She and the Roses (Act 1 of 3 only)

She and the Roses
BJ Crisostomo
Three-act playACT 1 of 3

(The light grows on centre-stage, leaving the rest of the performance area in complete darkness. What we see on centre is a table set-up cloistered by a small grotto. The statue of the angel is also seen on up-left.  Sitting, and facing each other are Mr. Red and Mr. Black. They are in immense concentration only blinking when they need to. Both of them are dressed in elegant suits, and fedora hats in the colour of their respective names.)

(After awhile, Mr. White enters from up-left. He is also dressed in fine garments similar to Mr. Red and Mr. Black except his garments are obviously white. His appearance is that of pristine cleanliness except for his hands which have been soiled by mud, and his fingers which have been chipped from digging the earth.)

(Mr. Black, and Mr. Red face Mr. White expectantly.)

(A silence.)

(Mr. White shakes his head. Tired, he sits down on the remaining chair around the table.)

MR. RED
Not tonight?

MR. WHITE
No. Not tonight.

(Silence.)

MR. RED
(Suddenly stands up.) I can’t handle this anymore. All this waiting! And, for what? What!

MR. WHITE
Calm down. Please. Your temper won’t get us anywhere.

MR. RED
Yes. But… but, whatever are we doing. Meeting, sitting, waiting here night after night.

MR. WHITE
Like you said, we wait. Like we were told to. Isn’t that right Mr. Black?

(Mr. Black nods.)

MR. RED
Waiting for what exactly? She-she’s not coming back.  We’re just wasting our lives.

MR. WHITE
Patience, please Mr. Red or…

MR. RED
Or what? Patience or what, White? What are you going to do?

(Mr. Black scoffs.)

(Turns his attention to Mr. White) What do you want to do Black? Want to punch it out? I’ll be happy to…

(Mr. Black stares blankly at Mr. Red. Mr. Black looks away. )

I thought so.  You two, if you’re going to give out threats you’d better be sure you can follow ‘em up. The next time you do that I’ll…

(Mr. White and Mr. Black simultaneously stand up. Mr.Red sits down.)

MR. WHITE
(Keeping his calm) If you want to leave, then go. Go, Mr. Red. We do not need you here. She does not need you to waste your life, as you say, for her.

(A pause.)

MR. RED
No. I’ll stay.

(Mr. Black, and Mr. White sit down. The light slowly fades out with the sound the wind moaning.)

(To himself) It’s so cold nowadays.

(Mr. Black moves to the statue of the angel. Gently, he strokes the angel’s phantom wing. Mr. Red and Mr. Black look at him. Lights have completely darkened.)

ACT 1, SCENE 2

(After the stage has been bathed in darkness for awhile, a weak chirping of birds is heard. Suddenly ,the light then flashes with extreme intensity, an explosion of imagery:  the entire stage is revealed. A gigantic apple tree stands on up-centre with its roots entangling most of the performance area. Tall grass surrounds the grotto littered by white, red, and black roses.)

(Barefoot, Belle saunters from up-right to centre. She is dressed in a simple blue summer dress. She is beautiful in her simplicity. She heartily  inhales, and then shouts.)

BELLE
Good morning world!

(As if in an answer. A strong wind passes through the stage, making the grass, leaves, and flowers dance.)

It is a good morning, isn’t it?

(Again, the wind gushes in.)

(Belle laughs. She picks up three roses from the earth. One red, one black, and one white. She smells her collection, and smiles in satisfaction.)

(To herself) I wonder how my three roses are today.

O last night was such a bore with Red! He did nothing but read out poetry— his own. I never knew poetry could be so rough and brutish.

His screaming still rings in my ears. (Laughs to herself)

(In mock imitation of Red:)

You! And your! Tender eyes!
And now you play a tear in your fragile smile!
Don’t! My! Belle of the Roses!

Maybe I shouldn’t let him play today. I wonder.

(She stands up.)

What do you think, world?  Should I let him?

(The world remains silent.)

You’re no help at all! Well, let’s just see.

(She claps.)

ACT 1, SCENE 3

(The three men enter from left. They are obviously younger at first glance, and are no longer as finely dressed as in the first scene, yet they still wear the colour represented by their respective names. They are pushing and pulling one another in sport. Definitely, this is a happier time.)

(Finally, they all stand in attention in front of the grotto. Belle examines them, and places a kiss on Mr. Red’s cheek. Mr. White, and Mr. Black look with envy yet retain their positions.)

MR. RED
(Fails to meet Belle’s eyes) Hello, my Belle.

BELLE
(Smiles) Hello, Tender Eyes.

(Mr. White, and Mr. Black softly  chuckle.)

MR. WHITE
So, Madame Belle, what game are we to play today.

BELLE
I don’t know yet. These games have been boring me for awhile.

MR. RED
But, please Belle.

MR. WHITE
Stay in your place, Mr. Red.

BELLE
(Sits down on the chair. Sighs) Life is a tiring enterprise. We’re just going in circles, waiting to die. What do you think Mr. Black.

(A pause.)

MR. BLACK
I agree.

MR. RED
And finally the dark stranger speaks!

(Mr. Black just stares at Mr. Red.)
MR. WHITE
(Bows) Madame, we are waiting for you.

BELLE
Waiting for what? My whims? My love?

MR. RED and MR. WHITE
Yes.

BELLE
O, you are quite the pair aren’t you? Why don’t you just get married, Mr. Red, Mr. White?

MR. RED
I have a name.

BELLE
Yes. A name. But it simply doesn’t matter. Inconsequential to me. To me, you are your colours, your essences. Red. White. And, black. That’s just that

(Irritated) O don’t bother me with trivialities. Let’s just play.

MR. WHITE
Yes, what can we do for you today, Madame?

(She pauses to think. The three men wait in great anticipation.)

BELLE
Whoever can get for me… the apple, the apple growing supple on the topmost branch of that tree, will get me as a prize for tonight.

(Mr. Red, and Mr. White instantly take off their shirts to ready themselves for the ascent.)

MR. BLACK
It’s too dangerous.

(Mr. Red and Mr. White pause.)

BELLE
Then don’t play, Mr. Black.

MR. BLACK
No. I will.

BELLE
Good.

(Mr. Red and Mr. White rush towards the apple tree. They have already started climbing as Mr. Black walks slowly towards the tree. He takes off his shirt as he reaches the bottom of the trunk.)

(The three now climb in utter desperation, three youths fighting for the affections of a woman whilst Belle waits bored and yawning below. Light centres on the tree with greater definition on the apple on the topmost branch. Mr. White is almost at the top when Mr. Red pulls him down.)

MR. RED
No, you don’t!

(Mr. White barely catches hold of the tree. He is now farthest from the top. Finally, Mr. Black catches up with Mr. Red. Mr. Red kicks Mr. Black on the face, and gets the apple. Mr. Black falls to the base.)

I win again! Belle, you and I! We are destined lovers!

(Mr. White gets the apple from Mr. Red.)

MR. WHITE
You, sir, are a cheat. Nothing more than a vile rouge (Punches Mr. Red on the face).

(A fist fight commences between Mr. Red and Mr. White while clinging to the tree.)
(Light fades on them and catches Mr. Black and Belle. Belle is now seated in the table set-up not even minding the dangerous happenings on the tree.)

(Suddenly a snake moves amongst the tall grass. An ominous snake hiss reverberates through the audience hall. It slithers quietly to Belle’s feet. Belle remains unaware while Mr. Black makes his way to her rescue.)

MR. BLACK
Belle, a snake at your heel!

(Just as the snake jumps out of the tall grass, intent on Belle’s heel, Mr. Black blocks it with his chest. His chest is thus bitten. Poison seeps into his cavity. Mr. Black pulls the snake from his chest, and rips it into two with superhuman strength. Blood spews from it covering Belle, and Mr. Black. In this whole sequence, Mr. Black has remained silent, showing only the smallest inkling of pain. He then falls prostrate on the ground. He has fainted.)

(Mr. Red, and Mr. White now rush back to Belle. Both of them holding the apple with a hand each.)

MR. RED
(Panting) What happened here?

MR. WHITE
(Breaking Mr. Red off) Are you hurt Madame?

(Silence.)

BELLE
(Stupefied, her eyes transfixed on Mr. Black’s body) H-he saved me.

(Silence. Belle stands up slowly, as if in a trance. She walks to Mr. Black’s body. She then kneels beside him, and cradles his body. Light centres on them. Without warning, she sucks off the poison from his chest. Long, and hard she sucks the poison in.)

MR. WHITE
(In shock) Madame!

(Belle spits the poison out. A red-green liquid falls on the ground. Mr. Black is now semi-conscious. Belle reaches her hand to Mr. White and Mr. Black. The two do not know what to do.)

BELLE
The apple!

MR. RED
(Confused) What?

BELLE
Give me the apple!

(Mr. Red and Mr. White look at one another. They do not want to give the apple.)

Now!

(In submission, Mr. Red drops the apple on Belle’s hand. Belle feeds Mr. Black the apple. The light resumes to daylight taking away its definition from Belle and Mr. Black. Wind rushes in, making the grass move.)

BELLE
Yes. I know. For tonight, my dark stranger shall have my heart, and my love, and my bed.

(Belle kisses Mr. Black in the mouth, a long kiss with full abandon. Mr. Red, and Mr. White are dumbfounded.)

MR. RED
This is not fair!

MR. WHITE
Madame, I must agree. This was not in your rules. If someone will be with you tonight, it should be either me or Mr. Red here.

MR.RED
That’s right we gave you the apple. The topmost. The most supple. The reddest of Eden!

BELLE
(Stands up. In scolding) It was my game. And, I can change the rules whenever I want to. The game is my invention therefore servant to my whims!

You, Red, what has your fire and your poetry done for me? White, what has your manners and your courtly praises… This man saved me from certain death, gambling his own life in the process. He deserves today’s prize.

MR. WHITE
But…

BELLE
Leave us!

MR. RED
Belle, my sweet… my tender…

BELLE
Leave or I will never look at you again.

MR. RED
Please, o darling of the roses, o my Beauty in French, Belle.

(Belle looks at Mr. Red coldly.)

MR. WHITE
Come on Mr. Red. Tomorrow is another day, and another game. (Places his hand around Mr. Red’s shoulder) Come.

(They get their shirts, and exit.)

ACT 1, SCENE 4

(Belle helps Mr. Black to stand up, and leads him to a seat.)

BELLE
Why did you do that? You’re not usually so crazy about me.

MR. BLACK
(Coldly stares at Belle) How could you say that?

BELLE
Don’t look at me like that.

(MR. BLACK looks away.)

Remember, before when I was acting for you in your theatre?

MR. BLACK
Forget it.

(She picks up a black rose.)

BELLE
No.

You were the director. Perceptive to the conditions of humanity. A genius. Every night a hit, the audience crashing their hands to a roaring applause.

MR. BLACK
And, you were my leading actress.

BELLE
No. I was your whore when the stage lights dimmed, and your innocent victim in rehearsals. (In mock copy of Mr. Black in the past)”Louder! This is the theatre! You imbecile! You can’t even be seen!” (A pause) You hated me.

MR. BLACK
Don’t.

BELLE
You’re always telling me what to do, Mr. Black. (Copies Mr. Black) “Don’t.” I am no longer your actress, you are no longer my director, and this is not a play.

MR. BLACK
Yes.

BELLE
And so sparse with words. That’s something you could improve on. Maybe take a page from our poet laureate. Well, later then, Mr. Black. I still have clean myself up for tonight.

(She kisses him on the head. And leaves the black rose on the table.)

ACT 1, SCENE 5

(Lights dim to show only the grotto, and the angel. A cold wind blows. A distant moan is heard. We are now back in the present.)

(Mr. Red enters from stage-left, and Mr. White enters from stage-right. Both of them are just dressing up back to their fine clothes. They stop equidistantly from Mr. Black who is now playing with the black rose he was left with from the previous scene.)

MR. WHITE
Not tonight?

(Mr. Black shakes his head to Mr. White.)

MR. RED
Every night, we dress up. Our fine suits, and fine hats to the colours of her choice, her whims. Every night, we come here to wait for her love.

MR. WHITE
Because we cannot do anything else.

MR. RED
We are prisoners of our own hearts.

(Mr. Black stands up to offer the black rose to the statue of the angel on up-left. The other two men come to admire the statue with him.)

MR. WHITE
In so many ways we are like this angel. Always it has been ready to fly away. To escape. To see other places, other things. To live another life, not merely sentient over her garden.

MR. RED
But it cannot. It is not only made of stone but also its wing has been severed off.

We three are divine and are condemned by our love. By our choice to remain loving after… Everything!

(Refers to the statue of the angel)Maybe even he is in love with our Belle of the roses.

(Mr. Black tries to speak but he is now mute. Only an awkward sound comes from his mouth. He grasps his mouth, and runs to exit. Mr. Red and Mr. White watch him.)

MR. WHITE
It’s his wound. Poor man. He may have suffered more than the both of us.

MR. RED
No. Each of the three of us has sacrificed more than his own fair share for a girl we all love.

MR. WHITE
Yes. All in our own way.

MR. RED
See you tomorrow, Mr. White.

MR. WHITE
Yes, tomorrow.
(The two exit from where they entered from.)

MR. RED
(While making his exit) And the next tomorrow after that, and the next, and the next. (Exits)

(Mr. White stops just before he steps off the stage, and looks at the direction Mr. Red has exited.)

MR. WHITE
Yes, Mr. Red. Yes. (Turns and runs behind the statue of the angel.)

ACT 1, SCENE 6

(The lights brighten a bit, creating a romantic night: stars shine lazily in the night sky, a full blue moon hangs above them.)

(Belle enters in her night gown— long and sheer, dropping to the ground, still she is barefoot. In her eyes in an ominous gaze as if she was not really paying attention to her destination.)

(To herself, she sings a song. Her voice is not one would call
beautiful for she is not a singer. She is just making up the lyrics as she goes along.)

(Mr. White watches in sheer anticipation; emerging not in his fine clothes but as he was seen in scene 2.)

BELLE
Maybe in the night
when I have forgotten their screams,
I can close my eyes
and, mistake the red of blood
for the red of love.

Maybe in the night
when I have a man
beside I can have,
and mistake the flesh of lust
for the heart of love.

MR. WHITE
Beautiful, my Belle.

BELLE
(Snaps out from her trance) Who’s there?

MR. WHITE
(Emerging from the angel’s back) Me.

BELLE
(Covers herself up) Why are you here?

MR. WHITE
I wanted to talk to you… Look at you. Painted lips. Sheer clothing. Belle, my Madame.

BELLE
Yes. But this is not for you. Not tonight.

MR. WHITE
How fickle your love is! Why last night you slept with the poet, and now your director. There was a time when you only loved me.

BELLE
Edmund, do not talk of such things. That was a long time ago.

MR. WHITE
Enough of all these monstrosities, please, Belle.

Before, it was only the two of us in a simpler time. A more honest life! I was your fateful retainer. I have served you. Nurtured you in youth. And, loved you in your ripeness. Yes, the dark stranger did save you tonight. But that was once. I have gambled my entire life for you, and he only a day!

BELLE
No. No. To me you are no longer Edmund but simply Mr. White.

MR. WHITE
I am Edmund. I am the man that has given everything, allowing everything, anything even your inane games! (A pause) Everything for your smile.

(Mr. White comes and kisses her. Belle falls limp. She pulls away and slaps him across the face.)

Belle, love just me once again.

(A pause.)

BELLE
I cannot.

MR. WHITE
Why not?

BELLE
Because you three make a whole, Mr. White. You three, to me, make a single man. And that sum of your parts is the only person I can truly love.

You can leave if you cannot stomach me, and my monstrosities.

(A pause.)

MR. WHITE
(Bows) No. I am sorry for disturbing you. I shall retain to my quarters. (Gulps) Enjoy the rest of your night, Madame.

(Mr. White exits to stage-left.)

ACT 1, SCENE 7

(Belle sits on one of the chairs in the grotto. She hums to the song she sang earlier. Mr. Black enters from stage-right. He now has his suit on, and his hat.)

BELLE
(Stands up) Good evening.

MR. BLACK
Good evening.

BELLE
Have a seat.

MR. BLACK
Yes. Thank you.

(Mr. Black sits down beside Belle.)

BELLE
You were a god earlier, Mr. Black.

MR. BLACK
Think nothing of it.

BELLE
Nothing? Really?

MR. BLACK
I did that only so I would not cry for your corpse.

BELLE
So there is some selfishness in the way you love.

MR. BLACK
So there is in yours.

BELLE
Vile accusation. I love you all with all my heart.

MR. BLACK
Yes. Us all with all of your heart. But each of only getting a fragment of your love. Incomplete.

BELLE
More of this insipid talk of my love!

(Obviously hurt, she stands to the angel. A pause.)

MR. BLACK
I am sorry.

BELLE
(Without looking at him) I know, and I know that you mean it. (Breathes in) If only I could fly, (Strokes the angel’s left side)this my phantom wing. If only I can forget all this and just fly away.

MR. BLACK
And, why don’t you?

BELLE
(Laughs to herself) I know no other life. My beauty, my name, everything about me has always been reliant on the good graces of men.

But, please enough. You came to claim your prize. (Looks at Mr. Black) Come.

(Mr. Black slowly walks toward Belle and kisses her, a cold mechanical kiss.)

My director, you kiss like you want to teach me how to kiss. Always the leader of the troupe.

MR. BLACK
You are still a child. And you are beautiful because of your youth.

BELLE
(Irate) So you are unhappy?

MR. BLACK
No.

BELLE
Then kiss me like you mean it.

(They kiss once again. This time, more passionate. Mr. Black pulls her night gown down.)

(While Mr. Black is working his way on her calves.) Me, a child? So you are paedophile, a monster in your own right.

MR. BLACK
Yes.

BELLE
(Belle runs away a bit from Mr. Black) Then chase me, monster. Devour me.

MR. BLACK
(Stops) Enough.

BELLE
What?

MR. BLACK
I have claimed my prize. I just wanted to see you. That was it.

BELLE
What?

MR. BLACK
Thank you for the lovely evening.

BELLE
What do you mean you just wanted to see me?

MR. BLACK
I do not want to tarnish what we have by simple carnal desires.

(Mr. Black starts to exit. Belle runs after him, and forces him to kiss her. She places his hand on her breast, and her hand on his crotch.)

BELLE
I want you to love me. (Mr. Black caresses her breast) I want you to treat me like a woman. A woman and not a child. A person and  not a character, an actress. I want you to make me feel it. Feel my breasts, supple in their youth, heaving in its excitement. Feel my skin, slippery with sweat. I want you. I want to have you.

(She kisses him. He kisses back.)

(Light centres on them. Mr. Black now tries to push her away. He cannot. She kisses harder. Mr. Black squeals in agony. Belle is now biting his tongue. Suddenly she rips it off. The moon above gleams red.)

(Mr. Black falls on the floor. He screams awkwardly, now mute.)

Now. How does it feel to love a real woman? Director. If you do not want to speak out of turn since speech is the currency of fools, then do not at all. What will you do with your insight into humanity without a vehicle to communicate it? Suffer, my dark stranger. Suffer, director. The devil deserves his hell.

(She walks to pick up her night gown. She wears it once again. Mr. White, and Mr. Red enter. They help up their fallen friend.)

Good night, my roses. See you tomorrow. (She exits.)

(Lights dim. We hear echoes of Mr. Black screeching in the night. We last see the angel. Lights out.)

End of Act 1
Intermission

an ending by the sea Feb 4, ’10 4:36 AM
for everyone
AN ENDING BY THE SEA
BJ CRISOSTOMOCHARACTERS
Man, a visitor to the resort
Woman, a nymphomaniac who lost her daughter to the storm
Landlady, owner of the beach resort
1 and 2, two clowns who can only talk in questions

SETTING:
The beach. Current time.

