The Visage

At times they are too much. Two eyes, staring up at you from the mist of some inconsequential and unmemorable situation, yet forever they will float in front of your closed eyelids, disembodied from the event that bore them. They beckon still, to thrust reason down, down into the furnace with the same unshakeable will that begged me to commit to history many a run-on sentence.

But aren’t they all just a run-on sentence? A run-on and a run-off to which there is no end? Twisting and turning, seemingly ending but then emerging from the depths of hellish memory to replace a period with a comma. It’s my own personal paragraph that may never end.

When Rita Hayworth gazed up at Orson Welles to request of him “a cigarette,” did he feel the same? Not a character with a shaky Irish brogue, but a man. Ending one life and impressing onto a strip of magnetic plastic an image only then revealed by the light of a one-thousand watt bulb, imposing itself on a reel, for the soul-sucking public to enjoy.

Now we can set his predicament on repeat and shut off the monitor if we like, paying only pennies to the light & power company of the municipality in which we feed our lives. We can stream it live to the world. We can dump it onto a white-washed wall of a modern art gallery and tell people it should mean something to them, that it means something to us, but it is that man’s private memory, long decayed into unconscious non-existence.

Will the visage stop? Orson proved it will on the 10th October ’85, but there are those of us who may never see the final curtain. If we do it is welcome, if we don’t, well… God help us all. God save us from the crushes of the teenagers we all once were.