It was warm on stage, and the audience was cold, colder than hell. The best part was that I couldn’t see them, well… 90%. It was so bright where I was, that I couldn’t see myself.
I might say anything…
There was a crowd in the front row, and it wasn’t difficult to imagine who sat behind them. Some were literary types, others wanted to be, a few were imbeciles—most wanted a good show; they needed to see something bleed, or die a social death. I expect it feels this way at public executions. Something happens to humanity; you can look at a person and see the reverse. Like the “good” girl who says the right thing, but laughs with the rotten mouths when she loses herself in the crowd.
There are many things that can kill us, some faster than others. It’s a mystery to find any meaning. On some days I feel alive and on others, I feel dead; the worst is when one dead day rolls into another, like a snowball so big and so cold, it takes the surface of the sun to feel the warm waves again. Sometimes, there isn’t enough energy to inspire life, and the best recovery is to sleep for 3 days, focusing on nothing.
At the end of that time, I am resurrected, but these days, the cold room, and the cold street, and the cold rain are making my insides fight for warmth, like a man trapped in an industrial freezer. There’s a point when the heater dies, and the cold overcomes hope.
Enough of feelings…
I’m reading poetry—not great, not good, just poetry. The walk home is numbing as I pass execution bridge, looking right, looking left, no angels here, jumping into the waves with instant regret; it’s a thousand knives piercing my insides, then a bright light. I’m on stage again.
“Your poetry is very bad,” a voice says.
I know that voice. “God?”
“Yes, my son.”
“Am I dead?”
“Well, sort of.”
“How can I be ‘sort of’ dead?”
“Do you remember when you found your grandfather’s typewriter in the closet and you wrote that story about the leprechaun?”
“How did you feel?”
“Like I could type anything into existence.”
“Well… I think it’s time that you get that feeling back.”
“And just one more thing…”
“Don’t let the bastards get you down.”
“You’re a good God.”
“Thank you, my son.”
He reminded me of Morgan Freeman.
Then I woke up, and jumped off the operating table.
“Wait, we haven’t sewn your chest shut!”
I looked down. There was a gaping hole there, and I could see my lungs, breathing.
“Well, I never…” And then I feinted.
When I woke up the second time, I knew who I was supposed to be, or how to be. I wasn’t reading my poetry to anonymous cold crowds, anymore. The ocean waves washed through my beautiful feet on a sandy shore. I contemplated the next line, and I wrote it. Then I contemplated the next line, and I wrote that as well. I looked at my toes. Life couldn’t get much better.