It is lacking: here Novoice is wanting, here Novoice is praying, here Novice is in tears that are drawn merely from the surface when lacking in knowledge of what is inside. After all, her brain matter is swimming in chemicals that are especially given for the relief that is required once the gymnastics of her mental workings had been identified as peculiar. And because of these chemicals given to her along with a marginalised identify, the pity summoned by the little match girl, slowly freezing to death whilst looking through a window at a family eating a sumptuous Christmas spread, is beyond her reach.
For Novice, her performance ceased once it apprehended never normalising never inclusive when there is nothing expected but to play under the watchful eye of the panopticon, revisiting breakdown again and again.
Bring out the evil hope and then dust off the blackened secrets once meticulously housed. Scatter these and mournfully observe that no one is helping after the havoc is established as the doing of Novoice.
Novoice steps down and out of the ambulance. She navigates the minute steps of the emergency vehicle, mockingly encouraged by the nurses smoking outside the kitchen entrance to walk unaided. She is reluctant. There is no back to her gown. She knows she can walk alone. One of the ambulance men had told her that her ride would be bumpy on account of doing something so silly and at the same time being so pretty. Novoice had winced as she apprehended this, uncomfortable with the possibility of the connection of these two descriptors. Such statements burst deep like ten thousand accusations.
Happily, moments later Novoice has found relief, aware of the newly found freedom when away from the tubes that once were inserted into her arms and up her noise and urethra; now left at the hospital, Novice imagines these as reusable, lying in wait for the next body seconds after vacating her own.
Novice smiles as she realises she is on time for morning tea. The smile disappears leaving its remnants as a grimace. Novoice clutches both ends of the gown behind her. They fail to meet, both sides flap gently upwards with the breeze, unmasking a cold pinkish bottom as she makes her way to the hospital entrance on unsteady legs.
It Broke Again
Novoice is fondly cutting into her flesh of both of her lower arms while her burnt out support worker waits to take her home. The blood of Novoice is running down her sleeves, beneath the thick woollen jumper, similar to what is worn by her mother. Her mother knitted it especially and she takes great pains to ensure that the blood stains a good bulk of the sleeves, pressing them against her bloody wrists.
Actually, it was her father she saluted when she wrote an essay for school whilst in the impatient unit. She called it ‘Where does Father End and I Begin?’ it really was a story, not an essay on the Japanese invasion of Indonesia which is probably why her Asian Studies teacher importantly scrawled ‘inappropriate and nonsensical! ’.
What Novoice did, what she achieved shattered. The work, as all work does, proved to be insignificant in the end. Night after night Novoice performed splitting off her shadow , her black core of the sun , the dark holocaust so glad to be out and about. How the audience mouth grimaces, wrinkles at the corners , reluctantly searching for approval for this dishevelled heap, only finding it days later when mimicking elements of the talk and walk of the misfit that somehow had burnt a aliens desire into their vacant unconscious.
There were many tears over the end. Another vagabond was awarded the approval she once wore as if this was a debutant gown. Novoice had secretly hoped to remain that special apple shinning amongst the many and dull, a beautifully prominent pink lady resting sedately at the peak of a triangular pile with many dying to sink their teeth into the lightly crisp brilliantly white flesh.
But Novoice rode the dark horse. Novoice rides a wild dark horse, a dumb animal with no means to understand commands form the rider, not the commands from those watching the rider. Just moving to move, has to gallop thunderous hooves scattering clumps of dirt flying up from beneath; Novice rides it alone. There is no witness; there is no possession for those who are never possessed. There are no questions that may direct one to the wounds.
Novoice wrote an abundance of words. Novoice pleased to have a regular reader, someone to admire the work, a person who tells how inspirational these plentiful words are. On a slip of rustic paper given to Novoice before the debut performance of ‘A Teapot Without A Lid’, Clarus wrote
Dive deep into it my friend and your gills will operate… Thank you for your writing, your passion, your truth. With love and pace and need and humour tell the stories, tell the story let go…Love Clarus.
Upon reading the note, Novoice looks up from the paper praying that her own eyes are adoring of Clarus, and not betraying disbelief. Novoice trusted little.
The occasion of their first meeting was shortly after Clarus returned from a working holiday in Italy, only just arrived from the airport wearing Italian leather boots with lace up fronts and tomato red mini woollen dress. Walking down the broad stairs which descended between the audience seating of the community hall, announcing with her hands widely gesticulating how she just played the part of Regina, walked talked looked at Novoice and kept on looking at Novoice: because there were many other people in the room, she could have focused upon just as easily, Novoice sensed trouble loomed.
While the group were seated in a circle on hard plastic chairs each member told a little bit about themselves for the benefit of Clarus. With her arms crossing the slightness and shortness of her body, Novoice was hollow as an empty discarded tin; there was no relief from this horrible internal vastness as there is at night when she cuts into her flesh.
When it came to her turn to speak, she only gave the minimum like her name and address. Novoice wanted to stick to the impregnable facts, and when everyone laughed, Novoice turned the colour of her dyed clumpy hair, whilst the tips of her fingers pulled the edge of the soggy black sleeve of her oversized small knit jumper.
Clarus laughed with the rest of the group, despite knowing that she was not of them. She gently coaxed Novoice into offering more as she smoothed down the front of her dress needlessly. Novoice thought that perhaps she purchased the dress in Italy whilst she was playing the part of Regina before allowing her mind to summon the know-how needed to construct her speakings to please. She felt these to be sloppy and slippery.
