It’s minutes to show time (in a world untouched by the sun.)
We are underground – air conditioned, top level liqueur in crystalline bottles line glass shelves pierced into mirrors-
We see our faces,
painted, powdered, hand drawn with black pencils (we swirl nameless beverages in the chalice)
A spoken word troupe will take the dark stage first-
Reading, acting, gesturing to tuxedos and perfumed necks of families from old money.
-I am to go up next but:
-I forget the words, once written by my hand
-I forget the entire story,
-beginning, middle, end, completely erased.
I tell the girl this, near the bar, near the other three or four performers she works with
I do not drink the whiskey circulating in crystal cups
Searching for the name of this basement bar, I come up blank. I do not recall being brought here, nor was I led.
I am here, written into context, in-situ, in spectacle.
We are going to perform in a few minutes, telling our stories. Clearly, I have forgotten mine.
She tries to help me recall. The lighting here, dim orange, dark wooden panels on the walls, no paintings, no smoking room, everyone well dressed, speaking in dignified voices, unhurried, softly.
We are going to perform our tales, in our dinner jackets, evening dresses, polished shoes.
The girl, she’s in blue, like all the other girls I meet from different times and places. She is the archetype. The girl in the blue dress. Always near me but never saying anything.
She tries to help me remember but nothing appears in my mind. She gives me a three-fold flyer for a spectacle i had appeared in previously. I believe i have re-found my work but when i open the document, I find my section blank.
No bio, no name of work, no conceptual synopsis, no transcript or excerpt.
I pace the length of this bar. An elite establishment. Gentlemanly, wealthy, jazzy, untouched by sunlight. This seems to be important. Other life grows in such a faux-lit place.
Spectres, moving images, wisps, a brief articulation of air, unseen breathing, an eco-system of ghosts, ectoplasmic thought..
I pace the length of the basement, drawn to other lights from other entrances
A dual presence, then quadrupling.
There is a room. Lavatory, bathroom, white tiles polished shine, brand new. Is this is an extension of the establishment or an invasion?
There is a room. in its center, a circular pool of steaming water. There is a panic in the room. A rush of events.
I am at the mouth of this room but I am also running to this room from the length outside.(we are minutes away from performing, i see the girl in the blue dress, the indian man in his editor jacket, other muses and young intellectuals)
I am running to the pool room. I must stop something from manifesting. Three quarters of it already happening, Seconds are depleting. I am at the mouth of the kill room, looking in.
There, one of three young adults is dying, body half submerged in the bubbling pool, his head mostly skinless, his skull, a creature I do not recognise from earth zoology. It is struggling, gruelling, pulling its convulsing body out of the broiling pool. I see oval eye sockets but no eyes. The water around the skull is steaming, like something solid dissolving into liquid state.
There is a second figure in the pool but I cannot understand its facade. A jumble of clothes or drapery, hanging on a humanoid formation. I cannot understand its face.
There is a third figure. The core reactor.
He poses outside the circular pool. Flexing muscular arms, ribs, angling his sinewy, steroidal legs. I see through his darkly browned chest. I sense the nuclear reaction inside me and know it’s mimicking the fission inside him.
I am yelling, yelling,“Shut down your energy! Shut down your energy!”
This is happening:
- An otherworldly psychic manifestation is going awry.
- Feeble human species toying with power drawn from unfamiliar planetary centrifuges.
- Hadean, underworld voltage is hijacking and climbing the DNA structure
I am shielding my solar plexus with an invisible hand. I am blocking access to my body map. I am preventing fusion of my core with the rampant diasporic forces.
“Shut down your energy center!” I am deaf to him. His core star chakra is compromised.
I understand the egoism of the third man, the showing off, the daring pose, the excessive self worship
There is a stairwell.
Mass evacuation from a 25 storey apartment block, the firetrucks and disaster response teams, the neighbours streaming down anxiously as I ascend against the tide, against the noxious, nameless smell,.
The missing girl and the warning she had given.
The adversity of the painting hanging in the room…