Places#5: Theatre

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on April 5, 2009 0 Comments

The child slept on the stage
And that is how the play began.
He didnÂ’t wake up throughout the play.
The child slept on the stage
And that is how the play ended.

Coming out of the theatre
I had this odd feeling that said
The child was a corpse.
Or perhaps,
He wasnÂ’t one when the play began
But died somewhere amidst the scenes.
And the show just went on. Unperturbed.
The actors, strutting around his body.
Uttering dialogues. Unforgetting their lines.
The actors, acting.

I had to return to the theatre.
I had to walk into the theatre.
I had to rush.
And sometimes, itÂ’s unexplainable why we rush.
Death is not your trouser:
You may not alter it. Time, therefore,
Is irrelevant. Indifferent. And unending.
And sometimes, you need to run faster than unending times.
Run. Sprint. Jump.
And sometimes, direction is instinct and decisions.
Left. Right. Wrong.

And still, the child lay sleeping
In front of the fallen curtains.
An empty theatre that reverberated
An empty silence of the unawake.
I got up on the stage.
I got down on my knees.
I got to find the child breathe.

I held my fingers before his nose.
He was breathing out.
I kept my fingers before his nose.
And he was breathing out.
And breathing out.
Constant. Perpetual. And unperturbed.

I shook him long and hard.
I shook him violent and more.
He slept. Breathing out.

I imagined him awake.
Walking tiny and playful with the actors
Across streets, towns and borders.
Born to be an entertainer
He showed the people, who
Unbolted their doors and stepped out
Just to watch them travel, a trick.
A trick unparalleled to any or all.
A trick in which he held his breath.

People held their fingers before his nose.
He wasnÂ’t breathing.
They kept their fingers before his nose
And he wasnÂ’t breathing.
And yet smiling.
Constant. Perpetual. Unperturbed.

But people get used to talent.
Their life is vanity. And variety. But the child –
He has one solitary breath to hold.
And he holds onto it. Clings on.
HeÂ’d never let it go.
Until theyÂ’d notice him again.
And love him.

The child.
The theatre is his home.
This stage is his bed.
Born to be an entertainer,
He’s reinvented his trick –
HeÂ’d breathe out this time.

Breathe out his failures.
Breathe out the people on the streets.
Breathe out the actors.
Breathe out his parentsÂ’ death.
Breathe out his own birth.

Breathe out the stranger on the stage
Trying to peep inside him
Trying to untangle the empty theatre.

Or perhaps, this is still a theatre.
Perhaps, heÂ’s the best of them actors
Still acting in a play that went on forever.




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