It is either very simple or very complicated, much like everything else.
Maybe I better stop here and not burden you with another opinion. Or maybe I’ll do a quick rendition of history.
How are we still a nation? How are we still here? How did we earn a fate that is in a continuum as opposed to dropping the curtains? Stuck between the beginning and the end. The curtains are heavy. As they are coming down the mechanism that is supposed to push the moment forward jams. Suspended in the prolonged dramatism of the moment, saturated by loud proclamation of appreciation or is it discontent? Is the crowd displeased?
If you are claustrophobic, the walls are closing in. If you are an opportunist, you have dug your claws in and forgot there was gravity. Maybe you are the one who looks up and wonders why stage curtains are made of velvet? Perhaps you are the audience, hands suspended in air unable to decide whether to clap or cover your face in horror, disgust or embarrassment.
The dripping has turned into a flood that has covered the mouths and noses of strangers who are now even more estranged and all you can hear is the sound of the drip – 596, 697, 515, 517, 210, 355, 251, 460, 442, 372, 289… Three months of dripping, three months of resisting to get up and close the tap.
Act I “Destruction”
EXT. Gyumri, 1989, the spring after a devastating earthquake. Some, unhappy with their living conditions, even though their beautifully built stone building has remained intact bring in the heavy machinery scattered across the devastated city clearing rubble along with crushed human remains and crack a crack open in their own building, hoping they will get an apartment of their own, instead of sharing a communal kitchen with squeaky floors. The government had promised one to everyone else, why not them?
This is a play of multiple acts. If you are the audience with your hands in the air, unable to decide whether to clap or cover your face, here is a spoiler: they are still waiting. It so happened that the Soviet Union, along with promises of a quick fix and a new city, also collapsed soon after. They were left to the compassion and capacity of their own.
Act II “Compassion and Capacity”
EXT. Thousands of people in front of a circular building; a trombone is playing a touching melody, hands raised in a fist.
Enter blockade (the setting is dark and cold)
Enter election fraud
Enter parliament shooting
Enter oppression, corruption
Enter Northern Avenue
Enter police brutality, oligarchy, political persecution, 10 deaths
Enter war (short cameo) soldiers die
Waiting for compassion and capacity.
Everyone is on stage.
Act III “The Walk”
EXT. Gyumri 2018, not far from the building with the crack in its wall, a man starts walking, then 10, then a hundred, then thousands.
EXT. Yerevan, Republic Square
Crowd chanting – Dmp, dmp hoo!
Everyone is stuck between the beginning and the end but no one is sure of what. Many of the characters are still on stage, no one wants to bow out. There is a plague in town and we and our antagonists are learning to play by new rules. The Exit signs are not lit and if you are claustrophobic, the walls are closing in. If you are a purveyor of perilous enterprise, you have dug your claws in and forgot there was gravity. Perhaps you are the audience, hands suspended in the air unable to decide whether to clap or cover your face in horror, disgust or embarrassment.
Two audience members speak:
Man: Sorry, I didn’t recognize you in a mask.
Woman: I know, it’s difficult to recognize people these days, for thousands of years humanity praised human eyes as windows to the soul, only now to discover that we’ve never looked into each other’s eyes. How are you doing these days?
Man: I’m very disappointed. Why did they not put Kocharyan and Gagik Tsarukyan away in Act III. They should have.
Woman: Why don’t you wear a mask?