Roles of a Lifetime

Evie often had trouble determining where she ended, and someone else began. That someone else being a role she adopted for stage. It was a common problem, a customary side-effect to acting, she understood that, but what vexed her most about it was her vast indifference.
She didn’t care where she began and someone else ended, or vice versa. Didn’t care if the lines became irremediably blurred. She also relished her loss of awareness around slipping into other personas. She didn’t want to know who she was, not really. She didn’t want to look back or inside and see someone that resembled her, or anyone else for that matter. Something in her was drawn to void. Always had been. A place where nothing was nothing was nothing, and she could swim in it. Or float in the cirrus of ether.
The persona she adopted didn’t matter, she wasn’t genuinely attached, because she would be operating from a place of void. One was the same as the other as the other. None of them were her. And she wasn’t her. The void signed off on everything. In invisible ink.
There is void in your system, in your bloodstream, in your bones.
This was how she sometimes talked to herself about it.
She disliked passion. No she didn’t dislike passion, she didn’t trust it. It seemed the ultimate cover-up. And she didn’t want to cover up. This was one of the reasons why she shaved her head. Why she never wore make-up. One of the reasons why she dreamed she was someone else, and that someone else dreamed they were someone else, and that someone didn’t dream at all. That someone was the last straw, the dreamless one, the spectral tenant rooted in vacancy. That someone was a question mark bent into cursive, or something resembling cursive.
You never come up against void. That doesn’t happen. You come up against your resistance to void, that’s what stops you. Void is something you pass right through. That is the scary thing for many. No doors, no barriers, no end points, no parameters. You float right through and you then realize, in ways that can be both terrifying and liberating, the endlessness to emptiness. It is like a mutiny of self occurs, and everyone you thought you were is thrown overboard. This is when you feel the ghost that you were and always had been, this is when you become haunted by your own ghost-life. It is like a concert without any music.
Evie knew that the others could sense the void in her, they swarmed like frenzied night-moths to glaring white absence. People were magnetically drawn to Evie’s void, because it was easy to project onto, or into. There was nothing there. They could commandeer her blank canvas for their own purposes. There’s nothing there, so please allow me to fill it up. Violent doodles. Rampantly sketched glyphs. Future melancholy. Etchings of verve and disapproval. There were no limits when it came to the call and response of emptiness.
Evie knew this. Even if the people who were doing this didn’t know why they were doing this, or that they were doing it at all. Evie didn’t mind. Hanging out on the periphery of the void, none of it touched her. And so she chose roles to play, or they chose her. It was one way to pass the time.


About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, performer, and playwright, John Biscello, has lived in the high-desert grunge-wonderland of Taos, New Mexico since 2001. He is the author of four novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, Nocturne Variations, and No Man’s Brooklyn; a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, two poetry collections, Arclight and Moonglow on Mercy Street; and a fable, The Jackdaw and the Doll, illustrated by Izumi Yokoyama. He also adapted classic fables, which were paired with the vintage illustrations of artist, Paul Bransom, for the collection: Once Upon a Time, Classic Fables Reimagined. His produced, full-length plays include: LOBSTERS ON ICE, ADAGIO FOR STRAYS, THE BEST MEDICINE, ZEITGEIST, U.S.A., and WEREWOLVES DON’T WALTZ.
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