ARDORILLNESSDEATHSALVATION

Nov 20, 1989 at Highways, Santa Monica

With John Goss, Marisha Slusarski, and Johnny Yang.

The stage is strung with a clothes line that is hung with white sheets, like curtains -- like a wall.
The sheets serve alternately as backdrops, props, curtains, and projection surfaces.


THE ADEPT, played by Marisha Slusarski, enters slowly, smiling, IN COMMAND.
She is BAREFOOT, dressed as a white earth witch.
She stops in front of THE FIRST HANGING SHEET and pauses,
gazing intently at individuals in the audience, one at a time,
silently "reading" their energies with a knowing smile.
Taking her time, she lets the audience get a bit unsettled before beginning.

The Adept picks up a crumpled sheet from the ground,
slowly and carefully feeling its "aura" with her hovering palm.
She is overcome with delight and passion.
She looks again to the audience, she looks through them, she smiles a smile of secret knowledge.


L O V E

(exclaims) Two spirits have danced here.

I can sense the beginning.
An invitation accepted without hesitation.
They hold nothing back from each other.

(smiles) They are like children, laughing about everything.

(takes a deep breath from the sheet)

His kiss tastes like toothpaste.
They breathe into each other.
The weight of their bodies is tested with each movement.

There is music now, soft and rhythmic. A woman's voice...
she is singing the oldest song.

(DURING THE REMAINDER OF THIS MONOLOGUE:
performers behind THE SECOND HANGING SHEET
use FLASHLIGHTS to cast shadows of their bodies --
fleeting glimpses of entanglements, measuring, diagramming, embracing.)

His finger traces...a diagram of his love's geography.
He commits this to memory.
Hi is an engineer or mechanic...
something about engines and gravity.

(holds the sheet against her skin)

His chin, unshaven, rough against a darker chest.
He hears a beating there, his ear wet and red.
He is drawn into his lover.
He is drinking from a running stream.

There is salt on the napes of their necks...
the pleasant sourness of their chemistries mixing.
Stong legs sliding like vines lacing and unlacing.

There are trophies above the bed,
photographs of his lover's face, bruised and smiling.

This sheet goes up like a parachute.
They are falling into each other now,
nearing the speed of light.
On the wall...a single shadow.

(laughs and drops the sheet) They are lost to me now.


S I C K N E S S

She puts down the lover's sheet, still smiling and happy,
and picks up a stiffly folded sheet from the ground in front of the THIRD HANGING SHEET.
Her face is full of pain the instant she touches it.

(rigid, tense, physically minifesting discomfort) So many shadows here.
Flicking in and out. A suffocating heaviness.
Disorder. The smell of a medicine cabinet.
And there is fear like a coating.

(moves to the FOURTH HANGING SHEET)

A small boy...or a man, so thin he looks like a boy.

A woman in a blue dress,
tired as the song she hums to herself.
A long, grey man...
sets down a package by the bed and turns away,
craning his stiff neck to look out the window,
at nothing.

Suffering bounces off these hard surfaces and back at the boy.

THE MAN IN BLACK, played by John Goss, enters
and picks up the LOVER'S SHEET from the floor
and proceeds to wash it in water from a LARGE METAL TUB
visible in the gap between the decond and third hanging sheet.

The bed alternates between fire and ice.

(feels the fabric of the sheet in her hand,
running her nails over their surface as if in pain)

--> (addressing the audience now) He is drying up like a sapless tree.
He pretends that the rim of the glass is his lover's kiss.
A pill catches in his throat.
His arms flail in the light of his last sunset.

THE MAN IN BLACK hangs the wet sheet on the clothesline, filling the gap.

(she suddenly kicks the sheet away) Kicking the sheets down. He's a fighter.
But each time his struggle is undone.

Performer behind the wet sheet "soils" it with yellow dye,
and the stain slowly spreads across the front.

He is surrounded by atiseptic white walls
drying in the backyard of memory.
The boy runs down hallways in his imaginary castle,
throwing open doors,
looking for a way out,
frantic and naked.

He slips into a red cloud of pain.

(taks a long breath)

Someone, friend or monster, brings him to sleep.


G R I E F

She picks up an empty shroud lying in front of the FORTH HANGING SHEET.
Sensing the energy drain of death, she grasps it at arm's length.

There is an absense here.
A loss of immense density.

(pushes her free hand into the sheet) A hollow that is still feeding on energy.

THE MAN IN BLACK opens a gap in the hanging sheets like curtains.
He slowly moves to the back of the stage,
dons yet another sheet, and very slowly moves towards the front of the stage,
as if a cartoon ghost.

A gathering. Men in dark suits. Women making food.
Someone missing and someone else not mentioned.
These are surface images. Shandows of the recent.
The subject is far inside this density.
I will try to reach deeper.

There is a man, folding clothes, slowly.
He holds each garment to his face
before carefully -- so carefully --
placing them in a cardboard box.
This is the man who threw the last flower.

Beyond this is a region of thin voices,
prayers and memories and goodbyes,
hovering like rings of dust above a planet core
that imprisons them in orbit.

Deeper still, it's so difficult to retrieve...

(reaches the emotional core at last) His name was Tim
or Jim or John or David or Bill or Philip or Tony or Clark or Gary
or Dennis or Delmar or Mark or Maylon or Reza or Ron or Robert
or Nick, or Jackson
and he is still surrounded by the love he took with him.

R E S S U R E C T I O N

She moves on to the final sheet lying between the LAST TWO HANGING SHEETS.
Touching this piece of cloth brings awe and amazement.
She becomes overwhelmed focusing on channeling this amazing energy.

He can taste.
From all the indistinguishable sensations
he realizes that he is tasting...dust.
Dryness and the cracking swell as moisture returns to his tongue.

And he can smell. He can make out each molecule of scent,
sharp and funky and pure and overpowering.
With each breath he realizes that he is breathing again.
He can feel the flat wasteland of his lungs renewing
with each rise and fall of his chest.

(drops sheet) He panics. His senses return with a painful clarity.
Deafening waves of blood rush through his ears,
muffling the gears of a clock, the thud of feet on concrete --
dense and rich layerings of the world clamor at him
and the thunder of his breathing, beating body.

He senses light through his closed lids,
a distinct and brilliant ocean that he is reawakening to.
He feels thousands of pin pricks as life pinkens his limbs.
He maps the extremities of his body again,
navigates the network of nerves and muscles
reacting as his hand opens like petals of a miracle.

And he remembers everything from his dark exile.
And he will tell everyone how he clawed his way back.
And he will draw them maps so they can fight their way out.
He will guide them to their friends and lovers and families.

And they will call him Messiah.