Suitmation VIII: Tortsov's Lesson on the Soul of Monstrosity (excerpt)
by William D. Tucker
On the last day of class, we did not know what to expect. Tortsov himself was a few minutes late. He called us to order, and went straight into a lecture.
"We have worked many weeks on spontaneity, on living truthfully in each monstrous moment. We have seen upon this stage many wonders of monstered revelation. We have followed our transformations wherever they have led, and experienced continuous liberation. Now, we must come down to earth, and consider the likely course of our professional lives beyond this classroom. In the professional world, monsters are not heroes, protagonists, or even complex supporting parts-we are allegories, symbols, propaganda, mysteries, omens, fantasies, and inner conflicts made manifest. We shall be called upon to symbolize fears rational, irrational, bigoted, individualistic, nationalistic-we shall be called upon to enact certain patterns and tropes and rituals and rites which usually entail our ultimate destruction. It is easy to grow jaded and mechanistic in these kinds of roles. However, I exhort you to always strive for that vividness of the inner life in each moment no matter how hackneyed, cliched, propagandistic, or downright idiotic your allotted monstered role may be-who knows? If you play your part well, truthfully, and vividly in each moment, perhaps you will honestly give life to the soul of monstrosity upon our stage. And in that blazing moment of spiritual illumination may come a turning, and we may then be asked to play monstered heroes, monstered protagonists, monstered quirky supporting characters, monstered comedic leads, monstered romantic leads-I promise nothing, I prophesy nothing. But when the life of a soul is truly played . . . there may indeed come a turning."
At this point, Tortsov declared the class dismissed, and thanked us all for being his students. This was quite an emotional scene. All of us had never been through such an education. Even Tortsov seemed stricken with a kind of sadness that this journey was at an end.
Tortsov embraced each of us as we exited the class room and boarded the waiting military transports. A war was on, and allegorical beasts were needed in the Ritual AgitProp Division. I barely had time to say goodbye to Ferapont, and Katharine, and Igor, and Dolman and Rita, as the masked and armored troopers took roll call and divided us up among the three waiting vehicles.
We were off to incarnate the lives of essential beasts in the name of the state. Who knows how many transformations lay in our futures? Would any of us recognize each other after the day of victory?
The transport doors sealed themselves, closing off my last view of Tortsov's school for the next five years.
Copyright 2017 by William D. Tucker. All rights reserved. Used with permission.