No beginning nor an end but kaleidoscopic presence
Tadis Aregay 12-30-18
With a couple of friends who flew in for Yuletide break, we checked in to a Broadway theatre place, New York, West to see ‘Truth West’ written by Samuel Sheppard Rigger Ill, an American actor and Playwright. Upon finally the curtain shut down, as we walking out I ask one of the friends, “what did you think of it?” He retorted “Two brothers yelling at each other for such a lot, vying as whose playwright ought to be endorsed by a producer, Saul Kimmer, until one was driven in anger to murder the other. A play without a plot or Shakespearean clout, much for the Yankees delight but unsavoury to the British taste; Feels like cowboys without equine to rid on, I thought.
But there was a plot! I fought back! Of course you would not know that - you are not British to understand the nuance - are you? Neither are you British to condescend others! He responded. I am, I truly am! Said I rhetorically! Come off it! You are a second class immigrant life living in the Nevada Desert the Anglo-Saxons would not give a toss about! And do not pretend as if I do not know how you feel inside, Will you? He groaned. Ok, I am kidding; I am not British if that makes you happy! But that is beside the point! I riposted. Tell me! What is the point then you are trying to make? Said he. You know if you plug your ears you would not hear your own voices, you then have to shout loud hoping to be heard. This Play is just about that, except I do not mean Austin, the main charter in the play is deaf that he needed to shout loud. It appears he had other conditions that manifested themselves as severe psychosomatic tendencies. For a start, there appeared to be a split personality in display. In fact there were no two brothers at all- Austin and Lee - but only and only one; Austin on his own and his own alone. The rest were all manufactured in his mind.
Finally, he strangled and left for dead his other brother Lee and then he hurriedly set marching to the desert where he thought Lee used to live in and acquired the resilience and insight to deal with the real World that help him came up with a narrative good enough to win the recognition of the playwright producer. But the farther Austin travelled to reach his desert destination, the harder it became for him to realize that Lee, whom he had killed to silence, was no longer dead but following and walking with his killer side by side. Lee had never had the intention to leave Austin alone, dead or alive by divine will and power which old Austin never had the capacity to accommodate nor earthly might to deracinate and pulverize. Austin had then came to realize that he had reached the dead end to get rid of his brother after the Lethal weapon - death- he deployed - did not even work to accomplish the mission intended.
That said, we have Austin in our corner of this world, who has the illusion of mega grandiosity and feels unease by the fact that his maternal linage is tied up to a small village on this side of the border that is not in the spirit of the time fashionable to be associated with. So, like in the charter of the Play, Austin, he shouted to submission, denigrated, insulted and ultimately struggled to the bitter end to kill and silence this other person who lingers in his mind interdigitated. He abhors the thoughts of having a brother from small village who vies for attention and by a better work of his fugitive mind who might take over and be dominant in the world the older brother had hoped to be his uncontested turf to rule. The old is Kafkaesque makebate and is difficult to live with anyone, be-it with himself left alone, with progenies, etc.
In an attempt to deter and block, small Isaia, this alter ego, posing a challenge, big brother, Isaias, closed the border. But he was left disappointed as life without his brother was becoming dull and boring. As there was no body to trust and hate at the same time, (as Isaias always treats his close friends), to dialogue, argue and fight with. Without his brother’s now present, now gone, at the same time, there appears no meaningful, exciting and spiced life for him to lead. Without the other Issas at the background, albeit strong or weak, grand Isaias could not function and run the day to day mundane job and routine plots to keeping Eritreans distracted and pinned down to the ground per se. To this end Isaias needed his real brother. Thus he reopened the border yet again to be reminded of his inept and inferiority complex as his brother - as in the charter play Lee takes over the position of his brother (Austin) as a successful playwright - got accepted to join and mingled with the Eritrean people big Isaias takes for granted.
Finally, Isaias decided to make the ultimate move: He strangled and left for dead his little brother, only to find out the brother from Yehaa was still alive and kicking, walking side by side; hallelujah!!
Isaias appears to be fighting a losing battle. He is chasing a spectre that has no beginning nor an end but kaleidoscopic presence.