This story is dated not many years from now…if this is the century where cars don’t fly that is! There is not a single thing in this lively bustling town that goes by without being confessed into the ears of this wordsmith.
It’s a story of a stunning woman, probably in her late forties .Our protagonist is a worldly dame…lived enough to see the ugly with a few more years granted to enjoy the fine-looking. But that was the issue-she could never appreciate the better half of life. That poor soul could die before appreciating nothing. But god had not created this world to be filled with the easy, beauty lay in the complexities of nature…in the wonders you couldn’t really cage within words and understanding. She was one of them I suppose, the complexities.
She was regal, yes, but awfully unhappy. Her mind longed to appreciate something, anything, a joke or even a play…but alas, even the immortal works of art couldn’t cater to her desires. She would visit theaters, musicals, exhibitions, openings and even the slums of the earth. She dug hard desperate to discover a stone made precious in her eyes.it was pathetic but who isn’t when they are in her shoes?
She was a critic you see, so every time when her much awaited article would come out in the Sunday paper people would squabble to take a glance into the melancholy and insulting words her emotions felt for the performances she was treated to. For the public it was sheer humor and joy that would be achieved after this meaty piece of gossip would be exhausted, for the performers it could mean an end to their careers but for her it was just another disappointment.
One reasonable morning her friend Chantelle invited her in her abode for solace, that’s all friends could do for her really. So she paid her a visit and indulged herself into the company of her pal in Brest (France). The place had its fair share of tourist spots and it was by the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. The apartment was a two bedroom, squeezed in between other shabby houses. In one room there was Chantelle and her husband and in the other was Chantelle’s ailing grandfather (stage four cancer). She bunked with the grandfather.
Chantelle had hired a cycle for sightseeing, it was a tandem bicycle, for the two of them. The first week Chantelle was pulled into a last minute project at work, so our protagonist would put on a sundress and feel it flow into the wind as she cycled towards the beach. It was always the beach. She’d sit there for a good hour and the half and stare into the dark abyss of the horizon and then ride back home. The same routine every day for six days. At home, she would eat her meals over small talk and then retire.
One of these tasteless nights, her roomie tried making conversation.” What troubles loom over your plagued soul?”
”it’s just that I was wondering why you would hate life so much as not to even smile at it?”
“It’s nothing to worry about”
“Fess up…it’s not nothing, what do you have to lose?”
“ there is nothing that I could lose…I have no expectations anymore to be disappointed, my reputation is already a fable replaced by the witch’s and my life has no happiness to offer. It is not mortal material I seek. It’s the immortal that I want but am denied and now cant loose”
“So many things burdening such feeble shoulders. I have read your reviews and heard about them enough to know that you are not what they call “a welcome audience”. Just answer this question: when you watch a play what is it that commonly disappoints you?”
“It’s everything! The music is weary, the plots are sketchy and the ACTING?! Don’t even get me started on that!”
“Well, the scenes where the performer is overjoyed, dying and or in love is gravely exaggerated! Love can’t make you blush, happiness can’t make you flush and to die…it looks like in a rush. Other scenes don’t carry enough passion to even be able to hint whatever it is that is happening on the stage! In twenty years of watching and bearing everything they throw at me as a ‘performance’ I have never enjoyed myself just as much as I do when I write them a review, which is naught! It is wretched, really. Maybe I was born in the wrong generation.”
“After serving in the war, I joined a local drama community, so, if I may, I would like to give it a try. Since I am too old, it would be rather befitting for me to do one of those dying scenes.” ”don’t judge me too harshly.” he chuckled and began his performance.
This time she felt nervous. She knew that this performance wouldn’t be good enough so she had no expectations, but if was what was to happen afterwards that scared her. How can her brutal mind explain her disappointment politely in front of her friend’s grandfather?! She will break her heart and shatter his ambition within seconds.it was like telling your sister how her baby looked after finding him ugly and vile. Pushing her tensions aside she focused at the performance of the old man valiantly displaying his skills exposed to harsh judgement.
At first the performance was like any other – cheesy, exaggerated and blown up out of proportion. But then much to her surprise it changed. The pretentious was now raw and realer, purer than anything she had ever seen. Enraptured she sat tight as her lost emotions now created a tsunami in her heart. Scared, amazed and overwhelmed at the same time, it was nothing she had experienced before. Speechless, she saw the man choke in his own breath as if struggling to take his last breath. The spark in his eyes dimmed synchronized to the growing laziness in his actions. The arms, that were previously ferociously flapping as if looking for a rope which will bring him back to life, were now at rest as if at peace with his defeat. Pacified, his body didn’t make a sound. Eeriness crept just as the life from his heart crept out, fast and slow at the same time.
A few minutes passed by. It was one of those complexities.
She got up and applauded, something her hands haven’t had the pleasure to do since forever. Tears in her eyes and a worthy memory in her heart, the child of god laughed and smiled stupidly. The applause echoed through the house and Chantelle entered with her husband. At first they were worried but soon they began clapping too.
More minutes. A certain awkwardness.
He was dead. It was real. Tragic and real.
Unabashedly death became her cherished memory.
Next Sunday morning her article came out. The oddest one she wrote in the entirety of her career. The malicious was now kind. The stage was a tiny apartment of Brest. The performer was a dead man. And the performance was death. But the oddest of all these facts was that from her came the greatest review of appreciation. The awaited unexpected.