The Plays of Peoples and Objects

Here are the rules to The Plays of Objects:  1.  It is a one Act play  2.  It must be within the realm of 200 statements (give or take) made by two or more characters making up the complete dialogue of the Act.  3.  To try and enjoy the process.  4.  The play is to be stimulated by an image of people or things, or a combination of both.   5.  Includes no more than 5 characters.  6.  Spend no more than 4 hrs working on it

Stars and Dark Matter

A:  Im brilliant

 

B:  why?

 

A:  because I am the mystery of the Big Bang.. I am the Big Bang.. 

 

B:  yea but so is everyone else.. 

 

A:  Im brilliant because I have a way with words

 

B:  a lot of people do.. Im sure your brother does too… so what?  

 

A:  ok… so I am not brilliant.  

 

B:  Yea.. I mean there is nothing special about you… to be “brilliant” would mean to stand out … 

 

A:  ok.. well then that means that there is nothing special about you either… 

 

B:  right.  

 

A:  so what happens now?

 

B:  I don’t know.  

 

A: but I want to be brilliant.  

 

B:  why?

 

A:  I want to be special.. I don’t want to be ordinary. 

 

B:  Yea but so does your bother.  Your brother also wants to be special.  

 

A:  that’s just it isn’t it?  To stand out.. you need others to be in darkness.. like that great philosopher, Arjun Watson said,  there could be no shining bright stars without the black void surrounding them.  Is it better to be a star?  That everyone can see?  Or is it better to be the void?  

 

B:  I  don’t think one is better than the other.  They are just two aspects of the same coin.  

 

A:  yea but you have to admit that most people would rather be a star than a black infinite expanse of darkness.  A star dances and is participatory.. it’s partying… it is having a better time… don’t you think?  

 

B:  well all of that dancing must take up a lot of energy and be exhausting sometimes I would think.  And then you have other stars to compete with.. your not the only up there on the infinite dark and massive stage.  In order to catch someones eye you will have to burn your engines all the brighter than the others… and of course they are trying to do the same to you.. out shine you… 

 

A:  you have a point there.. maybe being black space isn’t such a bad thing.  It is just in the blackness I have no definition.  I wouldn’t mind standing out and partying some.. what are those parties like?   Am I missing anything?

 

B:  many people standing and posturing in from of one another.. trying to look important and drinking an awful lot of champagne.  

 

A:  yea but they always seem to be smiling and enjoying themselves.

 

B:  sometimes that is true… you get a natural star and partier and the really are having a good time… but most of the time it is a facade.  No star wants you to know that deep down they are in terrible despair.. it would be so defeating… so they put on a good show.  

 

A:  at least something is happening at the parties… where I am nothing happens… its the same as 10 million years ago, silence and nothingness.  

 

B:  well if you want, go ahead and try and be brilliant, but believe me for most, it isn’t its all it’s cracked up to be.  And usually like you said, you will need to put others into shade.  And if you ave a conscience, that mightt make you feel guilty.  If you don’t have a conscience all the better for you.  It wont be a problem.  

 

A:  you have to admit anything is better thatn the void.. I mean nothing is happening here.  Sure you are removed from suffering a little bit, but you still have to feel the anxiety of the cosmic microwave background, and then there are all of those other things like invisible gravity waves and cosmic particles that shoot through one all the time.  It isn’t the kind of turbulence one gets in the attempts to become a huge engine, and oven of self inductive power.  An internal convective sphere of hot plasma generating it’s own magnetic field pulling everything like a domino effect into it like a dynamo.  

 

B:  very well said, that was almost poetic.  You get two extra points on that one.  

 

A:  who is keeping score?

 

B:  I guess I am.  

 

A:  but who are you?  We have both agreed that we are not special… that we are both the Big Bang, and that is special in itself, but that specialness is diluted heavily by that fact that everything every where can lay claim to that specialness, which then in the end makes it not very special after all.  

 

B:  In order to be special you have to trick others into thinking that they aren’t, that is the only way around that problem  I think.  

 

A: if no one special is keeping score, then what is the point?  

 

B:  what do you mean?

 

A:  to become a star.. to dance on the celestial stage, to entertain the little people below, there needs to be a critic doesn’t there?  A judge?

 

B:  I don’t follow.  

 

A:  Yea right..  I’m not sure I even know why I mean.. let me think for a bit.  ( thinks for a time)  Well let’s go back to what you said, “  you deserve extra points for being poetic.”

 

B:  sure.  

 

A:  what did you mean by that?  In a way then isn’t something that is poetics seen as more valuable then just plain speech?  And so in it’s way it is showing signs of being a star… it is standing out from the heavy laden night of a regular unadorned sentence.  

 

B:  Yes you are right.. I feel like we are in Platos dialogues (  chuckles) .  But go on… 

 

A:  I still can’t get at what I … I had a profound thought but its slipping.. 

 

B:  heavens, don’t let it slip away into the infinite night.  

 

A:  well maybe what I mean is that once the stars have decided that they are going to be stars, and try and convince others that they aren’t stars, so that they have some good backdrop upon which to shine, like a big black curtain at a debate, why don’t the stars at that point not compete with one another for their sparkling brilliance?  Wouldnt it be in their interests to join a union of stars of something?

 

B:  because the more one star shines, that automatically dims another.

 

A:  so it’s attention that the stars want?  It’s selfish desire for attention?  

 

B:  yes.. I guess you could look at it that way.  

 

A:  So once the universe has sorted itself out through matter tricking other matter into  who is and isn’t going to be a star..

 

B:  why do you say tricking?  Much matter is perfectly fine not shining.  

 

A:  ok.. right.. but I am of the bias that to be a star is better than being dark matter.  

 

B:  that may be your mistake..  but go on.  

 

A:  who is going to judge between the stars as to who is brighter?  There has to be a judge right?

 

B:  why does there have to be a judge?

 

A:  Well you said that the stars are competing with one another right?  

 

B:  right.  

 

A:  well who ever heard of a competition without a judge?  It would be like going through school as a kid and having no teacher to hand your work into and to get credit for.  Without a judge we don’t even have a structured curriculum upon which to work off of….   

 

B:  I see what your getting at.. I am puzzled.. let me think on it a second.  ( thinks)

 

A:  so shinning and getting attention is the end goal of matter that has decided it wants to shine?  Is there a variance of degrees in the shining?  Good shining?  Better shinning?  Bad shining?  

 

B:   Well yes, like I said, some stars are brighter than others.  

 

A:  who judges that?  

 

B:  the observer. 

 

A:  who is the observer?

 

B:  I guess we are.  People.  The partiers and the nobody losers who live in the midwest.  

 

A:  I don’t live in the midwest.. 

 

B:  it was a metaphor.  Jees…. 

 

A:  so looking at it in this light, excuse the pun, the value of a star is in how much noise and attention it can get.  How many eyes it can attract towards itself.  

 

B:  yes, but remember it has to be made up of light.  Being a star cannot be made up of dark thoughts or evil ambitions.  

 

A:  But in the very act of trying to be a star matter has inherently done an evil act.  

 

B:  again, your value judging.  Being a star I don’t think is inherently better that being dark matter.  

 

A:  I think that you are contradicting yourself.  First you say that there is a competition among stars but then you say that being bright matter or not being bright doesn’t matter in the end… ( excuse the pun)  Is light inherently a good thing or not?

 

B:  right I see what you mean.  Getting attention in itself is not of value.  Look at all the idiots that commit violent crimes just so that they can get in the papers.  That’s not being a star… that is being an idiot.  

 

A:  right.  Maybe our screw up is in a faulty metaphor.  That the stars that you see on the screen and on the stage, are not really like the stars you see in the sky.  People stars become stars not always by the ways of light.  People stars.. 

 

B:  yea but we call them stars.. don’t we.   I mean we have your criminals and felons that we call felons, and then we have stars.  So we on the human level distinguish don’t we?

 

A:  your starting to sound like me all of a sudden.  Like you are asking the questions now.  

 

B:  ok , lets take a star from the stage that we all agree upon is a star.  Say, 

 

A:  how bout Micky Karkashian.  

 

B:  there we go.  We’ll use her.  

 

A:  she is a star, not a criminal.

 

B:  yes.  

 

A:  is she a great star?  

 

B:  she could be better, but she has a big name.  

 

A:  ah… so you see that even though she is a star she isn’t a great star.  And yet who has a bigger name today?  

 

B:  hardly anyone.  

 

A:  so on the earthly stage amongst we mortals, we have concluded that being the brightest star in the sense of gaining the most attention is not in itself a quality of being a “ great” star.  So it is possible that a “ great” star could not gather as much attention as some lesser stars.  

 

B:  Yes, I know of many superb actors and actresses who are totally unknown, while many second rates are all the rage.  Perhaps it’s Time.  A star that lasts the longest is considered a greater star.  

 

A:  yea but we both know nothing lasts.  What on earth does it matter if a star lasted a blink of an eye longer than another star?  On the cosmic stage it is meaningless.  

 

B:  Are we talking on the earthly realm?  Or the celestial?  

 

A:  both I guess.  

 

B:  look I think you are making a mistake thinking that being a star is better than being innocuous black matter. 

 

A:  funny you should use the word “innocuous”.  

 

B:  I meant unobtrusive.   Or inconspicuous.  

 

A: but even in the word “innocuous”, people occasionally interchange that with being unobtrusive don’t they?

 

B:   do they?  Maybe that was just a blind sight in my vocabulary.  I have been working on it.. it’s better but it still needs improvement, especially in the nuances of meanings.  

 

A:  it seems like even in  the attempt to “be”, to “stand out” is not an innocuous thing.  One is being obtrusive aren’t they?  

 

B:  to be honest I am getting a head ache.. I’m lost in all of this.  To be honest I don’t have a clue what is means to be a “star” on the Earthly nor the Celestial stages.  Again, I told you, being dark matter is highly under rated.  

 

A:  It’s so boring here.  

 

B:  well that could be a sign of your lack of imagination.  Great minds should be able to find interest in even the most mundane and banal of things.

 

A:  maybe your right.  I’m just curious that is all.

 

B:  yes, you have proven to the world your voracious appetite for knowledge, we get it.  In the end you are indeed special.  Nobody is quite driven to understand these things like you are.  

 

A:  don’t be sarcastic.  

 

 

B:  the truth is you have worn me out.  

 

A:  It is just that I need to know what it means to be a star.  Maybe not to become one, but I have to understand it at least.  

 

B:  well, alright, go ahead.  ( exasperated)

 

A:  It could be that we are coming upon a horrid truth.  

 

B:  what is that?

 

A:  that one could be a great star, and yet go essentially unknown.  And the universe wouldn’t care in the slightest.  

 

B:  its possible.  That’s why I can’t emphasize enough how under rated being dark matter is.  One doesn’t have to worry about  such matters.  It’s only when one starts to ponder and consider going out of doors from ones bleak black hole of a home that all of these questions and contradictory value judgements arise.  

 

A:  it’s just that it’s…

 

B:  so boring.  I got it.

 

A:  ok, let’s take a little break.  Maybe get a cup of coffee or tea.

 

B:  Ok…but I would mind going to bed at a decent hour.  

 

A:  Ok.. come on!  This is kind of fun isn’t it?

 

B:  I guess.

 

 

            ( they take a break)  

 

 

       ( there return with coffees in hand.)

 

A:  you probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee if you want to get to bed at a decent hour.  

 

B:  it actually help me sleep.  I drink so much of it during the day that I go through withdrawal, and the the withdrawal is what keeps me awake at night.  

 

A:  whatever floats your boat.  

 

B:  well everyone is drowning, I think we can at least both agree on that.  

 

A:  Yes… both dark matter and all the stars are drowning. 

 

B:  Not really though, the dark matter is the sea.  It already has drowned.  It’s the stars that are doing all of the drowning.

 

A:  Boy that’s for sure.  Just look at the front page of the Enquirer.  

 

B:  I keep saying…

 

A:  I know I know… being dark matter is highly under rated.  But we have all the time in the world to become dark matter again.  How often does one get to be a star?

 

B:  Time is eternal so…

 

A:  we don’t know that for sure.

 

B:  Well lets just say it is a very long time.  There is probably a good chance to become a star again, with all of that time ahead, I am sure you will get a few more chances.  

 

A:  are you talking Celestial?  Or earthly?  I agree with you.. there is a real chance that someday I will become a star in the firmament, or a particle of me will, but on earth… on earth do we reincarnate as spirits?  

 

B:  I can’t answer that.  I wouldn’t have a clue.  Look why are you so keen on become a star?

 

A:  I don’t like the idea that someone thinks that they have convinced me that I am not every bit as special as they are.  Maybe it is less to do with becoming a star as it is to do with not being a toady, a dummy, a sucker.  

 

B:  but you know you aren’t , so isn’t that all that matters?

 

A:  I guess, but why doesn’t that really satisfy?  Is it possible to become a star, to become “special” without committing the crime of tricking others into believing that they aren’t every bit as?  

 

B:  I don’t think so.  Like I said they go together.  It’s like the word genius, if everyone is a genius then there is no such thing as genius.  

 

A:  unless you mean it to mean a divine spirit that is unique unto itself.  

 

B:  right.  

 

A:  in that case it would mean that everyone is a genius because no one can do things or be exactly the way they do or are… they are “special”.

 

B:  right, so everyone is special, stars, in the fact that they occupy a special part of the universe that no one else does, They are the universe talking across light years to each other, in their special way.   We are stars who talking to each other in our own special unique tongues and dialects or accents. 

 

A:  I don’t have a thick accent do I?

 

B:  I was speaking metaphorically again.. Jees.

 

A:  does dark matter speak too?  

 

B:  look I have sort of forgotten what we are even trying to find out.  What problem are we trying to solve?

 

A:  I have sort of forgotten as well.  (Pauses… regroups his thoughts.)  Maybe what I am trying to say that maybe the quality in a star is not in that fact that it shines more brighter or longer, but that it is unique.  

 

B:  Right

 

A:  but everything every where is a star in that it is unique why do some people get more credit than others?  Shouldn’t we all get equal credit everywhere?  Even the dark matter ones among us who support and stage the stars in their grand display of drama and fireworks?  

 

B:   that would be a pretty mighty task to try and enforce.  You would have to have some kind of Stalinevsky state to achieve that kind of equality.  And who would enforce it?  They would have to be as but no more equal then everyone else.  

 

A:  is it possible to coerce and control and govern other stars without become “more” than they?  

 

B:  I’m not sure… we are getting into politics now for heavens sakes.  Look I am getting bit tired, what is it that you are really trying to find out?  

 

A:  I am not even sure anymore.  What is a star?  Are there better stars than others?  Are people metaphorical stars?  Is light good?  Is getting attention good?  Is all attention good?  Is there bad and good attention?   Is light the same thing as getting attention?     If crime is a dark and evil thing then why does it shine on the earthly news?  If it were in the firmament no one would look at it for a second, it would get lost in the infinite darkness that surrounds it.  Why do we pay attention to it on earth?  Why does being dark matter feel so boring for so many of us?  Is dark matter evil?  Maybe that is why people want to be stars, they want to get out of evil darkness and into the good.  The light.  Is being unique in itself of absolute value?  And if so why do people complain about modern art so much?  And why isn’t the great sculptor Angel Caramello as popular as you are?  A complete unknown?  

 

B:  Look I would hardly say that I am a complete unknown. I am very well liked amongst my friends I do say.  I am extremely popular in my bridge group.  And that consists of easily 200 people.  You’re a very thought -full star, or person “A”.   Your questions are very penetrating.  I am not sure there are any answers to any of them.  

 

A:  maybe your right “B”.  But you aren’t dark matter.  You are a kind of star.  You have your bridge group as you say.

 

B:  yes, well thank you very much “A”.  

 

A:  so how can u go around advising people to stay as dark matter when you yourself are a star?  Are you patronizing others into thinking they aren’t special?

 

B:  well… no… I try not to.  Also I … I dont really see you as dark matter.  You have friends don’t you?

 

A:  A couple.

 

B:  You really need to get out more.  

 

A:  I would, its just that there is so much evil out there, that I worry… I don’t want to get lost in evil.

 

B:  You see being dark matter is not that bad.  Am I evil?  You talk to me.

 

A:  yea, but I trust you.  

 

B:  Believe me there are some good folks out there that can be trusted.

 

A:  it seems so complex out there… I don’t know what I want from people… or what they want from me.  

 

B:  its called relating.  You find out more about yourself when you talk with others, and in turn they find out more about themselves as well.  Its a win win really.  

 

A:  so we are all stars talking to one another?  the Universe exploring itself as Watson said?  Finding out who we are together?  Helping each other out?  

 

B:  yes.  

 

A:  What are we helping each other out towards? 

 

B:  I knew you were going to ask another question.  

 

A:  well it would help to know wouldn’t it?  

 

 

B:  Towards the light.  More light, reflecting each others light.  Like a bunch of light bulbs in mirrors all pointing to one  another.  When one bulb brightens he or she brightens the whole, and it is a snow ball effect of light.  A snow cone of light amplifying and radiating, living in and with one another.  

 

A:  Its the dance then.  The dance of light is the purpose of it all?  The joy of being in light?  The more light the better?

 

B:  Yes, I think that is it.  

 

A:  But then we come back to the problem of dark matter.

 

B:  (moans in annoyance)

 

A:  (Laughs as if almost proud of being a questioning pursuing mind that nags for the Truth… nay.. maybe even feeling “special”)

 

B:  What about dark matter?

 

A:  It supports the light, but it itself cannot add to it.  And yet one would hardly say that dark matter is not a help.  Does not play a significant supporting role.  Like “Watson” said, without the dark space their could be no twinkling stars.  What is their goal then?  Those who play the role of dark matter?  So its isn’t just about shining light towards one another to brighten the whole.  Some of us have to go into the dark night sky so that others can shine more brightly.

 

B:  yes.. that sounds true.  

 

A:  but what about the criminals?  

 

B:  what about them?

 

A:  are they playing the roles of supporting dark matter?  

 

B:  in a way I guess yes.. they make the noble pure spirits shine all the more in comparison, so the noble and pure in heart should probably give some thanks to the felons of the starry night.

 

A:  that is a horrible thought.  Because that would mean that an awful leader like Randolph Splinter was actually doing good when he murdered all of those people.   He was creating more darkness, a blacker curtained background from which the good stars could shine.  Oh nothing makes sense!

 

B:  Look I think you think too much about this stuff.  

 

A:  I think the fault is in the analogy.  People are not stars.  They are not matter.  People are a different sort of thing.  They have morals: there is good and bad.  There is no such thing as a good star or bad star, they just are.  People have feelings and emotions and a sense of hatred and love and empathy and envy, a desire for freedom..  We are a complex mixed bag of abstract qualities that are hard to pin down and quantify.  Like they say about abstract qualities, “ have you ever seen freedom?  Have you ever seen hate?  Love?  Have you ever seen empathy?  

 

B:  I feel like the last 2 hours have been a complete waste of time.  I can’t even remember anymore how all this got started.  

 

A:  I think it was when I called myself “brilliant” because I was and am the Big Bang.  I don’t think you liked that.  And so you told me I was no more brilliant than anyone else.  That I was just one more piece of the Big Bang fabric… no better no worse than anyone else.

 

B:  Oh yea… your right.  Yea, that bugged me when you said that… you were taking from my light.  

 

A:  Maybe, but then maybe I was just affirming my one natural right.  

 

B:  I never tried to trick you into the role of playing dark matter did I?

 

A:  I don’t think so.  Actually I have a bit of a head ache as well.

 

B:  So do I.  It is way past my bed time.  

 

A:  just one more thing.  Before you go….. When I said I was “ brilliant”… lets’ say I was just stating my own sense of natural right to be brilliant.  As we all are.  Why did that bother you?  Why didn’t you say… oh great your brilliant too?  Hooray!

 

B:  I dont know… o think it was your tone of voice… there was an arrogance.  A separating timbre that had a haughty “me” in there that was looking down on the rest of us idiots.  

 

A:  yea… maybe your right.  I try to keep that tone in check.  I get it from my elitist mother.  She always had really high standards… I always had to be better than others….a cut above the herd.  I’m sorry.  

 

B:  that’s ok “A”.  But I think I need to get to bed now… I am extremely tired.

 

A:  Ok “B”.  Good night.  Sweet dreams.

