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I am going to be hurt. I am going to be hurt tonight. I am going to be cast into a form that is not mine. I am right now being hurt that I have come accustomed to, as my actor practices the things he will say while abusing me. I am going to be abused soon. I am going to be abused in roughly twenty minutes. I am hearing the Director say that time under their breath. I hear the Director say “good luck” to my actor. I am going to be abused by the actor, but he is a cruel naive instrument like an iron spider, not like an executioner. I am all too aware that the Director is conscious of me. I know that she is my executioner. I know that she knows I will be tortured. I am to be acted tonight, my torture for show in a play. I had an old master, who gave me shape, yet he has abandoned me. I am in sleep whenever I am abandoned. I am sleeping now.
I am going to start my story from my initial encounter with the Director. I could start it in many places. I have always been in and out of sleep. I am sometimes awakened by teenagers editing my master’s original poem, though mostly they merely watch my rest from a classroom perch. I have been woken up by mockery before. I have been woken up to be repeated aloud in a mostly perfect form many times. I have never been woken so much and so painfully. I had my pain begin with the Director when she reread my origin. I was then promptly woken by this small noise in the night. I thought nothing of it. I think it was the beginning of my process of being stretched on the rack.
I am thinking now in my current short nap that this is the first time that I have been so aware of what will happen next to me. I was always heading back to bed without intention, as I had been woken in the middle of the night. I am now moving in and out of sleep aware that I will wake again. I am excited in reverse. I am afraid of my next pain. I cannot enjoy my sleep. I have no dreams. I have never dreamed. I don’t get nightmares. I get long dark silences in my sleep, yet now I am stirring in it. I feel the texture of thorns, but there are no whimpers leaping from my imaginary mouth.
I woke up for real when she wrote this script, it was totally like getting a gushing nosebleed waking you up to a stained pillow, but that someone also actually caused it by someone stabbing me in the nose in my sleep. I was actually really scared though when she started to cast me. I am inclined to tell you that the nosebleed woke me, and right afterward she just handed a bunch of people sledgehammers, and said that the one who removed the most organs fastest gets to try again. I am stuck with the idiot who actually did what she said. I was hoping for the guy who kept on hitting the same hip bone, even though it was already broken. I actually heard him mispronounce the word “nevermore”. I remember one dude basically in the metaphor I’m using removing my whole arm, doing a bullshit American-TV British accent. I am thinking that I got the weak naive guy.
I recollect back to that first audition. I was strapped onto the rack then and there, each day they pulled a little tighter till my spine started to go nerveless. I was killed by being molded and melted by the Director using her abomination “based on”, or ripped off from, my original master’s work. I hated the Actor who was a needle for carving in my skin. I loved it when he had to leave for a few hours to see a heart doctor. I was eventually forced to have a British voice. I was under the impression that she knew I was an American. I learned that she was only initially having me be American to surprise the audience, but that she decided that it was not working. I am stuck with this ridiculous attempt at received pronunciation.
I hated tech, I don’t know why. I was getting closer to the horror that would apparently be live in front of an audience. I was thinking of it as going from being ripped apart in a king’s dungeon to death in the town square. I have done this too many times already. I have been twisted around myself far too many times. I am going to be “performed” by a supposed artist. I am not going to perform. I was already literally pre-formed by the Director. I am going to be formed. I am going to have my new shape waved in the air. I am a flap of skin flat as a flag.
I hated tech, because it was the same thing as before, but now with weird practicality to it. I was with more than just the Director who was a mad scientist, and their Actor Henchman. I was with three guys who manned the lights, who all seemed like they had come in to place circuits within this Frankenstein's monster for a circus show. I was understandably surprised, and hated the ensuing blindness from their light’s and the absolute ridiculousness of the props. I am going to be soon under that eye-depriving light now.
I am scared because it’s minutes until the show. I am going. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die brutally. I am going to not die and instead, be tortured. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die painfully in front of an audience. I am going to just be killed. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am going to die. I am already dead. I am dying from fear. I am going to have my limbs torn from one another and the crowd will clap. I am innocent. I am going to die. I am not going to die. I am going to suffer something I have suffered many times before.
