H. Dream Sequence

Silent Screen (Dream Sequence)

There are no more films.

No more stories to entertain his audience.

“ Go home,” James yells from the projection booth into the darkened theater.

“There’s nothing more!”

I sit patiently, alone in the movie house.

I have paid the price of admission and want a show.

Angered by my refusal to leave, James turns on the projector so that its light fills the screen like a great blinding snowstorm.

“There, there’s your story,” he yells.

I can hear the sound of feet on the back stairway, the sound of the exit door opening and closing—the sounds of James’ departure.

I stares at the silent screen

Scene One

I speak in a whisper to James as he turns from the window toward the room.

They deceived you; you understand that now.

His face is fixed and silent.

The shadow of his head and shoulders rests timelessly on the light stained wall.

Yes. He understands.

I continue to write in my notebook.

“Just some useless marks on a white page,” James thinks—and with no word or gesture, he climbs the stairs our bedroom.

The winter sun is giving way to a room of shadows.

I gathers a log and some old newspapers from a box beside the fireplace, and tosses them on the embers.

Bits of headlines, times and faces from the past darkened then burst into flames.

An ash from the fire floats out into the room and falls as gently as a snowflake on my shoulder.

Scene Two

Amber

Cobalt

Viridian

Rose

A path of colored light streams through the large stained glass window above entrance to the library.

The light moves across the walls of books, across the rows of old oak tables where James is sleeping.

James is the caretaker of this place.

I am the sole visitor.

I disapprove of his habit of sleeping during work hours, “A waste of valuable time!” I say to him.

There seems to be no reason for the placement of anything here.

There is no map, no key, and no master index from which to make sense of it all.

James is attempting to create order in the great hall.

In front of him lay two small notebooks—one brown and one blue.

Each day, I deliver books to James.

He writes the proper place for each book on its spine, then makes careful notations of this in the brown notebook.

Each day I collect the finished books in my pushcart and continues the “great work” of stacking, re-shelving, stacking, and re-shelving.

James writes in the blue notebook:

observations

sayings

musical notations

ideas for imaginary movies

maps of all types

quotations from great men and women

gossip he has heard

news items

weather reports

the dates of things

the lengths of things

the colors he finds most beautiful

passing thoughts

James writes in the blue notebook:

Amber

Cobalt

Viridian

Rose

Scene Three

I close my eyes

I can feel James stirring

It is the quiet end of that late-winter day.

My eyes open and then quickly close—trying to capture one last glimpse of him in my imagination.

I rise, close the notebook, and walk to the shelves of books that line the walls on either side of the fireplace.

I place the notebook on a shelf along side the other blue notebooks that are neatly arranged there—diaries of sorts—of the days since James’ death.

The room is dark and filled with shadows from the remaining cinders in the fireplace.

I hear myself say, “Fade to black.”