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.