To Masochists Of The Theatre (fourth letter)

Do you remember the world before it got so ridiculous?  How I tried to provide you all with an ongoing distraction?  Do you remember that you’d already found your own?  That I was going to lead you across a landscape before discovering you were already on the move (each of you in your own unique way)?  I remember not knowing what took any of you to where you’d gone.  I remember not knowing if you’d been littering or feeding the animals along the way. I remember that I didn’t want you to explain it (what had happened before and what went on afterwards).  I remember that your pleasure in suffering was upsetting enough.  Do you remember that I wasn’t like your kind?  That I couldn’t take much more?
Do you remember me noticing that you’d entered your parts and wouldn’t leave?  That you’d all become your characters?  I remember needing you all to know that I never wanted such transformations to be taken so literally.  I remember thinking that you shouldn’t worry about typecasting or career success, that it still didn’t mean you could or should abandon the world altogether for the sake of your art. Do you remember me urging us to not kid ourselves?  Do you remember me telling you that art didn’t have much to do with any of you any longer?  I remember that each of you had mapped the stage as if it were the project of a lifetime, to the point where the project as a means had become the end. I remember that it could seem as if I were contradicting myself, but that you probably never read my previous letters anyway so it wouldn’t matter, and that besides, at such a point you’d need to stop and ask yourselves how it could all be different from this  — somehow beyond your enraptured frames of reference.  Do you remember any of it?
I remember that each of your worlds had become all you knew.  I remember that telling you this didn’t help, as it only served to validate the victimization you constantly desired.  Do you remember letting it reinvent your morphologies?  Letting it explain what you saw with your own eyes?  I remember not recognizing any of you anymore.  I remember assuming you were still there somewhere — that there was a lost balance to be found again with all those unbounded Super Egos.  Do you remember yourselves then?
Do you remember standing before strangers and asking them to like you and appreciate what you’d done for so long?  Do you remember the moment when there were no immediate dignities left, no remorse or shame? Do you remember being judged and ignored for so long that I began to worry about what would happen to you all if it stopped?
I used to gravely wonder if your addicted constitutions would survive a break like that, but now I know it never comes.

 

We are constantly forgetting.

 

jeremy