I was invited to the opening night performance of Frankenstein, the Dallas Theater Center production. I’ve been having a moment of self reflection. That saying of your chickens coming home to roost sums up how I feel. Frankenstein was a good play to reflect on this. In front of me before the play started the audience went back and forth about what kind of Frankenstein was going to be staged. The play remained faithful to Mary Shelly’s telling of the story of the doctor and his creation/s. I can’t remember the last time I read the book and I’ve never seen a staging, but it was brilliantly acted. The first act is difficult as you watch the Creature brought to life and find its legs in the face of a society that sees it as pure monster, the climax of the act coming in the Creature’s killing of the family of a blind man that taught him kindness.
I sat for most of the intermission, last week was exhausting and I feel like I’m just recovering. Part of me feels lazy even though my calendar is packed and I’ve yet to miss an appointment, its more of a feeling. I don’t feel prideful and I mostly want to stay inside. I watched a spider crawl into Gen Ligon’s America and wave goodbye, or move on, or nothing that I can hold in words or vision or spirit because I am not a spider. I think I’ve come to using poetry as a crutch. Maybe I should eat more spiders, ha.
The second act of the play is full of death, the death of a young boy, the death of another newly born creature, the death of a love ignored. The circling of Frankenstein and his Creature like binary stars burning all around them to the cold. There are no flickers of that bright spark that animated both the Creature and Frankenstein in that moment, just the wind howling as they together walk into the unknown, as knowing is an end and in his act of creation, Frankenstein is endless.