Sunday, May 5, 2013

Planet of Dreams: Go West

Shackled to a dangerous man, a young boy fights for survival in the desert.


A day in the dungeon begins with a sound. It is a distinct and quite unpleasant sound, of footsteps coming closer. From inside the dungeon these footsteps sound like slaps; sometimes I imagine slabs of raw beef are falling on the flagstones. One, two, three, four, five, six chunks of moist sirloin lying on the ground in a bloody mess. Then silence. Hopeful on my side of the dungeon door, indifferent, I imagine, in the corridor. The silence lasts three seconds, at the most. On the other side of the door a key is inserted into the lock, turned, then a chain is pulled and the small metal tray in the door falls open towards you like a drawbridge. In the next instance, your provisions for the day, a jug of water and a bowl of something, a stew or soup, appear. You have exactly ten seconds to take the food off the tray before the tray draws up, closing the opening. The chain rattles, the key turns, leaves the lock. The sound of footsteps resumes. This time the sound has an entirely different tone; this time, sand is squeaking underfoot, on a beach somewhere, in an open, sunny place. One, two, three, four, five, six sandy squeaks, squeaking away until nothing but the sound of your own breathing remains. The entire exercise lasts exactly two minutes. Then it’s just you. To do with yourself as you see fit. And what do you do with yourself for the rest of your dark, quiet day?
You eat. You drink. You sleep. You exercise, walk, stretch — your body and your mind. You pee creatively in your bucket; you’re making patterns, percussive and melodic both, just to hear a sound, a something other than the voice in your head. When you’re done peeing, you daydream. Day and night, you let your imagination run wild ‘cause you’re stuck in this very dark, quiet place with only your thoughts, your bladder and three plastic utensils to entertain yourself with.

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