When I started working the graveyard shift at a residential treatment facility in 2016, I began experiencing strange phenomena. Cryptohauntings that glitched my sensory organs that could neither be explained nor ignored. “Shadow people” is what the late Art Bell might have called them. But this doesn’t feel right. It anthropomorphizes these things that exceed my cognitive powers, my ability to assimilate them into consciousness and to categorize them. Sometimes I call them “shadow beings.” Sometimes I call them “Q”.
After three years of suffering their unpredictable manifestations, I rent a room in a motel near Midway Airport. And, for three days locked inside Room 114, I perform a séance. I fast. I perform rituals from the work routine mixed with historical occult ceremonies. I wear a bluetooth headset and use the “speech-to-text” function to capture what occurs. The goal is to become an enfleshed ouija board.
The ritual::the motel::my body::the text:: “Q” :::& you––we’re coextensive of each other.
Logan Berry is Artistic Director of the Runaways Lab, a Chicago-based experimental theater troupe. He works the graveyard shift at a residential treatment facility for at-risk youth. His libretto, NASIM BLEEDS GREEN, is forthcoming from Plays Inverse Press. He’s on Twitter.