 

B:  sweet dreams to you too “A”.

Empathy and Compassion

 

 

A:  what is empathy?

 

B:  I would guess it is the ability to feel another’s suffering.  Let me look at the dictionary… ( grabs one off of the shelf)

“  The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” First of all, before we continue, I would like to know why you want to know.

 

A:  Everybody talks about how it is a good thing to be empathetic.  It’s like every one talking about a great new song that came out… one wants to hear it to understand why it is so cherished.

 

B:  nice answer.

 

A:  thank you.  ( thinks for a long time… both are in silence.)  So you say that it is the ability to understand the feeling of another.  What does it mean to understand?

 

B:  oh are you one of those philosopher types that is self -pleasingly fascinated by the simple complexity of his inquiring child like mind?  

 

A:  No, I really want to understand.  ( laughs )  I want to understand what it means to understand. 

 

B:  I would say that that is where imagination would come into play.  Well let’s look up the definition of “to understand”. 

( pages through )  

 

A:  you know lets not use the dictionary ok?  Let’s think these things out for ourselves… alright?  

 

B:  good idea.  As a kind of thought experiment you mean?  

 

A:  yes.  Because you know these very same ideas and thoughts have been thought by billions of people and many cultures all over the world over thousands and thousands of years.. when we do it on our own though, it will retain a flavor of originality.  A freshness of thought, not laden down by some archeological dig into the heavy historical thoughts of others.

 

B:  Poetically said “B”… nice job.

 

A:  well thank you.  I would think that to understand would mean to know, say… when a person is training a dog to come on the certain sound of a whistle, and the dog comes trotting over, that would be a kind of knowing right?  When it has been able to differentiate between varying whistles.  

 

B:  Right.  Or say, how we know that 2 + 2 = 4, and say not the proverbial 5.  

 

A:  right… how do we know that 2+2= 4?  And not as you say the proverbial 5?

 

B:  well take 2 oranges, and then add two more oranges  and it is plain to see to the visual system that one has 4 and not 5 oranges.

 

A:  Yes, but if we were trained to mix the sounds of 4 and 5, say we were taught 1,2,3,5,4,… 

 

B:  yes well that is just a sound.  It doesnt matter what you label the concept “4”  with, whether you dress it in a different visual or verbal cloth.  The concept remains the same.  

 

A:  like that song, “The Song Remains the Same”.

 

B:  oh let’s not get juvenile now… 

 

A:  ok… your right.  So what is the essence of the concept of the number “4”?  

 

B:  well you should be able to answer that on your own right?

 

A:  right.  don’t get snotty.  

 

B:  I’m not.. I am just pushing you harder to think for yourself. 

 

A:  ok .. and I thank you for it I guess.  Well it is the empty space that follows in a line of whatever three objects you have proceeding it.  Whether it be oranges, apples, or basketballs.  One whatever… followed by 2 whatever … followed by three whatever and finally “blank” whatever. 

 

B:  Yes , different languages have different words and sounds that represent the number “4”.  In Japanese it is “shi” and in French it is “quatre”.  Just because people speak different languages doesn’t mean that the concept itself breaks down.  People can still exchange goods across cultures and everything tallies up properly still.  

 

A:  we are sounding a bit didactic and preachy … let’s tone it down a bit.  

 

B:  yes your right.  

 

A:  This is actually fascinating.  

 

B:  yes it is.

 

 

A:  a concept like “4” is almost an invisible thing.  How do we know that someone actually knows it?

 

B:  well you would test them like you would a dog.  If you whistle to a dog and it doesn’t come to the appropriate whistle, you know that it hasn’t understood.

 

A:  But how do we know that the dog knows that he is supposed to come but pretends not to know?  Or doesn’t want to come over?  Is there any way to know if he really knows?  Or if he is just being stubborn?  

 

B:  I suppose with the modern equipment they can hook the dogs brain up to some wires and find out that way.  

 

A:  so knowledge is at is essence reduced to some energy in the brain?  Some lightning up somewheres on the cerebrum?

 

B:  well if you want to be so clinical about it.. I guess that is it.  

 

A:  so to understand empathy, the only way we really know if we understand it , is if we check it out on some video screen?

 

B:  yes but I would think that empathy would entail the required reaction to alleviate anothers suffering.  Say someone falls off of their bike… empathy would be defined by actually going over to the person and helping them up.

 

A:  yea but what is you see the person looks menacing?  You feel your brain light up with empathy, but then you see that it may be in your best interest to stay away from the guy.  

 

B:  we are getting side tracked here.  Let’s stay on task.  We have come to understand that to understand means to light up in the brain.    Now how about empathy?

 

A:  is is just a cerebral thing?  Or should we feel in heart as well?  I heard that you are supposed to feel it in one’s heart as well.  

 

B:  I think you are right, I heard that too.  

 

A:  I think that there is supposed to be a sort of tingling of pain in the chest or heart area.  A gnawing sense of despair at the sight or thought of another’s troubles.  Is that something that can be quantified on a doctors screen as well?

 

B:  im sure they can find some chemical change that suggests on has felt compassion in ones heart.  

 

A:  this is rather depressing.  

 

B:  what?  

 

A:  that everything is being reduced to electrical impulses and chemical reactions.  

 

B:  well not every thing, just compassion and understanding.

 

A:  here is another thought that I have been thinking about.. 

 

B:  yes…( slightly irritated)

 

A:  who do we feel compassion for?

 

B:  the suffering obviously.  

 

A:  who are the suffering?

 

B:  to take my analogy from earlier, the fella that fell off of his bike is obviously suffering.  You can differentiate his suffering from the guy walking right next to him that didn’t fall.  It is obvious which one is the sufferer and which isn’t.

 

A:  but is it?

 

B:  oh you philosopher, are you trying to go one deeper than me again?

 

A:  well no, I really want to understand.  Can’t you empathize with my suffering in my desire to understand? ( smiles jokingly)  

 

B:  ok, continue. 

 

A:  the man or woman that is walking next to the man that fell off of his bike may be suffering in another way.  Say from depression, a guilty conscience, or they may have just found out that their son died or something. 

 

B:  true.  That is possible.

 

A:  let’s be honest, it’s “probable” probably.  Have you ever know anyone to not be suffering in some form?  Say even the person that is living in a mansion and has billions of dollars and a beautiful wife and da da da.. you know the deal.  They have ostensibly everything.  They could be suffering from a deep sense of emptiness, the emptiness of having everything.  Perhaps the man lost his soul up on that mansion on the hill.  There is suffering as well.  The suffering of a lost soul.  We both know this.. we are older now and shouldn’t have to go through this, we know that suffering pervades everywhere, always.

 

B:  your right.  We both know that by now.  

 

A: should I empathize with the man with the bike or the, let’s say woman for argument sake, the woman walking?  

 

B:  the man I would think, because his actual physical health is more important at the moment than her theoretical existential pain.  

 

A:  right.  Now there are people I know who have felt it an insult if one goes up to them to offer a hand of help.  I have seen them snarl when one gets close with a helping hand.  

 

B:  well you won’t know that till you walk up to him… you shouldn’t make pre judgements about people, you don’t know who will want your help and who won’t.  

 

A:  good point.  Let’s step back from our example.  Let’s view things more abstractly.  Let’s say we are in the  comfort of our own home, pondering this matter.  We have no visible concept of “4” before our eyes.  We are in our comfy philosophers chair brooding on humanity’s suffering as a whole.  

 

B:  ok.  Be wary.. this is the point where many plans for mass murders were started.  Remember Stalinevsky said, “one death is a tragedy, while a million is just a statistic.”   Humanity in the abstract is starting to get cold and impersonal but go ahead.  

 

A:  Yes but it is only in the abstract that we can take in the whole of humanity’s suffering.  If I am tending all day to men who fall off of their bikes I have no time to take in the whole, I have only the time to spend to help some idiot back onto his bike.

 

B:  now that didn’t sound very empathetic.

 

A  well how do we know he is not purposely falling off of his bike to get sympathy and pity?  Maybe he is an attention seeker?  And meanwhile the real people at large go on in very real suffering.  He is taking my time away from more important matters.

 

B:  this reminds me of a cartoon I saw where on man is drowning and pleading for help from another and the man on shore kept asking him to define his terms, like what did it mean to help someone… and of course in the mean time that man drowned.  

 

A:  lets try and not bring others ideas into our discussion as much as possible ok?

 

B:  yes, your right.  I think the point is that empathy is not an idea in the head.. it is an active living thing before ones present eyes.  

 

A:  but I thought that we just concluded earlier that empathy is an electric charge in the brain.  Added perhaps the tingling in the heart.

 

B:  we did didn’t we?  What caused you to think about this in the first place again?

 

A:  I think I have been short on empathy of late, and I want to try and get some of it back.  Also I have some deeper questions as well.

 

B:  what are those?

 

A:  Like we both now how depressing it can be to really take upon one’s own shoulders the full scope and weight of suffering that abounds throughout the world. 

 

B:  you sound like Soapwater  there… I thought we were going try and keep this an inside conversation…

 

A:  I did sound like the old “Soaps”  there a touch.  My point is, that we both know those depressive types that can hardly get out of bed in the morning for claiming to be in tune with the whole of humanity’s anguish too much.  

 

B:  Yes I know many of them.

 

A:  These people can hardly be considered to be pulling there own loads.  Are they producing more than they are consuming?  Highly doubtful.

 

B:  Your right.  Doubtful.

 

A:  when we say a person is producing more than they are consuming, we are assuming that they are doing more good for society than bad right?  

 

B:  yes, say there was a commune and the community was growing corn in the fields, that person say is growing more stalks than he eats a day, or month or year… however they are marking it.  He is making more than just for himself, he is helping the community’s supply of corn.  His cup spilleth over so that others can benefit from his labor as well.  

 

A:  right.  I like the “spilleth”.  

 

B:  Thank you.

 

A:  no problem.   I like how you are getting interested in the discussion as well.  I love it that you add your analogies as well.  

 

B:  Well these are interesting discussions that stir some thought and debate.  

 

A:  and so in that case he is being empathetic, rather indirectly, he may not be a nurse directly caring for some physically injured person, but in an indirect way he may be doing a much greater service by helping feed many many mouths though he actually may never get to see those mouths being fed my his hard labor.

 

B:  right.  I see where you are going with this.  

 

A:  yes, you see the fella that is feeling the whole worlds suffering but can’t get out of bed, in some ways is in actuality causing more suffering on the whole, in his inability produce more than he consumes.  For he is totally non productive.  Now he may be a real soft hearted fellow that feels a lot and the old bright spot of empathy lights up often in his head, and he feels the throbbing pangs of the worlds suffering in his chest, but in practical terms the guy is pathetic.  

 

B:  right.

 

A:  He may be a really nice man and sense the invisible concept of another misfortunes very heavily, but it isn’t doing a lot of people any good.  Now on the other hand the man that works hard in the cornfield mass producing lets say way more than what is just self sufficient for him, he may be a real jerk.  He may even have some workers that he hires for almost slave wages, but in an objective quantifiable way, he is really more empathetic than the bed ridden sod.  The corn cropper may treat his workers with a lack of feeling and even a callous contempt, but he is productive.  He is a pillar of strength that the community can rely on to help them eat.  

 

B:  right, so your question is…I think you are mixing empathy with being helpful.  Or productive.  

 

A:  yes but maybe the corn cropper is thinking that he feels so much for the community and wants to help everyone survive and he is so driven in his empathy to help the whole that along the way he feels justified in being what one might call even a “slave-driver”.  To get the work finished for all, to help the whole, a few parts or minor eggs may need to be slightly whipped into line.  

 

B:  right.  Where are you going with this?

 

A:  just that it may be the people that you see hugging each other all the time with warm comforting hugs of encouragement, confirming to one another that they feel each others sadness, the people that are always talking to one another about their problems and share each others understandings, and the people that cry at films and cry all the time or show emotions that display the sense that they are empathic, may be a bunch of phony drips that can’t haul their own shit… 

 

B:  that is a little unfair and cold.  Not very empathetic of you.  

 

 

A:  yea but do you know what I mean?  The soft feeling types are so busy comforting one another that nothing gets done.

 

B:  you sound partial against them.

 

A:  I guess I can look back on my own life, when I was much younger and see when I was filled with a much more tender and caring heart.  And yet I had no action in me, no drive to become and be someone, I was lost is a soup of empathy that made me no income, it gave me no wife or life to speak of.  It was a blob of mush that was going nowhere and the only consolation I had in it, was that I could say to myself that my heart was in the right place. 

 

B:  and then you decided to become an asshole?

 

A:  yes.  

 

B:  And how did that turn out?

 

A:  not really well either.  I found that I was indeed more “productive” in that I began to have a so called drive and “mission” to improve produce and build, but I found myself becoming an asshole almost in direct proportion to how much I made and produced.  The more I built the bigger the ass I became, and the bigger ass that I became the easier it was to build unfettered by an empathetic heart to burden me down.  When I looked at the person I was when I was younger and people like me then, all “copassionate”, I had a contempt for them.  Like these people that couldn’t do anything but congratulate each other on how much they felt the worlds suffering.  

 

B:  and I am sure to them you looked like the ass that you were.

 

A:  yes.  Meanwhile, however it seemed the real helpers that appeared perhaps as asses were actually doing things that bettered the world.

 

B:  of course and also doing things with equal effect in hurting the world as well.  

 

A:  yes.  Unfortunately I hurt people as well.  Maybe my question is, is there a way to be productive and yet not be a jerk as well?

 

B:  I’m not sure.  I have to admit I have noticed the correlation myself.  Who are you “A”?

 

A:  What do you mean?

 

B:  why are you always asking these kinds of questions?  Just the other night you were going on about what it meant to be a star and dark matter, and how they related to one another.  Have you ever asked yourself why you often are asking these sort of questions?  

 

A:  I don’t know, I would like to think it is because I am a thoughtful person, but it may that I had a head injury or something.  And that all of this probing and questioning is just my mind trying to unsuccessfully reboot itself and get back to square one.  

 

B:  that was very thoughtful.  ( winks)

 

A:  please don’t wink at me… I hate it when people wink at me.

 

B:  Why?  I meant it warm heartedly.

 

A:  it feels patronizing.  Like I am a little cute thing and you are the one who really knows.  

 

B:  I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.  

 

A:  thank you.  Maybe I am asking these questions because I want to understand where I have come from, and then in turn try and direct myself onto the best path for the future.  I want to be an energetic functioning member of society, but I also want to have a soul and a heart.  I want to care about people again.  Does that make sense?

 

B:  it certainly does.  

 

A:  but how does one do it?  Balance taking care of oneself so that one is a pillar of energy able to produce while at the same time keep a caring eye out for others?  They seem to be in conflict.  

 

B:  I don’t know.  That may be the answer that humanity has been searching for for a long long time.  The self and other.  How to balance the two.  

 

A:  we seem to be doing alright.

 

B:  yes we do.  

 

A:  we get a little snippety and condescending to one another now and then, but on the whole we fair pretty well.  

 

B:  yes, indeed we do.  

 

A:  another quote I think about sometimes…

 

B:  I thought we weren’t going to bring in others into our discussion.

 

A:  your right, but will you allow me this one?

 

B:  ok, well alright.

 

A:  Alan Lightfoot said that “do gooders are the thieves of virtue”.  What did he mean by that?  

 

B:  I don’t know… all I can think is that do gooders are concerned with getting credit for their actions and hence that spoils them so that they no longer have credit.  Their actions that is lose value because it is a selfish pursuit.

 

A:  the problem is I think that I became a monster for a while so as to not be accused of being a “do -gooder.”  

 

B:  yea, but instead you could be accused of becoming a monster.  

 

A:  right.  I didn’t want you to say it, but it is true.   I became a monster to protect myself against becoming the bed ridden depressed incompetent that always seemed to be enslaved by the doers all of the time.  I was tired of being a slave, a drag on others, who was always being told what to do and how to do it and for whom to do it for.  I wanted to be an energy that inspired others to climb higher.  I thought I would rather be free, and it seemed that the cover of “monster” instilled some necessary fear into others that gave me some space for that freedom.  I tried not to in turn enslave them.  I knew that would be hypocritical.  Many of the business’s I had I refused to hire any one and preferred to do the work on my own so as not to lord over someone.  The problem is I became this major pillaring tower of a monumental self sustaining and all containing asshole.  

 

 

 

B:  you said that before.  By the way I know you are planning to label this a play.  It isn’t a play.  Its a dialogue really, it is a philosophical dialogue.  A dialectic have you.  

 

A:  I suppose you are right.  

 

B:  you need more action in plays.  You need to bring your hero or protagonists to the very pinnacle of possible hope and tension, and then plummet them into a tar pit of bubbling and boiling despair.  We are having a flat line conversation. Here, ( points to both of them) there is no drama.  

 

 

 

 

A:  your right… thanks for pointing that out.  However have you ever seen some of Herbert Bucket’s plays?  That is some pretty flat line writing.  Not a mole hill of drama.  Like not even a pulse.  Not a whole lot going on there, and he was considered one of the greatest playwrights of the century.  

 

B:  your right.  That is true.  

 

A:  well what do you want to talk about now?  Our creator told us that we need to fill the dialogue up to about 200 and we are around 140. 

 

B:  I know.. what a jerk.  Talk about slaves.  We are slaves right now.  Following this assholes dictates.  

 

     ( they think a while)

 

A:  well lets talk about Stalinevsky.

 

B:  ok

 

A:  and how he relates to what we were talking about.  Can you imagine that many many hoards of people cried when he died?  Still to this day the people think he was a great leader and some of them wish he were still alive and ruling them with his steel iron fist.

 

B:  I heard about that.

 

A:  I mean the guy killed like 50 million people.  How on earth are we to reckon this?

 

B:  well I guess they rationalize and say that he also modernized the country so that millions could live and survive.  He killed some but then also saved a bunch as well.  

 

A:  But wouldnt it have been better that he just stay home and not bother getting involved and controlling others lives? 

 

B:  that’s what you would think, but some people just need to feel important, they want to get into the history books and make a name for themselves.  

 

A:  yea but what is history?  This little human experiment and all of the logging and recording and writings on who made noise here and who made another noise over there is a pathetic and scrawny attempt to make people feel important when the whole entire human experiment is but a blink of an eye in relation to the cosmos.  In a million years who is going to remember Stalinevsky?  

 

B:  probably no one.

 

A:  So what was driving this guy?  Did he not realize that all of his search for power and fame was complete vanity?

 

B:  he probably didn’t give it a thought.  

 

A:  No you know I bet I know what happened.  I heard his father beat him when he was a kid and was real hard on him.  

So Stalinevsky swore he would never be a slave or a bottom to someone again.  And the world only has room for two kinds of people.  The Masters and the Slaves.  There is no space for a middle ground.  And so every person he confronted in an already corrupt society he was determined to never be there slave.  So the only alternative he had was to become their master.  ( lost in thought… looking bothered)

 

B:  Whats wrong?

 

A:  the part I don’t get is… I understand not wanting to be a slave… but how does one then move on to having a list of people who did nothing wrong and having them be eliminated?  

 

B:  probably because if he didn’t have a list of them.. one of them would have a list with his name on it.  

 

 

A:  so it was kill or be killed?

 

B:  yep.

 

A:  I think there must be a way to not get lost in that limited cycle of being.  I may sound like a do-gooder brown nosing thief of virtue, but there has to be a way out.  

 

B:  I think there is. 

 

A:  we are having a civilized conversation right now, and neither of us is a slave nor master right?  

 

B:  Right.  I feel neither inferior nor superior to you.

 

A:  and in turn for me.  I feel neither inferior nor superior to you.  Although I admit that I am kind of the bull horse that is posing most of the questions and moving the dialogue so that it works forward and you are more passive.  

 

B:  so being aggressive is slightly superior to being passive?

 

A:  Well lets face it in the Lion’s world who runs the place?

 

B:  Actually she does most of the work, he just sits under a tree and puffs himself up to look big.  Occasionally fights other lions.  

 

 

A:  yea but he is the king asshole that no one messes with.

 

B:  right.  But to be feared is to be superior?  there aren’t other qualities?  

 

A:  yea but lets face it when the shit hits the fan and life and the savannah gets tough, the strongest and fiercest will survive.  If one lioness was awfully sweet and caring and hunted really well that’s nice but… 

 

B:  ah see…  She hunts well.

