It looks as though more conversations are going to take place on this blog, so I’ve procured a space in which to have at least some of them. Because I want to keep the servings small (i.e., keep the posts relatively short and episodic), I’m here in the conversation space today just to describe it to you.
In today’s episode, I am played by Sarah Michelle Gellar; specifically, by Gellar at the time she played Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This means I appear to be a teenage girl, and I’m sitting in a comfortable chair the way Buffy would (with feet up in the chair, almost laying sideways or something like that. I’m wearing gray sweats with accents of pink, and I look pouty in the way that Gellar can. She has only agreed to appear as me in the current episode, but we’ve left open the possibility of future appearances. The only purpose that she serves, meaning the only purpose that MY appearing in this episode serves, is to sit in the conversation space and look around, while narrating what it’s like in my mind (silently, to myself—“in my head”—but still a kind of narration, a kind of speaking).
The space is a large living room, which takes up the entire end of a similarly large house. It is strongly reminiscent of a cathedral, not only in its high ceiling but also in its shape. At one end is a stone fireplace, with doors on both sides of the fireplace leading to a stone porch outside. At the other end is a very large arched doorway opening into a hall leading to the rest of the house. Above the doorway is a small balcony and wooden doors. The doors are closed, but I know that what should be on the other side of them is an upstairs master bedroom.
I’m chewing gum, of course, and I crack it loudly as I gaze at the balcony, which has absolutely no purpose.
Along both sides of the room are large windows (again, reminiscent of a cathedral) providing a view of the outside from nearly anywhere in the room. I won’t tell you anything about what can be seen outside the windows, because that would give away too much. The room I’m describing is nowhere, obviously, but it looks exactly like a real place, which still exists as far as I know. It’s a place where I spent a number of years, and a place to which I return often when…
I look again at the large archway to the hall. There’s no one there. But I think about the times when I usually come here in recent years. They are when the “censor,” the “guard” who normally stands at another important threshold in Freud’s early theory of the psyche, has taken a break and is not watching, or is at least not watching so closely. Even when my coming back is not to this room or this house, it is often to its region and to the time when I was there.
A few readers might already know where the real place was/is. If I told you what I can see from the windows on one side (the West side, I think), that would give away too much. To whom? Maybe to me; I’m not sure.
But as I said (or thought-narrated, I guess), the space that I (Gellar playing I) am looking at is really nowhere. (Everybody knows this is nowhere?) I’ve conjured it here specifically as a setting for conversations.
I shift around and drop my feet to the floor, but remain comfortably enfolded in the large chair. I notice that the chair, along with many other details in the room, are… I guess I’d say “fuzzy,” indistinct. That fuzziness is rooted in (it “leans upon”) the indistinctness of my memories of the real place. The chandelier above my head seems pretty clear, but I don’t know if it’s “right,” if by right you mean like a real one somewhere. The furniture varies, with (for some reason) the end tables beside the couch and a console “high-fidelity” record player (circa late 1950’s) in one corner being very clear, but the rest being very fuzzy indeed. There should be a piano (baby grand?) at the end toward the arch, but it’s missing. I don’t know why. Though there are probably at least three televisions in the house, there is no television in this room, and it seems important to mention that there never has been one in here, to my knowledge.
Yes, the persons (personae) that I will meet with for conversation in this space will probably all be me. (We’ll see; I may fool you—or myself—at some point). But for convenience (yours and mine), there will be an “I” each time (possibly played by Sarah Michelle). I will be sort of a “host” (think about what all that word could mean).
That’s enough, I think, to introduce you to my conversation space. I stand up as if I’m ready to leave. But then I glance up at the ceiling, looking a bit surprised, very concerned, but ready to start fighting if necessary, just like Buffy looked so often in the series. In a corner of the ceiling is a strange object that looks rather like foil, sort of like frozen garlic bread but not that shape.
It’s some sort of balloon, like one of those shiny helium balloons one gets for others as token gifts, that say “Congrats!” or “You Go Girl!” or “Over The Hill.” It must be filled with helium, because there it sits against the ceiling, like a balloon that was accidentally been let loose. But its shape is not exactly balloonish. It’s a bit like an Erlenmeyer flask. There’s a picture on it that looks like a window with a person looking out of it.
It’s supposed to be a space capsule. A toy space capsule. It was allowed to float up out of reach, and no one has yet found a way to retrieve it. It will require a ladder, or something long to reach it with. Or if one didn’t care whether it remained intact, one could throw or shoot something at it to poke a hole in it. Once it was down, perhaps it could be patched.
The only reason I can think of for its being there is that it might have something to do with a conversation that will soon take place. Otherwise, why would it be there, silently calling for mental narration now?
I look at the archway again. Still no one there. I sit down again to wait. The next time you come back here, I will still be waiting, though I may not look like Buffy anymore. Or maybe I will.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the music. It’s coming from the hi-fi. It’s a recording of a Bach violin concerto. The soloist is Jascha Heifetz. Was that important?
Was any of this important?