A Monologue by David Erdos
The Valet, a slim and elegant man of possibly Asian appearance.
A bare stage.
A spotlight from which he addresses the dark.
Such gentlemen favour the dark.
It is somewhat predictable, yes. But then these are predictable people, moving through the warped routines and slick patterns that people such as yourselves might expect. They stalk your gardens at night and linger, forlorn at street corners. They steal fruit and snap flowers, squeezing pink buds into pulp. They stamp on cat’s tails and suck on dewed leaves and sharp berries. Photograph the black they inhabit and you will see something lost behind empty space.
I observe. I assist their tracking down and removal. I am their iced inhalation and the stinging that snags their last breath.
I am a Valet of sorts. A Valet no doubt of disservice. Loyal and true I will follow, treading carefully as I go. My shoes are words on a page, as careful as ink, also written, staining their day and their conscience with overdue diligence. This function confounds. It may seem a contradictory action. But then these are people for whom the word contradiction was made.
They are people like you. And yet at once scarcely human. Then they are at once all too human, with a flick of the wrist or a tick. Their minds salivate at the very chance of foul action. They trick and slip nimbly into the crevice, like rats in a drain.
The wound is peopled at once by their disregard and intention. The pipe is pipped. The house crumbles and with it all morality too. I make my checks and then I appear to remind them. That they may do all they have done but still there will be a price to be paid.
It’s always problematic, of course. But then these are problematical people. They seem to have moved at will from acceptance and by default, His design.
And thus I am assigned to block the darkest transgression. I, the stock taker, the reclaimer of costs to be paid.
I will pause for tea. I drink tea because I have found a taste for it. A thin cloud that teases. I favour its tiny slur in my cup.
I reach, it arrives. I am part of course of His order. Part of His process. A filament in His frequency.
(He mimes the cup.)
The cup is there. Do you see? Fruit of His great creation. As real to me as all landscape and the confines no doubt of this room. All one has to do is believe and one can have all sensation. One can own the world’s riches, or that body of course, next to yours.
Her neck is – yes?
Youth? Scent? Charisma?
What else do they have?
Its a missing ingredient now, thanks to the course you’re all sailing. Spearheaded of course by these people who I must decapitate. Cut off in their prime or what they see as their prime I command them: atone or fall singly to the frequency of the wind.
For it is a harsh one that blows through this and all seasons.
Sip my tea? It is poisoned. But not by me. But by you.
(He offers it.)
By your doubt, disbelief and unwillingness also. If you do not believe the cup’s steaming then you believe in nothing at all. You have no foundation. No cause. And you are dumb before doorways. That may or may not admit to the kingdom you seek, close at hand.
I just ask you to.
I simply supply the one image.
Join with me. Take it. But you must taste it of course, truthfully.
If you do, you are saved. If you do not you fall victim to this and all curses and to the dangers unwound in this world. You will become the sort of people I’ve caught. The Objectionables and Earth Demons..for there is no difference between their intrusions and some of the smaller things you have done. The Jealousies and the debts. The Insincerities. The betrayals. These can all broaden in the tangle of vines that await.
The world is always a forest at night because of how what you do not see can surprise you. The world has no wonder for those who have no true need of it.
Do not be so chained.
Do not remain on this level.
I can assist you along a path on which you might trip.
For I am dutiful, clean, and effortlessly polite should you wish it. But most of all, I am careful and attentive to you and your needs. A Servant of use is also a teacher. They help and show by example. They in a sense, parent you.
The transgressors are lost. They could not take the things offered to them. And so they stole blindly, swallowing both fruit and thorn. I soothed their throats. I smoothed their skin with my kisses. But not with lip. No. With finger. As if playing on them, like a string. Or a piano note in the dark, marking a song with its echo. I tried to show them the sort of sound they should make..
They didn’t listen.
Their inner ear has mutated. Now, they only hear the warped message, like a scribbled note, folded fast.
How could they know?