 

A:  maybe the lion was a bad comparison.  Actually maybe he wouldn’t survive as well because he doesn’t work well with the pride.  

 

B:  I think the males and the females both work together to bring their prey down.  

 

A:  maybe your right.  Any way have we solved our problem for the evening?  

 

B:  I don’t know.. you tell me, your the one that does the bull work and I am just the little passive female lion waiting what to be told. 

 

A:  Don’t get sarcastic.  Lets see.. let me think.  The topic of discussion was “ what is empathy”?  Have we come up with a conclusion answer?

 

B:  I don’t think that we did.  We got lost in the area where the guy was doing all the work in the corn crop but he was an asshole, an the heart felt softies were busy getting nothing done and congratulating themselves on how empathetic they were.  

 

A:  that’s right it was sort of a quagmire in there wasn’t it.  

 

B:  yes it was.  You know I don’t think we are the only ones running into problems in this topic of discussion.  I’m certain if we peeked our heads into other cultures books and thinker heads we would find they came up with some difficulties as well.  

 

A:  your probably right.  And in this we can have compassion and empathy for other lost souls trying to concretely define what empathy actually is.  

        ( “A” gets up and trips on a crack in the floor and almost falls on the ground)

 

B:  oh are you ok!?

 

A:  yes I am fine.  Actually I was just testing you.  I pretended to trip.  I just wanted to see if you would show empathy, and you did. 

 

B:  your so silly.  

 

A:  but we never really know unless we take your brain into a scanning machine if you really did feel empathy.  You know there are those people that are called “psychopaths” that mimic empathy really well, they know how to put on the long face and to show tears of concern when demanded and they know because they have staged their act so well to conceal themselves into the population without being detected as faulty, they know how to say the exact right words, they have studied so well the behaviors of others; but they actually feel not a speck of actual empathy.  Like the color blind talking about red and blue because they have been told the words, but have never actually seen the colors.  

 

B:  we should feel sorry for the psychopaths as well.  For how would you like to be born color blind? 

 

A:  that is a real good point “B”.

 

B:  well thank you “A”.  I think it is getting past my bed time.  I think I am going to go to bed now… 

 

A:  Good idea B.  Sweet dreams…

 

B:  Sweet dreams to you too A.

me. It's easy.

A Quartet

 

 

A Quartet in the G major  in four movements with a final crescendo in four voices 

 

 

First Movement: Largo

 

Second movement:  Allegro

 

Third Movement:  Scherzo

 

Fourth Movement:  Rondo

Finale

 

 

 

First Movement in Largo in G major:  ( exposition, development, and recapitulation)  AABA,  BBCB, CCDC, DDCD, 

 

 

Cello:  I break the silence in a sounding low          G

 

Violin 1:  I play a higher third with stately bow        B

 

Violin 2:  I stretch the sinews of a major D              D

 

Viola:  I raise an octave for the status quo               G

 

 

Viola:  but now I shift into another key                      F#

 

Violin2:  And so I follow suit to test and see              F#

 

Cello:   But I am the expositional base                     G

 

Violin1:  I sustain B again for harmony                          B

 

 

Cello:  I stabilize again the tonic place                       G

 

Viola:  and I echo the note in subtle chase                 F#

 

Violin2:  As I violently strike a stroke to break               C

 

Violin1:  I want the comfort of the warmer bass            B

 

 

Violin2:  I hang so high with a wavering ache              G

 

Cello:  I make a fine reflection like a lake                    G

 

Violin1:  I finally change and break from my spell          D

 

Viola:  I double the anguish - like an earth quake          C

 

 

 

 

 

Second Movement:  Allegro in Cmajor7                               staccato to 10 syllables 

 

 

 

Viola:  my creator chose to digress from form             C_C_C_C_C_C_C_C_C_C

 

Cello:  so the second movement is a firestorm        E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E

 

Violin1:  of an abrupt upbeat chirping songbird           G_G_G_G_G_G_G_G_G_High E

 

Violin2:  he never cared much to adhere to norms      B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B

 

 

 

Cello:  I am quick to speak a lively brisk word                 E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E

 

Violin1:  and I march in step to a peppy herd                 G_G_G_G_G_G_G_G_G_G

 

Viola:  while I completely deviate from rank                    B_B_B_B_B_B_B_B_B_Bflat

 

Violin2:  so I can play C’s traditional third                        E

 

 

Violin2:  No time for depression-  time to give thanks        E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E

 

Violin1:  I mirror the sentiment with a flank                         E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E_E

 

Cello:  this is getting silly… its not my style                         D_D_D_D_D_D_D_D_D_ Dflat

 

Viola:  don’t worry I’ll kill ‘em all with my tank                       B_B_B_B_B_B_B_B_B_B

 

 

Violin1:  life is a great show to fill all the aisles

 

Viola:  who the hell needs a clock or a sundial

 

Cello:  I still prefer a more serious note

 

Violin2:  Im with the first two so I line and file

 

 

 

 

Scherzo in Gmajor

 

Cello:  Oh why do we keep on this trifling shit?

 

Viola:  I love to play in an orchestra pit

 

Violin2:  everything is a super funny joke

 

Violin1:  I jump onto the stage and do the splits

 

 

Violin1:  I enjoy a good tease and jolly poke

 

Viola:  sure why not?  I am of the common folk

 

Cello:  I will play my role but without a grin

 

Violin2:  I am always hard up for inside strokes

 

 

Cello:  Why was I composed with you Phillistines? 

 

Viola:  sometimes I feel like a gay fairy queen

 

Violin2:  knock knock who’s there?  I lost my score and part.

 

Violin1:  I am a big peacock - I prim and preen

 

 

Viola:  I admit comedy’s a lesser art

 

Cello:  I bellow like a tuba and then fart

 

Violin1:  that a way cello.. see?  It’s kind of fun…

 

Violin2:  How many men does it take to push a cart?

 

 

 

 

Rondo 

 

Cello:  I break the silence in a sounding low

 

Viola:  I play a third higher with stately bow

 

Violin:  are we just repeating the start again?

 

Violin:  yes but with a different flavor and flow

 

 

 

 

Viola:  I stretch the sinews of a major bend

 

Cello:  Ill go minor for the first time my friend

 

Violin2:  I love to sit in an orchestra pit

 

Violin1:  I avant gaurde for an atonal blend

 

 

 

Violin1:  I hang em high in a wavering fit

 

Violin2:  I double the strains in anguished spirit

 

Cello:  I cruelly strike strings for tragedy’s aim

 

Viola:  The tangent reaches but there’s no limit

 

 

Cello:  the wave fluctuates in a broad based pain

 

Violin1:  the crest echoes the trough - vibrates and wanes

 

Violin2:  Something’s attractive about the insane.  

 

Viola:  Spinal tapped with wires in a surcharged gain

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                    G major7

 

Cello:  now all together in a final flux            ( sung in G major)

 

Viola:  now all together in a final flux            (Sung in D major)

 

Violin1:  now all together in a final flux           (Sung in B major)

 

Violin2:  now all together in a final flux             ( sung in F#)

 

 

 

                                                                                          Dminor 7

 

Cello:  everything comes to and end and so we must       ( D)       

 

Viola:  everything comes to an end and so we must         (F)

 

Violin1:  Everything comes to an end and so we must        ( A)

 

Violin2:  everything comes to an end and so we must           (C)

 

 

Cello:  We harmonize words in choral refrain

 

Viola:  We harmonize words in choral refrain

 

Violin1:  We harmonize words in choral refrain

 

Violin2:  We harmonize words in choral refrain

 

                                                                                             G7

 

Cello:  With the admixture of pleasure and pain                    G

 

Viola:  With the admixture of pleasure and pain                      D

 

Violin1:  With the admixture of pleasure and pain                  B

 

Violin2:  With the admixture of pleasure and pain                  F#

A Door

Suburban Home… Man and Wife

 

 

 

 

Sandy:  

        Hand me the potatoes would you Joe?

 

Joe:     (reading paper)

        Sure honey, would you like the salt as well?  

 

Sandy:

        well you know what the doctor said.  Do you think I should?

 

Joe:  

        I would think you could have a little bit.  I would taper off over time… 

 

Sandy: 

        Well ok .. pass me it as well.  

 

            (Eating …)

 

Joe:

        Did you hear that the Sparrows won?

 

Sandy:

        I did…

 

Joe:

        They won in overtime, 24-21.

 

Sandy:

        I guess eventually I will have to cut it out almost completely.

 

Joe:

        Williams kicked a field goal for 58 yards.

        

              (still reading)

        Can you believe that they passed that legislation in Brownhaven?  Its now against the law to call someone “a farmer”.  

 

Sandy:

        My goodness, are you serious?  What is happening to our rights?  Our basic freedom of speech?   …. hand me the                  Brussel sprouts would you?

 

Joe:    (handing her the sprouts)

        I tell you when Howard comes home, the first thing I am going to do is call him a “Farmer”.  

 

Sandy:

        Oh Joe… why?  Your only going to stir up trouble.  He’s just a kid, he is learning how to think…

 

Joe:

        That’s just my point.  He needs to learn how to think.. . your the one that wanted him to go to the University.  You call it                 giving him an “education”, I call in “brainwashing”.  If I had my way you know .. . you know.. we have this conversation all               of the time..

 

Sandy:

        I still believe in a Liberal Arts education.  Pass me the corn would you?

 

Joe:      (passing her the corn)

        A real man’s work should involve his hands and body, too many people today are caught up and locked in their heads.  

 

Sandy:

        You should talk.

 

Joe:  

        Pass me the carrots would you?

        

        

        (Sandy passes the carrots)

 

              Well are we going to move to San Panadreno next year?  Have you thought about it anymore?  

 

Sandy:

        Oh let’s not talk about that now….

 

Joe:

        Aren’t you tired of these winters?  One of these years one of us is going to slip on some ice and crack our heads open…             and then what?  We aren’t getting any younger or more agile.  I almost broke my hip last night shoveling the the light snow we had off of the driveway.  

 

Sandy:

        Oh did you Joe?  Why didn’t you say anything?

 

Joe:

        I didn’t want to worry you.  ( gets up and goes over to Sandy and kisses the top of her head, then goes back into the                 kitchen)   Do you want me to do the dishes tonight or …

 

Sandy:

        Just put them in the washing machine.  

 

Joe:

        But that thing doesn’t clean them well enough… crap is still all stuck to the plates and….

 

Sandy:

        Well ok… if you want to.

 

 

(Knock on front door)

 

Sandy:

        Oh for heaven’s sakes… who in the world could be knocking on our door at this hour?…. My god what time is it Joe?

 

Joe:

        Its ugh…. Let me see… its… ugh.. 9:34.

 

Sandy:

        Should I answer it Joe?

 

Joe:   ( comes out from the kitchen)

        Here… let me handle it.

        ( Joe goes over to the front door.  Peers through the peep hole.)

 

        I don’t see anyone… 

 

Sandy:

        Well I wasn’t hearing things.. I definitely heard the front door knock.

 

Joe:

        Maybe it was a prank.. the neighborhood has been getting a lot of them lately.  Kids call it “ding-donging”.  I was talking to             Eugenie the other day and she said it happened to her and then she heard some giggling and what looked like some                 shrubs moving outside her window.  Ted Garner told me his car was a victim of “pan -canning” as well.

 

Sandy:

        What in the world is pan -canning?

 

Joe:

        I guess it is where kids put a pop can on each side of a road and connect them with fishing line, and then when a car goes         by, it trips the wire and one hears all of these cans banging in the road.  Apparently one has to stop and untangle the line             from your bumper and .. it is a real hassle to get off…

 

Sandy:

        Oh what is the world coming to?

 

Joe: 

        Kids seem to find it fun.  I tell ya… thats why I have my BB gun in the car, just in case… If I get pan canned, you better             believe some asses are going to be shot as they scramble away in the shrubs, giggling up those hills.  I’ll get em.

 

Sandy:

        Oh Joe… 

 

 

        ( door knocks again)

 

Sandy:

        See?  You heard it … it was a knock.

 

Joe:

        Sure was.  ( approaches door)

        Hello?  Who’s out there?  ( peeks through the hole again)

        Gol darnet.. these dang kids.  ( only hears the sound of wind)

 

Sandy:

        It is getting rather windy out there… is is possible something is bumping up against the door?

 

        ( Joe opens the door… looks around)

 

 

Joe:

        Well I don’t see anything.  I suppose it could be this ladder leaning up against the wall.   I’ll be right back.. I am going to put         the ladder away in the garage.  

 

        ( Sandy gets up and closes and locks the door behind Joe as he goes outside towards the garage)

        (Yelling through the window) Oh sweetie… I’m just going to be less than a minute.

 

Sandy:

        I just want to be safe.

 

Joe:

        Well what the hell about me?  I’ll be locked out while you are safe and snug.. nice to know how much you care…

 

 

Sandy:

        At least someone will be safe.. and then I can call the police. 

 

Joe:

        You have a point.  I’ll be back.

 

 

Sandy:    (Talking out loud to herself)

        These stupid kids.. we just didn’t do things like this when we were young.  We respected the elderly. .. Oh getting old isn’t             for the weak, that is for sure.   ( hears something collapse in the garage)

        Oh for god’s sakes… what in the… (calls out through the wall to the garage)   Joe?!  Joe!  Are you ok?  (Pounds on the             wall)  Joe!?   ( hears nothing)  Oh what am I to do?  Well I have to go out there.  (Unlocks the door, goes outside to the             garage.)    

 

        Joe!  What have you done now?

 

 

        ( Joe is on the ground in shock from a bad fall)

 

        Oh!  Should I call an ambulance?

 

Joe:  ( foggy)

        no no… I don’t need an ambulance.  I fell off the freakin small ladder trying to put away the big ladder up into the bracings.  

 

Sandy:

        I’d better call an ambulance.

 

Joe:

        No … no.. then we have to worry about all of the insurance and our premiums and all of that stuff… I just bumped my head          on the concrete… that’s all. 

 

Sandy:

        That’s all?

 

Joe:

        Here help me up though… you can do that for me.  ( hold out a hand to Sandy, she helps him up.)

 

Sandy:

        Oh don’t scare me like this.. you need to take better care of yourself.   Stop climbing ladders and cleaning gutters.  You             need to start letting Howard do some of this work when he comes homes on the weekends.

 

Joe:  

        You may have a point.  ( rubbing his head)

 

Sandy:

        How hard did it hit?

 

Joe:

        Not hard.. but it was on concrete so.  

 

        ( they walk together back to the house front door)

 

Sandy:

        Here, sit down on the couch.  Rest yourself.. I will make you some tea.. ok?

 

Joe:

 

        Yes, that would be nice darling.  Bring me a couple aspirin as well ok?

 

Sandy:     ( goes to kitchen)

        Will do. 

 

Joe:

        Well did you hear the door knock while I was gone?

 

Sandy:

        No I didn’t.. but it was only a short bit.

 

Joe:

        I bet it was the ladder bumping against the wall or the door.  The wind is heavier than I thought.  Did you close and lock the         door when you came out?

 

Sandy:

        No.

 

Joe:

        Never mind… it’s nothing to worry about.  Just if it was some kids, they could have come in while you were helping me in             the garage.

 

Sandy:

        I wasn’t thinking.  I just rushed to help you.

 

Joe:

        Honey can I say something?

 

Sandy:

        Sure.

 

Joe:

        I think we are both getting a bit paranoid in our older age.  I think we both need to lighten up a bit.  The world isn’t as bad             as we both make it out to be.

 

Sandy:

        Your the one talking about your BB gun.  No.. You are right.

 

Joe:

        Did you lock the door just now?  Is it locked?

 

Sandy:

        Oh… I forgot.  I will get it.  ( locks the door)

 

Joe:

        Come here.  Give me a hug.  (Sandy gives him a hug)

 

    ( a long period of silence)

 

        ( another knock on the door)

 

Joe:

        Yes!  Who is it?!  What do you want?!

 

Sandy:

        Go away!  Or we will call the police!   ( Sandy goes to the peep hole) 

 

Joe:

        Do you see anything?

 

Sandy:

        No… I don’t get it.  All I hear is that stupid howling wind.

 

Joe:

        We had better call the police.  This isn’t funny anymore.  It must be those stupid kids playing pranks.  But we just can’t take         the risk.  Call them would you Sandy?

 

Sandy:

        I’ll do it right now.  ( dials the police)

        Yes officer.  The address is 3458 Tuscan Place.  Well no.. it’s not an emergency, at least I don’t think.  It’s just that we             have been getting knocks on our front door and we can’t figure out what is causing it.  ….. No…No… we considered that             and concluded it wasn’t the wind bumping anything.  Well we would like someone to come out.   We don’t feel safe.  

 

Joe:  ( calling out from the sofa to the outside)

        We have called the police do you hear?!  They will be here any moment!

 

Sandy:

        Well don’t tell them that… then they will run away and we won’ be able to nab them.

 

Joe:

        You said it earlier.

 

Sandy:

        I guess I did.  ( turning back to the phone)  Yes.  Please bring someone out as soon as possible.  Thank you so much.              Bye.

 

Joe:

        Honey an you finish the dishes for me?  

 

Sandy:

        sure thing.  Just holler to me when you see the squad car arrive ok?

 

Joe:

        I will.

 

Sandy:   ( calling form the kitchen)

        How is the headache?

 

Joe:

        Better.  The aspirin has kicked in.  It is more of the shock than anything.  It was such a startling fall.  Luckily it wasn’t                 serious.  What time is Howard supposed to arrive tomorrow?

 

Sandy:

        He said around 2 o’clock. We had better ask him to clean the gutters for us don’t you think?

 

Joe:

        Yes.  And maybe even mow the lawn while he is at it.

 

Sandy:

        Assuming that the weather is ok.  

 

Joe:

        (no reply)

 

Sandy:

        Assuming that the weather is ok!  I said.

 

Joe:

        Yes.  Yes.  I Heard.  I think I can hear the siren.

 

Sandy:

        Why do they have that thing on?  I told them it wasn’t really an emergency.

 

Joe:

        Well the kids have run away now for sure.  I don’t know why they are even bothering at this point to come out.

 

Sandy:

        It is just good to talk to them at least.  

 

Joe:

        Here they are.  I see them coming. 

 

Sandy:

        You keep still on the sofa, I want you to rest.  I can talk to them.  

 

Joe:

        Well we both can.  (Irritated)  I’m sure I can talk from the sofa right here.   

 

            (Door knocks, Sandy peeks and opens)

 

Sandy:

        Yes officer.  So glad that you could come out.  Please come in.  

 

Officer:  

        Well thank you.  So I hear that you have been getting some prank calls or..

 

Joe:

        No.. it’s the door!  Someone or thing.. we actually don’t know what it is, has been knocking on the door.

 

Officer:

        So you think it could be some kids?

 

Sandy:

        Yes.  Joe said that some neighbors were complaining about some … what do they call it Joe?

 

Joe:

        Ding-dongs!

 

Sandy:

        Yes.  Ding- dongs.  

 

Officer:

        Ok.  You mean like they run up to the door, knock it and then run away?

 

Sandy:

        Yes.  I think that it what they do.  But like we said, we don’t know for sure.

 

Joe:

        Yea well, our neighbor Eugenie Windsmore next door said she heard giggling in some bushes or something once when             she went to go get her door.

 

Officer:

        Did you hear any giggling?  Or see anything?  ( writing down in his notepad)

 

Joe:

        No we didn’t.  But we are also afraid that when we left the house..

 

Sandy:

        yea you see, he had a fall when he went out to our garage to put away our ladder that we thought might be causing the             banging on the door.

 

Officer:

        Oh it was a banging sound?

 

Sandy:

        No, I’m sorry, I guess it was more of a knocking.  Wouldn’t you say Joe?  More of a knocking than a banging?

 

Joe:

        Yes, a knocking.  Not a banging.  

 

Sandy:  

        And so when he went out and fell in the garage, I went after him to help because I was worried, but then I forgot to lock the         door on my way out to help him.

 

Officer:

        So you are saying that you are afraid that someone might have entered the home while you were outside?

 

Joe:

        Yes!

 

Sandy:

        You don’t have to yell Joe, he is right here.  

 

Officer:

        Do you mind if I have a look around the house outside?  

 

Sandy:

        No, by all means please do.

