Monday, November 24, 2014

I Interview Playwrights Part 708: Amy E. Witting



photo by Jody Christopherson

Amy E. Witting

Hometown: Maplewood, New Jersey

Current Town: Sunnyside, NY

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  My colleague Nicole Pandolfo and I are working on a documentary play on acquaintance rape called A Bad Night that will have a reading at the Dramatist Guild on February 20th.

I was also super grateful to have just received a 2014-2015 LAUNCH Commission from The Atlantic Theatre company which will have a reading in August. 
 
My 10-minute play Planted, inspired by the The Lotus Eaters from The Odyssey will be included in ReLeaf Theatre companies spring one-act festival.

Lots of wonderful creative collaborations!

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  I recently went through boxes of my childhood writing at my parent's house and was surprised by the existential pieces I was writing in elementary school. I have always been fascinated by the unseen. I think that shows up a lot in my writing now. When I was eleven my grandmother died and I sang a solo in the choir the day after which I insisted on doing. I remember it helping me with the overwhelming feelings of grief. I've always been turning to art to express the feelings that are hard to articulate in words. Usually it's in relationship to those mysteries of life. 
 
Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  I would continue to push for producing more work by women and artists of color.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  My theatrical heroes are all the artists that continue to work in the theatre with passion and love. It's a business that is easy to give up on and harder to stick with. But how wonderful is it when you watch the magic of the theatre and see words you have written leap off the page and into the hands of talented creative collaborators. I think everyone that continues to do theatre from the love of creating are heroes. I'm constantly meeting new and inspiring artists that continue to make the theatre an exciting on-going conversation that I'm grateful to be a part of.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Honesty in both writing and performance. Pieces that spark genuine conversation and allow audience members to engage in something outside of their comfort zone.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  I think that we are all here to support one another. So seek out artists who have a little more time in the business and ask them out for coffee. Pick their brain and in return say yes when someone with less time in the business asks you for coffee. All we can do is share our own experience and writing is such a solitary profession we need each other to continue to create exciting new pieces of theatre.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  You can keep up with on-going news at amywitting.com my website which was created by another fabulous playwright - Daniel John Kelley!
I'm also on twitter - @wittywitting
February 20th - A Bad Night - Friday Night Footlights @ The Dramatist Guild



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Monday, November 17, 2014

I Interview Playwrights Part 707: Kate Hamill



Kate Hamill

Hometown: Lansing, New York. Population: More cows than people.

Current Town: New York, New York

Q:  Tell me about your adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

A:  The world premiere just opened off-Broadway, produced by Bedlam (www.theatrebedlam.org) and directed by Eric Tucker. I started working on the script in 2010; it's been more-or-less finished since 2012. This production is 10 actors, but it can be done with as few as 7-8; it's running in rep with a new version of The Seagull from Anya Reiss. I'm also playing Marianne Dashwood in S&S, as well as Polina in The Seagull.

Q:  What else are you working on? 

A:  Sense and Sensibility is headed to a big regional theatre in the spring after this run; it should be officially announced soon! I recently finished The Little Fellow, which is a play about Harriette Wilson, the major courtesan of late 18th c. England, and I'm talking to people about workshopping that. I'm also finishing up a tryptich of plays with music based in Greek myths, as well as a modern two-hander about a high school student who ends up in a relationship with an older man. And I'm about halfway through a Mansfield Park adaptation; Austen isn't quite out of my system, yet!
I have some future stuff in the works with Bedlam, as well.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A:  I had this wonderful teacher when I was growing up: Cynthia Howell. She ran the music program K-12 in our little rural school system, as well as all of the school plays and musicals. She introduced me to theater, and it proved to be my lifeline - my road out of dysfunction, out of farm country. She used to say to us (and we were really young kids at the time) "you girls shouldn't just be actors; you have to write plays, you have to be directors; the theatre needs strong women" - and that really stuck with me. I owe her such an enormous debt; I grew up in an environment where I saw a lot of injustice perpetrated every day, and she really gave me an avenue to tell the stories of misfits, of dismissed people, of underdogs, of less-than-perfectly-sympathetic-protagonists, of crazy people, of have-nots. She gave me a creative outlet that saved me.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be? 

A:  I'd eliminate pay-for-play internships and auditions. It's creating more and more of a system where only privileged young people can even aspire to work in the theater. It's even worse now than it was 10 years ago, in my experience.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you? 

A:  I love playful, passionate stuff that doesn't take itself too seriously but which tackles big scary issues. I like language-driven work and I like a willingness to go profane. I like stuff that embraces theatricality and includes the audience.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A:  I feel like my biggest heroes are people I know and collaborate with. The entire team on Bedlam's shows right now is so amazing - really so so talented and playful and whip-smart and creative. Actors I adore include: Mark Rylance, Janet McTeer, Fiona Shaw. In terms of playwrights, I do love the classics: Shakespeare, O'Neill, Miller, etc. - and modern playwrights I really emulate tend to, again, be people I know and have seen work and re-work things until they're shining. There are a lot of them out there, but three of my favorite writers working now are: Janine Nabers, Jose Rivera, and Meghan Deans.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out? 

A:  I feel a bit pretentious giving advice, but I think anyone who wants to write plays should take an acting class. Or two. Or three. Maybe even go on some auditions. My background as an actor has really given me utmost sympathy for anyone who may have to muscle through an awkward line.
I also can say what I say to myself when writing a play, which is heck, try crazy ideas - if doesn't work, you can always re-write. Even bad drafts teach you something.

Q:  Plugs, please: 

A:  Come and see Bedlam's fall rep, running until Dec. 21st! Tickets are available at www.theatrebedlam.org. You can also catch up with where my plays are going next at www.katehamill.com.


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Interview Playwrights Part 706: Matt Schatz




Matt Schatz

Hometown:
Childhood: Turnersville, NJ.
Adulthood: New York, NY

Current Town: 
Los Angeles, CA

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  OK, let’s see:

I just finished a draft of a play with songs about quantum physicist Hugh Everett III and his wife Nancy called WHERE EVER IT MAY BE.

I just started a musical with Anna Ziegler about 1950s quiz show prodigy Lenny Ross.

I have a commission from a Broadway producer to write a musical about hip-hop in early 1980s NYC that I should probably get started on. But she doesn’t want me to write the music (just the book and lyrics) so we need to find a composer first…

Also, some TV stuff. But who fucking cares about that?

