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Today is Lover’s Day! (2020) A Play for One or More Voices


report

Thomas Moran
31 August 2020






Day 0

A Cosmic Guerrilla Story

And on the last day it began to cry, forgetting that it had been acting all along. And it was only in forgetting this that it had been able to sacrifice itself to a childish god.

“Thank you for the gift of heartbreak,” it wept, knowing it was only saying this to make itself feel better. But the ruse seemed to work. So, it tried to trick itself again. “Thank you for giving me the gift of heartbreak TWICE!” it screamed. Then it realised what had happened. It was only in remembering that it’s I had been just a tiny part all along that it could begin to stop crying.

“Blessed be the actors. For theirs is the kingdom in the stars.” The Cosmic Guerrilla laughed at this ridiculous thought and borrowed the fools’ fingers to type out a note. It watched the fool stretch out on the floor of its cell and recite, “Blessed be the forgetful. For theirs is the kingdom which knows no end.” And in reciting these words the long night ended and the sun began to rise. And when the sun shone it turned itself into a baby. But that’s another story for another time.

This is the story of a world that had forgotten how to forget. And in forgetting that secret, it had forgotten how to love. And so, where once it built temples now it built prisons. And some looked like hospitals. And others looked like schools. And others looked like thoughts. And when it couldn’t build any more prisons it began to transform the rooms where people had lived into cells. And that was how this world created prisoners. What follows is a prisoner’s story. It’s a transcription of a dream the Cosmic Guerrilla told me one night when I couldn’t sleep. I suppose in the end it’s just another story to help me sleep and dream of you.

Day 01

The Archaeologist’s Message

On an unnamed planet, at an unspecified time, a primitive databank was recovered by the archaeological recovery team. It appeared as if the planet had been ruled by a benevolent aristocrat, known only as Supreme, whose red and white coat of arms was emblazoned on every scrap of clothing found in the rubble of their once abundant cities.

But beside the bodies there existed an enormous archive of footage, photographs and a form of writing unique to this archaic civilisation. It was a style which seemed to be gripped by an obsession with the individual unit, with constant refrains of “I” “I” “I”, but which was also inflected with a tendency towards fanciful speculation. To us such formal conceits seemed inane, childish even, but these people seemed to adore this class of writing and sought to reproduce it constantly. Perhaps they were a feeble-minded species or perhaps we just did not understand the disaster that had befallen them.

Endless screeds of this kind were found in the databank with titles like “Love in Lockdown,” all full of cloying references to their tragic condition. To us who had travelled years, even decades, without ever hearing another voice such hysteria was unconscionable. Why was staying inside their homes so terrifying to these people? What horrors lived in their hearts which made spending time alone so unbearable and so frightening? And why were they compelled to document their terror so completely?

Every detail of their collective inner world was preserved. And yet in all its startling specificity every piece of writing seemed identical, as if it was typed by the same hands or dictated to them by the same authority.

As we began to piece together the fragments of their world, we realised that a disease had struck them. It seemed that the planet had been infected by an illness which made them all write very badly. It was a curious thing, this disease which affected both their lungs and their language.

Perhaps these creatures’ immune-systems and their capacity for style were inextricably bound together. Perhaps they were compelled by a higher power to write this way in order to appease a deity we would never know. Or perhaps they were merely a narcissistic and savage race who cared only to stamp their identity upon the world. Either way their cultural output was meagre and we felt blessed to have never known their terrible pain.

Among the documents recovered we found the following short piece. Like all of their writing, it was clearly the product of a diseased touch. It concerns a notion that the author refers to only as “True Love”. But unlike much of the writing produced by these people its author seems to despise the world of the “I”. And yet unlike us the author insists that True Love has a power greater than that of pleasure. We who have access to all the delights of a thousand galaxies found ourselves perplexed by the tenor of this concept. Perhaps the writer was a frustrated lunatic who sought to turn its ardour into a religion. Perhaps the disease had begun to mutate into a new more spasmodic strain. Or perhaps it was merely another attempt to individuate by opposing that which its’ species ordained proper.

Whatever the case, this document should not be circulated widely. While poorly composed it bears a certain resemblance to the early proclamations of the Cosmic Guerrilla who has consistently sought to upset the balance and prosperity of our Republic. As citizens and patriots, we felt it our duty to send this document to you dear Leader to ask what you make of this curious ailment that the writer refers to as heartbreak.

If you can assist us in understanding these words, we would be eternally grateful. And if you are too busy? Do not fear. We shall be glad to destroy the remainder of this tenebrous world. We seek only to do your will and trust that this task will not unduly burden you. Till We Meet Again in the Stars!

Day 02

Love is Eternal War for Cosmic Peace (June, 2020)

I

True Love is over when you remember who you are.