 

Officer:

        Maybe while I am out there, you can kind of look around to make sure that all of your belongings are where they should…

 

Sandy:

        Yes.  Great idea.  We will do that.  

 

Joe:

        We probably should have done that earlier, instead of you doing the dishes.  Check all of the china, our DVD player, your             jewelry set which you keep down here for god only knows what reason.

 

Sandy:

        Yes .. yes.  I know.  

 

Joe:

        Check the clock too!  I paid a small fortune for that thing.  

        

 

Sandy:

        Can you see him?  What is he doing out there?

 

Joe:

        He’s looking around in the Junipers.  ( some silence)

        How about you?  Do we have all of our belongings?

 

Sandy:

        It seems to be all here.  ( officer returns)

 

Joe:

        Did you find anything?

 

Officer:

        Well it.. I don’t want to scare you, but it does look like someone might have been out here.  Do you want to come and look?

 

Sandy:

        What is it?  Joe.. you stay on the sofa.

 

Joe:

        No… I am getting up.  I have had a bout all I can…

 

Sandy:

        Are you sure? 

 

Joe:

        Yes.  ( Joe gets up and they all go outside)

 

Officer:

        You see here?  See where the branches are broken?

 

Joe:

        Yes.  I do.  See it Sandy?

 

Sandy:

        Yes.  Yes I see it.  

 

Officer:

        Also, come over here.  ( they all follow)  See these cigarette butts?  Anybody smoke around here?

 

Joe:

        Haven’t touched them in thirty years.

 

Sandy:

        Never did touch them.

 

Officer:

        This is worrying.  ( writing in his pad)

 

Joe:

        You suppose it’s some kind of pervert?  Or?

 

Officer:

        Probably less likely a pervert, more like someone casing the place.  Preying on the elderly.  Which brings me to my next             question.  Do you have all of your belongings?  Anything missing?

 

Sandy:

        Everything seems to be here.  Why would they knock on the door?  It doesn’t make sense.  I mean if you are going to steel         from a place, wouldn’t you want to be as secretive as possible?

 

Joe:

        That’s why I was thinking it might be a pervert or something.  

 

Officer:

        I tell you what.  I will put all of this information into police records and if anything happens you make sure to call the precinct         right away and ask for Officer Newcombe.  

 

Joe:

        What was it again?

 

Oficer:

        Officer Gary Newcombe.

 

Sandy:

        We will officer Newcombe.  Thank you so much for coming out.  

 

Joe:

        Yes.  Thank you so much.  We hear horror stories now and then about some bad eggs that occasionally pop up in your             squads here and there, but for the most part, what would our communities do without the police? 

 

Sandy:

        Let’s stay off of the politics ok Joe?

 

Officer:

        You hear me now, anything happens and you give us a call, ask for my name.

 

Sandy:

        Oh thanks again.

 

Joe:

        Thank you officer Newcombe.  ( They close the door)

 

        Well what a great police man.  Came in like a gentleman, did his job, asked the right questions.  Almost gives one a little             hope. 

 

Sandy:

        Yes.  Although I am rather scared of who the hell was out there.  It creeps me out that someone was out there peaking in.          Don’t people have anything better to do than to prey on the elderly? 

 

Joe:

        I took some offense to that.  I was going to tell him I didn’t feel so elderly.  And also, he seemed like it was absurd that I  would think a pervert might be watching us, like we are a couple of old sloppy bags with nothing in us anymore.  Little do             they know right Sandy?  ( goes to give her a kiss on her cheek)

 

Sandy:

        You make it sound like you wouldn’t mind that some peeping tom was out there watching us.  “Who in the world did I  marry?”  I ask myself sometimes.

 

Joe:

        Here give me another kiss.  Boy, who would have thought that at… what time did you say?  9:34?  That we would be where  we are right now.

 

Sandy:

        Well nothing has really changed other than we know now that we have some creep outside. 

 

Joe:

        Your right.  But I am a few IQ points lower from that fall.  That is a little different.  

 

Sandy:

        oh yea.  How is your head?  

 

Joe:        Better.  I am fine to be honest.  

A Clipboard

Prison - a room .. a table and two chairs.  (Enter Justin Anderson,  escorted by two guards and Dr. Jordan)

 

(They get seated)

 

Dr:  (brings out a clipboard)

    Well thanks for coming today Justin.

 

Justin:

    It’s not like I had a choice.

 

Dr:

    (chuckles officiously)  Yea, I suppose your right.   Let’s first start off with, how are they treating you on the inside?

 

Justin:

    Fine.

    

Dr:

    Haven’t gotten in any fights… or .. trouble?

 

Justin:

 

    Once, out in the yard, but it was minor.

 

Dr:

    You feel safe in your cell?  You don’t feel like anyone is out to ..

 

Justin:

    Kill me?

 

Dr:

    Yea.

 

Justin:

    no… there haven’t been any serious problems.

 

Dr: 

    Ok great.  I guess how I want to start is by asking you a little bit about your background.  May I ask Justin, how old are you?

 

Justin:

    26.

 

Dr:  

    Your height?

 

Justin:

    5’8’’.

 

Dr:

    Your weight?

 

Justin:

    What the fuck does this have to do with psychology?

 

Dr:

    I know, these are stupid questions for what we are doing today, I just have to fill out this form unfortunately.

 

Justin:

    155 lbs.

 

Dr:

    where were you born?

 

Justin:

    Memphis.

 

Dr:

    Tennessee?

 

Justin:

    Yep, it’s the only one that I know of.

 

Dr:

    Let’s see.   What year would that be?  ( thinking with pen in mouth looking up)

 

Justin:

    1994.

Dr:

    yep.. 1994.  ( chuckles officiously)  You’ll notice Justin, as you get older, its harder and harder to do simple things like math in         your head.

 

Justin:

    That’s what I have heard.  Im’ not looking forward to it. 

 

Dr:

    Ok, now tell me a little bit about Memphis, was it a safe neighborhood where you grew up?

 

Justin:

    It was in the poorer side of town.  A lot of blue collar workers.

 

Dr:

    Was there much crime?

 

Justin:

    Yea, a lot of petty thievery.  That kind of thing.

 

Dr:

    Any violence?

 

Justin:

    Not really.  A few domestics, but just a lot of hobos and people down on their luck.

 

Dr:

    Ok.  So it says here in my notes that you went to a boarding school.  Is that right?

 

Justin:

    Yep.

 

Dr:

    What was the name of it?

 

Justin:

    St. John’s school for boys.

 

Dr:

    Did you like it?

 

Justin:

    No.  It fucking sucked.

 

Dr:

    Tell me about it.  

 

Justin:

    What do you want to know?

 

Dr:

    Was it a therapy school?

 

Justin:

    You mean a school for fucked up troubled teens?

 

Dr:

    Yea, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but yea… was it?

 

Justin:

    Yea.

 

Dr:

    why were you brought there?  Why didn’t you go to a regular public school?

 

Justin:

    My family broke apart early, I got into some trouble with the law, they couldn’t handle me, so they put me in this kind of foster         care boarding school.  

 

Dr:

    Tell more about your experience there.  Tell me about your teachers. 

 

Justin:

 

    What do you want to know?

 

Dr:

    Did you like any of them?

 

Justin:

    Yea, a couple were alright.

 

Dr:

    What were their names?

 

Justin:

    Mr. Westmueller was ok.  

 

Dr:

    What did he teach?

 

Justin:

    Car shop.

 

Dr:

    You like building cars?

 

Justin:

    love it.

 

Dr:

    What do you like about it?

 

Justin:

    I don’t know.  I just fucking love it.

 

Dr:

    It gives you a sense of accomplishment to do something, create something, put together something with your hands?

    

Justin:

    I guess.  

 

Dr:

    How bout any other teachers.  Tell me about them.

 

Justin:

    That I liked?

 

Dr:

    Yea.

 

Justin:

    There was Mrs. Hannon.

 

Dr:

    What did you kind of like about her?

 

Justin:

    She was fucking hot for one.

 

Dr:

    Ok.  So she was easy on the eyes to look at.  What class did she teach?

 

Justin:

    music.

 

Dr:

    Do you play an instrument?

 

Justin:

    You mean did I?  

 

Dr:

    Yes.  

 

Justin:

    I played the drums a few years in band.

 

Dr:

    Did you ever have a band of your own outside of school?

 

Justin:

    Fuck yea.

 

Dr:

    what was the name of it?

 

Justin:

    Men of Metal.

 

Dr:

    Did you ever play live in town?

 

Justin:

    Only a couple of times, sort of.

 

Dr:

    What do you mean ‘sort of’?

 

Justin:

    well, we knew these guys in another band that became very popular in town, and they kind of let us play a bit in-between their sets.  

 

Dr:

    Never went big huh?

 

Justin:

    no.  

 

Dr:

    Tell me about…. ( looks at clipboard)… Mrs. Hannon.

 

Justin:

    What do you want to know?

 

Dr:

    was there anything you liked about her besides that she was hot?

 

Justin:

    She was nice to me.  

 

Dr:

    Give me an example.

 

Justin:

    One time I punched this kid in the nose that was irritating me and she took my side.  

 

Dr:

    It felt good that someone understood your feelings?

 

Justin:

    I guess.

 

Dr:

    Were there any teachers that you didn’t like?  Oh yea, I forgot to ask.  They had woman teachers at the boys school?

 

Justin:

    Yea.  The school was taught by both men and women, but the after hours were all boys and men.

 

Dr:

    Ok.  Tell me about the teachers you didn’t like.  I’m sure there were plenty of them.

 

Justin:

    Well, actually the teachers in general weren’t bad.  It was only or two of them that I just couldn’t stand.

 

Dr:

    What were their names?

 

Justin:

    Mr. Deacon and…

 

Dr:

    Your kidding me.  That was his actual name?

 

Justin:

    Yea.  We made fun of it to no end too.

 

Dr:

    What was the others name?  

 

Justin:

    Mr. Harmon.

 

Dr:

    Let’s first start off with him.  Tell me what you didn’t like about Mr. Harmon?

 

Justin:

    The guy was a fucking faggot.  That’s what I disliked about him.  

 

Dr:

    Why do you call him a faggot?

 

Justin:

    Because that was what he was.

 

Dr:

    You mean that he talked effeminately?

 

Justin:

    Yea.  But it wasn’t just that.

 

DR:

    Ok, what else about him you couldn’t stand?

 

Justin:

    The guy was a fucking asshole.  

 

Dr:

    Give me an example.  

 

Justin:

    I don’t know.  The guy thought he knew everything about everything and he treated you like you were a dumb shit.  He always         had these 8 sets of rules that were the “credo” of the school, that he never lived by himself.  

 

Dr:

    What were the “credo” rules.  

 

Justin:  ( with a nauseated sing song voice laboring in monotony)

    IMPERFECTION-  we can’t all win an election.  FRIENDSHIP  - we are not all a bunch of losers but beggars can’t be choosers.

We are all INSANE- tell a friend and explain.  We are all IDIOTS- sometimes we fall and do the splits.  We are ORDINARY- don’t be so ornery.  Don’t be ROMANTIC- its mean and pathetic.  EVERYONE must wear a grin- even if we didn’t win.  And finally, TRANSCEND YOURSELF- don’t be a petty elf.  

 

Dr:

    He made you memorize that by heart obviously?

 

Justin:

    Every morning at 8 sharp.  

 

Dr:

    They don’t sound like really bad rules to live by though.

 

Justin:

    No, I guess not.  But the thing is, he never followed any of the rules himself.  He strutted like a peacock in the front of the class giving his fucking sermons on History.  The guy was an arrogant asshole that made you feel like shit if you didn’t know something. Like: what year the French Revolution started.  So we have “Imperfection”- we all had chant that we were imperfect.   And yet he demanded that we be perfect at the same time.  It was obvious underneath it all, that he was perfect, and we were a bunch of fools.  The guy didn’t make any sense.  And then you have, “Friendship”.  He always talked about the homeless and how someday we might be there ourselves and that no one on earth was a loser.  That we should be kind to one another.  Sounds great right?  Only he lived in the posh side of town in this really nice place.  He was a part of the elite council in the city.  The guy had no idea what it was like to be homeless or anywhere near it.  We had a pretty good idea.  We could see it out our windows from the school at night.  Then take the we are “insane”.  Every morning we had to fucking tell each other why were insane.  It was so fucking stupid.  Then we are “idiots”.  He had us every morning talk with another about how we were idiots.  And he would sit up there with his snotty fucking smirk on his face.  Obviously in his eyes, we were all idiots that had to obey rules that he never bothered about.  We are “ordinary”.  Same thing, he would sit up there in his desk with this superior air in his nose.  Posing like a god.  We all had to chant it, while he just watched.  But when it came to study time we all had to be extraordinary.  The guy was a fucked up brainwasher.  This next one really pissed me of.  Don’t be “romantic.”  He thought there was no such thing as “the one” love of your life and he was like this fucking kill joy whenever one of us let on that we liked some girl from the town.  We all knew the guy was gay and just jealous.  He fucking hated it when we fell in love with girls.  The fucking faggot.  The guy used to look at our asses as we passed by him for our hall passes.  Everyone must wear a grin, even if we don’t win.  The guy was the moodiest asshole I ever knew.  Sometimes he would come into class all sour and pissed off for no reason whatsoever.  He would call us his little scholars.  And finally “ transcend yourself.”  Again, the guy would just sit up there in class sometimes preaching to us about how many articles he writes in the evenings and bragging how many he has written all together.   Total fucking hypocrite!

 

Dr:

    Well, that was a mouthful.  He obviously pissed you off.  Tell me, why did it bother you that he, in your eyes, wasn’t following         the rules himself?  

 

Justin:

    Oh yea.  And then one Friday one time after, literally the same day after he gave us a lecture on how we should expect no         rewards in life, we were in town watching him from the windows outside of the convention center getting a reward for best             teacher in Memphis.  The audience was clapping and shit.  

 

Dr:

    Why did it bother you that he wasn’t following the rules himself?

 

Justin:

    I don’t know.  Wouldn’t it fucking bother you?  I mean it would be like me telling you not to pick your nose like a pig, and then I         go ahead and do it myself.  The guy was a control freak, that needed all of the attention on himself.  Total fucking prick.  I don’t     care if I ever see or hear from that asshole again.

 

Dr:

    So you didn’t like the idea of being controlled.  

 

Justin:

    Well that, and the fucking hypocrisy.

 

Dr:

    No I get it.  Like there was a division that he tried to concealingly form between himself and the rest of you.  But then he was the     teacher.  That is kind of a teacher’s role.

 

Justin:

    I never asked the faggot to be my teacher.  Any way, we got our revenge on him.  

 

DR:

    How?

 

Justin:        

    One night on a weekend, we found out where he lived in the posh side of town, saw his parked Mercedes, spray painted the         word, “faggot” on its side in pink, and then we all took a shit inside of a big zip lock bag with the zipper open, and chucked it         inside the car’s open window.  There was shit caked all over his dash and seats.   Fucking righteous revenge.  

 

Dr:

    Did he ever find out who did it?

 

Justin:

    Nope.  We never squealed on each other.  

 

Dr:

    Well it is obvious to me you have a problem with gay men.  

 

Justin:

    Yea, like I want to fucking kill them.

 

Dr:

    Like you did.  

 

Justin:

    Yea.. what of it?  The fucking faggot deserved it.

 

Dr:

    let’s slow down.  Let’s back peddle before we get into any details about the night you killed Jamie Walker.  I want to talk a little more about Mr…. ( checks his clipboard) Harmon.  First of all I want to know, were yo ever molested at the boarding school?

 

Justin:

    Yes.  

 

Dr:

    You say that without hesitance.  When did it happen?

 

Justin:

    One night, when I was 12 years old, taking a shower, one of the monks of the school came into my shower stall with me.  He         masturbated me.

 

Dr:

    Did you ejaculate?

 

Justin:

    What the fuck does that matter?

 

Dr:

    How did that make you feel?

 

Justin:

    What do you think?

 

Dr:

    I know that many men and women who are molested feel guilty because a part of them enjoyed it to some extent.

 

Justin:

    Well I ain’t no faggot.  You don’t have to worry about that.

 

Dr:

    Whatever happened to the monk?  Did you ever tell authorities?

 

Justin:

    Never did.  You think I want other guys knowing that I got aroused by one of the monks?

 

Dr:

    Is he still at that school?

 

Justin:

    No, he transferred later that year to a monastery of something.  

 

Dr:

    Ever thought about still turning him in?

 

Justin:

    Isn’t there a statute of limitations of something like that?

 

Dr:

    So you have thought about it to some extent.

 

Justin:

    A little bit.  Also I know about the statute of limitations because some bitch a few years ago accused me of date raping her.

 

Dr:

    I want to get into that later.  But for now, I want to focus on your hostility towards homosexual men.  It seems obvious that there     is probably a link between the event that made you incarcerated here and your teacher Mr. Harmon and that monk.  I want you     to go a little deeper for me Justin.  When I ask you why you hate homosexuals, give me a little bit more than just, because I         hate them.  I want to help you learn to help yourself.  Why do you feel threatened by homosexuals?

 

Justin:

    I’m not afraid of them.  I will fucking kill them before they ever touch me again.  

 

Dr:

    Well maybe threatened is the wrong word.  I guess what I am trying to ask is, why do you hate gays?  And I am trying to get         beyond “just because”.  

 

Justin:

    I hate them because I like pussy.  And they stand in the way of me getting pussy.

 

Dr:

    Many women like a man that has compassion for minorities, like homosexuals.  You might be able to get, as you say, more “pussy” if you were nicer to the less fortunate.  

 

Justin:

    How the fuck is a fag like Mr. Harmon less fortunate than I am? 

 

Dr:  

    Many homosexuals hate being gay.  They hate being teased and hated like they are freaks or something.  They often feel ostracized and bullied by so called     “normal” boys, especially in school settings when they are growing up.  They often have self- loathing.  Let’s put it this way, would you like to be gay?

 

Justin:

    Fuck no.

 

Dr:

    But I want to go back to what you said earlier, you said that “ gays get in your way of you getting pussy.”  How do they “stand in     your way”?

 

Justin:

    Like for example, when I am walking up to Mr Harmon to get the hall pass and I am dreaming of getting it on with some girl in         town, and then out of the corner of my eye I see him spying my ass, it fucking kills the fantasy.   I go from heaven to hell in a         split second.  It fucking ruins my vibe.  

 

Dr:

    You like pussy?

 

Justin:

    Damn sure.  I fucked half of the girls in town.  They all fucking wanted it.  Even the one that accused me of date rape.

 

Dr:

    I mean so for a second you see Mr. Harmon’s eye on your ass, but it is only a nuisance for a few seconds right?  

 

Justin:

    yea, but then I start thinking about that time in the shower stall with that monk.

 

Dr:

    So you are afraid that you might be gay yourself.

 

Justin:

    Listen up doc!  I ain’t no faggot!  You got that?

 

Dr:

    I’m sorry Justin.  I see that you are angry.  I think you should know, that most people, men and women, have bisexual             tendencies.  

 

Justin:

    If I do then I am 99.999 percent straight.  

 

Dr:

    I don’t think there is anything to be ashamed of in…

 

Justin:

    are you trying to turn me into a faggot?  Are you a faggot!?  What the fuck is wrong with you?  You remind me of Mr. Harmon.          He deep down wanted us all to be a bunch of fags just like him.  

 

    ( enter a guard)

 

Guard:

    Everything ok in here?

 

Dr:

    Everything is fine officer McPherson.  We aren’t having any real problems are we Justin.

 

Justin:

    If you keep calling me a faggot there will be.  

 

Dr:     (to officer)

    We are ok , I will holler if I need you help.  I trust Justin.  

 

Guard:

    Ok, just let me know.  (Leaves)

 

Dr:

    I am not trying to turn you into a faggot Justin.  What I am trying to do is get to what caused you to kill Jamie Walker.  I am         trying to help you.  Your suffering with hatred.  I want to alleviate your pain.  I think that that monk that molested you when you         were 12 hurt you more than you realize.

 

Justin:

    He didn’t hurt me, I am not a pussy.  

 

Dr:

    It’s ok to be hurt.  To feel hurt.   It is only human.

 

Justin:

    ( staring in silence)

 

Dr:

    What are you thinking about Justin?  Talk to me.

