She didn't used to fall asleep in movies. But working in a theater could do that to you. Once she'd taken the tickets for the four 0'clock show and made sure everyone was in their seats and vacuumed the lobby, she was allowed to watch. That was the whole reason she'd asked for Margaret's help to get her this job.
But now she'd seen The Actress fourteen times. The first three or four were pretty good. But slowly after that, the suspense drained out of the suspense. The spontaneity of the love affair shriveled to nothing. By the fourteenth time... well, she feel asleep.
As a lifelong movie lover, it was sad, in a way, for her to watch the magic of the illusion dry up like a piece of macaroni left overnight in her little sister's booster seat. It made Tibby feel dull and flat. And watching the excitement on the faces of the audience just made her feel worse. She knew that every audience member was taken in by the big sweeping climax, with the cellos and violins and gigantic close-ups of earnest, rapturous faces. They felt it was all happening magically and powerfully for them alone.
Tibby had gotten accepted to the film program at NYU. She was about to spend four years learning how to make films. She's thought it was what she wanted more than anything. But now Tibby was beginning to wonder.
She imagined, depressingly, what it must feel like to be a wedding officiator or a doctor who delivered babies. You'd watch these people in the middle of their personal wonders, imagining for themselves a pure, unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. And then an hour or two later you'd watch somebody else do the same thing. What they thought were miracles were your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It was sad that what you once thought were marvels on the screen were really manipulations. What you thought was art was just some gimmicky formula.
What happens when the thing you devoted your life to begins sucking the life out of you?