The Techno Sadhu
RADIO THEATRE PRESENTS
A COSMIC PSYCHO DRAMA
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND
And so they traveled on together leaving their audience behind.
on his back, the two women linked their arms into his leaving the café. They
went down the street a short way and up a dark flight of stairs to
atelier, her studuo. They entered the colored world of her imagination.
Chapter 8 in the TECHNO
SADHU RADIO OF THE ABSURD, KMRD FM 9C.9
www.kmrd.fm/listen and on
a peculiar idea, especially in the last quarter of the twentieth century. A time
caught in the repetition of the past -- Music, fashion, war, politics, and
painting all fall back into another age, kaleidoscopic and happening at once.
Twenties fashion haircuts walk side by side on this late avenue with space-age
plastic zipped boots. A reservoir of time where one dips in the bucket and pulls
up all ages. If you are a painter and you paint pictures that look like brown
mud, a critic proclaims them as influenced by pre-historic cavemen. If you paint
disciplined reclining nudes, the critic says it is somewhere between
Michelangelo and Modigliani. It has already been done. Painting has become only
a common cliché. The only thing that makes it unique is how the artist repeats
the quirks and mistakes of their own hand, thus an individual work of art is
atelier, this analysis of art history passed through
artist is seldom charitable to another artist unless one is willing to worship
the other as an apprentice to the Master.
was not willing to take a subservient position.
was Charlotte nor Leila.
once, all three recognized they were in the same elite club. All three were
masters, or they believed to themselves. A mutual respect if not admiration
moved over them.
and Leila were recent and temporary arrivals to
therefore no threat of local competition to
Indeed, if anything they had a tinge of glamour, the exotic and the mysterious,
making them much more desirable.
thought they would be an ideal couple to toy with and she drew them into her web
knew everybody who was somebody worth knowing and if by some strange chance she
didn't know them she would never tell you. Information or withholding it was her
power. Youthful arrogance radiated the message. She knew something about
something. She could explain the unexplainable. Feeble insecurity was not part
of her style. She had her act together. It was a charade.
so many strong-minded people, she had developed her performance. It was a
blanket to cover the confused child that cried in the night. Like
she had built a fortress around her heart with thick walls of pride. Never again
would she let someone come inside to destroy her soul.
would come to understand this of
but for now he was amused and curious about her paintings, her intelligence, and
the other thing -- her sexual magnetism.
felt it from the beginning of their encounter. At 18, he would have
confused the sensation, thinking perhaps he was hungry or restless. He was
forty now and he knew the familiar low wave in his gut. It moved in and
around him like puffs of smoky air and tingled his eyes and nose. It came on
like the rush of adrenaline. It was there. There, but hazed out in the
background of talking about art.
told them where she had lived in
Places in the North and in the South, but now she was happy to be back in
Her nomadic father had given her this special paradise as a child. That
had been twenty years before. Now she had chosen the island for herself.
The three of them talked, about their plans, what kind of work was possible in
and all of the ordinary boring questions of life. But when you're in a new
place even those questions seem exotic.
was generous with her time. She had nothing else to do. Her work had
come to a standstill. She was ready for something to move her. The
three of them unconsciously began to move together.
They talked for several hours. Conversation developed between the two
silently dropped into the realm of his earlier world of pain. The burning
ring had returned. Beating pulses of blood dominated his thoughts and
twisted his face into tortured waiting. Leila realized
was suffering. She made polite excuses to
saying that they had to return to the mountains with the Jean Simon.
said, “there will always be other times. I will see if I can find a house
for you... but you can even stay with me if you want...”
heard the faint hint of innuendo, but his body was not up to responding.
The family returned to the mountain with Jean Simon an hour later.
immediately went to the Land Ship and fell into bed. Leila stayed up talking
with Jean Simon in his house. She was excited with the turn of events. The
charming Corsican made her feel glamorous. It was very late when she
finally came to bed.
groaned and rolled away from her.
felt slightly better and with the suggestion of Jean Simon he decided to take
the truck to a nearby farm where he could store his assemblage of nuts, bolts
and precious junk. The farmer had several acres
could use and said he was happy to have company.
The farm was a few kilometers up the mountain, further away from civilization.
When they arrived at the entrance to the farm, Leila gasped. There below them
was a bumpy rutted path, no more than a tilted goat track sliding down into
wooded dark gully. Supposedly out of sight at the bottom lay the farm.
could not decide whether or not to go down the choppy chute. Leila became
“Are we just going to sit here on the side of the hill all day,” she said.
She couldn't take much more.
had gone into a daydream of dropping anchor of the Land Ship in the country and
for once in your life would you try to think of someone else other than
yourself. You know you have a child to consider.” Leila wanted no part of
snapped and he slammed the truck in gear and began the plunge downhill.
The transmission whined, the brakes squeaked, glass crashed somewhere in the
back of their living quarters. The truck leaped down the mountain.
