CH

 

What she didn’t say was that she had sunk herself into a mute, shapeless fog. That she had allowed her fingers to blur into a warm singular mass around the shape of her phone inside her pocket, that she had typed out nothing at all: no notes, no thought, no creative response. She had planned to follow their instructions to wander around during the performance; to experience the piece as intended - a room of humming bodies, shifting gradations of sound through space, looped layers of grainy, amplified vacancy. Instead she found herself willfully slumped into her own body, walled in by the sound which seemed to thicken and press against her with the dull weight of a hand on a shoulder. Marshy sequences, granular drift, ashy strands in slow collapse. It felt self-indulgent: to give in to this inertia. She didn’t know if it was something that came from within, that belonged to her, or whether it was an external force that she was submitting to. The distinction was unimportant. So easy to let the body go still. A folding inwards like lips pressed for an ‘m’ and staying that way: mute, immured, while time glitters on like a pageant. 

 

When she did eventually compel herself up and out of the chair, she paced softly towards the brick partition and then around it to the other side, to the unoccupied half of the room, out of sight. Loitering close to the windows, she examined cakings of dust in the corners of the glass, enacting a moment of profound thought, unwatched. The afternoon spanned whitely. A pale day furred by soft rain, the glassy vacancy of neighbouring buildings. A single bird shot across the blank; air slices and heals without a flinch.