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  I “flunked” the third grade and had to repeat it. It was hard, but I used it as an opportunity to sort of reinvent myself.

Since then, I’ve tried to use all my flunkings as reinvention opportunities. And I am constantly flunking.

Also, when I was a teenager, my family had to move and I had to get rid of my dog, who I am certain was shortly thereafter destroyed. So now, I love everyone very much, but am emotionless when they leave me or when I leave them. My dog’s name was Wolfgang.

Also, from a very young age, I have been obsessed with the film Amadeus.

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  No more adaptations.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Here’s some heroes, not all theater types:

Frank Loesser, Sheldon Harnick, Yip Harburg, Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Fields, Martin McDonough, Adler and Ross, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Mike Leigh, Nicole Holofcener, George Bernard Shaw, the Cohen Brothers, Noah Baumbach, William Goldman, Peter Shaffer, Kurt Vonnegut, Phillip Roth, Paula Vogel, Kanye West, Billy Bragg, Regina Spektor, Stephin Merritt, David Mamet, Woody Allen, Allan Sherman, Allen Iverson, and all of my playwright, musical theater writing, songwriting and screenwriting friends who inspire me with bitterness and bitter me with inspiration.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Theater that is inexpensive and short. Or theater that is so exciting, surprising, entertaining, funny and/or heartbreaking that I didn’t even notice how long or expensive it was.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Try to live in New York. At least for a little while. Its not-worth-it-ness is totally worth it. Also, when you’re there don’t see too many plays. Its worth-it-ness is totally not worth it.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  My aforementioned play with songs WHERE EVER IT MAY BE is having its first and maybe only reading at the Ensemble Studio Theatre (549 West 52nd Street) as part of the First Light Festival on Monday, November 24th at 7PM. It is free and short and we have an amazing cast, a brilliant director and I will be playing the guitar and piano. Come! You don’t even gotta RSVP.
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

UPCOMING -- Productions of my plays

Upcoming Productions of My Plays--



Clown Bar 

Production #4
RedWhite + BlueArt Productions
Pasadena, CA
Opens January 8, 2015

Production #5
Indiana Players 
Indiana, PA 
Opens March 20, 2015


Hearts Like Fists



Production #12
The Episcopal School of Texas
San Antonio, TX
Opens November 19, 2014

Production #13
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH
Opens March 27, 2015

Production #14
Stephens College
Columbia, MO
Opens April 9, 2015

Nerve

Production #16
DePaul University
Chicago, IL
Opens June 5, 2015


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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

NOW PUBLISHED: GEEK THEATER !!!!

Geek Theater: 15 Plays by Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers



Now Published!!  (I have a play in this very cool book)

Buy it here or on amazon.


from Underword's site:
  
Geek Theater: 15 Plays by Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers

 

Geek Theater showcases 15 science fiction and fantasy stage plays by some of today’s top authors and award-winning playwrights and is the first anthology that truly delves into the world of speculative fiction theater. Until recently, modern science fiction and fantasy stage plays have largely gone unnoticed despite the proliferation of plays and performances by theater companies around the world. These plays are an important part of the science fiction and fantasy cannon as they represent a unique intersection of authors and playwrights producing work at a time when these genres are flourishing.


Table of Contents:

 

Short Length Plays
Mission to Mars by Jeanne Beckwith
For the Living by Chie-Hoon Lee
Rapunzel’s Haircut by Cecil Castelucci
Promise of Space by James Patrick Kelly

Monologue
Consider the Services of the Departed by F. Brett Cox

Medium Length Plays
Zombies of Montrose by James Morrow
Clockwork Comrade by Carlos Hernandez
The Long and the Short of Long Term Memory by Cecil Castelucci
Geek! by Crystal Skillman
Faustfeathers by John Kessel

Full Length Plays
Thunderbird at the Next World Theatre by Andrea Hairston
Universal Robots by Mac Rogers
DEINDE by August Schulenburg
Hearts Like Fists by Adam Szymkowicz
Dog Act by Liz Duffy Adams


BLURBS:

 

“In case you didn’t know, there is such a thing as SF theater. It has been around for a long time, and there is quite a lot of it. In recent years there has been a strong growth and diversification, a lot of new plays, original, not adaptations of stories–though there are a lot of those too. This is a book full of the new stuff, original plays that, all together point to a renaissance of SF theater. Pay attention, and it will blow you away!” – David Hartwell, Hugo Award-winning editor

“Dim the lights, raise the curtain, and be transported to worlds strange and wondrous, times far and near, with tales thoughtful and thrilling — and then give this book the standing ovation it deserves.” — Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of FlashForward


ABOUT THE EDITORS:

 

Jen Gunnels is the Theatre Editor/Drama Critic for the New York Review of Science Fiction and a contributing editor in performance for the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. She received her PhD in Theatre History and Criticism at the University of Texas at Austin and has contributed scholarly essays to several journals and books. She also started the Forum for Science Fiction in the Theatre on Facebook for artists and scholars in science fiction theatre to share ideas and build community.

Erin Underwood is a writer, editor and publisher. She is also the founder of Underwords Press, specializing in science fiction for young adults and other specialty science fiction projects. Her fiction, nonfiction, and interviews have appeared online and in print. Erin is the co-editor of Futuredaze2: Reprise in addition to co-authoring a quarterly column for The Bulletin, published by the Science Fiction Writers of America.

Title: Geek Theater Publisher: Underwords Press Date: November 4, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-9858934-6-0


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Monday, November 03, 2014

I Interview Playwrights Part 705: Cecilia Copeland

photo by Jody Christopherson

Cecilia Copeland

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa.

Current Town: New York, New York!

Q:  Tell me about R Culture.

A:  R Culture is a carnival sketch comedy with a Ringmaster and two clowns. It’s a Satire about Our Culture and Rape Culture, where those two things collide. It’s funny and scary. I started the project a year ago and in the last year rape on campus has exploded in the media. It feels like we’ve hit a tipping point where women in particular are fed up with rape. I mean, when a Frat at Yale chants, “No means yes, yes mean anal!” as they walk down the street in a group it’s really a call for us to take a hard look at ourselves. I used comedy because I thought that’s the only way we could get through it. Also, Oscar Wilde said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” Considering all the death threats lobbed against FemFrequency’s Anita Sarkeesian for her serious video exposing the misogyny in video games it seems that Wilde was right.

