When I was in high school, I participated in an activity called “speech.” It wasn’t exactly what you think when you hear that word, more like acting without moving around. There are different categories like poetry, drama, or humorous, and each participant picks an excerpt from a play, book, or poem, and acts out all the different characters through voices and body posture. Well, one person acts it out, unless you’re in the category “dramatic duo.”
I was never in dramatic duo. I was in humorous. And my friend Rachel, she wasn’t in dramatic duo either, but that didn’t stop us from writing the following piece and performing it for people whenever we got the chance. In dramatic duo the actors stand next to each other facing the audience (instead of facing each other) but the hand gestures and facial expressions behave as though each person were actually directly facing and interacting with the other. So this is what we looked like, side by side, facing our audience, gesticulating like crazy. It all sounds a little absurd, and maybe it was…
But people love it.
Always have loved it.
I imagine they always will.
“The Cheese Poem.”
We all have different preferences. I prefer cheese. Marijke prefers salami. Amy prefers condiments. These differences were tearing me apart, so I wrote a memoir of how it gnaws at me, as a mouse gnaws cheese.
“You like cheese, Marijke.” by Rachel Axvig
The other day in the market, between the salami and the condiments, I saw a fuzzy, cool, calm BRICK of cheese, that was bigger than a breadbox. So I turned to my friend Marijke, but before I could speak she said, “Salami is quite possibly the world’s most perfect food.” But I said, “Marijke, if you please! The most perfect food…… is cheese.”
So I took the cheese and wrapped it in my coat, like an embryo still moist from the fluids of birth. And I extended my cheese to Marijke, as a sort of peace offering, and said, “You like cheese, Marijke. You like cheese…”
But she did not want my cheese. She turned and ran, from aisle C to D, and into the parking lot. And as I chased her I was more flexible than a pretzel, that had not been cooked!
“You like cheese, Marijke! You like cheese, Marijke!”
But I tripped… dropped the beautiful brick… where it was smudged to a piece of dust on the sidewalk. By a stupid semi….