Become a Fan
The Divorce from Esse
By shiloh m slaughter
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Esse, the perfect artist, is a collective group of people whose service makes up Esse. The Eyes of Esse falls in love with a client, a potter. This love causes the Divorce from Esse.
The eyes of Esse stressed in thought, summoning the other members of this broken body, tapping a pen on a cold cup of coffee. The eyelashes of Essence are much longer than the image. The daydreams and lost thoughts of Essence exist in our lives, while Essence lives our dreams. Esse was sleeping. She always slept nowadays. Looking over shoulder, Esse was nothing without love. Nothing at all. The rain splattered on the window above the bonsai tree, which sprouted more ideas than any of them. Sighing, the essence arched her back in bed, breathing in deeply. Love needed Esse to breathe. They had been living without each other for much too long between these cold brick walls in the waiting room, where they had first met. They had been living within each other their entire lives, but that was when boredom was an issue, when inspiration was a necessity, and when art was an image. Now, the story must be told of the divorce between the Esse and the eyes of Essence.
They were all shapes and sizes, vibrant and dull colored, shaded and illuminated, dripping and lifting. Men and women, little boys and little girls. Some of them were huddled over their creation, rocking back and forth. Those individuals were skinny, whose anatomy had outgrown their skin. Their eyes were wild and bloodshot, with creases holding bags of sleepless nights, reflecting fear, a master of theirs whom they had never seen, but is shown to anyone who happens to look them in their eye. Their hair fell in clumps. The men had long curling beards resting in between their bowed legs. The womenís breasts hung in flat soft sacks, below a ribbed chest. Some of them were dressed in vibrant robes with shiny buttons, leather pants, and sharp boots or pointed heels. Others were dressed in tatted rags, with patches on their knees and elbows, or curling shoes with holes in them. The younger ones were still creating, coloring on rare sheets of white paper, with crayons they found or stolen from the older ones, whom were too weak to chase them, and too fearful to leave their own creations. Some of the young boys played music, more than often the blues, while everyone waited, leaning against each other. The sad notes curled above their heads, lifting the spirits of the most recent arrivals. All of them were terribly normal. Except the potter. She was a funny girl.
I have been observing them from numerous peepholes between loose bricks for quite a few years. When too many of them had arrived, they were asked to leave their creations at the door, to make themselves at home, but this was a trick question. No real artist would abandon their work. So therefore, the room was crowded with sculptures, canvas, buildings, murals, jewelry, whole buildings, blueprints, instruments, novels, under the tight arms of mothers and fathers. They were good, most of them. But none like Esseís. Their conversations danced around the ideas always computing in head. When I slept, Esse had other minds compute them. They would hook Esse up to a machine, and record the blueprints in mind.
We had fun making the invitations. They had received them in various ways. Some were asked to go find a skinny man on the shore of New York City by the name of Grecko with a bright red Mohawk holding ĎThe end is nearísign, and he will take them to the island. Grecko was a nickname I gave to my little brother, whom killed his pet Gecko. That is all. No deep meaning. Some of them read about it in their college textbooks, towards the appendices. Others received the message between a boring lecture and a puddle of drool on a slick cold surface from a voice that spoke through their professorís lips. The younger ones received the message through the television during daycare, or found the message carved into detention desks. Some of the washed up stars heard the message from the back of a revolver cocked to their temples. The hopeful ones received the message as an answer to their prayers. I had spies everywhere. On the television, behind the podium, authors, mathematicians, everyone knew.
Not everyone listened, however. The message will echo in their solitude until their dying day. My art exhibition travels yearly, and will return. The invitations will be sent out annually, until they come. I go by the name of Esse. There are many members of Esse, though. I am not one person. Esse is a collection. The name fit the description of the show. Esse was a new artist, whose medium was the Idea. The invitation read as follows:
You have been personally invited
To the Annual Art exhibition
Of the Great Esse
On the First Day of Spring.
Esse has been following your career for over ten years,
And has created the original, the idea,
From within your mind,
And is your biggest fan.
Esseís medium is the essence.
The letters were written in Gold, sewn in manila silk sheets folded and tied with a silver ribbon curling at the ends, and looked like an early Christmas present. They were sent after the message itself. The pretty package mostly went to mail boxes, but some had to get by noisy parents, friends, and loved ones, and some had no mail boxes to go to, so were found in the most awkward places. In between the pages of a porn magazine hidden under the bed. In a Barbie lunch box. In a cigar box next to a bag of weed. In backpacks. In makeup bags. Most of the artists thought the invitation was a hoax, poking fun at their failing careers. Some of the younger artists thought Esse was a god, who had come to rescue them from this harsh world. There was no address on the letters. If a letter was ignored, it would just be sent every day, in stranger and stranger places. Some of the artists stayed up weeks, waiting for the secret messenger, but the letter would never come until they passed out. Some of the clever college students took the pretty packages to their professors, to their teachers, their artist commune, to the library, to museums and cafes. No one has heard of this mysterious Esse.
