Saturday, August 26, 2017

[reposted from years ago]

An obnoxious, industrial version of what sounds like Wagner, reverberating at ear stinging volume and smothered by an overwhelming, testicle vibrating bass, has me cringing and cupping my hands over my ears. Ballerinas with shaved heads wearing brown shirts and black leather tutus are flitting toward me (somehow they manage to glide gracefully in their high boots), their jeté movements resembling a goose-step; they are chasing me around a massive stage shrouded in an oppressive, garish black-light. I'm dodging in and out of other dancers that are scattered about the stage standing stock-still in arabesque postures modified to angle their arms in a Nazi salute.

A bald man with ashen gray skin and wearing an oversized monocle startles me by appearing via a trapdoor at my feet; he’s shouting at me, silent under the din of the music which is now distorting like an old, straining movie soundtrack. He’s trying to feed me a line of dialogue, repeating it over and over with increasing impatience, but I can’t hear him. Reading his disembodied black lips I can make no sense of them, I suspect he's not even forming words. Still, I’m certain what he’s saying is something terrible, intolerable, vital; shaking his head in disgust he disappears with a resounding clap of the trapdoor that echoes until it morphs into a metallic drum machine sound that becomes part of the music, driving it to a manic, unbearable tempo.

I break into a full run, trying to maintain a straight path, figuring I'll eventually find my way offstage, but soon become aware that I'm passing the same dancers over and over again. I realize the stage is a globe that I'm repeatedly circumnavigating; now I can see its curvature. I’m getting sick, I'm looking for the trapdoor, for a crack in the floorboards, for any means of escape. I look down and see I'm wearing leotards and jackboots. The music reaches an abbreviated crescendo and stops; a split second of silence is abruptly terminated by a thunderclap of deafening applause...

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