Q:  What else are you working on now?

A:  I’m rewriting my Sci-Fi play Biolife for a production at The Chain in their Minor Variations Festival where writers do rewrites and as the title suggests, minor variations on their plays. That also opens in November. I’m working on another Sci-Fi Fantasy play “Atlantis Unearthed”, which deals with the end of the world, mass shootings, a mermaid-fairy cross species, mental illness, and Atlantis coming through another dimension in the floor. I’m also working on a new play called “The Box”, an intergenerational two hander about money, class, marriage and hypocrisy.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  I’m going to start in high school, but then transition back to childhood because they’re related in this story. I was going to Rocky Horror picture show for the first time and I was about seventeen. I was a definitely the kind of kid in high school who floated. I was a floater. I mean, I was a goth kid and I was in swing choir. I was in theater productions and I was a cheerleader. Most of my friends didn’t like each other, but I liked them. That was weird… but anyway as I was getting ready to go to Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time I was getting dressed and trying to figure out what to wear. If you’ve been to Rocky Horror you know that people go dressed as the characters. Because I was a Rocky Virgin my friend was explaining to me that I needed to pick a character. She was telling me about the different characters and suddenly a light went off in my mind. I went up to my mom and said, “Hey mom, can I borrow that French Maid’s outfit of yours?” and she got this really shocked look on her face and said, “What French Maid’s outfit?” So I said, “The one in your special lingerie drawer.” She asked, “How do you know about that?” And I said, “Because when I used to play dress up in your clothes when I was little I used always play dress up with the stuff in that drawer. ” Okay, so that’s a story that tells you a bit about me as a kid and a lot about me as a writer…

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  I would like all of the higher paying theaters have a 50/50 season with male/female writers in all programming. Right now most of the low paying theaters are close to 50/50, but the glass curtain at the higher levels really sucks, so I would like that to be different.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  It’s really hard to say because the writers who were my heroes are now human beings to me. This isn’t to say that I don’t still see myself as influenced by having read them and deeply inspired by them, but Maria Irene Fornes who was a hero to me is indeed a human being. She lives in a special care situation on the upper west side. I contributed some small effort along with many other people to see to it that she went from a bad living situation where she almost died due to lack of care into a place where she has a much better quality of life. She’s still a literary giant, but she’s so very human to me now. The same is true of the others, Sarah Ruhl who I met and got to do a workshop with while I was interning at New Dramatists years ago, Sheila Callaghan who I quasi met via the Kilroys all of whom I deeply admire. They are all heroes to me, but they’re also flesh and blood people.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  I love work that keeps me awake. I’m not being sarcastic at all. As a playwright with a full time day job trying squeeze in time to write and running my theater company, New York Madness, most of my days are between 15-17 hours long. I like work that has big stakes, that moves a good pace, that has characters I either make me laugh or I love or I hate and ideally a mixture of all of them. I like really smart and fun plays that keep me on the edge of my seat.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  Work hard and care about excellence.

Q:  Plugs, please:

A:  RCulture opens November 7th at IRT Theatre and my sci-fi play Biolife opens on Nov 14th at The Chain! Also, I’ll be doing the One Minute Play Fest at INTAR this month on the 22nd and 23rd!


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Saturday, November 01, 2014

Monologues For Women

From time to time, actors ask me for monologues. I thought it would be easiest to put them all in one place. Here are some monologues from published plays for women.


SNOW

1.

SARA

I’ve been careful, always very careful. Sure there are people who leave the house more than I do. They take strolls, they cross streets in the midst of traffic. They get on airplanes and fly halfway across the world. And I say good for them. If they want to risk their lives daily, let em. But don’t ask me to. I’m fine how I am. It is true I have not left my apartment in three years. Everyone delivers in New York. Everyone. My mother says I would meet more people if I left my apartment—but I have my college friends I still call and email and of course there is a large online community waiting to hear my every word. Anyway, people die when they take risks. I’ve seen it happen.


THE WHY OVERHEAD

1.

KAREN
(to her DOG)
I see you looking at me. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I should get dressed and go to work. “Get going,” your eyes say. But I am moving. You might not see it, but I’m moving. It’s slow sure, but I’m faster than erosion. Faster than continental drift. But wait a minute. Let me rest. What’s the hurry? Live in the moment here with me. I’m here right now and I aim to stay here for another few minutes, an hour, a day. Everything will go on without me. I didn’t go to work yesterday or the day before and yet the world continues to revolve. New York does not need me. People go about their lives. No one calls to ask where I am. It’s like I don’t exist at all. But I do exist don’t I?

Please stop judging me. I don’t need to go to work, not today. It won’t affect the food in your dish. You’ll get fed. And you won’t be lonely.

Please don’t say anything. I know you disapprove and I hear you but it’s really not what I want right now and I know you subscribe to a sort of tough love viewpoint, but sometimes that’s not very helpful and furthermore, not appreciated. Don’t look at me like that. I do appreciate you, just not the hard line you try to draw sometimes. The world is not black and white. And colors can be confusing, so let me sit and rest and figure out a few things, okay? It’ll be fun. I can stay here all day with you. We can watch bad romantic comedies and you can jump up on the bed and curl up with me and we can eat crackers if we want. I won’t kick you out. And tomorrow? (beat) Who knows? Let’s just think of today. Everything is so uncertain these days.

2.

JESSICA
Because I can’t handle things falling on my head. My older brother when I was a kid, used to drop things on me. He would pin me to the ground and then drop things on my face. Gummi Bears, ping pong balls, chocolate chips, our goldfish.

Legos, Barbie heads, pens, popsicles, water balloons, eggs, tin foil, socks, shoes, magnets, pieces of paper, jello, cereal, the cat.

Marshmallows, a slinky, legos. Flowers, ice, a recorder, matches, unlit. Matches, lit. matchbox cars, cellophane, statue of the virgin Mary, chapstick, butter, and then liquids. Juice, milk, water of course. Salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, parsley, bacon bits, tongue depressors, spit, oregano, pancakes, stuffed animals, marbles, lettuce, sticks, forks, spoons, wood chips, chopsticks, erasers. Legos. Did I say legos? Toast, rubber balls, hackey sacks, Frisbees, action figures, dirt, spare change, mints, catfish.

