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01.13.03, monday night

Imbibing Mickey's during slapstick Capra "mirthful murder" flick Arsenic and Old Lace last night somehow injected gleefully executed violence into my sojourn through a Technicolor slumberland. Police were slain with rat-a-tat abandon. Knives were drawn, throats slit; I didn't even look at the faces of my victims.

Sandy-eyed and still the Hunter at 8 am, I was at first cruel and then contrite. I felt very young.

. . .

Later while adding and shifting numbers in a database at work, I remember a scene in the >>No Ghost Just a Shell<< exhibit at the MOMA: a ghostly Annlee walks through a melancholy windblown landscape whose landmarks are continuously built by a single voice, many-layered bodies that deconstruct themselves as she walks, receding quickly in silence. Crouched on the polished wooden floor, I do not listen to the particulars of the voice's story, only the voice.

It crackles and seems to falter, the hesitation reminding me of another recorded voice, of an old woman speaking in German. Because I could not understand German very well, what she said became akin to a chant, a very long one, like a dirge, a chant for the dead, for it echoed in the empty barracks at Schoenhausen, a former concentration camp at the outskirts of Berlin.

The woman, in being haunted by a past she had shared with others - those who survived and those who had not survived - had animated the barracks with her recorded voice, haunting me in return.

. . .

Annlee: "I was never engineered to survive."


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