The Two-Year-Old’s Tantrum

There are signs. There are always signs. But it all happens so swiftly there is never time enough to avert the catastrophe or run for cover. First a small thundercloud descends on her brow. The horizon darkens with her eyes as a lower lip thrusts forward and the moment turns ominous. A wooden silence deepens briefly before being split by the axe of an unholy shriek. A torrent of unhinged rage and grief floods the moment.

And one has to admit, even if grudgingly, that the versatility and sheer energy of the performance is impressive. How one small being can produce such a convincing simulation of five banshees in an altercation is a mystery.

In the middle of your living room a tiny lightning rod for all the inarticulate sorrows and unnameable injustices of the world. A ritual enactment, that would be easier to appreciate if the sensorial experience were less discomfiting, less like listening to a smoke alarm with arms and legs that flail.

This one-act play always ends like it begins. Without logic or explanation. Peace and serenity show up at the doorstep unannounced. Like wandering minstrels. With bright songs on their lips, and nothing to forgive, or be forgiven for.

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