I take a breath and push it out through my teeth. Then I begin, before I even reach the microphone. My face is still. I try to keep a hard, composed look, though I want to smile. I naturally want to smile but it doesn’t serve my purpose. It rarely has in my line of work. So I keep my lips tight over my teeth and grunt through my opening lines.
Lines designed to catch the attention of the audience. They go something like this.
“You are never prepared to be standing over your own corpse.”
That gets them. It always does. Soldiering, new soldiering as it’s now known, is not what our ancestors dreamed of. Or probably hoped for. And my job is to try and make people understand that. Some would say that I’m glorifying the life. There is nothing glorious about standing over your body as its reassembled before your eyes.
There’s nothing cool or enriching about being strapped down with equipment meant to prolong your life, or shorten that of others if needed. Less when you know the effectiveness amounts to zero, and you’ll be reconstituted time and again. The gear is there for psychological reasons.
But the audience can’t know what. Or at least they shouldn’t dwell on that fact too much. A line or two more about seeing your own death and we need to move on, to our real purpose.
Today’s art is courtesy of Andrey Surnov from Moscow, Russia.