Hello Gentle Reader
The wings and the rafters are all painted black, paired with equally mourning drapes and curtains which hang on hooks, which can be maneuvered and moved to conceal and reveal. Tucked away are the discarded realities of the past. They sit in varying stages of disassembly. The castle wall has fallen under siege; cut out clouds collect dust; a sofa sits in waiting to be retrieved or worst donated; other random assortments have since lost any sliver of identity or purpose, what were once flowers are now twigs of peeling green paint, a bed frame now kindling for a bonfire, an extinguished sun, burned out and forgotten. The crew of assembly and dismantling sits on crates off to the side, smoking cigarettes. Their coveralls caked with dust, their eyes glazed with boredom. The scene is set. This time a chapel and wedding.
Hidden in a corner, sits the costume closet; there tailor and seamstress are played by a singular individual. They pin, prick, snip and sew the uniforms and outfits of the characters. In a sense, they essentially create the characters. Costumes are the defining impressions of a character. Clothes define the character. Here they also starch and iron the players of the play. For example: the groom waits down below in the dressing rooms—the dungeon as it’s colloquially and playfully called. He paces back and forth. His groomsmen sit in absentminded dazes. None of them speak, they only stand; as there are no lines for them to recite or rehearse. Meanwhile the groom mumbles under his breath, as he paces the room. He’s all but ready, with the exception of his trousers. They were wrinkled in transport, and would not be suitable for the opening night—let alone any night. So, they were urgently rushed to the costume closet, whereupon they were greeted with needle like fingers and silent scowling sewn lips. Immediately they were pressed and ironed before being placed on a hanger. This carelessness is not easily forgiven. Trousers or no trousers, the groom is summoned to the costume closet. There everything must be inventoried and inspected. The groom is ordered to strip further, until he's left solely in his underwear. Everything must be inventoried and inspected: jacket, waistcoat, shirt, tie, cufflinks, and boutonnière. Everything is accounted for, and with no blemishes discovered the groom is ordered to get dressed there on the spot—one arm at a time; one leg at a time. Afterwards the needle like fingers: poke and prod, then straighten the tie, and ensure the boutonnière is symmetrical. The groom can breathe easy, after standing around in varying stages of dress and undress.
In the left wing the bride waits. She whispers her lines. Her bridesmaids busy themselves by flirting with the crew men, who all but ignore such sugared delights. She is overcome with white. Her dress bellows out all around her in a fog of lace and silk. A bit old fashioned for her taste. Yet she can’t complain due to the corset cinched up from her waist to her ribs. Her face is poorly masked by a wedding veil; supposedly a symbol of her virtue. Though, in all reality she hadn’t been a virgin for quite some time. It’s not about her; no, it’s about ‘the bride,’—someone who is a virgin, and in complete adoration of ‘the groom.’ He was an easy lay, and a lazy one at that. She knew she could have done better. But today they get married. He has her ring in the right wings. It has glitz and it has glamour. But like everything else it’s all smoke and mirror, an alchemical play of light and shadow. After it sparkles and the curtain drops for the next scene, the ring ends up back in the costume closet—back into those needle fingers and scowling sewn lips—where it will be repurposed for another production at some other date. Perhaps even for some other bride.
Above it all sits the almighty; a spider like creature that’s perched on its catwalk and wired web, complete with bulbs, speakers, knobs and toggles. It is the absolute controller of lights and sound. The one who brings the day and ends the night. The only one who makes the wind howl and the rain fall. They accentuate the characters; they wash and bathe the stage in the light only they can provide. They illuminate the scrim with the appropriate mood; from red with anger, to blue with sadness, to green with envy or greed, to blush or pink with love and romance. The same colours repurposed to signify and allude to the weather and seasons: blue for rainy days, green for spring, yellow for summer, red for autumn, grey for overcast days, and white for winter. Tonight’s production is simple enough: white and pink; it all fits into the chapel and the marriage. As the audience will take their seat and as the production gets closer to its beginning, the almighty will transition and transport the spectators to the private and manufactured world on stage. One just haphazardly constructed together. A world populated by superficial characters, portrayed by down and out of luck actors. Throughout it all, the almighty oversees the transition of worlds; they ensure the weather is cooperative, and the world is displayed with perfect illumination, never requiring further elucidation.
Below is the stage manager, which is charged with maintaining peace and order, as well as being the sole ambassador and son of the almighty. When or rather if, the almighty chooses to speak it is only to the stagehand, who is expected to relay the information or give the marching orders. They are expected to round up the troops, ensure everything is in place and ready before releasing the curtain, from then on: its fingers crossed, as no direction can be given and no corrections can be offered. Already the stage manager has shooed away the bridesmaids, while giving the crew of assembly and dismantling the sofa to sit on in the alley, and if they so desired they could burn the bedframe kindling as well as the other disused landscapes. The groom, oh the groom in varying stages of dress and undress; just so those sewn scowling lips twitched with sadism. Once he was dressed he is rushed to the right wing and his groomsmen immediately beckoned. The bride complains her corset is too tight; but it is too late for any adjustments, as the groom occupied the time with liberal leisure. The almighty calls. Curtain is in five.
The groom fidgets with his tie. The bride wonders if she can breathe and speak. The bridesmaids grab their bouquets. The groomsmen lounge. The first match is struck in the alley, and lost worlds burn; all the while the crew of assembly and dismantling smokes cigarettes and play cards. Soon the same hammers that nailed the world together, will pry them loose; and everything begins anew. The stage manager takes their seat at their desk. The script is open, the blocking clear, and the directions simple. The productions scaffolding is secure, now it’s up to the costumes to come alive on their characters. The curtain raises; the almighty washes the stage in white and pink. Enter the groom and bride, followed by their groomsmen and bridesmaids. in the costume closet work has already begun. A police officers uniform is being stitched and sewn, while a prisoner’s suit hangs in the background.
Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
And As Always
Stay Well Read