We do not exist in your world. We do not exist in our world. Esse exists in the mind. The collective are merely Esseís arms and legs, are Esseís beauty. One cannot be Esse and be ugly. Esse is clever. You have probably fallen in love with Esse at least a few times in your life and had not even known it. I have always been Esse. I have always been watching behind these bricks. I was Esseís eyes. I saw everything. I saw the mustard streaks in an old manís beard. I saw the peas in a childís clumped muddy vomit. I saw the eyes roll back in the head of an anorexic potter. I saw a woman give birth in this waiting room, her face stretched and contorted into the hellish underbelly of a Great Oak Tree, as her limbs dug into the dirt floor, her fingers fighting their way, to root somewhere, anywhere. I saw the worms enter the bodies whom had laid still for too long. I watched the children speak to one another with their eyes and hands. I watched people leap to their feet and shout gibberish, dancing and pulling out their hair. I reported everything to Esse. I wanted Esse to mirror their solitude.
Esse is some serious shit.
There are too many gods! They strut around creating things, they call their own. They waste time. They waste color. They waste shadow, lines, theories. They make symbols for symbols. They fight to project that vision in their mind. But no one gets it. No one ever gets it. Because no one is there. No one is there inside their heads when they find it, and build it inside their minds. They never get it right. They have itchy fingers. They have lonely hearts. They have families. They have jobs. They have other things to do. They will work on it when they remember it. Memories are the worst mirrors that exist. But Esse, Esse is different. Esse is better. Esse will take the burdens off of Mankindís shoulders. They will not have to create anything anymore. Esse will do it for them.
Look at them! They hug their images of an image of a forgotten perfection to their breast as if the clay pot could save me! As if I need that clay pot, in all its elaborate poetry and nature etched so finely into the clay. Truth is, I do need that pot. The world needs that pot. But that potter did not make the pot as the one they pictured in their heads. Esse will make the pot. I have been spying on the potter for over seven months now. She is very skinny, with long stringy blond hair and sinking blue eyes above a pointy sharp nose and thin lips. Her skin is so pale it is practically transparent. She is wearing a dark purple turtleneck too large for her tiny frame, which hangs in folds over faded straight legged black jeans and flip flops. She leans against the wall with the pot between both hands and legs. This woman is one of the stranger ones. She has not asked for food once. She went without food last month for five days, and then we just gave her some. We donít want her to waste too much away. Then she might become permanently ugly.
Esse doesnít neglect the artists, but this potter was specially focused on. Esse made sure she was warm. Sometimes, Esse asked the potter to come to the window. At the window, is where all of the artists went to receive their coffee and cigarettes, green tea and cloves, or whatever other addictions became their muse. Esse never gave them drugs though. Esse replaced caffeine with sleep. Something creators never get. Esse replaced nicotine with food. When the potter came up to the window, which had a heavy velvet curtain hanging over a Mona Lisa mural, Esse gave her a cup of water instead. The potter would then finally fall asleep when the rest of the artists took their naptime. Then Esse would seep into the room, and rummage through their minds with the many hands, legs, arms, hearts, and minds. Sad things would spill out into the plain brick room, filled with creations and sleeping bags. Demons would crawl out of the ears, mouths, eyes, noses, and sexes of them. Sometimes, spirits would push their way out of closed up scars, and Esse would have to sew them back up. These artists would be taken to another room, where artists whom were damaged in the brainstorming process went to heal and rest. During naptime, Esse fought demons, spirits, phantoms, bad ideas, and other gods. I saw them. The demons were the norm, long horns, fangs, beady eyes, drooling, forked tongues, and such. The phantoms and gods are the scary ones. The gods look like me and you. The gods donít look like Esse. And no one would want to look like me or you. The phantoms are always in peripheral vision. One can never look a phantom in its eyes. Except for Esse, of course. The eyes of phantoms are empty. That is all. It is the absence that is frightening.