What could they do to resolve this? They had only themselves to fall back on and nothing but strained tragedy to resolve. They could not resist. It is sad. But my function is still to pass sentence. And by writing theirs to truncate it by clamping down their stained book. The final page in such lives gives no sense of conclusion. And yet the result of their actions grant sequels to an unwilling readership…
Victims repeat what they have read, what was written. If not in action on one day, then in reaction of course, endlessly. The sickened story persists when we should actually start a new chapter. And so the Angel avenges and in doing so chars his wings.
My own have reduced. They are sinew and line. There’s no feathers. The blood too has blackened and can no longer be seen in this light. But they are there all the same, hanging like ears far behind me. Listening to the wind to forewarn me of those who impune the bright air.
That air warps. Can you hear? As if space itself had been folded, the sides of it wilting as people such as these wonder through.
They stumble. They crush. They balloon to fat..are unwealdy. They are the shit beneath nature that even the flowers deny.
Where do you walk, each of you?
I am here to guide you.
I remain to remind you of the true and correct way to go.
Cities corrupt as the countryside curdles. The milk in cows becomes solid as ice collects at the teat.
Foxes bleed dry. We witness the chicks suffocation. Pigs squeal as their wisdom is to profound to find tongue.
A horror descends.
I am here to protect you.
My eloquence is a construct to give you the directions you need.
Pay attention. Relax. His will has been ordered. His laws formulated that I of course, execute.
There are certain rooms, you should know where we carefully house problem people. Retirement homes where suppression is breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner too. Where to eat is to take from the very fat of your body and where exercise isn’t, and where to exorcise is. People starve in their beds with only cold space to surround them. From their vantage point they glimpse planets made of poison and dust and charred bone. There they can suck on a star and witness the kiss that consumes them. Burning the tongue, chest and anus until they too become a black hole. Their singularity sticks on the very fabric that formed them. And so they reach judgement where the portals of truth close to them. I clean the mess that remains, often just a handful of pebbles. Cold stones. Black. Brittle. The spit of their souls turned to glass. I shatter this into dust, then dust to the cried air..condensation. Which becomes the bitter rain falling into the dark of far space. Nobody can see these spent tears and no-one regrets their brief losses. Even the universe hates them, as well as the ones they have left.
I act as defence. I am also Jury and Counsel.
I am their Nursemaid. Their Mother, too, come to that.
I am needed.
I’m Christ. But not in the form you imagine. Christ sought the changes. He was not religious at all. Religion’s man made. Religion remains artificial. Spirituality hovers above the synthetically formed spiritual. Belief is the soul. It is not formed by a process. It does not ask. It allows you. Yet all of you hinder it. The religious world is a frame. That’s why there are those who burst through it. Accept the world, then transform it. I see it all from my dark. For my dark is clear. It is a fully dimensional mirror. A mirror that brothers reflection and which sisters it too, naturally.
It is a means to engage.
It is the arm within looking.
My darkness shines inward, obscuring everything else but the truth.
I see you all tonight as I have seen them forever.
Your system collapses the more support you give it.
Tear your brief bridges down. Revoke your seas. Purge your rivers.
This is the first and last time I’ll be speaking and these are the words I most want.
I will come first at night if you are one of those people.
Then I will come by day.
I will kill you.
Thought upon thought. You will hear me, breaching the rooms between dreams.
This is His will..Be so warned..From High above.
There’s no Heaven.
His height needs no level.
The Lord expands his circumstance in your mind.
You are His house, even if some of you stoop to ruins. And I am your Valet standing dutifully at your door.
What do you believe?
I don’t care.
I simply wait in this silence.
The light is extinguished but I cross the cosmos to take up residence in your eyes.
I have scarred retinas.
I am aural. And nasal.
I am soul. I am anal.
And I can be held in your hand.
I dare you.
I dare you. I ask.
You do not understand your full function. You do not recognise all your actions because of the contradictions you are.
The Sun is set on its course.
The Poles, appalled, will pull from you.
The ground becomes biscuit.
The sea is raised.
Still I sail.
The clouds will soon shriek.
The grass will scar.
You’ll be roasted.
I will now serve your dinner.
Your mouth will soon recede..
(He motions to serve. The light trembles, flickers. He looks up to check on it as the darkness now falls.)
Visual: Claire Palmer