Wednesday, November 4, 2009

some past writings

heres some stuff ive written. enjoy.

casual conversation
The stage is empty except for two non-descript chairs center stage, facing away from each other at an angle, each towards its respective bottom stage corner. A man in a business suit enters, coughs loudly several times, breathes heavily, puts his hands on his knees to catch his breath, recovers and sits down. He unfolds a newspaper and begins to read, coughing periodically, getting progressively worse. A second man in a suit enters, checks his watch briefly, and sits down in the other chair. He begins to speak to the other man, but without looking at him, always facing straight forward. The entire time he is speaking, he pretends as if the other man were replying to him, and does not react strongly to anything. He keeps his cool, remaining mostly neutral throughout. His talk is idle banter, the weather, sports, the economic situation, the recent election, his experience at the dry cleaners, etc. He asks only yes or no questions and always responds as though the answer were yes. As he talks, the first man's condition progressively worsens. His coughing gets louder, he spits up phlegm. After returning to his newspaper several times, he puts it down, unfolded, and coughs and hacks incessantly, bent double. He pants and groans, clutching his chest. He begins to choke, making no noise, but convulsing. He begins to seize violently, falling out of his chair and onto the ground, preferably knocking the chair over in the process. Finally, he stiffens and lies motionless. The second man continues to talk, now telling a story. A doctor enters, black bag in hand, and sees the dead man on the ground. He does not react, but remains neutral while he takes out his stethoscope and checks his pulse. He stands up, turns toward the audience, and announces, loudly and without emotion "He is dead". The second man stops talking, turns to look, looks mildly surprised, and says "Oh dear. Well, it wasn't a very good story anyway." He checks his watch, and taps his foot for a short time. Curtain.

Gay marriage
Several people run on stage, screaming and shouting, and running everywhere. Two men run into each other center stage, stop, look into each others eyes. They hold each other tenderly, caress each others faces. Slowly, they come together and kiss. The moment their lips touch, everyone else freezes and is silent. The two men kiss long and deep. Everyone watches them in disgust and horror. The kiss ends and they stand together and look tenderly into one another's eyes, very happy. The bystanders slowly exit, not speaking, transfixed by the sight, keeping their eyes on the couple, as if sneaking away from the scene of a murder. After the last bystander exits, a little girl comes in in some distress. She sees the couple and is immediately relieved, and runs to them happily. The two men welcome her into their arms, pick her up, and exit, overjoyed.

Childs play
[Several grown up looking people are playfully passing a ball back and forth. A man in a diaper enters, is greeted, and joins them. The next time he gets the ball, he clutches it to his chest and sits in a corner of the stage and plays with it in his lap. One of the original players approaches him and speaks to him in a preschool teacher voice, as one would speak to a very young child. Johnny speaks like a dignified adult, but his body language is that of a defiant child.]
johnny, can we share the ball? we were all having so much fun playing together.
No! its my ball
its not your ball johnny, its everybody's ball. can you please share it with us so we can all have fun?
no its mine.
johnny, i really like playing with you but its not very fun if you wont share with us.
why are you talking to me in that silly voice. i don't like it when you talk like that. im not a child. im a grown man, with responsibilities. ive been working all day and i just want to play with my ball.
[johhny sucks thumb and pouts. group shrugs, starts talking among themselves, exits. Johhny looks around, plays with ball in a lonely but defiantly cheerful way, until he loses it into the audience. He then cries loudly until the curtain closes.]

[a man and a woman are at a bus stop. the man looks at the woman until she looks at him, then quickly looks at his shoes. after some deliberation, he turns to her and speaks]
i love your jacket
no you dont, you just want to get in my pants
all right fine. It is a nice jacket though. How did you know?
lucky guess, i guess. should we get a room, or would you like to fuck here on the street?
thats a little forward, dont you think? i mean, we hardly know each other.
it was your idea, unless im much mistaken.
i suppose it was. still, id like to at least get to know you a little. do you live around here?
im bored. goodbye.
[she exits. he starts to cry quietly. curtain]

economic collapse
A businessman in a suit with a sign on him that says "financial institutions" is building a sandcastle. another figure enters with a sign that says "reality" and destroys it.

a family sits down to dinner. while eating in unison, every movement choreographed, they all talk at the same time as though they were speaking to each other. they pretend their questions are answered and respond to questions they imagine are asked of them. when everyone is finished eating, they slowly stop talking one by one. when the last person finishes talking, they all look around, noticing each other, become quite uncomfortable, then exit.

peg line plays
[lines must be spoken in this order, by these characters. Anything may be spoken or danced in between each line, and the lines can be addressed to anyone.]

Oedipus remix
I say that with those you love best you live in foulest shame unconsciously and do not see where you are in calamity
what is the rite of purification? how shall it be done?
the clue is in this land;
that which is sought is found;
the unheeded thing escapes.
stand still and listen. you will agree that I have rights here.

