FIVE MOVIES

I watch a movie that is more of two tv shows at once. This boy philosopher keeps women in his attic, the girl is held captive in the basement, I try to remember what Deleuze wrote about the second story of a Baroque house, I remember the curtain, there is text against the curtain that we hear later, and so the text is horizontal and vertical, the words of the text create a small paper tube through time like a litany repeated for centuries, because this is the way we talk about evil, like goodness fallen, a negation, the same image repeated printing goodness as a map. But it’s the fallen boy who’s up in the attic with the folded curtain and its secrets, the girl is deep down in the basement with its Delphic crack, they fill her full of fumes, we know angels have no sex, but in every world she’s a wispy girl, a hetero angel, and (now there’s a third show on) he’s like her id that she’s willed awake, and in every world I’ve seen this boy in he’s tying up women, though they say that’s just his part.

The angel still lives in the basement but she has found a way out that doesn’t involve doors. She dreams about rooms with no floors, rooms that end in a plunge. In one room, my friend sits on a bed, the bed is propped up over where the floor should be. She is eating dinner from a bowl on the bed. The angel peers up at the tile walls that stretch up to the vaulted ceiling, up to the roof with the round hatch and the short ladder that hangs from the hatch door, just a few rungs of ladder hanging into the room but out of anyone’s reach. And then the angel peers down to where the floor should be, and sees the tiles stretching down, and down, until they get darker and dirtier, and hit the basement floor, several stories down. And then one corner of the basement floor is cut away, and the room keeps going. My friend can’t find her father, either. In another dream they just roll the carpet away and find there’s been no floor all along. When the angel takes the gas it’s like she sees a prophecy, and she is adorned with laurel instead of a halo, because she’s on earth. She is no longer hetero since coming to earth. In some dreams her laurel is a visor and she is playing tennis over a court ripped apart by a tornado, there are cracks in the court that open like the rooms. The court is where she first meets the queen.

The woman has been walking for so long now that she has walked into color. But she is still in black and white, an anachronism. She picks a small hair from the lens, blows it away. I am in an eternity with no snacks, she says. Her husband hasn’t come. The boy geniuses are trying to decide if her conflict will resolve, meanwhile, her friend is killing himself, he hasn’t had a phone call all night. He called her once but she couldn’t answer (his question that is), her ennui was everlasting. Now he is calling again, but he is played by someone else, and this time her ennui is older, it is deeper, she walks and walks, her husband isn’t here, she’s forgotten that he’s still in that room that is a reflection, talking to a younger her, a her who’s younger by just a few days but it makes all the difference. She’s not going back.

The witch wakes up in the forest, she has learned cinema. The forest grows all she needs and leaves light in certain places, there is moss pressed to her cheek. The forest contains her narrative discreetly, we’re not sure what country lies beyond it. She has a body with no organs, it’s all aesthetics, she only wants. Sometimes in this forest she wakes in a long red dress, sometimes she is wearing a hot pink suit with gold buttons. There is a beast in her forest that wakes her evenings, she’s alone like a child now except for the beast and for the buttons, which are like a currency for a place she’s never been, they reflect the light like eyes. She makes tinctures for the beast, she makes switches for the beast, she makes herself each day from the props in the forest around her.

The loyal opposition does not want the queen to play tennis, she is too official, she is needed for war games. But the angel is very comely, she will do, she convinces the queen. The umpire keeps sliding down in his chair, he’s afraid it’s going to tip over. Once at a bar, he was sitting on a stool playing guitar on the stage and he’d had so much to drink that when he leaned forward to sing into the microphone he slid right off his stool. He’s afraid that he’s going to ruin another big break, a royal game! a royal failure, and wishes he hadn’t taken some of that gas from the angel. The angel and the queen are facing off, they are face threatening; the angel has the face of a saint from a movie when she is about to die; the queen is a saint, too, in some cultures, her face is a prophecy of destruction. And the angel doesn’t seem to want to play tennis, she leans against the fence while the queen whacks and whacks balls that don’t land; what’s important to the angel is that she maintains her face-wants in the face of the queen’s wants, that is, she wants to be strong and powerful in spite of not having an empire and she knows this means accessing an inner power that won’t be recognized. This is how she became the queen. Some believe she conquered and took what wasn’t hers, but really she made what was hers out of the nothing that grew inside her, she stitched a kingdom out of her organs and the crowd oohed. This is why she’s so confused at the tennis game, because she’s trying to make something again, and here is another girl, a girl who looks like a wispy angel who is telling one-liners all day, that is, prophecies, this angel is prophesying and humiliating the queen by levitating the tennis balls that the queen pounds and pounds against her racket, she has nothing, she doesn’t even have love, she has all these rooms with no floors.

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