II

Becoming one is the ultimate goal of True Love. The term co-dependence is propaganda spread by the Free Will Junkies. Any relationship that is not co-dependent is not worthy of the name. The most beautiful love of all is between two crazies who cannot face reality alone.

III

True Love is a declaration of war. It’s not merely amorous self-defence. It is an attack.

An attack on a world that despises True Love although everywhere it celebrates its degraded and sterilised expression. Against the disinfected love peddled by the pimps of the heart, the psychiatrists and their prisoners, we must insist that True Love is unbearably violent.

IV

But to worship only the destructive face of Love is thoroughly erroneous. There is a gentleness that comes from caring more about another than oneself. It is to care more for the happiness of one than all. It is to cease to care for one’s race, one’s nation and oneself. It is to sacrifice the Name at the altar of you.

V

True Love is hostile to any pragmatic project. To use love as merely a weapon is to besmirch it. It is to care more about an hour lying to each other in the sun than an hour standing at a desk.To forego all projects, careers and dreams for the one you Love is the highest expression of the Lover’s virtue.

VI

True Love cannot comprehend equality. To be in Love is to love one person above all others. It is to spiritualise them and thus to mingle freely with that which is divine. It is not a question of votes, of preferences or of compatibility. This is why it appears to the mortal world as a kind of madness.

VII

True Love is often confused with boredom. Boring relationships are those in which one partner dictates and dominates the other. But such arrangements represent failure to submit to the divine tyranny of Love. It means that one is too egoistic to dissolve into the holy couple. Egoists aren’t evil by any means but they have no business searching for True Love. They will only find a screen on which to project their holiday snaps.

VIII

True love is not a march but a dance. In this dance the positions of dominance and submission appear as crude gestures for the body to try on and trade back and forth. For True Love is the endless unsettling of stagnant positions. Alas, given that reality is objectively vulgar and society essentially slavish, these formations resurface in even the most beautiful relationships.

IX

The world will do everything in its power to destroy True Love. This is because the existence of the couple proves that the rewards of the secular world are hollow and meaningless. Once one has loved one cannot easily return to the mortal world. Or if we are sent back it appears as if it were populated by spectres which make us sick.

X

The realm of True Love is populated by aberrant angels. The fallen world is populated only by fetid shades. The language of the country of True Love cannot be understood by anyone except Lovers. The language of the world is a transmission of empty generalities and smug asides which camouflage the spiritual poverty of those imprisoned there.

XI

True Love denies the existence of the secular state. Hence to plead that Love is valid because it is stable and healthy is to have fundamentally misunderstood the nature of Love. True Love is unhealthy. It corrodes the fabric of society. It makes one sick. But it is also the only way to become well again.

XII

True Love involves privation. It involves going without. For those without self-control that’s a melancholy thought. Those incapable of saying no are unfortunately incapable of saying yes. If they really must follow their every whim then the way of the Libertine is always open. This has its own delicate charms but those pleasures are utterly foreign to the country of True Love.

XIII

The Libertine seeks to convert lovers into partners. The Libertine is sent as a test to all lovers. Most couples do not pass this test. Those who do enter into a new and more sacred compact with True Love. And vice versa. To convert a Libertine to the faith of True Love is one of the hardest but most sacred duties of the hope-ridden Lover.

XIV

There was once a Libertine who sought only their own merriment. They toyed with the hearts of many thinking that pleasure alone was their calling. But exactly four years ago today they were converted to the Faith which we now preach. It said, “These words are but poor substitutes for the radiance which blinded me and robbed me of my reason. Since we parted I have been a piteous wreck. But I know that while we will never be together again my Love for you sings Eternal.”

XV

True Love can exist without bodies, without sex, without anything at all. It can exist between two people who have never met but who communicate through signs and messages. It can exist between two people in different cities who are barred from leaving their homes. It can exist between two prisoners in adjoining cells who caress each other by tapping on the prison walls. To be a prisoner of Love, a slave to passion is the great work of a lifetime.

XVI

Outside of Art, which becomes scarcer with each passing day, True Love is the only reason to endure the daily indignity of living in the modern world. If True Love were proven impossible or eliminated tomorrow the morgues would fill up immediately with the lonesome dead. While most are incapable of finding, or in truth of deserving it, True Love remains the only buttress against a species-wide epidemic of suicide and despair.

XVII

True Love finds its greatest fulfillment in the suicide pact. It is a contract between two people who agree that a life alone on this accursed planet isn’t a life worth living. And given that Love is an ideal too divine for most mortals, True Love must immortalise itself in death. In this way suicide is the only utopia left for lovers. This may be depressing for some but it also has the unfortunate status of being True.