1: where do you stand?
2: i stand high, above the crowd.
1: a dangerous place, a terrible fall, if you should fall
2: i will not fall
3: everything returns to earth in time
1: where do you come from?
2: i've walked a long road.
3: but do you know where you've been?
4: you are fools
2: you are ignorant
3: i deny nothing
2: i will be right in the end. you'll see.
4: it is all a waste of time. nothing will come of it.
4: why don't we all just shoot ourselves?
2: i am happy.
3: happiness is possible, but you are not happy.
2: look, a spider
4: its all a web of lies, illusions. the wind will carry it away
2: life is worth living. life is a great adventure. life is life, and you cant beat that. i don't want to live depressed, bored, tired. id rather be called an arrogant fool than an apathetic asshole.
1: tomorrow, tomorrow.


suspiciously happy

life is great
life is beautiful
beautiful people
beautiful world
i smile because im awake, because im alive
i smile because everywhere i look, there is life
i smile because i have been given the extraordinary gift of consciousness
i smile because i can
i understand your suspicion, however
with all the constant reminders
that cameras are no guarantee against criminal activity on the bart system
that your life and those of everyone around you depends on your suspicion
how could you not be scared?
the question is, what are you scared of?
or the possibility that you, too, could be happy?

I refuse to live in fear
I refuse to see the people around me as a possible threat, a bunch of maniacs
I refuse to assume that a smile is not genuine, that no ones motives are pure
I refuse to sit quietly and let my life pass me by
I refuse to hide myself in a cocoon
i refuse to stay quiet for fear of saying something worth hearing
I refuse to live in fear
each and every day, we are surrounded by fellow human beings
each with their own story to tell, a never ending library of lessons, of experience, of pleasure and pain, of what it means to live in this world in this time.
we have so much to talk about, and yet, most of the time, so many of us sit silently and wait
for our stop
or for our food to come
we wait for our next paycheck, our next vacation
we wait for someone to start something
for a new tv show or a sale at macy's or a raise or a new phone
waiting, desperately hoping our lives get better
feeling alone in the midst of a crowd
unwilling or unable to reach out our hand and touch somebody
i refuse to wait
i am going to be here, now
and id really like for you to be here with me
i want to know who you are
what makes you laugh
what makes you hurt
what makes you do the things you do
what are you afraid of
what are you afraid of?
and what are you going to do about it?
are you going to sit there and let life heap shit on you, let yourself get buried by paperwork and shopping lists? are you going to keep on numbing the pain, pretending you have no feelings?
or are you going to say fuck that shit, take off your masks and your clothes and come dancing naked in this crazy hailstorm were all pretending to ignore?
are you going to go on living a comfortable lie?
or are you going to shed your armor, drop your shield, and let life hurt you, let it hurt you so bad that it knocks you to the floor, let it tear you apart until you realize that pain is human
that it means that you are alive
that the place that hurts is the place in you that loves
that cries out for someone to hold close
and that if you choose love
if you choose to live your life in full consciousness of your truth
and in love with everyone
only then can your pain be truly healed

rodeado por el cielo

mi alma esta sospenida por la luz
el sol me levante y me difunde
ya estoy distribuido por el mundo
los ojos en los arboles
los pies en el barro en el fondo del agua
y el corazon en los nubes
rodeado por el cielo

surrounded by the sky

my soul is suspended by the light
the sun lifts me and diffuses me
already i am distributed throughout the world
my eyes in the trees
my feet in the mud at the bottom of the water
and my heart in the clouds
surrounded by the sky
authority and discipline: True power vs. the illusion of power

All force is illusion. Every "i must", "they made me", and "i have to" is a lie. There is only choice. When you say to someone "do this", you are giving that person a choice. They can either comply, or refuse. Every order, then, is really a question. If you have true authority, you will never order anyone to do anything. Those with true authority ask, and allow those who they are asking the freedom to refuse if they choose to do so. The illusion of force is a crutch for those too weak or too afraid to allow others freedom of choice. Unfortunately, we have degraded our relationships with ourselves and each other to the point where we must rely on this false authority to maintain the structure of our society. We teach our children obedience in school. This, in fact, is the main function of our educational system, to indoctrinate children into believing that authority comes from position, that orders must be followed, that in many situations, they have no choice. Without this education, our hierarchical political and economic systems could not survive. Our leaders have lost the ability to truly lead, because they have lost the courage to ask instead of demanding.
In a park there is a football field with signs around the edge reading "field closed". This is a blatant and obvious lie. The field is not closed. It is wide open to anybody who wants to walk on it. What the sign makers where trying to say was "we would like to keep the field clear right now for thus and such a reason, could you please not walk on it?". But they did not have the courage to do so, they were afraid that their request would not be respected, and so they made it into an order, a demand, and a sham. Were they right to fear that no one would comply if they phrased their question as such? Absolutely. In a society where we have been taught to respect "authority" rather than respecting our own freedom of choice and the requests of others, no one will listen to a reasonable request.
When obedience is taught, self-respect and consideration for others are necessarily pushed out. What we need to be teaching our children is that they always have a choice, that if they want something from someone else they should ask for it, and that if someone else asks something of them they should choose mindfully whether they want to do it or not. Only by fully respecting everyone's freedom of choice can we live together in harmony.
But what about catastrophe, emergency, deadlines? In some situations, there is no time for choice. Someone must take charge, make decisions, make things happen. Very true, sometimes a decision must be made, but even in this situation, the illusion of force is nothing but a stumbling block and a creator of ill will. In an emergency, a reasonable request is even more likely to be accepted by a caring individual who has learned freedom of choice. Someone will make a decision, they will ask others to help them or do what they have decided must be done, and those others will decide, quickly, to do it or not to do it. In a true emergency, where everyone involved realizes the gravity of the situation, they will surely choose to be helpful. If not, their non-participation is probably more helpful than their reluctant and unwilling involvement.

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