Our first night at the Coliseum
November 17, 2009
JAMES WRIGHT, Community Ensemble Participant
My feelings were bandaged on account of the frostbite. I’d been working on a case since 6am and I was beat; it turned out that the real culprit was simply a case of poor documentation standards and a penchant for acting in a pretentious and overtly supercilious manner – not even the best PI in the business could have sold that motive, and my client wasn’t the munificent type.
I got a call at 5pm, “The Coliseum – 6pm”. I’d already been awake for twelve hours and my previous client couldn’t chew the truth, so I figured what the hey. I trudged there through the inane chatter of suits and insipid faces, passed bronze lions and a gallery of our nation, mournful war lamentations and the face of our government that pushed time forwards; it was a two and a half mile walk, I had not anticipated this.
When I reached the rendezvous point I couldn’t get in. There was a transparent door the size of me with a button from the future embossed onto a not getting any younger wall; I wasn’t getting any younger either, so I had a few smokes to pass the time. The gatekeeper eventually let me in.
“Gee whizz,” I thought in my brain as I penetrated the membrane between reality and the realm of ephemeral, ever-changing art. A cyclopean city with immeasurable and terrifying symmetry, misleading to the casual observer it was both benign and sublime – I was overcome, what immortal hand or eye could frame this? Who was my contact?
I was led to a room where my investigation would begin. I was immediately transformed into a different person, with few material possessions, all of my notes were gone and I had in my hand an itinerary of things that I had to do and places I had to be. My 38. had been replaced with nothing and I could no longer smoke. There were other men there who were undergoing similar changes; I was highly sensitive to these initial conditions and there was a sense of telepathy. I knew everything.
I started by moving a desk onto a reflective surface inside the arena of the city from a time immeasurable, with a booming, omniscient voice issuing corrections and instructions. Mine was not to question why – this was my case and I was going to solve it, no matter what.”SHOOT THAT MAN,” international brigade remembered.
Intrinsic splendour that I could not calculate played out; alluring and dogmatic bass shuddering my bones; spellbinding dance interspersed with divine lights that made me see blotches of red and green. I knew it then that with strange aeons even an ensemble may fly – we took off, helping one another. I was soaring above a dreamscape and witnessed something effortlessly managing the effervescence; form where there was none and the death of chaos. I was part of something greater than the sum of its parts, but still mindful of them; a matchstick memorial to the Tower of Babel. A deathly sleep awoken by a different sect.
We had coffee like a bus of school children on a day trip to another planet – the bus can fly. We spoke excitedly about what was happening, about this alien world and its MUSIC landscape.
Time was spent on careful observation. I was not me, but I knew my place. I wanted to smoke, but I had a job to do. I tried my best, and the other detectives (BECAUSE THEY WERE DETECTIVES TOO) were trying theirs. It was hard, but we knew what we had agreed to when we took the case. Then it hit me; “gosh,” I thought – WE were the case.
Time and I was myself. As I slipped back into me the only thing I remember is the sound of people swearing. Tense was not important, and I was concerned that my ever-decreasing energy levels (a client was making me work an extra hour every day) would damage my next case; but I know I will be fine because once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth and that is our answer.