top of page

Yifan He, ‘A Play’

‘A Play’ (title placeholder; writing/editing/remediating in progress)

A circus set up: outside, night, not a lot of people, a girl walked in, looking for someone, looking confused she probably just woke up, slightly annoyed by the after party of the circus members. He is a lot bigger than her. She grabbed his cloth brought him down to the ground violently away from the level of those who stand against the gravity. He is angry. She sobs.

‘I had a bad dream’

she said. He, all of a sudden, developed sympathy.

‘It was horrible’

, she said.

‘In my dream I could take my face off of me, it was not just the skin, It was chunky and heavy. I could take the multilayered the front of my face off of me.’

Big velvety fabric drops on the stage. Now there's a table and chairs, they sat across. She seems calmer now, describing the dream.

‘It all started since my plastic surgery, since then I could easily take my face off, that’s my first intuition. But to really think about it I had no such surgery. The surgeon the blue the ‘if you already decided to change your nose you might as well…’ were only scrambled pieces put together from other people’s anecdotes, tv shows or YouTube videos, or the conversations I took part in? Conversations I heard. From certain points onward, anyway, peeling off my face the chunky shell skin Sandwiched eyes and whatnot become an unconscious bad habit. Splinter, like playing with your splinters. It hurts very little it kills time. A kind of fidgeting. Disgusted or amazed or some feeling that is much more neutral towards the baby fresh red new skin. Like drinking milk.’

The stage darken. Only candle lights were allowed to light up the corners of the stage. There’s projection on the other wall of the room, of a veranda window, long windows attached to the doors, white wooden frame out side of the window is the desktop blue. The girl lies on the velvety crumble ruffled fabric. Her friend leaning over, hands covered in white powder, slides into the girl’s mouth until she gags.

‘Like drinking milk’

he recites the last sentence in her voice.

Then slowly retreating fingers and palm wiping them on the fabric underneath them, the girl’s body is still shivering from swallowing milk.

He kept on telling the story in her voice.

‘It was/is both normalised and terrifying. I held this heavy head of mine. No matter what and how I hold it, the eyes roll to a level to look at me. I do not feel naked I do not feel naked. Like air bubbles trapped in something or chicken’s head or the illusions plushie toys’ sparkly eyes give always following you, the eyes roll to a level so that they see me. I was stared at blankly when I walked through a park holding my head. The anxiety though, of putting it on and the possibility of never being able to put it on. The anxiety that I might scare people away. I noticed the eyes are turning a bit red a bit brown. It’s drying up. In fear of it dries out dying never to be reconnected to be part of me I decided to put it on, wear it. So my lips(?) touched the inside of my lips. It’s like the sensation of kissing but I was too worried to register the sensuality, but the inside bit of my mouth tasted exactly like that. Then the tip of my nose touched that of the inside of my nose, cold rubber with a bit of lube? Then eyeballs (?) or sockets to the back of my eyeballs. From those points I pushed my skin with my palm onto me. It was a bit cold a bit dry. If you accidentally opened your mouth for a bit too long when asleep then the inside of your mouth gets a bit cold and dry, it was exactly like that. I pushed, pressing the air bubble out, hoping the skin stays on me, eyes aren’t blind. And the moment I put it on the feeling was familiar it felt like waking up or slipping successfully from/into a dream. I could see and smell. It felt like immersing myself into a pool, the first few seconds of that, the pool is still cold, but there’s clarity in the temperature difference and I am assured my body is adjusting to it. ‘

They helped each other to get up and once again sat across the table. The girl wipes her mouth and takes over the talking.

‘I was running in panic or in joy alongside the outskirt of a park, or a seaside resort? I ran pass an old friend, they wore colourful ceremonial clothes, hair in traditional braids, making sounds that are not language. She made sound having her eyes closed. Weird I thought, performance practice maybe. I don’t get it and I was glad I don’t need to say hi. Was it also a detachable skin? Have my irises regained their colour? Hope they look less fleshy and more alive now, then I came to you.’

73 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page