ďWhat is the title of this play?Ē Ė by Joshua Louis Warren, Esq.

 

Characters:

S Ė a narrator, stage manager type

M Ė an ordinary male

W Ė an attractive female

2 Ė a woman attired like a homeless bum

 

Act I Ė The beginning

Scene 1- Introductions

Scene 2 - Romance

Scene 3 - Disaster

Act II Ė The end

Scene 4 Ė Reprise and Recapitulation

Scene 5 Ė Morality

Scene 6 Ė Closing Arguments

Scene 7 Ė Epilogue: Go Home

 

Act I Ė The beginning

Scene 1 Ė Introductions

 

Lights up

S: Oh dear are you here already.

[Looks at watch]

well, I guess it is that time isnít it.Few minutes later than we said actually.

but no.no, this shant do.

Iím sorry but it just wonít work.No I must insist that it is quite unsatisfactory.

The scenery is so drab, the seating: ample but no doubt uncomfortable, well they look uncomfortable, well he looks uncomfortable (addressing house).Are they comfortable? No donít answer, there is really nothing I can do about the comfort of your individual condition and I would really rather that you not go griping about your individual miseries to me now just because I standing up here.You all think that just because I am standing here that I have some magic power, something grander then your dull lives.

Iím sorry to say, I donít.

I stand before you ladies and gentleman no more a man than you Ė well perhaps more than you sir but no more then the average among you.Yes my friends, I am no different then you.I am a man.And yet you all stare at me as if I have some power.I tell you fair townsfolk, I do not.

[pause looks watch cross stage look watch]

well I see you are still here.

I wish I could say I was glad.

Itís not that Iím not grateful, itís just that Iím really not sure why weíre here.

Iím not really sure you know why youíre here either.

Sure sure you bought a ticket, thatís all very swell.I have a ticket too ya know. [begins searching pockets]That girl with the cute smile ripped it when I came in. [still searching] or was it that old chap with the spectacles [stillÖ] I know I have that ticket stub here somewhere...

Ah no bother, if I need it later I will look for it againÖ besides if they want to kick me out of here, they may as well go right ahead, itís not like I wanted to come here tonight.

Donít look at me like that.

You probably didnít want to come tonight either.

Certainly, you wouldnít have come if you read the reviews.

But alas, I am digressing.

where was I before we got off onto that whole ticket business?

Oh right, the whole why weíre here bit.

Then I pondered if you knew why you were here and got off on that whole ticket rant.Itís a real problem with me.The digressing.I just sorta shoot off into random tangentially related topics.There was this one time I started off taking about Spiderman and three hours later had covered Kierkegaardís fear of god, the best route from New York City to Ithaca, NY, and two-thirds of the Mishna.Incidentally, the best route from New York City to Ithaca, NY requires going through Pennsylvania, so plotz to whoever said the shortest distance between two points was a straight line.The other 1/3 of the Mishna is much better Ė gotta love the laws about sex.And menstrual cleanliness- very important when you live life as a desert people.As for Kierkegaard well existentialism is incredibly horribly flawed and as for Spiderman well Iíll get back to him but here I am digressing again, we should really try to get back to why WE are here.

[pause]

[tap foot.Look to the audience Ė why arenít they answering]

Well.What do you have to say for yourself?

I thought as much.Bunch of followers.Wouldnít know an original idea if it bit you on the ass.

Yeah.You heard me.Why are you here?I know why you are here.Someone told you to come.

If someone told you to jump off the empire state building would you do it?

I bet you would wouldnít you?

[singling audience members out]

You would I can tell.

And you.

Maybe not you.But definitely you.

Ok.Well we better get started, eh?

Did you think this was all there was?

Just me standing here talking.There isnít much more I assure you.

Nevertheless, I may not know why we are here but I do know there is much work to be done so grab a tool and get to work we can use all the help we can get.

[starts to walk away realized the audience isnít following and turns back]

I see.So thatís how it is to be.

I understand.

You have your role and I mine.

I pray that you will not begrudge me my responsibilities.

I will do my best not to begrudge you yours.

Agreed?Very well.

Well then, what shall we do.

Perhaps a tour, afterall you did just get here.

I do tend to forget that.

Well ok, on with the tour.

Do you like this room.Itís quite nice if I do say so myself.

I can see you are unimpressed.

Perhaps if I tell you some history.Afterall, what good is a tour without history.Structures make so much more sense when you know their function.And what is function really but history.Itís what youíve done.What you do.Who you are.It provides some basis for predicting what you will do next.That is what itís so often about isnít it?Figuring out what happens next.

Oh but Iíve digressed again.Why do you keep letting me do that? Well I guess you donít know any better do you.Where is that guy with the script?In rehearsals he always gave me the right lines.But thatís rehearsal for ya, never the same as the real thing.

Well.

So here we are.

Hmmm

[as if a light bulb just switched on:] OH RIGHT, tour, history, why we are here.

SO yes, many things have happened here before.

Presumably things will happen in the future.

Perhaps things are happening here right now.

[looks around]

Iím told, by people who know these things, that many things are happening right now.

Ya know, the molecules moving, the elections bouncing, nuclei spinning, proteins folding, waves, particles, quarks Ö for god-sake quarks.Do you know what a quark is?

It makes up hadrons.Hadrons.You know like protons and neutrons.Ya know all this matter stuff?The mass part.Quarks: sub-atomic theoretical particle composition.

Did you know they can be measured for strangeness?Yes, strangeness.A quark can be more or less ďstrange.ĒStrange is of course a defined term of art in particle physics.So is charm.But this has more to do with its ďflavourĒ and ďcolourĒ which of course have nothing to do with either taste or the visual spectrum.This can also be referred to as topness or bottomness.