It is my dream to someday lock him in a room, handcuff him to a chair and spend all day and night dumping things over his head.

3.

ANNIE
Something like this makes you think about what you know about yourself, your likes and dislikes, your way in the world. I feel like all this time the things I disliked were really the things I liked and possibly vice versa. I’m not sure what that means except I might be in love.

4.

JESSICA
Everything is not about the two of you, and your bets and side bets, your tantrums, your proposals, your lust and your desires. I can have desires and you don’t have to enter into them in any way. I can have sex dreams and sex day dreams and they can be about someone else. I’m tired of being tied down or covered up. I am not a statue on a pedestal or a flower in a vase. I am not just a beautiful thing, although I am that for sure. But I want to be recognized for who I am, not only how I look. I don’t want to always be protected from the world by other people. You don’t have to build a ceiling over me. I don’t need it. I don’t know. Treat me like a normal person, not the freak in the room who happens to be incredibly incredibly beautiful.

5.

SUE
Well thank you all. I don’t know that that will help me catch the perp per se but I do feel like we’re getting somewhere. Everyday, we try to get somewhere new. That’s the way I try to live my life and it’s working out so far. I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s not perfect. My life is not ideal.

I used to be an addict. It burned down a lot of bridges behind me. There are a lot of people who won’t talk to me anymore though I wish they would. I’m not telling you this because I want your sympathy. Or pity. I’m just a person. I went through something and came out the other side, scarred but intact. And there is temptation of course everyday but I tell myself, that was a bad life I led. And I embraced the law and what is good and right because it seemed like the opposite way was the way to go, you know?

People can change.

Most people don’t. But they can. You can go to God. That works for some people. Or shrinks or I don’t know. We all have our own paths. But I think it’s important to make sure you’re on the right path for you, you know? Look at where you’re going. Get out of the car, examine the map, make plans if you can. But don’t just put your foot down on the gas and shoot down the highway in the fast lane without proper consideration of where the fuck you’re going.

But really I guess what I want to say is would you like to go out sometime?

FOOD FOR FISH



1.

ALICE
What you speak of, I think, Fred is a coldness I have managed to cultivate towards the majority of men. Because I give off the air of not caring about you and because I speak to you and others brusquely, because I am short and dismissive with you, you think there must be something about me. I get many dates because of this. Perhaps you think I am like this all the time, but I am not. It disappears when I go home. It is not anything true. Because when I go home I am under a different spell. Not unlike the way you are under mine. Do you understand?

FRED
I think I love you.

ALICE
All right, well, add your name to the chalkboard and leave me a sample of your genetic material and we’ll see what comes of it. I promise not to erase your name prematurely.

2.

ALICE
Oh, Father, what am I doing? I don’t know who I am anymore. I go to work in a fog. Is this what I’m supposed to be doing with my days and nights? Look at me, ready for another date, a date I don’t want to go on but why sit at home when another cold soup man is willing to buy me a another hot meal. So I put on the date lipstick and the date perfume, because who knows, maybe this time, this man, but no, he too will sit in a shadow and I will stop listening in the first minute.

Why is my life not like yours and mother’s? Why is my bank account empty at the end of every month and my bed empty at the end of every night? This was not the way you lived, even when you were digging and burying. I am unable to bury a damned thing. Help me. Help me, Father. What am I supposed to be doing? How can I get through this night? Or tomorrow?

3.

SYLVIA
Go ahead and stop me then. (Silence) What you can’t? No, you can’t stop me now, can you? The night is blank and the streets are empty. I pick a direction at random and begin running. I feel like I am running through water. My legs don’t move like I tell them. My brain is mush holding on to a single thought—that I must find him. I run and I run and the air is water and my brain is melting. I am about to give up. I can’t see anything, anyone, anywhere. And then he is there.

(BOBBIE caught in streetlamp.)

SYLVIA
Where were you?

(BOBBIE tries to kiss her. She turns away again. He begins to walk away again, hurt.)

SYLVIA
No, I’m sorry. Don’t go. Shit! I’m so stupid. Wait for me.

(BOBBIE and SYLVIA walk.)

SYLVIA
He walks more slowly this time. As if he’s waiting for me. But he still doesn’t look in my direction or seem to see me in his periphery. I stare at him as we walk along, oblivious to the night, the neighborhood, to everything. Then we are standing in front of a brownstone. Then we are in the hall. Then we are in his apartment or what I assume is his apartment.

(BOBBIE goes to his desk, opens the drawer, takes out his handgun. He looks down the barrel for a while. They are both completely still. Then BOBBIE slowly turns his head and looks at SYLVIA.)

SYLVIA
How can I explain that I’m not afraid? Yes, it is dangerous, but not any more dangerous than falling in love. When it comes down to it what it really does is make a piece of metal move very quickly. It doesn’t ever get to the root of things. It just takes care of the surface problem—if that’s what it’s for, that is. I don’t ask what it’s there for. But let me be clear I’m not afraid.

(BOBBIE puts the gun back. Sits down and begins to type.)

SYLVIA
I am more afraid of what he is writing. I am afraid of his command of language, his diction, the way the verbs might rub up against my palate or jam themselves, get stuck in my throat. I am afraid I might like it too much, get used to it. Or maybe instead it’s the opposite: I am afraid of disappointment. I am afraid of who I think he is and more afraid he isn’t.

(BOBBIE stops typing, slips the sheet into a bottle and corks it.)

SYLVIA
Then he speaks to me for the first time, although he looks away from me as if anyone in the room might catch his voice and latch onto it and find meaning in it and, if it happened to be me, well so be it. He says:

"If you stay here, I will hold you all night long."

So I do.

HEARTS LIKE FISTS

1.

LISA
What is this feeling, so unpleasant, like my insides rotting or my outside melting? There is a bad taste in my mouth that won’t go away. I feel itchy and oversized and everything is crawling. Is this what rejection is? Isn’t there usually a heaviness to it? An unbearable weight? (beat) Oh, there it is. A big boat of depression sailing over my chest.

It hurts. It hurts so much. It’s not—is it me? No one has ever rejected me before. He must be a lunatic. He must be some sort of nutcase. Someone not all there, because why else--? Ohhh. Or he can see everything wrong with me, all the things I’m afraid are there but can forget about. He knows I’m no good. I could have fought Doctor X harder. I could have climbed the fire escape faster maybe. Or I could have tried harder to love them back. If I had made myself maybe or—

1b.

