Such was life, hold the tv. After the last dollar was spent at the dollar store, after the last hand vigorously shaken by successful mall recruiters, after the last, shiny remnants of humanity sunk into the glistening parking lot tarfill….whatever was left of us shrunk softly and quickly back into the vortex of tv, hold the life. The only thing could awaken a man to venture back out, was the promise of a woman. The women would be lured back out by their children, of course. The children had the time, energy and naivite to go out again and again, and demand more. They damn well deserved more! Truly. In their machine-washed clothes, eating their fast foods too quickly. Wondering what was the purpose of papermade books were. Drinking their teeth clean of flouride enhanced waters. Sucked into screens, labels and the temptation of high fructose corn syrups. Over or under most recommended daily allowances of various vitamins and minerals.
So what was it coaxed you and me out of our shells? Out of our mobile and anchored homes? Out of our me-tv schedule scaffolding? Who or what held out the promise of the driven? What got the working men and women out of their birthday suits and angry bird slippers, and back on the not so high speed trains to their less than inviting workplaces? Was it Yerba Mate? Cocaine? Amphetamines? Fear? Was it patriotism? Capitalism? The desire for greenbacks? Dead presidents, fresh in the hand? Was it cream? Cash rules everything around me? Was it attraction or promotion? Was it some new fragrance free working man’s lotion? Witches brew or magic potion?
Or maybe we just needed a haircut. A break from the monotony. A thirst for a bigger box to live in, just for a day. Maybe a virtual mentor in the shape of a paperclip appeared to us, on our screens. Maybe an outfit had to be picked up at the drycleaners. Or a package, at the postoffice. Or some money needed laundering. Maybe the permit to gloss over guilt or shame for being layabouts, expired. Maybe the sun or the moon revved us up? Maybe a declaration of war that would be neither seen, felt or heard. Maybe it was some doctor’s orders. Maybe the meds needed refilling? Or the cavities needed filling? Or did we fall out of our apartments accidentally, after we fell out of bed?
Maybe we had not woken from some dream where we were in some strange land where we became filled with adrenaline, time and time again, and crouched like tigers and cats to pounce upon our next meal. Some strange land where we were hunters again. Even gatherers. Not just gathering moss, while stoned. Maybe in this bizarre fantasy, we were also foreign to the concept of being entertained. Maybe circus people were more acceptable, even praised? Maybe we were the freaks in our dreams, maybe we were america’s least wanted! Those of us who lived in front of stage, watching, listening, applauding, cheering, eating our throwback dinner theatre fare, one course at a time, one act at a time, frozen solid between the closing and the opening of the curtains, or drinking ourselves into a chablis coma. Boxes of wine on the luggage carousel, circling the wagons made of stone, parked right up under your grill. Cream puff for desert. Aperitifs: at the end.
Maybe the hands of time were touching toes, then can opening counter-clockwise outside of our attention spans. One length short of a blueprint. One donut short of a dozen. One act short of a play. One tab too many, and now the escape key won’t get you out of it. You get the message with the sad face an artistically-declined elementary student could have drawn: kill page… So you do it. You kill it. Like you were told. You stab it with the steely knife. The curtains come down like a fuckin’ guillotine! Sweetheart! See how it snapped? The dust off the velvet end? Just like that. Just like us. Just short of ye olde wooden floor a thousand Caesars and Oedipis and Hamlets have dragged their sound and fury across, demanding of themselves nothing less than a miracle.
Then, after hours, after blood, after sweat and tears, leaving you and me. Leaving me and you, in our own silence for a second. Our own magnificent silence… the most beautiful, sacred moment of the whole damn affair! The chance nobody knew they were taking. Complete darkness and silence. Envelopes the air. Brings a semblance of peace, to our cream puff war. Before being upended, and lost in applause. Just like us, sometimes. Beautiful, wonderful, delicate. We are. For a moment. We are…before being again upended. And lost. In applause.