I purchased a ticket to your matinée.
You sold me on the storyline.
Boy likes girl,
girl likes boy,
live happily ever after.
Everyone loves a happy ending.
Here I am, front row and center,
popcorn in hand;
clueless as to why I am alone.
In this dark, cold, empty place,
I am alone.
Nonetheless, here for you.
The curtain rises, it's your time to shine.
It's just like you said,
boy likes girl,
girl likes boy.
There are no two hearts more in unison,
though it seems something unsettles his mind.
Thoughts of her lying,
Thoughts of her cheating,
Thoughts of her leaving,
I am waiting.
Where is the happy ending?
I am here waiting to watch you love,
to watch you hold,
to watch you unite.
I throw popcorn at your deceit,
at your paranoia,
at your hysteria.
You ripped me off.
I now know why I am alone.
In this dark, cold, empty place,
I am alone.
She’s soft and smells like rose petals
Yet she scratches and scrubs
At blood red skin even though
It’s been washed a million times before
Tired eyes meet their match
In the silvery visage of their oldest friend
Crimson lips part, then furl
At the reflection who’s no longer a youthful girl
Auburn hair tumbling out of place,
Aging actress falling far from grace,
One clenched fist in a lace white glove
Eyelids dripping as she screams above
I stopped performing because I hated the way my body was always on trial.
Acting is letting go,
and I just can't unstick my soul from my ribs.
I can't breathe deep enough to keep from sucking in my gut.
My mother will say it's a shame, and she will be right.
It's a shame no one can see
how the lines on my face tell a story
I'll never be able to pen in full -
how the bulge in my stomach
is filled with organs that keep me alive -
how the scars on my knees are childhood memories
of summers racing my brothers up and down our block.
It's a shame I should feel the need
to explain away any of this
when women are already asked to explain away enough
down to our very existence.
It's a shame because standing on a stage letting go
is probably the closest I'll ever come to salvation,
and it is a shame
because I know all this
and knowing doesn't change a thing,
except to keep you up at night, asking,
"What have they done to us?"
What have we done to ourselves?
Have you considered being a sex worker?
You have a body.
I know you never sleep there,
spend less time breathing than associating with your own ribcage.
You're an actress
no script, just a character summary.
Limp, age 12, non-verbal marionette.
Snaps her strings when forced to dance.
Clings to the ceiling tiles, like the shadows she hallucinates.
Let's the puppet fall numb under strangers.
Ragdoll to be used for kindling.
When you play your part
You'll inherit enough money to afford a studio apartment
in Washington, or Las Vegas; anywhere with men paid large enough salary to afford your vacant body,
three phone plans,
a hotel room for you to stay awake in
Listening to dull thuds against your wrongfully warm corpse
Invited hoping the stinging could form tendons
adhere together like rubber bands
Snap you back into your skin.
You cling helpless to the ceiling tiles
Watch the ragdoll make mistakes.
"Have you considered being a sex worker?"
A homeless woman asked me,
"Unoccupied bodies should start charging rent.
Let a man who can afford it pay for utilities.
You might be homeless
but you won't be wasted space".
Let’s do the one about the snakes and the desert again,
that absurdist Albee-wannabe thing I wrote
back when the words could be tossed around like balloons
rather than a game of Russian Roulette.
Let’s fish out the scripts from the old dressing up box and I’ll let you take my hands and use them however you want;
you can put makeup on me and we’ll melt red lipstick under the stage lights.
I’ll be the girl walking through the desert,
reciting my monologue and looking for the snake.
The stage floor will be littered with plastic snakes that we bought one night when we were drunk,
and in my play, they’re all venomous, one bite would kill my character straight up dead,
but I’ll say “not yet”
I’ll say “I love you, but not yet”
I’ll say “follow me” – and some of them will.
I’ll be the literature class analysing the play in a hundred years time,
I’ll be the teacher calling it a masterpiece,
and I’ll be the kid at the back of the class whispering to his friend that death by snake bite is so last century.
And whilst we’re here, let’s talk about endings,
how you’ll give me a thumbs up from the rafters
as I blow kisses to the audience and smell the roses that they throw at my feet.
When the bows have been bowed and the applause has been applauded,
I’ll go back to my dressing room and push the rose thorns into my neck like snake bites;
then I’ll find that old dressing up box and close everything back up underneath the lid –
you’ll put my gloves on for me and scan my train ticket
as we make our way home to rest our bones for tomorrow’s matinee.
Always trying to be our very best,
Always trying our very best to be something we aren't.
Trying to act different from who we actually are,
Is more like a chore that you get used to doing all the time,
And when you don't do your best pretending as someone else, you feel ashamed?
Telling lies now so you'll be liked,
Even though your not like that at all.
Trying to fit in, but your pretending and lying,
Just so you can be this thing called "normal".
Us human being's, we are so weird,
Shouldn't we feel more ashamed of acting and lying
About pretending to be someone else then the other way around?