(The set is demarcated into three major areas. On up-right is a small bungalow which has its walls open so the audience could see what’s happening inside. The bungalow holds simple furniture: a bed, a cabinet, a bedside table, and a seat. It should be reminiscent of huts rented in Batanggas small time sea side resorts. The stage itself is filled with sand to indicate a beach front. On down-right, a huge dead tree lays strong and restless.)
(Sounds of waves are heard swelling and the fading to ambient noise with cricket sounds. It is night time. Stage lights open in the bungalow. Furniture is still covered with white cloth. The LANDLADY walks in; she flips on the light switch. The MAN follows. He is dressed in an all-black while the woman wears a white skirt. The MAN drops his knapsack on the floor. He examines the room with disinterest as the LANDLADY watches him.)
LANDLADY
I’m sorry we haven’t had a chance to clean the place up.
MAN
No. I came in short notice.
LANDLADY
Are you sure? I could call the maid to tidy the place a little bit. Maybe place some light over—
MAN
I can do it by myself. This is fine.
LANDLADY
But it’s so dusty. (She takes away the cloth covering the cahir. A thin layer of dust covers the lit area of the stage.)
MAN
No. This is just fine. (He sits down on the chair.) I like cleaning.
LANDLADY
(Points at the knapsack) Is that all you’re carrying?
MAN
It’s all I need.
LANDLADY
Seems small, considering you’ll stay here for a long time.
MAN
It’s small. But when you’ve carried it for a long time, it’s the heaviest thing in the world.
LANDLADY
(Retreats) I see.
MAN
Thank you. (The man closes his eyes, and tries to relax on the chair.)
LANDLADY
If you don’t mind me asking, why are you staying in at off season? Most of my costumers come when the waves are high.
MAN
(Opens his eyes slowly) I just wanted to get away. (A pause.) Escape.
LANDLADY
Well, you paid good money. You can stay as long as you like. We’re not expecting anyone for a long time.
MAN
Thank you for your hospitality.
LANDLADY
Thank you for the business.
(The MAN and the LAN LADY look at each other. A long pause)
LANDLADY
I’ll be going then. If you need anything please don’t hesitate knocking at the main house.
MAN
Yes. I will. But I probably won’t (Closes his eyes).
LANDLADY
(Expects to hear more from the MAN.) Good night! (She hurriedly exits.)
(Alone, the MAN stands and walks to the door. He locks it, and with a finality gives off a deep sigh.)
MAN
Alone. Finally. All this space. All this beach. Thank you. Escape. Thank you. (The MAN proceeds to clean the room, taking off the covers of the furniture. Pauses.)I’ve never been here, but it already feels like home.
(After the room is clean, the MAN picks up his knapsack which has been left on the floor.)
MAN
And, you. (He loses his calm) You! Finally we are alone. In this place, we are alone, and no one can stop me. No one can stop me from what we’re about to do!
(A knock is heard on the door. The MAN quickly hides the knapsack under his bed. The MAN waits for the knocking to cease. A pause. A louder banging is heard.)
WOMAN
Open up!
MAN
Who are you? It’s late. Please, leave me alone.
WOMAN
(Shouts hysterically) It’s an emergency. Someone’s drowning! I don’t know what to do! I can’t swim. Please, come and help.
MAN
Call at the main house.
WOMAN
I did. They’re all asleep. Please, sir, it’s a child! Sir, a child is drowning!
MAN
(Unsure of what to do)But—
WOMAN
Are you that inhuman! It’s a child. Every minute counts.
MAN
(Sighs in defeat) Okay.
(The MAN opens the door. At the slightest entryway, the WOMAN barges in. She is beautiful—the kind of beauty which never requires make-up—with hair hanging freely from her head. She is dressed in an all-white ensemble: a mini-skirt and a tank top.)
WOMAN
(Very calmly) Hello.
MAN
Come, the child is drowning.
WOMAN
(As if she did not hear what the man said) What a nice place you’ve got here. You must be loaded, getting the best hut and all. (She lies down on the bed.)
MAN
What about the child?
WOMAN
O him? He probably got eaten by the sharks by now?
MAN
What?
WOMAN
(Casually)The child drowned a long time ago. He’s been dead for three years now. (Corrects herself)But don’t get me wrong. This resort here is safe. It’s only had one casualty in its fifty year history.
MAN
What?
WOMAN
You like that word, don’t you?
MAN
What?
WOMAN
(Copying the man’s tone) What?
MAN
You’ve disturbed me in the middle of the night for nothing. Please, leave. Please.
WOMAN
Now, aren’t we grumpy, and to a beautiful woman with a skirt too short for her own good. (She raises the hem of the skirt to expose most of her legs.)
MAN
(Looks back) Don’t do that.
WOMAN
Do what?
MAN
Please, do not make yourself indecent.
WOMAN
A girl is on your bed in the middle of the night, and what do you say?
MAN
I’m just not that kind of man.
WOMAN
Well, what kind of woman does a man like you want? A saint?
MAN
No.
WOMAN
Are you gay?
MAN
No.
WOMAN
Then what do you want?
MAN
To be left alone.
WOMAN
So you can masturbate? O you’d like that wouldn’t you? You’re one of those fellows who can’t get it on with a breathing heaving woman.
MAN
Please, do not make me what I am not.
WOMAN
(scavenges around the cabinet) Then you wouldn’t mind me looking around for porn?
MAN
I haven’t unpacked. You will find nothing.
WOMAN
You’re a quiet one. The quiet ones are the (with great emphasis) perverts. (Looks at the man) Pervert! You probably have the good smut don’t you? Smut with dried cum on the pages.
MAN
Do not talk to me like that.
WOMAN
And why not? It’s a free country.
MAN
But we have rights.
WOMAN
Pervert! Pervert! Pervert! There! Are your precious civil rights hurt? Look at these! (flashes her bra at the MAN) Do you like ‘em, pervert?
MAN
(Looks back) Please. Stop. It.
WOMAN
Wow. You really are too good to be true. The first man who hasn’t ogled at my sisters (Plays with her breasts.)
MAN
I told you. I am not like that.
(Walks towards the man, and hugs him from behind. The MAN shudders.)
WOMAN
(Seductively) Then what are you like? Are you rough when you’re out of your shell? Will you make me scream, “God! God, fuck me harder!”
(The WOMAN reaches down to the MAN’s cock. The MAN throws her off, and she lands on the floor. A pause.)
MAN
(Awkwardly offers her a hand up) I am sorry.
WOMAN
(Slaps the hand offered by the MAN)I was just trying to make friends.
(The WOMAN notices the bag under the bed, she rushes towards it. The MAN tries to stop her but fails.)
MAN
(Walks decisively, and vindictively towards the WOMAN) Please, ma’am, give that back.
WOMAN
(Retreats with the bag behind her) Ma’am? Why so formal? Aren’t we friends? You’ve already seen my—
MAN
(Growls) Please give that back!
WOMAN
(Laughing) See, I told you, you were rough. (Jumps on the bed) Come, jump on the bed if you want to get your bag back.
MAN
(Shouts) That is important! It’s all I have left. Please! Woman! Whatever your name is—
WOMAN
It’s Delilah. Lilah, for short.
MAN
Delilah. Lilah, please, give it back to me or else—
WOMAN
Or else what? You’ll fuck me clean? You’ll smack me clean on the floor, and rip my clothes off with your bare hands? What? Fuck me!
(Suddenly, the MAN jumps on the bed, and strangles the WOMAN. The WOMAN grows faint, and drops the bag. The MAN releases her, and she drops on the floor. She covers her face. In a lack of words, the MAN stares at the WOMAN. Silence.)
MAN
(Stutters) I-I. I. I apologize. I’m n-no good with w-w-women. And, I told you to give the bag back. Please.
(He reaches a hand to the WOMAN. The WOMAN retreats to the far corner of the room. She is still shielding her face, with her shaking hands.)
MAN
Lilah, please forgive me.
WOMAN
Don’t touch me!
(The MAN retreats to the opposite side of the room. He turns his back on the WOMAN. The WOMAN stands, and fixes herself a bit with a quiet dignity. She leaves without a word. The MAN follows. For the first time we see the stage illuminated in whole. The WOMAN has already exited.)
MAN
I’m sorry.
(He kicks the sand, and enters the bungalow.)
MAN
(Notices the knapsack on the bed) Maybe tomorrow. (Hides the knapsack in the cabinet)
(He flips the light switch off. The inside of the bungalow is now too dark to be seen by the audience.)
(A pair of clowns enter from down-stage left. Both of them are dressed in rags but their faces are made-up like clowns. They enter hopping. 1 notices the bungalow.)
`1
What’s that?
2
What’s what?
1
That! (Points 2’s face onto the bungalow.)
2
Who’d know? Do you know?
1
How should I know?
(1 and 2 get into a fight. The noise wakes the MAN up.)
MAN
Please, let me sleep!
(1 and 2 stop fighting, and pose in a tablaue.)
1
(Whispers to 2) Is someone in there?
2
Didn’t you hear him?
1
Is he alive?
2
A ghost?
(They run around and gasps mutedly.)
1
Wouldn’t you come to your senses, stupid?
2
Weren’t you the one who asked if he was alive?
1
Do you think that’s what I meant when I asked if you thought he was alive?
2
What did you mean?
1
Can’t you see?
2
See what?
1
Can’t you see that there are no open windows, and no open doors?
2
A room with no window or doors? A coffin?
1
Can he breathe inside there? Is he alive?
2
Is breathing all it takes to live?
(1 and 2 look at each other. They count from one to three wit their fingers. They inhale in exaggeration, and hold their breaths with their cheeks puffing out.)
2
Are we alive?
1
Is living just about breathing?
(They pause in a thinking pose with their fingers on their heads.)
2
How do you breathe?
1
(In a panic) How do you breathe?
(They run in circles. The ruckus wakes the MAN up. Topless, he opens the door.)
MAN
What’s happening here?
1 and 2
How do you breathe?
MAN
You’ve forgotten how to breathe. How silly!
1 and 2
(Almost out of breath) How do you breathe?
MAN
Exhale.
1 and 2
How?
MAN
Blow out the air.
(1 and 2 exhales in exaggeration)
1 and 2
Then?
MAN
Inhale.
1 and 2
How?
MAN
Suck the air in.
(1 and 2 inhale in exaggeration. They faint. 1 rises.)
2
Are we alive?
1
Aren’t we breathing?
MAN
Yes you are. Now, please let a man sleep.
1
Leave?
2
Why?
MAN
Because it is night. Because I am tired. Because.
1
Don’t you want to have some fun?
2
Run around the beach?
1
Swim in the cold blue sea?
2
Climb up the tree—
1 and 2
—and fall?
MAN
No. Please, everyone, just leave me alone.
1
Don’t you know who we are?
MAN
No. Who are you?
2
Who are (with emphasis) you?
MAN
What? I’m a man on the beach who wants to be left alone to himself. No strange women. No drowning children. And no old men foolish enough to forget how to breathe. I am tired, and I want to sleep. Leave!
1
How?
2
How do we leave?
MAN
Why do you two always talk in questions?
1 and 2
Isn’t simple?
1
Don’t you see we want you answer to them?
2
Can you answer all our questions?
MAN
No. So please leave.
(1 and 2 makes silly faces pertaining to the stupidity of the MAN’s question.)
1
Didn’t we just ask you—
2
How?
1 and 2
How do we leave?
MAN
(Keeping his temper in control) Just retrace your steps, and you’re off to your merry way.
(1 and 2 shrug, and they repeat all their stage-blocks in a fast forward reverse. This should look like a video cassette in rewind. The MAN retreats back to the bungalow.)
(The WOMAN enters, she is now dressed in a black long gown, something for wakes. She holds a candle on a paper boat. She first pauses to look at the bungalow where light hits the MAN sleeping on his cot. She faces the audience then kneels. It begins to rain.)
WOMAN
(In a morose monotone, she talks to the sand, and the sea.) Please learn to forgive me, and my sins. My trespasses. Boy with no name. Boy with no future. Boy who will forever be just a day old, forever clean and featureless. You loved me, and trusted me. I knew even without words. You trusted me with your frail body, your frail smile. The sea has taken you from me, dragged you out from my bare and shaking hands.
(The LANDLADY enters with an opened umbrella, and a lamp. She wears a black a gown similar to that of the WOMAN’s but cut for a matron.)
LANDLADY
I saw you from the house Lilah. You, and your candle.
WOMAN
And, I saw you from the beach, Delilah. You, and your lamp, standing on the window as you did last night and the night before that.
LANDLADY
Didn’t I tell you never to come back here again?
WOMAN
And I always did, every night, I come here with my candle.
(A pause)
LANDLADY
Won’t you please come home?
WOMAN
Didn’t you tell me to never come back?
LANDLADY
Please Lilah, no good willcome from talking to the dead. They have no ears to hear you cry.
WOMAN
But I have tears to shed, and only the sea will take them. Please, Delilah, let me to this sandy grave.
(A pause)
LANDLADY
I pity you. I pitied you from that night when the rains came. That night when you howled, and howled so much that you rivalled the screaming sea. And yet the sea won. It took everything away.
WOMAN
(Stands)I deserve no pity! So do you.
LANDLADY
(Places the lamp on the floor.) I’ll leave this here. You’re always welcome to come back, Lilah. You are missed.
(The LANDLADY Starts to an exit. Pauses. Turns her back to the WOMAN.)
LANDLADY
(To herself) Children, when their parents die, are called orphans. But mothers when children die, are nameless. Your suffering is nameless, a wordless grief of a time I have already forgotten. Lilah, just come back when you are ready.
(The MAN grunts in his sleep. He shifts position.)
LANDLADY
Leave him.(She exits)
(The WOMAN pauses. Her hair covers her face. Her stillness is only broken by the quivering of her fists.)
WOMAN
(Suddenly, she screams at the audience.) My nameless dead, come back to me! Come home! (She drops to the ground.) I’ll be better this time. I won’t tell you to play by yourself. I’ll be here! I will play my role. I will love you. This time. I will be your… mother!
(She starts grappling the sand. Taking heaps by her hands.)
WOMAN
I left you here. I left you here for safe keeping, and now I cannot find you. I remember leaving you here. I left you in a small casket. A small box. I told you I’ll come back, didn’t I? Why did you go away, and play in a land far far away. I told you to stay still!
(She shouts in exasperation. Thunder cries with her. The MAN wakes up, and turns on the light. Light expands on the bungalow.)
WOMAN
(Stands up. Calmly) Take me too. Take me to where he is. Please I beg you. (She strips slowly) Wash me. Wash my sins, and let the water take away the past. Clean me of my blood stained skin. My reddened hands. Please. You took him. (Completely naked by this point. She loses her calm) Take me too!
(The MAN peeks from his cottage. He sees the naked WOMAN, and rushes back in to take his blanket and covers the WOMAN who is now quivering in the cold, her eyes in a trance.)
MAN
What are you doing? Do you want to kill yourself?
(Not noticing the man, she sings a simple lullaby)
WOMAN
The child and the sea. They were brothers playing gleefully.                      The child and the waters. They play as if nothing matters.                             Running, jumping, water splashing… a muted call of a child drowning.
(Finally she notices the MAN. Her eyes still dilating) Hello, lover boy. Thank you. You’re saving me again. It looks like we’ve been doing this forever.
(She kisses the MAN. Caught off guard, the MAN receives the kiss in surprise.)
MAN
No!
(She stands. The WOMAN exits, humming the lullaby she just sang.)
MAN
(Stunned, he stares at the woman as she walks off to the darkness. Finally) Hey! Don’t you want to dry up first!
WOMAN
(From the wings) Don’t worry about me.
(1’s and 2’s heads emerge from the trunk of the tree. They’ve been watching the entire scene.)
1
You don’t think we didn’t see that, naughty boy?
2
How did it feel to hold her again?
1
How did it feel to touch a naked woman—
1 and 2
You naughty boy?
(1 and 2 laugh, and assume different sexual positions referred by their following lines.)
1
Did you want to push your swelling cock against her battered flesh?
2
Or slap her with your dick until the welts grow a bright red?
1
Maybe anal?
2
Or perhaps a just blowjob?(1 and 2 fall laughing.)
MAN
Nothing like that happened. I just helped her. She looked so frail— as if the rain could have swept her away.
1 and 2
Wasn’t that what you said last time?
MAN
This is my first night here. There never has been a last time.
1
You don’t remember, do you?
2
Do you want us to make you remember?
MAN
What? (Shakes his head) No.
1
Are you sure?
MAN
Yes.
2
You think we care?
(2 runs to the man and restrains his hands by the armpits. 2 picks him up, and positions him towards 1 who boxes him on the stomach. Lightning strikes. The MAN spits out blood.)
MAN
Don’t touch me! What have I ever done to you?
(1 and 2 pause in disgust. The MAN drops on the sand.)
1
You still don’t remember?
MAN
Remember what?
2
Do you remember this? (Kicks him on the groin. Lightning.)
1
Or this? (Jumps on him with his elbow. Lightning.)
MAN
Stop!
1
Did you hear that?
2
What?
1 and 2
No.
MAN
(In dire pain, the MAN lies on the ground, squirming) That wasn’t a question! That wasn’t a question. You know what’s going on don’t you. You’re just playing fools.
1
That wasn’t a question?
2
Does it really matter anymore?
(1 and 2 laugh manaically. They proceed on throwing sand on the MAN’s face. The WOMAN, all cleaned up and now dressed in a coloured summer dress with a picnic basket, enters.)
WOMAN
Stop it. That’s too much.
1
But didn’t you tell us to—
WOMAN
That’s too much. Don’t kill him. Yet.
2
Can’t we just—
WOMAN
No. Leave us.
(1 and 2 leave with their backs bent.)
MAN
(Scrambles to his knees) What is this all about? Who are you? Who were they? (Pauses. Retreats in realization) Will you kill me? I did nothing. Please!
WOMAN
Don’t move so much. No. I’m not going to kill you.
MAN
But how can I trust you? You just told them that— Please I’m innocent.
WOMAN
No. You’re not. We’re all not. Innocent.
MAN
What?
WOMAN
Nothing. You will remember everything when you will. Everything’s eventual.
MAN
Please explain it to me. All of it. I deserve to understand! This place. Them. That dream with you, and the landlady. You, screaming naked at the sea.
WOMAN
Soon. Now, please, let me tend your wounds.
(The WOMAN approaches the MAN who apprehensively accepts the WOMAN’s help. She takes off a bandage roll, and starts bandaging the MAN’s wounds.)
WOMAN
(While bandaging) You know, I once did this to a man very like you. Here on this very spot. But that’s all gone now. We had sandwiches here, and we would watch the sea curl at midnight. We would make beautiful love, rolling on the sand. Funny. It was so itchy, the sand went in the minute crevices of our bodies yet we didn’t mind. Nothing matters when you’re in love.
MAN
Were you in love with him?
WOMAN
Yes. In a word, yes. I loved him. I love him still.
MAN
Where is he now?
WOMAN
He left. With a bag on his shoulders. He left me alone. Just stood up from the bed while I was asleep. I woke up, and the warmth of his body was still fresh on the covers.
MAN
Are you mad at him?
WOMAN
No. I love him in the kind of love which will always wait. I love him enough to stay very very still, waiting for him to pose. Make the picture perfect. And then click. We’re happy forever as caught smiles on a photograph. (Finishing the last of the bandages) There.(Stands up. Looks at the distance) We had a child.
MAN
I’m very sorry for your loss, what happened to you. To him. To your kid. But please, I think I deserve to know. I need to understand.
WOMAN
Yes you do. That’s why you’re here. (Points at the cottage) That room has been reserved for you, waiting for you. We have all been waiting for you.
MAN
But I just happened on this resort. I was driving around, and then I chose this one out of a whim. You couldn’t have been waiting for me. That’s just crazy.
WOMAN
No. There’s a reason for everything. Why you chose this one. This beach. This night.
MAN
I’m going.
WOMAN
You can’t leave.
MAN
What?
WOMAN
Try it.
(The MAN Stands up, and walks to an exit. He is pushed back by an unforeseen force.)
MAN
I can’t.
WOMAN
You’ve never left. You came here to escape from everything. To forget about everything. Your life. The woman you loved. The child you killed. The men who got in your way. But you come to remember. You’re here to remember.
MAN
What? No! I am leaving.
(The MAN tries to exit once more but is thrown by a stronger force.)
WOMAN
You are here to live the past which haunts you. The past that lays heavy on your shoulders. You can never ever forget.
MAN
Please, I am confused. I am tired. I’ve been travelling you see, and I haven’t had the chance to sleep.
WOMAN
You’ve been awake ever since you left. Ever since you left me.
MAN
(Defensive) No! That’s impossible. I’ve never met you before tonight.
WOMAN
It’s all in memory. (She extends her hand to catch rain drops.) And as the rainfalls so does memory. Those tiny drops which come first: a figure, an event. Then the rain swells, and the unforgiving thunder rings on our ears, and we remember with cruel suddenness. A name! A knife! Blood! Fresh sperm squirted in a welcoming womb! That first cry of life. Muffled! (She starts to cry but remains still, letting the tars mingle with the rain. She calms)And before you know it, the rain has made a sea stretching from corner to corner of the mind’s eye. And. You. Are. Drowning.
MAN
I don’t know what you are talking about.
WOMAN
Open your bag.
MAN
What bag?
WOMAN
The bag in the cabinet.
MAN
No. Not yet.
WOMAN
If you want to remember, then you must open your bag.
(They look at each other for a long time. The MAN suddenly rushes to the bungalow, gets the bag from the cabinet and returns to the WOMAN.)
MAN
This one?
WOMAN
Yes.
MAN
But. No. This. This. This. Is.
WOMAN
Open it.
(The MAN slowly opens the bag. Inside is a black box, the size of a shoe box. He holds it out to the audience.
(The LANDLADY enters, dressed exactly the same as the WOMAN.)
MAN
(To the LANDLADY) Delilah.
LANDLADY
Hello. It’s good that you’ve finally remembered.
(1 and 2 enter.)
1
How are you?
2
Are you enjoying your stay?
MAN
You two. I killed you, didn’t I?
1 and 2
Yes.
MAN
(To the WOMAN) And you, you were the woman I loved. The woman who bore my child. De—
WOMAN
Lilah.
1, 2, WOMAN, and LANDLADY
Open it.
MAN
Yes. I guess it is time. To remember.
(Rain starts to swell. The MAN starts to open the box. Lights fade out.)

END.

god of the machine (edited) Feb 4, ’10 4:34 AM
for everyone
GOD OF THE MACHINE
BJ CRISOSTOMOACT 1

(A table is placed in the middle the audience area. Care should be taken that it be illuminated, and demarcated properly from the audience. On the table are a worn-out notebook, a pen, and a mug of coffee. In front of it is an armchair. This set-up should indicate a modern day café. The proscenium stage itself is still bare.)

(Light hits the table in middle of the audience. The WRITER is seated on the armchair, sleeping on his desk. He holds his pen firmly as if he dozed off in the middle of writing.)

(He wears an oversized thatched jacket. His hair is a mess. He wears glasses.)

(He mumbles something again and again. At first his words are but a murmur but slowly become audible with every utterance. Finally…)
WRITER
(He wakes with a start.) All life is a stage!
(He begins to write intensely on his notebook. Unsatisfied, he tears the page and throws it away. He notices the audience, and runs on-stage where light looms.)
(To the audience, stuttering)I-I apologize, l-ladies and ge-gentlemen, you caught me sleeping. I-I have been rude to you. (Thinks aloud) We must open our dreary night with an introduction. After all, it is only proper especially in my profession (Laughs). It is my rare privilege to greet an audience face-to-face. (To the audience.) I-I am the writer- a writer of no great importance, mind you. Good evening and I also bid you f-farewell, my dear audience for I have to work, and it’s especially troublesome when no great inspiration is available. (Thinks of something else to say. Thinks better) Farewell.
(The WRITER goes back to his chair. He begins to write then loses attention when he notices the audience watching him. He rips the page and throws it. He moans in exasperation.)
(To himself) I need a muse. I need a muse who will touch me with pale hands. She will whisper to my ear, and finally my pen can move once more. It will dance through the blank page. My pen will create a classic, a moving tragedy, a witty comedy, through her inspiration. Through her inspiration, and only hers. Only hers…
(He stands, and looks up to the flights.)
It’s so simple… as if someone placed the name in my head.
(In a trance he writes on his notebook.)
For my all my sins, your name will be (A pause) Gomorrah.
(As her name is uttered, GOMORRAH walks on-stage to a spot-light at centre-centre, isolating her from the darkness. She is splendidly dressed in a red evening gown. In her left hand, a lily is held. The WRITER stands with his jaw dropped.  She speaks in a monotone.)
(Stammering and fidgeting with his pen.) W-what is y-your name?
GOMORRAH
(In a dead pan) You know it already. (She offers her the flower on her hand, but stands firmly on-stage.)
WRITER
(Slowly, savouring the word) Go-mo-rrah.
GOMORRAH
Yes. Gomorrah.
WRITER
Yes. I know your name, but who are you?
GOMORRAH
I am a word you wrote on your notebook.
WRITER
Yes, a word. (Hastily correcting himself) But, a word has no figure. No face, and no flower to offer.
GOMORRAH
Every word has a meaning to it, and I am the meaning of the word Gomorrah.
WRITER
But I can never take what you’re offering.
GOMORRAH
Why not? You created me to be your muse.
WRITER
A muse? No. You are more than a muse! (Thinks. Speaks in rapid epiphanies) You do not only inspire. You are inspiration itself, my embodied aesthetic. Your eyes, your lips, your pale little hands: my inspiration incarnate.
GOMORRAH
That I am. I am yours.
WRITER
No. No. I made you. B-but, your name. Your meaning. These things are not mine. (Pauses) You can never be mine.
GOMORRAH
(Drops the hand holding the flower) Then what am I? (Calmly) What am I to be?
WRITER
Your name is Gomorrah. You (Pauses) You are my favourite sin, my ultimate conceit, a beauty that I can only write but never touch (He tries to reach for her face but instantly retracts his hand.)
(A long silence. The WRITER sits down in a daze. GOMORRAH sits down on the stage as well.)
(Suddenly stoops down to GOMORRAH)
Do you want anything? Anything at all? Just ask and you shall receive.
GOMORRAH
(She looks down on her toes.) No. I do not want anything.
(Silence.)
WRITER
(Sighs) Are you… are you… are you lonely, Gomorrah? (A pause) You are lonely. Aren’t you, my dear? (In defeat) Are you cold?
(A pause. GOMORRAH stands slowly. First her feet, then her torso, and finally her head—until she is fully erect.)
GOMORRAH
(Whispers) Yes.
(The WRITER sits down. Fumbles with his pen. He bites the tip. GOMORRAH steps forward expectantly.)
WRITER
(Gritting his teeth) Then I will make you a companion. I will give you someone… so… you will not be lonely.
(GOMORRAH bows in thanks, and moves from the centre so that she may witness the creation of another character.)
WRITER
(He writes) Gabriel.
(GABRIEL enters in the same fashion as GOMORRAH, and speaks like her. He is dressed much like the WRITER. He resembles the WRITER except everything appears better on him.)
WRITER
What is your name?
GABRIEL
You already know who I am.
WRITER
(Breathes deeply) Yes. You are Gabriel.
GABRIEL
I am Gabriel.
WRITER
You are my messenger. You will tell her that you love her… for me.(Turns his back to GABRIEL)
GABRIEL
With my lips, yours will touch hers. With my body, yours will hold hers. With my words…
WRITER
(Takes his notebook and turns his back. He writes as he whispers.) Gomorrah, I love you.
GABRIEL
(Whispers) Gomorrah, I love you.
(The WRITER charges at GABRIEL with his pen. GABRIEL in turn does not flinch. The WRITER stops mid-audience.)
WRITER
You are in all fashions me but in a positive superlative. Like me you are a writer. A writer who writes better words.
GABRIEL
Yes. I am your ‘you.’
(The WRITER walks towards GOMORRAH. He tries to hold her but he cannot. He tries to kiss her but he cannot.)
WRITER
For you, my Gomorrah, I will make a world.
I will make you a story of love and passion. Something with a happy ending. You will meet in a lonely bar at three AM. You will kiss, and  your story shall begin.
I. I will watch as my pen moves to write. (To GOMORRAH) All this I do for you, my favourite sin, so that you will no longer be cold. (The WRITER snaps his fingers.)
(The stage lights change in colour to represent the creation of a world. Either through the flies or stagehands a night club is created on-stage with a platform, a bar, a table set-up with three chairs representing the table nearest to the stage, and a small hanging chandelier. There are two entrances to the stage: 1. leading to the outside, 2. leading to the kitchen.)
(The WRITER examines his scene. He takes a cigarette, and lights it. The couple runs to one another in an embrace. They break from their monotonous way of speaking.)
GOMORRAH
(Passionately) I love you.
GABRIEL
I love you.
GOMORRAH
I love you.
WRITER
(As he exits) I love you. I love you. I love you. Three words said three times over. (He claps) Curtain! (Exits)

ACT 1, SCENE 2

(A love song plays. It is three in the morning. The couple is dancing. Their dance is more of a swaying tight embrace.)
GOMORRAH
What are we doing?
GABRIEL
I don’t know. What I do know is that I am afraid to let you go.
GOMORRAH
Me too. I’m afraid that if I let go, you will vanish like a dream in waking.
(They continue dancing in silence.)
(Laughs to herself) I am dancing with a stranger in a closed down bar at three in the morning! Ridiculous!
GABRIEL
Funny isn’t it? I don’t even remember how we started dancing.
GOMORRAH
That’s easy. We held hands. We embraced, and our feet started moving!
GABRIEL
(Laughs to himself) I feel like we’re characters in a play.
GOMORRAH
In a play?
GABRIEL
Yes. Like someone wrote the words I’m saying.
GOMORRAH
(She lets go of GABRIEL, and looks him in the eye.)Do you think anyone can write anything as beautiful as this?
GABRIEL
Write what?
GOMORRAH
This.
(GOMORRAH kisses him. GABRIEL kisses back. They hold a pose. The WRITER’s scream is heard off-stage.)
GABRIEL
No. (Pauses. Brags.) Not even me.
GOMORRAH
You’re a writer?
GABRIEL
Yes.
GOMORRAH
Throw me a line or two.
GABRIEL
Ah, but you must sing to me first!
GOMORRAH
(Pouting her lips) No.
GABRIEL
Come on. (He bites the tip of her ear.) Pretty lines aren’t cheap.
GOMORRAH
(Tickled by the GABRIEL’s bite, she pushes him away.) Just once. And only for you.
(GABRIEL nods.)
(GOMORRAH stands on-stage and sings the song they were just dancing to. GABRIEL is in awe.)
GABRIEL
I love you.
GOMORRAH
(Blushes, realizing she feels the same way) I love you. Too.
GABRIEL
I love you. I love you. I love you. Three beautiful words I can say three times over (They kiss).
(They kiss long, and hard. They are disturbed as thunder is heard and rain falls.)
GOMORRAH
It’s raining. We’ll be stuck here all night!
GABRIEL
What’s your name?
GOMORRAH
My name?
GABRIEL
Yes, a name. I want a name I can place to your face, to your lips, to this what-ever-this-is.
GOMORRAH
For you, let me be your Gomorrah, your favourite sin.
GABRIEL
Gomorrah? Sounds like a name from a play.
GOMORRAH
Well, aren’t we? We’re all characters in a play. Our actions are all artifice written down in God’s giant book, but our persons and our meanings— they are ours and ours alone.
GABRIEL
If my name is not mine but bestowed by some god then let my name be Gabriel. (He kisses her on the neck, and on the clavicle, on her breast. He looks up to her.)
GOMORRAH
Whisper.
GABRIEL
What?
GOMORRAH
That you…
GABRIEL
I love you (She slips off her shoes). I love you (She takes of her dress. He stands still.) I love you.
(She offers him the flower in her hand. He moves closer, and kisses the flower. They kiss.)
(The WRITER rushes in.)
WRITER
No!
(Lightning strikes. The couple make love, and the WRITER sits down on a chair. He watches them until he sobs. Night turns to day, and rain ceases. The WRITER begins to raise his head.)
Did you enjoy Eden?
(The characters answer the WRITER indirectly, as in ACT 1, SCENE 1, while dressing up.)
GABRIEL
Yes.
GOMORRAH
Yes.
WRITER
(To GOMORRAH) But you offered yourself to me. To me!
GOMORRAH
And you refused me.
WRITER
(To GABRIEL) So how did her lips feel? How did her body feel? How did it feel to be loved?
GABRIEL
You already know.
WRITER
Yes, I know! (He throws a chair. The couple does not notice.) Fantastic!
GABRIEL
Yes. Fantastic.
WRITER
Fuck you. Fuck the both of you. (Throws the table aside, and storms to the café. He watches his scene.)
(The pair, finished dressing up by this time, walks towards each other.)
GOMORRAH
(Snuggles beside GABRIEL) Will you come back to see me?
GABRIEL
(Smiles) Every night.
GABRIEL
Goodbye, Gomorrah.
GOMORRAH
Goodbye, Gabriel.
(GABRIEL leaves and GOMORRAH follows the moment he has exited.)
(As she chases for GABRIEL) Wait!

ACT 1, SCENE 3
WRITER
(Reads from his text mockingly)Goodbye Gomorrah. Goodbye Gabriel. Wait.
(In impulse) Waitress!
(The WAITRESS comes stumbling through the audience. She is obviously flustered; she apologizes to the audience members as if they were costumers in the cafe. She talks like how waiters talk today talk: extremely, and annoyingly polite.)
WAITRESS
Excuse me. Good afternoon, sir, Coffee or tea?
WRITER
(Perplexed) I come here every day and you ask me if I want coffee or tea.
WAITRESS
I’m so very sorry sir; it is protocol for waitresses in places of business to ask for valued costumers’ orders. After all, how would you get your order if we don’t take it? (Smiles smugly)
WRITER
(In a temper)Coffee. Deep. Black.
WAITRESS
Would you like anything else to go with that?
WRITER
Anything?
WAITRESS
Something to eat, sir. Maybe a brownie or a slice of good old apple pie. Our apple pie is extremely…
WRITER
No!
WAITRESS
But sir, may I just remind you that coffee without anything is bad for your tummy?
WRITER
Do you think I can afford anything with my coffee?
WAITRESS
I’m sorry sir, you’re poor.
WRITER
Coffee. Deep. Black.
WAITRESS
Yes sir! (Copying the WRITER’s tone) Coffee. Deep. Black. Coming right up!
WRITER
Thank you.
(She exits.)
(Murmurs) A hundred a mug and she asks if I want anything else!
(Slowly opens his notebook. In a loving tone)
Why must you love him? Why can’t I be the hero of my own narrative? (Looks up) My story. Mine! But you, Gomorrah, it seems you have a life of your own. I feel chained; forced to write out your story, unable to stop, unable to cease loving a woman I cannot have! (The WRITER cries to himself.)
(A FLOWER GIRL enters. She carries a basket. She catches the WRITER crying.)
FLOWER GIRL
(To herself) What is he doing? Weird. He’s crying.
WRITER
(Hastily wipes away his tears) Nothing.
FLOWER GIRL
(Assumes a pleading voice) Would you like to buy some flo-o-owwers, sir?
(WRITER waves his hand.)
FLOWER GIRL
They’re really cheap, sir. Just one. Ple-e-e-e-ease!
(WRITER waves his hand again.)
FLOWER GIRL
Sir, I haven’t eaten yet and if, and if, and if you would kindly buy some flowers from me-e-e…
WRITER
No!
FLOWER GIRL
Sir please!
(A GUARD comes.)
GUARD
Excuse me, is there a problem here?
WRITER
Her! (Refers to the FLOWER GIRL)
FLOWER GIRL
Nothing’s wrong here. Nothing.
(The GUARD takes the FLOWER GIRL roughly and talks to her by the side. The WRITER is annoyed because he is being disturbed from his writing.)
GUARD
Why are you disturbing the customer, little-dirt-shit?
FLOWER GIRL
I was just selling him flowers. I wasn’t doing anything wrong.
GUARD
Well why the fuck don’t you fucking sell your shit-crap flowers elsewhere? You don’t know the effort it takes to keep this place clean from little-dirt-shits like you.
(The GUARD and the FLOWER GIRL go into a rowdy chase with the GUARD shouting profanities. Finally, the GUARD violently catches the FLOWER GIRL. The GUARD tries to hit the FLOWER GIRL on the face.)
FLOWER GIRL
(Shielding her face) Don’t!
WRITER
(Stands) Can’t anyone find peace and quiet in here!
GUARD
Sorry.
WRITER
Shut up!
(The GUARD and the FLOWER GIRL exit quietly.)
(The WAITRESS enters with a tray which holds a steaming mug of coffee. She handles the tray in such a way that the mug might fall at any moment.)
(The WRITER starts writing once more. He writes slowly at first, then writes faster and faster.)
WAITRESS
Sir!
WRITER
(Disturbed from his work, the WRITER shouts in surprise) What!
WAITRESS
(Also surprised, she spills the coffee on the WRITER’s lap. Apologetically) Your coffee. (Tries to wipe the spill she made on the WRITER’s lap)
WRITER
(Stops the WAITRESS and wipes the spill with a handkerchief) Just give me another one!
(WAITRESS exits crying)
Wait! Won’t you clean…(He exits, panting on his thighs. He mumbles to himself) Maintenance these days! And the people! The people, and their little inconsequential lives! If you want something done you better do it yourself.
(He stops.)
(An epiphany:) Wait a minute. Real people.  Nuances… Complication. (Excited) Yes. Yes. Yes! I will do it myself, Gomorrah!
(He returns to his table. He writes intensely on his notebook.)
May your souls be crushed by the weight of living in the real world— of loving in the real world. Ingenious.(Pauses. Thinks to himself) Comfortably your fairytale unfolded: the charming prince and the dazzling princess of your fairytale of… LOVE! Let us see your hearts pierced by the cruel hand of the grand storyteller! (Writes again) Love indeed, Gomorrah, my favourite sin. Ruination. I shall cry by your gravestones.
(Light dims on the coffee table set-up.)
ACT 1, SCENE 4
(It is early morning again in the bar.  She checks her watch. She is smoking. Her hair is no longer as pristine as before.)
GOMORRAH
(Examining the cigarette) Love? (Laughs) Love indeed! (She stamps out her cigarette.)
(GABRIEL enters. His costume is slightly unkempt.)
(An awkward pause between the two lovers)
GABRIEL
Hello.
GOMORRAH
(Stares coldly at GABRIEL. Her words are slow and deliberate.) Who are you? Stranger!
GABRIEL
(Surprised by GOMORRAH’s coldness) What? I-I am your angel Gabriel.
GOMORRAH
(She picks up the lighter, and flicks sparks at GABRIEL at every mention of the word ‘three.’) Angel Gabriel? For three nights, I sang the song we danced three nights ago. Three times over I scanned the audience to find you missing, and finally you appear at three in the morning three days after.
(GABRIEL falls over.)
GABRIEL
(Speaks in a practiced tone) From the empty corridor of my heart do I intend a hollow apology…
GOMORRAH
Stop writing! I am not one of your characters(Slaps GABRIEL across the face)!
(Silence)
GABRIEL
There is someone whose head must rest upon my wing.
GOMORRAH
(Breaks from her coldness, and goes into an angry fit) There’s someone else! I knew it!
GABRIEL
I am a writer, yes, but my lies are more real than a slap on the face. Gomorrah, I can say it plainly, this is real.
GOMORRAH
Then what!
GABRIEL
I have a daughter….
GOMORRAH
(Interrupting) And the mother?
GABRIEL
…from a long past romance. The mother died at childbirth.
GOMORRAH
(Calming down) Oh… I apologize.
GABRIEL
She did not die on your account.
(A long awkward pause)
GOMORRAH
Should I sing you a song?
GABRIEL
That would be nice.
GOMORRAH
What would you like me to sing?
GABRIEL
Something to cleanse me of my prolonged absence: a song of praise.
GOMORRAH
A church song? (Laughs)I might turn into salt. (To herself) This Christian metaphor is getting too stretched.
GABRIEL
You asked me what I would like to hear and I would like to hear Ave Maria.
GOMORRAH
Ave Maria (Smiles)? So there is another woman?
GABRIEL
(Teases) Yes, I tire of red and have found taste for the colour blue.
(GOMORRAH gets a blue veil. She stands on-stage. She sings the Ave Maria.)

