by Dave B
A symbolic look at living a life without purpose or meaning...hiding backstage.
|They live a veiled existence, behind a dark burgundy curtain with golden edging and heavy-bottomed tassels swaying back and forth along the dusty linoleum floor. Spotlights hang heavily, groaning under the weight of 100 watts of metallic power, seeking an object to fixate its concentrated radiance upon. A stage set, a captive and pre-approving audience ready, awaiting even the smallest of movements behind the curtains-- a crowd that no longer cares for the perfection of lines or the careful pitch of the soprano’s high B. They singularly seek interaction, communion, acknowledgement. For this alone they would forgive all errors, forget all elitist sentiment and thunder in applause, burst into tears, and scream their approval.
Yet, Those behind the curtain appear to have forgotten the curtain altogether. They talk about what lies beyond the curtain, oh yes, they even recall the many fine performances they gave, the standing ovations they received, the flowers they collected on the stage. They even discuss the next time they will once again grace the stage as they have talked for the last twenty-two years. Yet, the curtain remains unmoved, stoically holding its transient position.
They have come to believe that life backstage is, in fact, where the show goes on—where life happens. Yet, they bustle behind backstage believing that the make-up they put on and the costumes they don are for one another. They applaud those who can keep up the façade the longest, those who believe that beyond the curtain is something worthy and exciting, but who no longer believe that the curtain can be pulled back. They detest those who no longer care for the preparation of the stage, who no longer pretend or desire to live the life of the stage; a group that now teaches that the curtain is the boundary. Nothing worthwhile lies beyond the red velvet.
Yet, there are others, even though a small group, they remain--those whose eyes are fixed on the curtain, who know that the heavy satin is not a boundary or an immovable object, but the beginning of a journey. Yes, many times they get distracted and forget that the curtain is even there, they even stumble into believing the lies of the other groups, yet a few always return--return to the curtain and wait for it to be pulled back. And some nights, when all is quiet, they can hear the spotlights turn on, they can see the hot, white light seeping through the golden edges, they hear the low murmur of the crowd, and sometimes, O how rarely, the curtain slides and those that had their eyes fixed on the curtain see a glimpse of the other side. In that glimpse they catch the meaning, the tranquility, the depth, the perfect order, of the show. It is with those glimpses that they rest, knowing that the veil will one day be taken back, and it will be the beginning.