It is beyond judgment as I sit in contempt of what I see. The critical rules out the creative; pencil stabbing at the small notebook. It is beyond judgment, sunglasses perched on my head, as I watch the unfolding in front of me as Othello kills Desdemona. Or something of that sort. It is noted. It is marked. It is judged – or is it beyond the judging? One second look at the notes and back to the scene. The director sits beside me, he is beyond judgment, or rather, he expects his work to be beyond judgment. Amateur.

I spot a missed cue. Noted. I spot an incorrect shadow from the overhead lights. Noted. I scoff, silently first, then a little loudly at the second time. The director notices. Gulping. Appropriate sounds. Noted. A buzzing of a phone in my bag breaks my concentration but, without even looking at who it is, the eyes zoom back into a dead Desdemona and a grieving Othello.

Years before, I saw where the director sits now; and a real bitch sat where I am sitting. The pulse goes up when Othello, or whoever it was, seems to skip a beat. I wanted to run up on stage and beat him up and call him a stupid inadequate asshole who does not belong in my stage. To my side, the real bitch scoffed, silent at first, then a little louder at the second time. I gulped. She noted, I was beyond judgment.

Still years before, I was on stage and I was Othello killing Desdemona. I threw my lines like a Moor would throw his spear, inaccurate. That day I felt an eraser loudly thudding against my right ear – thank god, I didn’t become deaf. For that moment in time, though, for a split second that was an hour or so, I was deaf – deaf to the insults and shouts and countless profanities thrown at me. Deaf to the applause that never came. Deaf to the judgment.




THIS IS THE TAROT CHALLENGE, a 78-day writing challenge where everyday I pick out a random card from my tarot deck and write something about, against, inspired by, based on the card by the day’s end. The works can range from poetry to fiction to drama. When the card is from the major arcana, the title of the work should be the card name. When the card is from the minor arcana, the title can be different but the card drawn should be revealed at the end.