 

Justin:

    Nothing.  

 

Dr:

    Look at me Justin.

 

Justin:

    (looks away to the window)

 

 

Dr:

    I tell you what, know might be a good time to take a break, lets go out and get a cup of coffee together and then we will return         ok?

 

Justin:

    ok.  

 

 

 

    ( they return and sit down)

 

Dr:

    Alright, where were we?

 

Justin:

    We were talking about Mr. Harmon.  

 

Dr:

    Yea but… (looking at his clipboard)  Oh yea.. the monk in the shower.  I have a book to offer you.  Its called… ( reaches in his brief case)  “Surviving the Predator that Stole Your Youth”

 

Justin:

    Sounds like a bunch of gay shit.  

 

Dr:

    Here, I want you to take it and read it in your cell and bring it back to me the next time that we meet.

 

Justin:

    No.. no.. Iv’e never been in to that self -help crap.  

 

Dr:

    All I am asking is that you try.  This book was written by a PHD psychologist.  He really knows what he is talking about.

 

Justin:

    I never cared much for reading anyway.  Besides, it will just get me all pissed and feeling like a victim.  I hate it when people try     to make you feel like a victim.  

 

Dr:

    Of course, you want to be respected.  It’s really straight forward.  He doesn’t use any fancy jargon or anything like that.  Please     take it… ( hands it to Justin)

 

Justin:

    Well, alright.   ( takes is from Dr.)

    Say what is your name again?

 

Dr:

    I’m Doctor Jordan.  But you can call me by my first name, Bill.  

 

Justin:

    Ok, thank’s Bill.  Well now what?  

 

Dr:

    What do you mean?

 

Justin:

    Well now what do you want to talk about?

 

Dr:

    I suppose we could start talking about the night of the killing.

 

Justin:

    Ok.  What do you want to know?

 

Dr:

    Well my notes say… ( checks his clipboard).  My notes say that the murder took place around 7:15 pm.  Is that right?

 

Justin:

    Yes.  Around there.  I can’t remember exactly.  

 

Dr:  

    Well where you a couple hours before the killing?

 

Justin:

    I was at my girlfriends, getting laid.  ( laughs)

 

Dr:

    Ok, where does or did she live?

 

Justin:

    Not far from where I worked.  

 

Dr:

    Where did you work?

 

Justin:

    I worked at Melrose Gas Station as a mechanic, on the east side of town.

 

Dr:  

    Do you remember roughly when you left her place?  

 

Justin:

    Probably about an hour before.

 

 

        ( a pause of silence and uncertainty between the two)

 

Dr:

    So what happened next?

 

 

 

Justin:

    I went to go fill my tank and get some smokes at the gas station where I worked.  I used to get a discount.

 

Dr:

    Can you tell me what made you decide to go to Lucy’s Bar?

 

Justin:

    My friend Matt wanted to go.

 

Dr:

    Was that a regular hang out for the two of you?  

 

Justin:

    Yea.  We would often go scope out chicks.

 

Dr:

    But you said you had a girlfriend.

 

Justin:

    (laughs) yea.  Just cause a guy is taken doesn’t mean he can’t look at the menu.  Besides, I cheated on her all of the time.  I         like everything on the menu if you know what I mean.  (Smirks at Dr. but the doctor doesn’t respond)

 

Dr:

    Do you remember the first time that you saw Jamie enter .. or maybe I should ask.  When is the first time that Jamie came into         your awareness?

 

Justin:

    I saw the fucker the whole fucking time I was in the place.  He was seated right behind me.  The guy wouldn’t fucking shut up.  I     could hardly hear Matt speak, the guy was so loud.   He had this laugh that sounded so lame.  Like the guy was a fucking             retarded walrus or something.  

 

Dr:

    Do you remember how the confrontation began?

 

Justin:

    Yea.  I finally told the fucker to shut the fuck up.

 

Dr:

    Did he?

 

Justin:

    No.  The faggot started hitting on me.  Like checking out my chest and ass and shit, and then he started giggling at me with his     boyfriend.  

 

Dr:

    And then what happened?

 

Justin:

    The guy told me that he knew that I wanted it up my ass.  And that he and his boyfriend were going to give it to me.  The             moment he said it I stood up and hit him straight in the nose and I heard the cartilage crack.  Blood immediately started running     down his face like a fucking pressurized fountain.  I took him off of his chair and threw him down on the floor and as he was         falling his head hit another table.  His boyfriend was a fucking pussy.  He just started walking away. 

 

Dr:

    Then what happened?

 

Justin:

    I grabbed his head by the hair when he was on the floor and kept hitting his face until it turned into a pulp of blood and puss.          Until the guys fucking eyes were closed shut.  I took one last huge punch right down the center of his face and I heard his head     crack on the concrete.  At that point I knew I had killed him.  The sound of it. 

 

Dr:

    (looking disturbed)   

A Boat

Philosopher - Jim (rower),  Artist- Karthik (rower),  musician- Ben , Poet Omar 

 

    (Scene:   the four men are out on the calm ocean, mid-day, rowing a 6x 12 foot wooden boat.)  

 

Jim: (rowing with broad heroic chest)

    I’m so glad that we have a chance like this to get out again…I hope we can make this a regular thing.

 

Karthik: ( rowing heroically, but with a little less chest than Jim)

    I know, and it is another glorious day.  

 

Ben:

    I’m hoping I hear that sooty stern again.  I am going to try and mimic and incorporate it into my next composition.

 

Omar:  

    Oh yes.. we are blessed with another majestic, exquisite day.  I can feel the words incubating in me already. 

 

Karthik:

    I have my portable easel and oils, you have your diary Omar I see, Ben has his guitar, and Jim has his brain.  All four of us sure     are playing our parts well. 

 

Jim:

    Our modern culture just doesn’t allow for this kind of luxury and leisure anymore… everyone is so busy making money for             themselves and their families.   We are four bachelors that have braved the currents and shunned the baits of matrimony, for         higher callings.  

 

Omar:

    Very poetically said Jim, very nice.    

 

Ben:

    Jim, I just love this boat, it is so old fashioned, where did you get it?

 

Jim:

    Can you believe it?  I found it at an antique dealer on Larson St. and Newberry.  The wood is a little old, but I didn’t find any         leaks.  

 

Omar:

    Let’s hope there are no leaks.  ( chuckles )  Oh I have seen that place.. it is a mix between junk yard and old collectibles.  I have     almost stopped in a couple times, but I haven’t found quite the time.   I saw, out on the sidewalk, they had some wonderful old         desks on display from the 19th century.  

 

Karthik:

    Don’t get too busy Omar.  You must leave time open for such niceties, stop in next time for me will you?  Your hint of being a         busy body has made me a bit uptight.  

 

Omar: (chuckles)

    I will Karthik, don’t worry I leave plenty of time during my day for open casual strollings into superfluous recreations.  I write the     first half of the day, and saunter around town the next half.  I will stop in next time.  

 

Jim:

    Remind me later gentlemen, when we settle down after our picnic lunch in the boat, I want to give you that lecture that I am         going to present to the University next week, I hope you don’t mind.  I really want to prepare it well, and it will be good practice         for me.

 

Ben:

    What’s it on Jim?

 

Jim:

    The representational mind and its distortions.  

 

Kathik:

    Sounds fascinating, it will be a pleasure to listen to as I paint the seascape around me.  I just love the smell of the open sea          ( expanding the chest) .  It’s so invigorating out here.  I am getting such a good workout on my pectorals as well with this rowing.

 

Jim:

    Never found a better work out for the lats and pecs than rowing, also the legs…. the legs, people don’t realize but rowing is a full     body experience.  I love it.  ( chest expands)

 

 

Ben:

    After Jim gives his presentation, I will play some pieces by Rodrigo and De Falla.

 

Omar:

    Exquisite.. how about this?  After Ben is done playing I will recite to you some of my poems.

 

Jim:

    This is what it is all about gentlemen.  The good life of the mind and the arts.  

 

Ben:

    What’s for lunch?  

 

Jim:

    Tuna sandwiches and potato chips.  

 

Omar:

    Anyone bring any wine?

 

Karthik:

    I thought you are muslim Omar.  You don’t drink do you?

 

Omar:

    You don’t know this about me, but in the last few months I have converted to atheism.  I drink now, and to be honest, like a fish.

 

 

Ben:

    Guys let me get lunch next time ok?

 

Jim:

    Sure thing, it was Omar last week, next week will be your turn Ben.  To answer your question Omar, I brought 2 bottles.  

 

Omar:

    Superb.  I love to write with a little buzz.  Have you been selling any paintings lately Karthik?

 

Karthik:

    Just sold one at a gallery for $22,000.  

 

Ben:

    Oh that is just great Karthik.  Is that how much a painting of yours is roughly priced?

 

Karthik:

    That is about average.  If I do a small still life 8 by 10, those will run a few thousand, and then my bigger landscape 40 by 60’s         can go all the way up to 40 grand.  

 

Jim:

    You deserve it Karthik.  Your quality and craftsmanship, your use of richness of color and composition, your a real master.  Very     few of you around these days.  

 

Karthik:

    Well thank god for Silicon Valley.  Most of my clients are from there.  

 

Omar:

    People belittle the aristocracy, but lets face it, they have the only life that is really worth living.  The bourgeoisie is too busy         working, running after the delusional dream, the proletariat have nothing to offer but sterile, colorless, enforced -equality.   

 

Jim:

    Don’t tell anyone, Omar.  But I whole-heartedly agree with you.  The university types would castrate me if they found out.  

 

Ben:

    How far out do you want to go Jim?

 

Jim:

    Let me and Karthik row for about another half hour an then we have lunch.. sound like a plan?

 

Ben:

    Sounds great.

 

Kathink:

    Did any of you guys bring sun screen?  I forgot.

 

Ben:

    I wouldn’t think you would need any Karthik.  Your basically black aren’t you?

 

Kathik:

    Oh I sunburn.  We dark skinned types can still sunburn.  You whites don’t know that.  

 

Omar:

    I’m not as dark as you Karthik, but I sun burn as well.

 

Ben:

    When it comes to the sun and the idea of skin cancer, I am a total paranoid.  I have plenty of sunscreen Karthik, you can use         mine.   I just put it on my legs and arms, as you can see my big wide brimmed hat covers most of my body.

 

Jim:

    I was going to say Ben, that hat you are wearing makes Van Goghs look like a clowns small bowler hat in size.  How wide is that     thing?

 

Ben:

    It has a wing span of 4 feet.  

 

Jim:

    Holy shit, that is huge.  

 

Ben:

    It is actually a sombrero I bought in Mexico City.  I love to wear it when I play Rodrigo.  

 

Kathik:

    It fits the bill, no pun intended.  

 

Omar:

    Hey, I am the word smith around here, don’t take my lines Karthik.  ( looks around to the great expanse of blue before him)          There is something mystical about the ocean.

 

Jim:

    Mystical and terrifying at the same time. 

 

Omar:

    Sublime… the word you are looking for is sublime.  Awe- inspiring, beautiful in its power to overwhelm you.  Not the kind of         beauty of a flower say, but the beauty of a forming tornado or.. 

 

Karthik:

    Got it Omar.  We know what ‘sublime’ means.   Ben’s hat is sublime.  Its mass and size demands respect.  

 

Jim:

    That’s for sure… Ben’s hat is certainly sublime… like the hoover dam.  Hey look guys!  A school of dolphins.

 

Ben:

    I saw that.  Look at those things weave through the water, you can see the surface rippling… 

 

Omar:

    Amazing to see god’s creatures playing in a recreation of joy.  I may need to get this experience in my diary guys… ( gets his         diary from a bag.. starts jotting)

 

Jim:

    Love it Omar… love the spirit.  Well I suppose guys we could stop here and watch the schools swim and eat our tuna                 sandwiches.

 

Ben:

    I’m in.

 

Karthik:

    Are you sure you don’t want to row another half - hour..

 

Omar:

    I’m in too.. this is a democracy Karthik.. 3 out of 4 say yay.. to 1 nay.  I say we stay.

 

Ben:

    Oh you wordsmith.  

 

Karthik:

    Ok guys.

 

Jim:

    I hate to say this guys, but we have a slight leak up here at the bow.  It Is nothing serious, it just may mean in an hour or so our     feet, socks and shoes may get a bit wet.  

 

Ben:

    Here, take this towel from my bag, use it to plug and mop it up Jim.  

 

Jim:

    Thanks Ben.. will do.  ( takes it and plugs and mops)  Well its lunch time gentlemen.  Here, open these bottles will you Omar?          (Hands Omar bottles with corkscrew)

 

Omar:

    Don’t mind if I do.. I can feel the incubation and muse fusing with the wine already.  

 

Karthik:

    How do you do it Omar?  You are just an infinite reservoir of wordplay.

 

Omar:

    My Father used to call it idiocy.  ( opens the bottles)

 

Ben:

    I’m going to have to put my guitar up on this bench to make sure it won’t get wet.

 

Jim:

    Not a problem now Jim, your towel has done the job.

 

Ben:

    Ok great.  

 

Karthik:

    I’m going to take the opportunity now to get out my easel and paints.  

 

Omar:

    Oh! ( chuckles)  I thought you said I am going to get out my ‘eel’ and paints…

 

Karthik:

    Nope… easel.  

 

Jim:

    Here you go boys, one large tuna sandwich and a bag of potato chips alla supreme.  

 

Omar:

    Do you have cups Jim for the wine?

 

Jim:

    Sure do.  ( hands them  to Omar)

 

Ben:

    Oh… Cabernet Sauvignon may favorite.  

 

Jim:

    Before you get too involved in your painting Karthik, let’s eat first ok?

 

Karthik:

    Ok… I just want to prime the canvas here real quick..  I have this primer that dries in literally minutes.. the stuff is amazing.

 

 

Omar:

    A toast men… to the good life … the fine life of the Philosopher, Artist, Poet and Musician.  Here here!!!

 

 

Karthik:

    Here here!!!

 

 

Jim:

    Here here!

 

Ben:

    Here here!

 

 

Omar:

    Its has a crisp body, the tannins are excellent,  with a slight cherry hint of nuts.  ( rolling and washing the wine under his tongue- breathing out of his mouth     and inhaling the aroma with his nose)

 

Ben:

    Boy you really are into your wine Omar.

 

Karthik:

    I rarely drink when I paint… but today will be an exception.

 

Jim:

    Why don’t you drink when you paint Karthik?

 

Karthik:

    My strokes aren’t clean and precise.  I lose the edge of the line… the grace of the sober hand.  

 

Omar:

    Be thankful you don’t have Parkinson’s Karthik… I know a fella who is a writer and has Parkinson’s, he takes twenty minutes         just to write one word, and he keeps misspelling it and having to go back again and start over… the man must be tortured to no     end.

 

Jim:

    Look the school is coming towards us!

 

Ben:

    oh how exciting!  

 

Omar:

    Holy shit did you guys see that?!

 

Karthik:

    How could you miss it?  

 

Jim:

    It was a swordfish.

 

Ben:

    Jumped out of the ocean like it was being chased or something…

 

Jim:

    Predation.  The dolphins were probably surrounding it and trying to kill it for their lunch.

 

Omar:

    We eat tuna, and the dolphins eat swordfish.

 

Karthik:

    Have you guys ever had swordfish?  It’s absolutely delicious.  Try some sometime.

 

Omar:

    I’ve had it.. try it with some Merlot and you will be in second heaven.

 

 

Ben:

    You and your wines Omar.

 

Jim:

    Look!  There it jumped again!  Did you see that?  

 

Karthik:

    That thing looks like it is headed straight towards us…

 

Ben:

    It looks like a missile on a mission… look how fast that thing is coming towards us.

 

Jim:

    I hope the thing doesn’t plow right into us.

 

Omar:

    Oh shit… my wine glass… 

 

Jim:

    Hold on guys it’s going to hit us!

 

Karthik:

    Turn away from us you freak!

 

Ben:

    My guitar!  ( grabs it)

 

        ( swordfish jams its sword into the boats weak spot up at the bow near the previous leak, the swordfish is stuck)

 

 

Jim:

    Ah!  It almost stabbed my leg… what the?!  Get me a knife and I will cut the things nose off.. Anyone have a knife?!

 

 

Karthik:  ( grabs his knife from his painting easel)  Here it isn’t really sharp but…  ( Jim begins cutting off the sword… water is coming     in the boat)

 

 

Omar:

    Man plans and God laughs isn’t that the saying Jim?

 

Jim:

    Does anyone have anything sharper?  

 

Ben:

    I wonder if my guitar is still in tune.. that was a pretty big bump in the boat.

 

Karthik:

    Here Jim… I found some scissors.  Take these. 

 

Jim:

    ( cuts off the sword and throws it into the sea in measured disgust… the dolphins devour the sword and swordfish as it breaks         away free from the bow)

 

Ben:

    Are you sure those are dolphins?  I didn’t think that they ate anything as big as a swordfish.

 

Jim:

    Well they do now. 

 

Karthik:

    Shoot the water is coming in fairly fast.. 

 

Jim:

    Here… take this bucket and start dumping some of this water out would you Karthik?

 

Karthik:

    Sure.  

 

Jim:

    If I can jam this towel up there into the hole a little more we may be ok still.  Who could have guessed the thing would have         plunged its dagger straight into the leak from before.  Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.

 

Omar:

    Truth is stranger than fiction huh Jim?  Did they teach you that at the University?

 

Jim:

    If I can just wrap this up into a ball… ( not paying attention to Omar)

 

Omar:

    Ah.. this wine is just exquisite.  Ben, tell me about your music a little.  Why is Rodrigo so heralded as such a great composer in     Spain?

 

Ben:

    It’s the taste.  His form is superb, almost uncanny in its execution.  

 

Omar:

    So it isn’t the complexity so much as…

 

Ben:

    The music is really fairly straight forward and simple.. but its the form and the taste.. the choice of notes at just the right spot in     time with just the perfect amount.

 

Omar:

    Sounds like a bottle of Chateau Leoville Barton 65.

 

Karthik:

    Here Jim.  I found some of my artist’s putty, will that work for filling the hole?  I accidentally left the cover open the other night         and it dried a bit.. but it might work perfect for this…

 

Jim:

    Sure.  ( grabs it.. tries to plug it.. )  no… you had better keep pouring buckets Karthik, we may have to turn around here and call     it a day.

 

Omar:

    Oh don’t be silly Jim.  It’s not that much water being taken in,

 

Ben:

    As long as Karthik keeps throwing buckets out we should be fine.

 

 

Jim:

    To be honest it would kind of be nice if you guys could help out a bit.

 

Ben:

    ( not paying attention)  Omar, tell me about Poetry, I bet our vocations have many similarities.

 

Omar:

    Its all about the ear.  Poetry is really just words put in a musical way.  To be honest.  Poetry is Music and visa versa.

 

Jim:

    Oh my god.. what the fuck is this?  

 

Omar:

    What is it Jim?

    

Jim:

    A squid was trying to get in through the hole into the boat.

 

Ben:

    Ive heard that squid, jelly fish and octopus .. all those invertebrates can shape-shift there body down to the smallest diameter..         like an inch in width.

 

Omar:

    They are the Houdini’s of the sea.  They can get out of any glass locked box on any seashore.  They are the original stretch         men.

 

Ben:

    I saw a fascinating show on tv the other day…. 

 

Karthik:

    The water seems to be coming in at the same rate that I am scooping it out.  ( the boat is dragging low a fair amount)

 

Jim:

    I tell you what.. I have the hole pretty well covered with the putty and towel.. water is still coming in, but not as bad as before.          Karthik, how about I row while you keep getting water out?

 

Karthik:

    Good idea!

 

Omar:

    Aren’t they amazing?  Here, have some more wine Ben.

 

Ben:

    Thank you.  ( Omar pours)  My next composition I want to really explore a whole new region for myself and all of mankind.

 

Omar:

    Think big, think big.  Most people think too small.  

 

Jim:

    Can you guys help a little bit?

 

Omar:

    Oh sure.. I thought there was only one bucket.

 

Jim:

    Well there is but..

 

Ben:

    And Karthik is taking up all of the space at the stern since all of the water is flowing back there, we can’t do anything can we?

