple his abs in order to get attention at auditions.  In fact, his career had taken just the artistic turn he craved with serious meaty role and no skin in sight.  While filming the trilogy, he’d been more covered up than anything.  The next film left his shirts soaked to the skin but hardly sexy.  He performed a staging and managed to be the only one to keep all his clothes during a racy scene, to his delight.   The last project had him deliciously mangy with long stringy hair, shapeless ragged clothes, and unkempt scruff.  Now he would play a seventeenth century Puritan onstage.  Not a milieu for any nudity.  Come to think of it, he’d not gotten his kit off in years.  Just as well – he was getting to old for that kind of thing.  Not that he’d struggled to be an “artiste” as they say, but it worked out nicely.  No more bum shots.  No more gratuitous half nude scenes.  No more need for chiseled abs.   Bring on the pizza and beer.  His fans might be disappointed, but that was the way it would be now.

He picked up the chocolate doughnut.  His stomach rumbled at the warm yeasty aroma.  Ah, come here my sweet.

“Your shirt, sir?”

The man blinked at the assistant.  “What?”

“I need your shirt.”

Would this require a wardrobe change?  Who knew Puritans were so stylish?  Sadly relinquishing the doughnut and licking his fingers, he fumbled with the buttons and handed over the garment, awaiting the next change.  Instead she produced a bottle, poured a bit of viscous liquid into her hands, and looked up with a faint smile.

“Boss says the next set will be shirtless.”  She broke into a full grin.  “I’ll oil you up a bit and add some smudges to match the face.”

He knew it was useless as soon as the words left his mouth. “But what does this have to do with-”

The photographer breezed by.  “Ah yes marvelous.  This part will focus on the characters vulnerability and defenselessness.  Take your place in two minutes.”

The man stood morose and not so resolute as hands rubbed him down – was she humming?  He doubted vulnerability and defenselessness would first cross fans’ minds.  His frowned.  He was pretty sure he had no half nude scenes on stage.  Didn’t he?  He glanced down at his abs.




59 thoughts on “Deja Vu

  1. (Huh – I thought I had commented, but something got lost… so once again) OH, how delicious to see “The Man” again. You write this so well. I love the series and missed it very much! I laughed and sniggered all the way through this, despite the blasphemous thoughts. “Too old”??? No way. Shirtless is timeless. But yes, naked vulnerability and defencelessness my arse. Or rather: *his* arse *smirks*.
    Good to see you back. I am still struggling to see your posts in my reader, but at least I get notifications nowadays.

    • Thanks so much Guylty. As soon as I saw the poster, I laughed. High artistry and some skin rolled into one! Personally I think angle should have been left out. And if he appears onstage shirtless, I’ll try not to cover my eyes. 😉

      • Which angle should have been left out?
        Yeah, I wonder how the whole shirtless thing will work out logistically, on stage, and in the auditorium… Probably a treat.

        • The shirtless angle – I wonder if it will be in the play and how it will be incorporated without seeming…gratuitous. Not that I will complain loudly you understand. Just feel a bit conflicted.

  2. Oh Judi, what a poor old chap! The man’s not having it particularly easy. A humming lady rubbing down his abs….
    Really a quite disturbing thought…. My heart goes out to him!!! 😉

  3. I’ve been wondering what The Man has been up to. So glad you’re back. I LOL’d at this. Nothing wrong with short and sweet. 🙂

        • Oh geez, thanks for the imagery Serv! If I get to go, I’ll imagine him naked salting soup at the start of act II now. 😉

          BTW, didn’t mean to type “not.” Something Freudian?

              • I think you might enjoy it more if you didn’t read it ahead of time. You can take a copy with you and read it betweentimes if you’re confused — but it’s very easy to follow.

                The main reason I’m writing about it so much is that there are so many misconceptions about it even among people who are familiar with it. If you don’t have the misconceptions, then you might enjoy coming to it fresh.

  4. Adding to Servetus’s comment, we deeply commiserate with the burden of being a “sex symbol” at such an advanced age.

    • Doesn’t it just break you heart? I’m sure he’s at the gym thinking of us fangirls with every crunch. 😉

        • Got to confess that the pics got me excited, artistically speaking. 😉

          To think, if I go, my seats are in the front row. Ooooer!

          • artistically, shmartistically, tell it to Guylty 🙂

            I imagine if G. is right and that third poster is from the final scene, maybe he does play it topless in which case he probably is putting gym time in. Ah, how he suffers for our benefit.

            • Not sure how much art is in the images *ggg*. Quite a lot of testosterone, though 😉
              Oh, and Judi – what do you mean “IF I go, I have front row seats…”??? Do you have tickets or not? And if you do – then how the hell can you even contemplate *not* going??? *ggg*

              • I bought the tickets just in case my financial situation turns around (working hard to make that happen). Keep your fingers crossed!

  5. Pingback: Have you met “The Man” yet? | Me + Richard Armitage

  6. Wow….this is the first I have read of “the man” serious. I loved it! Awesome, I will have look for more. Thank you for your writing!

    • Thank you, and welcome Heather! If you look at the tags in the right column of the blog, there is one called TheManSeries. Most of the stories are there.

      • Thanks Judiang, I will definitely check out more of the stories.
        And thank you to Servetus for linking your story today so I have yet another wonderful blog to follow. I just want all of you who put so much time and effort into these things to know that it is so appreciated and looked forward to.

  7. Rest assured, Judiang: we all are fully cognizant that your interest in RA (The Man) is entirely artistic and intellectual. We share the “lofty ideals”.

  8. This is the first I’ve seen this series. It’s wonderful. And there’s a backlog of these goodies for me to devour. Thank you so much, Judiang!!!

  9. This was great. I will have to read all of them now. You are hilarious and the poor man, what travails he must endure and sacrifices he must make for his pecs, oops, I mean art.

  10. A ha ha ha ha! You are in top form ,Judi!…just like poor,threatened by rheumatism RA. I mean,all that water and ” nakedness by surprise”. It is simply not safe in his age 😉

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