(She gets off the stage.)

GOMORRAH
I lost my temper. I’m sorry, my sex betrayed me.
GABRIEL
(Shakes his head.) Would you like to meet my daughter?
GOMORRAH
Tonight, her name would suffice.
GABRIEL
Lily.
GOMORRAH
What a pretty name.
GABRIEL
Yes, Lily, the flower girl.
GOMORRAH
I would like to meet your flower girl.
GABRIEL
Tomorrow then.
GOMORRAH
And not three days later.
GABRIEL
No, tomorrow we shall be here to hear you sing.
GOMORRAH
Now, I would like you to leave.
GABRIEL
But…(As GOMORRAH is pushing him out) Why are you pushing me to the door?
GOMORRAH
(In mock scolding) Gabriel, you have left your child to sleep alone. Come to her so that she may rest on your wing.
(GABRIEL is pushed off-stage.)
(To herself) Finally… (Hums the song that she danced with GABRIEL three nights ago and dances to herself in pure abandon)
(The PIMP enters. He is the GUARD  seen earlier. He is dressed in an undershirt and baggy pants. He is chewing gum.)
PIMP
You must be very happy, little in-out-in-out.
GOMORRAH
(Startled) What?
PIMP
Dung-for-brains, you were singing to yourself (Mocks GOMORRAH’s naiveté).
GOMORRAH
(Ashamed) I’m sorry.
PIMP
Nothing to be sorry about. Tomorrow’s your big night! A good old pumping-humping.
GOMORRAH
(Taken aback) No! I can no longer… I can not.
PIMP
Why did your fuck-face prince charming sweep you away on his fuck-face stallion?
(GOMORRAH looks away in terror.)
(Smiles) Well, before he steals you away, you will have your big night.
GOMORRAH
(In fear) You mean?
PIMP
Yes, a customer. The costumer. A customer willing to pay any fee for your fuck-flowers. He’ll come tomorrow to watch you sing.
GOMORRAH
But no! No I do not want the money.
PIMP
Love has made you arrogant, dung-for-brains! Remember, you are a fuck-for-fee. (Brings out a gun) You will lie down like a good girl and spread your silky white legs wide open for his golden shaft. (He puts the gun on her crotch.)
GOMORRAH
No.
(He sticks the gum he’s chewing on GOMORRAH’s face and holsters his gun.)
PIMP
You will. (Fires the gun. It is empty. Laughs.) We must all play our roles. (Exits)
(GOMORRAH exits sobbing.)

ACT 1, SCENE 5
(The WRITER is back on his table, as before, he is scribbling.)
WRITER
(In frantic fervour) Fantasy will give way to reality. I am sorry, my Gomorrah. I am so, so sorry. I cannot be satisfied with a world not mine. A world that does not, cannot include me. I apologize. You were born just to die! (Stands) By my hand you were created, by my hand shall come your wanting grave. (Runs to the stage. The WRITER wears a cap and a pair of shades – he takes the additional costuming from his jacket.) Let the show begin!
(In disguise, he sits down on the table set-up on stage. GOMORRAH enters she is pacing, biting her lips. The WRITER watches her intently, his own hands trembling in anticipation.)

(A WAITRESS comes, the same girl from the cafe.)
WAITRESS
Excuse me. What will you have, sir?
WRITER
In whatever world your kind will always serve. You are good for nothing but servitude. Servility. Servant.
WAITRESS
Excuse me?
WRITER
Nothing. (Smiles) It’s nothing. I’ll have a coke and rum.
WAITRESS
A coke and rum. Is that all? We have a special on…
WRITER
That’s all.
(The WAITRESS walks away with the WRITER’s order. Before she could go to the kitchen, Gomorrah pulls her by the hand.)
GOMORRAH
What did he want?
WAITRESS
He ordered something. Wait. I forgot.
GOMORRAH
(Notices the WRITER staring at her) Can you get me whatever he did?
WAITRESS
I’ll just put it in your tab?
(The PIMP enters.)
PIMP
Sure. You can place anything (Mimes coitus) in her fucking tab. (To the WRITER) She’ll be coming to a shit-load of money soon.
(The WRITER raises his glass to GOMORRAH, and the PIMP.)
WAITRESS
(As she exits) Oh, that’s right! One. Rum. And… (Exits)
PIMP
Powder your pretty nose. Make yourself (Thinks) shimmer.
(GOMORRAH exits. The PIMP approaches the WRITER.)
PIMP
You sure you’ve got enough?
WRITER
No price is enough.
PIMP
Just make sure you have the money. (He holds his gun holster) Or else.
WRITER
What kind of gun is that?
PIMP
I don’t think the kind matters. A fucking gun is a fucking gun.
WRITER
(Smiles) I understand.
PIMP
What are you smiling about?
WRITER
Nothing.
PIMP
Later. (Leaves)
(GABRIEL enters with LILY. LILY is played by the same actress who played the FLOWER GIRL. She is no longer dressed shabbily but has been cleaned well for her meeting with GOMORRAH.)
WRITER
(Raises his hand to GABRIEL) Sir, would you keep me company? Drinking alone has never been good habit.
GABRIEL
Why, much obliged.
WRITER
O, I wouldn’t have you sit anywhere else. We gentlemen should keep to each other in places like this. Especially you with a daughter.
LILY
Dad-d-dy, why are we-e here? I’m scared.
GABRIEL
We’re here to meet someone very special.
LILY
But daddy, it’s so-o dark here.
GABRIEL
(Comforts his child) The woman I’m going to introduce you to is a singer, and I know very well that you like music. Don’t you, Lily?
LILY
Yes, daddy (Calms)
GABRIEL
Now, behave like the charming girl that you are.
WRITER
(To GABRIEL) A bachelor father, I assume?
GABRIEL
Why, how did you know?
WRITER
I just know. What’s her name?
GABRIEL
Lily.
WRITER
(To LILY) What a charming name.
LILY
Thank you, sir.
GABRIEL
Lily like the flower.
WRITER
(Pretends to think) Flowers sold by a flower girl. Lily. A flower girl selling flowers for the dead.
GABRIEL
Exactly. Are you also a writer?
WRITER
Yes. (Shakes Gabriel’s hand) We penny-a-pages should stick together.
GABRIEL
Yes. We should. I feel like we’re blood brothers. Sir, may I introduce myself, I am—
WRITER
Oh, we’re more related than you’ll ever know.
LILY
Da-a-a-ddy, let’s get out of here.
GABRIEL
Now, Lily, I promised Gomorrah. Please, just a little longer.
LILY
Okay, daddy.
WRITER
(To GABRIEL) So who is this Gomorrah?
GABRIEL
Have you ever had a picture of a beautiful woman in your head? She’s that woman.
WRITER
An aspiration for beauty, an inspiration incarnate: a muse.
GABRIEL
A muse with lips so red…
WRITER
Have you had the chance to taste that red?
GABRIEL
(Laughs) Sir, a gentleman does not disclose secrets of that kind.
WRITER
An angel? I suppose you’re here to save her.
GABRIEL
Why don’t I? Just fly her away from all of this.
WRITER
You must really have fallen for her. I’m warning you… (Changes his mind) Did you feel like you were characters in a play?
GABRIEL
(Taken aback) Yes. How did you…?
(The opening bars of a song is heard. GOMORRAH enters the stage. Her make-up has been worn from crying. She starts to sing a song of remorse yet she cannot finish it. She runs to exit but GABRIEL stops her.)
GABRIEL
What’s wrong, Gomorrah? Me, and my daughter, Lily, we’re here to fly you away.
GOMORRAH
(Steals a glance at LILY, and the WRITER) She is a handsome child, Gabriel. I cannot be a mother to her. We were just a one night affair (Kisses him on the cheek). Take her and never look back. (Exits)
GABRIEL
Gomorrah…
WRITER
(To himself) Beautiful as ever.
LILY
Why was that girl sad, daddy?
GABRIEL
I don’t know. I don’t know.
LILY
Was she the woman, daddy?
GABRIEL
(To the WRITER) Thank you, but we must leave now.
WRITER
Will you still save her?
GABRIEL
I don’t think she wants to be saved.
LILY
She was crying, daddy. Even without…
(GABRIEL and LILY exit)
WRITER
(To himself) …Even without tears, she was crying, Gabriel. (A pause) Now, where is that drink? (Stands) Service!
(The WAITRESS enters with a glass of coke and rum. She accidentally spills it on the WRITER.)
WAITRESS
I’m so sorry, sir. Let me…
WRITER
You are an ignoramus. You are a buffoon. A hussy!
WAITRESS
(Cries) I’ll get you another drink, sir, on the house. I am so very sorry. (Exits)
WRITER
(Takes a napkin, and wipes himself) My victory is assured. (He takes his notebook.) But first… (Starts to write) the waitress, a sad excuse for a woman trips on the cold kitchen floor where she has yet again spilled some sort of liquid. A kitchen knife, loose from the cupboard, cuts clean through her neck. (A short scream is heard from the kitchen followed by a hollow thud) There. (Throws the napkin and stands to a pace)She was an inconsequential character. The plot unravels as it did with or without her. (Runs to his notebook) I can no longer be patient. (He writes)  The pimp enters with Gomorrah.

ACT 1, SCENE 6
(The PIMP enters with GOMORRAH.)
PIMP
(To the WRITER) The money?
WRITER
(Throws a wad of bills to the PIMP) Every cent well spent.
PIMP
(Counts the money) Good. Now, fuck nice, children.
GOMORRAH
No. Just shoot me. I don’t care.
PIMP
What if I shoot fuck-face prince charming, shit-for-brains?
(GOMORRAH moves to the WRITER)
Good. Take all the time you want, we’ll be open all night. (Exits to the kitchen)
(They hold a prolonged tableaue: GOMORRAH standing without a trace of emotion, and the WRITER slack jawed. The WRITER slowly stands to hold her face.)
WRITER
Gomorrah… (She does not react) Gomorrah. Gomorrah! I am your creator, you will respond accordingly when you hear your name!
(GOMORRAH sits down on a stage floor. She now acts not like herself but as she did in ACT 1 SCENE 1.)
Oh my, what have I done? I’m sorry my Gomorrah. I am sorry.
(GOMORRAH does not react.)
(Attempting to assert himself) You, woman of red lips. You, woman of fair skin. You, woman of beauty, what is your name?
GOMORRAH
I am Gomorrah. I am a city from a far-off place destroyed for its sins.
WRITER
City far, far away, my Gomorrah, would you have the favours of a god once more?
GOMORRAH
No. I am Gomorrah.  My meaning is that… to burn, to die for my arrogance against a cruel god.
WRITER
And what is your sin, Gomorrah?
GOMORRAH
(Looks up at him) My sin. My sin is love. Love.
WRITER
(Pleading)Gomorrah, love me and your sins shall be pardoned. You can be recreated to any fantasy you desire. A queen. A goddess. Just love me, Gomorrah, take my hand and you shall take a place by my side.
GOMORRAH
Yes, but I shall be cold as your queen. I shall be lonely as your goddess.
WRITER
(Losing his temper) I wrote you! You are a character. I made you up! You are just a figment of my imagination!
GOMORRAH
But I am as real to you as the cold… as the loneliness.
WRITER
(In full abandon) Yes. Yes! Why? Why do I obsess about you so much? In my profession, I have crafted a thousand girls just like you. But you! Why am I so captivated by you?
GOMORRAH
Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And, you have made me just to be beheld. Beauty… is beautiful because it refuses its own maker; it refuses to be understood, remaining ambiguous, mysterious— capricious as a woman in a red dress.
WRITER
(Calms) I can make you love me.
GOMORRAH
But, you won’t be happy.
WRITER
Because you would be cold, and lonely. (A pause) I would rather destroy you.
GOMORRAH
Will that make you happy?
(Silence)
(The WRITER starts to write, and GOMORRAH follows the instructions given to her.)
WRITER
The woman takes off her clothes slowly. Flesh. Inches of flesh. Growing into landscapes. In her mind, she is with another man in another place, a character in another story. Her red garment of sin fetters down the floor. She cries. She cries in quiet dignity. Her thighs tremble as she speaks.
GOMORRAH
My body is as you will.
WRITER
And the customer replies, “Stay like that.” The stranger with hungry eyes examines his purchase. He drinks it all in—the shoulders, the curves to her chest, her breasts, heaving, sweaty, waiting, just waiting. Then he…
(The WRITER starts lavishing GOMORRAH with unwanted kisses. GOMORRAH becomes limp.)
(While kissing GOMORRAH’s body) Fuck you. Fuck you! Fuck love! Love is man’s greatest folly for he cannot see the follies he himself commits! And you could have said yes, and saved me from foolishness. You foolish woman, you could have been anything, woman-not-mine. But for a moment you are. Mine. I will ravage you.
(Pauses. In heavy breaths) It’s complete. (Steps away) The man ravages the woman, and in his lips he tastes salt. He steps back and sees not a woman but a body lain on the ground.
(GOMORRAH falls.)
What happened? (Screams to the exits on-stage) Hello! Hello out there! Help me! What should I do? (He runs to his notebook, and writes) She wakes up! She wakes up, and everything is alright! Why isn’t it working? Why isn’t the story changing? (He runs toward GOMORRAH) Wake up! Why won’t you wake up?
(GABRIEL enters with LILY.)
GABRIEL
What did you do to her?
WRITER
I have no idea. I don’t know. I. Do. Not. Know.
GABRIEL
(Takes GOMORRAH from the WRITER)It’s me. Gabriel, your angel. I’ve come back. For a song. For breath, Gomorrah, just breathe.
(LILY cries.)
GOMORRAH
(Waking up) Gabriel?
GABRIEL
Thank God.
GOMORRAH
Gabriel…
GABRIEL
Yes?
GOMORRAH
Take me away, please. I cannot take it here anymore. Please, Gabriel, save me.
GABRIEL
Yes.
WRITER
(Angrily) No! (Changes his tone as he pleads )Don’t. I-I mean… please, do not…
GABRIEL
I will.(To the WRITER) What were you doing with her? (Punches him in the stomach, the WRITER falls.)
LILY
No!
WRITER
I don’t know.
GABRIEL
What then do you know?
WRITER
Nothing! I know nothing!
GABRIEL
(Strangles the WRITER) If you ever pull anything like that again, I will kill you.
(The PIMP enters with his gun pulled out. He watches silently in the background.)
(To the WRITER) Did you hear me? I will kill you.
PIMP
Stop.(Points his gun at GABRIEL) You won’t fucking get the fucking chance to. Will you?
GABRIEL
(Calming down) I mean no more trouble. We’ll leave. All of us. (Moves closer to GOMORRAH)
PIMP
Don’t you fucking touch her. She belongs to this place, this forsaken part of the world.
GABRIEL
I’ll pay. I’ll buy her way out!
PIMP
Pay?
WRITER
(Runs to the PIMP) Don’t you dare let them go! Shoot him. Go on!
PIMP
(Elbows the WRITER) Shut the hell up or I’ll shoot you.
GABRIEL
(Throws his wallet at the PIMP) Take it all.
(The PIMP examines the contents of the wallet and throws GOMORRAH the blue cloth used earlier.)
PIMP
(Checks the wallet) Never say no to cold hard cash.(To GABRIEL) Go.
GABRIEL
Thank you. (Clothes GOMORRAH with the blue cloth, and they start to leave.)
WRITER
Gabriel, I order you to stop! Stop!
(GABRIEL doesn’t. The WRITER takes the gun from the PIMP, and aims it at GOMORRAH.)
Gomorrah, I would rather have you die.
(GABRIEL covers GOMORRAH. The shot is deafening. The WRITER cannot believe what he has done.)
GABRIEL
(To Lily) Lily, close your eyes.
(A silence. GABRIEL falls.)

(GOMORRAH and LILY cradle GABRIEL: a depressing family portrait)
GOMORRAH
I thought you were going to save me?
GABRIEL
(To GOMORRAH)I apologize. Broken wings cannot fly. I love you.
GOMORRAH
I love you, too.
GABRIEL
(To LILY and GOMORRAH) We’re all orphans in our own way. (He dies)
GOMORRAH
Little girl, take him.(GOMORRAH takes the blue cloth)
LILY
Daddy! You’re not breathing.
(LILY grows silent and holds a reverse Pieta pose with her father.)
GOMORRAH
(Strokes LILY’s hair) I’m sorry, little girl. I’m leaving too. (Determined, she moves to the chair while tying the cloth into a noose.)
WRITER
No! Stop. You don’t have to do that. Now, the story can go my way! (The WRITER tries to stop GOMORRAH but he can’t. Her body is unstoppable. The volition of her will is too strong.) You can be anything you want to be. Just tell me. You don’t even have to love me. No angel. No god. Gomorrah, you don’t have to turn into salt.
(GOMORRAH pulls the chair)
GOMORRAH
That is my meaning, to be destroyed for my sins. (She stands on the chair, and ties the other end of the belt on the chandelier.)
WRITER
To love? Gomorrah, you do not have to love me! Hate me!
GOMORRAH
The sin of Gomorrah is to love another god.
WRITER
I will bring him back to life. I will! Do not…
(GOMORRAH kicks the chair, and hangs. It looks as if she is dancing.)
(LILY walks to the WRITER’s back. She watches him.)
(Runs to his notebook, and writes frantically) And she lives miraculously. And. She is beautiful as ever. And. She is singing. Happily ever after. (Nothing happens. To himself) Why doesn’t it work? I am the writer, the creator, the god of the machine!
LILY
(To GABRIEL) Won’t you buy some flowers, sir? Flowers for your dead.
WRITER
What? (In fear) W-what did you say?
LILY
Flowers for your dead?
WRITER
(Scrambles to his notebook. Reads every page in a hurry) It’s not here. I did not write that. “Flowers for your dead.” Where is it? I didn’t write that! (Chokes LILY) Who told you to say that?
LILY
(Choking)Won’t you buy some flowers, sir?
WRITER
Did he tell you to say that?
(He examines the scene)
This is my tragedy. Lonely lines. Beautiful words that no one will read. (WRITER writes something on his notebook. He looks up to see the scene. He writes again. Look up. Writes. Again, and again. Then he finally says what he is writing.) End! End! (Runs to GOMORRAH and screams at her) END!
Why won’t it end?

END OF ACT 1

ACT 2

(The WRITER is heard grunting with indistinct noises reminiscent of a horror house. Stage lights open to reveal the WRITER rambling and fatigued. He is chained to the table which is moved to the centre of the stage. The lights give off a mood of terror as in a horror house. The set may be altered to follow the lights and the sound.)

(The WRITER is shouting as he is writing in violent hard strokes in his notebook.)

WRITER
I am! I am a friend. I am a friend who watches as she swings. She doesn’t look like she’s swinging but as I am a friend who watches so-o-o closely, I see the minute movements of her body. Left, right, left, right, she swings from the rope as in a dance. A dance to an old love song.

(He stops writing for a while and dances the song GOMORRAH and GABRIEL danced to in the first act. At first his humming is gentle but grows to a mad raving. A screeching of the throat)

She sways. She sways as her tongue swells! As her eyes pop out! She is looking at me. She is watching me. Friend who died at 3 AM, why did you take that… thing… to the roof? Why did you tie it to a knot? Didn’t you know that I loved you? Gomorrah, your sin was not to love. Your love did not offend me as much as your death. (A pause) I see a friend by the corner hanging on a noose! I see a friend by the corner hanging on a noose.
(A whisper.)
I see a friend by the corner hanging on a noose.

(The WRITER calms down. When he has caught his breath, he notices that he is chained to the table.)

(He tries to free himself and fails.)

Help! Hello out there! Hello! Anyone at all, help me!

(He pulls his hands. He fails.)

Please, anyone! No. Not anyone out there at all. No one in here but a writer and his pen, and his loneliness, and his silence, and his stillness, and his nothingness, and, and… and fuck!

(In his desperation, he tries to bite his hands off. The pain is too great. He fails.)

Please fall off hands which have crafted my own tragedy.

(He bites again.)

I have been reduced to my function. I am and will always be alone. (While biting his hands.) I have no need for a hand to carry a pen… I have no need for a pen without a muse. I have no need of myself without Gomorrah!

(Finally blood spills from his hands but he cannot continue.)

To the death I carry the conceit of a writer! The beauty of his hands.
(Pause.) Then I must die.

(He bangs his head on the table.)

Break I call you. Break, my futile skull.

(Bangs his head again.)

Break my perverse mind. Break! Break! Break!(A pause.)I cannot die, after all. My story cannot end.

(The WAITRESS from before enters. She holds a pot of coffee.)

WAITRESS
Bullet or noose?

WRITER
What?

WAITRESS
What is your fancied fantasy, bullet or noose?

WRITER
Nothing. I refuse my fantasies. I refuse my trade.

WAITRESS
Bullet or noose?(She pours boiling coffee on the WRITER’s pants.)

WRITER
What are you doing?

WAITRESS
The only thing I’m fit for.

WRITER
Someone please come save me!

WAITRESS
I am a servant. (Pours coffee.) I am servile.(Pours again.) Forever, I will be in utter servitude (She pours coffee for a third time).

WRITER
Please stop!

(WAITRESS stops pouring. A pause.)

WAITRESS
Bullet or noose?

WRITER
What?
(WAITRESS pours coffee.)

WRITER
Noose! If I choose the fantasy of the noose will I meet her again? Will I meet her?

WAITRESS
Noose then.(Writes on a pad.)

WRITER
Yes, the noose.

(WAITRESS exits. She bumps into the FINGER GIRL who enters with a hand basket covered with cloth. The FINGER GIRL is played by the same actress who played LILY, and the FLOWER GIRL in ACT 1. She is dressed like GOMORRAH.)

FINGER GIRL
Would you like to buy some fingers, sir?

WRITER
Fingers?

FINGER GIRL
Yes, sir. Fingers.

WRITER
Don’t you mean flowers?

FINGER GIRL
No, sir. Fingers.

WRITER
What would I need fingers for?

FINGER GIRL
Aren’t you a writer?

WRITER
Yes (corrects himself}, but not anymore.

FINGER GIRL
A pity.(Opening the basket. In it are fingers.) I have all sorts of fingers.

(She pulls out a bloody thumb. The WRITER is repulsed.)

Here, for example, is a thumb. With another thumb, a writer could hold another pen. Using two pens at the same time, you just might be a better writer.

WRITER
No. I have no use for another thumb.

FINGER GIRL
Well then, you might be interested in a pinkie.(She takes one out of her basket.) All writers are haughty and have been known to raise their pinkies on occasion. With another pinkie, you might doubly increase your status in social affairs.

WRITER
No.

FINGER GIRL
Oh, you might be interested in this!

(She takes out a ring finger with a ring on it.)

It’s our best seller. A ring finger which comes with, no value added tax, a wedding ring. With this, you might just… just might… finally be loved.

WRITER
Love?(Loses temper.)Love!

FINGER GIRL
Yes, sir, love. I know how writers are all so alone-lonely in their writing. Always alone by the table with a pen and a notebook. With this you can finally be loved!

WRITER
I have no use for love.(The WRITER tries to charge at the FINGER GIRL but is held back by his chains. In a monotone)Love is futile. Love is fleeting. Love is…

FINGER GIRL
I thought you refused your profession.

WRITER
I have! I am not a writer. I do not write. I will not write. I will never write again. I am. Not a writer.

FINGER GIRL
That love-is-love-is sounded like poetry to me. Pretty phonetic poetry.
WRITER
What would an idiot know about poetry?

FINGER GIRL
Be careful of your language, sir.

WRITER
Why should I?

FINGER GIRL
It’s unbecoming.

WRITER
Why! What am I to un-become to? What did I become-to to un-become, you blithering idiot?

FINGER GIRL
Be careful of your language sir.

WRITER
Why?

FINGER GIRL
Because I will sic my dog at you… sir

WRITER
Let him then. Let him bite me. Infect me with his animal bite. Let him, you freakish delusion.

FINGER GIRL
Boy!

(She whistles.)

(The DOG enters. The DOG is performed by the same actor who performed the GUARD and the PIMP. He is now naked and scarred all over. A bite guard is placed on his mouth which is then attached to a leash. He moves as his name now implies: a dog.)

(The FINGER GIRL holds the DOG’s leash.)

FINGER GIRL
Now apologize…

WRITER
(Obviously afraid of the DOG.)No.

FINGER GIRL
Apologize!

WRITER
No!

FINGER GIRL
Apologize!

WRITER
No!

(The FINGER GIRL sets the DOG loose. It suddenly paws at the WRITER.)

(Trying to fend the DOG off with his feet.) Move away from me! Move away!

FINGER GIRL
Apologize.

WRITER
No!

FINGER GIRL
Bite! Bite him! Bite his crotch! (Applauds to herself in sheer glee)

(The DOG removes the bite guard, and bites the WRITER on the crotch. The WRITER screams in pain.)

WRITER
I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Remove him from me.

FINGER GIRL
Do you promise to play nice?

WRITER
Yes!

FINGER GIRL
Do you apologize?

WRITER
Yes! I apologize!

FINGER GIRL
(To the DOG) Stop, boy!

(The DOG comes to the FINGER GIRL who taps his head.)

FINGER GIRL
That’s a good boy.(She throws a finger on the floor, the DOG gobbles it up.)

WRITER
(To the DOG.) What are you doing? Don’t! Don’t eat that!

FINGER GIRL
And why shouldn’t he?

WRITER
(Sarcastically) I don’t know. That’s a human finger!

FINGER GIRL
No that’s not a human finger. That’s a writer’s finger. His favourite.

WRITER
You’re insane.
(The DOG growls at the WRITER.)

FINGER GIRL
You promised to play nice.

WRITER
Yes. Yes. I did. I’m sorry.

FLINGER GIRL
Good. Wouldn’t you like to buy a finger, sir?

WRITER
Yes, take my wallet. Take all my money. Leave me be.
(The FINGER GIRL gets the WRITER’s wallet. It is GABRIEL’s.)

FINGER GIRL
Thank you.(She leaves the basket of fingers on the WRITER’s table.)

WRITER
No. Take them with you.

FINGER GIRL
What would I do with all those fingers? I am not a writer.
WRITER
Take them. Feed them to your dog.

FINGER GIRL
Thank you, sir. That’s very kind of you.

WRITER
No thanks is required.

FINGER GIRL
No. I insist.(To her DOG.) Doggie, thank the good man.
(The DOG humps the WRITER’s leg.)

WRITER
It’s quite alright. Now please take him.

FLOWER GIRL
No, you must teach your puppies to show gratitude else they will never grow to become good doggies.
(The DOG jumps on the WRITER’s torso and rubs it with his penis.)

DOG
I love you. I love you. I love you. Three words said three times over. You will scream. And you will love me. You will scream and you will love me.
(The WRITER writhes in his chair. He tries to push the DOG away. After some time, he manages to do it.)

WRITER
What! Dogs can’t talk!

FINGER GIRL
Oh, that’s what a diet of writer’s fingers does to a dog. It miraculously learns to speak the words the writer writes.
WRITER
Then feed him so he can write.

FINGER GIRL
(Moving to a corner to feed her DOG.) Dogs can’t write. Everyone knows that. Writing dogs! Tsss…
(The WAITRESS enters holding GOMORRAH, by the noose tied to her neck. She is dressed in a tattered red evening gown.)

WRITER
Gomorrah!

WAITRESS
How will you have your noose? Depressed? Grief stricken? Or just workaday sad?

WRITER
Don’t hold her like that.

WAITRESS
I thought you would have the noose.

WRITER
Yes, I would have her on the noose.

WAITRESS
So depressed, grief stricken or sad?

WRITER
I would have her sing.

WAITRESS
(To GOMORRAH.)Did you hear him? Sing he says!(The WAITRESS pushes GOMORRAH to the stage.)
(GOMORRAH sings the Ave Maria but she does not produce the words. She sounds like a deaf-mute.)

(The WRITER sobs.)

WRITER
(In the middle of the song.) Stop!(She doesn’t.)

WAITRESS
I thought you would have her sing.

WRITER
That’s not my Gomorrah. My Gomorrah has the voice of a muse.

WAITRESS
I’m sorry, we have a no-return policy. She’s still okay though, the noose just broke her vocal chords.

WRITER
Make her stop.

WAITRESS
No. I will not. She will sing. (To GOMORRAH.) Sing louder!

(GOMORRAH strangles her throat and produces louder awkward sounds.)