 

Jim:

    I suppose.  ( irritated)

 

Omar:

    I want to do the exact same thing in my next project as well.  Something epic.  Like a T. S Eliot four quartets or even if I dare         say, a Paradise Lost.  I’d be satisfied even with writing another The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  Pass me the bottle would you         Ben?

 

Ben:

    You have it in you Omar, I know you do.

 

Jim:

    Were dragging quite a bit.. there is so much lag, its hard to row.  Any chance you can get the water out faster back there             Karthik?

 

Karthik:

    I’m going as fast as I can.

 

Jim:

    That’s it.  Omar and Ben we need you guys to scoop water out with your hands.  All men on deck!

 

Omar:

    Have you had a chance to read Dillards essays on the relationship of music to the psyche and how it manifests into …

 

Jim:

    You guys need to shut up!  And start cupping your hands and getting some of this fucking water out of here!

 

Omar:

    Don’t you want to hear my poem Jim?  I was going to recite it… or how bout your presentation?  Don’t you want..

 

Jim:

    Here, take this empty bottle of wine that you downed alone Omar, and fill it up with water and get some of this shit out of here.

 

Omar:

    ( to Ben secretly)  Aye Aye Captain.  Man, what a philistine.  

 

Ben:

    Don’t be too hard on him Omar.  Philosophers take things more seriously in general than you or I do.  You and I are more in the     impractical arts, the dreamy whimsical ethereal that can’t be placed with the common man.  We are men to suffer our works         having no practical purpose or place in this mundane world of people concerned with mere survival.  This is our cross. 

 

 

Omar:

    How does this work, do I just drop it in the water like this or…. ?  ( half heartedly dropping the bottle under the water line)

 

 

Ben:

    I think that is the way it works… and then let the bubbles ….

 

Jim:

    What are you doing Ben to help your fellow man?!

 

 

Karthik:

    Yea Ben!  Help us out!  ( frantically pouring out buckets)

 

Ben:

    Well I kept my guitar safe from the water so that I can bless humanity with the Orpheum sweets I inherited through my Muse.

 

Karthik:

    yea but what are you doing right now to save us from losing our lives?!  ( looking deranged)  

 

Jim:

    I think I see land.. it looks to be a couple miles away from what I can tell!  I’m not sure were going to make it!  So much water         has been taken in…and I am tiring!

 

Omar:

    We’d better help a little more Ben.  Here, let me down this other bottle and then you use it for getting water out as well ok?

 

Ben:

    Ok.  ( Omar swills)

 

Omar:

    Karthik… don’t you want to do a painting for us?

 

Ben:

    We were really looking forward to it.  I don’t know how you are able to do it.

 

Jim:

    Were not going to make it.. I can’t hold on much longer.. your guitar Ben!  It’s floating away!

 

Ben:

    Oh my guitar!  

 

Jim:

    Too late now.   Your easel is going into the ocean Karthik!  

 

Karthik:

    Forget the Easel.. Im concerned for my life at this point.  There are sharks in these waters!

 

 

Omar:

    Oh don’t be so serious Karthik.  You sound so typical of some banal soul concerned with mere survival.  Don’t be such a.. I hate     to say it, a Philistine.  I can’t believe you guys don’t want to hear my poem.  But cest la vie… so is life.  Our souls poetry and         music are fated to go unheard in this earthly existence; and we are left being our own performer and sole audience member in         the stands.  Narcissism is the fate of all truly Great artists, its the only thing that can allow them to endure to solitude and             hardship of…

 

Jim:

    Would you fucking shut up?  Or I am going to take this oar and bash it over your head!  As a matter of fact!  ( slams the oar         down onto Omars back and head)

 

Ben:

    Oh my god.. are you trying to kill him?  Stop!  Stop!

 

Karthik:

    Gain your reason, your stoicism Jim!  Remember Marcus Aurelius!  ( Jim still bashing Omar until Ben tackles him into the water     over the boats edge… the boat is nearly completely full)

 

Omar:

    Iv’e heard of stories where people get hit on the head and turn into math genius’s… maybe that will be my ….

 

 

Karthik:  ( tackles Omar) 

    I’m with Jim.  Ive had it with you!  

 

    ( the boat completely sinks and sharks begin to circle the four men splashing and fighting in the ocean)

A Pad and Pen

Dr. Nasby and Henry Jacob in Dr. Nasby's office and Session Room

 

 

Therapist and client

 

Dr. Nasby:     

    How was your week?

 

Henry:

    Alright.  I mean, let’s face it, it’s not perfect, but let’s not pretend that 99% of the worlds population wouldn’t be happy to change     places with me.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Anything been bothering you in particular of late?

 

Henry:

    my father doesn’t want me to write.  Every time I bring it up that I am writing, he gives me a stern cold look of condemnation and     silence.  If I show any signs of talent, he completely ignores it and stamps it out.  It’s almost like the better I get at writing, the         more I am shunned.   But I am not going to let that stop me from writing.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Why do you think that he doesn’t want you to write?

 

Henry:

    Because I think he had aspirations to be a writer.  Since the world didn’t embrace his writing, ‘why should it embrace mine?’         Kind of thing. 

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Have you ever read the story of Cronus?  God of Time in Greek Mythology? 

 

Henry:

    I forgot.  What is it about again?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    He castrated and deposed his father; and then, in fear of a prophecy that he would in turn be overthrown by his own son,             Cronus swallowed each of his children as they were born.  

 

Henry:

    Sounds like my dad.

 

 

 

Dr. Nasby:

    What is it that you are seeking in your writing?

 

Henry:

    Fame, fortune, success, to be written up in the papers as the greatest writer of our generation, and to read it while wearing my         morning slippers and drinking my morning coffee.  To win The Prize basically.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Do you actually enjoy writing?

 

Henry:

    Yea.. if I feel like I get a good idea.  But underneath it all, the goal is really the same, The Prize.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Why do you think you feel the need to be recognized and celebrated?

 

Henry:

    Because … then it will be written in the history books as fact, confirmed without a shadow of a doubt, that I was great, and that     my sacrifices were worth it.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    What kind of sacrifices do you feel you have made?

 

Henry:

    I hardly ever socialize.  I can’t be bothered by trivial conversations.  I eat and spend money sparingly.  Anything that gets in the     way of my writing, I prune out.   Friends, pleasures, travel, sex, thick and rich expensive foods… etc. 

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Are you lonely do you think?

 

Henry:

    Sometimes, but again, it is the sacrifice that I make, and over all I am glad to make it.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Forgive me for noting this, but it is very self - centered and narcissistic isn’t it of you?  To just focus on yourself completely and         your art.  Do you find it hard caring about others?  How do you feel that you fair on the Empathy scale?

 

Henry:

     Probably not real well.  Its just that every time I get too involved with people I am greeted with the little tragedies and absurdities 

    of life everywhere.  I constantly have to watch my words in speaking with different peoples:  the old, the young, the                 handicapped, the CEO, the leftist, the religious conservative,  remembering which social landmines to avoid depending on who I     am talking to, and to think constantly of their feelings and sometimes I forget who I am talking to and I say the wrong thing and         then I get sucked into a petty argument about women’s rights, abortion, or global warming, or the president and I just.. I can’t be     bothered anymore to be honest.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Anything else bothering you?

 

Henry:

    There is this one guy that I know.  The guy is such a hypocrite.  He made millions of dollars on his art and music, made it             through the system capitalism;  a system he now belittles.  The guy, through various pseudonyms, is making propaganda for         communism.  He is putting down capitalism and anyone who supports it, even though he made millions through it.  So he made     millions and now sits around all day, because he made those millions, belittling the system that allows him to lounge around all     day.  I don’t think the guy has ever worked a real job in his life, and yet he preaches all day long, defending the so called “ little     man” that has to work 50- 60 hrs week, which he has never done nor would ever do in ten life times over. 

 

 

Dr. Nasby:

      Whoa.. whoa.. you’ve lost me here.  Who is this guy?  

 

Henry:

    His name is Arnie Mendelhson.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    And how do you know he is doing propaganda?

 

Henry:

    I know… you will think I have really cracked my lid, but the guy writes propaganda, creates art about me, and our former             friendship… like for example he made a movie, or many movies that had personal things in our relationship in them and…

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Was his name in the credits?

 

Henry:

    No.  Because he always uses pseudonyms.  

 

Dr.  Nasby:

    How do you know that you aren’t just having a psychotic break from reality?

 

Henry:

    Believe me, it has been hard.  Because so much was put out in the media about me, I had a hard time weeding out what was his     and what wasn’t.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    I hate to say it Henry.  It sounds like paranoid schizophrenia.

 

Henry:

    I knew you were going to say that.  It’s not.  I may be schizophrenic now, after the number he did on me, but not before.              Actually the truth is, I am perfectly healthy.  Only an extremely powerful mind could have survived what was done to me.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    What was done to you?

 

Henry:

    What I said was done.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    You know that it is classic schizophrenia when people think that the TV is talking to them and sending them messages.

 

Henry:

    I know.  That’s why what the guy did to me was so evil and fucked up.  Look, it is really very simple to do.  Let’s say that I have     millions of dollars I made on the free market selling my music and art.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Ok.

 

Henry:

    Then let’s say you and I had a falling out as friends.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Ok.

 

Henry:

    Then let’s say I won the genetic lottery and have a super high IQ, for nothing I did, but just because I got lucky.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Ok.

 

Henry:

    So, through my money and mental power, I make a film that is put out throughout the whole world, documenting much of our         relationship in it.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Ok.  But it sounds so far-fetched and improbable.

 

Henry:

    That’s the beauty of his fucked up mind.  He just put pseudonyms on the films, so I could never prove that it was him.  Only I         know.  I went around for years trying to tell people that these films were about me, even my own mother didn’t believe me.  It         was like I saw a UFO and went around telling people, and they would say, “Sure you did.”  But     now I don’t care anymore.  I         could give a shit.  It doesn’t mean anything anymore.  I could care less if anyone believes me. 

 

Dr. Nasby:

    I don’t know.  Sounds like you could have used some good anti-psychotic medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

Secretary:  ( knocks on the door)

    I’m terribly sorry to interrupt your session Dr Nasby, but there is a phone call from your wife.  It is rather urgent she says. 

 

Dr.  Nasby:

    Oh for heavens sake.   I’m so sorry Henry, you need to forgive me, I have to take this call, this is highly irregular.  I will be right         back.

 

Henry:

    Sure.  It is a little off putting but… go ahead if it is important.  ( picks up a pen and paper from his brief case and writes.. a couple     minutes pass)

 

Dr. Nasby:  (Returns)

    Please forgive me again, I am so embarrassed, it is so unprofessional of me.  Where were we?

 

Henry:

    Anything serious?

 

Dr. Nasby

    No.. no.   Not really.  We are having some construction done to the house and we need to move things around and it is a real         mess.  But please.  Let’s not talk about me.  Let’s get back to you.

 

Henry:

    Luckily I live in an apartment so I don’t have to worry about that kind of thing, added even if I had a house, I would never add on     to it or keep it up.  It is just not my thing.  I have trained myself not to care for material wealth.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Oh yes, I remember where we were now.  Your sacrifices.  It’s a little cold and sterile, your life style I mean.  I understand the         desire to not care about having things.  But they make life more charming.  You don’t want to rely on them for your happiness,         but…

 

Henry:

    I suppose.  If I had a more reliable and healthy steadier income I probably would surround myself with more items of luxury.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    The charmingly superfluous.  Your life seems very black and white to me.  Things add color to a life.  Knick- knacks, objects,         interesting antiques, a beautiful painting.  Things that were made for no purpose but to be beautiful unto themselves; things to         behold for their own worth.  As we treat things, so we often will treat people, if you have things and cherish them, you have         things to lose and you are     more likely to want to live and enjoy life.  That is why they say, if you see a man coming down the         road in a dark alley, if he has an expensive camera around his neck,  a nice coat,  or a Rolex watch around his wrist, you are         going to feel     more comfortable and less endangered, then if you saw some guy with hardly anything on but shabby clothes  and     bare necessities, with nothing to lose or to live for.  You seem very purpose driven if  you don’t mind me saying.   

 

Henry:

    Well maybe I will do that someday after I win The Prize.  Right now I just don’t have the money.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    You may never win The Prize.  What will you do then?

 

Henry:  (lost in silence)

    I’ve thought of that often.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    You will have spent your entire life wasted.  

 

Henry:  ( sitting uneasy)

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Are you sure when you die you will not have any regrets?

 

Henry:

    No… I am not sure.  Its just that every time I get involved with people I get into trouble, I, and or they, act stupid and I end             feeling embarrassed and ashamed.  

 

Dr.  Nasby:

    Give me an example.

 

Henry:

    Ok.  I will give you an example.  One time about 25 years ago, I was messing around with girlfriend in college and we were         totally naked and rubbing our parts together, and I couldn’t hold back, I got so aroused,  I started forcing myself into her.  I went     about half way, and then I stopped when I noticed that she didn’t want to… but then, later,  she accused me of date rape.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    That was a long long time ago.

 

Henry:

    But still.  It horrified me.  My desire and lust over rode my compassion and reason, I am still bothered by it to this day.

 

Dr Nasby:

    No doubt sex is a very powerful drive.

 

Henry:

    I just never want to be in that position again.  It seems like that is how serial rapists and criminals get started.  They start small         with one comparatively minor transgression, but then it escalates and the standards are completely lowered, and then they turn         into full- fledged monsters out of control.  Like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, they can’t restrain their evil passions anymore, and         soon they are all Mr. Hyde.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    How do you satisfy your sex drive may I ask?

 

Henry: 

    Lots of masturbation.  I used to call escort girls over once in a while, but I can’t afford it anymore, and also I have come to find it     disgusting.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Ever thought of dating?  Trying some of those dating sites online?

 

Henry:

    (laughs) yea right.  I just don’t fit.  No woman would ever want me.  I am too tortured and troubled and fucked up.  I scare myself     sometimes.  Also as one guy said it very well one time, ‘I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I don’t want to get hurt.’  Also my father     would screw everything up.  When you mentioned King Cronus it really hit home.  While you were out of the office here, I was         thinking about it.  My father gets his jollies ruining my life; he puts on the face of this caring devoted father, but it is all an act.           He underhandedly ridicules and purposely sabotages my relationships with women.  I think it was that fact that his marriage and     relationships     failed, and so therefor mine must as well.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    You would be surprised how many King Cronus’s there are out there.  Many of my clients, I can’t mention their names, but many     of my clients have Cronus for their fathers.

 

Henry:

    I don’t get it.  Why would a person have children only to devour them?  Why not just spare everyone the trouble?  And just not         have children all together?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    If I could answer that, my friend, “I” would win The Prize.  ( chuckles)

 

 

    ( knock on door… secretary enters)

 

Secretary:

    I’m so sorry Dr.  But there is a man that is here and he says that it is paramount that you talk to him.. it is about the construction     at the house.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    My Lord.  Tell him he simply must wait till after this session.  ( angry)

 

Secretary:

    I told him that… but he said your wife was adamant that you receive him.

 

Dr.  Nasby:

    Oh for heaven’s sake.  Of course my wife is behind it.  I am so sorry Henry.  Can you please forgive me?  I have to go talk to this     fellow.  I am so embarrassed.  This is so unprofessional of me.

 

Henry:

    Oh for god’s sake.  Go ahead.  ( disgusted… Dr. Leaves sheepishly… Henry goes back to his pen and paper.)

 

 

    ( doctor returns)

 

Dr.  Nasby:

    Oh I am so ashamed.  I can’t believe I have let my petty family affairs enter in and intrude on our session.  It is so rude of me.  

 

Henry:

    Well what in the world is going on?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Oh my wife.  She wants our king sized bed taken out of the bedroom ASAP.  She wants it taken downstairs to our basement so     that it doesn’t get plaster and paint on it.  The men I guess need to get moving on it, but the bedroom door was locked, its a long     story, and I needed to give the young man the key.  

 

Henry:

    You see why I decided not to get married?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    I’m starting to see your point of view.

 

Henry:

    And your big fancy King sized bed, how much joy has that given you?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Quite a bit to be honest.  ( chuckles)

 

Henry:

    Yea, but now you are a slave to the thing.  Do you mind if I ask?  Are you happily married?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Wait a second.  Who is the therapist and who is the client?  I thought I was doing the questioning around here.

 

Henry:

    Well I am just curious.  I want to know if I have missed out on anything.  As well, I want to know if you are a hypocrite or not.          Your fostering me with the notion of having a romantic life, is it really worth its salt?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Well let’s just say that marriage is not a love-affair, it is an ordeal.  

    

 

Henry:

    I forgot.  Do you have any children?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    two.

 

Henry:

    Have they caused you to pull all of your hair out yet?  How old are they?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Well as you can see, I don’t have much hair.  They are teenage boys and they do challenge me, that is for sure.  

 

Henry:

    You know, it’s funny, but I wanted to be a licensed psychologist for a while, way back.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    It’s not too late.  You could still try for your PHD.  

 

Henry:

    No.  I am pretty nestled into writing now.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Have you sold any books?  I know we talked about this the last session a little bit, I can’t remember what you said to be honest.  

 

Henry:

    Yes, I wrote a very successful mystery series about ten years ago.  “ The Orson Jade series”.  You can find them in any of your     book stores around town.  I use a pen name, Art Pen.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    let me write that down.  ( starts jotting it down)  I will have to look for them when I am in a store the next time.  You know, I had     an interest in writing myself at one time.  

 

Henry:

    Is that right?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Yes.  

 

Henry:

    What genre?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Science- fiction.  I absolutely loved science fiction.  

 

Henry:

    Well you should pick it up again.  Like you said, it’s not too late.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Oh I don’t know.  I am not sure I could.

 

Henry:

    Really, I feel it is never too late to write.  Do you have any time after work?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    My wife has all sorts of chores for me to do, and…

 

Henry:

    Oh don’t let her get in the way.  You sound like you have low self -esteem.

 

Dr.  Nasby:

    I have the two boys too, and one of them has gotten into fiction as well, and I feel like I would just be intruding in on his space.

 

Henry:

    Oh don’t be silly.  I feel everyone is a writer at heart.  Everyone has a story to tell, maybe two, or three.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Do you really think so?

 

Henry:

    Heavens yes.  Both my mother and father wrote stories.  Maybe they didn’t make a name for themselves, but so what.  I read         some of their work and I thought is was pretty good.  My brother also wrote and still does.  We actually had a rivalry going on for     a while, but then we realized that that was absurd.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Do you really think so?

 

Henry:

    Would I tell you otherwise?  If I were you, I would cut down on all of those material things that you have accumulated, sell some     of them, use the money to take some time off from counseling people, and write for two of three hours a day.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    My wife would kill me if I cut down on my hours.  

 

Henry:

    You may be suffering from, DDP, Docile - Dementia Praecox.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    To be honest, I have been writing little short stories, and I keep them under my pillow at night when she isn’t looking.  They are     mainly about her.  

 

Henry:

    Tell me about them.  

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Well, they are my way of getting out some of my irritations with her.  I do it as a kind of self- therapy.

 

Henry:

    Good.  Good for you.  Go on.

 

Dr. Nasby:

    The main characters are her, thinly disguised, and I write nasty things about her.  I have secondary characters do vengeful         things to her.

 

Henry:

    And those characters are basically you?

 

Dr. Nasby:

    Yes.

 

Henry:

    Good for you……

A Blue Foam Roller

Psychologist Saul Nabedrick’s office with a Big Red Velvet Sofa, Aaron Gray is lying on his back, looking up at the ceiling. 

 

 

Aaron:

    I am afraid that I am a creep.  I am a permanent creep that women are afraid of, they avoid me…

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Why do yo feel that way?

 

Patient:

    I don’t know, I mean… ( lost in thought, looks out the window in stalemate)  …. My online dating site, I even saw what some of the other women     said about me on their blogs.  They call me a creep.  I hardly get any women that push the “interest” button for me.  It is like I don’t exist.  I must     come off as a real creep, it is the only explanation…. ( resumes looking out the window).  They never return my messages.  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Do you think that you have done anything in your life to make women feel that you are a creep?

 

Patient:

    I told you already about that girl that accused me of date rape 5 years ago.

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Yea but you said she forgave you for that, and you are still friends right?