Hey baby, which way do you isospin?

OH BOLLOCKS, Iíve digressed again.

That was a good one though.I mean quarks really are amazing. I mean watch Ďem.Spinning around all over the place, Their confined of course.But OH the interactions.Now, Iím getting really off-track here but I did say this tour was going to be a history lesson and where better to begin than at the beginning.

Say it with me now.1, 2, 3 Ė big, BANG.

Suddenly with tremendous force and almost no forethought, the universe splashes off into existence radiating outward in an ever-growing all consuming galaxy.

Or so I am told Ö by people who know.

You are familiar with the big bang right? Iíve always been a fan of the term.

Bang

No no, a big Bang.

Etymological the word bang is likely Scandinavian.The Icelandic use the word ďbangaĒ as the verb meaning ďto hammer.Ē

Of course the Big Bang refers to a outward explosion of highly dense matter into our ever expanding universe.To hammer.A big hammer.If I had a hammer.

Bangs are usually loud. To which of course Confucius asks: Do extremely high density particles blasting out through the universe make a sound?Even if I am there to hear it Ė somehow Iím there donít worry how I am breathing in the infinte abyss of undefined space but Iím there watching this tiny drop of Ė what is it now hmm say a gravitational singularity Ė and here I am watching this theoretical moment in the history of the physical world Ė what do I see, what do I hear?Ö Was the big bang loud?

Why are we here?

BLACKOUT

 

Scene 2 Ė romance

The curtain rises on a male actor.Sitting, he is reading what appears to be a newspaper.

 

M: [calling offstage:] Honey, whenís dinner?

W: [from offstage:] soon.

M: Should I get the kids?

W: Not that soon.

M: Ok. Ö Honey, could you come in here a second?

W:Yes dear what can I do for you?

M:Does it ever bother you that we do the same thing for dinner every night?

W: No dear.

M: No?

W: No dear, itís what we do.

M: But we donít have to do this.I mean we could do lots of different things.We could go out for instance.

W: Where would we go?

M:Anywhere you want.[rising to her] Baby you are my angel, your wish is my command, call me genie of the lamp, you rub me the right way and Iíll show you the world.

W: Oh stop I have to finish dinner.

M: Who says? Letís fly to China and get wonton soup.

W: John.

M: Fine fine, Italy then, weíll dine at that little place in the corner of that piazza in Rome.Roma.Fettuccine ala that guy with the funny moustache and the horrible accent that kept wanting to tell us about how he made his sauce.

W: It was good sauce.

M: I know, and then we can cross the square get some of that gelato the kids liked so much.

W: The kidsÖ John the kids will be hungry soon and if I burn that casserole what will we eat then.

M: Oh forget the casserole, weíre going to Rome for dinner.

W: No weíre not, now I really need to go finish cooking. [heading offstage, M grabs from behind and grinds up behind her]

M: Oh yeah Ö and how are you going to get away from me.

W: John the kids are upstairs.

M: They have their music playing and wonít dare come downstairs before being called lest they risk being asked to help set the tableÖJust a quickie.

W: Alright Mr. Man, I know what you want.

W kneels and M starts to unbutton his pants, W slips under M between his legs and darts back into the kitchen.

W [exiting]: Sorry John, I really donít want to burn dinner.

M: [rebuttoning]:ooh that was a mean trick. Youíre lucky I donítÖ

W: Donít what John?

M: I could do something.

W: Face it John, youíre powerless.

M: I know.

M [to audience]:Sheís right you know.I am powerless.Sure I could beat her around but then sheíd go and call the cops and Iíd get arrested and not be able to come home for a while.I could probably convince her to drop the charges but you know these domestic violence issues are real sticky these days and frankly I really donít think itís worth it.Besides I love her and itís really no fun to beat up someone you love.Well not physically anyway Ė verbal abuse is a generally well accepted for a spousal relations.Biting sarcasm is likely the foundation of more stable marriages then it is the downfall of the broken ones.Jackie Gleason used to threaten to pop Alice to the moon in every episode but he got away with it.Ya know why?... because he was funny. And because nobody questioned that he loved his wife.

W[still offstage]:Honey do you want cheese in the salad?

M: Whatever you like dear.

M: She asks me everynight.Itís as if after all these years sheís still hoping I will develop an opinion or preference on the matter.Frankly I have never really much cared about the minor details.Itís the big picture that really pleases me.You get bogged down in details and suddenly the whole world starts taking on a lot more complications.

W [entering with a salad bowl]:The rest of dinner should be ready in about 15 minutes, but we can get started on salad if youíd like.

M: Should I get the kids now.

W:Why, they donít like salad anyway.

M:Good point, still it would be nice to have a full table.

W: I guess thatís true. But dear?

M: Yes honey?

W: We didnít cast any kids.

M:Oh I see.Well that does pose a problem.

W: More so to them [idicating audience] then to us.

M: True, but itís just that it would have been nice to see our kids.

W: It would have been nice to have seen a lot of things John.

M: But I mean, our kids, you and me, a family.You and me, young love personified, blissful unending joy of family life, the sweet rewards of generational growth, preservation of the species, development of the nation.John jr with his baseball glove and chemistry set frolicking in the lush backyard.His sister sitting on the lawn in a pale sun dress and hat brushing the hair of a small doll.Oh and the lawn, what green grass.A self-sustaining, life force padding the vast grounds of our estate Ė it is a sin not to walk barefoot.[he takes off his shows and enacts a gingerly walk] slowly stepping and feeling each blade of grass slip between my toes.Across the lawn, little John has just been tagged by his sister ďtag your itĒ Ė they dart around I turn back to see you come out with a tray of lemonade and donít notice as the kids slam into me from behind.We all fall safely and we laugh and laugh and roll around on our solar powered carpet.