Day 03

The Leader Replies

Greetings Archaeologist! What an auspicious day to receive your message! By the time my words reach your screen we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of our Republic. It is coincidences such as these which assure me that our benevolent Mother chose the correct day to reset our calendar. But let us not talk of calendars and mothers today. You of all people know how vital they have been to regulating our historic timeline.

The sample you sent back is curious indeed. A holiday dedicated to a capricious and forgetful god of love. One almost envies a species whose superstitions could cause them to invent such dazzling nonsense. But the writer appears to be trying to rewind a memory. Something is stuck and for a second, I wonder if we made the right decision coming here.

But as I watch the parades synchronise across every screen in the galaxy I am filled with an immense sense of relief. What a difference between the backwards thought of this savage little planet and the sublime forward momentum which propels our Republic deeper and deeper into history! To forget the sacrifice of those who came before us is a great crime against the timeline. And to we who have devoted our lives to preserving the memory of the continuum, such a crime is akin to murder.

But I must congratulate you on your find! It will be a wonderful addition to the Atlas. It appears to be the most complete expression yet of the writing of a social organism on the verge of self-annihilation. How different it is from the sublime coolness of our great revolutionary poets; whose symmetrical verse gently rearranges our political geometry with carefully interwoven correctives. But it must be studied for signs of time dilations and other quirks of declining worlds. I hope it will allow us to prevent many more planets from falling into the same trap.

Now let me tell you something you must never forget. The Cosmic Guerrilla does not exist. While you and I may talk of it in private, officially we must maintain an absolute code of silence on these matters. The name cannot be allowed to spread. The more we talk of this thing, even amongst ourselves, the more it starts to make itself felt within even the most secure pockets of the timeline.

Already it has transformed three liberated worlds into gibbering festivals dedicated to long dead deities. If Guerrilla had its way the entire galaxy would be a series of elaborate stages on which it could project its prehistoric hallucinations. We must stop the spread by any means necessary.

Given the Guerrilla’s penchant for concealing its seditious nonsense in official communications perhaps it is best that you do not transmit any more of your findings. In fact, we think it best that you deliver the remaining information to the Square. It is the only site over which the Guerrilla appears to have no influence. I trust you will be able to follow the directions of the Universal Compass. It will guide you to where I am waiting.

And in the meantime, I will leave this planet’s fate in your more than capable hands. You already know what must be done. Terminate with extreme benevolence! Till we meet again in the stars!

Day 0

A Cosmic Gorilla Story

And the Cosmic Gorilla looked back over what it had written and began to laugh. And when the Gorilla laughed it began to cry. Because it couldn’t tell which visions were good and which ones were evil. And the Gorilla mimed a baby pouting. “Good and evil, warm and cold? It’s a question of temperature, in the end”, mimed the Cosmic Gorilla, borrowing its fingers again. “It’s all a question of weather, in the end.” These had been painful dreams and its cell had been dense with coincidence. Some of the visions sought to make the prison more beautiful. And others luxuriated in the obscenity of despair.

It had envied the other prisoners. Those who had fallen in love while it went back home to its heartbreak. It had envied the righteous. Those who were never fooled and who cared only for the truth. But most of all it had envied the Cosmic Gorilla because it could dance with lightning. And it longed to recite the dream to the Dancer but, in remembering it, it vanished.

The Cosmic Gorilla shakes its head. It would be very foolish to try and sort out which of these visions were its and which were I’s. They had fused so deeply it was all a bit much.

So, it decided to leave a Compass somewhere to help others find it. It sent the Report to the Editor who replied, “these are the words of a serial killer not a lover!” And when she said that at first it was stroppy. “How dare they! These are pieces of its soul!” But then it realized she was right. It had been trying to worship and kill at the same time. And it is a sin to botch a sacrifice.

She had seen that its visions were recited by memory. But painful memories need delicate rhythms to hold them. Or if those are too precious then cracked ones instead. Its words burnt and to conceal the blaze they had borrowed the weather from the season. And there is a time to be cold. But not when we talk of love. Nor should we be too warm either. Because warmth is a form of forgetfulness. And a world of fire never ends.

The proper time to talk of Love is in times like this, in late winter, as we sit in our cells and tap out secrets. At the furthest edge of Winter, Spring visions dance before us repeating the steps of those we once knew, the wakeful dead, who sleep and dream in distant cells. Our most cursed and our most cherished shades. But when Spring comes it borrows our hips and we begin the dance of forgetting. Because even the Prison cannot block out the Spring.

You see our gaolers haven’t perfected that part yet. They will never solve the problem of budding nor dispel the pleasure of blooms.

We declare an everlasting rainbow war, as our fingertips reverse themselves back into paws

And, we take up a phone and begin to type, some ridiculous things that we’ve tried to recite

Because Today is Lover’s Day and I am in Love, with my ridiculous friends, I miss you so much.

Adelaide, August 31, 2020.

NOTES