the figure stands in between the one Medici lion and the one exploded space at the hemicycle of stone steps to the forum. in his tattered blue jumpsuit. his voice booms though it's illegal to use microphones. he is handsome and strong. he comes from a different age. a different sentiment. a different time. a different world. he has a babyface but he's an assassin. he has long hair though his hair is short. regulation for the right.
Hartwin: we live in death. our culture is speed to the grave. what are we doing? no, seriously. this is not like those other times. previous generations who clung to hope. backward folk who denied logic in the face of their beliefs. for you see it's not a matter of belief anymore. the future is now because it is gone.
the knives of the knife storm are tearing him to shreds but he doesn't move a muscle from his stance as the blood pools below. save his mouth. the crowd starts to notice and collect and strum up.
Hartwin: this is not my training. this is my humanity. for this is all we have left. this is what we are. our experience is our only experience. we are not divine beings, we are merely here. whatever it is that we are. and we are at war. it is not ours to wonder why. we never had control. the time for thinking has passed. sadly. oh what i would give to be solving infinity through an equation rather than confronting it. mathematical. a philosopher is only as good as his publisher. we are of no affiliation other than our asses. saving them. even our assholes. we search not for god but for our next meal. drink alone, it's better that way.
the crowd is bloodied but steadfast. the rain is interfering with the knives, dulling their blades and cooling their wounds. nature finds a way.
crowd: how are you talking to us?
Hartwin: i speak up. man Bump is dumb. so unoriginal. he can't come up with his own battle strategy so he lifts techniques from a kid's cartoon. a brilliant one but he'd be better served with Tom and Roadrunner. the classics. he can't control something so indie. he has taste, i'll only give him that.
crowd: no way Bump is making this happen! it's someone higher.
Hartwin: perhaps. in my short time i've come to believe in magic. and that nothing is magic. what seemed impossible is a memory. this is a good thing. but by the same token what has killed the wizard has also killed the priest. beware of collections. spread out whenever possible. cause? we have no cause. cause is code for collection. a cause is created when there is no destination. no finality. i mean we gotta do something to pass the space, yamean? my brothers and sisters who i will never be related to, i know discrimination. i'm German for fuck sake.
there's a strange rise in the crowd. smiles seep through the standard sullenness. the blank faces chuckle before they all forget how to laugh.
Hartwin: it's not funny ha-ha. nor funny strange. it's funny Earth. what i wouldn't give to be back at the academy in my geta wasting time with those fake fights and fake grades. sex is pointless so you'd see me Saturdays nights curled up in bed with rollers in my hair and the latest copy of Freundin magazine in my clean hand.
crowd: our wrestler is dead...
Hartwin: ...and with him, our last mentor. that was back when wrestling was real. when sports mattered. i loved it when he sparred with Howard the Pluck on those ABC telecasts, back when there were three channels instead of these horrid ubiquitous screens. these sport figures were agents for real social change, social justice, criminal justice, poor justice. cos THEY were the internet in those days. their words carried more weight than presidents.
crowd: that's like now.
Hartwin: more weight than popes.
Hartwin: he was the most popular man in the world. i remember my first academy quiz and the question everyone gets. remember how you answered the fame question? the teacher was flabbergasted that i was calling him the most popular man in the world. she scoffed and thought it was a trick subjective question. but i was stating this as cold hard fact. she obviously wasn't a wrestling fan. nor a justice fan. our Brother is gone. toward the way of his religion of peace. does he inspire you? eh, what does it matter now? are you angry with the way things are? do you want to do something about it? why? something and nothing are the same thing.
crowd: we share that gut feeling. do you believe in Jesus?
Hartwin: of course, i'm Jesus! and i hate rap music. i won't bless you, that's arrogant. i won't bless you with my arrogance.
crowd: do you believe in the hair whorl?
Hartwin: it doesn't matter what i believe, it matters what i don't do. i leave the door open for you. sure, go ahead, check my head. watch for lice, i skipped that day at the academy.
crowd: oh my C! it's true! you have the hair whorl! you really are the chosen one!
