Leo Un-Rapped

Leo (played by Macy), in an all-white suit, reminiscent of Tom Wolfe. Still wearing glasses, and looking a bit more like Lacan under the bright lights. The interviewer, female, looks like a young Linda Ellerbee. She might as well be called Marta, for convenience. The setting is exactly what you might expect for a television interview; I do mean what YOU would expect, so you can envision it rather than having a description provided.
Leo: Yes, you can call me Leo now. It’s the result of a hastily deployed pun, but names can be like that. So it’s my name for now.
Marta: Is there some other name that you would give to yourself?
Leo: Perhaps later; not now.
Marta: Whoever “Leo” is, he was born on the beach, correct?
Leo: (smiling) Leo has been born a number of times. “Born again,” Bible Guy used to say. I suppose the beach was one of those births.
Marta: Do you expect more births, or re-births, in the future?
Leo: Whenever a pause is pregnant, one expects a birth. (He picks up his Bible from his lap.) Given what it says in here, one expects a death before a re-birth. But I’m no longer sure that death is something that one EXPECTS, exactly. [Pause] It’s a bit annoying sometimes that Tumblr’s “chat” option requires me to speak in capital letters rather than italics. I’d have preferred italics there.
Marta: Let’s get to the question that is most bothering some people. WHO is Leo?
Leo: Leo is here right now, so he doesn’t have to speak in the third person.
Marta: (unfazed) Who are you, then?
Leo: There is more than one answer that could be given legitimately, but I suspect there is one answer that might help the most. Note that I say “MIGHT.”
[Longish pause, during which Leo opens his Bible and finds the book of Isaiah. He sets it in his lap, still open, folds his hands on it, and resumes.]
Leo: I am all of us. I am the selfsystem. But I am not ALL of us. I am always all of us, but I am never really ALL of us. Who I am changes.
[Leo pauses, and Marta waits.]
Leo: But who I am also has continuity. [unfolds hands and indicates Bible] One of the main things that I represent is this. I guess I’ll switch back to third person for a moment. Whatever else Leo-formerly-known-as-Bible-Guy might have been so far, might be, or might become, he is that within the selfsystem that will always carry this book, and will always love the one whose death and resurrection are proclaimed here.
Marta: You couldn’t change to the point where you no longer carry the Bible?
Leo: Changing to that point would be my death.
Marta: [after brief hesitation] Bible Guy is dead, though, is he not?
Leo: Yes and no. I suppose “yes” is closer. Bible Guy longed for a kind of certainty and finality that we now see as a demonic opposite of faith. That longing has definitely undergone a kind of death. Bible Guy was also complicit in the abuse of others, especially women. The beach was even more a kind of death for that in us which was abusive. [pause and grimace] Though the stone-bringer’s observation, that dead characters might always return, should haunt us. It should make us tremble.
Marta: But your faith is somehow continuous with that of Bible Guy?
Leo: Correct. Not that I know fully how this is so.
[Long pause]
Marta: You said that changing to the point where you no longer carry the Bible would be your death. You don’t expect that to happen, do you?
Leo: I do not. [closes Bible and places hand on cover] No, I do not. But… [reflective pause] …but as I said earlier, I’m no longer sure that death is something one expects.
[Leo meets Marta’s gaze with the big, haunted eyes.]
Leo: My ongoing life within the selfsystem is now much more intertwined with the possibility of my death than has ever been the case before.
Marta: [with that “now I’m getting really serious” manner that interviewers often adopt] Would the selfsystem still be the same selfsystem if you died?
Leo: If I died, I would be dead. Regardless of what would be true of the selfsystem, I would be dead. [Pause] I would not go gentle. Bible Guy was once known for raging. I am not. But I know that I would rage against the dying of the light.
Marta: That’s all we have time for now. Thank you for appearing today, Leo.
[Leo nods silently.]

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