WRITER
Stop! Stop! Please stop, my Gomorrah. Please stop! For the love of God, please, I beg of you stop!

GOMORRAH
(In a scratched voice.) I am not yours. And I will never be.(She falls.)

WRITER
Gomorrah! Wake up! Please wake up! I order you to wake up.(He writes in his notebook as he utters.) She wakes up.(To GOMORRAH.)Why don’t you wake up?

WAITRESS
Because you killed her.

WRITER
No, I didn’t. She did it herself.

WAITRESS
No. You wrote it down.
(Picks up the notebook and reads aloud.)

WAITRESS
“She sways left-right-left-right. She sways as if dancing to an old love song.” See? You were the one who killed her.”

WRITER
No I didn’t. I saw it for myself. She walked and I couldn’t stop her. However hard I tried and I tried so hard yet I couldn’t stop her.

WAITRESS
But you wrote all those things too. The walking slowly. The snapping of the neck. The (Coughs) dying. So you were the one who killed her.

WRITER
But I didn’t mean to.

WAITRESS
What do you mean you didn’t mean to? You moved your hand like this.
(Writes on air) She died. She turned into salt.

WRITER
No. No I didn’t.

FLINGER GIRL
(Throws a finger at the WRITER) Yes you did.(The DOG attacks the WRITER.)

WRITER
No I tried. I tried with my strength with all my strength with my very humanity! I tried to save her. I gave her a chance. I asked her if she wanted to be saved and all she had to do was say yes. But she didn’t and the story wrote itself. The story wrote itself and she killed herself. It was her hand that tied the noose not mine. Not my hands. I loved her how could I possibly kill her. I made her. She is my Galatea and I honed her from head to toe in perfection. Lovingly, I sculpted her. Why would I destroy my most beautiful creation?

WAITRESS
Galatea? Gomorrah? Stop mixing up your metaphors.

WRITER
Act 2, scene 2!

ACT 2, SCENE 2

GABRIEL
(From the flights, on a literal deus ex machina) Having trouble with your characters are you?
(The characters onstage pause and stare up at him.)

WRITER
What?

GABRIEL
You, the writer, are having problems with your characters.
(GABRIEL walks on-stage while removing the harness attached to the flights.)

WRITER
Yes. It seems so. What’s that?

GABRIEL
This is your hand, and my wings. Deus ex machine. (He throws the harness which is brought up to the flights.) Yeah. They do that sometimes. They get out of control and you lose control of your story.

WRITER
Would you know how to stop them?

GABRIEL
Of course, I’m a writer too.

WRITER
Then how?

GABRIEL
Calm yourself and think them to non-existence.

WRITER
I already tried that. It doesn’t work.

GABRIEL
Because you’re so tense. Ease up. Close your eyes, and stop them.

WRITER
Stop them?

GABRIEL
Yes. Just stop them. Stop them from being.

WRITER
Just like that.

GABRIEL
(Takes a seat in front of the WRITER.) Just close your eyes and count from ten to one.

WRITER
(Closes his eyes.) Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six.

(GABRIEL signals at the other characters to exit. They refuse.)

Five. Four. Three.

(GABRIEL pulls out a gun. They leave quietly.)

Two. One.(Opens his eyes.) They’re gone.

GABRIEL
Yes, they are.

WRITER
But why are you still here?

GABRIEL
I am you. I am your ‘you,’ the hyperbolic self-conception that you perceive you can never be.     You can’t think yourself to non-existence can you?
WRITER
I guess not.
GABRIEL
Don’t guess. You’re a writer for God’s sake. A writer must always be sure. Precise. Choose every word precisely. Rapid? Fast or faster? Or blazing?
WRITER
Yes… but I am not a writer. Not anymore.

GABRIEL
How can you say that when you’re still writing?

WRITER
I’m not.

GABRIEL
Read your notebook.

WRITER
(Reads his notebook.)Reads his notebook.(Drops his notebook.)

GABRIEL
That’s the only thing you’re fit for, making up beautiful nothings. Servant. Servile. Servitude.

WRITER
But I’m tired of beautiful nothings. Pretty words have no weight, no substance. They’re just that: beautiful nothings. Meaningless as the pages their written on.

GABRIEL
How can you say that when, you, the writer, can make worlds.

WRITER
Angels and sinners.

GABRIEL
Precisely.

WRITER
But I cannot. I cannot anymore.
GABRIEL
Because of Gomorrah?

WRITER
Don’t you dare mention her name!

GABRIEL
But that is my function. (In mock copy of ACT 1 SCENE 1) To call her name for you (Laughs), isn’t that right?

WRITER
(In defeat) Yes. Yes, you are Gabriel, my messenger.

GABRIEL
And I played my part. I fell in love. Head over heels. I made love to her. Kissed her. Held her. Told her, “I love you.” And I died. I died by a gun.

(He removes a gun from his coat pocket and places it on the table. It is same gun that was used to kill him.)

Do you remember this?

WRITER
Yes. Will you kill me?

GABRIEL
Don’t worry. I won’t.
WRITER
You should.
GABRIEL
Yes, I know. Every writer knows that.(In an academic tone) Once a gun is introduced to the stage, it must be shot: The rule of the gun. Quite a literal use for it, if I may say so.

WRITER
But you won’t kill me?

GABRIEL
No. I don’t want to.

WRITER
But aren’t you furious at me?

GABRIEL
Yes and no.

WRITER
What do you mean?

GABRIEL
I am mad at you because you killed me. I am not mad at you because I was made to die.

WRITER
I’m sorry.

GABRIEL
(Laughs) You don’t have to apologize to your characters. Imagine a cook apologizing to the bacon he’s about to fry! Sorry, bacon. I’m sorry.
Wouldn’t that be the quaintest thing?

WRITER
Yes.

GABRIEL
So what are you going to do now?

WRITER
I will write. That’s the only thing I’m fit for.

GABRIEL
And, how will your story go?

WRITER
Simple. Gomorrah lives.

GABRIEL
And, what of me?

WRITER
You will leave her. You will leave her the night you promised to introduce her to your daughter. (Smiles) For in fact, you have another lover, a flower girl named Lily.

GABRIEL
(Stands) Then that’s that. (He starts to exit.)

WRITER
Wait.

GABRIEL
Yes?

WRITER
Where are you going?

GABRIEL
To a girl named Lily.

WRITER
Will I ever meet you again?

GABRIEL
Whenever you write, you will meet me.

WRITER
Yes. I will. In the end ‘you’ are me.

GABRIEL
The key’s in your coat pocket.
(The WRITER releases himself from the cuffs.)

(GABRIEL turns to leave but stops. He turns back to the WRITER.)

GABRIEL
Hey writer!(He pulls out his gun. Silence. They stare at each other. He pulls the trigger but the gun is empty.) Sorry, I just had to do it.(He exits laughing)

ACT 2, SCENE 3

(The WRITER removes his cuffs. He cleans himself a bit and turns to the audience.)

WRITER
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, I welcome you to the centre of heart’s desire, the proverbial id, the forest where want and reality become one: a lonely bar at 3 AM. Leave all conscience by the door. We’re open all night.

(He exits.)

(The stage lights return to normal. Gomorrah enters checking her watch. She paces. She sits down on the platform floor. She takes a cigarette and puffs. Suddenly the door opens and the WRITER enters. GOMORRAH stands expectantly but sits down in disappointment.)

GOMORRAH
Sorry, stranger. We’re closed.

WRITER
I know.

GOMORRAH
I thought you were someone else.

WRITER
I know.

GOMORRAH
You seem to know a lot of things.

WRITER
(Apologetically) He’s not coming.

GOMORRAH
What?
WRITER
Gabriel is not coming.

GOMORRAH
(Frantically.)What? How do you know that? Who are you?

WRITER
A friend.

GOMORRAH
You’re no friend of mine!(Stomps on the cigarette)

WRITER
(Sits beside her) I’ve known you… I am already in love with you.

GOMORRAH
If you’re Gabriel’s friend, you must be a writer too.

WRITER
Yes.

GOMORRAH
Would you like to kiss me, writer?

WRITER
Ever since I met you…

GOMORRAH
Then kiss me. I’ve nothing to left to lose.(The WRITER kisses her.) Your lips have no taste.

WRITER
But maybe if I try again…(He does so.)

GOMORRAH
Your lips are dry. His… his lips had taste. It felt as if his lips were made to kiss mine. As if we were written to be lovers.

WRITER
But he’s not coming.

GOMORRAH
(Sighs.) No. He’s not.(Pulls away a tear.) He’s not coming, and tonight I will have to be satisfied with a man with tasteless lips.

WRITER
I can learn. You can teach me how to flavour my lips.

GOMORRAH
You will never learn how to kiss like him.
WRITER
I can. And I will.

GOMORRAH
Promises. Pretty words. Beautiful nothings.

WRITER
Yes, That’s him. This is me. I’m different.

GOMORRAH
Do you have a car?

WRITER
It’s parked outside.

GOMORRAH
Take me home.(She exits.)

(The WRITER walks to the table set-up in the audience area and leaves the notebook.)

WRITER
(To the door.) Yes, I will. (To himself) And we will have an affair lettered with loneliness and despair. You will never grow fond of my lips. Never of my love.

GOMORRAH
(From the wings.) Aren’t you coming?

WRITER
Yes… love. (He exits.)

ACT 2, SCENE 4

(The WAITRESS enters from the back of the audience. She has a tray with her. She collects the mug the WRITER used and notices the WRITER’s notebook. She reads the title page aloud.)

WAITRESS
“God of the Machine”

(She continues to read on. Her expressions are very candid. Laughing unabashedly. Crying at times, and sometimes in pure repulsion. She is completely taken by the text. The GUARD and the FLOWER GIRL enter. The GUARD chases the FLOWER GIRL.)

GUARD
Hey, I told you, little-dirt-shits aren’t allowed in here!

FLOWER GIRL
I’m just making a living!

WAITRESS
(Disturbed by the commotion.) Could you two be quiet?

(The GUARD and the FLOWER GIRL pose in a tableau. The GUARD has nearly caught the FLOWER GIRL.)

GUARD
What’s that?

WAITRESS
A customer left it.

GUARD
The grumpy guy who always sat around writing until we closed?

WAITRESS
Yes, the guy who would cry and scream as he was writing.

GUARD
Where is he anyway?

WAITRESS
I haven’t seen him for a few days.

GUARD
Yeah? Me too. He used to come here every day.

WAITRESS
And he always ordered the same thing. Coffee. Black.

GUARD
Smoked a lot too!

WAITRESS
Yup.

GUARD
(To the notebook.)That any good?

WAITRESS
I don’t know. I haven’t finished yet.

GUARD
Well, what is it?

WAITRESS
It looks like a love story. Written twice over. About an angel, a god, and a woman who turned into salt. A love triangle.

GUARD
How does it end?

WAITRESS
I haven’t finished it yet.

(FLOWER GIRL takes the notebook. Skips to the end, and reads aloud.)

FLOWER GIRL
“…and he, a god of sorts was enchanted by a woman who has always turned her back at him…”

WAITRESS
Don’t ruin it for me. (Tries to take the notebook.)

GUARD
No.(Stops the WAITRESS)I want to hear!

WAITRESS
(Exasperated)Fine.

FLOWER GIRL
“He always met her at 3 AM. and they would make love. The god and his inconsolable passion, and the woman with her salty eyes. They have been together for awhile…”

ACT 2, SCENE 5

(The WRITER enters the bar. He takes off his jacket.)

WRITER
…and the man loved her as only gods can, fully giving himself. And she, she was no longer as beautiful, and her dress faded to a morose colour as did her lips, and her hair, and her heart but the god never noticed. He has loved her fiercely since the day they first met.

(GOMORRAH enters as she is described by the WRITER. She carries a bottle of rum.)

Sometimes I would hear her utter his name. Absent-mindedly, she would open her lips, and say…

GOMORRAH
(Takes a glass.) …Gabriel.

WRITER
She would then look far away and salt would trickle from her eyes.

GOMORRAH
Gabriel, and your wings I remember you, and your lips.

WRITER
(To GOMORRAH.)Gomorrah, don’t you love me?

GOMORRAH
(She plays with the bottom of her glass.) No. But don’t take me wrong. Don’t think ill of me.

WRITER
I can never do such a thing.

GOMORRAH
(Not minding the WRITER’s answer.) We have been together for awhile. And you have been nothing but good to me. You give me everything that I want. I know I don’t deserve you. I know that my beauty has faded.

WRITER
No. You are as beautiful as the first day I met you.

GOMORRAH
(Loses her temper) Don’t you give me that! I know what time has done to me. (Calming down) You have been nice to me. You have blessed me with a carefree life. But…

WRITER
But what?

GOMORRAH
(Embraces the WRITER) But I do not love you.

WRITER
That’s okay. I can teach you to love me.

GOMORRAH
(Laughs. Finishes her drink)You cannot teach a person how to love.

WRITER
(Refills her glass) You taught me how to kiss, didn’t you?

GOMORRAH
That’s kissing. That’s not love. Kissing is easy. You hit two pairs of lips together, that’s that. But love. Love is a weightless burden, a dazzling adventure, a blessing from God.(Drinks)

WRITER
Then I will try harder.

GOMORRAH
Try as you might, you will never grow wings. Unlike him.

WRITER
He won’t ever come back.

GOMORRAH
I know he won’t but what’s to stop a girl from trying? I know it’s crazy but I come here every 3 AM just to see if he would come to save me.

WRITER
But I’m here. I’m here at 3 AM. and I am here to save you.

GOMORRAH
(Not meaning to offend) Thank you but no thank you.

WRITER
I can save you. I can take you away from this place. You won’t ever have to sing again.

GOMORRAH
I can’t leave. Ever. This is my home. I feel I was written for this place. (Looks around her) A city pardoned by God.
WRITER
Gomorrah.

GOMORRAH
And besides, who will take his jacket and his shoes and his love when he finally passes through that door one fateful 3 AM.

WRITER
(Taking his jacket)Gomorrah, you’re a fool.

GOMORRAH
I’m sorry. I think I was made that way.

WRITER
That you were.(He storms out)

GOMORRAH
(Finishes her drink. To no one in particular) I’m sorry.

(She sings the Ave Maria as she makes herself up. She looks at herself at a compact mirror.)

There. That’s good enough. Like the first time you met me, and we danced. A swaying tight embrace really rather than a dance. And since then I haven’t felt as good.(Smiles)
I still love you, you know that. I love you. I love you. I love you. Three beautiful words I will say three times over.

(She sings the Ave Maria again. She exits to the kitchen door but her voice is still heard on-stage. She re-enters with a belt. She enters with a belt. She is evidently drunk.)

Gabriel, I am your favourite sin. I am your Virgin Mary. I am yours. I have always been yours. We were written for one another.

(She makes a noose.)

And tonight at 3 AM, I call upon the winds to fly me to you.

(She stands on the table. She ties the belt onto the chandelier.)

Gabriel… (She shoots her head through the noose.)Gabriel, take me with your wings!
(She jumps off in an imitation of a bird. She dangles for a while. A prolonged silence.)

(The WRITER enters.)

WRITER
(To himself) Look. Gomorrah, I’m sure we can work this out if we just try. I mean, I know I’m not the most practical choice for a lover but…(He notices GOMORRAH’s hanging body.) What! No! No! I changed the story. I re-wrote it. How could you, Gomorrah! Gomorrah. Live! I order you to live. My God, not again!

(He goes to GOMORRAH’s hanging body tries to pull her down.)

Gomorrah you are my favourite sin.

(Pause)

My notebook where is it? Where is it?

(He runs to the WAITRESS and gets his notebook; he writes on it.)

She lives. She lives.

(He closes his eyes.)

Ten. Nine. Eight. Three. Two. One.

(He opens them.)

Why don’t you breathe? Breathe, please.

(He lets his tears fall.)

(He stands. The FLOWER GIRL, the WAITRESS, and the GUARD watch him.)

(Examining the scene) This is my sin, my hubris, my tragedy yet it is not only mine.(Chuckles to himself) Maybe even god is a cog in the machine. Maybe I am also just another character. Maybe I am a character of another character in some morbid stage that some audience is watching. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. It’s all written down somewhere but then…

(He notices the three characters from the cafe.)

WRITER
Hey you three! Did you read this?

WAITRESS
Yes.

WRITER
What did you think?

WAITRESS
It’s a sad story.

WRITER
No. My story isn’t sad. The fact that I can breathe, love, and hope proves that this is not a sad story.

(The WRITER shouts to the ceiling.)

If the world is a stage then what if the stage is living-breathing-life? What are the implications of that? (To the flights) Then, we your characters, can move from your predestination!

(He points upwards)

End it! I tell you end it. Nothing more can happen. End your fucking story! Write it down. E-N-D.

(To the audience.)

Right now the stage lights, will dim. Ladies and gentlemen, the lights will dim!

(Lights dim. The WRITER raises his pen.)

But it will never end.

(Lights are almost gone.)

So He thinks!

(He stabs himself in the neck. He falls. Lights out.)

END.

beyond definition Feb 4, ’10 4:32 AM
for everyone
BEYOND DEFINITION
One-Act Stage Play
Written by BJ CRISOSTOMO
Original Concept from BJ CRISOSTOMO and DR. RICARDO ABADCHARACTERS:

MAN
ANABELLE
STREET VENDOR
JULIET
ANNABELLE’S LOVER
WOMAN

SETTING:

In current time, the play is divided into scenes in a street, a middle class apartment, and a threshold into the space beyond names which is only indicated by a door frame from which blinding light emanates.

SCENE 1

(Dimmed lights reveal a middle class apartment bedroom. On the bed are the MAN and his wife, ANABELLE. It is early morning.)

(The room is silent for awhile until the MAN moves wearily from his slumber. He moans indistinctly until finally…)

MAN
No!

(The MAN wakes from his sleep, sweaty and huge-eyed. He grasps for air. His wife wakes up in the process.)

ANABELLE
(Still groggy from just being woken up) What’s wrong, honey?

MAN
(Almost a whisper) I can’t breathe.

ANABELLE
Just relax. The doctor said your blood pressure’s getting to you. Go back to sleep.

MAN
No. I really can’t breathe, Anabelle.

ANABELLE
(Turns away from the MAN) There’s water on the night stand.

(The MAN drinks from the glass of water. After awhile, he breathes easily.)

(A pause.)

MAN
I had the dream again.

ANABELLE
(Groggy) It’s nothing. Just a dream. Go back to sleep… Please.

MAN
I can’t.

ANABELLE
(In slight irJULIETtion) Please, I have an early day tomorrow.

MAN
But the dream!

ANABELLE
Honey!

MAN
(Turns on the night lamp. Desperately)  Please, Anabelle, I need to talk to somebody about this.

ANABELLE
(Fully awake by now. In an agitated tone) Okay. Tell me a-ll about it. What’s bothering you now?

MAN
(Noticing his wife’s annoyance) No. It’s alright. (Takes his coat from the coat stand by the door) I’ll just take a walk. (Opens the door)

ANABELLE
Okay. Thanks. (Turns the night lamp off) Don’t wake me when you get in, Honey.

MAN
(While exiting) Honey? That’s not me.(Exits)

(ANABELLE gets up, and turns on the lights. She goes for the telephone on the nightstand and makes a call.)

(Lights out.)

SCENE 2

(Lights open again to reveal a city street. A single hotdog STREET VENDOR has his cart parked beneath a street lamp. The STREET VENDOR is whistling to himself as the stage lights reveal him.)

(The MAN enters.)

MAN
Strange, you selling hotdogs this time of night.

STREET VENDOR
You never know when one of you night walkers come in. You’ll be surprised to know how much sales I got in the AM.

MAN
Yeah, I’m not one to talk.

STREET VENDOR
So what’ll be?

MAN
(Grabs his wallet from his coat pocket) On a bun. All the fixings.

(The STREET VENDOR prepares the hotdog sandwich.)

Sorry, I know it’s none of your business but…

STREET VENDOR
No. It’s fine if you want to talk; keeps things light.

MAN
I… had a dream… I’ve been having it for awhile now.

STREET VENDOR
A dream? (Hands out the sandwich)

MAN
Yeah. (Takes a bite of his sandwich)I actually wanted to tell my wife. But… But she needs her sleep, and I can’t be bothering her with my dreams since she’s doing the working, and me just tending the house.

STREET VENDOR
Got no work?

MAN
None. Just housework. Chores. Groceries. Got fired recently.

STREET VENDOR
Oh, sorry to hear that.

MAN
No. It was a boring job anyway.

(The light from the lamp post flickers. The MAN and the STREET VENDOR stare up at it.)

You sure, you wan’to hear my dream.

STREET VENDOR
(Looks around) Sure, business isn’t exactly booming right now. (Laughs to himself)

(Silence.)

MAN
Well…well… Lately… I’ve been dreaming. The same dream once or twice’s fine but… this dream… Dreaming of being strapped to a cold bed. I remember being strapped because I remember having my head itch. And I can’t scratch it. However hard I tried, I could not scratch it.

That. That kind of itch that drives you mad. You want to scratch it. Scratch it so hard. (Sudden scream) That kind of itch, you’d scratch until your skin tore and bled!

STREET VENDOR
As bad dreams come and go, that’s not so bad.

MAN
It doesn’t end there. No. No. (Maniacally smiles to himself) Then, I hear a voice. A voice so familiar but a voice that has no face. The voice looms from the darkness. And then I suddenly notice, in my dream, I mean that I cannot see past a cold blue surgical light.
I was blinded by that strange blue light.

(The light from the street lamp flickers once more.)

The voice comes, “Don’t worry. I’ll scratch it for you, scratch it until it bleeds. And then suddenly, suddenly a… a… scalpel slices from the darkness, a slash to my forehead.

(A violent flickering of the light from the street lamp. The STREET VENDOR steps back in fear of the MAN.)

(In hysterics) And it’s so painful. So terribly painful that I scream out. Scream out for dear help. Dear god, please help me! But no one comes. Every night. Every night, no one comes.

STREET VENDOR
(Makes an awkward comment) Sounds like a bad horror movie (Coughs, and loosens his collar).

MAN
(Suddenly shouts out) It doesn’t feel like a horror movie when you… feel… everything. The pain… the monster, they’re both real when you are really there!

STREET VENDOR
(Raises his arms in surrender) Sorry, man. You don’t have to shout.

MAN
(As if reliving the dream, he grabs the STREET VENDOR by the collar) No. No! Then the face comes. It is mine. The voice. That cruel voice is mine. Someone else is wearing my face, I think to myself but he says, “No. Someone else is living your life.” And then he takes something from the cut he made on my head.

“And this,”(Holds out air to the STREET VENDOR’s face) he says while holding. Holding something. Something that looked like nothing. He said while holding air, “This is something that’s yours no more. You won’t mind if I take it. Do you?”

And the dream ends. Just like that. Just like that every night.

(A short silence.)

(The MAN releases the STREET VENDOR.)

MAN
Sorry.

STREET VENDOR
I’m out of here.

MAN
Why? I thought you were making a fortune here.

STREET VENDOR
(Apparently lying) Looks like no one is coming. (Prepares to leave) And it is getting late. Too late. So maybe I should be going home. Now.

MAN
Yeah? Thanks for the hotdog.

STREET VENDOR
Well, thanks for the story. Bye. (To himself) Weirdo. (Exits with his cart)

(The MAN shrugs and sits down on the pavement.)

SCENE 3

(The WOMAN passes by the street. She is beautiful in her plainness. She wears a white dress. Her entire effect is broken by a key which she holds in her mouth like a cigarette. The MAN stands up.)

MAN
Hi.

(The WOMAN looks at him. They hold a pose. The WOMAN smiles at the MAN. She leaves.)

(To himself) Hi.

SCENE 4

MAN
Looks like I’m throwing everybody off with my dreams.

(He sits down once more on the pavement.)

(Shrugs) Life.

(The MAN opens a cigarette case from his coat pocket, and takes a cigarette out. He tries to light it.)

(JULIET, a girl no older than eighteen enters. She’s wearing a short skirt, and a white blouse: a school girl outfit. She shouts out just before the MAN can light his cigarette.)

JULIET
Mister! Stop!

MAN
(Poses with the flame of his lighter inches from his cigarette) What?

JULIET
(Pants) Stop. I said. Stop!

MAN
Why?

JULIET
That’s bad for you.

MAN
What?

JULIET
Smoking, dum-dum. Smoking is bad for your health.

MAN
(Sarcastically) I never knew that.

JULIET
Well it is. Now, you know. So you should stop. Shouldn’t you?

MAN
(Pretends to think) No.
(The MAN continues to light his cigarette but the girl stops him before he does. She heroically throws her body on the lighter, as if it was a grenade.)

(To himself) And, people call me crazy.

JULIET
(While still lying on the ground) I told you to stop.

MAN
Fine. (Hides his cigarette case in his coat pocket)

JULIET
Good.

MAN
What’s a young girl like you doing out alone anyway? It’s late. Aren’t your parents looking for you?

JULIET
No. I’m fine.

MAN
(Looks at JULIET from head to toe) Oh, that’s nice to know.

JULIET
Can I sit with you for a while, mister?
MAN
Sure. No one ever taxed anyone for sitting down on a city street.

JULIET
Thanks.

(They sit in an awkward silence.)

Hi. (Extends her hand for a handshake) My name is Juliet. Juliet, like in the play. What’s your name?

MAN
(Shakes her hand. Thinks long and hard) You know what? I don’t exactly remember my name. Wait a minute… I. Don’t. Remember. (He stands and panics) I don’t remember my name!

JULIET
You sure? My name: Juliet. Juliet. I say it a lot of times to myself so I’m sure, I’ll not forget. Juliet.

MAN
But. Me, I can’t remember. Fuck. (As a realization hits him) So that’s what he took. That’s what he took from my head.

(The MAN paces while biting the tip of his thumb.)

JULIET
What? Who? I’m sorry. I’m not very bright.

MAN
Me. No. Him. The me in my dream. He took…

JULIET
I can’t understand you.

MAN
He took my name.

JULIET
Your name?

MAN
Juliet, he took my name.

JULIET
But it was just a dream, wasn’t it?

MAN
Yes. But. Yes. But, it felt real. Maybe it wasn’t a dream at all.(Sits down in defeat)

JULIET
Maybe. Well, in dreaming we never do know when what’s real or not until we wake up, do we?

MAN
Yes. I guess so. But, I did wake up. Wait… My wife called me something.

JULIET
(Stands up and cheers the MAN on) That must be it. Try, and remember won’t you. Go! Go!
MAN
Honey, she called me, Honey.

JULIET
(Raises her eyebrow) Honey? Well, that’s good enough. (Jumps up, and down) Hooray. That’s your name then. Hi Honey, I’m Juliet.

(JULIET offers her hand for another handshake but the MAN doesn’t accept. She constantly keeps her hand up.)

MAN
But. It doesn’t feel like me. I don’t feel like a (In disgust with himself) “Honey.”

JULIET
But, your wife called you Honey, didn’t she? So you must be Honey (Waves her hand out fervently).

MAN
But… That’s just not me.

JULIET
To be honest,(Makes the obvious joke) you don’t look like a “Honey”.(Chuckles) Okay. Then, I’ll just call you… I’ll just call you… Mister Man. That’s it. I’ll call you Mister Man.

MAN
Not so innovative are you?

JULIET
You got a better idea?

MAN
(Thinks for awhile but cannot think of anything) No.

JULIET
So, hello again, Mister Man. I’m Juliet (She extends her hand once more for a handshake)

MAN
(Takes the hand reluctantly) Hi, Juliet. I’m the man with no name.

(A pause.)

Shouldn’t you be going home right now?

JULIET
No, I’m just fine here.

MAN
You don’t have any plans of going home tonight. Do you?

JULIET
(Bites her lower lip) Yes.

MAN
Come. I’ll take you to my place. It’s about 4 AM. My wife can make us some breakfast.

(They exit.)

SCENE 5

(It is early morning back in the apartment. This time the stage features the modest receiving room of the MAN and ANABELLE’s apartment. On it are a couch, and a low coffee table. A portrait of ANNABELLE and the MAN during their wedding day. There are three exits from the scene: 1. to the kitchen, 2. to the hall, and 3. to the bedroom seen earlier in SCENE 1.)

(ANNABELLE is frantically readying a suitcase while ANNABELLE’S LOVER is anxiously standing watch by the door, looking out for the MAN’s return.)

ANNABELLE’S LOVER
Quick, I think I hear him coming.

ANABELLE
Wait a minute will you! It’s not so easy stuffing your life in one suit case.

ANNABELLE’S LOVER
Just…

ANABELLE
This is not easy for me. Leaving this place. My life. (Refers to the portrait) Him.

ANNABELLE’S LOVER
We already talked about this. (Walks toward ANABELLE) You said life with him was getting hard. Unbearable was the word you used. And, it was time to move on. (Kisses her on the cheek) Come on. You said you’ll move on with me.

ANABELLE
Okay. (Done packing by now) I’m done.

ANNABELLE’S LOVER
Then let’s go.

ANNABELLE
Wait. One last thing. (She takes a sticky note and places it on the portrait.)

(ANNABELLE’S LOVER takes the suitcase, and rushes out to the hall. ANABELLE follows. She pauses by the door.)

I’m sorry. I did love you… whoever you are. (Closes the door)

SCENE 6
5

(After a few seconds, tThe MAN and JULIET enter the receiving room.)

MAN
Make yourself comfortable.

JULIET
Sure. (Smiles.) I will. Thanks.

