Photo-phobia: A Monologue
[The script from a spoken word piece I did at the Nottingham Playhouse with The Mouthy Poets]
So I stepped onto the tour bus and took a day trip to the City of Light to see what all the fuss was about. After all, I’m not photophobic. I know that Light is good for some things – like measurement: ‘Light years’ or ‘travelling at the speed of…’
But my experience has been that Light can be a bit harsh at times. It's not that I always love being in darkness - but it does have certain benefits. It affords room for questions. And I’m proud of my questions – people say I can articulate profound inquiries that caffeinate the intellect. And darkness – for all its limitations – can veil you like a large blanket when you long to hide. Light demands exposure. Unsurprisingly then, when I stepped off the bus and into the City, here’s what happened:
• You see, there's this person who hurt me - and I am committed to getting justice. Nothing wrong with that. But in the City, I was told that I was unforgiving.
• I have a healthy self-esteem – I’m fairly intelligent and expect reasonable respect. There I was told I was arrogant.
• I have a small, private ‘habit’ - doesn’t hurt anyone else. There, I was told I was a pervert.
• I was there for a friend when she needed me - but where was she when I needed her? I loved much, but she loved little. In the Light I was told that what I call love is really 'possessiveness’.
• Light tells me that I’m jealous and a complainer – but darkness reassures me that I simply want what should be mine.
City of Light! So much for kind rainbows and cheery sunrises. I escaped back into the tour bus and we raced home to the land of dark – much more tolerant than in the City.
Let me begin again...
I received a night vision. At the doorway to the world of sleep, I witnessed Light become a man. The waves, particles - or whatever it is that Light is – was enrobed in flesh. He could eat, run, perspire and defecate. A radical, he taught hard truths, liberated the oppressed, exalted the poor and challenged the system - the type that intimidates career politicians and bank CEOs.
I reasoned that he'd like one of my political poems or be impressed by my book. Most critics find my work perceptive. Perhaps I could contribute some of my insights on society – we could labour together in a common cause and craft a vision for a better world. I saw how my gifts could be important to him. So I approached Light.
He told me that... I was totally blind.
Me! Blind?! He said I needed to become like a little child again – childhood where we ask questions to discover answers and not to sound impressive. He said that if I were to abandon everything and follow him, He would lead me to where questions fade away and there are showers of forgiveness.
Who do you think you are?
Here in the dark, my questions don’t need an answer!
Here in the dark - who in the hell even wants your forgiveness?
I can see just fine on my own.
[Pulls white cane out of back-pack. Unfolds it and taps his way into the darkness]