But see: I step out of my hiding. Even now, I step out. I step out. I detach myself from the shadows and step out. Or do I?
The CD moves in various ways, physically enacting the contractions contained in her words; achieving minor successes, stricken and aware of recurring failures.
CD: Recently I had a striking thought. I thought that my fear is the fear the timid have from the lurking nearness of an animal of prey; the helplessness before a powerful aggressor the weak fall into, cowering in dread of the big, the threatening, the savage. Does that make any sense? Are my perceptions abnormal or can we communicate? I mean, I feel the way hunted creatures tense up, freeze and push themselves stiffly and ever so cautiously into an opening, suspecting, suspecting as we rightly do that somewhere out there, spying, calculating, brooding in an obsessive blood-lust, is the predator, the monster, the camouflaged bogyman. Do you understand? Can you feel me? Please do not touch. Stay away! Stand back. I am speaking of the one who attacked and took. The one who will always attack and take again. You know who I mean: the unsuspected family terrorist, the friendly next door neighbor, the school teacher, the priest, the police officer, the occasionally visiting, humorous relative. Wolves in sheep’s clothing: Bah! Bah! Bah!
CD falls into momentary narcolepsy before continuing.
Still, still I am trying, trying hard, struggling in all directions to discover or recover my movement, my courage, my ordinary, my innocence—skin, flesh, bones, skin and bones. Only it is hard. It is hard. It hurts! And I am only always, always, always like a sleepwalker in a bad dream, attempting to dance my way out of the sticky darkness and into the light of life. But I am only a small shadow in a vast shadow land of large shades, phantoms and darkly breathing fears.
When the darkness began to descend upon the forest, the wolf appeared among the trees, the elf king’s brood rode rough and wild upon the wind, the moon came up and a spot of blood shown in one of his hollow eyes. And the wolf said, “Where are you going Little Red Riding Hood? I will eat you up!”
The Dance of Fear is performed here to the Figlio Perdato. After the dance, the CD moves her chair down stage, sits like a child, and resumes speaking.
CD: When I was small, Uncle, my father’s big, big brother—the one with the pitted face and the eyes that followed everywhere, even when half closed; who had an unclean, nauseating order and often, I remember, would sweat profusely and all to easily; who smelled of diseased semen and whose hands were heavy and hairy and nervous… When I was little, a little girl, like a rose bud that had not yet blossomed, my Uncle used to tell me a story. He always told it while standing over me, so that the shadow of his big man covered my tiny face and body, my child hands, which I would later cry into and squeeze painfully, as if desperate to be saved from the night by a prayer.
The Blooming Bead Trees of New Orleans:
by Kristin Fouquet