SETTING: A room somewhere in a smaller city.
WOMAN: Oh my dear! Are you fit for a blind man’s tango?
A little voice within chimed as she took in the sightless image of the well-berobed man.
WOMAN: Do you his arms to encircle you? Support you? Holding you high? Then rocking you down.
The spoken phrases building one atop another. Slow, bittersweet rhythms mirrored by her body seemingly building in her head. Subtle gestures unconsciously being portrayed far beneath her range of sight.
WOMAN: All with your eyes closed buried in the remembrance of the past.
She whispering reverently.
WOMAN: That pirate’s treasure!
Her lips continuing to recite.
WOMAN: You as that bounty of captured goods that one seeks to find in others.
Out of the bed with her legs now pacing to and fro for a couple of steps in each direction.
WOMAN: Would that you were taken to the brink and forced to walk the plank.
A pestered look across her features as her mind continues to divulge.
WOMAN: How would you permit yourself to be? To take the run and spring forth into oblivion of the waiting waters of the oceans infallible depths?
Her face now blank looking towards the room’s window with the rosy color of a sun not yet quite risen.
WOMAN: Would you hold back sinking to your knees pleading to whimper before implacable indifference of that ever-patient unknown master?
The sun then breaking forth into her room from afar. Its brilliance reaching over to her from its distant horizon.
SETTING: A man’s bedroom in a hotel.
MAN: And we are flicking flames consuming the present not knowing what in the future just ahead that there is left to burn?
A bearded male lays enraptured within his twisted bed covers. The remote glow of an approaching dawn lighting up his dour cave seemingly fraught with an omniscient cold darkness.
MAN: Those walls about one encompassing all guiding our sightless touch to help us stumble further forward! How to defeat such nakedness that entreats and enchant so? And how to prevent one to falling prey to this dance?
This solitary soul turning restlessly about as if struggling against the weight of impressions pressing hard upon his consciousness while his mind still lingers in a transition from its dormancy.
MAN: Why is there such a burden when we know within our-self lies that source of our ultimate joy?”
The man turning away from the window unexpectedly towards the most persistent shadow in the room.
MAN: To hear strange voices from afar tide to an errant feather. Uncontrollable misgivings ever wrestling, while I sit here dutifully within the dun of my own gloom. Motivated, and yet not. The hole in my heart spilling forth an enforced silence while all those about me scream at the top of their lungs to be heard. My head remaining safe from such madness and thus unable to join in. [pause]
The man, his eyes closed, reciting as if from some phantom text of a volume devoted to metaphysics.
MAN: Being that a human being is a very stupid exercise caught up in biological necessities. Rituals of abstract, arcane meaningless displays of animal fervor. The abstract theater of the mind permitting all without consequence. The stroke of the whip across the crevice of the heart to drive out to possibility of mindless conventionality from despoiling the moment. To be shown that the path out of here is mere illusion and fraught with endless disappointment. That hopeless sense of perpetual promise that never comes to pass before those false idols that others are compelled to worship prostrate before. [pause] The many chastising the few.
BOOK’S TEXT: A copy of a book sitting upon the bed table in each room player’s entitled, The Crippled Bough.
It was a dark dour evening that I lay upon the bed not wishing to ruffle the covers beneath a sleeping bag. My leg was encumbered, now wrapped in pain, the result of too much dependence on still being caught up in being younger than my years. Something that by this point I should have known better! A cumulative mistake for which I now had to make a restful restitution. The future no longer required no longer being scaled as if now just another of those all too many far off pinnacles. I couldn’t consider an encounter with another disappointment. And yet they reliably showed up before my chalked up doorstep. After all, what was I truly seeking? A little forgiveness? Forgiveness for the cynicism that had long been my trademark like water lime deposits on an old lead pipe. A true sign of evolution over the many decades. There were many in line who served to make me suffer for their failures. Failures to find the right candidate from within the swarms of their own past who would not surrender their bounty as willingly as I. An abject plate of misery dished out to those that would be foolish enough to engage thus again. This greatest of disappointments aimed squarely at myself for entertaining this foolish notion that I was young, still young, young again. Hoping blindly that innocence might prevail despite all. Such notions being impossibly foolish at that point when one should know better. Felicity, after all, has its price.
SETTING: The same bedroom of the man in a hotel minutes later. He sits fully dressed upon the edge of the bed looking into the spine of the open book as he reads aloud from the volume.
MAN: It had been a remorseless night. And empty day. Another large stack of empty pages that might have been filled had fate not otherwise dealt him from a different deck. However, it had not and he lay in the cold bed within his drafty bedroom awaiting his fate. Something he knew would not have the drama expected of someone of importance. A certain treachery. A sudden end. But would be an incremental long drawn out form of dripping suicide.
SETTING: The woman from the other bedroom lies back against the pillow as she reads a different chapter aloud in the same book opened in the other location.
WOMAN: She had been challenged. Challenged her for a proof of her forgiveness. It seemed evident that I was her plaything. Or seemingly so! Convenient to the moment to be shuffled like some joker in a deck of fifty-two. Moved about at her leisure and useful to those times when she needed to confide. This seemed to be a case of being put on the side like some toy or carnival prize. Something vague summoning a memory that should not be so quickly be tossed. [pause]
The woman looks over to the half open door of her bedroom.
WOMAN: Yet expectant of being discarded at some future date when a more usable replacement would be found. Then quickly bestowed to another at some haphazard future moment. There was no more trust. The fiction was over. The fantasy evaporated away. Now I had come back to myself. To that evil self-serving distant empty world where no one could call me friend. Now alone in the midst of the darkness left by the day that it had deteriorated into laying still stewing within bitter memories. Those decades of absence endured between each supposed love fresh in the mind once again. Names and faces now vacant tottering past upon spidery limbs in a composite of an all too familiar deception.
SETTING: Hours later the same set of books lay open. Each abandoned by their owners who have each long departed.
BOOK’S TEXT, FINAL CHAPTER: Solitude, my boy! Solitude and loneliness. You connect with someone and learn yet again that this connection can fade. Then all of a sudden the solitude is back. You can feel it! Those once known but no long gone don’t even have to be in the room. They don’t have to be near for you to tell what happened, or what didn’t. Sad! SO once again the lifeline to humanity has been cut and one is a solitary presence in an empty room back in the midst of an emotional desert. How curious? People are cruel especially when the believe they have nothing to lose. They have too much to lose! That sense of self stacked up like a pile of bricks without mortar. Piled too high in most cases? Too many are afraid that someone will come along and lean a little too hard. Then what? It all falls into the dust., then just lays there. That is until someone else comes along and piles them up ordering them carefully on their own behalf. And then the whole mad games restarts itself again. Some people get tired before it even begins even if they have no clue what it’s all about. Knowing enough to know that they don’t want to play that game. There is nothing to gain. As a child you start out with everything and little by little everything that matters gets stripped away until you are left by yourself with nothing of importance. Perhaps surrounded by a lot of toys? But then trophies don’t have a lot of heart. Everything in-between shown up as just a game. Another G. Orwell on his way to the road to oblivion. That’s humanity! That’s where we’re all at.