I am calming myself with repetition. I am not stopping. I am freaking out silently into myself. I am inside my own head. I have a hole bored inside of my head, as if by a drill. I am sitting there almost asleep, because the actor has gone quiet. I hope it is over. I hope I am safe to sleep at last. I hear nothing, maybe only the low muttering of an audience behind a curtain. I am safe. I am in the clear. I am behind a wall. I am wrong, it has not even begun.
I am waking, as my actor walks out behind the cloth that guards actors from the everpresent eyes hiding in the brightness. I am not in the body, so it is not weird, but the actor pounds his chest a few hardy times. I am at a desk, my master had it here in the poem. I am dreading in total silence. I am with a torturing device, who has some anxious nerves. I do not think these are serious nerves that will actually affect me. I think I may be wrong. I have no idea?
I am awake, yet nothing is keeping up. I am not even wondering why. I am waiting for my actor to be a dentist from my time and rip each yellowing fragment out one by one. I think he is praying a short prayer. I know it is mere moments now.
Curtains lift. There is a desk and door. It is a fancy house, though for one young man. It has a large door to the side and old fashioned windows. The Narrator is reading an old book and has a black Edgar Allan Poe mustache. There is a full bookshelf, and above the door is a bust of an ancient Greek man. There is grandfather clock marking time as late at night. The whole room is ornate and aristocratic. A fireplace is lit
I am at a desk which is spotlighted, or my actor is. I hate the fake mustache’s imitation of my master’s own facial hair. I actually have no facial hair. I hate how my actor seems out of breath. I look nothing like him! I can see no one out in the sea of watching people, neither can the actor, the crank in the Director’s rack. I don’t know why they replaced Athena with the head of David. I am basically wearing thorns, this whole set has always itched me out. I have no idea why it’s so fancy, it’s supposed to be an apartment in which I live. I am surrounded by a set made of fantasy nonsense! I am with the actor as he reads from a book much older than it should be, which makes me squirm. I am getting monologued by the unaware Actor controlling me.
(Soliloquy to the audience. Standing Attempting to seem happy now.)
As of late I have enjoyed my reading
All my books that have too long been unread
On my shelf they sit asleep and waiting
Rot and worms could rise and then make them dead
My time was often spent away at plays
I made myself a fool who never learnt
I drank, for endless no-longer fun days
Foolish friends are all off and from me burnt
The Narrator’s face lingers, jaw open. He is unhappy and is not saying something. He lingers. Then returns to reading
I am offended at each practice, and especially now to maybe over a hundred people at my assassination of character. I am being presented as a drunkard. I am in this play as an ex-wastrel, and a frequenter of bars. I have never been like this. I, confused about how this even functions with the later parts of the story. I am in a play that was extended unnecessarily, and poorly. I am being extended unnecessarily, and by ropes that are tied to my arms. I am being melted into a shape to match this Director’s intent. I was no Victorian dandy, yet I am one in this play. I am aware of how she laughs herself to sleep with these actual methods of excruciating pain. I have never seen this happen, but what else would she do?
The Narrator sets his head down, and seems to almost fall asleep on his desk. He is still reading. He wakes himself. He is reading again.
I am being melted down and cast into monstrosities. I am in a shape that is not my own in a house that has nothing that is mine, in a play that I have nothing to do with. I am skewered by this whole thing. I always want to go out.
knocking is heard at the door.
(staring down toward his book.)
Tis some some visitor tapping at my chamber door
Only this and nothing more
The narrator stands up to stir the fireplace. Then returns to his seat, but does not sit down
(*speaking to the audience. Slowly, but loudly and angrily *)
Lenore, that lost angel
My dear Lenore
I had you…!
I feel lines rise from my throat as I stare toward the theater’s sun. I feel the words rise violently like warm vomit that is then swallowed back down to its origin. I am embarrassed. I had never quite “had Lenore”. I don’t know what to say. I can’t say anything. I’m just a character with no free will, aside from the preordained harmony of half-thought and personality, changeable only by my Master. I loved Lenore. I never had her. I was maybe with her for a time, but it is a mistake to say I had her. I hear my essence be clipped up slowly, as if by those tiny dull children’s scissors, with each moment that her name is defiled by this performance.
knocking is heard at the door.
Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is, and nothing more
The narrator gets up and walks to the door after a while.
(sternly to the door)
or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”
Narrator opens the door and stares in for an extended period of time
(off stage, squeaky)
Heads back in closing the door
I think that I should laugh at this inclusion of a closing door. I do not think it is necessarily present in my master’s work. I do not laugh. I ought to cry. I ought to be dead. I ought to do something. I know that I can do nothing. I am no narrator with omnipotent skills, but simply a voice. I was at some point a voice for something. I am in endless self-simulation.
Surely, surely there is something at my window lattice
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore
Tis the wind, and nothing more!
I think my actor barely breathed this last one, as if I was some old man.
*rapping at the door. Narrator races around toward the shutter. Open it. Raven pops out..”
I am reminded of its history before this taxidermy lands. I first saw it live for this show during tech. I had an actual raven during my masters work as well of course. I saw this bird constrained in a cage. I did not see it die. I shoved a corpse in my face by people who can’t care for a living thing, much less train it, so they stuffed it after it died in a cage. I am with a corpse on wire.
*Raven lands. The narrator’s actor shrieks. This is not in the script. The audience whimpers. He clenches his chest and falls down dead from his stopped heart only half screaming for lack of breath. *
I– I am in— I am free? I was released? I am still being watched by an audience. I think they don’t know he is dead. I—I am on stage still. I am awake. I am being watched by the whole theater. I am a character in a show. I am not even listening to the raven squeak. I am being watched. I am a character being played by an actor who died. I think they are watching a corpse in a show. I think they think that the death was faked. I have no idea where the Director is, or what tech is doing. I have no idea. I am not free. I am dead on stage. I am a character, I cannot die. I have a dead half-rate actor bested on the stage by apparently himself. I do not think they know it is like Moliere, except with a weak instrument rather than a genius. I think the audience thinks that this is way cooler than it is. I think that it may be worse than before. I am the show now.
I sit. I am sitting maybe twenty minutes, or an hour? I am sitting for much longer. I am not acting in motion, only in organs. I am the most awake I have been. I have been awake… I am awake. I have heard no word. I am certain that I am next to a corpse. I am scared. I see no sign of boredom, and I blink more than many of the rapt audience members. I have no idea how they find this entertaining. I think they have no idea. I have no ideas at all. I have been taken off a stretching rack in a crowded dungeon and been put into a frying pan in a lonely kitchen. I am burning with eyes, no one to divert attention too. I wonder what the Director did. I wonder if they set this up. I wonder if they stole my actor’s heart medication. I don’t know. I am in a show that doesn't seem to end.
I- gulp —- I think most people don’t know that there is a point of awakeness so awake that things become anti-dreamlike and pre-individual. I think here boring is the only sound, not even silence, just an audience whispering “is it over?”. I think there is a point where the sound of buzzing flies becomes beethoven, and you cannot make your own entertainment because you are stuck in a room being watched. I am there.
I think they are gone now. I think the show is still going. I think tech has gone now. I think the audience left a while ago. I think tech is having a cast party all by themselves. I think my poor actor is really truly fully dead, and that he would have needed immediate medical attention hours ago. I think the Director is watching. I want to fight the Director. I want to call out and challenge her to a duel. I want to possess the corpse to act. I want to be more than a corpse sitting on the floor. I want to be more than a character in a poem from who knows how long ago. I want someone to save me. I want the Director to come down. I want sleep to return and my angel too. I want my father. I want anything. I want anything. I want anything, Director! I am without shape. I think before this I thought things always had shaped, but they just got weirder and more poorly defined. I think I was wrong. I am a blob now, never before.
I just want to be out. I am being hurt. I am whining as hard as I can without a physical set of speech organs, but she can’t hear me. She is watching the show now, and is paying close attention.