The angle of dissent was as close to falling as one can experience when encased
in the shroud of tin and steel.
felt insane trying to negotiate the calamity of a screaming wife, a crying
child, a barking dog and a red hot poker that had suddenly was up his butt.
Leila screamed, “Let me out!” But the rattling home was already falling
screamed too, “I got us this far! We'll get to the end of it God damn it!”
Bashing into path embracing trees and knocking boulders off the steep edges,
the truck trashed its way to the bottom. They all sat for a silent moment
looking at where they had landed.
of farm,” said Leila.
tattered grounds around them lay one long dilapidated stone building, a few
sagging wire fences and several howling dogs. Skinny chickens appeared to
exhibit an advance case of molt.
looked at the vision of his dreams and moaned a long low note. He didn't
know if the truck would ever be able to climb out of the hole. The way his
body was feeling at this moment he hardly cared. They arrived at the space
-- a piece of open ground in the depths of
felt like death. Leila felt like killing him.
There was no shelter. There was no place where his treasures could be
looked around until he found a small area, the only level piece of ground in
began unloading his treasures, a man possessed. His precious load, beams
of wood, tool boxes, extra tires, tin containers full of nuts and bolts, cans of
paint, 200 meters of nylon rope and a hundred other assorted objects. His
possessions were a junkman's paradise that no one in their right mind would have
taken around the corner far less 1500 miles on a worn out wagon.
The truck made small creaking noises rising from its sagging springs as
unloaded his assemblage. It wasn't just getting the load off the truck. To
him it was a sacred and symbolic act almost religious. It was demonstrating to
divine existence he had completed the dream. He had arrived on
and he was staking his claim in the
his point of view it was like the American flag on the Moon.
angle of less grandeur it was more like a male dog pissing on the boundary of
an act of exhilaration that pulled him out of the experience of his own body. He
was a moving spirit climbing to the pinnacle of godhood. He was also a
little bit crazy.
When he finished he sat down and looked at his work and he was well pleased, at
least for the moment before he realized not only his butt was on the fire, but
his whole body was aching. Somewhere in
someone had passed him what the French call, Les Gripe -- the Mediterranean flu.
had fallen from the lofts of heavenly truck unloading into the depths of satanic
physical illness. He sat on a rock staring at the vehicle, the Land Ship that
had brought them to
to this hole in the
Leila was slamming pots and pans down onto their little gas stove. Her eyes
threw scolding thoughts towards
misery. Him and his bloody truck and his bloody dream! Why did she have
anger came over her and without a thought her mind was made up.
have had enough. I'm taking
and we're going home!” She mumbled the statement several more times as she
laced her shoes tightly and buckled her shoulder back. The little girl's
favorite toys were stuffed into a woven sack. She took
by the hand and walked quickly back up to goat trail they had fallen down.
looked after them bleakly and whispered, “I thought this was the place,” as his
family disappeared into the maquis and scrub oak. He could see dark clouds on
the eastern horizon.
An hour later
lay in the upper bed of the truck groaning.
like hell. His mind was spinning. What a wonderful moment for
Leila to leave. What a fantastic sense of timing. Why in the frig didn't
she leave when they were still in
It can't get any worse.
Sweat was breaking over
face. Waves of fever washed his throat and chest. “Frid’n coffin,”
screamed incoherently as a tremendous role of thunder hit the truck and lighting
flashed with the passing rumble. The hard drill of a cloud burst drummed on the
metal box home. Within 30 seconds rainwater began to drip onto the pillow
head. “screw you too God,”
had spent the earlier part of the day lying in the sun letting
get on with unloading the vehicle. It had nothing to do with her.
She saw no reason why he had brought so much junk. Just because she had
decided to stay with him did not mean she had to share his neurotic obsession
with bailing wire, bolts, and cans full of unbelievable nonsense. The
questioning thought came back to her again. Why didn't she marry someone
The late morning had been pleasant enough, the sun touching her with golden
fingers. The chill was being chased away. She lay on the roof of the
truck basking in the warmth. Around her was rolling a meadow dotted with
olive trees. In the distance a metal clunking came from neck-bells of a
goat herd. Occasionally a loud call of Hoo-Roo came from a Corsican
shepherd as he moved his animals across the open pastures.
Leila looked at her little girl. How she envied her sometimes.
had her dolls and toys scattered about truck and was unconcerned with adult
problems. As much as Leila was trying to relax she couldn't stop from
fretting. Aside from the fact of the
had brought them to the bottom of a hole, there was the feeling she had
misplaced something precious. But at least there was good weather and that
had its benefits. She daydreamed about a winter tan -- the best of
Scottish fantasy. She had two hours of luxury before the spell was broken.
A brisk cold wind came out of the mountains and ominous dark clouds began to
shred the blue sky. Leila threw the book aside she had been holding but
not reading and said, “Damn. I knew this wouldn't last.”
If one has been raised in
it is easy to have a basic disbelief in fine sunny weather. Scottish skies
are perpetually usurped by monotonous tones of long gray days that parade dully
into months. It is the common paranoia of Scots to believe that endless
sunny days are a myth, no less than a child's fantasy of Rock Candy Mountain.
Leila's dream of a winter tan instantly went to peel. She thought of her lost
opportunities. The sun would not be seen until spring and that was too
far away. If anything could have filled her with a deeper darker gloom it
was when the
went into the truck groaning.
crap, I'm going to bed,”
Suddenly the vision came to her of living in a submerged truck embedded at the
bottom of hole churning with cold gray mud and her being a chained servant to a
neurotic invalid who constantly demanded more service. The image filled
her with horror. She had no choice but to take her little girl and run.
was vaguely aware of the truck door banging open and the creaking of springs as
climbed back into the silenced interior. He could hear Leila make
shivering sounds as she pulled off their soaking clothes.
thought to himself, so the runaways have returned home -- just like little
kids only to escape so far before their hungry bellies bring them back home.
He began to shake. He was lying in saturated blankets from a combination
of fevered sweating and the leaking roof. The bed had the slimy embrace of
old oatmeal. He listened to the hushed noises of Leila putting a kettle on
the stove, changing clothes, telling the little girl, shush, do what I say and
get to these and dry clothes on. She closed the small slide windows and turned
on the gas oven to warm their metal refuge.
worst of the heat flashes had passed
but remnant pulses of ice still shook him. It was the kind of influenza
that comes when the body's resources are weakest. The virus, like black
shirt fascists, sprayed graffiti on the red walls of blood cells leaving obscene
rushes of scald and ache. Only pocket spaces of emptiness were left where
one spins in the sensation of float.
was hearing rustling sounds filtering through the Land Ship. He groaned as he
felt himself slipping into another frigid abyss.
Leila in the tone of voice as though nothing had happened asked, “Are you all
whispered sarcastically, “Yeah just great -- never felt better.”
The air went to icy. Leila retreated to silence.
“Mommy why is Daddy in bed?” When
was told he did not feel well, the little girl climbed onto his bed and said, “I
love you Daddy.”
opened his eyes and weekly smiled at his beautiful little girl. “I love
you too sweetheart.” Without warning, a spasm of cold knifed up his spine
and he began to shake violently.
Leila heard the chill strike
Concern for him came over her. Oh dear, he really was sick. She
changed the damp blankets and for the next few hours nursed and coupled her man
back to the shores of the living. Sometime in the middle of the night it
was over. She was exhausted. Her hero slipped wearily into luxury of
purred a small child's snore in her bed as Leila lay awake staring at the ugly
brown plywood walls of the truck's interior.
In the morning
was calm. The sickness had left him with the grace of acceptance. He was
glad it was over and he was glad he was alive. The world existed the way
far did you get?” He asked.
laughed. “About a half a mile before that awful rain came and lucky for us the
farmer just happened along in his lorry. He took us to his cottage.”
did you comeback?”
quietly asked. He was glad she was there.
frowned a little wrinkle between her eyes and said with resignation, “Where else
was I to go?”
laughed sadly. “Yeah, I guess we're along ways from nowhere.”
person appreciates having a mirror not only to see how one looks but sometimes
just to have physical proof of one's own existence. Friends and lovers give to
each other a reflection of their own being.
see through the layers of pretension and recognize the soul behind the glass.
trust, despite the eccentricities, and love,
because of them.
equals love. In the beginning years, this idea had been the pact of truth
between Leila and
They were friends and lovers because they saw the potential of themselves in
each other. The lived their fantasies together and they walked in weedy
crowds as hybrids. Separately they knew they were unique and together they knew
they were special. They gave their beautiful reflections willingly, their
recognition enthusiastically and their trust courageously. Such was their treaty
as spiritual allies. But they were young.
How could they know that trust and love in such a contract of honor implied
suspicion and hate?
trust meant that they could give and take all measures
they did just that.
Yet who can be more savage to pride than one's dearest friend?
If friendship is a fragile bridge that can be swept away in the flood of human
must surely be
a crystal tight rope,
as dangerous to walk on as it is to fall off.
and Leila had started a pattern in their mutual course, taking each other for
granted. It was the classic problem.
very nature of such confident conspiracy they lost the gentle sensitivity of
lovers and the eyes of dreamers.
longer saw the potential that in being together they were a complete circle, a
whole against the fractions of mediocrity.
their path together, small careless words had grown into cruel tangles of
spirits silently separated.
long months, then years, they did not recognize each other because they had not
bothered to look.
lost the trust of their oneness, accepting the condition of their division as
prisoners know the bars of the cell block.
contained each other with toleration.
difficult it is to laugh at one's own predicament, but some would say, marriage
is about having an agreeable tormentor.