(Staring forward. Marie behind, at table. Mirror)
You who I address
You who I want to befriend and nurture
You who I address
You who veil your eyes from my light, who cover your ears against my words. You who protect your body from my attacks
Look at me Paul
Look at me. I'm trying to make myself more beautiful
(Pause) I can see you in a mirror
When I look in the mirror, I see you from behind
Include me in, Paul (Pause) Look at me
Why won't you look at me?
(Pause) Something's trying to say itself
I hear what's being said
No. Something's trying to say itself. (Straps himself in, head holder)
(She comes in from of him)
Now. Keep talking
I can see you're not really looking at me (Pause) Who are you talking to
I can see you're not really talking to me. (Pause) I'm doing a good job of listening
Something's getting said
I don't think so
You. You. You
Well (turns away)-- have fun strapped in. Though of course you'll say it isn't fun you're after
(Door bell, Susan enters)
Hi. How's Paul today
He's strapped himself in
You realize it's not you he's talking about
Oh, I know
Why don't we humor him?
Oh, that's dangerous
It's very easy to get sucked into his system
You. You I address. You who resist me on multiple levels. You who's brain I try to enter using tools of no finness. A child's tools I'm unable to grip firmly in my powerful hands. You.
(Susan looks in audience also, Marie takes camera from a drawer and shots a flash photo)
It only BLINDED me!
There's no easy was out of this situation
I know that
You shouldn't have come
I don't mind difficulty. I think of it as an opportunity.
Hear that Paul?
Your flash bulb blinded me
It's only temporary
I don't think so
(Pause) Oh well, you still hgave your verbal mechanism intact
(Puts away camera) Any better
Me neither. I can't see anything
What a drag
Come on Marie, play along with us.
Oh, then you're not so blinded after all.
I didn't say that
What can you see?
You you you. (Pause) You, you. I'm thinking about you. I'm seeing you, on many different levels I'm seeing you, but you resist my seeing.
I enter your thoughts. That's an external thing, however. An internal thing would be mutual anilahation.
Don't talk like that
Have a cracker
(Pause) A cracker.
Here's a box
Have a cracker
Should we eat one?
I'm telling you, he's very persuasive.
Let's sit in the audience.
Shut up! (Pause) I don't want to think about that
It seems to me, if you don't think about it, we're stimied.
Just the opposite
He won't let us off the hook, Marie
(Pause) This is no life for me
I have to get re-oriented. Paul: I'm leaving
Shut up! (Pause) You can stay here and have fun (exits)
Let me tell you something about myself.
(Paul at mirror, looking in, back to us)
You. You I address. You I image by focusing my attention. I'm looking at you in a mirror. Good question, who's power is thereby amplified. Who's power is thereby decreased. You. You Inside of me and vice versa. Vice versa. (Faces us) Vice versa (Back to mirror) Vice versa
(Enter) Trying to make yourself more beautiful?
I am not
You. I see you uncomfortable under my gaze. It doesn't shift. My gaze is wide and constant, and you are exclusively, the dimentions of that wideness. And being so widened, I am available, remembered even though you do not register what is being remembered but you register it because it's offered to you and only you don't know that part of your own self that is doing the registering so I say Ha, and claspe my hands together in a kind of ecstacy that is recognizable. You. You. You.
(Start's fast series "You-you-you-you--" as music rises and he is spinning to music --Teddy B's Picnic?-- and music cuts. He stops)
(Each word, mechanical. Never looks at her) How do you do. So glad you could come
May I offer you a seat (She sits) Oh. I forgot to take your coat
May I take your coat
I'll keep it on, thank you
Won't you become over heated?
I may want to leave fast
Well of course. Do what you think best
You. (Pause) May I offer you a drink?
Oh, I'm sorry. I've nothing to offer.
Then how impolite to offer
You're quite right. But to retract my offer would be the height of rudeness. (Pause, at phone) Perhaps we could call out
Don't bother on my account
It's very important to me that you feel. . .at home
I don't want a drink
Then we'll just forget about it. (Pause) You're sure you don't want me to take your coat
No thank you
Yes, I'm sure
(Turns to her for first time) Let me take your coat.
You looked at me
Let me take your coat and then, sit in the audience
I thought you were trying to be polite
I am being polite
It sounds like an order
(To her) You. You. You whom I address. (She rises, he follows her movements with his head) You to whom I make offerings of language and personal effort. You in whom I sink, you in whom I disappera, you to whom I offer an absence that while self-reflective is also separated from me with tools of fire. You in whom I burn and burn up. You to whom I look as if looking into the sun, melting the eyes, shared between us, hot into blank blindness (he has been swirled in audience's direction which catches him as he is now focused there) You. You. You
Lucky I kept my coat on
I'll be going
I'll be going!
