Mise En Scene


No idea what it means. No idea what it meant. Heard it at a university party attended not out of accident but intention, though was not invited. Note to self to look it up. Note to self to remember it until home and dry. Note to self to remember umbrella, or, failing that, wide-brimmed hat. At least a newspaper, Hefty bag. Limp felt something to keep the weather off the head. To keep the cold out. Oncoming sickness: a probable yes. Easy to know the body, what it takes to make it list and weak, and, weakly, fall.

Okay. No suggestion from the sky of anything but sleet or snow or hard and icy rain. Okay, no way home from the party except by foot. Okay, it's cold. Note to self: a jacket would be nice. Was the only one at the party without one, though that's not so strange since any day above forty this far North brings out the students in their Bermuda shorts in their short-shorts in whatever they are called when ordered from the catalogs that shine a light into my face reflected from the sun.

No Marilyn Monroe. No Gabors. No one at the party knew this face or knew this name. No one at the party who knew what this face would become, how much fear or adoration it might inspire. Some thoughts about the future and intention. Modus Operandi—the method of the crime. Often like a fingerprint, unique at least in part. Information gleaned from novels mostly about crime and also about women. Often involving both. Men who like to kill or are forced to. Women who are killed, sometimes who act the sleuth and sort it out. Some thoughts about the future and the newsprint that they print the paper on.

What would it take to get a face in ink on the front page of the paper. An unusual death. Perhaps from sickness due to the cold due to the lack of headwear or umbrella, due to bacteria caused to flourish by precipitation. What would it take to kill the son of the University President, present at the party. Would that get you on the paper. Would that get you thrown in jail. Would that get you raped in jail or is that just on TV. What else is on TV: criminals always being caught. Getting their just desserts. A satisfaction for the sitting one for the viewing one for the one with the remote control.

Back to Mise En Scene. What is it when it's not in English. Note to self—brush up on other languages not my own, languages not taught in school at least not well or effectively taught to me. Note to self: buy the softest Kleenex for the body's pleasure, considering impending sickness. Was invited to the party unintentionally. Perhaps was uninvited but showed up on the arm of the largest guest—Fat Patty whose mother runs the deli whose mother runs the deli that caters all the parties in the town because her catering is the best. Was not on the guest list. Did not have a coat, nor umbrella, nor any tool to keep the weather from the hair and from the flesh. For this reason doomed to die.

Will my doom get to me before the plan is out and in the world. Before the plan that will get my face on the front page of the paper. Before the execution of the plan and later of the planner. Will there be rape. Is there really death row like in the Grisham books. Will there be last meals, constant appeals, and media attention.

The question then is timing, when to put the plan on the ground and let it unfold like snow into the world. The question is what is Mise En Scene and why did it come up during ineffectual attempts at conversation at the party with Fat Patty. Patty, not Monroe nor like Gabor. This is a depression. Perhaps a note for later exploration. Because of lack of access to Gabors or one Monroe, asked Fat Patty to come with to party. Said we'll party hearty. Then we laughed. Fat Patty not called that to her face. Did that once then note to self to avoid future further punishment at hand of girl, at hand of key into the party world this far North where people congregate to escape weather and drink wine.

Be remembered forever. Have to do the act that super-shock that rape and kill and escape through snow. If body makes it past the sickness. Note to self: stock up on the chicken stock to keep the body's defenses up. Get the antibodies working in the blood. Get them buzzing in the body like ticking working bombs. Make it through to morning then to Spring then to the day of execution of the plan, then to incarceration and future execution.

What will the gas chamber be like or is it the needle or the chair. Don't know Michigan that well. Only know its weather its tender curls its face-slap its uninvitation. Avoid self-recrimination and self-incrimination which you have a right not to be forced to do. You do have rights. These rights are 1> to fame, 2> to glossy pages in the magazines, 3> to be remembered and not just by your mother, 4> to feature stories on the television, interviews done on camera if the police allow it, and they will, 5> to violence which is your birthright your rite of passage into the next whatever comes after execution, crucifixion—wouldn't that be something, to die on cross like J. to spill blood like liquor on the snow to take the nail as it is driven through the wrist.