The silence of contempt
Have you ever experienced the silence of contempt? The silence when all eyes turn towards you to wipe you out?
Have you ever felt that void pulling you irresistibly into isolation?
Have you ever been alone against all?
With hallucinating slowness, the shred of silk falls from the Princess’ fingers. She lifts her hand to her face. She touches it like a blind person probing an alien object. Her eyes collide with her own reflection in a Venetian mirror and shrink back. She looks for herself in vain. Given up by her lover, banished from the society of her rank, Anne is reduced to nothing.
All spins. All sinks down : her noble birth, her family’s affection, esteem of her friends. Everything is swept overboard in a violent torrent of disdain. Drowning, she looks around for a helping hand that will save her from going under.
Soon the music will start up again. The parade of masks, swirling mutely about her, will bow with suave ferocity before the Princess.
The usual routine will be re-established in due time. Pretending to have dismissed “the incident”, the courtiers will take the Princess into their circle and join their hands with hers. Ghostlike, Anne will sway with them to the music. The ashes of her love, scattered over the dance floor, will be trampled under their feet.