It was night and the lights were flashing, long streaks of them, white and bright. The air was still but not heavy. There were people around, curious and concerned. They were standing in groups, their collective whispers a pleasant background hum, faces lit up like old paintings in the intermittent light. Dull yellow tape marked off the inner from the outer. Bored faces on the inside going through the formalities. Their actions familiar yet unfeeling. Their clipboards and pens glinting under the flashing bulbs, the chalk lines flowing together to form an unknown constellation of connected paraphernalia.
In the center, the body of the woman, oblivious to all the sudden entropy. Her arms splayed wide open on either side, pointing to some lost direction. Her eyes open to the stars, taking in the empty splendor of the wheeling heavens above.
The chairs are empty, three of them under the lonely spotlight. All three are draped with a white cloth. One is slightly in front of the other two as if wanting to stand out solely in the light. One is without a cushion and is made of pink plastic. The other two are wooden and have cream-colored cushions. They do not look too old and appear to be waiting for someone. Someone to come and occupy the empty space and throw an additional shadow taller than that of the chairs but blending in with their manufactured uniformity. Perhaps they are like the Sirens of Circe placed there for people fate has abandoned in the alleys of failed ambition.
Time passes. Now there is a man. He is sitting in the plastic chair, the least comfortable of the three. He is foaming at the mouth. His hands are clutching a thin black rope made of plastic. At his feet lies a disposable syringe, old and ugly. His eyes try to concentrate on the spotlight as if by doing so he can find all the answers he ran away from every time. But it is too bright for them. His pupils dilate suddenly. The light overwhelms him and rushes through his open mouth, up his nose into the brain. As everything turns a brilliant white he sees a young child walking away from him, hand in hand with his mother.
The auditorium is huge. It is an ocean of space built in three levels. Diffused lighting lights the whole place. The light makes the space expand further, pushing the corners in and masking the details. The light lacks quality but makes up with its evocative display of vast space. The stage is the focus of the brightest lights. It shimmers like a mirage. The curtains hide in the corners like nervous stagehands, streaked with fine dust. And it is quiet. Quieter than even an empty house. The silence covers everything like cold dew. It drips from the dangling microphones, it fills the chairs flowing in like waves and it gives shape to the shallow shadows hiding under the seats.
I’m lying in the center of the stage, stomach ripped open. My fingers clutch the intestines crawling out of the jagged hole. I want to scream but the silence is on me too. It covers my mouth with a dry kiss and the screams struggle at the back of my throat. I do not want to fight it. I want it to engulf me. I squeeze my intestines harder.
Space expands and then contracts into a thin but intensely white line. I close my eyes and embrace Death.