(two pages from “BOOK” autobiographical) entries made in Graz, Austria, 1995, during the rehearsals of the opera Dr. Faust, by Busoni, performed at the Graz Opera House:
By being of small stature, you’re closer to the asphalt and notice the texture caused by car tires sudden breaks and little defects, such as tiny holes and imperfections. You are simply fascinated by the fragility of things, all things, things in general, by the weight of buildings, by the alignment of lampposts and all lights at all and, even, by trees. Yes, this immenseness of things does frighten you while you’re crossing the street.
You’re frightened of the universe and how huge it is, how organized it is and how you might lose it all.
What’s worse, you don’t have “how to say it”. You simply feel all of this, but don’t know “how to say it”.
And as you’re about the rehearse a question, you receive no answer that satisfies you, it does seen as though you don’t feel well, or at least not as well as the others seem to feel.
Maybe this has to do with the paleness or whiteness of your skin or the language spoken at home which makes you feel different from all other. Yes, people pass you by, while crossing the street and, seem happily talkative, singing even screaming at times – all these to which you aspire but have no idea how, or even understand why. So, you take all this in, as if it were smoke from Pluto or some other world, swallow or inhale as if it were some vegetation from Jupiter. Yes, of course: you do understand every word they say. But you cannot put them together as you can in your own language, so you listen but it all seems as if these words are understood as symbolic sounds of a distant music which create shapes in you mind.
Does this make any sense? Does it?
All of them seen to know the tapping to the dance, the beat, but you look at it all geometrically and float. Yes, they seem to fracture even further who you are by the eyeglasses they planted on your face. They don’t understand what you saw. They all look at you and tell you something in a language you simply cannot follow. Yes, and the glasses fracturing the images of what is seen in this torrid climate! Sometimes ice cold inside to the shiver of a bone chill. It’s all so clear that you fail to see, such is the incidence and the intensity of LIGHT, or SUCH is the DARKNESS that not even by trying to merely use your touch, or touching the walls would help since all the angles are right angles, all go degree angles, all done with such improbable perfection that…!
You’re still half way through crossing the street holding your mother by the hand.
And continuing the walk across you notice a tiny bird, a tiny dead bird, already dry all bones and feathers, probably run over by a car and imprinted into the asphalt, smashed right into the asphalt with the tire marks quite visible still.
You get the chills in your belly, a spooky image that was. One of those chills that climbs up your leg all the way to un area you cannot describe but all you fell upon seeing all that is the need SCREAM.
No, what you feel is not normal. It’s as it the spirit of that bird was still alive waiting to jump right into you or onto you. And kill you over and over you with a sensation of terror. Its tiny little dry face is somewhat still recognizable and your eyes are fixed on his.
Finally, you reach the other side of the street (the sidewalk seems a relief to you), and you see a scene that you’re been seeing and longing to see again: it’s a scene which leaves you confused, a mess: people lining up, queuing up in order to by pastries which are not within their reach. Divided by a glass partition, you see these people exchanging money for these pastries, which are put by uniformed maids in paper bags.Yet, whilst looking through the store window,you make an incredible discovery! A discovery that frightens you terribly. You notice an old bag lady, a homeless lady, an old bum, with her breast showing and her son on her lap.
You feel strangled, suffocated, erotically aroused and attracted, disgusted….because you’re realized that you were able to see her without her seeing you. She lives in some kind of soliloquy, a repetitive and endless monologue and longings, like all crazy people laugh while sitting in the street, in the filth, in their stench, away from our world of perfection. Dirty and with a crust built around her, her son hanging by her neck, the only thing you notice is her breast her huge black breast, her nipple, her son – your age – the chill in your stomach the comfort of holding your mother’s hand an a sense of profound sadness.
This may have been the first day in your life when sadness has played such a role, coming from the outside world, no relationship to your toys, your vegetable soup or a scalding from your parents.
You and your mother adopt a faster pace but still the images don’t disappear from your head. You have questions; yet, have no way of asking them.
You walk for another 2 or 3 blocks, but as of that moment you don’t notice the street and its details any longer and nothing distracts you – no people, their expressions, nothing, you’re suddenly become an introvert and look hypnotically the same of street textures without giving a damn. All you can think about is that old woman with her breast apparent and apparent nipple and hanging son and the little corner of the world she has found for herself right in the middle of the crossword – where she is invisible and ignored right there, by the footstep of where people line up to stuff themselves with fat and sugar and creamy pastries, she sits in a pool of filth, erotically ignored.
And that huge breast, that extraordinary breast, juicy, wrinkled but with a firm hard nipple! Something has happened to you. You’re become a ball of fire. To call it fear would be to undermine it. To call it repugnant, would be to subvert it.
You were feeling blinded by the extraordinary noise of the emotional cards playing in your imagination and the scorching heat of the sun, the sweat, your loneliness. What would all that be in your solitude?
Your solitude, yes.
There was no doubt.
You were in falling in … LOVE.
Written in Graz, Austria, 1995
to view a trailer of the production click on the link below: