A week ago both daughters came to the woods of Maine on one of their multiple visits to make sure that we’re still alive. Those visits have increased in the last couple of years.

What does that mean?

They bring with them, of course, the throbbing, pulsating energy of the City of Angels. It takes them about three days to slow down and modulate their voice levels in restaurants and coffee shops, and then they, and all of us, are fine.

I would have thought by now that Los Angeles would have burned them out, as it did me. It hasn’t.

The great English writer Evelyn Waugh once said about New York, “In that city there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.” That’s doubly true of Los Angeles, where the “industry” is fantasy, the creating of dreams and selling them like drugs to the planet.

But the Daughters Devine seem to be untouched and neurosis-free. The younger is a lawyer and talent agent; the older, an account executive for a publisher in the film industry, both high-pressure jobs.

Yet they seem to float above the turbulent angst of their city. They neither smoke nor drink, but for a taste of good wine and caffeine-free Diet Coke. They are modern American women, working out and eating right.

As for me, it took almost 10 years to fully recover from the world they thrive in.

I think it’s their mother. She, a Maine girl who was a wonderful stage actor in New York, shunned film to become a teacher. That’s got to be it.

After many years, they and their husbands, both in the “business,” have given up asking us to consider coming back to Lotus Land, to live near them so they can “look after” us.

They’re convinced now that She, who would sell her mother’s wedding rings at a garage sale before she went back to “that,” is beyond convincing.

But agent daughter still teases me with a return to the game.

“Daddy,” she said, “I can get you easy roles that wouldn’t tire you, like parts on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ or other hospital shows where you could play dying old men or old guys who have lost touch with reality.

“Last month,” she continued, “there was a part you would have been perfect for, a famous writer who was in a coma, and the family was deciding what to do with him. It was a no-line, no-action part.

“All you would have had to do was lie there with the tubes in you and try not to blink or talk or anything.”

There was the slightest hint of a smile at the corner of her lips, but I think she was serious. For a moment, I considered it. Scary.

The older, looking up from her laptop, laughed.

“Can you imagine Daddy there without moving, unable to ad lib his own lines to the part? That’ll be the day.”

She’s right. I can’t see myself motionless for long shots, breaking for lunch, then walking down the studio halls to the commissary, dragging my IV trolley tubes alongside. It’s difficult to be dashing and interesting with your hospital gown falling open. No thanks.

My life now is about thinking. A television actor never has to think.

Theater actors have to think. It’s not required in film acting.

For example: In my time, given a job, I would rise each shooting day at dawn and drive to a studio. When I arrived, a lovely woman would seat me in a chair and apply makeup.

Moments later, another lovely woman would do my eyes, then yet another woman would attend to my hair before the costume lady got there. No thinking required.

All I ever had to do was know my lines, hit my marks, stand in my light and avoid blocking my co-actor. For this I was handsomely paid, went home, had a drink and waited for my agent to call, so that I could repeat that drill over and over.

An exhausting, but financially rewarding life.

Each Monday, here in the pines, I can sit at a table at Starbucks sipping my iced-grande-mocha-decaf-nonfat-no whip coffee and stare into the distance. If Angela, a barista, asked Allison, another barista, what I was doing, Allison would reply, “That’s J.P. He’s a writer. He’s thinking.”

Isn’t that wonderful? Hollywood is full of old guys like me who can lie in a bed and avoid moving.

Me? I’m happy thinking. Just ask Allison.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.