Lisa Maher (Platypus Enthusiast and Fine Cheese Connoisseur) is a person of arguable distinction. She is currently pursuing degrees in English Education and Theatre at the Macaulay Honors College, Queens Campus. In her spare time, she is a freelance stage manager, epee fencer, lover, fighter, ballad writer, teacher, creature, and amateur contortionist. She is also a proud member of Freudian Slip Films. She occasionally lives in Flushing.
The game is very simple. You stand in a circle, make eye contact with a person, wait for their “yes,” and take their spot. They, in turn, find another set of eyes to get another “yes.” You cannot say “no.” You cannot look away. You keep moving to the eyes and the “yes;” you offer your eyes and your “yes” to whomever wants them.
It’s an acting game. It’s a game played by people who cannot bear to be themselves for all one thousand, four hundred, and forty minutes of the day. It is a game, because who wants to be you all the time? You are finite. You are fattallshortthindarklight. You are ignorant of some things and knowledgeable of crap.
This is a game, and you will soon move on to another. You will throw a ball or change some words in a line or use props to make very funny jokes. You will run in circles. You will sing about infant sharks. You will stretch your deltoids. And when all is said and done, everyone will clap masturbatorily. “Hooray for us,” you shall all think, “for we are clever, talented people.”
In this very moment, though, it is eyes and yeses and intuition. You intimate that these eyes are for you. You presume that they want a “yes.” You give that “yes” because that’s the rules of the game and because you assume the question is “Can I have your spot?”
“Can I have your spot?” is never the question. “Can I have your spot?” is the comfy thought in the front of your mind to get you through this exercise. The question is something so much deeper that it cannot be fully recognized for fear of striking a nerve. The question changes based on the asker, but the answer is consistently, maddeningly the same.
“Can I have your spot?”
“Do you know I’m here?”
“Do you know you’re here?”
“Is this the best I can be right now?”
“Am I hurting? Am I doing this to not think?”
“Do I think anyway? Do I feel?”
“ Will this lead to disappointment, despair?”
“Am I capable of loving and of being loved?”
“Will you trust me for a moment?”
“Will you understand for a moment?”
“Is fame fleeting? Will I be forgotten?”
“Will I die one day? Will it hurt?”
And the yeses, the ten thousand million memento moris pound, slamming themselves shamelessly against your eardrums. And the “yes,” the affirmation, the validations would be okay, would be almost comforting if not for the eyes. If only they wouldn’t look away. Or if they averted their eyes to begin with; if they never looked at all.
But you look into eyes for a moment and then they break and look elsewhere. You are given solidarity and abandoned in the same breath. You are the cure and the harm and the circle keeps moving, must keep moving to the beat of the perpetual “yes.” The aye and the eye taketh away.
Yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.