Posted by: David Weimer | January 10, 2014

#3 (First Edit) Upcoming excerpt from “Situations of I” book

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All I’ve got.…

Maybe.…

“No.”

 

 

 

Silence is the backdrop. No actor stands to deliver memorized lines. A man is lying in a reflective pool of his own blood. The blood has poured from his body like a vase of blood tipped over onto the wooden floor. The empty cup lays on its side, hands motionless, head resting on one arm, legs like two parallel logs.

The empty man laying on the stage. No audience witnesses his repose.

Here.

“The show must go on.”

But this is the show.

The body, cold now, used to be warm; he had lived his entire life warm.

This lighting is familiar. All of it is focused on the figure—stage front, mid. Bright spotlights converge on the body, causing the surface of the body to become slightly warmer than the darkened theater.

The congealing blood pool is confined by its hardening edges. Blood has sunk into and through gaps in the gritted black-painted hardwood flooring. Four smaller puddles contrast their rich, darkly-reflective, deepening color with the dim, dusty concrete subfloor. Wet-looking thimbles dangle motionless in this four-inch gap. The drops have ceased their falling.

On stage: a heavy crimson curtain hangs on both sides of the performance area. The folds are the dark color of dried blood. Another black curtain hangs behind the acting space on the last of four parallel lines.

Empty stage except the man lying in blood. Converged spotlights. Rows of empty seats in a darkened theater. Perfect.

And then the man sits up. Caked blood coats the left side of his head and face. It is utterly soundless. His hair is matted, especially over the saucer-shaped indent where his skull is crushed.

Lines of blood begin running along his jaw and drip from his chin onto the white pleated shirt beneath his dinner jacket. His arms remain locked at the elbows. His hands, on either side and slightly behind him, are propping him upright. He wouldn’t blink, even if he could. Perfect.

His legs, straight in front of him, end with polished black patent leather shoes over black silk socks covering his ankles and shins. The shoestrings are tied perfectly. He sits, and listens. He then blinks, very slowly. His left eyelid sticks and reopens with noticeable difficulty. His eyes are open again. He notices the empty theater. So. I am alone now ….

The sensation, a feeling of being still….

Ah….

The man’s eyes move in their sockets while his head remains still—left, then right. They track the silent rows of seats in the darkness. Then up, they look, at the brilliantly-lit spotlights. Then the unlit colored lenses and track lights.

His eyes track downward to focus on his nose. The left side of his face is clearly darker, dark with blood, he knows. His eyes roll downward as far as possible, taking in motionless legs, feet and a large region of pooled blood at his left hip. The two slowly-moving orbs return to staring straight forward.

The man’s eyelids slowly lower to cover his eyes. He takes his first breath. This is the first sound he has heard since sitting upright.

His left nostril remains clear. All of the inhaled air enters, and then exits, no warmer than it had been in the room.

This breathing continues, regularly.

It is impossible, he thinks.

Of course.

Staring, he wonders. Will I stand up, or lie back down? His heart is not beating.

This has always been the question.

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