A water tower – nestled deep into the Badlands. Masking the remnants of the abandoned airforce base of 92″. Steel signs hang from the barbed wire fences indicating the safety concern and the high levels of radon that pollute the land. I turn to Mack, “For a place ridden with radiation, there sure seems to be a lot of sex going on here”, I say as I note the discarded condoms littering the ground. Re-adjusting my hat, I mask the sun out of my eyes as I reach the base of the tower. Staring up at the rusted and graffitied tower, I feel the wind dance across my cheeks. Looking over at one another, we know the only logical course of action: we climb the water tower.
Taking the lead, I bound up the steps at a steady pace. Reaching up to grab the next bar, I continue the vertical climb until I reach the first landing. Pulling myself up onto the rusted platform, I steady myself attempting to avoid looking down. I have never been one to be fearful of heights, but with a steady wind and a not so sturdy tower, fear has taken refuge.
INT – 12:00 PM – Home
I find myself littered with a courteous detachment, clinging to a possibility but abandoned with a phantom-ridden heart. Was it a true intention, or a figment of my imagination? Pre-imagined ideals threaten the security of my current condition. I try to relax with an Oxford classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.
The patient rise and fall of a cat’s chest. With every lift and decline, a fresh breath of air pools over. Kate sits on my lap, stretching out her paws and clinging to the fabric of my jeans.
I turned myself into a ghost, a translucent phantom that is left to haunt the halls of my home. Maybe Atticus Finch was right, “There were other ways of making people into ghosts”, for there were other ways to keep me out of sight and out of mind, oblivious to my current standing. An inch of closure and stability and I seek the familiarity of volatility. The unsteadiness of stable ground shone a familiar feeling of anxiety.
INT – 7:00 PM – Home
Daisies and a Big Mac. At my door stands a boy, a boy who I have yet to understand, holding a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a McDonald’s bag in the other.
I begin to smile and am left grinning at this surprise delivery.
“Daisies! My favourite”, I practically yell. Opening up the McDonalds bag I see the Big Mac. The excitement can be seen in my demure, for no one has ever been kind enough to bring me flowers, let alone a Big Mac.
EXT – 3:00 AM – Convenience store
Sitting outside with a smoke, a rabbit hops over to me. Is this supposed to be good luck? Chilli cheese fries sit beside me as I shove the greasy mix into my mouth. Surrounded by a cloud of smoke, a door opens and a familiar faces walks out of the shop. “Good evening Kyle”, he says as I fan away the misty gray. The shadow in the neon glaze disappears and I am back alone with my own silhouette in the night. For in that neon flash of false hope, I lost my mind. In a moment of unadulterated thoughtlessness, I did what I do best, I put on an 80 proof cologne and waited for it to come up roses. I am held captive in my own mystery, for I caused this. Wrought in hedonistic agony, I took pleasure in the uncertainty of our future. Concealed demise brought together through a technological counter fate, we attempt to bury this burden accompanied with years of baggage and overweight carry-ons.
Now what? He says as we stand motionlessly on the first tier. It was mid-day on Saturday, and the echo of the passing week dissipated in the winds of the badlands. In the distance, you could almost spot the lake, for the glisten of the water seemed to sparkle on the horizon.
“Have you heard the story of the two dancers?” I say to Mack and he walks over to the edge of the tower. I begin to recite the tale:
There were two dancers in an empty studio, mirrors and barres line the walls. Pas de deux, a dance for two.
Held close, the dancers move together as if in a synchronized harmony. Breath tangled with anxious inhalation masked with an exasperated touch meets the eloquent dance of heavy tongues gasping for air panting between each position. Tour en l’air – a turn midair flips the choreography. As the sequences grow quicker and far between, the dynamic movement meets an unparalleled ecstasy reaches a jumping end.
Bodies linked, synchronized in corporal harmony, this fleshly mess creates a portrait of eloquence and ease. A veil of sweat rests on his crown and he masks his overwrought and tender limbs with impatience. The dancers collapse. Chests heaving, bodies aching, a denouement has been reached.
We had found ourselves in a Pas de Deux, performing our steps side by side, unbothered by the tribulations around us. In another world, maybe we were just like these dancers. Two minds accompanied by two bodies, working together to make art. Met in an open wound, we stitched the protrusion closed. Synchronization combated with mental humanization, the breaking free of animalistic intricacies as I began to feel more than just innate hedonistic tendencies…feeling for once in my life, for someone else.