(JULIET sits down politely on the couch. Some of her underwear is seen, but unnoticed by the MAN.)

MAN
(To the bedroom exit) Anabelle, we have company.

(There’s no answer.)

(To himself) Maybe she already went to work.

JULIET
Maybe.

MAN
You want something to eat?

JULIET
Sure. I’m starving.

MAN
Me too. (Exits to the kitchen)

JULIET
Nice place you have here, Mister Man.

MAN
(From the kitchen) We really wanted a real home, you know? Annabelle, and me. We wanted a home on solid ground with a fence around it.

JULIET
Yeah? (She takes off her bra without taking off her blouse.)

MAN
Yeah. We wanted kids. We wanted the life all kids talked about. The life people lived in those romantic movies. To do whatever we wanted. Painting. Writing. Whatever.

But me, and Anabelle, we got old. We got old quick. (Enters with a glass of water for JULIET) We defined our lives in tiny little boxes. (Hands out the glass of water) .Here, you must be parched.

JULIET
Thanks (Takes a gulp from her glass).

MAN
(Continues with his story) Yup. We got rid of our dreams and lived the real life. The life our parents wanted for us.

All we have are cans of tuna. Is that fine with you?

JULIET
I’m not picky.

MAN
Sorry. Anabelle did all the kitchen work before. Now that I have to do all the cooking, all we have are canned goods.

JULIET
(Smiles) It’s fine, Mister Man.

(The MAN exits back to the kitchen. We hear  the beep of a microwave machine.)

MAN
(From the kitchen) Sure. We were young, and dreamed big. But as they say, dreams die when they hit the real world.
(JULIET stands up, and removes her panties. She lies stretched on the couch.)

We start living up to ourselves.

(Enters with two bowls of tuna, and puts them down on the coffee table) And that’s the real love story. Shit huh?

JULIET
Mister. (Spreads her legs.)

MAN
(Stunned) Fuck.

JULIET
That was thanks for taking your time to sit down with me.

MAN
(Taken aback) What!

JULIET
(Stands up) This is thanks for taking me in. (Flashes him her breasts)

MAN
No!

JULIET
(Approaches him, and throws him on the couch) And this is… (Straddles him) …thanks for… (Kisses him) …just being you.

(A prolonged pose: the MAN with his eyes wide open while JULIET passionately kisses him.)

MAN
(Throws her off) Stop it.

JULIET
You want me to stop, Mister Man?

MAN
You could be my daughter!

JULIET
It’s just sex. We’re not talking about a great start-crossed romance. Nothing to worry about.

MAN
Juliet, I’m married.

JULIET
She’s not here, is she?

MAN
But she will be, and I don’t think I can handle her seeing me with some eighteen-year-old girl.

JULIET
(Disappointed) Fine.

(JULIET closes her blouse.)

(The MAN goes to the marriage portrait as if to apologize to ANNABELLE. He reads the note.)

(The MAN looks at JULIET, and throws her on the couch. They fuck.)

(In the middle of sex) Romeo!

MAN
What?

JULIET
Faster, Romeo! Faster! Make me feel it!

MAN
(Perplexed) What are you saying?

JULIET
I’m coming! I’m coming, Romeo!

MAN
That’s not me.

(JULIET climaxes. She kisses the MAN. The man does not kiss back. JULIET starts gyrating once more.)

No. No, it’s fine. We don’t have to continue. Besides, I’m flaccid.

JULIET
But, I want to make you feel good, Romeo. Don’t you want to come inside me?

MAN
I am not Romeo. I’m sorry. That’s enough.

(The MAN slips his penis off JULIET’s vagina, and dresses up.)

I’m sorry.
JULIET
No. I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have used that name. It’s cheap when I think about it. I can call you another name if that will get you up.

MAN
No. I just don’t feel like it. Sorry, I got you into this.

(JULIET contracts her body into a ball, and cries. The MAN watches her.)

JULIET
Sorry… Mister. Romeo… He was my boyfriend. Juliet and her Romeo (Smiles in remembrance). My parents didn’t like him… so I ran away from home… His name’s not really Romeo. I just called him that as a pet name. Cute, huh?
MAN
He left you? Is that why you were out in the streets? You don’t have a home to go back to? (Sits beside JULIET)

JULIET
No. Well, not exactly. We tried to… have sex. Before you met me, we were in a hostel. One of those cheap student bargains hostels… We’re both eighteen so legally we could have done it. And, no one really asks questions in places like those.

(JULIET smiles, and wipes a tear from her eye.)

We were laughing… laughing. We were drinking beer we bought from the 24 hour convenience store, and then one thing lead to another. I started kissing him. He started kissing back. Romeo asked if he could, and I just took it, and placed it in me… then blood flowed. A lot of blood.

MAN
That’s not exactly unique when you’re a virgin.

JULIET
I told him that! I told him… I told him it was fine, and I hugged his butt closer to my groin so it’ll go in deeper. I was fine. I felt beautiful. And then… more blood spewed out. It wasn’t just a simple tearing of the hymen. No.

His eyes, you should have seen them, wide open. Crying. He was crying. And it didn’t take long for the entire bed to get soaked in blood.

MAN
We shouldn’t have had sex…

JULIET
No. I wanted it. I wanted to feel someone so bad that it was fine. It was fine if I died while I was in his hands. (Pauses) Almost did.
I passed out. Two hours later, when I came to, he was… gone. Romeo was nowhere to be found. I called his cell, and there was no answer. I called his mom; he wasn’t home. His friends. Everyone we know. He’s gone.

MAN
I’m sure he’ll turn up after the shock.

JULIET
I don’t want him to! I want him gone! I want him…

MAN
(Cuts her off)…don’t worry, I was a kid once too.

JULIET
(Stops crying) Please, Mister Man. Mister Man with no name. I can call you anything you want me to. Please. I just want to feel something human even though it’s with a stranger like you. Romeo and Juliet… That’s overrated. (A pause) Just something human!

MAN
No. I’m sorry. I just don’t feel like a Honey or a Romeo. Like I’m no one. I don’t even feel human anymore.

JULIET
Because you lost your name?

MAN
I guess so. I mean… You were just crying. A girl crying beside me. And, I didn’t even care. My wife just left me, and I don’t… I feel numb… and empty. Like I’m nothing. A void. Like I’m floating on air. Juliet, I don’t even know who I am anymore.

JULIET
But you remember everything? You remember high school, and Anabelle, and…

MAN
Yes, I remember as memories go. But it feels like memories from someone else’s life. Like remembering useless factoids from an encyclopaedia.

(Silence.)

JULIET
Okay.

(JULIET fixes herself up. She walks towards the doorway.)

(With her back to the MAN) Don’t worry. What’s that line again? (Turns back to the MAN) “What’s in a name?” Take care, Mister Man with no name.

MAN
Yes, I will. You too. Take care, Juliet.

(JULIET exits to the hall.)

(The MAN fixes himself up. He sits down on the couch, and lets out a deep sigh. He rests his face on his hands.)

(Lights out)

SCENE 7

(Back on the city street, the STREET VENDOR looks out from the wings. He enters wearily, and stops just as the street lamp flickers on, and off. The flickering stops. He sets his cart out.)

(The WOMAN enters while playing with the key like an aeroplane. The STREET VENDOR sighs at the sight of her.)

STREET VENDOR
(To himself) Never open in the early morning. Never until there’s sunlight. Never until there are normal people.

WOMAN
Hi.

STREET VENDOR
(Tentatively) Hello.

WOMAN
(Pointing down at the cart with the key) What is that?

STREET VENDOR
Hotdogs.

WOMAN
What are (has a hard time of saying the word) ho-t-do-gs?

STREET VENDOR
(Gulps) Food.

WOMAN
Oh…Okay. I’ll have…(Points into the cart) that… that, that, that, this, that, these, and those.

STREET VENDOR
Ten! Ten hotdogs?

WOMAN
Anything wrong? (Smiles)

STREET VENDOR
N-no. N-nothing.

(The STREET VENDOR prepares the ten hotdogs. The WOMAN does a headstand, and holds that position. The WOMAN’s dress flows over her face. She is wearing men’s briefs.)

(Sighs) Faster. Faster. Faster. (Prepares the hotdogs faster)

WOMAN
(While on her head) Anything wrong?

STREET VENDOR
Nothing.

(ANNABELLE and her ANNABELLE’S LOVER pass by in the background. They carry with them their suitcase.)

ANNABELLE’S LOVER
Faster, he still might be out.

WOMAN
Okay. Okay.

(ANABELLE and ANNABELLE’S LOVER exit.)

(The WOMAN goes into a perfect cartwheel.)

WOMAN
I wonder where they’re going in such a hurry.

STREET VENDOR
(Just finished with the WOMAN’s order) That will be two-fifty, ma’am.

WOMAN
Two fifties? That’s a hundred.

STREET VENDOR
No. Two-fifty.

WOMAN
Two-fifty?

STREET VENDOR
Two! Fif! Ty!

WOMAN
Two-fifty what?

STREET VENDOR
Money!

WOMAN
What’s money?

STREET VENDOR
Oh my God. Just take them with you. (Hands out all the hotdogs to the WOMAN. Readies his cart and starts to leave) Never again. Never at night. Never. Maybe I can work in a Mcdonald’s… (Exits)

WOMAN
That was rude.

(The WOMAN takes all the hotdogs from their buns, and starts juggling them. She then stops, and throws them one by one at the street lamp.)

(JULIET enters.)

JULIET
What are you doing?

WOMAN
I don’t know. But it’s fun.

JULIET
Really?

WOMAN
Yes. Want to try?
JULIET
Sure.(Picks up a hotdog, and throws it at the lamp post. Laughs) Fuck you, Romeo! Fuck you and your promises!

Thanks. (Starts to leave)

WOMAN
Where are you going?

JULIET
Home.

WOMAN
And, what’s that?

JULIET
A place where I’m not welcome but I belong to. Goodbye… Sorry. I didn’t get your name.

WOMAN
Name? What’s that?

JULIET
(Smiles to herself) You remind me of someone. Goodbye. Miss Woman with no name.

(JULIET exits.)

(Lights out.)

SCENE 8

(The MAN enters a space with no spatial indication: a bare stage. He is older now with his hair grey, and the lines on his face deeper. A spot light hits him from above.)

MAN
(To the audience) So the story started. And ended really… At least until now. Let’s see. (Thinks)

I’ve been out of a job ever since.

And, have been alone ever since. Anabelle left me, and never came back. Not a visit. Not a call. She, and everything we had before just vanished.

I felt numb. Empty. Hollow. Like that me from my dream took everything away. Everything important, anyway.

(Embarrassed) To tell you the truth, I did try out a name once. Just something to get on. I called myself Tom… for a job, and a credit card. But that didn’t end so well. Whenever someone called me, “Tom,” I wouldn’t respond. I couldn’t. How could I? I’m just not a Tom.

So I just kept to myself. Didn’t eat much so I lived without any steady income. (Shrugs) How could I eat when there’s nothing really to feed?

(The WOMAN enters. She is still dressed as she was before. A spot light also hits her from above. She holds the key in her hand.)

WOMAN
Hi.

MAN
Hi. You’re that woman from before aren’t you? The woman who smiled. Just stood there and smiled.

WOMAN
Yes.

MAN
What’s your name?

WOMAN
I don’t have one.

MAN
Just like me?

WOMAN
Exactly like you.

MAN
You know who I am?

WOMAN
Yes.

MAN
Then who am I?

WOMAN
You’re you.

MAN
No. I mean, I already know that. What I mean is “what is my name?”

WOMAN
I don’t know. You don’t need it, really.

MAN
I don’t?

WOMAN
All you need to know is that you’re you, and I’m me.

MAN
We’re both weird.

WOMAN
No. Not if we don’t have names.

MAN
What do we do now?

WOMAN
Whatever we want.

MAN
Really?

(The WOMAN smiles. A pause.)

WOMAN
I’m here to fetch you. (Raises the key)

(A doorway on up-centre is lit from behind. The edges of the light must be indicative of a doorway. The light is blinding.)

MAN
Where are we going?

WOMAN
Where ever we want.

MAN
What about “who you are” and “who I am”. We’re complete strangers.

WOMAN
That doesn’t matter. (Extends her hand) Come.

(The MAN looks at the WOMAN, the hold a pose.)

We don’t need names. From now on, we can call everything whatever we want. You and me, we can do anything. Everything.

MAN
Yes. From now on we can be more than our names.

WOMAN
We can go beyond definition.

MAN
Yes.

(The WOMAN and the MAN meet at centre. They hold hands. The spot-lights above each of them fade as they reach the light from the doorway. They exit up as silhouettes.)

(The light from the door fades out.)

(2010, Manila)
END.

god of the machine Jan 16, ’10 11:52 PM
for everyone
watch my creative writing thesis presentation on saturday 7pm
at gonzaga g306!
free admission

Attachment: Invite – final front.png

GOD OF THE MACHINE-ACT 1 Jul 14, ’09 1:18 PM
for you

(Act 1 for Glenn Mas’s writing workshop. Act 2 is still being typed down. Thank you to Rina who helped type a big chunk of Act1. Thank you to Jackie for typing Act 2. )

GOD OF THE MACHINE

Full length Play

BJ Crisostomo

Characters:

 

WRITER, insecure, self-serving, a megalomaniac

 

GOMORRAH, a beautiful cabaret singer

GABRIEL, a confident writer, a charming gentleman

 

WAITRESS-WAITRESS-WAITRESS, a clumsy waitress

FLOWER GIRL-LILY-FINGER GIRL, a young girl

GUARD-PIMP-DOG, a man who abuses his position

Setting:

 

There are two settings in the play: 1.) a café represented by a table set-up in the middle of the audience and 2.) a night club which seen in different states as the play progresses

ACT 1, SCENE 1

 

(A table is placed in the middle the audience. Care should be Taken that it be illuminated Properly and demarcated from The audience. On the table is a Worn-out notebook, a pen, and a Mug of coffee. In front of it is a Stool. This set-up should Indicate a café. The stage is Bare. Light hits the table in Middle of the audience. The WRITER is there, sleeping on his desk. He holds his pen firmly As if he dozed off in the middle Of writing. His head is pillowed By his notebook.)

(He wears an oversized thatched suit. His hair is a mess. He wears glasses)   

(He mumbles something again and Again. At first his words are But a murmur but it slowly Becomes audible with every Utterance. Finally…)

               

                           WRITER                             

 

(He wakes with a start.) All life is a stage!

(Begins to write intensely on his notebook. Unsatisfied he tears the page and throws it away. He notices the audience, and runs on-stage where light starts to loom. The stage itself is bare.)

                          WRITER

(Stuttering)I-I apologize, l-ladies and ge-gentlemen you caught me sleeping. I-I have been rude to you (Thinks aloud) We must open our dreary night with an introduction. After all it is only proper especially in my profession, and it is my rare privilege to greet an audience face-to-face.(To the audience.) I-I am the writer- a writer of no great importance, mind you. Good evening, and I also bid you f-farewell, my dear dear audience for I have to work, and it’s especially troublesome when no great inspiration is available. (Thinks of something to say. Thinks better) Farewell.

(The writer goes back to his chair. He begins to write then he loses attention. He fidgets with his pen and bites it. He rips the page and throws it. He moans in exasperation.)  

WRITER

(to himself) I need a muse. I need a muse who will touch me with pale hand. . Slowly she will bend down and kiss my cheek. She will whisper to my ear, and finally my pen can move once more. It will dance through the blank page. My pen will create a classic, a moving tragedy, a witty comedy, through her inspiration. Through her inspiration, and only hers. Only hers….

(In a trance he writes on his notebook.)

WRITER

Gomorrah.

(As her name is uttered, GOMORRAH walks on-stage to a spot-light at centre-centre, isolating her from the darkness. She is splendidly dressed in a red evening gown which shows a bit of everything. In her left hand, a flower is held. The writer stands with his jaw dropped. She speaks in a monotone.)

                           WRITER

(Stammering and fidgeting with his pen.) W-what is y-your name?

                           GOMORRAH

(In a dead pan) You know it already. (She offers her the flower on her hand, but stands firmly on-stage.)

                           WRITER

(Slowly, as if savouring the word) Go-mo-rrah.

                           GOMORRAH

Yes. Gomorrah.

                           WRITER

Yes. I know your name, but who are you?

     GOMORRAH

I am a word you wrote on your notebook.

WRITER

Yes, a word.(Correcting himself) But a word has no figure. No face, and no flower to offer.

GOMORRAH

But every word has a meaning to it, and I am the meaning of the word Gomorrah: a girl with a face, a figure, and a flower to offer.

WRITER

But I can never take what you’re offering.

GOMORRAH

Why not? You created me to be your muse.

WRITER

A muse? No. You are more than a muse! You do not only inspire. You are inspiration itself. Your eyes. Your lips. Your pale little hands. You are a heroine. You are my heroine.

                           GOMORRAH

That I am. I am yours.

WRITER

No. No. I made you. B-but, your name. Your meaning. These things are not mine. (pauses) You can never be mine.

                           GOMORRAH

(Drops the hand holding the flower) Then what am I? (calmly) What am I to be?

                           WRITER

Your name is Gomorrah. You (pauses) You are my favourite sin.

                           GOMORRAH

I am Gomorrah, and I am your favourite sin.

  

                           WRITER

Yes. Go… Mo… Rah.

(A long silence. The WRITER sits down in a daze. GOMORRAH sits down on the stage as well.)

                            WRITER

(Suddenly stoops down to GOMORRAH)Do you want anything? Anything at all? Are you hungry? Thirsty? I can give you anything you want. Just ask and you shall receive.

                           GOMORRAH

(She looks down on her toes.) No. I do not want anything.

                                     (Silnece)

                           WRITER

(Sighs) Are you… are you… are you lonely Gomorrah? Are you cold?

(A pause. GOMORRAH stands slowly. First her feet then her torso, and finally her head—until she is fully erect)

                           GOMORRAH

(Whispers) Yes.

(Sits down. Fumbles with his pen. He bites the tip. GOMORRAH steps forward expectantly.)    

                           WRITER

(In defeat) Then I will make you a companion. I will give you someone so you will not be lonely.

(GOMORRAH bows in thanks, and moves from the centre so that she may witness the creation of another character.)              

                           WRITER

(He writes) Gabriel.

(GABRIEL enters in the same fashion as GOMORRAH, and speaks like her. He is dressed much like the WRITER. He in fact resembles the writer except for the fact that everything appears better on him. GABRIEL is an idealized version of the WRITER. He stands centre-centre.)

                           WRITER

What is your name?

                           GABRIEL

You already know who I am.

                           WRITER

(Breathes deeply) Yes. You are Gabriel.

                           GABRIEL

I am Gabriel.

                           WRITER

You are my messenger. You will deliver to this woman my messages. You will tell her that you love her… for me.(Turns his back to GABRIEL)

                           GABRIEL

I am your messenger. With my lips, yours will touch hers. With my body, yours will hold hers. With my words, she will know that you love her.

                           WRITER

(Takes his notebook and turns his back. He writes as he whispers)Gomorrah, I love you.

                          GABRIEL

(Whispers) Gomorrah, I love you.

(The WRITER charges GABRIEL who does not flinch but stops mid-audience.)

                           WRITER

You are in all fashions me but in a positive superlative. Like mine your hair is black, but yours is reminiscent of the night. Like mine your skin is brown, but yours shines like bronze. Like me you are a writer. A writer who writes better words.

                           GABRIEL

Yes. I am your ‘you.’               

(The WRITER walks towards GOMORRAH. She tries to hold her but he can’t. She tries to kiss her but he can’t.)

                          WRITER

For you, my Gomorrah, I will make a world.

(The stage lights change in colour to represent the creation of a world. Either through the flies or stage hands a night club is created on-stage with a platform, a bar, a table set-up with three chairs which represents the table nearest to the stage, and small hanging chandelier. Other set pieces may be placed to indicate a night club but they are not necessary. There are two entrances to the stage: 1. Leading to the outside, 2. Leading to the Kitchen.)

    WRITER

I will make you a story of love and passion. Something with a happy ending. You will meet in a lonely bar at three am. You will kiss, and you will spend your first night together. Your hands will rise together, and your story shall begin. And I will watch as my pen moves to write. (To GOMORRAH) All this I do for you, my favourite sin, so that you may no longer be cold.

(The WRITER examines his scene. He takes a cigarette, and lights it. The couple run to one another in an embrace.)

GOMORRAH

(Passionately) I love you.

GABRIEL

I love you.   

GOMORRAH

I love you.

WRITER

(As he exits) I love you. I love you. I love you. Three words said three times over. (He claps)Curtain! (Exits)

 

ACT 1, SCENE 2

(A love song plays. It is 3 am. The couple is dancing. Their dance is more of a swaying tight embrace.)

GOMORRAH

What are we doing?

GABRIEL

I don’t know. What I do know is that I am afraid to let go.

GOMORRAH

Me too. I’m afraid that if I let go, you will vanish before me as a dream does in waking.

GABRIEL

No. I won’t. I’m here. I’m as real as you. As this.

GOMORRAH

(Teasingly) Would you like to try then?

GABRIEL

No.

GOMORRAH

(laughs to herself) I am dancing with a stranger in a closed down bar at three in the morning! Ridiculous!

GABRIEL

Funny isn’t it? I don’t even remember how we started dancing.

GOMORRAH

That’s easy. We held hands. We embraced. And our feet started moving!

GABRIEL

How does the music fit in to that?

GOMORRAH

The music has always been playing.

GABRIEL

I feel like we’re characters in a play.

GOMORRAH

In a play?

GABRIEL

Yes. Like someone wrote the words I’m saying.

GOMORRAH

I assure you no one could ever write what I’m feeling.

GABRIEL

Are you sure?

GOMORRAH

Yes…(She lets go of GABRIEL, and looks him in the eye.)Do you think anyone can write anything as beautiful as this?

GABRIEL

Write what?

GOMORRAH

This.

(GOMORRAH kisses him. GABRIEL kisses back. They hold a pose. The WRITER’s scream is heard off-stage.)

GABRIEL

No. No one can write anything like this. Not even I.

GOMORRAH

You’re a writer?

GABRIEL

Yes.

GOMORRAH

Then throw me a line or two. Whisk me away with your beautiful nothings. I’m tired of hearing stupid come-ons all night.

GABRIEL

Ah, but you must sing to me first!

GOMORRAH

(Flirtatiously) But it’s 3 am and a man is waiting for me. Would you like him to get angry?

GABRIEL

(Returns to his seat) O, I will brave any danger to hear your voice once more.

GOMORRAH

(Pouting her lips) No.

GABRIEL

Come on. Pretty lines don’t come cheap.

GOMORRAH

Just once. And only for you.

GABRIEL

Once, and for me. Understood.

(GOMORRAH stands on-stage and sings the song they were just dancing to. GABRIEL is in awe, as she finishes.)

GABRIEL

I love you.

GOMORRAH

I love you.

GABRIEL

I love you. I love you. I love you. Three beautiful words I can say three thousand times over. I love you(Steps to GOMORRAH). I love you(Another step). I love you (They kiss).

(They kiss long, and hard. They are disturbed as thunder is heard and rain falls.)

GOMORRAH

It’s raining. We’ll be stuck here all night.

GABRIEL

What’s your name?

GOMORRAH

My name?

GABRIEL

Yes a name, I want a name I can place to your face, to your lips, to this what-ever-this-is.

GOMORRAH

For you, let me be your Gomorrah, your favourite sin.

GABRIEL

Gomorrah. Poetic! Sounds like a name from a play.

GOMORRAH

Well, aren’t we? We’re all characters in a play. Our actions are artifice all written down in god’s giant book, but our persons and our meanings— they are ours, and ours alone. No karma can destine my lips away from yours (She pecks him on the cheek.)

GABRIEL

If my name is not mine but some god’s then let my name be Gabriel. Let me deliver a kiss that only a god can give (he kisses her on the neck, and on the clavicle, on her breast, he looks up to her.)

GOMORRAH

If gods kiss like that then I would rather be a saint than a whore.

GABRIEL

I’m sure he would like that— to keep your prayers to himself. But I pray you, no.

GOMORRAH

(In a slight tantrum) And why not? Can’t a whore grow a halo?

GABRIEL

Still, no. Stay on earth. Do not seek holy airs and stay on solid ground.

GOMORRAH

And why not?

GABRIEL

The price through the gates of heaven is too lofty for a lowly writer like me.

GOMORRAH

(She holds his crotch) I believe I can open the gates of heaven for free tonight. (a pause) After all, we have all night.

GABRIEL

What prayer must I utter to commune with such divinity?

GOMORRAH

(Laughs)Just whisper (taking off his jacket).

GABRIEL

Whisper what? (She takes off his shirt)

GOMORRAH

That you love me.

GABRIEL

I love you (She slips off her shoes). I love you(She takes of her dressHe stands still.) I love you.

(She offers him the flower in her hand. He moves closer, and kisses the flower. They kiss.)

(The WRITER rushes in.)

WRITER

No!

                                (Lightning strikes.)

(The couple make love, and the writer sits down on a chair. He watches them until he begins to sob uncontrollably. Night turns to day, and the rain ceases. The WRITER begins to raise his head.)

WRITER

Did you enjoy Eden?

(The characters answer the WRITER indirectly while dressing up.)

GABRIEL

Yes.

GOMORRAH

Yes.

WRITER

But you offered yourself to me. To me!

GOMORRAH

And you refused me.

WRITER

(to GABRIEL) So how did her lips feel? How did her body feel? How did it feel to be loved?

GABRIEL

You already know.

WRITER

Yes, I know! (he throws a chair. The couple does not notice) Fantastic!

GABRIEL

Yes. Fantastic.

WRITER

Fuck you. Fuck the both of you.(Throws the table aside, and storms to the café.)

(The pair, finished dressing up by this time, walk towards the platform and holds hands.)

GOMORRAH

Did you enjoy it?

GABRIEL

More than the succour of heaven. (pause) Did you?

GOMORRAH

Yes.

GABRIEL

What’s your name? Your real name?

GOMORRAH

No. For you, I am Gomorrah, your favourite sin.

GABRIEL

And I will be your Gabriel, your saviour.

GOMORRAH

For my sins, Gabriel, will you ever allow me to turn into salt?

GABRIEL

Never. Even if I have to kill a god, I will not allow you to turn into salt.

GOMORRAH

(Snuggles beside GABRIEL) Tell me you love me again.

GABRIEL

I love you.

GOMORRAH

Three times over.

GABRIEL

I love you. I love you. I love you. Three times over.

GOMORRAH

If you really do love me, will you come back to see me?

GABRIEL

To hear you sing?

GOMORRAH

(Coyly)Just to hear me sing?

GABRIEL

Every night.

GOMORRAH

Do I have to pray so that you will hear me, angel Gabriel?

GABRIEL

No, Gomorrah, you have to sin.

GOMORRAH

Then I will sin and sin again.

GABRIEL

Good bye Gomorrah.

GOMORRAH

Good bye Gabriel.

(GABRIEL leaves, and GOMORRAH follows the moment he has exited.)

ACT 1, SCENE 3

 

(WRITER enters from audience back to the table on centre audience as GOMORRAH exits. He is wiping his hand with a tissue paper. He sits down and drinks from a coffee mug. The WRITER is ill-tempered.)

WRITER

Waitress!

(Comes stumbling through the audience. She is obviously flustered and apologizes to the audience members. She bumps as if they were customers)

                                WAITRESS

Coffee or tea, sir?

WRITER

(Perplexed) I come here everyday and you ask me if I want coffee or tea.

WAITRESS

I’m sorry sir, it’s protocol here.

WRITER

(In a temper)Coffee. Deep. Black.

WAITRESS

Would you like anything else to go with that?

WRITER

Anything?

WAITRESS

Something to eat sir.

WRITER

No!

WAITRESS

But sir, coffee without anything is bad for you.

WRITER

Do you think I can afford anything with my coffee?

WAITRESS

I’m sorry sir.

WRITER

Coffee. Deep. Black.

WAITRESS

Yes sir! Coffee. Deep. Black.

WRITER

Thank you.

WAITRESS

I’m sorry sir.

WRITER

(Murmurs) A hundred fifty a mug and she asks if I want anything else! (Opens his notebook in a loving tone) Why must you be a whore? Why must you love him? Why did you have to make love to him?

(A FLOWER GIRL enters. She carries a basket.)

FLOWER GIRL

Would you like to buy some flowers, sir.

(WRITER waves his hand.)

FLOWER GIRL

They’re cheap, sir.

(WRITER waves his hand again.)

FLOWER GIRL

Sir, I haven’t eaten yet and it, and if you would kindly buy some flowers.

WRITER

No!

FLOWER GIRL

Sir please!

(A GUARD comes. He is in uniform.)

GUARD

Is there a problem here?

FLOWER GIRL

Nothing’s wrong.

GUARD

Then why are you disturbing the customer, dirt?

FLOWER GIRL

I was just selling him flowers.

GUARD

(Pulls her aside) Why don’t you sell your flowers elsewhere? We work hard to keep this place clean.

 (The GUARD and the FLOWER GIRL exit.)

FLOWER GIRL

(While exiting.) Thank you. (shouts) SIR!

                                WRITER

Can’t anyone find peace and quiet in here? 

(the WAITRESS enters. Hopefully she does not spill the mug of coffee she is carrying)

(The WRITER starts writing once more. He writes slowly at first, and writes faster and faster. He begins to sob again)

WAITRESS

Sir!

WRITER

(Shocked) What!

WAITRESS

(Spills the coffee. Apologetically) Your coffee sir.

