Rehearsals for in pieces – Fumiyo Ikeda and Tim Etchells. Photos by Herman Sorgeloos.
It seemed like Dad was developing super powers only these were not the kind of powers the Warriors had in the new cartoons, not like the Talents of Galactia Nine or even like the combat skills of Zebra Head. Dad could not bend metal. He could not see through walls. His powers were smaller, less useful, less theatrical. Maybe powers was not even the right word. Since the changes Dad could generate a feeling of unease and he could make tears without seeming to cry – what good was that? – the water streaming down his face with no warning. He could also make a route through the garden so crazy that no sniper could predict it – wandering, stumbling, sometimes falling, sometimes stopping suddenly, completely without warning. Best of all he could see and hear things that were not there. Late at night James found him staring into the garden where Dad said men were standing but when J. tried to work out if it was near the bushes or right by the barbeque Dad would not Specify. When things got worse Dad was sometimes exploiting an even more powerful super power (?) that involved him talking to the dead. Long arguments he had – with Stella, and Quentin, and with his own Dad. Mum yelled down from the bedroom asked him to keep the noise down, keep it down she said but he said the volume was not his fault. The ghosts had been drinking.
The Geordie blokes, zombies with voices so slurred and/or accented that you think for a moment they might be German, and in any case still pissed from last night, are cast asunder in the lobby in a state of mesmerised pseudo-alertness, eyes wide and staring the room down, looking the bastard of florescent nothingness directly in the face, as if to pick a fight with architecture or air. From their slumped vantage point beneath the flat screen suspended tv – from which at high volume pumps the aural Guantanamo of Formula One Racing – they keep track on the room, the sound clattering around them and ricocheting from the glass and white tiles of this 'reception area', check-in 3pm, early check-in from mid-day at a £10 surplus/extra charge.
The whole hotel is fucked up anyway. Not for the location (stupid), not for the design (awful) and not even for the inedible breakfast but because of the fact that late last night someone hexed the place to a border zone psychic ruin, a site of coming urban doom. Take a look for yourself. Out there past reception a heavy curse has been laid in the elevator, the chewed and blunt bones of Kentucky Fried chicken (or lesser known, less hygenic competitors) arranged one-in-each-corner of the lifts' gray carpet, the bones still lain there this breakfast-time, cold, darkening and probably bacterial, one at each compass point on the dirt toughened floor, the dead bones working together to spin a web of dark influence not just on those who use this elevator – the hangovered wedding guests, the business travelers rushing to bleary checkout, lovers on the run – but also spreading their curse and power outwards, broadcasting deep unease to the building and the neighborhood entire as the elevator ascends. Going up. Yes, and going down, right down, going all the way down.