As A Crowd Began To Gather
disrupt the air.
Their various growls
seizing the ears of lookers (and listeners)
with high andlow vibrations.
Whether they be good or bad intentions,
he plays with intention,
never wildly or choosing by chance.
The gaze of the audience
aims at each metal disc and kettle
he strikes. Then, suddenly,
His mallet hovers,
As would a fly-swatter searching the air
Or a hand readied to crush and smother.
The ringing grows calm
And as the sound fades,
with his eyes still on the instrument,
he rises from his stool
And walks toward a table
near the rear of the stage,
Where he reaches into
an ornately decorated case.
The brightness of the mallet he retrieves
blends with the silver rings that circle his fingers
making it seem as if his whole hand
has succumbed to the will of the mallet.
To hear such a gasp as the one the audience performed in unison,
To see such fear and amazement, true joy in their eyes,
All agitated by the appearance of a mallet,
was quite the event.
This agitation was to be relieved
Only when the mallet struck
whatever it was that it intended to strike.
He looked at it as if it was speaking to him.
The audience chose to not believe their eyes.
It could be said that if any of them owned a house on a river,
their foolish disbelief had at least once
stranded them in that house during a great flood.
The mallet and the gongman
broke their gaze at each other
and projected their eyes
onto a man in the audience.
Looking at the man, the gongman was confused
and he tilted his head like a confused dog.
The man in the audience had a knot on his head
that looked as much like a gong
as anyone's head could possibly look.
The gongman wanted to hit the man in the head
with the mallet very badly. He decided to do it.
The man, who had no reason to fear any aggression from the gongman,
met eyes with him and immediately sensed that there was something wrong.
He was more confused than afraid. He also tilted his head like a confused dog.
Here they were, two doggies standing around in a confused audience, being confused.
one about to hit the other on the top of the head with a mallet,
and the other readying both his feet to run and his head to harden.
The man in the audience thought to himself,
“I'm not a gong. I'm not a gong. I'm not a gong.”
Suddenly, he found himself screaming this at the top of his lungs,
And the gongman gave chase.
The man kept repeating himself as he ran from the gongman (moreso the mallet),
“I'm not a gong. I'm not a gong. I'm not a gong. I'm not a gong.”
Of course, if that was not apparent already,
his protests would certainly offer
no greater understanding of this fact,
The man from the audience
ran out of the building and did not stop.
He thought to pace himself.
How long would the gongman take chase?
Turning his 14th corner,
finally, he reasoned with himself.
How could he run forever for such a ridiculous reason?
He reassured himself that just because a gongman
hits him on his head doesn't mean he is a gong.
Beside the possibility of being struck with a mallet,
he had very little in common with a gong.
He had obviously forgotten why 'the gongman' had earned his name.
It certainly wasn't because he used his mallet sparsely.
Oh, how the first strike did pain him. But, the gongman
noticed that the man had allowed himself to be struck,
and tilted his head like a dog again.
Still, the gongman continued to strike the man on the knot on his head.
He did not move. The gongman struck him with zeal and vigor,
with joy and laughter, and with fury and anger.
The man accepted his blows and began to like it a little bit.
He'd never been partial to masochism.
But, as an audience gathered
and as the gongman began to pick up a certain rhythm,
the man from the audience started to settle into his beating.
His hips swayed to the rhythm. His lips smacked and his hands clapped
in rhythm to the bashing of his brain. Ever so softly.
He was becoming the gongman's partner.
He knew that it was going to be a great concert.
But, he never expected such a thrill for 15 dollars.
The Prestige of His Attention
Her sister did not look or act like her.
While Inka was shy, thick and studious, her new sister was loud, slim and prone to trouble.
They were not opposites though. Their significant parts could be traded with each other seamlessly.
They met as a result of a shared interest in a man.
The man was their husband.
Although Inka was first joined in union with him, the wives did not number their marriages.
They were both first wives, in a sense. This is how they viewed each other.
Unti's marriage to Katan was also a ceremony which signified their bond with each other.
Inka had always trusted Unti.
But, she'd also always remembered a comment that was made upon entering their home for the 1st time: “This
isn't so bad after all.” They all laughed in irony because their home was actually quite lavish.
But, a seed was planted in Inka's mind. “What did she mean?”
People who make passing comments certainly like excitement.
And their marriage was exciting, always as much so as Unti desired,
Her need for spectacle positioned her as the first child in the union, rather than the 2nd wife.
Still, Unti grew more unsatisfied as both husband and 1st wife began to resent her needy nature.
As the tension grew to its zenith, Inka decided to speak to her husband.
She spoke and spoke and spoke. But, he did not listen.
She grew angry and scolded him for not paying attention.
But, he continued to ignore her for a moment before speaking.
“Why, it isn't wise for me to mediate your differences.
I only stand to inherit the sum of both your anger,
which would bring you closer together, united against me!”
In this statement, in that moment, Inka found her growing distrust of her husband
to be completely irrational. Yet, her pride would not allow her to accept that truth
She raged within, just thinking of losing the prestige of his attention.
She thought to herself that she would burn the whole house down before losing a single drop of it.
Her suspicion of him became the focus of her being. It was pitiful.
At the places where she could not find a reason to blame him, she created one.
Inka knew that she could not steal the youth from Unti's figure or spirit.
But, their marriage titles, “first & second” were beginning to seem like “old & new” or “slim & fat.”
She concluded that there must have been something he was doing to make Unti feel like the 1st child.
Inka would go to the edges of reason in order to keep her husband's phallus content. She enjoyed that.
But, to acknowledge his loyalty and wisdom beyond it's utility to her... was not within her capacity.
That acknowledgment would have meant that
she were worthy of the prestige that came with his attention,
which she did not feel was true.
She simmered with anger, waiting to let it all out in a nihilistic rage, besting Unti's immaturity.
She prayed for her husband to look for a third wife, so that Unti could feel how she did.
But, he told her that three was a crowd and they both laughed. In fact,
it was only because of Inka's encouragement
that he had met with Unti at all, in the first place. She had complained of boredom then.
One day, while Inka was sitting in the parlor, playing her instrument, a memory came to her.
This memory wasn't of an event, but a feeling. There had been a time before Unti,
when Inka had begun to doubt her husband's character. She had been with him before he gained his
riches and his will to work she never doubted. It was his essence that she questioned in that moment.
In this particular memory, he had been working on a certain project
and his work was leading him to an unflattering level of exhaustion.
He was always gone or focused on some document or phone call.
When he wasn't, he was too tired from work to present himself to her impressively.
Inka never doubted that he would achieve what he desired.
She never questioned his devotion or character.
It was more that his work seemed an irrational choice to make
over the opportunity to attend to her magnificence
...and she was very much so.
But, if he was to be exhausted, certainly it should be because of her. In her mind,
any dishevelment or distress that he presented to her should have been at her doing.
This is how she confirmed that her attention was also prestigious.