W:What a glorious image of family life you conceive of for us.

M: Oh.I didnít conceive of it.You know that.

W:I know.I am just saying, I never conceive of anything like that.

M:Well thatís because he doesnít know how to write for women.

W: Iím not going to have this argument with you again.

M:You know itís true.He doesnít know what to have you say.You are just counterpoint for me.

W:Now stop that right now or I am leaving.

M:Sweety you know I love you.

W:I know I know.

M: Right.So what was the problem again.

W:Itís not a problem John.Itís just.Itís just.Well itís just,

FUCK

Why can I never find the words to say it?

M: Because he doesnít know how to write for women.

W: Fuck you John you know that.Fuck you.

W exits

 

[a long pause.M takes lets out a deep breath with a sigh and begins to resume reading the paper.. after a moment he looks up and says]

M: Sheíll be back. She always comes back.Itís all part of the show.Sheís just upset because the kids arenít here.Youíll see.

W[storming back in almost screeching:] I AM NOT UPSET BECAUSE THE KIDS ARENĒT HERE.

M[unmoved by her outburst, perhaps not even looking up from the paper:] Now Honey calm down, no one likes to hear those pitches.

W: Goddamit John, when are you going to start listening to me?

M: Honey. Sweety. Darling.I have listened to every word you have ever uttered.My love.You are my soul mate.And we have been confined in this place for so long, you have forgotten how to dream.

W [shocked, dumbfounded]: I dream.

M: Do you? When is the last time you had an original idea.

W starts to speakÖM cuts her off

M: Ah ah ah, something truly original

W clearly trying to think.

M: What will really get your goat later, is whether an original idea is actually of any value. How would anyone understand it? What the hell is an idea anyway?I mean how could it possibly be original, itís based on the very systems of life that have existed for eternia.

W: You are losing me.

M: Yes, and most of the audience, but I think I may be on to something here.I mean ideas are not just spontaneously generated from the abyss are they?

W: I thought you said they were Ė something about entropy increasing?

M: Oh well yeah, I mean certainly the universe is moving towards greater states of disorder and should eventually tear itself apart but that canít be how consciousness works can it?

W: I certainly wouldnít know anything about consciousness.

M:Well I guess neither do I.

Long pause.

M: Itís just I keep reading the papers, and there is nothing good in them.Nothing hopeful, nothing promising.

W:John?

M: Yes honey.

W: Tell me again what it is that you do know.It comforts me to know you know some thing.

M:I know I love you Honey.I know I love you.

Blackout

 

Scene 3 Ė disaster

 

W:Iíll show him canít write for women.

2: Hi.

W: Hi.

2: [awkwardly] whatís up

W: nothing much.

Pause

W: so are we supposed to talk now is that the idea, put two women on the stage force them to talk and hope that somehow something in this evening might not be as gender biased as my relationship with John.

2: Whoís John?

W: Heís my husband.Well I mean Iím not really sure we were ever actually got married.

2: You should talk to Shlomo about that.

W: Shlomo?

2: He knows a lot of stuff he can help you with your marriage problem.

W: Who said there was a problem with my marriage.

2: No I mean, this Shlomo guy he knows all about the marriage laws he could probably tell you if you are married at least.

W: Oh I see.Does it really matter if we are married?

2: Not to me

W: Good.Thank you.

2:It might matter to them.

W: Why should they care.

2: They bought a ticket.

W: I donít think the existence of my marriage has any bearing on the plot of this show.

2: How would you know?

W: Good point. [pause] So Shlomo huh?He knows things?

2: They say he knows lots of things.

W: Then he must be very wise.No doubt it will be hard to find him.Unfortunately I am not in the mood for an arduous journey at this time.This Shlomo doesnít have a cell phone Iíd imagine?

2: Thatís a start kid, but I certainly canít give you the number.

W: No, youíre shitting me, Shlomo has a cell phone?

2: Honey, do you think I have some magic power just because I am standing here with you.Do you have magic powers just because you are standing here with me?Look at them Ė do they have magic powers?Honey, you are standing on a shitty stage in a shitty theater in the middle of a fucking warzone.And she wants to know if Shlomo has a cell phone.

W: Well does he?

2: Of course Shlomo has a cell phone.Who the fuck doesnít have a cell phone.Stupid fucking bitch.You know he canít write for women!!!

W: Shlomo has a cell phone.Now I just need to find the number and Iíll be all set.

Wandering the stage.

W: hmm this may be more difficult then I had imagined.There donít seem to be any numbers anywhere around here.Numbers.Numbers.Letís see. Itís scene 3.Somewhere near the end of the 7th page in the original script.Three and Seven are both prime numbers.Thirty-seven is actually also a prime number. Itís actually, a lucky prime a unique prime and an irregular prime.Thirty-seven is the smallest prime that is not also a supersingular prime.

 

I like prime numbers.So independent.So united.Itís like a stand against the world.I will be divided by no other than myself Ė well except for one.One.So small and yet so powerful.One.Ok so what do we have now, 3,7,37 and one.

Hmmm.

Somehow this seemed easier in the DaVinci Code.

