POST PERFORMANCE ARTICLE
by Spike McLarrity, London UK
The Big Fight; the only person I am fighting is myself. After removing all my clothing, and redressing, I embrace my husband siting in the audience, who attentively follows my every word. Five hours have now passed and I am physically and emotionally drained, but like most performance artists I have to clear the stage, bag up the destruction and leave it ready for the next performer. But in reality I just don’t want to do it, I want to sit and cry, curl up in a corner, it is difficult as people are coming to talk to me, though it’s nice to see them, they want more, I can’t give them anything else they want to engage in conversation, I just want to clean up and go.
Once the car is packed I have to drive everything to storage, my mood has change, I have suddenly become the bitch from hell, my poor man just gives me his love and time, he is being patient, I am being a bore, though my heart and soul is his, I need this time for me, I need to re-treat back into my body, I need to be alone. Sometimes people can take this state I am in as a rejection, but lets face it when you have given yourself in public, the whole of yourself, it is like all your inners are displayed on the floor being inspected by the public, exposed, vulnerable and present.
It doesn’t help either if I have performed with a hangover, but this was on purpose, so the body is drained of oxygen and vital vitamins, I am shaking, I am feeling confused and disorientated as the adrenaline from the performance wares off, its pub time a few Brandies down my dry throat, people still want my attention, I should have arranged for someone else to pack up and do these things, but there isn’t always the people around to scoop up my mess both physical and metaphorically speaking.
I find it normally takes quite a few days to recover once everything has been returned I have borrowed, bags sit full in the sitting room I cannot face emptying them, they normally block the entrance for a couple of weeks. I go into anti-social mode, ignore the many invites to previews, wrapped up in a quilt I tend to have the remote control at my fingertips, flicking through the rubbish that television is offering me, a box of chocolate, endless cups of tea and my husband puts his apron on and feeds me, he tends to leave me to my thing and get on with it. I think most of us if in a partnership need the other to be understanding, giving, oozing of unconditional love, but importantly understanding how I am in this state of mind and why, as it is not personal, it is nothing he has done wrong, nothing that we have done wrong, his selfless giving reassures me, helps me to return to base, I let my past life go back in its box after regurgitating it, ripping it from its cosy little memory cells where it sleeps until I drag it into the present.