 

WRITER

(Wipes the spill with a handkerchief) Just give me another one.

(WAITRESS exits)

WRITER

(He exits panting on his thigh to himself)Maintenance these days! (He stops.) Real people . Nuances… Complication.

WRITER

(He returns to his table. He writes intensely on his notebook.) I will set traps! May poor feet be caught and bleed. May you free fall in an endless pit. May your souls be crushed by the weight of the real world. (Pauses. Thinks to himself) Ingenious.  A living in a fairytale!  Comfortably your love story unfolded. The charming price and the dazzling princess of your grand fiction of… of LOVE! Let us see your hearts pierced by the cruelty of the grand storyteller!  Let your hopes and dreams fall asunder to the harsh cruelties of life. Let your love obliterated by a wall you cannot break (writes again) Love indeed, GOMORRAH, my favourites sin. (Light  fade on the WRITER’s table) Ruination. I shall cry by your gravestones.

 

ACT 1, SCENE 4

(It is early morning again in the bar. GOMORRAH sits on the platform dressed in some red gown she was wearing earlier. She checks her watch. She fumbles for a cigarette case. She tries to light a cigarette. It falls from her hand)

GOMORRAH

(Examining the cigarette) Love indeed!

(GABRIEL enters. He is dressed as he was dressed earlier)

GABRIEL

Hello.

                                GOMORRAH

Who are you stranger!

                                GABRIEL

Why, your words are painful! I-I am your angel. God’s messenger

                                GOMORRAH

My sins must have been to grave for I seem to have lost favour with your God.

                                GABRIEL

I apologize. The burdens of everyday life have kept me from my promise.

                                GOMORRAH

Gabriel, for three nights, I sang the song we danced three nights ago. Three times over I scanned the audience to find you missing, and finally you appear at three in the morning three days after. Your promises seem weightless.

GABRIEL

From the empty corridor of my heart do I intend a hollow apology. I am in full knowledge that I must have come. Every night I inched towards the door just to rush and hear your beautiful voice once more. But –

GOMORRAH

But –

GABRIEL

But there is someone whose head must rest upon my wing.

GOMORRAH

There’s someone else! I knew it! I knew that your god cannot be that gracious. How foolish of me to think that a woman like myself could be loved! Imagine a whore being loved by a gentleman!

GABRIEL

No. Not anyone else. I have no one but you.

GOMORRAH

Then who? What!

GABRIEL

I have a daughter….

GOMORRAH

 (Interrupting) And the mother?

GABRIEL

…from a long past romance. The mother died at childbirth.

GOMORRAH

(Calming down) Oh… I apologize.

GABRIEL

You don’t have to. She did not die on your account.

GOMORRAH

Should I sing you a song?

GABRIEL

That would be nice.

GOMORRAH

What would you like me to sing?

 

GABRIEL

Something to cleanse me of my unforgivable sin. A song of praise.

GOMORRAH

A church song? (Laughs)I might turn into salt. This Christian metaphor is getting too stretched.

GABRIEL

You asked me what I would like to head and I would like to hear Ave Maria.

GOMORRAH

Ave Maria (smiles)? So there is another woman?

GABRIEL

Yes I tire of red and have found taste for the colour blue.

GOMORRAH

(gets a blue veil. Stands on-stage. She sings the Ave Maria. She gets off the stage). I lost my temper. I’m sorry, my sex betrayed me.

GABRIEL

No I find you like no other  woman… I am attracted to the boldness of your strength.

(They embrace.)

GOMORRAH

 I would like to meet your daughter.

GABRIEL

Sure, I would fetch her now of it would put a smile on your face.

GOMORRAH

No. For tonight, her name would suffice

GABRIEL

Her name is Lily.

GOMORRAH

 What a pretty name.

GABRIEL

Yes Lily, the flower girl,

GOMORRAH

 I would like to meet your flower girl.

GABRIEL

Wouldn’t you like me to fetch her?

GOMORRAH

And wake a babe in this ungodly hour, dear heavens no!

GABRIEL

Tomorrow then.

GOMORRAH

And not three days after.

GABRIEL

 No I will not make you agonize for three nights and three days. I will never make you wait again. Tomorrow we shall be here to hear you sing.

GOMORRAH

Now that our fates are bound, I would like you to leave.

GABRIEL

But I just arrived and I thought all grievances have been settled. (as GOMORRAH is pushing him out.) Why are you pushing me at the door?

GOMORRAH

Gabriel, you have left your child to sleep alone in such a cold dreary night you must come to her so that she may rest on your wing.

GABRIEL

Tomorrow then and not on witching hour! (He is pushed off-stage)

GOMORRAH

(To herself)  I have you. I love you. (She hums the song that she danced with GABRIEL three nights ago and dances to herself)

(The PIMP enters. He is the GUARD  seen earlier. He is dressed in an undershirt and baggy pants. He is chewing gum.)

PIMP

 You must be very happy then.

GOMORRAH

(startled) What?

PIMP

You were singing to yourself.

GOMORRAH

(Ashamed) I am sorry.

PIMP

Nothing to be sorry about. Tomorrow’s your big night!

GOMORRAH

I thought tonight would be my big night.

PIMP

 Why did your prince charming come to you? Did he sweep you away in his white stallion?

GOMORRAH

No he is hardly a prince. More of a beast with a tongue of gold.

PIMP

Well, before he steals you away, you will have your big night tomorrow.

GOMORRAH

You mean? (in fear)

PIMP

 Yes a customer. A customer willing to pay any fee for your flowers. He will be here tomorrow to watch you sing.

GOMORRAH

But no! No I do not want the money.

PIMP

 How love has made you arrogant! (brings out a gun)  You will let him do anything he wants with you. You will lie down like a good girl and spread your legs wide open. (he puts the gun on her crotch.

                                GOMORRAH

No.

(He sticks  the gum on GOMORRAH’s face and holsters his gun.)

                                 PIMP

After all, you are a whore. (Exits)

(GOMORRAH sobs)

 

Act 1, Scene 5

 

(The  WRITER is back on his table, as before, he is scribbling.)

WRITER

Fantasy will give way to reality. Fairy wings shall be clipped. Valiant princes shall fall in shame. My revenge almost seems complete. I am sorry my Gomorrah. You really are my favourite sin. I have given you lips that I cannot kiss, a body that I cannot hold, and a love which I cannot have. I am so so sorry. I cannot be satisfied with a messenger. I cannot be satisfied with a world not mine. I apologize. You were born to die!(Stands) You were born to die! By my hand you were created, by my hand shall come your ruination.(Runs to the stage.) Let the show begin!

(The WRITER sits down on the table set-up on stage. GOMORRAH enters she is pacing, biting her lips. The WRITER watches her intently, his own hands trembling in anticipation.)

(A WAITRESS comes, the same girl from the cafe.)

WAITRESS

What will you have sir?

WRITER

In whatever world your kind will always serve. You are good for nothing but servitude. Servility. Servant.

                                WAITRESS

Excuse me sir?

WRITER

Nothing. (Smiles) It’s nothing. I’ll have a coke rum.

WAITRESS

One coke rum.

(She walks away with the WRITER’s order. Before she could go to the kitchen, Gomorrah pulls her by the hand.)

GOMORRAH

What did he want?

WAITRESS

What’s it to you

GOMORRAH

Nothing.

WAITRESS

He ordered a rum coke. That’s all.

GOMORRAH

Thanks.(Notices the WRITER staring at her) Can you get me one of those too.

                                WAITRESS

I’ll just put in your tab?

                                     (The PIMP enters)

PIMP

Sure. You can place anything on her tab. She’ll be coming in to a bit of money soon. (To the WRITER)Isn’t that right, sir?

 

(The WRITER raises his glass to GOMORRAH, and the PIMP. The WAITER scratches her head and heads to the kitchen.)

PIMP

Powder your nose after your last song. He is paying a fortune for you.

(GOMORRAH exits. The PIMP approaches the WRITER.)

PIMP

Are you sure you’ve got enough money to pay what you said.

WRITER

For her? Any price is wanting.

                                PIMP

Then meet me after her last song. Just make sure you have the money. (He holds his gun holster) Or else.

                                WRITER

What kind of gun is that?

PIMP

I don’t think the kind matters. A gun is a gun.

WRITER

(Smiles) I understand.

PIMP

What are you smiling about?

WRITER

Nothing.

                                PIMP

Later. (Leaves.)

(GABRIEL enters with LILY. LILY is played by the same actor who played the FLOWER GIRL. She is no longer dressed shabbily but has been cleaned well for her meeting with GOMORRAH.)

WRITER

(Raises his hand to GABRIEL) Sir, would you mind keeping me company. Drinking alone has never been a good habit.

GABRIEL

Why, much obliged sir.

 

WRITER

O, I wouldn’t have you sit anywhere else. We good gentlemen should keep to each other in places like this. Especially you with a daughter, and all.

LILY

Daddy, why are we here? I’m scared.

GABRIEL

We’re here to meet someone very special.

LILY

But daddy, it’s so dark here.

GABRIEL

The woman I’m going to introduce you too has a fantastic voice, and I know very well that you have a penchant for music. Don’t you, Lily?

LILY

Yes, daddy (calms.)

GABRIEL

Now, it would please daddy if you behaved like the charming little girl that you are.

WRITER

(to GABRIEL) A bachelor father, I assume?

GABRIEL

Why how did you guess?

WRITER

I just knew. What’s her name?

GABRIEL

Lily.

WRITER

(to LILY) What a charming name.

LILY

Thank you, sir.

WRITER

(pretends to think) Lily like the flower.

GABRIEL

Lily, the only flower I tend.

WRITER

Flowers sold by a flower girl.

GABRIEL

Flowers sold by the dead. Her mother died of childbirth. We’re both orphans in our own way.

WRITER

Lily. A flower. A flower girl. A flower girl selling flowers for the dead.

GABRIEL

Exactly. May I ask if your pen is your profession?

WRITER

Yes. But of no considerable talent.

GABRIEL

You mustn’t say that. I am a writer myself, and what will happen to the lot of us if one went about telling people of his incapacity for word-smithing.

WRITER

Yes. We penny-a-pages should stick together.

GABRIEL

Yes. We should. I feel like we’re blood brothers. Sir may I introduce myself, I am—

WRITER

O, I already know your name. We’re more related than you’ll ever know.

GABRIEL

Is that so? Monsters of the same like, and all that.

WRITER

Yes, monsters out for blood to fill our enormous egos.

LILY

Daddy, let’s get out of here.

GABRIEL

Now, Lily, I promised this good woman that I will meet the two of you. You don’t want to make daddy a liar now would you? Please just for a little while longer.

LILY

Okay, daddy.

WRITER

(to GABRIEL) So who is this good woman I’ve been hearing so much about.

GABRIEL

She’s more idea than woman really. Have you ever had a picture of a beautiful woman in your head. That woman. She is the picture of beauty.

WRITER

A muse then.

GABRIEL

A muse with lips so red. No. Red is not red enough to describe those lips.

WRITER

So have you the chance to taste that red?

GABRIEL

Sir a gentleman does not disclose secret of that kind. Even to blood brothers!

WRITER

An angel are we now. I suppose you’re here to save her.

GABRIEL

I would like that. Why don’t I? Just fly her away from all of this.

WRITER

Then let me warn you.

GABRIEL

Warn me?

WRITER

(Slightly anxious)That angels who save the sinners damned by god are damned themselves.

GABRIEL

O, I would swim in the lakes of hell for her.

WRITER

For the lips of a muse, you would deny salvation. I warn you, before this night is over you will pray for salvation.

GABRIEL

Yes. I will save my favourite sin, and be branded a sinner myself.

WRITER

You do not know what you talk of.

GABRIEL

I think it’s called love, sir.

WRITER

You must really have fallen for this muse then.

GABRIEL

From the first time I saw her, I fell three times over.

WRITER

Mind if I steal that line from you.

GABRIEL

Go ahead.

WRITER

Did you feel like you were characters in a play?

GABRIEL

(Taken aback) Yes. How did you…?

(GOMORRAH enters the stage. Her make-up has been worn from crying. She starts to sing a song of remorse yet she cannot finish it. She runs to exit but GABRIEL stops her.)

GABRIEL

What’s wrong, Gomorrah? I can help. I’m here to save you. Me, and my daughter, Lily.

GOMORRAH

(Steals a glance at LILY, and the WRITER) She is a handsome child, Gabriel. I cannot be a mother to her. Leave me Gabriel. Take her and never look back. (Exits)

GABRIEL

Gomorrah…

WRITER

Beautiful as ever.

LILY

Why was that girl sad, daddy?

GABRIEL

I don’t know. I don’t know.

LILY

Was she the woman daddy?

GABRIEL

(to the WRITER) I thank you for your kindness sir but we must leave now.

WRITER

Will you still save her?

GABRIEL

I don’t know. I don’t think she wants to be saved.

 

WRITER

I see.

LILY

She was crying daddy. Even without…

(GABRIEL and LILY exit)

WRITER

(to himself) Even without tears she was crying. (a pause) Now where is that drink(Stands)? Service!

(WAITRESS enters with a glass of rum coke. She accidentally spills it on the WRITER.)

WAITRESS

I’m sorry sir.

WRITER

You are an ignoramus. You are a buffoon. A hussy!

WAITRESS

I’ll get you another drink sir. I am sorry.(Exits)

WRITER

(Takes a napkin, and wipes himself) My victory is almost assured. (He takes his notebook.) But first(He starts to write.) The waitress, a clumsy oaf of an excuse of a woman trips on the cold kitchen floor where she has yet again spilled some liquid and meets a loose knife from the cupboard to that repulsive ball attached to her neck.(A short scream is heard from the kitchen followed by a hollow thud) There. (Throws the napkin and stands to a pace)She was nothing but an inconsequential character. I did wrong to even scribe her in. The plot unravels as it did with or without her. (runs to his notebook) I can no longer be patient. (He writes)  The pimp enters with Gomorrah.

(The PIMP enters with GOMORRAH.)

PIMP

Now, play nice children.

GOMORRAH

Shoot me. Just shoot me. I don’t care.

PIMP

What if I shoot prince charming? Would you care?

(GOMORRAH moves to the WRITER)

PIMP

Good. Take all the time you want. (Exits to the kitchen)

(They hold a prolonged tablue: GOMORRAH standing without an inch of emotion, and the WRITER slack jawed. The WRITER slowly stands to hold her face.)

WRITER

Gomorrah… (Does not react) Gomorrah. (She is still in a deadpan) Gomorrah! I am your creator, you will respond accordingly when you hear your name!

(GOMORRAH sits down on a stage floor. She now acts not like herself but like an empty character much like she did in Act1 Scene1)

WRITER

O my, what have I done. I’m sorry my Gomorrah. I am sorry.

(GOMORRAH does not react.)

WRITER

(Attempting to assert himself) You woman of red lips. You woman of fair skin. You woman of beauty. What is your name?

GOMORRAH

I am Gomorrah. I am a city from a far off place which was destroyed for its sins.

WRITER

City far far away, my Gomorrah would you have the favours of a god once again?

GOMORRAH

No. I am Gomorrah.  My meaning is that… to die for my sins.

WRITER

And what is your sin, Gomorrah.

GOMORRAH

(looks up at him) To love.

WRITER

(Pleading)Gomorrah, love me and all your sins shall be pardoned. You can be recreated to any fantasy you desire. A goddess. A queen. Just love me, my Gomorrah, take my hand and you shall take a place by my side.

 

GOMORRAH

Yes but I shall be cold as your queen. I shall be lonely as your goddess.

WRITER

(Losing his temper) I wrote you! You are a character. I made you up! You are a figment of my imagination!

GOMORRAH

But I am as real to you as the cold, and the loneliness.

WRITER

(in full abandon) Yes. Yes! Why? Why do I obsess about you so much? In my profession, I have crafted a thousand girl just like you. But you! Why am I so captivated by you.

GOMORRAH

Because beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And you have made me to be beheld. I am a muse to you.

WRITER

(Calms) I can make you love me.

GOMORRAH

But, you won’t be happy.

WRITER

Because you would be cold, and lonely.

GOMORRAH

Then let your story run its original course. Do not impede upon happy endings. Be a priest, and wed us by your pen.

WRITER

No. I would rather destroy you.

GOMORRAH

Will that make you happy?

(Silence)

(The WRITER starts to write, and GOMORRAH follows the instructions given to her.)

WRITER

The woman takes off her clothes slowly. Flesh. Inches of flesh. Growing into landscapes. In her mind, she is with another man in another place, a character in another story. Her red garment of sin fetters down the floor. She cries but she cries in quiet dignity. Her thighs tremble as she speaks.

GOMORRAH

What do you want me to do? My body is as you will.

WRITER

And the customer replies, “Stay like that.” The stranger with hungry eyes examines his purchase. He drinks it all in—the shoulder, the curves to her chest, her breasts, heaving, sweaty, waiting, just waiting. Then he…

(The WRITER starts ravishing GOMORRAH with unwanted kisses. GOMORRAH becomes limp.)

WRITER

(While kissing GOMORRAH’s body) Fuck you. Fuck you! Fuck love! Love is man is greatest folly for he cannot see his own reflection when his eyes are blinded by love! And you could have said yes, and saved me from foolishness. You foolish woman, you could have been anything! You are a foolish woman. A woman, not mine. But for a moment you are. Mine. I will ravage you. It’s complete. (Steps away) The man ravages the woman, and in his lips he tastes salt. He steps back and sees not a woman but a body lain on the ground.

(GOMORRAH falls.)

WRITER

What happened? (Screams to the exits on-stage)Hello! Hello out there! Help me! What should I do?(he runs to his notebook, and writes) She wakes up! She wakes up, and everything is alright! Why isn’t working? Why isn’t the story changing? (He runs toward GOMORRAH) Wake up! Why won’t you wake up?

(GABRIEL enters)

GABRIEL

(In shock) What did you do to her, vagabond!

WRITER

I have no idea. I don’t know. I. Do. Not. Know.

GABRIEL

(Takes GOMORRAH from the WRITER)It’s me. Gabriel, your angel. I’ve shun away heaven for a kiss. For a song. For breath Gomorrah, just breathe, and tell me you love me thrice over.

GOMORRAH

(Waking up) Gabriel? (plays with his hair)My hand feel as though it were touching light.

GABRIEL

Thank god.

GOMORRAH

Gabriel.

GABRIEL

Yes?

GOMORRAH

Take me away, please. I cannot take it here anymore. My tounge has lost its taste for the night and has found it in yours. Please, Gabriel, save me.

GABRIEL

Yes.

WRITER

No!

GABRIEL

(to the WRITER) What did you think you were doing with her? (Punches him in the stomache, the WRITER falls)

WRITER

I don’t know.

GABRIEL

What then do you know.

WRITER

I don’t know.

GABRIEL

(Strangles the WRITER) If you ever pull anything like that again, I will kill you.

(PIMP enters with his gun pulled out.)

GABRIEL

(to the WRITER) Did you hear me? I will kill you.

PIMP

(Points his gun at GABRIEL) You won’t get the chance to.

GABRIEL

(Calming down) I mean no more trouble. We will now take our leave. (Tries to inch to GOMORRAH)

PIMP

Don’t touch her.

GABRIEL

I’ll pay.

PIMP

Pay?

WRITER

(Runs to the PIMP) Don’t let him go. Shoot him.

PIMP

(Elbows the WRITER) Would you like me to shoot you?

GABRIEL

(Throws his wallet at the PIMP.) Take it all.

(The PIMP Examines the contents of the wallet and throws GOMORRAH the blue cloth used earlier.)

PIMP

Go.

GABRIEL

Thank you. (Clothes GOMORRAH with the blue cloth, and the start to leave.)

WRITER

(Takes the gun from the PIMP) No! (Shoots GABRIEL. The shot is deafening. The WRITER cannot believe what he has done.)

(A silence)

       PIMP                     GOMORRAH                    LILY

Fuck! (Runs to exit)        Why!(a long scream)          (enters) No!

GABRIEL

(To Lily)I told you to wait in the car.

(GOMORRAH and LILY cradle GABRIEL— a depressing family portrait)

GOMORRAH

I thought you were going to save me?

GABRIEL

I apologize but broken wings cannot fly. I love you.

GOMORRAH

I love you too.

GABRIEL

(To LILY and GOMORRAH) We’re all orphans in our own way. (He dies)

GOMORRAH

Little girl, take him.(GOMORRAH takes GABRIEL’s belt)

LILY

Daddy! Daddy! You’re not breathing? Rise and shine daddy.

(LILY grows silent and holds a reverse Pieta pose with her father.)

GOMORRAH

(Strokes LILY’s hair) I’m sorry, little girl. I’m leaving too. (She moves to the chair while tying the belt into a noose.)

                                WRITER

No! Stop. You don’t have to do that. (The WRITER tries to stop GOMORRAH but he can’t. Her body is unstoppable. The volition of her will is too strong) You can be anything you want to be. Just tell me. You don’t even have to love me. No angel. No god. Gomorrah, you don’t have to turn into salt.

(GOMORRAH pulls the chair)

GOMORRAH

That is my meaning, to be destroyed for my sin.(She stands on the chair, and ties the other end of the belt on the chandelier.)

WRITER

To love? To love? Gomorrah, you do not have to love me! Hate me. Spurn  me for all I care.

GOMORRAH

The sin of Gomorrah is to love another god.

WRITER

I will bring him back into life. I will!

(GOMORRAH kicks the chair, and hangs.)

(Stillness. On-stage: the orphan her dead father, the WRITER and his hanging muse.)

WRITER

(Runs to his notebook, and writes frantically) And she lives miraculously, and she was beautiful as ever, and she is singing. Happily ever after.(Nothing happens. To himself)Why doesn’t it work? I am the writer, the creator, the god of the machine! Why can’t I do anything?

                                LILY

(To GABRIEL) Won’t you buy some flowers sir? Flowers for your dead.

WRITER

What? W-what did you say?

LILY

Won’t you buy some flowers sir? Flowers for your dead?

WRITER

(Scrambles to his notebook. Reads every page in a hurry) I did not write that. “Flowers for your dead.” Where is it. I didn’t write that! (Chokes LILY) Who told you to say that?

LILY

(Choking)Won’t you buy some flowers sir? Flowers for your dead?

WRITER

Did he tell you to say that? (Let’s go)

LILY

Flowers for your dead?

WRITER

(He examines the scene) This is my tragedy. Lonely lines. Pretty nothings. Beautiful words that no one will read. (WRITER writes something on his notebook. He looks up to see the scene. He writes again. Look up. Writes. Again, and again. Then he finally says what he is writing.) End! End! (Runs to GOMORRAH and screams at her) END!

LILY

Won’t you buy some flowers sir?

WRITER

Why won’t it end.

 

END OF ACT 1

Stage Actor Feb 4, ’09 2:26 PM
for everyone

Stage Actor by                                                                                                             BJCrisostomo                                                                                                                       

You would think that I am a happy man. You would look at me and say, “That’s a good chap.”  You wouldn’t mind me at your table.  You would be wrong, deadly wrong.

 See, I am an actor, and one of the worst kinds. I am a stage actor.

We live and breathe through shit. How many times we get shouted at rehearsals, I don’t know. How many bottles of beer we down a night, I wouldn’t want to know.

Do you know what we do to get roles? Do you know the amount of back biting, and talentless slobs are in our business? Somehow that shit gets to you, seeping down your bones, cajoling with the residue of bile and pancreatatic juices.

We learn, eventually, to live our roles. The only real role of the stage actor: a monster.

We don’t even know who really are. Now, you wouldn’t want to drink with a person like that, would you?

 Runaway! Runaway now.

And yet, here you are. And you will stay forever. You will love me. You would love to drink with me. You will laugh at my rehearsed lines. You would faun over my rehearsed smile. You would envy my rehearsed life. And, suddenly, taking-ly, you would ask me, “Why do you hate yourself so much?”

Me?

Hate me?

I don’t even remember who I really am? I don’t know my own words from Shakespeare’s. I don’t remember how to tell jokes that are not Moliere’s. I cannot even compare the tragedy of the life I once called my own to that of the sacred man of Thebes. Friend, I am but a shadow of a shadow.

I am my costume— all wig and mask!

Then you kiss me. Then you tell me you love me. And I do not know what to say! At a lost without a script, I fondle the bottom of an empty glass. 

 

 

                                                                —end

fatigue and insomnia: a set of haikus Jan 14, ’09 2:35 PM
for everyone

On the theatre:
An opened curtain—
a man smiles on centre stage
with the world at awe.

The curtain closes—
a heartstring not left unplucked;
a child born anew

On writing:

Paper meeting pen
blushing shed on its white sheet;
fertile: giving birth.

Haha:

Trembling god,
meet a sword at 3p.m..
Die by my feet.

MAN1 Jan 3, ’09 8:44 AM
for everyone

(this is part of a play i’m writing now)

MAN1:

Her arms were bound to the wrought iron bed posts as were her feet, and her neck. Every ounce of struggle, every moment of protest, and every plea for human dignity was met with a mean crack of the whip. Now her tears surge through the eons imploring what god for retribution and salvation.

 She was a woman of fair skin, the kind of woman men glance at twice. She was a woman of curved legs and ample breasts, the kind of woman men stare at. She was a woman, the kind of woman who enjoyed the fancies of men, who laughed at gentlemen and their flowers and their chocolates and their hard throbbing pulsating cocks!

And now her beauty becomes a curse which has made her suspect to the lust of a psychopath. He followed her through the streets as she went home from work. The man stayed not three steps out of place. Always in a casual distance, the man lingered at first, not attracting attention nor revealing the truth of his wicked intention. But then as the passers-by thinned and the streets allowed the darkness to loom, the man quickened his pace. Step. Step. Step. And then all the woman saw was a crushing black. All the woman felt was a prick to her neck, and the loss of conscious physical volition. She fell. Thud.

She woke up gagged and roped to a gorgeous Victorian bed. The silk of bed cloths minutely wiping itself against her naked back. Spread eagled she tried to scream for dear life but what god would hear a shameful scream muffled by a sock gorged in her mouth? What saviour would  come to help her? In the dark recesses of man’s heart is a simple unified desire that all women blessed with curves and fair complexion be roped to bedposts! Their vaginas open and ready! All women are sluts! Sluts who want to be fucked! Coy sluts who hide their lewdness with perfume and manner!

A shadow of a man lingers above her. He is but a wisp. A psychopath. A me. A man who is me. I want to fuck her. But later, I think as the whip lashes at her face, breaking that perfect face, that face that has made men want. Later. Fucking is an art. You stalk. You come. You wait until the vessel is ripe and ready!

Passion flares with certainty.

THE WOMAN THE MAN THE TEAR Dec 16, ’08 1:55 PM
for everyone

THE WOMAN THE MAN THE TEAR —bj crisostomo

A woman takes a step forward and let’s herself fall face forward.

 Somewhere in the distance a man weeps for her.

 The man stares from a window, letting a tear fall from his left eye.

 The woman hears the tear fall down like a thousand pinpricks falling from the earth’s atmosphere.

She smiles.

 She thinks to herself, finally a man has wept for me, she looks up and looks for the window and the man and the tear yet she sees no window, no man, no tear.

Her shoulders now bent with dismay, broken, tortured, gnashed, and bloodied, she screams.

Scream.

 Screaming at the window, the man, the tear.

watch endgame. Dec 1, ’08 11:35 AM
for everyone

 

Poster designed by Samantha Quizon.

An Ateneo Fine Arts Thesis: Direction and Light

at the Ateneo de Manila University, old Communications Department.

For more information please text BJ at 09284798801.

Tickets are priced at P120.

It’s worth it. Believe me.

endgame Nov 14, ’08 12:56 PM
for everyone

ENDGAME 

Ni  Samuel Beckett

Salin ni BJ Crisostomo

 

Clov: Tapos, tapos na, malapit na matapos, malapit na siguro matapos. (Pause) Butil sa butil, isa-isa, biglaang, pinagpatong, isang maliit na bunton, isang impusibleng bunton (Pause) Hindi na ako puwede parusahan pa. (Pause) Pupunta ako sa aking kusina. Sampung talampakan sa sampung talampakan, at hinhintayin kong sipulan niya ako. (he remains…)

Hamm: Akong— (yawns) —maglaro (he holds his handkerchief…) lumang talukbong! (he takes off his glasses…) May pagdurusa kayang— (yawns) hihigit pa sa akin? Walang duda. Nang nakaraan. Ngunit ngayon? (pause) Sa aking ama? (pause) Sa aking ina? (pause) Sa aking… aso? Ay! Handa akong maniwalang pumapantay ang pagdurusa nila sa kanilang mga ka-uri. Pero nangangahulugan ba ‘yong patas ang pagdurusa nila sa akin. Walang duda. (pause) Hindi. Lahat ay— (yawns) lubusang patas. (proudly) Mas nakahihigit ang tao, mas puno siya (pause. Gloomily) at mas wala. (he sniffs) Clov! (pause) Hindi, mag-isa. (pause ) hindi, mag-isa. (pause) Anong mga panaginip! Yung mga kagubatan. (pause)Tama na, oras nang matapos, pati na rin sa silong. Ngunit nag-aalinlangan ako, nag-aalinlangang …matapos. Oo, ayan na siya, oras nang matapos ngunit nag-aalinlangan akong (yawns) matapos. (yawns) diyos ko, pagod na ako, mabuti pang dumiretso na’ko sa kama. (he whistles…) Pinababaho mo ang hangin. (pause) Ihanda mo ako. Dideretso na ko sa kama.

Clov: Kababangon ko lang sa’yo.