I can't move
I think you need a little music backing you up Paul, but I can't even make it to the record player
(enter Susan) I don't see it (Pause) Where's the music coming from?
There's no music
Aren't you hot in your coat?
Hey, somebody should throttle you, Paul
You do it
I can't move
Oh yeah? (Gives her a shove) You just moved, Marie.
You made me move-- otherwise I don't think I'd have been able to
Then congradulations to me.
Somebody out to throttle you, Paul!
(Two women look at each other, then back to him)
Maybe we sould try to see things from his point of view
Don't tempt me
Oh?-- you see?
You considered the possibility
I always consider every possibility, that doesn't mean I agree to it
Let's try it
Maybe there's\ something in it
It's something I don't want to get into
You said you'd consider it.
Right, but that's where it stops
(After a pause, She to Paul) You
You who I reflect. You who I internally imitate and in so doing make invisible. You whom I incorporate and in so doing perform ultimate self-denial.
(They all exchange 'you's', shifting focus, music rises, they move about, shifting focus with each you)
A curtain. Paul infront)
You. To whom I am tied with mental rope. You into who I vanish. You into who I disolve my conquoring. Self conquesyt: you. Agile and rigorous. You. You. You
(Peeks through curtain) Come back into the real world, Paul.
Let me tell you a story.
Having stepped. . .into the real world. Telling a story stripped to the bone.
No embellishments. No decorations.
Once upon a time, having decided to focus all my efforts upon. . .You: and your elusiveness
I gazed intensly into the very center of the focus of my attention,
and as if a curtain were removed, realized my error (open curtain behind him)
Nothing was there.
I was looking into a mirror. So I broke the mirror. And then, without re-directing my gaze, I saw myself. In the space before me. And I was able to address myself.
You. . .
Said to myself.
You said to myself
You, you, you, you
When I address you, what absence do I plunge into. Self absence, we know what to call that, don't wed, at least from this side of the line. On one side-- it's an invisible line but no less real for that --on one side of the line, the living. On the other side, the opposite, which is an untrackable opposite, as you and I (pause) know.
Think about how I had to pause to clear my head after the shock of yoking the you and the I in my last sentence.
(Pause) The word that followed 'know' as in knowing, as in the knowledge that kills-- you see what I mean-- if the impulse lives, well it's no longer an impulse when it's dead.
Do you know about it? You. You. You
(Pause) I'm not looking in any MIRROR. You understand. I'm . . .reconstituting all mirrors. What they show now, isn't what stands in front of them. No. The power of my reconstituting and POW. Every mirror turns into the opposite. What's that? Something that absorbs whatever there is to see and doesn't give it back. Now you get it. You really do.
(Novel) They were seated in the theater facing the curtain as it rose.
Ellen in particular held her heart. She didn't hold it with her hands, but she felt the area around her chest contract and hold, press, onto the surface of her heart which was internal, and she was pressing it from the inside, pressing on something that was even more inside, and from which, nevertheless, life seemed to flow.
That holding happened as the curtain rose, and it was as if daylight entered her, but it was yellower than daylight, and it disinst seem like the rush, the total sweep through the body that daylight always seems.
What did it seem like. It seemed like very separated fingers of light, trying to lace together to form a whole rush of light, but it didn't rush. And still she felt as if she were, from the inside, holding her heart. So it must have been the rising of the curtain, which was like the lifting of an eyelid over an eye still not ready to see, so anything it did see for a while remained in the realm of the not-to-be-dealt-with and that was the center of the rush that was like daylight even though the light wasn't.
What was seen, not just by Ellen-- though who is anyone shared or came close enough to her perspective-- just those seated near? Another was seated, not near, but because he was inside the fingers of light and everyone else was seated facing this one, it was as if he was near to all the others who were nearer to others they were seated with in the darkened auditorium, and yet they were nearer to him, there seated in front of them all, in the light that bounced off him and the wall behind him and the furniture into which he was somehow enfolded, and the light which did bound like that continued it's lacing in a different was out into the darkness (but we see that it isn't, in all senses, dark) of the auditorium in which, amongst the others, Ellen sat.
The man on the stage. What was his name? His name was Paul. No what was his real name? His real name was Paul.