LISA
What do people do after they get rejected? Do they curl into a ball and die? Do they tear out their hair? Drink themselves into oblivion? I want to do all of these things at once.

There must be something outstanding about him if he’s too good for me. Now I will never want anyone besides him. All other men are fools and idiots who could never measure up. No, there is nothing to do now except commit to a life of celibacy. A life with meaning. (She takes out her cell phone and dials the number on the card the Crimefighters gave her.) Hello, Crimefighters? (A huge crash.)

2.

NINA
Doctor X is just so exciting. And wrong. So exciting and wrong. I think the other girls have an inkling. Because I—I let him get away. I paused. If you know me, you know I’m not someone who ever pauses. I run into any situation, burning building, shark infested pool, without a thought. But I saw Doctor X and I paused, to the point of stopping even. And it was not revulsion I was feeling. Well, it was, but it was mixed with something else, something potent. I’m not sure what. They should bottle it if they could ever find a way to collect it. They’d make millions.

NINA
He just stood there, looking at me, with his doctor’s bag and syringe. He showed no remorse. Remorseless. Soulless maybe. And it took my breath away. I’m terrified of what might happen the next time I run into him. You have to be ready at all times to kill if necessary. But when I think—I’m not sure I could do it in this case. I dread our next meeting and at the same time I look forward to it more than anything in my entire life. You know what I mean?

NERVE

1.

SUSAN
(Suddenly intense)
I think you’re the one who’s never had a really good kiss. A good kiss is like a knife. The best kiss I ever had hurt more than anything. It couldn’t help it. A really good kiss can’t help but hurt you ‘cause you give part of yourself away. Make yourself vulnerable to it. A kiss, a real kiss severs nerves and cuts through you and that’s an injury you’ll never recover from.

2.

SUSAN
Sometimes it’s like you can’t feel anything because the conversations in your head are too loud. You have no connection to your body and you’re numb and depressed. The dancers in your head are twisted into knots. And there are voices, these hurtful voices and the only way to shut them up is to take a knife and cut yourself. Then, the numbness drains out, the dancers are free, and you can feel again for a while.

PRETTY THEFT



1.

SUZY
(Shoplifting)
Well I wouldn’t shut up, would I? When you don’t shut up, the boys notice you. Course, eventually you realize no one was really listening. And you stop speaking up in class—realize maybe you weren’t saying anything anyway—not something someone else couldn’t say better--usually a boy. And the boys who seemed to be listening to you weren’t quite the right boys.

SUZY
(Stuffing her pockets.)
So you stopped talking. But then you realize if you lift up your shirt there are boys that like that too. But maybe those aren’t quite the right boys either because then later those boys want to see what’s in your pants. And want to put themselves in you even if you’re not ready and maybe those aren’t the right boys either but at least they need you for a few minutes.

SUZY
(Stuffing her bag.)
Then you go after your friend’s boyfriend because it’s wrong and it’s fun and because your friend is pretty. And you get him but once you have him, you realize he’s no good. And your friend hates you. But you do it again anyway to another friend. And the girls all begin to hate you. They call you a skank and they call you a whore. But some of the boys like you some of the time. But they think you’re a slut. So you embrace it because what else can you do? You buy a t-shirt that says “Fuckdoll” and a series of short skirts and you try on provocative lipsticks.

2.

ALLEGRA at a bed talking to her FATHER who faces away from us. He wears an oxygen mask and does not move.)

ALLEGRA
And I’m working at this like group home with Suzy Harris. We hang out a lot. You know who she is? I think you’d like her. She’s a lot of fun. She was supposed to come here with me today but . . . she couldn’t make it.

Bobby’s good. He works at the garden place in Salem sometimes on the weekends. He wishes he could be here too. He’s uh . . . a good boyfriend. I think it’ll last for us. One of the great . . . things.

Fuck! It’s just as hard to talk to you now that you can’t talk back. I can’t ever say the right thing to you. You’re just so . . . not there, aren’t you. You always ignore me. I know even if you can hear me right now, you’re not paying attention. You never . . . Why don’t I matter to you? What do you want from me?!! Maybe you just want to be left alone.

Well, that’s what I’ll do then. I’m sorry I disturbed your death bed you selfish fucking bastard! You self-centered egotistical, pompous fucking bastard! I don’t care what you want! I hope you die! I hope you fucking die real soon! You can fucking rot and be eaten by worms! I hope fucking worms eat you! Worms with big fucking teeth! And rats and flies and vultures! I hope vultures dig you up and take you out of the casket and fly away with you! You fuck!

(Pause)

I miss you.

I’ve always missed you. I’m sorry. I don’t want you to die. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Oh, Christ, I’m so sorry. Please don’t die. You’re so small. Please, Daddy.

(ALLEGRA kisses his forehead.)

3.

(ALLEGRA’s house. ALLEGRA’S MOM sits, facing away from us, watching TV. ALLEGRA approaches her mother.)

ALLEGRA
I know you’re probably mad at me for leaving before the funeral, but I just can’t do it. My whole body itches and it won’t stop until I get in a car and can’t see this house or this town or this state from the rearview window.

This way is better. This way I’ll come back from my trip and go straight to school and you won’t have to look at me or think about me. You can tell people you have a daughter but you won’t have to talk to me on the phone or see me on the couch. I’ll be a no-maintenance daughter just like you always wanted.

I’m going to go now. I know someday you’ll want to talk to me again. Maybe after I graduate and get a job and get married and buy a house and have my own daughter. Then you can talk to her and be her favorite and then we can pretend you were a really great mother. She won’t know and I don’t have to tell her.

But now I’m going to get on the road and push you out of my mind and I probably won’t think of you until I get to the grand canyon or some other fairly good canyon and maybe I’ll cry in front of the mammoth orange hole in the ground or maybe I’ll smile because it’s so beautiful and I’m free and windswept.

But first I’m going to get into Suzy’s mom’s car and we’ll drive till there’s just drops left in the tank and as we cross the border into Massachusetts, we’ll roll into the first gas station where I’ll get some Ding Dongs and some orange soda and I’ll bite into the first one sitting on the hood, watching the car slurp up gas. Then I’ll get in the driver’s seat and put my foot on the accelerator until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. So I pull over and we both close our eyes and sleep until we’re awoken at three am by separate but equally terrible nightmares.