What was more terrible was that nothing crawled out of the potter. The potter was clean. Esse had never invited an artist who was ready to meet Esse. The potter was ready. Esse entered the mind of the potter, which was very neatly kept. The memories were alphabetized in one room, and each emotion had a garden to play in. all the goals were written on post-its tacked onto a fridge full of advice. Birthdays and holidays each had their own alarm clocks, which were in separate bedrooms, so as not to disturb any of the emotions in their play. What was even more rare, that, unlike most artists, the potter had no room in the mind reserved for faith. But it was faith that took care of the garden. Esse waited in the garden, watching the emotions play, but faith never showed. So, Esse explored some more, searching for the original pot. I saw so much beauty in the potter, that Esse yearned one heart to abandon the other artists, but Esse is never distracted by pleasure. The potterís lovers were found in a living room watching Saturday Morning Cartoons and eating cereal out of the box. They were grinning, shiny plump boys, in Christmas boxers during summer, with unshaven chins. This was also odd. The lovers were solid. They were complete memories, not phantoms or ghosts. Jokes even had comebacks. They were happy, but gone out of the present moment. There was little to no trash in the potterís mind. All the trash had been taken out the night before the potter responded to the invitation. It was the only invitation we had sent the potter. She received it on her bathroom mirror on a post it note. She finished brushing her teeth while she pondered at the post it note, for she lived alone, and after gargling, read the note, and packed her bags. The trash had been removed from this memory. It was stripped down to Esse, so that Esse looked at herself under the heading ĎEí in the room with other memories. The potter had believed in Esse by word. The nightmares sat in a waiting room, similar to the one the potter sat in, and read Readerís Digest, waiting to see Dr. Freud. Everything was as it should be. The potter had a mind similar to Esse, except limited to fewer rooms. However, in the center of the home, where the presence of the potterís thoughts should have been, there was no traffic. The door was locked. The potter had stopped living long ago. Here the pot sat on a white pedestal, in the present moment, always, in its glory.
Now, to scribe the entity of the pot when it did not yet be, is an imitation, just as the potterís pot was an imitation. But, here, Esse will do the best.
Now, the pot is twenty four inches tall, and has a radius of twelve inches on the top lip, which thins to six inches precisely four inches down vertically. The circumference becomes square gracefully eighteen inches down and remains square. Then, it becomes six by six inches. It is made of clay, cast in bronze. The pot weighs precisely five pounds. The pot is one and a half inches thick. These measurements alone were quite unique to be written, no, typed, in complete sentences on a scroll, which served as a long rug when entering the center room of the mind. There were three holes drilled in the bottom of the clay pot, for the clay pot is to made as a service for plants, more specifically, bonsai plants. The bottom of the pot was separate from the rest of the body. It was a square plate with a half an inch lip on it that slid smoothly into the larger pot. This was done so that when the bonsai tree grew, the pot could grow with it. The clay was taken from her grandmotherís frog pond, where she played as a little girl.
Her grandmother had a bonsai plant collection. A little girl, whom was the potter as a child, ran around naked throughout her mind, chasing the old lady, whose thick spidery silver hair was tied in several rubber bands. The hair smelled, and stuck up in the air like the wiry timeline of a bonsai. The autobiography of her grandmother was carved in the clay pot in Japanese. Now, it was not the autobiography or the uniqueness of the pot that Esse had to create the essence of this pot, that Esse knew this pot must exist on Earth as is, and not similar to. This pot, held a treasure map of Japan. This treasure map would save the village that the potter grew up in, and was taken from such a long, long time ago.
It was at that dreamy moment the frail wiry girl began night fits, and kicked at the brick wall next to her bed so hard, that she damaged her small knuckles. She was not having a nightmare. She was wrestling with one of her past lovers. We then separated the bed from the wall and got to work on molding the pot. Esse surrounded her. Esse paid so much attention to her. Esse painted her toes black while she slept, because that is what her mother always did. Esse planted sweet dreams in her mind, because though her heart was blooming, it had not yet bloomed. The pot however, gave Esse much difficulty. The pot itself was completed in twenty four hours, but the bonsai tree would grow funny. It would either root too fiercely, or crack the pot. Or, the bonsai would crawl out of the pot and disrupt the story. Esse made several pots. Each one failed. None of them I had made, though. See, that is the story.
I made the pot that survived. I made the perfect clay pot thought by the potter. It was I. I am part of Esse, but it was I, my hands. Mine. The others, the hands, sure, they molded and patted, smoothed the curves as if creating one of their own lovers, but it was I who finalized it. The translators carved the poetic story onto it, and the mathematicians weighed and measured it, the scientists created the clay, and the geographers found the clay in her grandmotherís dried up frog pond. But I, I found the grandmother. I found her bones. She had been buried in the frog pond. It was the clay that hugged her skeleton that we used. The bonsai that grew properly was the bonsai that sat on the windowsill above the sink. It was dying. I placed it in the pot, and it took root. Its thick, gnarled trunk curved with the sun. it sits on my window sill now, and directs the growth of my soul.
The nameless eyes of Esse frowned, shaking his pen over a wobbly wooden childís school desk. He had been writing the story of Esse for quite some time now, since the morning sun spied him rising, and decided to rise as well. The pen would not write. The nameless eyes of Esse balled fists and wept into them, sliding down under the plastic chair, and curled in a ball next to the bed, where Esse, the potter slept. It was not his tears that woke her pretty head, but his sadness. Esse knew things, about her love. Her love did not have a name, nor a body, and when her love wept, she wept, and Esse knew she would not get up today, until the story was finished.
Esse fell in love with Esse, and became love, thus, losing identity.
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