Just as the kettle boils the phone starts to ring, dropping the tea bag into a mug he reaches for the receiver knowing exactly who it is. Or rather he doesn’t because for the past month someone has dialled his number, at exactly 6.45pm, and not said a word.
Placing the receiver down, he reaches for the pen and jots down the date and time just like the police told him to three weeks ago.
Staring at the list he wonders, briefly, why he continues to answer but he knows that it’s in the hope of hearing a voice on the other end.
His mind is racing. Who keeps calling? Does he know them? Are they in some kind of trouble? Why the hell won’t they speak? Why is this happening to him?
Try as he might, he can’t stop thinking about it. He feels no fear about the situation, it’s not like his life is in danger, it is just a great big mystery that he can’t wait to solve.
But how to solve it is an entirely different matter, there are no clues. Zip, zilch, nothing and he’s tried everything to get them to say something.
The first few times he thought it was kids messing and yelled at them, when he realised it was something more he tried being polite and asking questions but nothing came of it. Now he simply stays silent and allows them to hang up when they’re ready.
He has no idea if they’ll ever talk but as long as his phone keeps ringing he’ll pick it up. There has to be a reason it’s happening, surely no one would keep it up this long of it was a joke, and he’s not going to miss finding out what it is.
Subtitled A Story of Loss and Gain, you know you’re in for a painful read from the get go but I wasn’t expecting it to be this heart wrenching, even after watching de Rossi’s interview on Oprah.
Opening with the revelation that she is regularly woken from her slumber by the voice inside her that continually asks ‘What did you eat last night?’, Unbearable Lightness dives straight into de Rossi’s life during the filming of Ally McBeal when her eating disorder really came to the fore.
de Rossi interweaves her early life with that of life in LA, from becoming a model at age 12, changing her name at 15 (she was born Amanda Lee Rogers), to landing her first acting role and the decision to drop out of law school to pursue acting in the US.
It’s all dealt with in simple but powerful prose directly from the eye of the storm because de Rossi decided to speak from the heart of the issue rather than as a healthy person looking back making it obvious what was going through her mind at any given point in time.
Inevitably this book also deals with de Rossi’s battle to accept her sexuality and it’d be hard to imagine not including this aspect because at certain times this struggle seems (to me at least,) to enable her to fall deeper into her eating disorder. By that I mean, it seems that she felt she couldn’t control one aspect of her life so turned all her attention to following a strict diet and exercise regime which spiralled out of control and led to both bulimia and anorexia.