4.

WAITRESS
You have instincts and part of you knows things but the other part of you doesn’t want it to be so. So you say, “no, that’s not it.” A does not lead to B because hey that’s far fetched. Who would believe? The mind is being dramatic and should not be encouraged. Been letting it go too much. Too much time alone to consider too many possibilities.

But to answer your question Tom, sure there was two girls in here. Had some sandwiches. Left right before you came in. Don’t know where they went. Didn’t say.

Just paid and left. Young girls. Too cute for their own good. Are they in trouble or are they themselves trouble? It’s got to be one or the other. No, don’t tell me. I don’t need to know.

Can I offer you some ice cream. Sure, you can stay a minute. Or long enough for a bowl. Them girls is probably long gone by now. Down a back road never to be seen again. Now how ‘bout that? Never to be seen again. That would be something.
  

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Monologues For Men

From time to time, actors ask me for monologues. I thought it would be easiest to put them all in one place. Here are some monologues from published plays for men.


SNOW

1.

ED

I’ve been careful, always very careful. Before touching a woman I put on rubber gloves. Some women are taken aback sure, when you pull out rubber gloves and dental dams but what kinds of women are those?—women that know they have diseases. And those are not the type of women I want to know in any case. So when people ask me if I’m upset at being a virgin at my age, I say no way.

I’m just looking for a clean woman. I am not against kissing—I just want to make sure her mouth is well cleaned first. If she would brush her teeth and then gargle with mouthwash for a minimum of sixty seconds. I, of course would also brush and mouthwash. I like cleanliness, that’s all. We are all dirty. God knows I scrub my hands before putting those rubber gloves on.

THE WHY OVERHEAD

1.

NIGEL
You better run. You better be afraid of me. I am a man. I am a big man and I won’t take this kind of insanity from a girl like you! I have scaled mountains. I have forged rivers. I have run in races. I built snow caves and spent the night in them. You hear me?! I jumped out of airplanes. I drove a motorcycle. I am very hairy. I work out two or three times a week. With free weights. I eat lots of vegetables. I am a fairly good pool player. Also pinochle. I could catch a tiger if I had the right equipment and enough time on my hands and if I was in the vicinity of tigers. I have a charming personality. I can make up jokes that people repeat later and don’t even realize they’re mine. I can make intricate cages out of popsicle sticks. My chest is enormous! I am a wealth of knowledge about music and musicians, especially in the years nineteen fifty nine to nineteen ninety-four. I write poetry. I won an award once for punctuality. My smile is terrific. I used to be a choir boy. I can peel oranges with great speed and dexterity. I am good at choosing shoes. I once played tennis for three hours. I am omnipotent! Okay, well maybe that last one isn’t true. But I am a man and I will crush you. You hear me?! YOU HEAR ME?!!

2.

DONALD
(to CAT)
“Manifesto to leave behind after everything has happened to explain why in case it is less than obvious.”

(DONALD clears his throat, reads.) “There are certain times in history when certain actions become necessary. Right now it is a time when there are great inequalities. I have taken on the responsibility to right wrongs to stop injustice and to use the pen here and later the sword so that the words from my pen will be read. Anyone can write anything, but you also have to get people to read what you write. That’s what the sword is for. I stand before you a man ready to take drastic actions. There are men that take actions and men that do nothing but complain. We are all angry but only the brave few who stand up and fight back will be able to accomplish anything of note. History will show that my actions were the right actions at the right time. History will record today as the turning point for America when a wave of citizens led by me took back their country.”

“I ask that in my absence, one of my future followers take care of my cat Mittens. She needs neither food nor water. She has evolved beyond life. She only requires company and for someone to talk to her and listen to her. I know that Mittens and I will see each other in the next life and I wouldn’t be surprised if she became a conduit for my messages from beyond the grave. In the past, I have spoken to many great leaders through her. Like Marie Antoinette, John Adams, Martin Van Buren, Henry Ford, and a spirit guide dog named Hamish. So when you need to reach me, ask Mittens nicely and I’m sure she will oblige. And through her I will give you future guidance on how to overthrow the government and corporations and create a civilization for the people by the people. The right people, that is.”

“In conclusion, when statues of me are built, I ask that Mittens be portrayed as well in bronze or gold or whatever. Her guidance has been incredibly helpful and without her I couldn’t have accomplished what my actions accomplished. Like the straw that breaks the camel’s back, the small deeds of today will reverberate for generations.”

“I sign this with my left hand though I am right handed.” And then I signed it. Do you like it?

3.

DONALD
At the end of the day, when the shit goes down, it turns out I’m not who I thought I was. And that makes me sad. I mean it’s important to know, but I want to be the kind of person that starts a revolution not the kind of person that doesn’t. I don’t know. I’m going to need to go home and talk to my cat. If she’s still there, that is.


FOOD FOR FISH

1.

BOBBIE
When you have visions that beat at your brains while other people are talking. When you hear non-stop streams of screams. When synapses pop or won’t stop crackling, and when blood pumps, and the pounding don’t stop pounding. Then you look for an exit to start the ending or search sideways in vain to extract a distraction, but even then, what will curls of hair give to you, hips and breasts, lips sip out of you, in a moment, distract what abstraction pounds-pounds ‘til you steal . . . a kiss.

I dress in haste, pull the hood on my head and I take to the street, boot in front of boot to find her. Who will she be tonight?

Last night she was brunette, blue-lipped and serious, mouth curled around a tiny white smokestack, long leopard-fur coat collecting snowflakes on its tips. When she stopped in the streetlamp, I was there. I was a boy and she was not afraid. She took a drag and I took her lips and all her smoke and sadness drained into me. She gasped in the kiss and the snow fell on her lashes. When she opened her eyes, I was gone.

That night I took my silver pen knife from the drawer of my desk—the only furniture I own. I opened the blade, splayed my left hand on the desk and stabbed myself with the right.

(BOBBIE stops typing.)

BOBBIE
No! No! NO! That’s not right. No one would do that. It’s so fucking stupid. It’s so fucking . . .

(BOBBIE stops himself, takes out a knife, and stabs himself in the hand. He yells out in pain.)

BOBBIE
Ahhhhh!

2.