Of course I never actually saw the movie

By applause, how many of you know about this book.Just applaud a little if you know it.††

 

I didnít really like the book either.I mean the whole idea that somehow the church could keep anything secret.I mean itís all very entertaining as fiction donít get me wrong I think Dan Brown is brilliant.If I could sell books like that I would.Itís just the Church is about love not hate.I was married in a church.My mother was there.I think.I am pretty sure I was baptized in one too.I donít really remember it but I have pictures, I think.Anyway, the church is there to bring people together, to allow them to celebrate their joyous moments, to work together to support the community to create continuity.The very idea that the Church could be a massive conspiracy to oppress women is just absurd.

[starts looking for more numbers and stops midstep and nearly breaksdown]

OH DEAR GOD.He really canít write for women.This is horrible.

M [enters and says]:I told you

W:John.What?How did you get here?I left you in the last scene.

M:Iím not actually here.I am just in your imagination.

W:If youíre an illusion, why is there no fog?

M:Even if we had the money the fire department wouldnít have allowed it.

W: I see.Well if you are here to stop me from looking for Shlomo then you are wasting your time, most of the audience has read the book Ė they know about cryptology - and we are on the track of finding Shlomoís cell phone number.

M:Honey, I am not sure who this Shlomo is, but I am very pleased to hear he has a cell phone. So your going to come home after you call him?

W:I donít know John.Shlomo knows a lot of things and I may want to stay with him a while.You see John, what you canít understand, because you are a man, is that as a woman, I need to know that I know things.

M:I donít understand.

W:Of course you donít.You are man.

M:But honey, your words and character are as much from a man as I am.

W:This may be true but right now I am a woman and need to be certain.

M [fading away]:Yes yes.Well do come home soon.The children and I miss you.Enjoy your numbers.Say hello to shlomo for me.Donít concentrate too hard on the math.

W: What was that last one.Donít concentrate too hard on the math.But I love math.What does he know.Stupid men.

Ok deep breath

[in and out] Ė 2 times.

Where were we Ė Oh right I was looking for Shlomoís cell phone number and .. why are you all looking at me like that?

2[entering]: They think you have magic powers.

W: Do I have magic powers?

2: Do I have magic powers?

W: Well I guess I donít know, do you have magic powers?

2:Does it fucking look like I have magic powers bitch.

W:Why do you have to be so rude?

2: Why do you have to be so rude?

W: But I wasnít I was trying to be nice.

2: But I wasnít I was trying to be nice, you fucking whore.

W: My god, that tongue, didnít your mother ever teach you better?

2: Lady, does it look like I have a mother.

W: Well you must have come from somewhere?

2: And I must be going somewhere right? Yeah lady youíve got a lot to learn.

2 exits

W: Wait wait thatís why I need Shlomo, how do I find Shlomoís cell phone number. Damn.Alone again. Well I mean youíre here.But youíre never any help.Although I did get you to verify your knowledge of that nickel novel with the albino so maybe you can be of assistance.

What do you know about Kabala?

Yeah I thought as much.

I was raised a Catholic so I wouldnít know a golem from a mensch.Iím just hoping this Shlomo character can help me find out whatís going on here.John says he loves me.I believe him, I do.At least I believe he believes heís in love with me.Certainly he says he does and most of the time he behaves like he does.Itís just I canít be sure.There is something about him sometimes, sometimes I look at him and itís like heís acting Ė like heís just trying to be loving and heís forcing me upon his image of love Ė like somehow itís all just not real.

I know what you are thinking.Your thinking Iím crazy, that he says he loves me and he treats me good and he does nice things for me Ö I should love him back and keep my mouth shut.And I do love him.Really I do.Itís just, Itís just Ö how can I live with him knowing itís all an act.Itís all a show.This is a charade.This isnít even really happening.Shlomo doesnít exist.There is no Shlomo.††

2 enters and begins to speak

W: No.You donít exist.Go Away.

2 exits.

W: You in the audience.Why are you here? Does this horrible nonsense of fiction amuse you?Do you find yourself sympathizing with any of the characters, no doubt due to the skilled performances as this script is incomprehensible at best, and even when I think I know whatís happening itís hackneyed, clichťd garbage.Donít you see itís a fraud.There are no insights to be had here.No morals, no catharsis.We are just being dragged along by a sick twisted consciousness that knows neither truth nor falsity.It knows only what it wants to know.It knows what suits it at the moment.Nothing matters nothing adds up.In the end we will likely all die.

[yelling at the audience]: Hey you, does it please you to know that despite all your efforts you will die?

You will die.

And you will die.

And you will die.

You might not die. But you you will most certainly die.

It is inevitable.

2: How will I die?

W: You, I thought I told you that you donít exist and that I wanted you to go away.

2:Well you kept talking.And I thought perhaps you wanted me to come back to ask a question.

W: Well I didnít

2: Well I am here now and I have already asked the question so I think it would be fair if someone answered it before I go.

W: Well itís not going to be me.Iím leaving.(starts to handle suitcases)

2:Youíve said that before.

W: Iíve said it to John yes.But then somehow it all followed me.

2: So what makes you think you can escape this time?

W: Iím not going to try to escape.I simply going to shut up.He canít write for women anyway.

W sits down centerstage and lies down on the bedding she has gotten from the suitcases.

2:Wait, but if you are sleeping on the stage wonít everybody leave.

W smiles but does not open her eyes.

2: Oh.I guess thatís the idea. I think she thinks that if she goes to sleep she can end this show.Itís not a bad idea actually.It would be nice to be refreshed before tomorrowís show.Woulda been nice if someone had answered my question but I guess I will have to find out another day. Good night honey.Good night John.Oh fuck.

M: Somebody call me.

2: I didnít mean to, go away.