Hamm: At ano ngayon.

Clov: Hindi puwedeng ibabangon kita’t ihihiga kada limang minuto, may ginagawa rin ako. (Pause)

Hamm: Nakita mo na ba mata ko?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm:  Di ka ba nagtaka, habang natutulog akong tanggalin ang piring ko’t sumilip sa aking mga mata?

Clov: Hilahin ang piring?(pause) Hindi.

Hamm: Balang araw, ipapakita ko sila sa ‘yo. (Pase) Parang tuluyan na silang namuti. (pause) Anong oras na?

Clov:  Tulad ng lagi.

Hamm: Tumingin ka na ba?

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: At?

Clov: Wala.

Hamm: Malapit na sigurong umulan.

Clov: Hindi uulan.

Hamm: Maliban doon, kamusta ka?

Clov: Hindi ako nagrereklamo.

Hamm: Maayos ang pakiramdam mo?

Clov: Sinabi ko na sa’yong hindi ako nagrereklamo.

Hamm: May mali sa akin. (pause) Clov!

Clov: O.

Hamm: Hindi ka pa ba nagsasawa?

Clov: Oo! (Pause) sa ano?

Hamm: Sa… sa… ganito.

Clov: Matagal na. (pause) ikaw, hindi?

Hamm: Wala namang dahilang magbago.

Clov: Baka matapos na siya. (pause) Habang-buhay parehong mga tanong, parehong mga sagot.

Hamm: Ihanda mo na ko. (clov does not move) kunin mo yung kumot. (clov does not move) CLOV!

Clov: O?

Hamm: Hindi na kita palalamunin.

Clov: Mamatay tayo.

Hamm: Tamang-tama lang ang ipapakain ko sa’yo, tama lang para di ka mamatay. Lagi kang magugutom.

Clov: O di, hindi tayo mamatay. (pause) Kukunin ko na yung kumot mo.(he goes towards the door)

Hamm: Huwag! (Clov halts) bibigyan kitang isang biscuit kada araw(pause) isa’t kalahati. (pause) Bakit mo pa ko sinasamahan?

Clov: Bakit mo ‘ko hinahahayaan? Inaalagaan?

Hamm: Wala nang iba.

Clov: Wala nang ibang mapupuntahan. (Pause)

Hamm: Pareho lang, iniiwanan mo pa rin ako.

Clov: Sinusubukan.

Hamm: Hindi mo ko mahal.

Clov: Hindi nga.

Hamm: Minahal mo minsan.

Clov: Minsan!

Hamm: Masyado na kita pinahirapan. (Pause) Hindi ba?

Clov: Hindi ‘yon.

Hamm: (shocked) Hindi pa kita masyadong pinahirapan?

Clov: Oo!

Hamm: Ay! Tinakot mo ko! (pause. Coldly) Patawad. (pause. Louder) Sabi ko, patawad.

Clov: Narinig kita. (pause) Nagdugo ka na?

Hamm: Umonti. (pause) Hindi pa ba oras para sa pain-killer ko?

Clov: Hindi pa. (paiuse)

Hamm: Kamusta mata mo?

Clov: Masama.

Hamm: kamusta paa mo?

Clov: Masama.

Hamm: Pero nakalalakad ka?

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: (violently) O di gumalaw ka! (Clov goes back to the wall…) Nasan ka?

Clov: Narito.

Hamm: Bumalik ka rito! (clov returns beside the chair) Nasaan ka?

Clov: Narito.

Hamm: bakit di mo pa ko patayin?

Clov: Hindi ko allam kumbinasyon sa aparador. (pause)

Hamm: Ikuwa mo akong gulong ng bisekleta.

Clov: Wala nang gulong ng bisekleta.

Hamm: Ano ginawa mo sa bisekleta mo?

Clov: Kailanman, di ako nagka-bisekleta.

Hamm: Impusible.

Clov: Nung may mga bisekleta pa, umiyak ako na magkaroon ng isa. Gumapang ako sa paanan mo. “Putang ina mo,” sabi mo sa akin. Ngayon wala nang bisekleta.

Hamm: At yung pag-ronda mo? Pag naniningil ka sa mga tauhan ko. Lagi sa paa?

Clov: Minsan sa kabayo. (the lid of ….) Iiwanan na kita, marami pa akong kailangang gawin.

Hamm: Sa kusina mo?

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: Puro kamatayan lang sa labas. (pause) Sige na. (exit clov. Pause) Kaya pa.

Nagg: Dodo?

Hamm: Sinumpang pinagmulan!

Nagg: Dodo!

Hamm: Hay! Ang mga gurang sa bahay! Hindi na nahiya! Dumodo, dumodo, yun lang nasa isip nila. (he whistles. Enter clov. He halts beside chair) O? Akala ko iiwanan mo na ako?

Clov: Ay hindi pa. Hindi pa.

Nagg: Dodo!

Hamm: Ibigay mo na dodo niya.

Clov: Wala nang gatas.

Hamm: Narinig mo ‘yon wala nang dodo. Hindi ka na makakadodo.

Nagg: Gusto ko nang dodo ko.

Hamm: Bigyan mo ng biscuit. (exit clov) Sinumpang kumantot! Kamusta paa mo?

Nagg: Pabayaan mo na paa ko. (enter clov with biscuit)

Clov: O dala ko na yung biscuit. (gives biscuit to nag who fingers it. Sniffs it.)

Nagg: (plaintively) Ano ‘to?

Clov:Pampalipas.

Nagg: Makunat! Di ko kaya!

Hamm: I-bote mo siya!

Clov: (returning to his place beside the chair) Ay pag matuturuan lang tayo ng kasaysayan.

Hamm:  Upuan mo siya.

Clov: Hindi ako nakaka-upo.

Hamm: Totoo. At hindi ako nakatatayo.

Clov: Ganoon nga.

Hamm: Bawat tao, kanyang kakayanan. (pause) Walang tumawag? (pause) Nakalimutan na ba nating tumawa?

Clov: (after reflection) Ayaw ko.

Hamm: (after reflection) Ni ako man. (pause) Clov!

Clov: O?

Hamm: Kinalimutan na tayo ng kalikasan.

Clov: Wala nang kalikasan.

Hamm: Walang kalikasan! Nagmamalabis ka.

Clov: Sa paligid.

Hamm: Pero humihinga tayo, nagbabago! Nakakalbo, nabubungi! Ang ating yabong! Ang ating (ideals)!

Clov: O di hindi niya pa tayo nakakalimutan.

Hamm: Pero sabi mo kanina walang kalikasan.

Clov: (sadly) Wala nang nabuhay na kasing sakim natin.

Hamm: Ginagagawa lang ang kaya.

Clov: Hindi dapat.(pause)

Hamm: Okay ka rin, ano?

Clov: Kurampot. (pause)

Hamm: Mabagal na proseso. (pause) Hindi pa ba oras para sa pain-killer ko?

Clov: Hindi.(pause) Iiwanan na kita, may mga gagawin pa ako.

Hamm: Sa kusina mo?

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: Ano? Gusto ko malaman.

Clov: Tumititig sa pader.

Hamm: Sa pader! At ano nakikita mo sa pader? Kaliskis, kaliskis? Hubad na katawan?

Clov: Nakikita kong namamatay ang aking ilaw.

Hamm: Namamatay ang iyong ilaw! Pakinggan mo ‘yan! Bale puwede rin mamatay ang ilaw mo rito, ang ilaw mo. Tignan mo ako’t bumalik, sabihin mo kung ano tingin mo sa ilaw mo. (pause)

Clov: Hindi mo dapat ako kinakausap nang ganyan. (pause)

Hamm: (coldly) Patawad. (pause. Louder) Sabi ko, patawarin mo ako.

Clov: Narinig kita. (the lid of nagg’s…)

Hamm: Bumunga na bang mga buto?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm: Kinayod mo ba yung lupa. Baka tumubo na nga sila.

Clov: Hindi pa sila tumutubo.

Hamm: Baka masyado pa maaga.

Clov: Kung tutubo sila, tumubo na sila. (violently) Hindi na sila tutubo. (pause. Nag takes biscuit in his hand.)

Hamm: Hindi ito masaya. (pause) pero ganoon naman lagi sa bingit ng araw, hindi ba Clov?

Clov: Lagi.

Hamm: Bingit ng araw tulad ng kahit anong araw, hindi ba Clov?

Clov: Mukhang ganoon nga. (pause)

Hamm: (anguished) Ano nangyayari, ano nangyayari?

Clov: May umuusad. (pause)

Hamm: Sige, umalis ka na.(he leans…)

Clov: Matagal ko nang sinusubukan (he goes to the door. halts) mula pa nang iniluwa ako. (exit clov)

Hamm: Kaya pa.(he leans back to his chair…)

Nell: Ano ‘yon darling? (pause) Oras ng laman?

Nagg: Tulog ka ba?

Nell: Ay hindi!

Nagg: Halikan mo ako.

Nell: Hindi kaya.

Nagg: Subukan lang natin. (their heads strain towards each other…)

Nell: Bakit ang kalokohan na ito, araw matapos araw. (pause)

Nagg: Nawala ngipin ko.

Nell: Kelan?

Nagg: Hawak ko siya kahapon.

Nell: Ay kahapon! (they turn painfully towards each other)

Nagg: Nakikita mo ba ako?

Nell: Malabo. At ikaw?

Nagg: Ano?

Nell: Nakikita mo ba ako?

Nagg: Malabo.

Nell: Ay mas mabuti, mas mabuti.

Nagg: ‘Wag mo sabihin ‘yan. (pause) nabubulag na tayo.

Nell: Oo. (they turn away from each other)

Nagg: Naririnig mo ba ako?

Nell: Oo. At ikaw?

Nagg: Oo. (pause) hindi pa tayo nabibingi.

Nell: Ano?

Nag: Nabibingi.

Nell: Hindi pa. (pause.) May sasabihin ka pa sa akin?

Nagg: Naaalala mo ba—

Nell: Hindi.

Nagg: —nang nahulog tayo sa bisekleta at napilay. (they laugh heartily)

Nell: Sa Intramuros.

Nagg: Papunta sa Maynila. (they laugh still less heartily) Nilalamig ka ba.

Nell: Oo, nanginginig nga ako e. At ikaw?

Nagg: (pause) Sobra. (pause) Gusto mong pumasok?

Nell: Oo.

Nagg: O di pumasok ka na. (nell does not move) Bakit di ka pa pumapasok?

Nell: Hindi ko alam.

Nagg: Pinalitan niya na ba kusot mo?

Nell: Hindi kusot ‘to. (pause. Wearily) Hindi ka ba puwedeng maging mas tumpak, Nagg?

Nagg: Yung kusot mo kung ganoon. Hindi naman impurtante.

Nell: Impurtante siya (pause).

Nagg: Kusot siya dati.

Nell: Dati!

Nagg: At ngayon, kusot na. (pause)mula sa dalampasigan. (pause. impatiently) at ngayon kusot na siyang iniigib niya mula sa dalampasigan.

Nell: Kusot na siya ngayon.

Nagg: Napalitan na ba yung sa’yo?

Nell: Hindi pa.

NAgg: Ni sa akin. (pause) Hindi ako papayag! (pause. Holding the biscuit) Gusto mo?

Nell: Ayaw. (Puase) Nang ano?

Nagg: Biscuit. Nagtira ako ng kalahati. (he looks at the biscuit proudly) Tatlong kapat para sa’yo. Heto. (he proffers the biscuit) Hindi maganda pakiramdam mo?

Hamm: Tahimik, tahimik! Ginigising niyo ako. (pause) Magbulungan lang kayo. (pause) Pag makatulog ako, baka kumantot ako. Pupunta ako sa kakahuyan. Makakakita mata ng  ko…ang himpapawid, ang lupa. Tatakbo ako, tatakbo, hindi nila ako mahuhuli. (pause) Kalikasan! (pause) May tumutulo sa ulo ko. (pause) Puso, isang puso sa ulo ko. (pause)

Nagg (pause) Narinig mo ba siya? Puso sa ulo niya? (he chuckles cautiously)

Nell: Hindi dapat pinagatatwanan ang mga bagay-bagay na ganoon, Nagg. Bakit mo sila kailangan pagtawanan?

Nag: Huwag masyado malakas!

Nell: (without lowering her voice) Wala nang mas nakatatawa pa sa kalungkutan, ibibigay ko sa’yo iyon. Pero—

Nagg(shocked) Ay!

Nell: Oo. Oo. ‘yan na ang pinakanakatatawang bagay sa mundo. At tumatatawa tayo. Tumatawa tayong may pagkukusa , sa simula. Pero lagi naman sa parehong bagay. Oo. Tulad ng kakatwang kuwentong pauit-ulit na nating narinig, na nakakatawa pa rin, pero hindi na tayo natatawa. (pause) may sasabihin ka pa bas a akin?  

Negg: Wala na.

Nell: Sigurado ka? (pause) ‘Di iiwanan na kita.

Naggg: Yung biscuit mo? (pause) Na sa’kin lang. (pause) Kala ko iiwanan mo na ako.

Nell: Iiwanan nga kita.

Nagg: Puwede mo ba ko kamutin bago ka umalis?

Nell: Hindi. (pause) Saan?

Nagg: Sa likod.

Nell: Hindi. (pause) Ikayod mo na lang sa gilid.

Nagg: Mas mababa pa siya. Sa may butas.

Nell: Anong butas?

Nag: Sa butas (pause) Hindi mo ba puwedeng—? (pause) Kahapon kinamot mo ako roon.

Nell: (elegiac) Ay kahapon!

Nagg: Hindi mo ba puwedeng? (pause) gusto mo kamutin kita? (pause) Umiiyak ka na naman?

Nell: Sinusubukan ko lang (pause)

Hamm: Siguro maliit na ugat (pause)

Nag: Ano sabi niya?

Nell: Baka maliit na ugat siya.

Nagg: Ano ibig sabihin noon?  (pause) Walang ibig sabihin yon. (pause) ikuwento ko sa’yo yung sa sastre?

Nell: Huwag. (pause) Para saan?

Nagg: Para matuwa ka naman.

Nell: Hindi naman nakatutuwa kuwento mo e.

Nagg: Lagi kang natatawa .(pause) Nung una akala ko mamatay ka.

Nell: sa Laguna de bay ‘yon. (pause) Isang abril na hapon.. (pause) Maniwala ka ba?

Nag: Na?

Nell: Na minsan, namangka tayo sa Laguna de bay. (pause) isang abril na hapon.

Nagg: Nasuyo kitang magpakasal isang araw bago noon.

Nell: Nasuyong magpakasal!

Nagg: Sa pag halakhak mo nahulog tayo sa lawa. Dapat nalunod na tayo.

Nell: Natuwa kasi ako. Noon.

Nagg: (indignant) Hindi, hindi dahil natuwa ka sa akin. Dahil sa kuwento ko at wala nang iba. Natuwa! Hindi ba natatawa ka pa rin sa kuwento ko? Sa bawat pagkuwento ko? Natuwa!

Nell: Malalim. Ang lalim. At kitang-kita ang sahig. Maputi. Malinis.

Nagg: Hayaan mong ikuwento ko ulit (in a raconteur’s voice) may maginoong, nangangailangan ng bagong pantaloon para sa piging ng bisperas, dumalaw siya sa sastreng sinukatan siya. (tailor’s voice) “Hayan, bumalik ka nang apat na araw, handa na siya noon”

Maayos.Matapos ang apat na araw.

(Tailor’s voice)

“Patawad, bumalik ka nang isang lingo, nasira ko yung puwet.” Maayos. Nakakikiliti ang masikip na puwet. Matapos ang isang lingo.

(tailor’s voice)

“Paumanhin po, bumalik ka nang sampung araw, nagiling ko yung ari.” Maayos, di naman maiiwasan. Panukso ang bakat na ari. Matapos ang sampung araw.

(Tailor’s voice)

“Patawad! Patawad! Bumalik po kayo nang dalawang lingo, hindi gumagana yung zipper.” Maayos, ni kaunting siwang, imoral ang sirang zipper.

(pause. Normal voice)

Ang sama ng pagkaka-kuwento ko .

(pause. Glommy)

Pasama nang pasama ang pagkuwento ko.

(pause raconteur’s voice) Sa maikling kuwento, nabira ang pantaloon ni butones di maayos.

(customer’s voice)

“Ginoo, masunog ka sa impiyerno, bastos na kung bastos, may hangganan din pasensya ko! Sa anim na araw, narinig mo ako? Sa anim na araw, ginawa ng diyos ang mundo at hindi mo ako kaya itahi nang i-isang pares ng pantalon.

(tailor’s voice. Scandalizaed)

“Pero ginoo, aking ginoo, tignan niyo..”

(disdainful gesture, disgustedly)

“…ang mundo”

(pause)

“at tignan mo—

(loving gesture, proudly)

Ang aking pantaloon!”

(pause. He looks at nell who has remained impassive, her eyes…)

Hamm: Tahimik (Nagg starts. Cuts short his laugh)!  

Nell: Kitang-kita ang sahig.

Hamm: (exasperated) hindi pa ba kayo natapos? Hindi ba kayo matatapos? (with sudden fury) Hinding-hindi na ba ito matatapos? (nag disappears to his bin..) Ang kaharian ko para sa mahimbing na tulog! (he whistles. Enters clov) Iligpit mo ang gulong yan.  Itapon mo sa dagat! (Clov goes to bins. Halts)

Nell: Kay puti.

Hamm: Ano? Ano dinadakdak niya?

Nell (to clov): Desert! (clov lets go of her hand, pushes her back to the bin, closes the lid)

Clov:  (returning to his place beside the chair) Wala siyang pulso.

Hamm: Ano pinagsasabi niya?

Clov: Sabi niya umalis daw ako, pumunta sa desert.

Hamm: Putang pakialemero! Yun lang?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm: Ano pa?

Clov: Hindi ko naintindihhan.

Hamm: Nabote mo na?

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: Ikandado mo. (Clov goes towad the door) Oras lang. (clov halts) Nawawala rin galit ko. Gusto ko umihi.

Clov: (with alacrity) Kukunin ko lang yung arinola. (he goes towards the door)

Hamm: Oras lang. (pause) Yung pain-killer ko?

Clov: Masyado pa maaga matapos mo uminom.

Hamm: Sa umaga, pinatitindig ka nila, sa gabi ihinihiga ka. (pause) Yung matandang doctor, patay na siya? Natural.

Clov: Hindi siya matanda.

Hamm: Pero patay na siya?

Clov: Natural. (pause) Tanong mo sa akin ‘yon? (pause)

Hamm: Iikot mo ako. (clov goes behind the chair and pushes it forward) ‘Wag masyado mabilis! (clov  pushes the chair) Paikot-ikot sa mundo! (Clov pushes the chair) Yakapin ang pader at balik sa sentro. (Clov pushes the chair) Nasa sentro ako kanina ‘di ba?

Clov: (pushing) Oo.

Hamm: Kailangan natin ng akmang wheel chair. Yung may malaking gulong! Gulong ng biskeleta! (Pause) Yumayakap ka ba?

Clov: Oo (pushing)

Hamm: (groping for the wall) Linuloko mo ako. Bakit mo ako linuloko?

Clov: (bearing closer to wall) Hayan! Hayan!

Hamm: Tigil! (Clov stops chair o back wall. Hamm lays his hand against the wall) Lumang pader! (pause) Lagpas niyan ay ang… iba pang impiyerno. (pause. Violently) Lapit pa! Lapit! Idiin mo!

Clov: Ilayo mo kamay mo. (hamm withdraws his hand. Clov rams chair against the wall) Hayan! (hamm  leans towards the wall, applies his ear to it)

Hamm: Naririnig mo? (he strikes the wall with his knuckles) Narinig mo? Lubong tisa! (he strikes it again) Lahat nang lubong ‘yan! (pause he straightens up. Violently) Tama na. Balik!

Clov: Hindi pa natin na-ikot.

Hamm: Balik sa lugar ko! (Clov pushes chair back to centre) Lugar ko ba ‘yan?

Clov: Oo. Lugar mo ‘yan.

Hamm: Nasa gitna ba ako?

Clov: Susukatin ko.

Hamm: Humigit kumulang! Humigit kumulang!

Clov: (moving cahir slightly) Hayan!

Hamm: Medyo nasa gitna na ako?

Clov: Sa tansya ko.

Hamm: Sa tansya mo! Ilagay mo ako sa gitna!

Clov: Kukunin ko yung panukat.

Hamm: Tansya! Tansya! (clov moves chair slightly) Gitnang-gitna!

Clov: Hayan! (pause)

Hamm: Pakiramdam ko masyado akong nasa kaliwa. (clov moves chair slightly) Ngayon naman masyadong kanan. (clov moves chair slightly) Pakiramdam ko masyado akong napaharap. (clov moves chair slightly) Ngayon masyado malayo. (clov moves chair slightly) Huwag ka riyan! (ie behind the chair) Kinikilabutan ako sa’yo. (clov returns to his place beside the chair)

Clov: Matutuwa ako, mapatay ko lang ‘to. (pause)

Hamm: Kamusta lagay ng panahon?

Clov: Tulad ng lagi.

Hamm: Tignan mo yung lupa.

Clov: Natignan ko na.

Hamm: Na may salamin?

Clov: Hindi ko kailangan yung salamin.

Hamm: Tignan mong may salamin.

Clov: Kukunin ko lang yung salamin. (exit clov)

Hamm: Huwag na! (enter clov with telescope)

Clov: Narito na ako, kasamang salamin. (he goes to the window right looks up at it)Kailangan ko yung hagdan.

Hamm: Bakit? Pumandak ka ba? (exit Clov with telescope) Ayaw ko yan. Ayaw ko yan. (enter clov with ladder but no telescope)

Clov: Narito na ako, kasamang hagdan. (he sets ladder under window right, gets up on it, realizes he has not the telescope, gets down) Kailangan ko yung salamin. (he goes towards the door)

Hamm: (violently) Pero hawak mo na yung salamin

Clov (halting, violently) Hindi, hindi ko dala yung salamin (exit clov).

Hamm: Hay! Nakamamatay. (enter clov with telescope. He goes towards the ladder)

Clov: Ginaganahan tayo ha. (he gets up the ladder, raise the telescope, lets it fall) Sinadya ko. (he gets down picks it up, turns it to auditorium) Nakakikita ako.. ng madlang… nasa biyahe… ng ligaya (pause). Yan ang tinatawag kong lente. (he puts down the telescope, looks at hamm) O? Hindi tayo tatawa?

Hamm: (after reflection) Hindi.

Clov: (after reflection) Ni ako. (he gets up on ladder, turns the telescope outside the window)Matignan nga. (he looks, moving the telescope) Wala… (he looks) …wala… (he looks)… at wala.

Hamm: Walang gumagalaw. Lahat ay—

Clov: —Wal—

Hamm: (violently) Maghintay kang kausapin ka! (normal voice) Lahat ay.. lahat ay.. lahay ay ano? (violently) Ano ang lahat?

Clov: Ano ang lahat?  Sa isang salita? Yun ba yung gusto mo malaman? Sandali lang. (he turns the telescope on the without, looks, lowers the telescope, turns towards hamm) Binangkay! (pause) O? Kuntento?

Hamm: Tignan mo ang dagat.

Clov: Pareho pa rin.

Hamm: Tignan mo ang karagatan! (clov gets down…)

Clov: Wala pa akong nakitang ganyan!

Hamm(anxious): Ano? Layag? Palikpik? Usok?

Clov (looking): Bumababa na ang liwanag.

Hamm: (relieved) Hay! Alam na natin lahat ‘yon.

Clov (looking): Baka may natira pa.

Hamm: Yung baba.

Clov (looking): Oo.

Hamm: At ngayon?

Clov: (looking) Wala na.

Hamm: Walang ibong pandagat?

Clov: (looking) Ibong pandagat!

Hamm: At ang abot-tanaw? Wala sa abot-tanaw?

Clov: (lowering the telescope, turning towards Hamm, exasperated) Sa ngalan ng diyos, ano bang nasa abot-tanaw? (pause)

Hamm: Alon, kamusta ang mga alon?

Clov: Ang alon? (he turns the telescope towards the waves) Bakal.

Hamm: At ang araw?

Clov: (looking) Wala.

Hamm: Pero dapat bumababa na ‘yon. Tignan mo muli.

Clov (looking): Sumpain ang araw.

Hamm: Gabi na ba kung gayon?

Clov: (looking) Hindi.

Hamm: O di ano?

Clov: (looking)Abo. (lowering the telescope turning towards hamm louder) Abo! (pause. STILL LOUDER) ABO! (pause he gets down approaches Hamm from behind whispers in his ear)

Hamm: (starting) Abo? Narinig ko bang sinabi mong abo?

Clov: Mahinhing itim. Dulo sa dulo.

Hamm: Nagmamalabis ka. (pause) Huwag ka riyan. Kinikilabutan ako sa’yo. (clov returns to his place beside the chair)

Clov: Bakit ang kalokohang ito, araw matapos araw.

Hamm: Nakasanayan na. Hindi natin alam. (pause) Kagabi, nakakakita ako sa loob ng aking dibdib.may malaking sugat.

Clov: Weh! Nakita mo puso mo.

Hamm: Hindi, buhay pa siya. (pause anguished) Clov!

Cov: O?

Hamm: Ano nangyayari?

Clov: May umuusad. (pause)

Hamm: Clov!

Clov: (impatiently) Ano?

Hamm: Hindi kaya tayo nagsisimulang… magka-ibig sabihin.

Clov: Magka-ibig sabihin! Ikaw at ako, mangahulugan? (brief laugh) Ay!

Hamm:Nagtataka ako. (pause) Maghaka ka, kung may nag-iisip na nilalang na bumalik sa mundo, hindi ba baka may  maisip siya ‘pag matyagan niya tayo. (voice of a rational being) Ay! Maayos, ngayon nakikita ko na kung ano sila, oo, ngayon naiintindihan ko na kung ano ginagawa nila! (clov starts drops the telescope and begins to scratch his belly with both hands. Normal voice) At hindi sa sumusobra sa ganoon , tayo mismo (with emotion) … tayo mismo…paminsan-minsan… (vehemently) isiping baka hindi lang pala para sa wala lahat ito!

Clov (anguished, scratching himself) May lisa!

Hamm: Lisa! May mga lisa pa ba?

Clov: Sa akin, meron. (scratching) Maliban kung kuto siya.

Hamm (very perturbed): Pero baka muling magsimula diyan ang ‘sang katauhan! Hulihin mo, dios ko!

Clov: Kukunin ko yung pulbos (exit clov)

Hamm: Lisa! Masama ‘to! Letseng araw!

Clov: (enter clov with a sparkling tin) Narito na ako, kasamang pulbos.

Hamm: Bilis! (clov loosens the top of his trousers pulls it forward and shakes powder into the aperture…)

Clov: Ang gago!

Hamm: Nakuwa mo?

Clov: Mukha naman. (he drios tin and adjusts his trousers) Maliban kung nagpapatay-patayan lang siya. (pause) Ah. Pano na yung ihi mo?

Hamm: Gagawin ko na.

Clov: Hay ganyan nga! Ganyan nga! (pause)

Hamm: (with ardour) Umalis tayo, tayong dalawa! Sa katimugan! Puwede ka gumawa ng bangka at dadalin tayo ng alon sa kalayuan, malayong-malayo.. sa iba pang… hayop!

Clov: Pagbawalan ng diyos!

Hamm: Mag-isa. Lalayag akong mag-isa! Trabahuhin mo na yung bangka. Bukas, mawawala na ako.

Clov (hastening towards the door) Sisimulan ko na!

Hamm: Sandali lang! (Clov halts) May mga pating kaya, ano tingin mo?

Clov: Pating? Di ko alam. Hindi ko alam kung magkakaroon. (he goes towards the door)

Hamm: Sandali lang! (clov halts) Hindi pa ba oras para sa pain killer ko?

Clov: (violently) Hindi pa! (he goes towards the door)

Hamm: Sandali. (clov halts) kamusta mata mo?

 Clov: mMasama.

Hamm: Pero nakakakita ka?

Clov: Sa gugustuhin ko.

Hamm: Kamusta pata mo?

Clov: Masama.

Hamm: Pero nakakalakad ka?

Clov: Dumarating at umaalis.

Hamm: Sa bahay ko (pause. with prophetic relish) isang araw, mabubulag ka tulad ko. Uupo ka ritong isang mantsa sa kawalan, sa dilim, habang panahon, tulad ko. (pause) isang araw, sasabihin mo sa sarili mong pagod na ako, uupo muna ako. Tapos sasabihin mo, nagugutom ako, tatayo ako at kukuwa ng makakain. Pero hindi ka na tatayo pa. Sasabihin mong, sana din a lang ako na-upo, pero dahil narito na ako, uupo muna ako nang kaunti tapos tatayo ako para kumuwa ng makakain. Pero hindi ka na tatyo pa at di ka na kukuwa ng makakain. (pause) Titingin ka sa pader, tapos sasabihin mong, pipikit muna ako, siguro kaunting tulog, tapos aayos na pakiramdam ko, at pipikit ka. At pagdilat mo, wala nang pader. (pause) Papalibutan ka ng walang katapusang kawalan, hindi ka mapupunan ng lahat nang bumangong patay, at naroon kang tulad ng dumi sa gitna ng hagdanan. (pause) Oo, isang araw malalaman mo kung ano ‘yon, pero wala ka nang kaibigan dahil hindi ka nagmakaawa sa kahit kanino at dahil wala nang natira magmamakaawa sa iyo.(pause)

Clov: Hindi pa ‘yon sigurado. (pause) at may nakalimutan ka.