(A coffin sits prominently in the sister’s apartment. BARBARA –played as a woman by a man in drag--sits beside it. ALICE is reading a scientific journal and making notes. SYLVIA is reading a newspaper.)

BARBARA
It’s been a year since Father died. When Mother died, I was only seven and three quarters but I had to become the mother to you both as well as your older sister. Did I do right by you? I tried, you know.

I had to learn how to be a woman from television. “One Life to Live,” “Days of Our Lives,” “All My Children,” “General Hospital,” “Daylight Menagerie,” “Passionate Embrace,” “Dallas” and the magazines of course. I skipped Seventeen and went straight to Mademoiselle, Ms., Playgirl, Good Housekeeping, Home and Garden, House and Kitchen, Modern Woman, Lady of Leisure. I stayed home like a mother would and studied, catalogued every gesture and practiced-practiced to be an adult so that you didn’t have to. Then when you came home I would show you what I had learned and you would smile. Because I had kept you from the pain and from the responsibility of being a woman.

Now that Poppa is dead I must learn to be a father to you as well. I watch my husband carefully to see if he is the right model. He must be firm yet flexible, strong yet not afraid to show weakness, quiet and reserved, yet emotional and expressive. He must be bold. He must be vulnerable. He must not be afraid to show fear or to cry in front of others. He must not be a sissy. He must work all day and then come home and then he must take out the trash. He must give orders and take suggestions. He must do as I say but never be influenced by exterior forces. The leader of the house, and of course, my servant. In short he must be a man, the new man--like Father was and like Father would be still if only . . .

Do you remember a year ago today? Father fell asleep watching Fox news and didn’t wake up. There was a panic of course and the shock and the sorrow eventually.

3.

(BOBBIE paces, he looks at the letter again. He crumples it up and throws it. He pounds the desk in anger, then puts a new sheet of paper in the typewriter. He types.)

BOBBIE
Dear Sir, Did you even read my masterpiece? If you had, you would not be sending me this form letter of rejection. Not unless you are indeed a complete and worthless moron. I do not accept you as an arbiter of real talent. I have more talent than all of you put together if it comes to that! You with your hackneyed conventions, have usurped the foremost places in art and consider nothing genuine and legitimate except what you yourselves do. Everything else you stifle and suppress. I do not accept you. I do not. It was optimistic of me to think that you were not an undiscerning fool.

Are you all conspiring against me, you with your form letters on separate letterheads that converge into one voice? As punishment for this, your highest crime, know that you have pushed me to eschew publication altogether. Know that you and the others and the world at large will miss out on the rest of my work which I shall never again let you touch with your dirty and destructive hands. My work belongs to eternity now. To the universe of ephemera. But never to you. May you find your just punishment knowing you have kept another genius from the hungry world who aches to hear him. Sincerely, The Author Who Would Have Made You Famous.

4.

BOBBIE
I know the tricks of being a boy. I know how to act like I’m not interested. I know how to feign disinterest. I know how to walk away, how to not call, how to ignore her insinuations that she likes me. In short, I know how to play dumb. I know all this not from being taught but because I am a smart boy and that’s what smart boys know.

But I can no longer use my tricks of being a boy. Because suddenly I am in love and all the crafty tricks I’d collected are useless against her laughter, her dimples, her eyes. In short, I am no longer a smart boy. She has made me dumb.

5.

DEXTER
About us. We got married too quick. Your father was sick then already. And we leaped into the thing even though we didn’t know each other very well. You were my first love and then before we knew it we were married. You were taking care of your father every day and then the fear came for you and you stopped leaving the house and I trudged to work day after day and tried to become numb and not think about what was I doing. It was my life. Work and home and work and home. And at home, your father was coughing into his oxygen tank and your sisters were bickering. I was becoming smaller. In the office, I had a new boss every few months--they were interchangeable in their corporate slogans and brand name business attire and just as I would get used to one, he or she would be promoted and so I never knew any of them long enough for them to even know what I was supposed to be doing. Not that I could tell you that. And I still can’t. I’m not even sure who I am. I’ve become so insignificant.

HEARTS LIKE FISTS

1.

(Spotlight on DOCTOR X, a truly terrible creature with sunken eyes and deep scars all over. Disfigured, stethoscope round the neck, wearing a doctor’s lab coat, carrying a doctor bag.)

DOCTOR X
I have a face like a bowl of worms. Squirming around the ticks, the scars, the moles. It’s disgusting. A face like this. It’s absurd, without meaning or purpose. And I honestly can’t say if I’m an experiment gone awry or if I was just born this way. I have no origin. I have no memory. I can only remember you. The way you looked at me, the first time you saw me, it was like you saw the bowl underneath the worms. Your face was like a china plate. Perfect. Whole. Pristine. And you looked at me, the way you looked at me—

The patient had died. That much I remember. His wife was wailing but I couldn’t hear her. Because you were there and everything else melted away. “Let’s have a drink,” you said with your face like a plate. And we drank and we drank and we went to my place and we made love like normal people. And it continued that way for days, weeks, years. I can’t say for sure. Why can’t I remember? If I could only remember, maybe I could find you.

Or maybe I could figure out when how why you grew tired of me. Was it then I became what I am? Your body was like liquor and I couldn’t get enough, couldn’t spend a night without you, a minute, a second. I didn’t know you weren’t drunk on me. How could I have missed the diagnosis? How could I have avoided the bald shock, the morning discovery, to wake up and find your note?

And now I can’t remember anything except you. Your face everywhere I go. You will pay. Everyone will pay. You will all pay dearly.

2.

PETER
She will hurt you. She will break you over her knee. She will hurt you and she will tear you and she will rip you apart. Who are you that you think you can withstand her? You are just a man. You are a vulnerable man with tiny veins and blood rushing through you too fast. You have your career. You don’t need complications. Not now. Now when the heart is just about ready to be tested. You are no one. No one and the heart is everything and you can’t sacrifice these things for a tingling in your toes. For a pretty face. Such a pretty pretty face. Carries an electromagnetic field wherever she goes. Makes your heart beat faster than it has in years. She will break you. She will hurt you and tear you and break you and pull you until there will be nothing of you left. She will—


(PETER stands. He takes his coat and leaves the restaurant.)

3.

(DOCTOR X approaches a sleeping couple who have arrived surreptitiously. He prepares his needles.)