 

Aaron:

    Yea.. we are friends still… its just… maybe it my father.  He had such distorted views about sex.  Probably because his mother was such an     abusive bitch to him.  But when I was in my formative years I often saw his bias.  In rape cases, he would often side with the male.  I heard a lot of     hate for women come out of his mouth.   I tried to just listen without it affecting me, but I think it did.  ( looks at Dr. With a sheepish look)

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Go ahead.  

 

Aaron:

     Well you know how my father molested me, and was emotionally abusive and all of that crap.  Right?  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Right.

 

Aaron:

    I feel like it may be genetic.  Like since he was a creep, I am destined to be one as well.  Or already am.  I remember one time, we looked at a     sculpture of this Greek God raping a woman in this sculpture garden one time, and he said, “  Isn’t it great?”  I was only 18 mind you.  (Looks at the     Dr. Sheepishly again.)

 

Dr: Nabedrick:

    He shouldn’t have done that.  

 

 

 

 

Aaron:

    But sometimes I know what my dad means, I just fucking hate women, and think who the fuck cares or needs them anyway?  

 

 

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    I wouldn’t listen to anything that your father has to say to you about women.  He sounds like a deeply misguided, hurt and hurtful individual that needs major counseling. 

 

Aaron:

    If he knew that I was taking counseling with you right now, he would call me a pussy.  He thinks therapy is for pussy’s.  He thinks that professors and therapists are the new priests of the day, anointing and castigating underlings as they see fit.

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    I don’t even know where to begin with a statement like that.

 

 

    

Aaron:

    I hate the lust that women create in me, I hate it that they demand that I be civilized and controlled, tamed by them.  But then I feel terrible that I hate them, and it’s like a vicious cycle.  I hate them, do things that are hurtful to them, apologize profusely to them, beg, then get angry at them that I feel they are making me beg, and it just goes round and round like a vibrating wave out of control.  Who made them Lord and Judge over me?  Also, I feel that in being mindful of women and the feminist movement and their rights, like the only reason I am doing that is so that I can be on their good side, fit in well with society, and get laid by them.  And get a job that I won’t be fired in because I will never had said anything politically incorrect or controversial.   I feel like underneath it all, I really just have my self interests at heart when I am overly respectful of women.  I don’t want to be disrespectful of them anymore either though… 

 

Dr:  Nabedrick:

    Why do you want a girlfriend do you think?

 

Aaron:

    I want to be liked.  I want to fit in.  I don’t like being alone.

 

Dr.   Nabedrick:

    Why do you want to be liked?

 

Aaron:

    I think… ( pauses in confusion)  I think, I should put it this way, I don’t want to be a creep who everyone fears.  It’s not that I want to be liked so     much as, that I don’t want to be feared or despised.   When I was in my teens and early twenties, I was a real people pleaser and wanted to be     liked by all, and then I realized that women don’t like a people pleaser.  They don’t like a guy who has no backbone, who just follows the herd.      They like a guy with opinions and a lot of money, who is ambitious in his own way.  Women like a leader with an independent mind, a man with     guts, who isn’t afraid to stand out.  I came to realize that most women like a guy who has balls and isn’t a beggar for others approval.  So, after     getting my heart ripped to shreds by a failed relationship with the love of my life, noting that her father had no respect for me because I had no direction or means of     making money, and noticing my girlfriend taking interest in men who were more formed and individualistic, that weren’t so needy, I went to the     other extreme.  I became violently against the world, I became the exact opposite of a beggar for approval.  I became a demander of others     respect.  But instead of achieving purpose, money, a career, and respect, I just got called a creep instead.

 

 

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    I think most of this probably stems from your relationship with your father.  

 

Aaron:

    I should have dumped him long ago shouldn’t I have?  Especially when I found all of his gay S and M shit in his closet.  Those whips and chains and the black leather… he told me, “Your father is not a bottom!”  Very angrily.  Apparently he was a “top”.  All those year when I was a boy, I was symbolically his bottom.  Should I have dumped him a long time ago?    

 

Dr.  Nabedrick:

    Well….probably.  

 

Aaron:

    But if I dumped him, than that would have meant I would have had to dump my brother as well.  Because my brother and my father got along     well.  Also it’s not like my father was all bad, he was into Horticulture and he loved plants… 

 

    ( a blue cylinder falls off of a back shelf onto the floor)

 

Aaron:  

    oh weird.  What the hell is that?  

 

DR. Nabedrick:  ( turns his head around, sees the thing that fell)

    Oh that’s my foam roller.  Sorry about that.  

 

Aaron: 

    How did it fall?  Is it really light or something?

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    yes, like I said it is made of foam.  Probably weighs only a pound.

 

Aaron:

    I wonder what blew it over.  I almost thought there was a ghost in the room.  ( laughs lightly)

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    I think it must have come from the ceiling vent, probably the heater went on and blew it.

 

Aaron:

    Do you want me to pick it up?

 

Dr:  Nabedrick :

    No no.. forget it.  I will get it after the session.  

 

Aaron:

    Do you believe in ghosts?  ( laughs again lightly)

 

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    ( chuckles) well not in actual sprits that move around us in the real world, but I believe that a guilty conscience acts as a kind of ghost that haunts     its host.

 

Aaron:

    Great.  Just the answer I wanted to hear.  I suppose I am haunted by a ghost of sorts?  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Probably.  But then many people are.  That is why the idea of “Ghosts” is still popular to this day.  And in a way, a thought is a kind of ghost.  Have     you ever actually seen a thought?  A memory?  Do you know where a thought resides or comes from?  From where does it spring?  Scientist to     this day, still don’t know what a     thought or memory actually is.  They can’t predict it like they can a particle.  They may be able to tell the general     vicinity of where a particle may     reside in ones head, but the human brain and it’s chemistry is even more unpredictable than a particle in any     experiment.  For example, right now,      I have the thought that I may or may not lift my hand off of this arm rest, do I do it?  ( lifts his arm off the     rest)  What ultimately made me choose to     lift it?  Do I have free will?  Can our decisions be predicted?  Who is the decision maker?  No scientist can answer any of these     sorts of questions.  Human behavior has yet     been able to be custom fitted, conformed, restricted or curtailed into the “Theory of Everything”.

 

Aaron:

    Wow.  I never thought of it quite like that.  That was profound.  ( looks to the foam roller on the floor)  You work out a lot?

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Yes, as a matter of fact I am going to use it later today at the health club.

 

 

Aaron:

    Really?  Which club do you belong to?

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    All Time Fitness Life and Sports. 

 

Aaron:

    Really?  I belong to them as well.  What specific location do you go to?

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    The one out in Bedford.

 

Aaron:

    Is that right?  I go to that one as well.  I’m surprised that I haven’t seen you there before.

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    I’m there every morning at 5:30 am in Ms. Joyner’s aerobic class.  ( Aaron gets a look of dread on his face)

 

Aaron:

    Is that right?  That would make sense as to why I never see you there.  That is way too early for me.  But you know… I have taken from her before     as well.  She sure runs a tight work out.  Man, when I first went to her class, I could only last about ten minutes, she was so hard on us.

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    She’s the best.  I love her.  Great gal.  

 

Aaron:  ( looks out the window with a tangled mind on his face)

 

Dr.  Nabedrick:

    What is it Aaron?  What are you thinking about?

 

Aaron:

    Oh.. I … it’s nothing.  

 

Dr.  Nabedrick:

    Something is obviously on your mind.  Let me know if you want to talk about it.  

 

Aaron:

    I suppose I was my dad’s little sports butt boy in a way.  His little nursing blanket to help him suck his thumb and get through adulthood better.  Since he and my mother never had sex.  I was my father’s surrogate wife and nurse in a     way.  Pampering and consoling him in his time of troubles in his adult life and his problems dealing with his failed relationship with my mother.  I often feel abandoned by my     mom.  Whenever I'd  say that though, my aunt and cousin would  get mad at me.  They'd tell me my mother was strong and beautiful and could do no wrong.  That she deserved so much better, implying that me and my brother were such shits.  But is was all a set up for the great Labyrinth.  I’d get suckered and pressured into worshipping my mother by my aunt and cousin, and then my father would have material to work with and call me a pussy that needed his mommy.  My cousin and aunt thought I was a thankless     spoiled brat who had everything handed to him and still complained.   They almost told me once that my mom deserved better than to have a rotten monster like me for her son.    I often feel like in my life, I have been framed.      All of the tools to commit a great crime, were set and ready and laid before me, someone put my     fingerprints all over the place, and if I move one     inch out of place, my guilt is confirmed for all to see.  Of course in a way I am right, my father     married my mom because he knew she would be a compete non threat to his regime, my mother was not going to be a threat to him like his mother     was to him.  My mom was such a peace maker and so rational, and so giving, “ too giving to a fault”  my cousin would say.  So the crime was being set long before I was even born.  The framing that is.  I was destined to be abducted by my father, with no real help from the     outside.  I was basically kidnapped for 8 of the most crucial years of my life.

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Your mother may have been ineffectual in a way, but your mother did a lot for you.  I think your cousin and aunt are right, you mother was strong, maybe not perfect, nobody is, but she did the best she could     under the circumstances.  She got you through University, she bought you a car, she tried to be there to listen to your emotional troubles, she was     a great ear.   I think you could be a more grateful person in general.  

 

Aaron:

    Yea, but the University thing was another set up.  My mom paid for my University, and then my father would ridicule me going to the University.  It was like in everything I did, it was all a set up, a trap.  My mom would unknowingly set the bait, I would walk into the cage, and my father would be there to close the door behind me, and then roast  my ass over an open fire.   It seemed like the only way out was to become a monster to them all.   I heard one philosopher once say that society is a woman, and any man that gets along well in society in basically pussy whipped.  He isn’t a real man.  You know, like the State is like a huge mother, taking care of its young.  What do I know?  But you sound just like my cousin and aunt when you praise my mother.  It’s great if you are a woman to hear and know how perfect and wonderful a mother is and can do no wrong.  But what about a guy to hear it?  Isn’t a guys whole movement in life to break away from his mother?  To move away from being babied and pampered?   If I had kissed up to my mother, I never would have grown up, I would     have been the pussy my dad always thought me to be… and yet he is the one who is a homosexual.  Who is the fucking pussy?  … ( confused)  Oh I don’t even know what I am talking     about.. my family is so fucked up and divided.  ( looks at the blue foam roller)  How often do you take from Ms. Joyner?

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Like I said, every morning of the week, except Sunday, I am in there.

 

Aaron:

    Wow, you are really dedicated.  ( pauses… looks out the window)

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    What is it Aaron?

 

Aaron:

    It’s… its Ms. Joyner.  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    What is it about her Aaron?

 

Aaron:

    I have a confession to make…. I think.

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    That’s why we are here.  Go on…

 

Aaron:

    I got into a bit of trouble with her once a couple years ago.

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    What happened?

 

Aaron:

    Well… you know how attractive she is, in those spandex suits and latex whatever the majiggies you want to call what she wears.  But they are real     tight.. you know what I mean?

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Yes, even though I am a doctor, I have allowed myself to notice such things.  ( chuckles)

 

Aaron:  

    And also, you know how she has such a great personality, like you said before?

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Super gal, I even tried to get her to marry my son for a while.

 

Aaron:

    Well over a period of time, having taken her afternoon class for a few months, I sort of fell in love with her.  

 

DR.  Nabedrick:

    You didn’t.

 

Aaron:

    I did.  And after class, I asked her out on a date, and she said that this wasn’t “the time or the place for this kind of discussion”, and so I said,     “that’s ok, then I will meet you out in the parking lot after everyone has left the studio, that will be a better place.”   And she said, “ don’t do that.  Please don’t do that.”  So any way, the upshot is, I did do that.  I was so in love with her, and I wanted to express myself my love for her in rhyme, but ended up telling her that I masturbate to her at night instead, and then the police came, and… it was so fucked up.  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Oh dear.  I notice a pattern here of your neediness and your sense of fear of abandonment.  It’s called “stalking” Aaron.  Most men who stalk have abandonment issues.  You may be right, maybe your mom abandoned you to be in the clutches of your father in those important developmental years.  I am sure that has something to do with it, but you have to understand, you mother was much smaller than your father.  She couldn’t do anything physically to protect you from him.  And all of those years your father suppressing who you really were as a person so as to fit into his rigid sense of who he thought you were or should be.  You had to suppress your true feelings and thoughts for the sake of the peace between you and your father, and perhaps even the peace for the whole the family at large to some extent.  Classic stalker history.    I have a great book for you, “The Stalker Within.”  ( pulls the book off of his shelf)   Also you have past experiences that set you up for being a perfect candidate of Borderline Personality Disorder.

 

Aaron:

    That’s just great.  I mean, it is humiliating enough to have to suffer the original abuse from my father, the molestation and all of the emotional manipulation and occasional physical abuse, but then for the rest of ones life to live in terror that you too may have a propensity to be a pedophile, a sexual abuser, and why?  What the fuck did I do to get all of this shit tossed onto me?  I was fucking framed.

 

Dr.  Nabedrick:

    We are all framed in a way Aaron.  The framing is done to different people with different colors, sizes, textures, costs  and materials, but in the end, we have all been framed.  It is how we deal with the framing that matters.  You’ll find out as you get older how true that is, everyone is suffering under a condition of frames. 

 

Aaron:

    The past follows us and lives in our presence wherever we go doesn’t it?  It lives with you, you carry every little thing you ever did in your life with in in your every second of living.  Concealed under a very thin surface, ready to be lightly dug up or stumbled upon, out of its latency, your past is liable to spring up like a hydra, or a weed.  Take for example, I apologized to Ms. Joyner, and she accepted my apology, but then everyone in the exercise studio found out about my incident I had with her, and one time I went into a music studio to record some music, and some woman who had shared the class with me with Ms. Joyner, refused my business.  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    How do you know that?

 

Aaron:  

    She was the owner of the studio unbeknownst to me.  She told me they were closing early for the day, and that I shouldn’t show up again without an appointment.  When I called back and left emails, she ignored me.  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    That’s too bad.  Maybe you are right.  But I wouldn’t jump to conclusions.  You never know what is really going on in peoples heads.  

 

Aaron:

     It seems like I keep having to live my mistakes over and over and over again.  Just when one wound is about to heal, it breaks open again by some chance meeting of someone.  Like, I make a mistake years in the past, and every time I run into people from the Aerobic studio I have to relive the nightmare of my mistakes again and again.  

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    Well it probably is wise to be more respectful of people and their spaces.  You never know when your going to need their help in the future.  I don’t think burning any bridges is such a noble thing.  

 

Aaron: 

    Do you think I burn bridges?  I thought we were supposed to move ever forwards in our lives, and burning bridges is a great way to ensure that you never go backwards. 

 

Dr. Nabedrick:

    But as you said, time is flexible, it doesn’t run in just one direction like people commonly think.  The past is present, the future is the past, and the present contains all three.    You burn a bridge, but you forget that the past can fly over rivers.    

 

Aaron:

    Shouldn’t our sessions be like a little story where everything gets resolved in the end?  Why is it I rarely feel I ever really resolve anything in our sessions?  Shouldn’t I come into your office all tangled up in knots, like just entering a massage room, and then leave like I just had my muscles ironed?  Instead I come in in tatters, and I leave in tatters.  What kind of story is that?    By the way, I have been meaning to tell you, I love this Red Velvet Sofa of yours.  

The Color Wheel

Scene:

A big white room the size of an artist’s studio  ( red is on the outside, listening outside a closed door.)

 

List of Characters:

White:

Red:

Blue:

Yellow:

Black:

 

White:  ( talking out loud to himself…gently worrying and softly stepping afraid to make a sound, softly pacing so as to not cause the floor to creek)

    I want to be good…  I don’t want to do any wrong.  How can I be a saint?  I don’t want to see any evil or cause any trouble to anyone, if I  had my way, I would just hide in the walls, and disappear into a cloud.  I’d like to create a piece of art, but I don’t know where to begin, and I don’t want to ruffle any feathers in the artist community.  What will they think of me if I express myself at all?    Peace is most important of all.  Just because my father is an artist doesn’t mean I can’t also try.. but oh where do I begin?  I don’t want to upstage my father, but I wouldn’t mind creating a little something.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t even exist.   Nobody seems to love you when your on cloud nine, nobody even sees you or cares.  This should be good enough in itself..( looks around at the empty white walls)  heaven doesn’t need anything added to it does it?  Heaven is perfect.. it needs no changes.  

 

Red:  ( enters the door boisterously and loud)

    you don’t seem to be on cloud nine, you seem to be worrying!  Are you at it again in here?  Still wondering where to begin?  Starting another     painting but … where are you?  I can hardly see you.  

 

White:

    I’m over here… near the border, near the wall.  Or… I guess I am in the center.  Actually I don’t know where I am.  

 

Red:

    Here, let me run a streak of me down the center and then I will be able to locate you through contrast in relation to me.

 

White:

    Ok.

 

Red:  

    Ah!  There you are!  Im hot!  And I need action!  I need to dominate a scene!  Have you got a place for me?!

 

White:

    Oh don’t bother me with your drama and narcissism.  

 

Red:  

    You need me to create interest and … ( pauses) let’s face it… some good old fashioned bloody violence and hot sex to pepper things up a bit…     you’re so goddam boring!  Your too moralistic and afraid to step on other colors toes.  Bully!  Strangle someone over a balcony until blood comes     out of their eyes.. do anything because anything justifies the ends if it is a great piece of artwork!  Ever heard of George Frederick Handel of     Ludwig Van Beethoven?  Ever heard of Caravaggio?  The glorious ends justify the bold and bloody means! 

 

White:

    You have no morality.  You are evil…  Get away from me…  Leave my sanctuary… Please!

 

Red:

    You want to be a success don’t you?  Don’t you want to be the tipper top of the popper most?  Don’t you want to be written up in the newspapers     and be seen on tv?!

 

White:

    Well I admit.. I am having a hard time coming up with some good ideas.  But I don’t want to hurt anyone.

 

Red: 

    Let me get your shit rolling with some good old fashioned ferociously licking red flames!  ( Creates a flame)

 

White:

    Oh please… what will the people say?  Won’t we be censored?  People will ban us for being x -rated… and then we won’t get anywhere. 

 

Red:

    Oh hush your whining!  ( paints a portrait of two lovers making passionate love on top of the flame.)

 

White:

    Oh… no no.. that is prohibited at most galleries, most galleries don’t accept anything pornographic.

 

Red:

    Here!  Let me ….. ( paints lustful rouge and hungry faces being full-filled with pleasure on the couple)

    

    

White:

    Here.. maybe we can compromise… you know how at dusk often the clouds are tainted in a soft pink?  Let’s combine forces and create a happy     medium.

 

Red:

    Nah!  How bout this, how bout we cover the nudes in hot red dresses and clothes and have white outlines in the collars, cuffs and sleeves?

 

White:

    That doesn’t sound like a bad idea.  I might be able to go with that.. at least they will be wearing clothes.

 

Red:

    Im thirsty!  Have you got anything to drink?!

 

White:

    All I have is some water and some skim milk.

 

Red:

    God your boring!  Don’t you have any wine like Merlot?  Or Cabernet Sauvignon?!

 

White:

    You know I don’t drink.

 

Red:

    How bout cognac?!  Or a Bloody Mary at least?!

 

White:

    No.. nothing like that.  

 

                    ( enter blue and yellow)

 

Blue:

    Hey guys, what is all the fuss in here?  Oh? ( notices red)  Its you red.. your’e in here… no wonder it’s so noisy and loud in here.  Always need the attention don’t you?  Always have to have all eyes on you.. don’t you Red?

 

 

Red:

    I am the star of every show!  And I have the talent to prove it!  You got a problem with that?!

 

Blue:

    Play it cool bro.. mellow like the winter moon on snow…. Stay liquid tranquil like a cool lake.. give me a break bro… I’m not looking for a fight.  

 

Yellow:

    Yea Red.  I understand your desire for attention… but there are ways to do it in more jolly ways.  You don’t have to be so violent about it.

 

Red:

    Bullshit!  Yellow.. your not bad ...but nothing grabs the attention of an audience like I do!  And blue…( turns to blue) your pathetic..  your like the guy that smokes dope…like your drunk and depressed…suffering from melancholia all of the time.   who the hell wants to pay money to see that?

