Dancing with my Puppeteer Stephen Witt Tarantino Heat radiates from my skin. The light reflects off my white shirt and is absorbed again by my black velvet vest. The sweet breath of a friend mingles with the air and I anticipate what will happen next. I fall into a trance as someone else takes over my body. He fills every space of me; he reaches into my fingertips, and puts his feet in my shoes. The voice I feel coming out of me is no longer my own, but the stranger’s. His voice is a sweet buzz just behind my ear, creating a visceral feeling within. Like an infusion entering my blood stream, his voice embodies my consciousness. The stranger drives me forward, and holds me up. He can’t see the audience staring at him, but I can. He does not feel the fear from their gaze, but I do. A rush of cold, steel fear washes over me, but his voice puts me back at ease. This is why he is in control. I cannot do this. I cannot let people peer into my day, watch me in my nakedness. He doesn’t even know he is being watched. All he sees is a wall. In his reality, all there is is a wall. For a brief period, he is one with me. I give him my body, and let him use it as a capsule for his own life. He wraps himself around my lungs. He inhales and exhales with me. Our blood rushes from vein to heart at the same rate. We have the same hair, and skin, and clothes. I can’t help but confuse our emotions. When he cries, I cry. When he laughs, I laugh. I can feel him, using me like a living marionette doll. He pulls the strings just beneath my skin, and walks me around like a ventriloquist and his dummy.v He controls me. He twists and pulls the chords attached to my eyes. He pulls at my lips, and my cheeks. He weaves his cognizance with my own. For two hours, we occupy the same home, a feeling, an instinctual state of mind consisting of pure ecstasy, amity, and pleasure. For two hours if he is happy, I am happy, and if he is sad, I am sad. He feels the stale air that I feel as we breath together. He manipulates my tongue and produces a line. He throws it out to pierce the dust floating in the air around us. We engage in this complex dance for two hours. He leads, I follow, and at the end he is gone. As I take my bow, I look out at my spectators, the ones that watched my possessor. They saw only this stranger; they never got to meet him, but I did. I was he, and he was I. Briefly we were one, in body, mind, and spirit. But now the stage is empty, and only I remain.