Hartwin: told ya. what clans are all y'all?
crowd: OBEY CLAN!
Hartwin: huh. The Obey Clan is drowning out other responses. don't blame you. artistic. all-encompassing. Andre the Giant was a giant. don't matter none. but you might as well be an artist.
crowd: Borromean rings!
Hartwin: overlapping circles grid? give me the Flower of Life, the Olympics scare me. go on now. go out there. blow up their buildings. fight fire with ice. you might as well before they blow up your buildings. i won't remember you when you blast off for the last time. but you'll remember you. with that, here is my adieu to the highest bidder. i really gotta get out of this weather. my body really hurts. i'm not that brave.
Hartwin exits through the entrance and spies Harfi fiddling with her pads behind the first tall house plant.
Hartwin: *external sigh* at least the second tree, man, come on.
Harfi is also wearing the blue jumpsuit, but less tattered. she has that typical female face, y'know?, that can't be disguised with a shaved head with no special markings.
Harfi: i love fucking with the drones. i attached a mic to them and they'll never guess how. you give good speech! you can't lead worth shit but you'd make one hell of a politician!
instagram these days is terrible. it's loads of the same batch of countless meaningless watered-down ineffectual quotes and pics of pics of food. and other horrible bits too ghastly to mention. but every so often a pic came along that would inspire. one came in the middle portion of the NBA Finals of LeBron James in his mansion mirror standing shirtless and barrel-chested tats blazing smiling as he shaved his beard with an old-fashioned longblade. artists noted the symbolic aspect of the blade near his face, seeing as he was down 0-2. others just thought it was a damn good pic and it got the most likes in instagram history.
Lysander (holding his pad looking at the LeBron pic): huh. they're still going through with the NBA Finals in this war weather? well good for them. that's what sports are good for now.
Lysander practices at Furnace Fell near the last hermitage.
Madchen is lying on the long gilded arched buttoned couch in her slight pink nightgown.
Madchen: got a thin headache. they're worse than migraines. stop stroking your long flowing beard, it's weird. you looked better cleanshaven.
Lysander: sorry, the monks have gotten to me in my old age. i counsel them but they really counsel me. i'm a fraud for accepting money to be on their council. but it's just money. turn up the radio?
Madchen: god no! state radio ruined my eardrums. i only trust what i see.
Madchen: say something! do something! it's too quiet! i hate silence!
Lysander: you're lucky i still have my record player. last one. the last deductible of my last taxes. doctor confidentiality. and my mom called me a hoarder for all my vinyl.
*CLICK* CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK
Madchen: ah, it soothes, it doesn't create the beast. works better than any of your hypnotic hypothetic pathetic techniques.
Madchen: damn you.
Lysander (holding his finger up as he answers his pad): yes, excuse me? again? your cat pooped in the barrel of kitty litter as you were emptying the litter box? well you can't blame the cat now can you. i mean what is he supposed to think? pizza? no, i can't make you a pizza right now. *click* sorry, people are getting edgy about everything as the number of authorities are dwindling.
Lysander: i'm not a real doctor. speaking of, i checked your schedule. is it gonna be major?
Madchen: are you spying on me? no. but then again there's no such thing as minor surgery. it's on my butt. fuck my life.
Lysander: go on. if you're gonna be angry it might as well be about your past, not your future.
Madchen: i remember the last time i saw her. she always made it a point to announce when she was leaving the house. i took that for granted. i miss her voice. what's the point of wells anyway? i couldn't save her. she was my only sister. only sibling. we were twins. in spirit anyway. we were war orphans. the thing is, i tried, i had the strength to pull that rope up. i in fact pulled the rope up. all the way up. but it wasn't enough. how can you try with all your might and still lose? why are we human?
Lysander: they don't teach that stuff at the academy.
Madchen: i better stop now, i'm getting angry.
Lysander: that's kinda the point of all this.
Madchen: there's a point? to all this? later, doc. or, man. i better get home before my cold pizza heats up. gonna see how my son is by clicking off the screens.
Lysander: i won't wish you well.
Madchen: thanks. he needs all the help. he's not safe. he's crazy.