Maybe the Moon: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Maybe the Moon, Armistead Maupin's first novel since ending his bestselling Tales of the City series, is the audaciously original chronicle of Cadence Roth -- Hollywood actress, singer, iconoclast and former Guiness Book record holder as the world's shortest woman.
All of 31 inches tall, Cady is a true survivor in a town where -- as she says -- "you can die of encouragement." Her early starring role as a lovable elf in an immensely popular American film proved a major disappointment, since moviegoers never saw the face behind the stifling rubber suit she was required to wear. Now, after a decade of hollow promises from the Industry, she is reduced to performing at birthday parties and bat mitzvahs as she waits for the miracle that will finally make her a star.
In a series of mordantly funny journal entries, Maupin tracks his spunky heroine across the saffron-hazed wasteland of Los Angeles -- from her all-too-infrequent meetings with agents and studio moguls to her regular harrowing encounters with small children, large dogs and human ignorance. Then one day a lanky piano player saunters into Cady's life, unleashing heady new emotions, and she finds herself going for broke, shooting the moon with a scheme so harebrained and daring that it just might succeed. Her accomplice in the venture is her best friend, Jeff, a gay waiter who sees Cady's struggle for visibility as a natural extension of his own war against the Hollywood Closet.
As clear-eyed as it is charming, Maybe the Moon is a modern parable about the mythology of the movies and the toll it exacts from it participants on both sides of the screen. It is a work that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit from a perspective rarely found in literature.
“And I was just gonna pester him, beg him for jobs, make your life complicated.” He considered that for a moment, then said: “Something like that.” “So you lied.” “Yes…OK, yes.” We shared a moment of silence over that one. Finally, Leonard said meekly: “You can be pretty…persistent, you know.” I grunted. “I admire that, though. I admire it a lot. Don’t get me wrong.” I was beginning to think I could make Leonard say or do anything, confess to the sins of the whole sorry town. I felt a
The jobs didn’t exactly roll in, but I worked steadily, mostly in horror films, mugging my little heart out in this refrigerator or that. Once, a year or so after we’d met, Leonard invited me to sing at a party he and his lover were throwing at their fancy new house in the Hollywood Hills. On the engraved invitation, the event was billed as An Evening with Mr. Woods. I stood on a red-lacquered baby grand in a postmodern atrium full of white plaster sculpture and did my funkiest rendition of
hand laid lightly on Danny’s shoulder, as if the poor kid were a minimum-security prisoner being taken into custody. “So,” said Neil, much too cheerfully, “time to boogie, huh?” “You bet.” “Looks like it’s cleared up out there.” “Mmm. It does.” “Maybe we can stop for ice cream or something.” I told him Renee was expecting me back at the house. “OK…well…whatever.” So we headed out—the three of us—father and son taking the lead and waiting for me at the van. Neil lifted me into the back
biggest hurdle; the rest would be like working a birthday party—only bigger. Jeff dropped me off here at the house just after noon, arranging to pick me up again at six. He was bland about his goodbye—largely on my account, I think—but I could tell he was just as wired as I was. He honked a second farewell as he turned the corner out of sight, as if to assure me one more time that we were absolutely doing the right thing. The house was a mess, since I’ve been anything but tidy lately in my
curious, wet heaviness begin to spread in my chest. My first thought, silly as it seems, was that I was somehow in that suit again, enduring its weight and heat and confinement. My second thought was the right one, the one that has circled my consciousness, buzzardlike, ever since Mom bit the big one in the parking lot at Pack ’n Save. I put my hand against Jeff’s leg to steady myself. “What is it?” he asked. I remember trying not to scare him, trying to say something flip about my fabulous