 

 

Blue:

    Yea but people lift their heads to me for support in troubled times, times usually caused by people like you, who want to dominate and bully everyone off of the canvased stage.  People look to the cool calm sky of reason to come up with, contrary to what you may think, very sober solutions to their short and troubled lives.  You are the one I always see fighting at the local bar all hot for a fight over some hot blonde.  I don’t want to fight about it pal.. lets shake hands .. maybe we can come up with some kind of a solution…

 

Red:

    Oh you guys are so boring.  Yellow.. your the only one that I really respect around here.  At least you kind of know what it is like to be alive!

 

Yellow:

    I’m happy over all.. but don’t keep putting my friend Blue down, or we may have a problem.. I’m not the fire brand you are but…

 

White:

    Hey… cool it down guys.. yellow and red, you don’t go well together, you clash too much because you are both fighting for attention. 

 

Red:

    Fights that I always win.

 

Yellow:

    Well not always, I mean If I team up with blue we create a stunning contrast that can sometimes compete.  Blue, come over here would you pal?

 

Blue:

    Oh guys.. lets quite this fighting.

 

White:

    I’m with blue.

 

Blue:

    How bout this?  How about Red and I compromise and mix ourselves into a purple?

 

White:

    I still think that things were ok when I was by myself, but on the other hand maybe no one can live in a vacuum I guess.

 

Red:

    you needed some major ideas and help white, don’t delude yourself.  I suppose that is a possibility blue.  Purple is still hot.. not as hot as I would like but.. how about we just blend our arms together?  Wine is sometimes a kind of purple.  How bout this?  How bout we have the image of a couple making out on top of a flame with wine, with red and white clothes on, near another part of me, the flame that is hot red.

 

Yellow:

    You should put me in there as well, because most flames are actually not red, they are an orange or a yellow.  

 

White:

    Yellow has a point there red.

 

Red:

    I thought we didn’t go well together.

 

Blue:

    Its the context.  It all depends on context.  

 

White:

    Yea.. it is all context.  That is why it is called art.  Great art is hard to define and categorize into clear and straight concepts.  There is always the     unexpected problems, and the exceptions to the rule, that only the Artist and his taste can iron and figure out how to solve.  

 

Blue:

    Red, for the sake of the peace, why don’t you blend some of yourself with yellow for the flame part ok?

 

Red:

    Oh alright!  ( angry) 

 

Yellow:

    Oh I am as happy as the sun!  This sounds like real fun!  How bout this?  How about we put a sun in our setting?  So we have two lovers kissing, drinking wine, near a fire …

 

Red:

    In the day time?  Who makes fire during the day?

 

 

Blue:

    That will be great yellow, that way if it is mid- day, I can be the sky.

 

Red:

    So you get to be whole swaths of expanse and excessive sky while I get limited, diluted, into a glass of wine and a few garments?

 

White:

    But your on the people, the center of attention, people are always more interesting than mere things.  And your in the flames.. I mean.. give me a     break.

 

Yellow:

    Yea Red, I think are being just selfish again.  You need to learn to be happier in your quest for stardom.. lighten up a bit.

 

Blue:

    Or better yet, tone it down completely.  Remember, I am vast empty space when I represent the sky.. not much attention getting there, and to be     honest I am ok with that.  Nothing to feel threatened about Red.  And also later in the day, getting towards evening, we can mix our colors into a     beautiful dusk sky and dark purple- mountain landscape with the silhouettes of birds flying in the sky.

 

Red:  

    Well , alright.  But don’t bring Black into the picture.  He will ruin everything.  He is a total puller down.. man what a kill joy.  I am hot and I like evil,     and I love sex and a good violent and bloody scene, I love hell, and most of all I love existence.  That guy wants everything brought to a close.      Sometimes I feel     that guy just hates life completely.  He his like this magician that turns everyone into mud and himself.   I lose all of my color in     my face when I am around him.  Oh  … I absolutely hate that guy!  He is like Death itself!

 

White:

    Your going to hate me Red.  But I invited him over before you barged in.  I thought I might want to do some black and white work together.

 

Red:

    Oh that is so typical you.  Always thinking and working in monotones.  When is he coming over?!

 

Black:

    Hi.  Who are you guys talking about?

 

Red:

    Watch out!  Black is the only thing that scares and threatens my sense of theater and self!  Did you guys notice that the lights dimmed a touch     when he came in?

 

Blue:

    Play it cool Red.  Don’t let others on to your fears and emotions so readily.  Conceal them better.. take it from me.

 

 

Black:

    Why are you so worried Red?  You and I can combine forces and  make a rich brown soil together or..

 

Red:

    Always on about death aren’t you?  Your favorite subject!  Why soil?  Hugh?  Because that is where everything gets buried in the end?!

 

White:

    Your losing it Red.  ( turns to the side)  Oh why .. how did all of this get going?  What a mess… 

 

Black:

    Your the one who called me over white.

 

White:

    Yes.. I know that.  

 

Yellow:

    Guys your forgetting about me here.  Stay upbeat guys!  Don’t get so dour.  Be happy, not sad or mad.  

 

White:  ( to yellow)

    Your almost as bad as Red in your attention seeking.

 

Yellow:

    I was feeling left out of the conversation.  Is that any crime?

 

Red:

    Crime?!  Whats this about crime?!  Should we add a crime scene?!  

 

Blue:

    Mellow bro.. we aren’t going to add a crime scene.  

 

Red:  ( grabs Blue by the collar)

    Listen you!  I have had just about enough of you trying to pour water on my plans!

 

Yellow:

    Think “Sunflowers”  Red!  Think happier thoughts!  You need some serious anger management classes.

 

White:

    Or pink magnolias in bloom….. there is no need for violence.

 

Red:  ( strikes blue in the face, and Blues face turns purple)

 

Black:  

    Hit him in the eye socket Red so that I can be a black eye!

 

Red:  ( Red strikes Blue in the Eye)

 

Black:

    Oh awesome!  Death and decay… my favorite scenes…( part of him turns into a black eye on Blue)

 

White:

    I have had about enough of this.  Whatever happened to colors adhering to the pure reason and logic of the Enlightenment?

 

Red:

    Too Boring!  ( hits blue in the face again)

 

Yellow:

    Blue has to be one of the most peaceful colors I have ever known.. how could you possibly be upset with him?

 

Red:

    He keeps trying to cool my passion and bring me down into his socialism for the masses!  

 

Blue:

    Its better than being on flags for the Nazis.  ( Blue and Red are in a complete fist fight)

 

Black:

    This is great.. hopefully one of them dies and then I can play the role of one of their dark gray corpses.

 

White:

    God maybe Red is right about you after all.. you are so morbid aren’t you?  I never really thought about it…but he is right.

 

Black:

    Death and the morbid is better than anything you ever did.

 

White:

    What do you mean?

 

Black:    

    Red is right about you… your so boring and unimaginative.  ( blue and red are fighting in the background)

 

Yellow:

    Hey!  Don’t come down on white!  We often combine to make light! 

 

Black:

    Don’t you guys see the utter pointlessness in existence?  The utter absurdity of our existences?  The meaningless empty spaces that envelope us all?  How really, we are all as good as dead already?

 

Yellow:

    Don’t listen to him White!  He is just trying to seduce you into the dark side!

 

Black:

    How everything is in entropy and decay and that in a mere billion years from ( a smile forming on his lips) now none of you will exist… except     perhaps me?  

 

White:

    No!  No… we all live on!  We all shine on!  The light is Eternal and it never dies!  Say it isn’t so!  Isn’t that right Yellow?

 

 

    ( blue and red still fighting)

Yellow:

    Yes!  Light is eternal!  But only if we believe it to be so!  It is only for those who have Faith!

 

Black:

    Give me a break.  Don’t give me that bullshit about “what you think becomes true.”  All that bullshit that if you believe in heaven then you will go     there, and alternatively if you don’t believe in it, you won’t and will go to hell or something, that kind of thinking is just for weaklings that can’t     handle the dark and cold Truth of Reality.

 

Red:  ( takes a break for a second, holding onto the collar of Blue)

    What was that about Hell?!  ( Blue squirts him with a water gun)

 

White:

    I have just about had it up to here with you!  ( grabs black by the collar, and his collar turns gray)  I won’t have your pessimism …

 

Yellow:

    Here, I will hold his arms behind his back, while you take punches ok White?

 

White:

    Ok!  I normally don’t like violence and disturbing the peace, but when Faith and Goodness are being challenged and threatened, I get on the side     of the Holy Ghost!  ( starts taking punches at Black)

 

 

 

        ( A full Bar room brawl ensues- all colors have lost all reason.. everyone fighting everyone in irrational fears and confusion…the only thing     remains at the end is a dark brown all over the studio room, floor and walls.)

 

Red:

    Well this is socialism at its most boring and dullard finest, everyone is the same color, we’re all equal in our brown drab clothes.

 

BLue:

    You Nazi Fascist.

 

Yellow:

    you were right Red.. Black is a downer… we all have been transformed into a dark brown, the color of the cold, grave and dark earth.

 

White:

    I guess evil does win in the end… there is hardly any light in here.. I can hardly see a thing.

 

Yellow:

    There may be a little light, not all is lost White.  We aren’t totally black.  We still have a little color and light to our faces.  

 

White:

    I suppose.  

 

Black:

    See… I told you guys how it all ends.  There is no Hope.  Only I reign supreme in the end.

 

Blue:

    What time is it?  It must be past sun down.  I am losing my role as the evening sky.  I don’t even feel cool anymore, I just feel dirty, and….

 

Red:

    You deserved everything you got and then some Blue.  

 

Blue:

    You are the trouble maker Red!  

 

White:

    Blue is right.  This is all your fault Red.  You are always bullying others through your narcissistic attention getting ways.  You Always have to have     center stage don’t you?  With your fascination with blood and flames and sex!  You just can’t share the glory can you?  

 

Red:

    But I was born this way!  I can’t help it if I am hot- blooded by Nature!

 

Yellow:

    If only you could learn to be happier like me.. but it is too late now.  If only you could have learned the fine balance between attention seeking and     happiness.  Your a real pig Red.

 

Red:

    No.. I am … a Tiger.

 

Yellow:

    No.. had you cooperated with me we could have become a Tiger.  It’s all or nothing with you isn’t it?

 

Red:

    I guess your right guys.  I am sorry.  I wish I was born some different color.  I am so sorry.

 

Black:

    Oh I do enjoy a good Tragedy.  

 

Red:

    What do we call our work?  Or what are we?

 

Blue:  ( begins to cry)

    Earth.. or…soil?  or…

 

White:

    Why did you even come over Red?  Or for that matter Black?

 

Black:

    I keep telling you, you asked me to come over.

 

Red:

    Your always having a hard time with ideas White!  And nobody wants me around them… I scare them and I am too violent.  People keep calling the     police on me for stalking, fist fighting  and  sexual assault… I had no place to go…I thought I could be of some help to you..

 

White:

    You guys should have just left me alone in my boredom.  The only one I get along with around here really is Yellow.  We make a heavenly light together.  But all the rest of you suck!  Keep your dick in your pants Red!  Sexual assault is not a joking matter!  No one wants you around because you are a creep!   You should be locked up… your a psychopath!   Your a molester and a sicko!   ( turns to Black)  and you Black.. you are pure evil.  I don’t even know what to do with a color like you.  You are …. ( at a loss for words)  

Camping Gear

Camp fire in the forest, tents, lamps, the four are roasting marshmallows and hotdogs

List of Characters:

Mel Mind:

Steve Sex:

Hal Heart:

Greg Guts:

 

 

Hal Heart:

    Oh this is just spectacular.. look at the glorious Milky Way.  The stars are just out of this world out here.. I am so glad we had the chance to take     the camping trip. 

 

Mel Mind:

    Do you know how many light years away the nearest star is to us?

 

Hal Heart:

    No I don’t.  

 

Mel Mind:

    4.3 light years away.  That’s about 25 trillion miles away from Earth.   

 

Steve Sex  

    Im horny.

 

Hal Heart:

    Why do you have to be so crude about it?

 

Greg Guts:

    God Im hungry.

 

Mel Mind:

    I read a great article on the ego and its manifestations in modern society the other day in the philosophers stone magazine.  

 

Hal Heart:

    Do they publish poetry?

 

Mel Mind:

    Yes.. why do you want to try and get your work sent to them?

 

Hal Heart:

    Maybe.

 

Mel Mind:

    Well they are extremely erudite, they don’t take any mushy romance or anything like that.  

 

Steve Sex:

    Hal has the hots for Nancy.  He wants to pork her.

 

Greg Guts:

    Yes, I think some of this is made from pork.. someone told me it is mostly pigs assholes and lips…. Either way it tastes good to me.

    

Hal Heart:

    I don’t want to pork her.. I love her.  She inspires me to write poetry, the world looks beautiful to me, trees come alive when I think of her.

 

Mel mind:

    Not a wise move there Hal… falling in love.. love is a mirage, a delusion, an intrusion into the rational mind.  

 

Greg Guts:

    Pass me the ketchup there would you Mel?

 

Mel Mind:

    Sure Greg, I wouldn’t eat too many of those if I were you.. they will raise your cholesterol.. you can get by on a few… but.

 

Steve Sex:

    Mel, when was the last time you got laid?

 

Mel Mind:

    Gosh, it’s been years.  Well, let me think about it here, I can give you an exact time if you give me a moment to think about it…

 

Steve Sex:

    How bout you Hal?

 

Hal Heart:

    I’m not even going to answer such a demoralizing question.  

 

Greg Guts:

    ( Farts)

 

Steve Sex:

    I’m not even going to bother asking you Greg when the last time it was you got laid.  Probably never.

 

Mel Mind:

    When is the last time you had sexual intercourse Steve?

 

Steve Sex:

    I got some beaver just this morning before I went to go pick Greg up.

 

Greg Guts:

    Have you guys ever tried the new Schwartzenheimer sausages?  The ones that have cheese in the middle?  

 

Steve Sex:

    No.

 

Greg Guts:

    Oh god are they good.  Try them with a few beers, it’s pure heaven.  

 

Mel Mind:

    I brought my compass along so that tomorrow we can go deep into the forest.  By the way, it was exactly 5 years and 27 days ago that I last     copulated with someone.  

 

Hal Heart:

    Did you make love to her?  Was it romantic?

 

Mel Mind:

    Well.. it was actually for a study they were doing down at the University, a study on insemination.  Fascinating research.  

 

Steve Sex:

    Was she hot?

 

Mel Mind:

    She was a middle- aged woman… a bit past her prime.  But she was an attractive lady.  Good gal.. Pass me the relish would you Greg?

 

 

Greg Guts:

    Sure, here you go Mel.  Do you want a few marshmallows on your plate?  

 

Mel Mind:

    No that’s ok Greg, thanks anyway.

 

Steve Sex:

    Fuck, I should join that study.  Can anyone be a part of it?

 

Mel Mind:

    Well you will have to sign some papers, and take a few physical exams before hand.  How is your IQ Steve?

 

Steve Sex:

    ugh…

 

Hal Heart:

    Probably like 75.

 

Steve Sex:

    Probably higher than yours Hal… you have to be one of the dumbest people in the world to believe in that “OneTrue Love”, and all that finding your     “Soul Mate” crap.

 

Hal Heart:

    I write poetry and compose songs on my guitar and serenade them.  What’s your way?  “Hi… Lets fuck?”

 

Steve Sex:

    It’s direct, efficient, cuts the bullshit, and saves everyone a lot of time and money so they don’t have to beat around the bush, pun intended.   Now     that is called “intelligence”.  

 

Mel Mind:

    In about a another 52 minutes we should be able to view a partial eclipse of the moon.  On top of that, I think it is going to be what the scientists     call a “red moon”.  Should be a real treat.  ( looks to a constellation)  by golly.. look at that.  Old Scorpius and … if I have my facts right, that over     there is Capricornus.

 

Greg Guts:

    ( burps and then farts)

 

Steve Sex:

    That’s fucking disgusting Greg.  Fucking wipe your shorts dude. 

 

Hal Heart:

    Since when did you care about etiquette Steve?

 

Steve Sex:

    One sure way to get some pun-tang is to shower a lot, put on deodorant, drive a nice sports car and put on cologne … women love that kind of     shit.  They go crazy for it.  Are you still driving that 1989 green chevette with that muffler hanging on the ground Hal?

 

Hal Heart:

    I don’t drive a car anymore.

 

Steve Sex:

    Why?  Cant afford it because nobody buys your stupid poetry books?

 

Hal Heart:

    No… because I don’t want to pollute the environment.

 

Mel Mind:

    Now that is a wise statement there Hal.  Good for you.  Studies have shown, with the receding glaciers and the extremes in temperature variation,     if mankind doesn’t quickly figure out this climate crisis we are in, we may be in an Existential threat.  

 

Greg Guts:

    When do you guys want to hit the sack tonight? 

 

Steve Sex:

    Don’t you want another beer?

 

Greg Guts:

    Oh we still have some left?  I thought we were out and had to go into town tomorrow to buy some more.

 

Steve Sex:

    I have a six pack in my tent, I’ll go get it.

 

Greg Guts:

    Oh cool.. sure.  

 

 

 

            ( Huge explosion in the fire pit.. guys are blown away and to the ground)

 

Steve Sex:

    What the fuck was that!?

 

Greg Guts:

    Oh shit.. I think I shit my pants!

 

Hal Heart:

    Oh mother Mary Sweet Jesus, I think I am blind!

 

Mel Mind:

    Let’s not panic.  I see that some sparks have caught fire over here in the leaves and these dry branches in the forest… guys I am going to need your     help… all men on deck… we need to put out these surrounding fires.

 

 

Steve Sex:

    I think my balls caught fire or something man… they fucking hurt!  I can’t get up.

 

Greg Guts:  ( gets up to help Mel)

    Shit!  I have never run this fast in my life… my ass cheeks just glide like they are on grease.  

 

Mel Mind:

    Here, Greg.. lets grab these pales and scoop water out from the lake.

 

Greg Guts:

    Ok!

 

Mel Mind:

    Or better yet… I will take care of the fire.. you check on these guys.. make sure they are ok…alright?

 

Greg Guts:

    Will do!   Steve!  Are you ok?

 

Steve Sex:

    Yes.. I guess my balls must have just hit the ground when I fell and gotten trapped between my thighs.  I’m fine.. go check on Hal.  ( slowly gets up)

 

Greg Guts:

    Hal.. can you see me my friend?  How many fingers am I holding up?

 

Hal Heart:

    December.

 

Greg Guts:

    No.. look.. look at my fingers… how many am I…

 

Hal Heart:

    Oh.. three.

 

Greg Guts:

    Steve!  We need to be brave!  Can you go help Mel put out the fires in the forest!?

 

Steve Sex:

    Yes!  I’ll go help him.

 

Greg Guts:

    Come on pal.. we need your help to put out the flames.  Put your arm around my shoulder!  ( helps Hal up)

 

Hal Heart:

    I’m fine.  I just got knocked out a bit.. but I will be ok.  

 

Greg Guts:

    We need to grab a pale here each and start putting out these fires!   ( they each grab a pale and Greg heroically jumps through flames into the forest     to help Mel, running past Steve and Hal who are hesitant)

 

Steve Sex:

    Shit man.. its hot around here.

 

Hal Heart:

    Oh.. I … I’m afraid… 

 

Steve Sex:

    What good is the troubadour now!?

 

Hal Heart:

    Your no better!

 

Steve Sex:

    I suppose we should try and go help them…

 

Hal Heart:

    This reminds me of Milton’s description of hell in Paradise Lost… or Dante’s Inferno.

 

Mel Mind:  ( calling out.. his voice carrying over the forest and the lake)

    I think if we corral or .. a better word might be to “confine” it.. if we confine it to the Southwest corner near the edge of the lake we should be able to     control it!

 

Greg Guts:

    Here!  Let me do that Mel!  ( Greg braves a flame that Mel was calculating the risks in crossing.. helping Mel to safety)

 

    ( Down a path a Forest Ranger enters..)

 

 

 

Forest Ranger:

    What the hell is going on around here?!  You guys trying to burn all of Montana down?!

 

Steve Sex:

    I think they have it under control now!

 

Forest Ranger:

    You guys could have fooled me!  Come on in guys!  ( enter a whole crew of fire fighters who put out all of the flames)

 

Mel Mind:

    Oh thank you so much for your help Mr. Ranger.  I thought we had it strategically under control… I was trying to edge it towards the lake … but no     matter.. your help is greatly appreciated.