The grey cat that entered from the wings to sit in a bright spotlight shining on the curtains in the center of the stage could be described in no other way than ordinary. She sat down and stared at the disappearing audience for a very long time. Then she yawned and blinked twice and spoke. Well, the words formed in the air in an audible way, but you couldn’t actually say she spoke, because the cat’s mouth remained closed and her whiskers twitched only slightly.
“I was going to say,
that time is flitting
so let it fly
and I was going to
that like any bird tangled
in a cage of sense
and forced to do the will
poor time deserves her freedom.
The cat stopped, because the reappearing audience had turned all their partly visible heads to watch as a little girl came bounding into the room, her bright lapis lazuli skirt spilling about her spindly legs as it if trying to dance away.
“I’ve been to the sea” the little girl sang out, her blue-grey eyes all twinkly in the warm light of the houselights, which had come on at her entrance.
The house lights revealed all the members of protagonize, sitting eating popcorn (and some of them had chocolate). Some members, who had signed up, but never posted were barely visible pictures, fading in and out above their seats. A whole slew of them only simple grey faces, neither happy nor sad. You can imagine the rest quite well, I am sure.
The girl had been singing all the time we were looking around.
“to tell all the people
of things that could be
and places that we could go”
She was somewhat breathless, and grinning ear to ear and managed to laugh between half of her words without missing a beat.
“and laugh at the times
I’m reminded that life’s
about more than just
Her cheerful little tune ended on a high happy note and she did a little, slightly awkward pirouette to go with it.
The cat only acknowledged the girl’s presence with her bright, intelligent eyes and slight flick of her foggy grey tail. But that flick of a tail should more accurately be described as a flick of a tale, for the moment it happened the curtains behind them (which had never opened) dissolved away and the voice of the cat began to narrate the scene of bright moving images that had replaced the curtain.
“Just beyond yesterday, or perhaps some time before. A very tall man bumped his head on a very low door.”
The little girl lay down on the stage until the ends of her long dirty-blonde hair peeped over the edge of the stage. She looked up at the screen, so eager to watch, that one might think she were looking at the thousands of stars in the night sky.
“The door became angry and grew harder and harder until the tall man began to apologize.” The images on the curtains illustrated perfectly the words the cat spoke, showing a tall man with red hair falling to his knees to beg forgiveness of the dark and angry wooden doorframe.
“On his knees, the man spoke, ‘I am so very sorry,’ he said, ‘and I will make it up to you. I will build a house around you that is so very grand and marvelous that everyone will say, “look—there is the doorframe that belongs to that marvelous house!”’ And so the tall man began to work very hard, colleting materials, and hammering and nailing and painting and roofing until a great palace of a house had replaced the old house.
“But, the doorframe did not keep grudges, and so it had long ago forgiven the very determined tall man and when the man was finally done all his hard work, the two enjoyed the new house to the end of their days. The end.”
The curtain returned to normal. The little girl leapt up, and gathered the grey cat into her arms. She grinned at the audience, then with untrained feet dancing lightly off into the wings she sang,
“I’ve been to the sea
to tell all the people
of things that could be
and places that we could go…”