Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The family, as loosely construed, is presenting a stage play. We are sitting around an indoor setting. The furniture is scant and obscure.

The "family" is Niki J's, actually, although no one recognizeable is presented here. They are all stand-ins.

Minerva is my center of attention. I am across the table from her in a small room. We are just sitting. There is an audience, of about the number of the actors. This Minerva is not my sister-in-law, but an unaccomplished actress playing her without any of her characteristics, which involve the comic theatrical sensuality of the ineluctably aging and much pretense. In the play, she just sits, as do we all.

We break. Stand up and move off the stage, out of the room. I know we are supposed to be back there for the next scene.

I am stepping through a high loft, almost like the upper level of a bank of prison cells, but there are no bars. These are bedrooms, only they are indistinguishable due to lots of fabric; curtains, bedspreads, clothing, all about, in no particular order.

One who happens to be walking the same pace and direction offers a correction to a bed. It is made of willow reeds bound and woven. He says, like this, and he straightens the head of the bed, which was bent upwards originally. I did not agree. I did not think he should be adjusting someone's bed.

(He is the type of someone I remember from the Army, sort of slack and flip. Used to lie at night in his bunk and talk dreamily with his buddy Roudebush, who was certifiable, in the upper. "I guess I loved her," this one once says.)

I am driving now, and too fast. I am returning to the stage. It is possible that all the actors have not returned. No, I'm sure they have not. I think we are remiss. The audience will expect someone to be sitting around our stage set when the curtain goes up.

I drive fast, and I see a building approach, like a movie run at a faster speed. I pull up, without noise or screech, just short of the door.

I take my place around the small room of the set, but I notice, something has happened to Minerva. Her blouse has been replaced by bandaging. She has been in an accident, I'm told. She must be in pain, although she does not show it, and no one offers any sort of commisseration. There is no alarm.

She lies face down in her place. This will be her new part. It's just another bit of the performance, hampered by her offstage accident, like a soap opera actress who becomes pregnant during the season.

No comments: