When I was younger, (more foolish, idealisic, smarter?) I did a vast amount of writing. Poetry and plays were the lifeblood of my muse. Always a little off-kilter and irrelevant, my sardonic humor was always present. Reflecting further upon Nabokov, I was nearly tempted to pull out the very first three act play I had written when I was seventeen.
Inspired by the classics, The Waiting Room was my teenage surrealist view on gods and the quandary of insanity and the afterlife. How childish it must be! Every role aside from two was designed to be played by the same person – every person in the Artist’s life (the Artist being the main focus and character) related to some mythological god in the great boardroom of the beyond known as The Waiting Room. The place where the gods play with lives. Cassandra, ill-fated oracle is the only other role not duplicated and, true to form, in the alternate setting of “The Real World” she looks the same, still speaks in rhyme, and is a homeless vagabond in the Artist’s alley.
The concept is clever, Greek chorus aside and stage practicality discounted. The gods of countless stories, Greek, Indian, Norse and Chinese all staking their claim on a man of troubled genius has a reasonable entertainment to it. The woes of the Artist in the Real World, however, must be a childish attempt at understanding the pains that drive us.
A work worthy of a rewrite perhaps, but a little too close to my heart at the moment. How dare I contemplate the final destination of any person’s spark or spirit, when I continue to imagine and converse with the one I have lost? I know he is not there. I know it is a method of coping. There are no knocks upon the wall or moving objects, nor would I want to imagine him fettered to this world by my need.
I remain skeptical, religiously private, and willfully uncertain what is out there. But who would wish upon anyone they loved an enforced lingering? What horror that would be to deny anyone the ability to go to whatever might be! I know that my remembering and imagining is the fuel for my dreams and the inspiration for my conversations with nothing. Even to imagine he watches or hears elsewhere is disturbing in a way I never thought it might be.
Enveloped in grief, the absolute certainty of my youth is visible as the fragile dreaming it was. Ephemeral, hopeful, but aspiring to posit upon that far beyond my ken. And now that I am faced with such, I review the concept but am overwhelmed at the audacity of taking on such a scope.
Before I reread, let alone rewrite, I return my play to the folder of old writing and put it back on the bookshelf. Maybe someday.