Thursday, January 30, 2014

Week in Seven Words #198 and #199


Before the play, the actors come on stage to finish dressing. They're an all-male cast, and one of them (a noble lady) does a few warm-up sashays in his green gown. Those in masculine costume need help with their buckles and buttons; one actor smiles benignly at the audience as a crew member tries to maneuver his feet into a pair of pinched boots.

We live with paradoxes every day, and they sometimes seem like cosmic jokes. People who try to impress a rigid order on the world have to first rid themselves of their sense of humor.

They've taken off the masks to their Sesame Street costumes and puff on cigarettes in the cold air.

When the documentary shows parts of a Catholic mass, it occurs to me that for most of the audience, this will be the closest they ever get to watching a mass. It's an alien rite.

Waiting in line outdoors in the brittle sunshine.

The stage is lit with real candles, hovering in chandeliers that hang on ropes. Throughout the play, candle wax plinks onto the stage.

He plays, on alternate days, a violent king and a noblewoman falling violently in love.


I've been swimming for too long with my eyes closed and with ear plugs fixed in place.

If you approach her with a water gun, she'll pull out a bazooka. Then she'll tell you that you didn't have a water gun, you had a tank. And maybe that's what the threat of uncomfortable truth feels like to her; a water gun is really an armored vehicle that needs to be destroyed at once.

The TV is on in the restaurant. The music is loud. You've got your tablet to text with. You can rest assured that any attempts at serious conversation will not succeed.

I think for years I lived inside a small and fragile egg. It was warm and stale, the nourishment was poor, but I stayed in it, because I feared my eyes wouldn't be able to adjust to the light. I'm still shaking bits of egg shell off of me. Sometimes I seek what I think is safety in the ruins of the egg. I need to keep stretching, inch by inch. Stretch out fully, in increments, until I'll no longer be able to fit (or want to fit) in the hollow shell.

Wearing leg warmers, a parka and large shades, she strides. She fixes her mouth in a firm line. She wants to show us she's strong, but she's brittle. At the slightest impact, she will fracture. She doubts she has the strength to put herself back together.

A couple of weeks after reading a book that's set off a minor detonation in me, I refuse to think about what I've read. But it won't work. These kinds of thoughts can't be ignored, at least not at great expense. They must be confronted.

Thin-skinned people policing each other's thoughts and behaviors.


Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Hila,

What a great set of words today.

After reading some of your excellent 'Week In Seven Words' posts, I have tried on several occasions to summarise and pigeon hole my own week in this way, yet have so far failed dismally. However it is such a great exercise, that I intend to persevere and who knows? .. maybe one day!

I work with a girl who definitely fits the 'gasper' image, although those of us who don't smoke all seem to suffer the effects and consequences, if we want to talk to her at break time. She is so set in her ways though, that she refuses to admit that she is doing anything harmful, either to us or herself, which always gets my back up a little. Over here in the UK, we have a word for such women, she would generally answer to 'fag-ash Lil'

Nice post, as always.


Naida said...

Great week in words like usual. Ah yes, those cosmic jokes in "dreary".
And seeing stuff like "gasper" mentions, it always just seems wrong somehow. I've seen a priest smoking before, that kind of wrong.
I do like when a book does that to me in "pressing". When I can't let go of what I have read.

Enjoy your weekend.

Nancy Cudis said...

You're simply amazing. I will try my hand on something like this as well. Wish me luck. :)

HKatz said...

@ Yvonne - thanks for the kind words. My advice is to keep at it :) Let yourself free associate about your week - several events, large or small, will likely come up; write about them as you like. After that, hunt for words for them… speaking of which, 'fag-ash Lil' made me smile :)

@ Naida - thanks! For me it's seeing fitness buffs smoke…

@ Nancy Cudis - I hope you do try this or something like it; thanks for your warm words.