M:Oh ok good because I was napping in the back and I didnít think I needed to be back on stage this soon.

2: You donít.

M: Wait is she sleeping in the middle of the stage?

2: Yeah

M: And you were going to sleep next to her over here?

2: What the fuck you care where I was going to sleep?

M: Whoa Whoa itís ok, I was just asking if there was a plan.

2: Sorry John, you know how it is around these parts sometimes people ask too many questions.

M: Well I donít mean to ask another but, is there a plan?

2: If she has one she took it to bed with her.

M:And you were just going to join her?

2: Whatís it to you?

M:Well I just thought maybe I should join her.

2: You. Why would you join her?

M: I love her remember.

2: Why do you love her?

M: How will you die?

2: Excuse me?

M: You wanted to know how you were going to die?

2: Yes.

M: And now you want to know why I love her?

2: Yes.

M:But I am the inquisitive one?

2: Fucking bastard.Are you going to sleep here or not?

M: Maybe.I donít know. Audience I have vowed to join her in everything I do.But if I sleep here there really what will have been no point to any of this.

2: But thatís exactly it isnít it you asshole, there is no point to any of this.

M:There is what you make of it. Personal choice. Social Responsibility.

2:†† John, do you really believe you are capable of making a choice?

M:Are you suggesting I canít?

2: [afraid] Oh dear god.Ok fine John I had no idea you were willing to do that.Itís a very different game then isnít it.

M:I told you, I love her.And besides we canít do this without her so I may as well join her.

2: Maybe we could do this without her.I could play her part.

M:I donít think so.

2:Fucking bastard. I see how it is.Well we each have our parts to play.And I for one will be glad when itís over and I think the audience will be too.

M:No I donít think the audience will be glad but to continue without her would be meaningless.The only rationale choice is to follow her.Frankly I am not sure we have a choice.

2: Ha, I told you

M: Yeah you were right.We have no choices here.Good night.

 

[All three lie asleep on the stage Ė many beats later S wanders across notices situation and takes center stage Ė stepping over their bodies]

 

S: Oh dear now theyíve done it. Well ladies and gentlemen we seem to be stuck again.This does happen from time to time. You canít expect these things to work like clockwork ya know.That is the beauty of live theatre after all.

I am of course presuming that they are still alive.

I know theatre convention would proscribe that an actor lying motionless on the floor of the stage is likely dead.There isnít much difference I suppose.If the actors refuse to play their part, the characters are effectively dead, are they not?The actions are who they are.When the actions cease Ė so do they.

So lass, this is how you will die?

Not with a bang but with absolute and utter silence.

How will I die: Itís a terrible question.

I prefer mine.Why are we here?

Or his: Why do I love her?

Ultimately though, I think they are all the same question.††

Where have we come from, where are we going, where were we born, where will we die. Who will we love? These are the questions!And they will certainly not be answered here tonight.Certainly not with the actors all asleep on the stage.

Ö

[looks at watch]

Well.

I guess I could continue our little tour from scene one.

Where were we, oh yea, the big bang.SO then comes evolution.Amazing incredible unfathomable evolution.Darwin baby.There was an original idea.Of course it actually wasnít Darwin just had better notes.He liked to collect bugs and study their shape. Liked to draw pictures of them in his notebooks.Diagram their parts.

Everything was so similar.Ladies and gentlemen look around you.Think how similar we all are.Some theories suggest that there were as few as 150 humans in the first batch that migrated out of Africa.Others say only Noahís family was all that was left after the Great Flood.All of us though Ė weíre kin.

And what does family do if not give you a stern kick in the ass in the morning and force you to face yourself in the mirror.

On that note I encourage all of you to take this opportunity to go the bathroom and view your own selves in the mirror.Meanwhile Iíll see about getting these actors up and maybe we could restart the show.

Should you choose to come back after the intermission, I wonít hold it against you.I think you might really like the ending.Yes yes, I promise it does end.

All things do.

See you in 10 minutes ladies and gentlemen.

 

 

 

14 minutes later

Act 2 Ė The end

Scene 4 Ė reprise and recapitulation

 

Oh dear are you here already.

[Looks at watch]

well, I guess it is that time isnít it.Few minutes later than I said actually.

but no.no, this still shant do.

Iím sorry but it just wonít work.No I must insist that it is quite unsatisfactory.

The scenery is so drab, the seating: ample but no doubt uncomfortable, well they look uncomfortable, well he looks uncomfortable (addressing house).Are they comfortable? No donít answer, there is really nothing I can do about the comfort of your individual condition and I would really rather that you not go griping about your individual miseries to me now just because I standing up here.You all think that just because I am standing here that I have some magic power, something grander then your dull lives.

Iím sorry to say, I donít.

I stand before you ladies and gentleman no more a man than you Ė well perhaps more than you sir but no more then the average among you.Yes my friends, I am no different than you.I am a man.And yet you all stare at me as if I have some power.I tell you fair townsfolk, I do not.

[pause looks watch cross stage look watch]

well I see you are still here.

I wish I could say I was glad.

Itís not that Iím not grateful, itís just that Iím really not sure why weíre here.

Iím not really sure you know why youíre here either.

Sure sure you bought a ticket, thatís all very swell.I have a ticket too ya know. [begins searching pockets]That girl with the cute smile ripped it when I came in. [still searching] or was it that old chap with the spectacles [stillÖ] I know I have that ticket stub here somewhere...

[finds ticket]

Ah there it is.I told you I would find it later when I needed it.That is how things work around here.When you need things you get them.Didnít get something.Well then you probably didnít need it.

Which means that apparently I needed this ticket right now and thatís why I found it.

