Teaser of Autobiography (English and Portuguese) (ENTRE DUAS FILEIRAS)


Affinity with finitude.

I can’t help but feel this irritable bowel syndrome and laugh, laugh, laugh hoping that the echoes of my laughter might be heard by someone, anyone, next to me or far away who understands my pain and the pain of living, of being alive and the frustration of not being able to solve the unsolvable sickness called mankind and its rotting blood inside.

That’s how early it all started. Was it New Jersey or was it in Rio or was it under the Putney Bridge? I don’t know. But I do know it was under something because I’d look up and see these monstrous hangers which I named “clouds from a dressed up universe.

The planets and their dance, we’ll soon find out, revolve around a conspiracy theory as well.

“clouds from a dressed up universe” and their affinity with finitude.” Now this isn’t Kant anymore. But is it worth anything?

Two bodies stiff, dead stiff and motionless, laying in pools of blood. Both are Beckett contacts. The Arab man who stabbed Beckett, when brought to trial, had nothing to say: all he uttered was “I don’t know…I don’t know”.

Between spasms of sadness, I could see my father trying to catch some medium radio frequency, either from The Voice of America or from the BBC World Service at Bush House in London, opposite the Aldwich Theater, where I “intruded” into Peter Brook’s rehearsal of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” a decade later.

And these memories are all just clouds from a dressed up universe and their affinity with finitude!

Having pleased or annoyed thousands, here, in this theater or any other, I find myself thinking about the solitude of our impersonal hotel rooms.

All that silence after all that applause.

“Stay with me a little longer, please!”

If I could let the audience in, I would. For sex, for company, for dinner or just for laughs.

I was born with Kristalnacht in my head, being fed those images day in day out. Having lost family at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, I can afford to play with the idea of death as well, although I have the ultimate fear of it. I actually tried it for real in January 2015, in Wengen (in the Swiss Alps) where I keep a flat.

But now, ripped open on this operating theater, starring this camera in the eye, I’ll tell it to you straight: it isn’t ‘my’ death I fear, but the death of all that I have managed to conglomerate, configurate, amalgamate and, especially, transform and interpret.

Yes, I can and will afford the occasional joke and hold a press conference in, say, Germany, just before the opening night of some opera I directed. I enter the room packed with journalists with a massively packed ashtray filled to the rafters with butts and ashes and I say “any objection if my family were to join me? “

Grimm reactions for obvious reasons but I have no regrets.

“Any objection if my family were to join me?

The RUBBLE of the 20th Century – Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Ground Zero and the Berlin Wall as metaphors – are the broken mosaics and we need to deconstruct no further. Stop it. Stop it, for Christ’s sake. Everyone is just still taking things apart and pasting them together as they well please. PLEASE! If applied to my body right now in this operating theater, exactly what would become of me?

A strangely masked and deformed creature could storm in here and say in a clear loud voice that which was written on that piece of paper handed to me by the blind boy was the essence of the rubble.

And, most probably, it was.

He has been the one constant voice whispering in my ears; the reassuring voice of calm and tranquility over the last sixty years of my life, whenever, wherever I was or happened to be: rubble, rubble, rubble….

Sound of sirens and people on sidewalks and that strange thrill one gets when all the emergency services rush to a crime scene. I am lying in a pool of blood, my own blood (it must be). Out of the pupil of my right eye I can see all the police isolating the area. I can hear nothing. Slowly everything becomes blurry and the sounds become octaves lower than in fact they are….. I am numb and no longer…..Someone touches me and rips open my jacket.

“Sir, I’m practically and emotionally stifled right now. Please!” I respond.

“May be so, but physically speaking, death and destruction have a practical attribute: ‘Das Capital’. The refuffle, fuffle, the truffle, I mean, the reshuffling of material goods….”

The powerful men and women who inhabit this planet of mine, are part of a strange organization, a weird play, a never-ending script. They are also part of a global conspiracy, my own, a shadow organization that spans across every continent and has for the last six decades.  Some call this group “And Dead, We Walk”. Others call it: the theater.

I can’t help it. After all, he, the actor also speaks to the subconscious, the subliminal understanding of the audience, the subjective mind, the ultra sensitive mind, that which operates in almost autistic and Para psychological ways.

Let me correct that: it´s a flirt.

For, when that curtain closes, or when that light goes out and we – the actors and directors – go back to our dressing rooms, we have lost all our energies and a strange phenomenon has happened. The audience leaves enlightened. We, on the other hand, are dead, expressionless, have nothing to say other than make small talk or go over some mistakes or laugh about some of those memorized lines and its light cues. All the shine has left us, all the glamour was robbed away from us. We are corpses in a Beckett piece all roaming searching for its lost one.

Why is that so?

But that is only natural. When we look up toward the sky on a cloudless night, we also don´t have the slightest idea of where all that is coming from.

After all, this sense of being left behind and forgotten is an ultimate kind of feeling, isn’t it? If it weren’t, one would take being alone lightly.

PORTUGUESE, a different part:

“TEATRO: Não posso evitar sentir essa síndrome do intestino irritável e rir, rir e rir, esperando que os ecos de minha risada possam ser ouvidos por alguém, qualquer um, perto ou longe, que compreenda minha dor e a dor de viver, a dor de estar vivo e a frustração de não ser capaz de solucionar a insolúvel doença chamada humanidade e seu sangue pútrido.

Enquanto estou deitado nesta cama de hospital, lembro de todas as vezes em que tive de dizer adeus a uma mulher com quem dividira parte de minha vida.

Anos e anos de companheirismo e cumplicidade e então, subitamente, chega a hora de dizer adeus. Ambos banhados em lágrimas e ambos desejando voltar atrás e reconsiderar. Lá no fundo, você sabe que acabou – e ela também. Há um último suspiro. Um último abraço. Um último beijo e ela vai embora. E, mortos, caminhamos. O nó na garganta se transforma em tumor.”

“Pois, quando a cortina desce, quando a luz se apaga e nós – atores e diretores – voltamos a nossos camarins, perdemos toda a nossa energia, e um estranho fenômeno tem lugar. A plateia vai embora iluminada. Nós, por outro lado, estamos mortos, inexpressivos e não temos nada a dizer, senão conversar sobre banalidades, repassar erros ou rir de algumas daquelas falas que perdemos, textos que deram branco e aquelas deixas de luz…NOSSA! Todo o brilho nos deixou, todo o glamour nos foi roubado. Somos corpos em uma peça de Beckett, vagueando e procurando pelo que perdemos.

Por que isso acontece?

É natural. Quando olhamos para o céu em uma noite sem nuvens, também não temos a menor ideia de onde vem tudo aquilo.
Afinal, essa sensação de ser deixado para trás e esquecido é um tipo derradeiro de sentimento, não é? Se não fosse, não daríamos bola para o fato de estarmos sozinhos.

Gerald Thomas

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