(on stage. The reader is presented or presents him-/herself).
I would´ve preferred not to be introduced. But it has already been done. I think it was unnecessary and I do not really feel the need to induce myself. Honestly, there no point in talking about who I am. There is nothing to say about me. There is nothing inside me. I am a hollow man. A fantasy. A dream. A day-dream that slowly folds out into the room and unnoticeably lurks in various facial expressions. Not in the reading. No, it abides in undulating hair, in eyes that look away; at this precise moment - in a clenched fist. I wish to be a line that stops this dream and hinders the hand from opening itself. A line that has been decided and thought through beforehand. It will be pronounced at the exact right moment. It should be possible to ask me: “Do you know what you will say? Have you prepared your speech?”
And I should be able to say: “Yes, I am these lines, like a mass of text in a manuscript, presented by one and the same person as a part of a monologue or dialogue: I know exactly what I am going to say.”
A promotion or a presentation would be an expression of this daily fantasy; it would be a necessary image of an already ruined and long-gone story. It would be retelling the dream, about the disappeared body that suddenly has returned. The presentation would be the object of the joy of re-creating something and thereby making it visible again - When soft, fluttering hair comes to rest on the shoulders; when the daydreamer cautiously blinks.
There are speeches that state their case straight away. Where everything suddenly is revealed and called out, where everyone hears every word, where all the sentences are allowed to persevere. There are many things one happily talks about. One speaks nonsense and about things that really don´t matter, things that have to be said over and over again, and the more one talks about it, the more one wants to talk. And it would be possible to save this dream by talking about it - save it from becoming hard, ugly and unbearable to live with... But as soon as one tries to say something about facts and truths it is no longer possible.
What is that about? We all know, yet it is so extremely irritating. Because I believe, I yearn, I know in colour and in shape, a world, with a desire to draw the object, I send out information, I swear, I trip over old paintings, I speak in affections, in order to break it up, under glass, I copy other peoples manner of speech, stalk others as not to disappear, always a step behind, I induce words that are spoken out loud, so that someone will look this way; turn around. A form of verbal dependency, a behavior, incorporated into the use of language. It is difficult to avoid the use of inappropriate words in the context due to their vulgarity - rude insults, swearwords and curses; they are strong words that have a special power over the object they are aimed at.
But if this had been the case, I would have had the ability to say it the way it is, if I could conjure up all the words in their right meaning, and if I had tried, managed to produce sentences that meant exactly what I said, and that everyone without any difficulty had understood what I meant, I really would have tried to do it.
But in fact no one ever says anything to me anymore. I do not get to hear a single word. No words from anyone’s mouth, dumbness, wheezing. A smothered cough. It is silent.
I think it is due to an augmenting fear of the image, and the fact that I am the only one speaking, and that no one here is controlling what´s being said. So I take this opportunity to say that I can threaten to tell you. I say that I can tell everyone everything. I am going to tell everyone exactly how it is; that I am standing here and saying precisely what I want to say.
And then it is, on the other hand, fortunate that many others are listening and witnessing what is going on. Because one often hears that no one could stop the giant cleft from opening like an enormous hole. No one saw the lips approaching due to the dazzling sun. Not until it was too late, just before it turned black and all had been said. Everyone had already heard what had been said and the dry throat swallowed. I think someone should take responsibility for this starved person. The risk for absorption is imminent.
But I have not lost strength. I have not put the wrong clothes on. My body is a soft sheepskin rug. I am here because I enjoy being here. A large hat is spinning above my head. What can be done with a hat like that? A lot, I can tell you. Because I surprise myself when I speak and I am very interested in what I am saying.
And who´s voice can you trust if you cannot trust mine? If my name is Bill I am someone you recognise. Bill has a big fat cat. So my name should be Bill, but I am another. I am a line that has been scrawled down. I am a Bad Kisser. But I think it´s good that I feel the way I do. Because this is my positive self. Not my new self but my happy self.
And one might of course wonder why I am here in [name of the city closest to the one where this is being read]? Why I am speaking in [name of the city closest to the one where this is being read]? I want to change. [name of the city closest to the one where this is being read] wants to change. I do not want to change. What´s so interesting about that? I just have something empty inside me, like a hole, (a man) a fantasy. I am a body, heedlessly presented on the floor. Why am I here? What´s so interesting about that?
Sound is cast out with the help of the tongue, the lips, the palate and the teeth. The voice, the lungs and the airways are also used. Speech delivers a different kind of information perceivable to a listener, often lost in a text. First and foremost it is a question of what can be deduced from the speaker´s voice and manner of speech, and this is because speech cannot be executed without voice. A lot of things are exposed; such as age, dialect, sex as well as the speaker’s attitude and emotional condition. There are also lingual variations grounded in spatial and sometimes technical conditions.
And it is a speech since it spoken to others. It is a speech because the voice comes from another body. It is a statement that could be delivered both in the streets and on the square, in a solemn or a political context. The speaker sounds just like a woman, a daughter and a sister. It recollects a trip by car, a long, extracted journey. One does not understand how I ended up here on the floor.
There are too many words for me to be able to speak about anything to anyone at all, and it is only possible to pronounce one word after the other, and I have a hard time changing my stance towards these words. I believe that the distinctions between normal change and natural change (which cannot be affected) or humankind´s own impacts to change are not entirely without interest. If one takes care to analyse correctly it is easier to arrive at the right decision, but in this case there has been a mistake. An error has occurred. It might be possible to correct.
Start by imagining that you are standing in front of a path that never existed. It has in other words, in a certain sense, never been gone. One can also say: It has not always been here. The next thought is that you have been gone for far too long yourself; you have not always been here either. One rests on a point, or on something else, for instance something round or hard, for such a long time that what is in front you does not appear in its full form, it is oblong, it is round, it is large, it is ugly, it makes a noise. You will not be helped by seeing the letters but it is possible to retrieve information, transform them into sound. It is not something that should be differentiated from the background, no one will really emerge, and the reader will not become clearer.
But when you stand up from the place where you have been seated, it strikes you that the object on the floor must have walked here, been created, been found, painted there, or lost - yes, it is also possible that it prior to that had been destroyed or simply left behind. Because after having listened for long enough, it is possible to understand why I am here in [name of the city closest to the one where this is being read].
But I am not here to scare you. And if there seems to be an agenda behind what is being said, my intention is merely to create an image of the honest despair of my situation. I am here because I think that one gradually changes ones attitude to other persons or other social objects. It happens that after one first meets a person, sees a painting, a sculpture or hears a song, one likes it more and more, and the more often one meets the person or the more often one encounters the object the more one likes it. But I think that it is the object on the floor that is in the wrong place. I don´t think it is a fat cat. I don´t think it is Bill. I think it´s the dirt stain on my sweater. I think it is a beautiful voice. I don´t think that people should be permitted to stand up and say exactly what they want. It´s the floor that is askew. It is an excuse. It is a cheap confession, a trick to sound better.
I think I am speaking from a position where one assumes that my only chance is if I stand myself up; where one is convinced that the voice that is being heard comes from inside its own sphere and not from anywhere else. This is why, in a situation like this, it is very important that not only one speaks, but two or more.
(translated by Jonatan Habib Engqvist)