TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER
an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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Enda Walsh has a new play in the arts festival. It’s a romance or something like it, set in a dystopian near future, where there are the kept and the keepers. The kept live in tall towers, rehearsing for distant, better futures, and the keepers train their charges on how to reconstruct their memories. The set is spare and Orwellian, furnished with items you might find in a corporate office (an empty fish tank, a potted plastic green "plant", chairs from a waiting room), as well as surveillance cameras pointed toward the center of the room. The subject of their gaze is a young woman who has lived all her life in a tower, Rapunzel in a totalitarian society. It feels unsettlingly familiar, an eerie extrapolation of our present, in which we recreate memories and weave dreams in small boxes that are managed by unseen, monolithic-seeming keepers. There is a dance interval: a lone female body, attired in layered scruffy t-shirts and sweatpants, thrashes around the set for an excruciatingly long time, before leaping out of the window. The only source for protest, for escape, is your body. A few people walk out. I shudder in the dark and pretend I am okay.
Today I stay home and write all day. The weather is un-summery as usual so I don't go to yoga or take my customary long tiring walk. After my brain refuses to process another complex thought, I run out to the shops, just to stretch my legs away from the rain, and I purchase glittery socks and a silver ring set with a translucent bauble, round and cat-eyed like a child's marble. When I start again on my chapter, I smile, seeing that shiny, useless thing on my finger, gleaming like a promise to myself. The moon so pretty, so close.