Although, I am really not sure what to do with this ticket right now.

I guess I will save it for later.

Meanwhile, you are probably all wondering how this play will end.

You should be.

I am somewhat curious myself.

After all the end will tell us what all of this has meant thus far.

Only after itís over can we really get a sense of what it was.

Did any of you talk during intermission?

Comment on the show thus far.

You know itís not over yet, it really isnít fair to judge.

Well I guess you canít help it.

Very well, go on, judge.

Itís only human.

Discriminate palates are a hallmark of modern civilization.Bad taste is the 8th deadly sin.

Flavors, colors, all so important to making a good impression Ė to being judged favorably.

 

 

Scene 5 Ė morality

 

M: Honey, I love you

W: Oh JohnÖ I love you too.

Embrace

W: John?

M: Yes my love?

W:John.You know what I am going to ask John.

M: Please donít dear.I just want to enjoy this moment a little longer.

W: Oh John youíre so sweet.

M: Well, I love you.

W: John, no, John.I need to know.

M: What Honey what do you need to know.

W: John I need to hear it.

Pause.

W: John, why do you love me?

Silence

M: I love you isnít that enough.

W: No itís not. John, why do you love me?

M: Is this about the kids?Because we can cast some kids.I mean I am not sure how but maybe if we talk to the producer and file some forms with the appropriate divisions of child labor, certainly shows have kids in them all the time.

W: This isnít about kids John.This is about us.Itís about who we are.Itís about what we are doing here.Itís about where we are going.

M:Honey, if I knew where we were going, I am sure this would all make a lot more sense.No one can know that.

W: But I want to go places.

M: And I want to go with you.[pause] I love you.

W:JohnÖ why do you love me?

M:Honey, I am really not sure what to say.

W: Ha- suddenly he canít write for men either.What Ė canít get all emotional?

M:What?

W: Take the subject to the flaw of the male psyche and suddenly the man is speechless, is that it? Damn you man, you say you love me and I ask you a simple question, I ask WHY?

M: Oh Fuck you, you self-righteous whore.How dare insinuate my inferiority because I cannot explain to you the complexities of my love for you.Oh that you were to know the true face of my love for you.No doubt, it is a beautiful, amazing, vibrant, passionate, intense love that I feel for you my dear.I burn with the desire to know your soul.I lust for knowledge of your inner being.I want to be one with you always and forever.I want to know your innermost thoughts and I do everything in my power to see your every wish fulfilled.††

Yet, inevitably I fail.

I cannot know you.You are not real.You are as free and undefined as I am.At any moment you can make a decision I canít predict.You probably wonít.But you could.At any moment you are free to make your own independent choice.

No matter how hard I try.

No matter how often we rehearse.

No matter how much I work at it.

I never exactly know how you are going to react.

W:And that scares you?

M: Oh god yes.

W: SO you donít trust me.

M:Oh god no.If anything I trust you too much.I said you wouldnít want to know the true face of my love for you, not because of its beauties.No, Honey, my love for you is also grotesque.It is obsessive.It is not that I donít trust you but rather that I only trust you.I fear I do not trust myself anymore.Without you there is no point to any of this.I am drawn to you in the way Greek poets write of love.Take you from me and were it in my power I would send the great Legions of the world to war for your return.Sweety, darling, honey Ė I am NOTHING without you.

And[looks around] I love what YOUíve done to the place.

W:[smiles]. But John.What about me?

M:What about you Honey?

W:Do I love you?

M:[sigh] You have to tell me that.

W:John, I can I know if I love you.John, how do you know you love me?

M:Honey, I canít do this.I donít know how I know, I just know that I love you.

W:Ok Ok a new tact.John, do you believe in love?

M:Ah.Well.No not really.

W:AH HA so how do know you love me?

M:I believe I love you.

W:But you donít believe in love?

M:Well love is just a bunch of chemical signals.Its completely not real.It a subjective choice that my brain makes upon associating you to a whole variety of other signals and stimuli; creating a chain of memory cascades that produce nice neurotransmitter responses.Most of what I know to be my love for you is merely my body responding to a set of stimuli with programmed responses. No doubt I have grown accustomed to your stimuli.But the so called love that I feel thatís just a story.Itís a story that allows me to understand the responses I need to make to incoming stimuli.

W:I think youíve lost me and the audience again.But let me see if I get this.You love me because you have grown accustomed to my being around.

M:Exactly.I like it.Itís nice to have you around.

W:You are an ass you know that.

M:Yeah. And inconsistent in my arguments.

W:Yeah thatís ok itís hard to be consistent when you are stoned. But you were saying something about the failure of your love for me.

M:Well yeah sure Ė all I want is to know you.But I can never know you.And if I could, it really would destroy all the fun.

W:But we do the same things all the time.

M:Of course we do.What else would we do?Itís us.

W:Well maybe I donít want to be us anymore.

M:Well then who would you be?

W:I donít know, I did alright in scene 3 without you around much.

M:Are you kidding, you got lost looking for some dudeís cell phone number gave up and went to sleep on the stage.Iím not sure that that scene worked at all but if it did itís only because of the set up and closure that I provided.Donít get me wrong, I love scene 3 and will relive it with you for eternity but come now.

W:See you donít love me, you just want me around so that you can get off on-stage when weíre together.

M:Honey, I am nothing without you.

W:But I donít want to be nothing without you.I want to be my own person.I want to be myself.I want to be me.

M: And who are you?

W:Thatís what I need to find out.

M:Thatís it.Thatís why I love you.

W:Why?

M:Because you keep trying to find out who you are.

W: What if you are holding me back?

