With each step forward my heart erupts in tiny earthquakes. I am aged timber falling, ugly in my narcissism. I am not this form, jetting a wake of physical consequence. I am the rippling chimera of a witness-self hovering somewhere above this lanky mass. Inside, I am crippled. My eyes are wide like a feral rabbit from too much black tea and Visine. High-tech geisha cherry blossom hair clips pinch my scalp, but I am a professional. I stare straight ahead.
I pretend there is someone in the audience I’m working it for even though there isn’t. It’s not a necessity, but it could be more a dance if there were someone cheering in the darkness. I should dance instead of think. I know, I know; it’s just walking. I invited him but he didn’t want to come. He didn’t come to the show. Clouds of self-doubt queue threatening my parade. The time has come, little one, for I am too delicate and I have snapped. The only way out now is to confess the truth. I want to be free.
We march, a line of long women dressed up as intergalactic geishas and the cloud of self-loathing disseminates as I become the most clear and present I’ve been in weeks. Veins pump with course recognition. The adrenaline and techno beat drowns all. Noise and colors become nothing in this quantum moment. Time stops and I could spot an eagle ten miles out.
I am going to get to the bottom of it. Tonight, no more excuses. After the show I’m going to drive to his place and face my deep-seated fear. I want to tell my mother not to worry. Find out once and for all. It’s more than overdue. Yes, that’s what I am going to do, right after this show. To stall has finally lapped being vague. I reach the end of the gangplank, turn and wink to Esmé who is quick behind me. Feign the ham. We are both twenty-seven but feel a thousand and seven. She winks back and blows the crowd a kiss like a stick of dynamite.
The stage lights, the cold sweat, the legs to heaven, the photographers snapping pictures of these post avant-garde outfits. Is punk anti-love? Yes. Just because you are alive does not mean you’re up to something profound.
My body is here in the underbelly of downtown Los Angeles, but I am on the shore far away, an aged nautilus washed up, chipped. My fellow compatriots and I, we’re a large tattoo of irony hiding self from self to protect the heart from having to ever break. Forget infinity. Living in concrete cubes and subsisting on a paltry diet. Irony dark mattering itself, eating its own hand. I am hardened by the fear surrounding the mystery of love, hoping to get there eventually while in the meantime floating in the world as a pretty ghost. We are totally retarded, as Esmé’s life coach would say. This thing is so retarded. The tragic outcome a marching army of tin men and tin women.
For the finale we come out holding parasols while tiny blossoms rain down over the audience and stage. And as we march like robot gazelles to the beat I become tacitly aware of a painful truth. I am Momo Weiss and I have never truly loved anyone or anything at all, ever.
title from talk on art by Adi Da Samraj