DOCTOR X
I don’t have to think when I’m working. I don’t have to feel. I don’t get angry about the things I can’t remember because all I need to know is the work in front of me. Everyone will pay! And the things I can remember don’t haunt me. Her face like a plate. Her disappearance. Or her laugh, always startling, but runs right through you. Or who I am. Who am I? I don’t have to think about that now. I have lovers to kill. I can concentrate on the damage I will inflict. You will all pay! There is something satisfying about an accomplished task. How can you be ever truly depressed if you accomplish all you set out to do? Someday it’s just enough to get out of bed. Or to kill a couple of people. No more. Yes the refrigerator is empty but as long as something was accomplished, well then, it’s back to bed. A sleep and maybe in the morning, a remembering. A thought about my mother. A vision of a room. And her, always her, with a face you want to eat off. (He injects them both.) Well that’s done.

4.

(PETER in his workshop in the hospital, takes an artificial heart out of a box. It beats.)

PETER
Here you are, my spare heart. Mother said, always have a spare. You never know, she said. Do everything twice. Just in case. Always have an extra pencil. Always bring an extra sandwich. And give it away if you can. To the kid with the torn jacket who smells like pee. And if they say thank you, say “you’re welcome,” or “think nothing of it,” or “no thanks is necessary.” Tell them “I can see you’re a human being who needs something. We all need something sometimes and if I can be the one to help, well that is good, but next time it could be you that helps and that will be good too.” Always do what you can to help. And if you think someone is laughing at you, look away. Look away. You’ll save them all some day, she said.

And now I will. I look to you, artificial heart. I look to you and I hope you know how to beat endlessly like I taught you. Because I’m going to make a million of you, and then another million, and another. Anyone who wants you, can have you. Anyone who feels weak will be made strong by your comforting weight and your life-saving pumping. You will be the circulatory saver of this world. But right now, I’m the one in need of your help. I’m the weak one, the sick, the damaged, the other. I’m the kid with the torn jacket, except the jacket is a heart.

Tomorrow, they will crack my chest open and put you inside, and then I will never need to be afraid again.

5.

DOCTOR X
They say it’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget how to perform surgery. But I’m not sure they were talking about those of us with brain damage. We’ll have to see, just have to see. My hand seems to know what to do. Sometimes the hand knows things the brain doesn’t and we should just trust the hand. Now we make the incision. How about there? That seems to be a good place for a heart.

I don’t have to think when I’m working. I can just slide into the moment, escape into the process. Surgery is a kind of escapism. You can leave your self behind and cut cut cut. It makes me wonder if my self is still here. Maybe I was never lost. Maybe I was always here, just waiting to pick up a scalpel. It feels good. I’ll say that. It feels good. Sleep, now, sleep. I owe you that.


CLOWN BAR

1.

DUSTY
My cat died last week. Thirty seven years old and died falling off the counter. She was dead before she hit the ground I suspect. I still haven’t buried her. I’m too sad about it. I just stuffed her in the freezer and now whenever I want a popsicle, I see her and I start crying again. On top of that, yesterday, I was sitting on my couch and I noticed a tear in it. I should probably get some thread and stitch it up. It’ll just get bigger if you don’t do something about it. You know what they say, a stitch in time . . . something something. Something about stitches. But it applies universally. To all ways of fastening things. Like pull up your zipper now or you’ll be cold later. Or take the antibiotics now before you giveit to other people. Or like, go to rehab before you OD on cough syrup or PCP or whatever. Or like, take care of your mama. My mama’s doing okay. In fact, I was having a pretty good day if I wasn’t thinking about the cat or my couch. But then Shotgun shot me in the foot. I’ll probably get gangrene. I’m hoping the burlesque show might cheer me up. Hey what are you guys doing?

NERVE

1.

ELLIOT
Thanks. I just don’t want to come off as fragile or something. Just because I don’t like roller coasters. I mean to say, I function in this world. No, I guess, not all the time, like there was a while when I just wanted to crawl under my bed and spend the day there but I was really unhappy and I just got out of a bad relationship and had a terrible job and I just

hated my life. And yes I guess I still do have panic attacks sometimes and suddenly am afraid my hand is going to fall off or that I’m going to stop breathing and I freak out but then I realize I’m still breathing and I’m probably not going to suddenly die and I’m OK. I suppose I thought for a long time I would be dead by now like in some horrible plane crash or car crash or like a stray bullet and I would be dead by like twenty but here I am and I’m not dead. So what I’m saying is that I’m, you know, pretty healthy now, not depressed or anything and I’m not like a daredevil. No, I don’t have tattoos or piercings and I’m not going to drive a steel rod through my head, but I’m not going to curl up on your couch and cry or anything.


PRETTY THEFT

1.

MARCO
I learned early that if something is pretty it must be wrong. Or it made me do things that were wrong which was the same thing. It’s not my fault there is beauty everywhere.

Because when you look at something beautiful, it takes a little piece of your soul away. But you can’t just let that happen. You have to do something. So you take the beautiful thing and run, because you think that will make you feel better but it doesn’t help. It makes it worse somehow but what else can you do? You have to try to grasp it. You have to hold something like that in your hands. And when it takes from you, you have to take back. You can try to stop, but . . .Why aren’t you drinking?

2.

JOE
Some people get locked up and some people never do. If you try to kiss the staff they will lock you up. It is illegal. Many men in suits never go to jail. That’s because that’s because that’s because they aren’t me. They aren’t broken. They walk on the surface of the water while everyone else is stuck in traffic or your car breaks down. Their cars never break down. They are super untouchable. They get married they have wives and children because they are men that are not born broken. They are the people who are up on the big screens. They are on the TV on the radio in the newspaper because they are the chosen the good, the other people. They can kiss whoever they want or kill even. Even kill. Because they are uncatchable or they are forgivable or they are perfect. They have people lying to help them. Their mothers loved them and told them so. Their mothers helped them up the stairs. Their mothers had a lot of money and a lot of good things in their bodies that they passed on while they lived in their good homes. They were beautiful and rich and were friends with all the people you are supposed to be friends with. Like doctors who can lie for you. Like doctors who can fix you. Except they don’t need fixing. Not the super untouchable. They have legs like razors and eyes that magnetize. They are pretty. They are everything. Like Allegra. I wonder if Allegra is super untouchable.

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