M:No doubt I am.But who says front is the right direction.Who knows where we are going Ė what we will find next Ė who we will be tomorrow Ė the point is simply that I want to go there with you.I want you to be here when my next day starts.

W:But I donít want to be here anymore.I want to go somewhere else.

M:Where can I take you?

W:Iím sorry John, you canít come.

M:[a little verklempt] Sadly, I understandÖ. Where will you go?

W:I donít know.There must be other stages, other performances, other audiences.ÖOh John, donít hate me for this. John say you wonít hate me.

M:Get out.

W:John itís not that this show isnít good enough for me.John itís just that it goes nowhere, We could be here all night and we will have never really learned anything.Itís all fiction.Itís all metaphors and they change.I donít understand this world, John.I want character arcs, and plot lines and climax and denouement.John I want Shakespeare.

M:Honey, I cannot offer you structure I can only offer you my love.You ask why I love you.Honestly I donít know.I love you for the subject that you are but my love concentrates on you as an object.I cannot tell you why I love you because to do so would be to add definition to the very thing I love so very much about you Ė your subjectivity.I cannot label my love for you because to do so would be to tell you who you are.Only you can tell me who you are.When you ask me why I love you, you ask me to posit dimensions of your character to which I have observed Ė draining them of their specifics and generalizing them to a meaningless adjective.Do you want me to say I love you because you are beautiful, inquisitive, thoughtful, inspiring, balancing Ė do these words mean anything?

W:They do to me.

M:And that is why I love you.Because you try so hard to find meaning, you try so hard to understand me, you make me, me. But when I say you are beautiful, can you know what that means to me?

W:No thatís just it.I never know what anything means to you.[pause] Perhaps I am simply that which is not you?

M:Sometimes.But, I told you, I canít tell you what you are.You must tell us what you are.

W:Then I must go and find out.

M:God speed Honey.I hope you find what you are looking for.

W: What will you do?

M:Oh, I donít know.What do nothings do?

 

Scene 6 Ė closing arguments

 

S:

Well ladies and gentlemen here we are again.

I warned you that Act 2 wasnít very good.

Oh I didnít warn you?

I meant to.I must have dropped that line.

Shit.

Well we are here now.

Still time to get up and leave before the end.

Write it all off as a crappy attempt with no sense of anything.

Or wait til it ends.See itís completion.

How does it all end?

Iím told, by people who know, that there are two predominant theories of how it will end.Basically it all has to do with whether space is finite or not.If space is finite, limited, then as the expansion of the universe continues (as per the big bang in act 1) then the universe will eventually fill its space and become incredibly crowded until all space is consumed with matter in a cosmic traffic jam of quarks both tops and bottoms and they will make sweet sweet love for lightyears.Of course what this really means is that the mass of the universe will increase to the point that the gravitational forces overcome the expansive trends and everything will suddenly collapse crashing into a highly dense gravitational singularity.Just like we started.From dust to dust or from highly dense gravitational singularity to singularity as it were.This hypothesis is called the Big Crunch.

For some reason the other hypothesis seems more appealing to me.What if the universe is unlimited?If it can expand forever and if at no time will it all just collapses back but rather it grows forever.Well then one day, it becomes so expansive that it just kind of fades away.Like if I farted right now.Donít worry Iím not going to fart on stage just to prove a point Ė although I thought about it.But no, just think about if I farted right now.

A big bang.

A singularity Ė a moment of high density suddenly expanding.The universe spreads outward.And in a few minutes it has dispersed.

Its moment of existence is no less smelly because of its transience.

And this is the way the world ends.Not with a bang but a whimper.

A cosmic fart.

Is it any wonder this theory is called the Big Rip.A rip indeed.

We are floating on a rock in the middle of a cosmic fucking fart.

Is it any wonder that nothing makes any sense?

Is it any wonder than no one can get along?

We are coasting through the galaxy thanks to a moment of flatulence.

Ö

††††††††††† Ö††††††† Ö††††††† Ö

Ö [shrug]

††††††††††† Ö

Well I guess we better end this show now.You know how it began.You know how it will end.You even saw some of the middle.What more do you want?

Why are you still here?

Are you expecting the meaning of life?A moment of catharsis?A great revelation?My friends Spiderman is a whiny teenage boy whoís sense of responsibility means dressing up in tights and spraying the neighbors with silly string while his old Aunt May stresses over mortgage payments.He speaks of great responsibility and I say if he has such great power he would get a real job and stop daydreaming about saving the world.

 

What?

Did you think this show had a happy message?

I told you from the beginning existentialism is miserably horribly flawed.Itís quite obvious why.You choose it.You choose meaninglessness.Letís be clear here.You CHOOSE meaninglessness.

 

But the alternative is books on books of written law and oral law and written oral law and commentary on the written law and commentary on the oral lawÖ and legalistic arguments over things that never really mattered in the first place.So you choose to make them meaningless because after all they are meaningless.It is a choice to accept what appears as truth.But in the choice you destroy the meaning.Not that it was real to begin with Ė you made it Ė itís all in your headÖ but it was yours.And then you destroy it.Why?To embrace self-responsibility?To take owernership of my ideas Ė to control the means of my subjective consciousness?

Noble ends no doubt but destructive means.Er, destructive to meanings as it were.

 

None of this means anything.And yet it means so much.

John?

John???

JOHN!!

 

M: What?

S: I think you have a line now.

M:oh.Sorry. Give me the cue line again.

S: Ugh ok.Ö Noble ends no doubt but destructive means.Er, destructive to meanings as it were.

Ö

S: JOHN!!!