Novoice on Stage
Novoice performed night after night and this was her privilege. The lines were that of Novoice, Novoice very own words that were written with a chewed tipped blue biro that eventually leaked into the bottom of her bag.
The Christmas Break Picnic
Clarus telling Novoice over and over of this inspiration, how inspired she felt after reading the writing of Novoice, repeated this over and over. Novoice felt shame as Novoice always does after compliments, especially those that kept on repeating and the children of the other performers playing under the sprinklers near the edge of the pond were laughing and shivering. Clarus commented on the spontaneity of children as Novoice shame remained, despite all of the playful abandonment that surrounded her, the shame suffocating her as it rises and falls and rises again.
Clarus sensing a mood but misinterpreting is as a charming uneasiness, as a desirable dwindling of self-love that can only be explicit beneath the gaze of the audience. To put this hunger, the threat of hunger, put into the content, the content of Clarus bring it to the stage for the audience mouth will grimace as their muscles fail to contort to the puzzlement that beleaguerers their body when Novoice, ragged and wasted, steps into the light.
Novoice believed that she betrayed her invisibility, failing to blend in. Novoice had leaned as a child how there is safety in numbers and when a child is removed from this number, then the child is ill protected. Not to stand out or else there is the picking on; not to stand out or else there is the name calling and the blaming. The priceless rule is that all must be blended, and if something, an aspect doesn’t fit onto the flock ,then this must be quashed; if not quashed, covered whatever is possible within the realms of the current repertoire of Novoice. However, secretly she truly wanted to stand out.
During their one on one improvisation, Clarus waved an incense stick as she talked, the thick scented smoke wafting from the burning tip. She told Novoice of the little respect she mustered for Western thought. According to Clarus, the only wisdom is Eastern. Yes she like the Greek tragedies. Novoice and Clarus have this in common.
Write and Write
When she asked for a bit, Novoice gave a lot. When she demanded the emotion, Novice succumbed. When she said, ‘Novice you can do it’, Novoice believed in her words and she did it. During Clarus visit stopping at Novoice’s transitional home, she needed to go to the toilet. Novoice giving directions and Clarus hesitation as she took in the turning to the right then the first on your right, her long blond hair streaming, flowing it seemed to Clarus, down a back held under conscious command. For Clarus practised and taught yoga. Her consequential steadfastness mirrored the sturdy structure of the walls on either side of her, Novoice never forgets this image.
Towards the End
Novoice pressing her nose into freshly picked Jasmine. She thinks , her thoughts like many tiny insects that hum and buzz, as he walks the secret back lanes of Coburg. She smokes a cigarette as she moves, thinks and stares down at the blue-stone laid by convicts many years ago. ‘So many people have lived and died in institutions’ is one of her annoying thoughts but this fades quickly. It is best not to linger on such sad notions.
Clarus rings and asks Novoice ‘ What’s going on?’ Novoice answers in a deep and sluggish voice as she is heavily medicated ‘I am hopeless,’ and then adds ‘ I am sorry for that. ’ Clarus pauses and then asks , ‘Do you think you belong in this space?’
‘Do you think you belong in this space? Do you think you belong in this space? Do you think you belong in this space? Do you think you belong in this space? Do you think you belong in this space? ‘
Over and over again in the mind of Novoice.
‘Do you have any reason to lie at this moment?’ Clarus asks Novoice whilst visiting her in hospital. This question was in response to Novoice request to return to the theatre.
‘Do you have any reason to lie at this moment? Do you have any reason to lie at this moment? Do you have any reason to lie at this moment? Do you have any reason to lie at this moment? ‘
Over and over again in the mind of Novoice.
Novoice is most familiar with the thinking of Clarus.
This body states the following:
Novoice has a borderline personality disorder as described in the diagnostic mental health symptoms manual no. 5. Novoice is deluded. Novoice is only impacted by her perspective that she believes is from the centre of the world. This world is hers alone. She accepts no responsibility for her actions. She causes havocs and points the finger at everyone else. Novoice lives and it is everyone’s fault.
Clarus had an inkling the day that Novoice joined her theatre but she would have never predicted how Novoice summons grief. Its seems she holds up a mirror and people see their own reflection without understanding the mind of Novoice. With the feedback Clarus gave, Novoice caved in. It appeared that these were her actions after all.
‘What do you think I think of you?’
Clarus asked Novoice after telling Novoice that she would not be returning to the theatre after all. Novoice replies obediently,
‘I know you admire my work. I know you admire my performance.’ But the mind of Novoice runs on .’You have discovered a body that can’t be mustered. This is the way to do it. This is all in the workshop. People to dance, people to chant only hearing the mind of Clarus. This is all. Hatred seething beneath, hate embedded long ago before the advent of proficient memory traces. Exhausted after all the cover up. So much to be recovered. So much. Do you?
Wrote and Wrote for Her
Novoice writes and writes for her. Clarus stands in the space with the work of Novice in her hand for she has used her words in the writing of the play ‘Teapot without a Lid’ To Novoice she croons, ‘I easily could have a play with your words alone.’
Clarus thinks about Novoice. Novoice is in touch with such an abstract space. No words but sound please. No words but images from your darkness please.
When Novoice knows her own words are from another’s mouth, she is desperately feels absence. Her voice has a story, a story of losing the compass when entering an established battle ground with unlikeable people, selling themselves as likeable and then becoming the responsibility of Novoice. Novoice darkness is portrayed as the perpetrator, as the traitor, as the witch. Novoice to this theatre is a witch. In the end every play has one.
‘I need to vent’ Novoice begged during Clarus’s visit. ‘Theatre is not about venting’ states Clarus.