Translated by Alex Niemi
THE JOHN CAGE EXPERIENCES
The hotel room (during the duration of the experience john cage or his equivalent will stretch his arm desperately toward a bedside lamp that is real and illuminated but nevertheless unreachable)
We ask ourselves what goes on in john cage’s head. We also ask ourselves what he thinks about. After walking many many kilometers. In 1935. In the Arizona desert. John cage. And the future mrs. cage. The fiancée of mr. cage. A superb woman. Certainly. At that point in time. In a baby doll nightdress. Well. They arrive at a hotel. They take a room in a hotel. With a bed. One bed. For two. Wow. It’s. Yes. Sex. It’s. Yes. Very hot. Very hot between john cage and the future mrs. cage. But. After a frugal meal. And even though it’s very hot very sexy between john cage and the future mrs. cage. We ask ourselves why john cage. Once in his
(john cage or his equivalent meaning anybody, you or me, stretches an arm desperately towards a bedside lamp that is real and illuminated, and if the rendering of the experience is done sitting down, at the far end of the table)
bed. After his ablutions. Once the covers are pulled tightly up to his armpits. Stretches his right arm out desperately to turn off the hotel bedside lamp. We ask ourselves why john cage. Comfortably stretched out on his bed. In pale blue pajamas for example something very ugly very astonishingly old-fashioned. Doesn’t just ask his future wife who’s still awake at this hour. Still in the middle of the night. As for her. The ablutions. To turn off the hotel bedside lamp when she comes soon. In 5 minutes. Max. To
(the effort that it costs to stretch out an arm is clearly visible on the face of john cage or his equivalent, anyway we see it if the rendering of the experience is done sitting down… if the rendering of the experience takes place lying down, all the effort will be visible in the body of john cage or his equivalent writhing desperately to reach this damn lamp)
sleep. To join in fact her. Yes. Fiancé. This is the way we say things. In fact. We ask ourselves a lot of things on the subject of john cage a man like everyone else meaning like you and me like you and me. It appears looking as we do here in detail at john cage’s reasons for being and for acting that there is in john cage’s head like in
(if everything takes place lying down, the body of john cage or his equivalent should render the effort without moving too much, john cage’s experience being as mental as it is physical)
anybody’s head a black hole. Well. Then. Meaning. We notice for example how carefully john cage smoothed the sheets and the blanket so that john cage is now in his hotel room perfectly ensconced in a creaseless sarcophagus. The
(here, for a little variety, attempt 2 quick punches in the direction of the lamp)
wallpaper in the room is tearing at the rate of 1 mm per year. Once the drapes are drawn. They don’t let in a single sound from the street. Not a single tire screech for example. Not a single drinking song bellowed by a drunkard. So that. We
(a small jump towards the lamp and that’s it)
can say that. In the hotel room. John cage and the future mrs. cage. Human beings. All the same. Like you and me. Like you and me. Well. They live yes as if in the shadow of an experience. They live an experience withdrawn from the world. So that. Everything that happens in shadow. Everything that happens in the hotel room. Well. Yes. Assumes. John cage thinks. Suddenly nervous. A considerable importance. So that. John cage thinks. Suddenly nervous. There is some of that. Of this experience. Something of. Yes. Well. To get out of it. Without a doubt. Without a doubt. John cage thinks. The composer. The
(take care separating the words and gestures, to let each live in turn and have a space where it can stretch out easily, thinks john cage or his equivalent)
musician. So that. She. The future mrs. cage. A superb woman. That goes without saying. Passes. Phew. Very sexy. Very sexy. By the foot of the bed in a baby doll nightdress. She is vigorously pulling her hair from a brush when john cage sees her pass by the foot of the bed. She even hums a popular tune. And why not something by louis armstrong. It is 1935. All the same. All the same. She still has things to do in the bathroom. Thinks john cage. The composer. When his future. His. Yes. Already. Already. Promised. Vigorously. Passing by the foot of the bed. She pounds the ground.
(barely moving here)
Literally. Her feet are bare and she is hammering the ground. While the future mrs. cage returns to the bathroom. While john cage is wrapped tightly in the sheets and. Desperately. Stretches his arm. The left or the right. Not so important in the end. Not so important. In view of. Yes. Reaching the hotel bedside lamp. In fact its switch. Then turning it off. A clump of hair flies
(here move the hand once and then that’s it)
gracefully into the trash. The wool threads of the full carpet stand up straight. The wallpaper continues to tear. A truck outside backs into a streetlamp. It can’t be heard from the room. It could be guessed from the dimming of the electric bulb’s light but john cage. Absorbed in his thoughts. And in his actions as well. It must be said. Does not notice. No. So that. Yes. John cage’s life in the hotel room is now a dearest future wife doing something bad but what at the bathroom sink. The wallpaper tears imperceptibly in the upper right corner of the room. The feeling of being the object of an experience but what kind. So that. Once a future mrs. cage has finished with the bathroom. Once a future mrs. cage. Very sexy. In a baby doll nightdress. In a baby doll nightdress. Carefully closes the bathroom door. Once the heels of the future mrs. cage circle the bed. So
(And so here john cage or his equivalent gets up from the chair or stands up, goes and turns off the lamp that has been illuminated throughout the entire experience then comes back to either sit in the chair or lie down on the ground, concluding the experience)
that. Now. The future mrs. cage. Superb. Really hot. In a baby doll nightdress. She disturbs the bed’s careful organization. The smooth sheets without a single crease. She. Yes. John cage thinks. Oui. Slides under the. Yes. Oui. Sheets. Like it was nothing. Like it was nothing. Thinks john cage. Who observes her. Without saying anything. From his sarcophagus. From the cozy nest concocted in his bed. Slides yes maybe under the sheets maybe without turning off. Without turning off. The. Yes. Bedside lamp. Unattainable. Out of john cage’s. Reach. Unless with a superhuman. Effort. On his part. By him. John cage. A man. Like anyone. Like you and me. Thinks john cage. From his black hole. From the hole he has. Like anyone. In his head. Somewhere. He thinks. Obliged as he is to get up. To leave the bed. Just to turn off. All the same. All the same. John cage will think. In old-fashioned pajamas. She exaggerates. She exaggerates. That’s all. That’s all that there is to say. That’s all there is to say about john cage. That’s all that there is to say about john cage at the hotel. About the beautiful and terrible experience. Very hot. Very sexy. Of john cage at the hotel. In 1935. In Arizona. He will specify. Nothing to add. Later. Much later. Yes.
Vincent Tholomé is a Belgian writer and performer, living in Belgium, eating Belgian food, drinking Belgian drinks, but writing in French and sometimes in English. As a writer, he has published almost twenty books mixing fiction and poetry. As a performer, he works with musicians and reads his writings in a lot of countries (USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Hungary, etc.). Currently, he is working on 2 CDs, 1 short movie and 2 new books. You can also hear some of his works with musicians on the net, here, for instance, or here, or here.
Alex Niemi is an English teacher in Russia. You can read some of her recent work in Dusie and Banango Street. Her translation of The John Cage Experiences by Vincent Tholomé is forthcoming from Autumn Hill Books.