M: wait thatís the cue line? Are you sure?

S:JOHN!!

M:Ok okÖ one more time

S: DESTRUCTIVE TO MEANINGS as it were.

M:I really donít think I have a line here.

S: Of for christsake Ė Honey, would you get John a script?

W: Sure.

S: Page 18 line 42

M: Ok, just a second.Ok got it.

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

W: [to audience and overacted] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

M: 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

W:[excitedly towards M]: I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

 

S:What the HELL is going on here?Honey, is that the script to this show?

W:No, itís something with a little more substance and structure.†† I thought the audience might like the show to end with some meaning.

S:Honey, I appreciate your efforts but you cannot impose meaning onto something that is as disordered as this.

2:But what will really get your goat later is whether any of this was actually disorder?Or was it all ordered this way.Structured to look unstructed.Constructed to appear nonsensical.

W: But who would do that?

S: someone sick and twisted.

M: Someone with nothing better to do than to watch us squirm.

2: donít you see, itís them [audience]

S:Youíre right, it is them.They think we have magic powers.

W: Do we have magic powers?

2: [mocking] do we have magic powers?

M: Now stop thatÖ I donít think I have magic powers.

2:He doesnít thinkÖ Ha.

W:Maybe Shlomo knows if we have magic powers, itís a shame I never figured out his cell phone number.

2:But Shlomoís rightÖ[S hushes her]

M: Who is this Shlomo anyway?

W:Heís very wise.He knows lots of things.Certainly he knows if we have magic powers.

S: So why donít you call him?

W:I donít know the number.I could only figure out 5 numbers.

M:Oh, well then this is hopeless.

S:You know, this Shlomo is a fictional character, why does his cell phone have to have seven digits?

M:Well phone numbers have seven digits?

S: Do they always?

M:I mean as far as I have encountered.

S: Ah.And that is everything that is?Honey try calling Shlomo.

W: [dialing]3, 7, 37, 1, Send Ė [surprised] itís ringing.

S: Of course itís ringing.

[voiceover [clearlyís Sís voice]: hi youíve reached shlomoís voice mail, Iím on stage right now and canít be reached please leave message after theÖ]

M,W: YOUíRE SHLOMO?!?!

S: Of course.Honestly, Iím surprised it took you this long to figure that out.Itís not like there was anyone else cast in this show.

M:I really didnít think Shlomo was going to make an appearance in the show.I kind of thought he was more like a Godot character.

W [ to 2]: and you knew this the whole time?

2: [mocking] and you knew this the whole time?

W: Shlomo tell us, please tell us.

S: Tell you what?

W:Why does he loves me, how is she going to die, how will this show end, why are we here?

S:Iím sorry Honey, I donít know.

2: Now heís going to tell you to click your heels together. [moving upstage] Ė thereís no place like home thereís no place like home [and clicks heels offstage]

S:No, Honey.I am not a wizard.I have no magic powers.All I can do is offer you this.

W: What is it?

S:Itís my ticket to the show.

W:What the hell am I supposed to do with this?

S:I donít know honey.Maybe you can try to get a refund.[exits]

W: wait where are you going Ė how can you leave Ė youíre the narrator.

M:Oh well now youíve done it.

W:Me?

M:Yes you.Had to go and throw all those unanswerable questions in his face like that.Do you know what it must be like for a narrator not to be able to answer questions.

W: Oh, I hadnít thought of that.

M:Who is going to narrate this show now?

W:John, I think this show is pretty much over.

M:Actually I think there is one more scene.

W:Yeah yeah but I mean itís pretty much over.††

M:Well yeah.But there is one more scene.How are we going to do it without the narrator?How are we going to live in a world without Shlomo?

W:First of all 10 minutes ago you didnít even know Shlomo existed.Iím still not sure he does.But either way, he gave me his ticket.

M:Thatís great for you but what about me?

W:Well you still love me right?

M: Of course.

W:Then weíll be alright I think.[looks at ticket in hand] Yeah.I think weíll be alright.

 

Scene 7 Ė epilogue: go home

 

2:Thereís no place like home.Thereís no place like home.Thereís no place like home.Thereís no place like home. [looks around, still here, tries again].Thereís no place like home.Thereís no place like home.Thereís no place like Ö oh fuck it. [sits dejected]

Ö

2: What are you looking at me for? You still think I have magic powers donít you?You still think that somehow just because I am on this stage that I have some power that you donít have.You have a ticket to the show too right?You are as able to act as I am.Yet you stare at me.What.What do you hope I will do.What do you hope I will say.What do you want to hear.No, I have no powers; no way to know what you want; what youíll like.I am just a person, sitting on a shitty stage in a shitty theatre in the middle of a warzone.

You have all the power ladies and gentlemen.

You are the magic here.

Youíve heard how it began.Youíve heard how it will end.Itís all meaningless if you want it to be that.

But you have a choice.

You have the power.

In a few moments the lights are going to come on and you are all going to go home.You have the choice to ignore the nonsense of the past 2 hours and continue to live your life in the bubble of sanity.

But it is a choice.

And if instead even a moment of this wild incoherent rant of inconsistency touched you, if even a single line of dialogue moved you to think of something in a new way, if any of this nudged you in even the slightest direction Ė well that ladies and gentlemen, that is magic.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have a ticket to the show.Do not just sit there and watch.

Stop trying to figure out what happens next.Donít even try to figure out what came before.

Ladies and gentlemen, be your own Shlomo.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are the magic.

Ladies and gentlemen, the show is yours now.

Ladies and gentlemen.Good night.

 

The end.House lights up.

No curtain call.