Skip to content

Chapter 8

Today the field is formed into an amphitheater. The seats are a slight incline in the grass with a small stage at the bottom. Friends, family, and some acquaintances start taking their seats – wondering what the show is about. There was no announcement, no program – they were just summoned.

Act 1

On the stage, there is a small curtain where today’s participants stand behind in preparation for the show. When the audience settles, the curtain rises, and Act One begins. Morosity, Sadness, Fear, Loneliness, Anger, Rejection, and Worthlessness occupy the stage. Music appears from nowhere, and the troupe begins its dance. Each one moves independently – independently in style, pace, and interpretation of the music. But together, the dance is well-choreographed into a single mesmerizing sequence that surprises – and to some – disturbs the audience. Some in the audience expected a cast of expectations, a cast of happiness, a cast of facade. They expected a performance of conformity. Those audience members start filtering out – this show is of no interest. Those that remain consolidate in their seats. As the song completes, the dance ends, and the characters leave the stage.

Act 2

Between acts, the stage takes on activity. Sub players Rage, Contentment, and Neediness assemble the stage into a small choir and orchestra setup. Once they are complete, the others take the stage.

In the choir, Morosity is the tenor, Fear the soprano, Rejection the alto, and Anger the baritone.

Sadness takes the oboe, Loneliness the french horn, I take the Tympani and Worthlessness the Oboe.

For the first song, we play together. The mixture of instruments is odd though harmonious together as the first song continues. Each member provides their depth into the song.

After the first song is over, Fear, Rejection, and Loneliness perform together while I provide rhythm on the timpani. The mixture again seems odd, but the soaring voice of Fear is matched perfectly in harmony from Rejections alto and the french horn of Loneliness.

Anger and Worthlessness then take their turn. Worthless takes the lead in the beginning while Anger dominates the middle and end. The deeper, darker sounds penetrate the audience.

As the songs progress, more audience members leave. I assumed many would leave. Some that leave surprise me – some that stay surprise me even more.

The remaining audience, less than a third of the original size, consolidate to the very front seats, sit shoulder to shoulder, hold hands and close their eyes. Time is not moving for them as the performance continues. When the songs end, there is no applause – just anticipation of the next song and Act 3.

Lastly, Morosity and Sadness begin their duet. With their softer tones, I step aside and just listen. The tenor voice and oboe mix in perfect D minor harmony.

Act 3

Act 3 is just me. It’s time for my solo. I put down my drum sticks and take center stage. I invite the remaining audience to join me and form a circle while I stand in the middle. The audience sits tightly – knee to knee and grasp onto their neighbor’s hand. My Companions sit in between me and the audience. As I start to sing in my deep baritone voice, the audience members close their eyes. The song is about all my companions. Sadness slowly touches each of the audience members – and leaves a drop of Sadness in each. Next is Anger, then Rejection, Worthlessness, Loneliness, Fear, and finally Morosity. My Companions no longer just belong to just me – my Companions now exist in each audience member – a small part of me that each member will have from this day forward.

The audience opens their eyes – I am naked as I sing with arms out wide – wholly exposed in front of everyone. Some audience members are overwhelmed at this final act with mouths agape, some are frightened, some violated – those that feel violated scurry away quickly and never look back. For those that remain, I send one last Companion – one of the side members. Contentment joins me for a moment in the song and absorbed by the remaining audience members – just as my song wraps up through the finale.

The song ends. No one moves, no one speaks, no one does anything. The audience waits in anticipation to find out who the choreographed the show – the director – the final companion. But there is no other companion. It’s just me – for the whole show has been just me. Me standing naked – exposed – sharing my companions that are a part of me with those who care – those who stayed through the whole show.