Hamm: Ah?

Clov: Hindi ako nakaka-upo.

Hamm: (impatiently) O, di hihiga ka, ano ba? O titigil ka na lang bigla, titigil at tatayong di pumipiglit— kung papaano ka ngayon. Isang araw sasabihin mong, pagod na ako, titigil na ako. (pause)

Clov:  Gusto mo lang na iwanan kita?

Hamm: Natural.

Clov:O di iiwanan kita.

Hamm: Hindi mo kami puwede iwanan (in the plural singular used by royalty).

Clov: O di hindi ko kayo iiwanan (pause).

Hamm: Bakit hindi mo na lang kami tapusin? (pause) Sasabihin ko sa’yo kumbinasyon sa aparador, pag nangako kang tapusin na kami.

 Clov: Hindi kita kayang tapusin.

Hamm: Di hindi mo ako tatapusin.

Clov: Iiwanan na kita, may mga gagawin pa ako.

Hamm: Naalala mo ba nang una kang napunta rito?

Clov: Hindi. Masyado pa ako maliit, sinabi mo sa akin.

Hamm: Naaalala mo ba tatay mo?

Clov: Parehong sagot lang. (pause) Isang milyung beses mo na ako natanong ng mga tanong na ito.

Hamm:  Gustung-gusto ko ang mga lumang tanong. (with fervour) Ay! Ang mga lumang tanong, ang mga lumang sagot, walang tutulad sa kanila! (pause) Naging ama ako sa’yo.

Clov: Oo. (he looks at hamm fixedly) Nanging ganoon ka nga sa akin.

Hamm: Bahay kong nagsilbing tahanan sa’yo.

Clov: Oo. (pause) Ito nga sa akin iyon.

Hamm: (proudly) Pero sa akin, (gestures towards himself) walang ama, pero kay Hamm (gestures towards surroundings) walang tahanan. (pause)

Clov: Iiwan na kita.

Hamm: Nag-isip ka na ba?

Clov: Hindi pa.

Hamm: Na nasa ilalim tayo ng balon. (pause) Pero sa lagpas ng mga burol? Ha? Baka berde pa. Ha? (pause) Flora! Pomona! Ceres! Baka di mo pa kailangan lumayo.

Clov: Hindi ko kayang lumayo. (pause) Iiwan na kita.

Hamm: Handa na ba ang aso ko?

Clov: Kulang siya ng paa.

Hamm: Masutla ba siya?

Clov: Medyo Pomerainian.

Hamm: Kunin mo siya.

Clov: Kulang siya ng paa.

Hamm: Kunin mo siya! (exit clov) Kaya pa.(enter clov holding by ine of its three legs a black toy dog)

Clov: Narito na mga aso mo. (he hands the dog to Hamm who feels it, fondles it)

Hamm: Puti siya, hindi ba?

Clov: Kaunti na lang.

Hamm: Ano ibig sabihin mong kaunti na lang? Puti ba siya o hindi?

Clov: Hindi. (pause)

Hamm: Nakalimutan mo ba yung uri?

Clov: (vexed) Hindi pa siya tapos. Sa huli yung uri. (pause)

Hamm:Hindi mo ikinabit yung liston niya.

Clov: (angrily) Pero hindi pa siya tapos, sabi ko sa’yo! Tatapusin mo muna aso mo tapos ikakabit mo yung liston! (pause)

Hamm: Nakatatayo ba siya.

Clov: Hindi ko alam.

Hamm: Subukan mo. (he hands the dog to Clov who places it on the ground) At?

Clov: Sandali lang! ( he squats down and tries to get the dog to stand on its three legs, fails, lets it go. The dog falls on its side)

Hamm: (impatiently) At?

Clov: Nakatayo na siya.

Hamm: (groping for the dog) Saan? Nasaan na siya? (clov holds up the dog in standing position)

Clov: Hayan. (he takes hamm’s hand and guides it towards the dog’s head)

Hamm: (his hand on the dog’s head)  Nakaharap ba siya sa akin?

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: (proudly) Na parang gusting makipaglaro?

Clov: Pag gusto mo.

Hamm: (as before) O parang namamalimos ng buto? (he widthraws his hand) Iwanan mo siyang ganyan: naninikluhod sa akin. (clov straightens up. The dog falls on its side)

Clov: Iiwanan na kita.

Hamm: Binibisita ka pa ng mga pangitain mo?

Clov: Dudamalang.

Hamm: Kunin mo yung panuhog. (clov goes to the door halts)

Clov: Gawin yun, gawin yan, at ginagagawa ko naman. Hindi ako tumatanggi. Bakit?

Hamm: Hindi mo kaya.

Clov: Kaunti na lang, hindi na ako susunod.

Hamm: Hindi mo na kakayanin pa. (exit clov) Ay ang mga nilalang, mga nilalang, lahat kailangan ipaliwanag sa kanila.(enter clov with gaff)

Clov: Heto na panuhog mo. Idikdik mo. (he gives the gaff to Hamm who, wielding it like a puntpole tries to move his chair)

Hamm: Gumalaw ba ako?

Clov: Hindi. (hamm throws the gaff)

Hamm: Kunin mo yung langis.

Clov: Para saan?

Hamm: Para langisan yung mga lampara.

Clov: Para saan?

Hamm: Para langisan yung mga lampara.

Clov: Linangisan ko na sila kahapon.

Hamm: Kahapon! Ano ibigsabihin noon? Kahapon!

Clov(violently): Ibig sabihin noon, na yung putang sinumpang araw, noong nakaraan, bago ang putang sinumpang araw na ito. Ginagamit ko ang mga salitang itinuro mo sa akin. Kung wala na silang kahulugan sa’yo, turuan mo ako ng bago. O tumahimik ka na. (pause)

Hamm: May nakilala akong baliw na sinabihan akong dumating na ang wakas ng mundo. Pintor siya at manunukit. Nagustuhan ko siya. Binibisita ko siya dati sa mental. Kukunin ko kamay niya at hihilahin sa bintana. Tumingin ka. Hayun! Lahat ng tumutubong mais. At hayun! Tingin! Ang mga layag ng mangingisdang bangka! Lahat ng kagandahan na hayan! (pause) Nanakawin niya muli ang kamay niya sa akin at babalik sa gilid niya. Nandidiri. Lahat ng nakita niya ay abo! (pause) Siya lang ang nasalba. (pause) Nakalimutan. (pause) Hindi siguro kaka-iba ang kaso niya.

Clov: Baliw? At kalian ‘yon?

Hamm: Hay matagal na, matagal na, bago ka pa nasa lupang nabubuhay.

Clov: Bantayan sana ng diyos ang mga araw. (pause. Hamm raise his toque)

Hamm: Nagustuhan ko siya.  (pause. Puts on his toque again.) Isa siyang pintor—at manunukit.

Clov: Kay daming teribleng mga bagay-bagay.

Hamm: Hindi, hindi, wala na masyado ngayon. (pause) Clov!

Clov: O?

Hamm: Tingin  mo bang masyado na tumagal ito?

Clov: Oo! (pause) Ano?

Hamm: ito… itong… bagay.

Clov: Matagal ko nang naisip. (pause) Ikaw, hindi?

Hamm: O di araw na tulad ng kahit anong araw.

Clov: Hanggang tumatagal siya. (pause) Habang buhay pare-parehong kabaliwan.

Hamm: Hindi kita puwedeng iwanan

Clov: Alam ko. At hindi mo ako puwedeng sundan. (pause) Ang sakit ng pata ko!  

Hamm: Hindi mo ako maiiwanan. (pause) Hindi pa ba oras para sa pain killer ko?

Clov: Hindi! (he goes to the door, turns) Iiwanan na kita.

Hamm:  oras na para sa kuwento ko. Gusto mo ba making ?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm: Tanungin mo tatay ko kung gusto niyang makinig. (clov goes to bins, raises the lid of nagg’s stoops, looks into it. Pause. Straightens up)

Clov: Tulog siya.

Hamm: Gisingin mo. (Clov stoops, wakes nag with the alarm. Unintelligible words. Clov straightens up)

Clov: Ayaw niya making sa kuwento mo.

Hamm: Bibigyan ko siya ng candy. (clov stoops as before)

Clov: Gusto niya raw ng dried mangoes.

Hamm: (agreeing) Dried mangoes.

Clov: Sige raw. (he goes towards the door. Nagg’s hand appear. Gripping the rim then the head emerges. Clov reaches the door. Turns) Naniniwala ka ba sa kabilang buhay? (exit clov)

Nagg: Nakikinig ako.

Hamm: Bastardo. Bakit mo ko binigyang buhay?

Nag: Hindi ko alam.

Hamm: Ano? Ano hindi mo alam?

Nagg: Na ikaw lalabas. (pause) Bibigyan mo ako ng dried mangoes?

Hamm: Pagkatapos ng audisyon.

Nagg: Nangangako ka?

Hamm: Oo.

Nagg: Sa ano?

Hamm: Sa dangal ko. (pause. They laugh heartily)

Nagg: Dalawa.

Hamm: Isa.

Nagg: Isa sa akin at isa para kay—

Hamm: Isa. Katahimikan. (Pause) Nasaan na ba ako? (pause gloomily) Tapos na, malapit na matapos. (pause) malapit na matapos (pause) mawawala ang wika. (pause) may tumutulo sa ulo ko, mula pa nang pagpapanganak (stifled hilarity to Nagg)Tok. Tok, lagi sa parehong lugar. (pause) marahil maliit na ugat. (pause. More animated)  Tama na yon, oras na para sa kuwento ko, nasaan na ako? (pause. Narrative tone) May mamang gumapang sa tiyan niya papunta sa akin. Sakitin, kay gandang puti at kapayatan, mukhang nasa punto na siya. (pause. normal tone) Hindi. Nasabi ko na ‘yon. (pause. Narrative tone) Kalmado kong pinuno ang pipa ko, sinindihan. Humithit. Ahh! (pause) O, ano gusto mo? (pause) Kakaibang pait ng araw na yon, pero dahil pasko wala nang masyadong kaka-iba roon. (pause) O, anong utot ang nagdala sa’yo sa akin? Inangat niyang mukha niya, maitim sa halong dumi at luha. (pause. Normal tone) Huwag, huwag mo ako tignan, huwag mo akong tignan. Ibinibaba niya mata niya at bumulong sa sarili, humihingi ng tawad, inisip ko. (pause) Marami akong ginagawa, Mga huling pagpikot bago magpiesta. (pause forcibly)O, ano bang dahilan ng pang-iistorbo mo? (pause) Mataas ang araw, sa pagkaka-alala ko, pero lumulubog na ang araw pababa sa… mga patay. (normal tone) Bravo! Bravo! (narrative tone) Sige na, sige na, ihain na ang nais at hayaan mo na matuloy na ako sa aking paghihirap. (pause) Tagalong, para sa’yo. Hay… (narrative tone) At noon siya sumisid. Yung anak ko po, sabi niya. Tsss tsss, isang bata, masama ‘yon. Yung bunso ko pong lalaki, sabi niya, na parang impurtante yung kasarian. Saan siya nanggaling. Pinangalanan niya yung yunggib. Kalahating araw sakay ng kabayo. At ano ipinapahiwatig mo?  Na wala pang nakatira sa yunggib niya? Wala wala, wala ni isang kaluluwa maliban siya at ang bata— kung may bata nga. Maayos. Kamusta naman sa Mindanao? Walang makasalanan. Maayos. At inaasahan mo akong maniwalang iniwanan mo ang supling mong mag-isa, at buhay sa kuwentahan. Sige lang. (pause) bumabago ng araw na yon. Pinupunit na ng hangin ang mga patay na puno ng niyog at  tinatangay sila… palayo. (pause. Normal tone) Mahina. (narrative tone) Sige na, magsalita ka, ano ba gusto mo, isasabit ko pa yung parol. (pause) Sa maikling kuwento, nabulatlat din na gusto niya ng… tinapay para sa tiyanak niya? Tinapay? Pero wala akong tinapay, hindi maganda baba sa tiyan ko. Maayos. Siguro kauniting bigas? (pause. Normal tone) Hayun. Tapos. (narrative tone) Bigas, oo, may bigas ako, totoo, sa bodega. Pero gamitin mo naman sentido mo, kilo, isang kilo’t kalahati, ibibalik mo sa anak mo at gugaawa—pag buhay pa siya— ng lugaw para sa kanya.  (nagg reacts) isang punong punong mangkok at kalahati ng lugaw, siksik sa sustansiya. Maayos. Babalik ang kulay sa mga munti niyang pisngi—siguro. At matapos noon? (Nagg reacts) Naubusan ako ng pasensya. (violently) Gamitin mo sentido mo, hindi puwede, gamitin mo sentido mo, nasa Pilipinas ka, walang gamot sa kabubohan. (pause) Kay tuyo ng araw na ‘yon. Maganda para sa arthritis ko. (pause. Violently) Pero ano sa pangalan ng diyos ang iniisip mo? Na gigising ang mundo sa tagsibol? Na mapupuno ng isda ang mga karagatan?  Na may ostya sa langit para sa mga bobong tulad mo? (pause) Di tumagal, kumalma ako, tama lang para tanungin kung gaano katagal ang biyahe niya. Tatlong araw. Maayos. Sa anong kundisyon niya iniwanan ang bata. Mahimbing na tulog. (forcibly) pero mahimbing sa anong tulog, mahimbing sa anong tulog na? (pause) Sa maikling kuwento, inimbitahan ko siyang manabraho sa akin. Napikot niya puso ko. At nang naisip kong hindi na ako tatagal pa sa mundong ito. (he laughs. Pause) At? (pause) Sa huli, tinanong niya ako kung papayag ba akong isama niya ang bata, kung buhay pa siya. (pause) Yun lang hinihintay ko. (pause) Papayag ba akong patuluyin ang bata (pause) nakikita ko pa siya, naninikluhod, kamay baba sa lupa,  naninisik ang mga mata, tumutuligsa sa aking mga nais. (pause. Normal tone) Malapit na ako matapos sa kuwento ko. (pause) Maliban kung magdagdag ako ng tauhan. (pause) Pero saan ko sila matatagpuan? (pause) Saan ko sila hahanapin. (pause. He whistles. Enter clov) Magdasal tayo,

Nagg: Dried mangoes ko?

Clov: May daga sa kusina!

Hamm: Daga! May mga daga pa ba?

Clov: Sa kusina, may roong isa.

Hamm: At piñatay mo ba siya?

Clov: Kalahati. Inistorbo mo kami.

Hamm: Hindi siya makakalayo.

CLov: Hindi.

Hamm: Puwede mo siya tapusin mamaya. Manalangin tayo sa panginoon.

Clov: Na naman.

Nag: Dried mangoes ko!

Hamm: Diyos muna!

Clov: (resigned) Heto na naman tayo.

Hamm: (to nagg)  At ikaw?

Nag: (clasping hands, closing his eyes, in a gabble) Ama naming, sumasa—

Hamm: Tahimik! Sa katahimikan! Hindi magandang asal iyan. (pause) Tara na. (attitudes of prayer. Silence. Abandoning this attitude) Wala naman.(Pause) Ang gago! Hindi siya totoo! (pause) hindi pa ba oras para sa pain killers ko?

Clov: Hindi pa.

Nagg: Dried mangoes!

Hamm:  Wala nang dried mangoes.

Nagg: Natural lang. Ama mo ako. Totoong kung hindi ako, magiging iba. Pero hindi dahilan iyon. (pause) Bibinka, sa halimbawam na hindi na namamayapa pa, alam natin lahat iyon. At isang araw hihingi ako sa’yong kapiranggot, kapalit ng  kabutihan ko, at ipapangako mo siya sa akin. Kailangan mabuhay kasabay ng mga panahon. (pause) Sino tinawag mo nang maliit ka pa’t natatakot sa dilim? Inay mo? Hindi. Ako. Hinayaan ka naming umiyak. Tapos lumayo kami para di ka na naming marinig, nang makatulog kaming payapa. (pause) Tulog ako noon, kuntento tulad ng hari, at ginising mo ako para making sa’yo. Maiiwasan naman, hindi ko kinailangan making sa’yo. (pause) Sana dumating ang araw na totoong kailanganin mo akong making sa’yo at kailanganin mong marinig ang boses ko. (pause) Umaasa akong, mabuhay hanggang tawagin mo ako tulad ng pagtawag mo sa akin nang bata ka pa, takot, sa dilim, at ako lang ang ka-isa-isa mong pag-asa. (pause nag knocks on lid of nell’s bin pause) Nell. (pause. He knocks louder. Puase. Louder) Nell! (Pause. Nag sinks back into his bin. Closes the lid behind him. Pause)

Hamm: Tapos na ang kasiyahan.  (he gropes for the dog) Nawawala ang aso.

Clov: Hindi naman siya totoong aso; hindi siya puwede mawalang mag-isa.

Hamm: (groping) Wala siya dito.

Clov: Nahiga siya.

Hamm: Ibigay mo siya sa akin. (clov picks up the dog and gives it to Hamm. Holds it in his arms. Hamm throws away the dog.) Masahol! (clov begins to pick upobjects lying in the ground)

Clov: Nag-aayos ng mga bagay-bagay. (he straightens up. Fervently) Hahawiin ko lahat. (he starts picking up again)

Hamm: Kasagansan! Kaayusan!

Clov: (straightens up) Mahal na mahal kong kaayusan. Isang pangarapin. Isang mundong tahimik at payapa ang lahat sa huling kalalagyan niya, baon sa huling alikabok. (he starts picking up again)

Hamm: (exasperated): Sa ngalan nga ama, ano tingin mong ginagawa mo?

Clov (exasperated): Ginagawa ko lahat para magkaroon naman tayo ng kaunting kaayusan.

Hamm: Bitawan mo ‘yan! (clov drops objects he has picked up)

Cov: Pagkatpos ng lahat, diyan o doon. (he goes towards the door)

Hamm (irritably): Ano mali sa paa mo?

Clov: Sa paa ko?

Hamm: Taong grasa! Taong grasa!

Clov: Nasuot ko siguro sa botas.

Hamm: Masikip na ba tsinelas mo (pause).

Clov: Iiwanan na kita.

Hamm: Hindi!

Clov: Ano pa ba silbi ko rito?

Hamm: Diskurso. (pause) Kailangan ko na ituloy kuwento ko. (pause) Patapos na ako. (pause) Itanong mo kung nasaan na ako.

Clov: Maiba ako, yung kuwento mo?

Hamm (surprised) Anong kuwento

Clov: Yung ikinukuwento mo sa sarili mo kada-araw.

Hamm: Ah ang aking kronika?

Clov: Hayun, ‘yon (pause)

Hamm: Sinsasabi ko sa’yo, dumating siyang gumagapang sa kanyang tiyan—

Clov: Sino?

Hamm: Ano?

Clov: Sinong siya? (pause) Ah siya! Hindi ako sigurado.

Hamm: Gumagapang sa tiyan niya, umaatungal para sa tinapay. Inanyayahan ko siyang maging haridnero. Bago—- (clov bursts out laughing) Ano nakatatawa roon?

Clov: Trabaho bilang hardinero?

Hamm: Yun ang kumiliti sa’yo?

Clov: Hayun na nga siguro ‘yon.

Hamm: Hindi yung tinapay?

Clov: O yung tiyanak. (pause)

Hamm: Nakakatawa naman lahat sa kuwento mo, ibibigay ko sa’yo ‘yon. Ano naman kung humahalakhak tayo, ikaw at akong magkasama.

Clov(after reflection): Hindi ako makahalakhak sa araw na ito.

Hamm: (after reflection) Ni ako. (pause) Itutuloy ko na kung gayon. Bago tanggapin, tinanong niya ako kung puwede ko ba ampunin yung anak niya.

Clov: Anong edad?

Hamm: Hay! Maliit pa.

Clov: Ituloy mo, sige na.

Hamm: Yun lang. Doon na ako tumigil. (pause)

Clov: Alam mo ba kung paano siya itutuloy.

Hamm: Humigit kumulang.

Clov: Malapit na ba siya matapos.

Hamm: Natatakot akong oo.

Clov: hay! O di gagawa ka ng bago.

Hamm: Hindi ko alam. (pause) Ang pinahabang malikhaing pagkusa (pause). Pag kaya ko lang kaladkarin sarili ko sa dagat! Gagawa akong unan at hihintayin ang alon.

Clov: Wala nang ahon. (pause)

Hamm: Tignan mo kung patay na siya. (clov goes to the bins, raises lid of nell’s, stoops, looks into it. Pause)

Clov: Mukha. (he closes the lid, straightens up. Hamm raises toque, pause. He puts it on again.)

Hamm: (with his hand to his toque) At si Nagg? (clov raises lid of nagg’s bin, stoops, looks into it. Pause)

Clov: Mukhang hindi pa.(he closes the lid. Straightens up)

Hamm:  Ano ginagawa niya? (clov raises lid of Nagg’s bin, stoops, looks into it. Pause)

 Clov: Umiiyak. (he closes lid. Straightens up)

Hamm: Kung gayon, buhay pa siya. (pause) Nagkaroon ka na ba ng kahit paminsang kasiyahan?

Clov: Hindi sa kaalaman ko. (pause)

Hamm: Dalhin mo ako sa ilalim ng bintana. (clov goes towards the chair) Gusto ko maramdaman ang ilaw sa mukha ko. (clov pushes the chair) Naalala mo ba, nang simula, nang inikot mo ako? Masyado mataas hawak mo noon sa silya. Sa bawat tapak, muntik mo akong mahulog. (with senile quaver) Ay kay saying natin, tayong dalawa, kay saya. (gloomily) At nasanay na rin tayo… nabagot. (clov stops chair under window right) Naroon na. (pause. He tilts back his head) Maliwanag pa ba?

Clov: Hindi madilim.

Hamm: (angrily) Tinatanong ko kung maliwanag pa.

Clov: Oo. (pause)

Hamm: Hindi nakasarado yung kurtina?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm: Anong bintana ‘to?

Clov: Yung nakaharap sa lupa.

Hamm: Sabi ko na nga ba! (angrily) Pero walang ilaw dito! Sa kabila! (clov pushes chair towards window right, Hamm tilts his head) ‘Yan ang tinatawag kong ilaw! (Pause) parang sinag ng araw. (pause) Hindi?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm: Hindi sinag ng araw ang nararamdaman ko sa mukha?

Clov: Hindi. (pause)

Hamm: Namumuti ba ako (pause angrily) Tinatanong ko kung namumuti ba ako!

Clov: Hindi sumusobra sa karaniwan. (pause)

Hamm: Bukasan mo ang bintana.

Clov: Para aan?

Hamm: Gusto ko marinig yung dagat.

Clov: Hindi mo siya maririnig.

Hamm: Kahiit buksan mo yung bintana?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm: Walang kuwenta rin kahit buksan mo siya?

Clov: Wala.

Hamm: (violently) ‘Di buksan mo! (clov goes up ladder abd opens window. Pause) Nabuksan mo na?

Clov: Oo.(pause)

Hamm: Sumusumpa kang nabuksan mo na siya?

Clov: Oo. (pause)

Hamm: Hindii… (pause) Ubod siguro nang kalma. (pause. Violently) Tinatanong ko kung ubod ba nang kalma!

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: Dahil wala nang mga marino.  (pause) Hindi ka na masalita. Hindi ba maganda pakiramdam mo?

Clov: Linalamig ako.

Hamm: Anong buwan ngayon? (pause) Isarado mo na yung bintana. Babalik tayo (clov closes window, gets down, pushes the chair back to its place, remains standing behind it. Head bowed) Huwag ka riyan. Kinikalabutan ako. (clov returns to his palce beside the chair). Ama! (pause louder) Ama! (pause) Tignan mo kung narinig niya ako. (clov goes to nagg’s bin, raises the lid, stoops. Unintelligible words. Clov straightens up)

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: Parehong beses?

Clov: Isang beses lang.

Hamm: Yung una o pangalawa? (clov stoops as before)

Clov: Hindi niya raw alam.

Hamm: Yung pangalawa siguro.

Clov: Hindi na natin alam. (he closes the lid)

Hamm: Umiiyak pa siya?

Clov: Hindi na.

Hamm: Mabilis umarangkada ang patay. (pause) Ano ginagawa niya?

Clov: Sinisipsip yung biscuit niya.

Hamm: Diretso pa rin ang buhay. (clov returns to his place beside the chair) Bigyan mo akong kumot. Giniginaw ako.

Clov: Wala nang mga kumot (pause)

Hamm: Halikan mo ako. (pause) Hindi mo ba ako hahalikan?

Clov: Hindi.

Hamm: Sa noo.

Clov: Hindi kita hahalikan kahit saan. (pause)

Hamm (holding out his hand): Ibigay mo sa akin kamay mo. (pause) Hindi mo ba ibibigay kamay mo sa akin?

Clov: Hindi man kita hahawakan. (pause)

Hamm: Ibigay mo sa akin yung aso. (clov looks around  for the dog) Hindi!

Clov : Ayaw mo na aso mo?

Hamm: Ayaw.

Clov: Kung gayon, iiwanan na kita,

Hamm (head bowed absently): Tama lang (clov goes to the door and turns)

 Clov: ‘Pag hindi ko papatayin yung dagang ‘yon, mamatay lang siya.

Hamm (as before):  Tama lang. (exit clov. Pause) Akong maglaro. (he takes out his handkerchief unfolds it holds it spread out before him.) Kaya pa. (pause) Iiyak ka at iiyak para sa wala na, hindi ka tatawa at paunti-unti… magsisimula kang magluksa.( he folds the handkerchief  puts in his pockeym raises his head)  Lahat nang sanang natulungan ko. (PAUSE) NATULUNGAN! (pause) Nasalba!(pause) Punum-puno ang lugar na ‘yon. (pause. Violently) Gamitin mo sentido mo! Hindi mo ba kayang gamitin ulo mo! Dilaan ang kapwa tulad ng pagdila sa sarili! (pause. Calmer) ‘Pag hindi kanin gusto nila, gusto nila ng champurado. (pause violently) Lumayo kayo, bumalik kayo sa inyong mga hawla. (pause) Lahat kayo! Lahat kayo! (pause) Ni hindi man totoong aso! (calmer) Ang wakas ay nasa simula ngunit didiretso ka pa rin. (pause)Siguro puwede ko na ituloy ang kuwento ko, tapusin siya at magsimula ng bago. (pause) Siguro puwede ko itapon sarili ko sa sahig. (he pushes himself painfully off his seat. Falls back again.) Ikayod ang kuko ko sa sa guwang at hilahin sarili ko paharap gamit ang aking mga daliri. (pause) Yun na ang katapusan at naroon ako, nagtataka kung papaano siya nangyari, nagtataka kung ano ang puwedeng… (he hesitates) Naroon ako, sa lumang sukuban, mag-isa laban sa katahimikan at (he hesitates)  ang kapayapaan. Pag kaya ko lang umupo nang tahimik, matatapos na siya lahat kasama ang ingay at galaw, tapos na tapos na. (pause) Natawag ko na ang aking ama at natawag ko na ang… (pause) aking anak, Kahit dalawa o tatlo pang beses kung di man nila ako narinig. (pause) Sasabihin ko sa sarili ko, babalik siya. (pause) Matapos noon? (pause) Matapos noon? (pause) Hindi, hindi siya makakalayo. (pause) Matapos noon? (pause. Very agitated) Lahat ng uring pantasya! Na pinapanood ako! Isang daga! Hagdan! Kimkim ang hininga at matapos noon… (he breathes out) Tapos blah blah salitang tulad nang nag-iisang batang ginagawang dalawa o tatlo ang sarili at magbulungang sabay-sabay, sa dilim. (pause) Hay tapusin na natin! (he whistles. Clov eneters) Ano? Hindi umalis o namatay?

Clov: Sa kaluluwa lang..

Hamm: Ano?

Clov: Sa pareho.

Hamm: Mamatay ka sa akin kung umalis ka.

Clov: Kahit baliktarin mo pa.

Hamm: Sa labas nito, kamatayan lang. (pause) At ang daga?

Cov: Nakawala siya.

Hamm: Hindi siya makakalayo (pause. Anxious) Eh?

Clov: Hindi niya kailangan lumayo.

Hamm: Hindi pa ba oras para sa pain killer ko?

Clov: Oo.

Hamm: Ay! Sa wakas! Ibigay mo na. Bilis! (pause)

Clov:  Wala nang pain killer. (pause)

Hamm: (appaled) Good…! (pause) Wala nang pain killer.

Clov: Wala nang pain killer. Hindi ka na makakatikim ng pain killer kahit kalian. (pause)

Hamm: Pero yung maliit na kahon. Puno siya!

Clov: Oo, pero ngayon ubos na siya. (pause. Clov starts to move about the room.)

Hamm (soft): Ano gagawin ko? (pause. In a scream) Ano gagawin ko?! (clov sess the picture, takes it down… coughs)

Clov: Masakit ba lalamunan mo? (pause) Gusto mo ng strepsil? (pause) Ayaw. (pause) sayang, (clov goes humming towards window right, halts before it, looks up at it)

Hamm: Huwag ka kumanta?

Clov (turning towards Hamm): Wala na ba akong karapatan kumanta?

Hamm: Wala.

Clov: O di paano siya matatapos?

Hamm: Gusto mo na siya matapos?

Clov: Gusto ko kumanta.

Hamm: Hindi kita mapipigilan. (pause clov turns towards window right)

CLov: Saan ko ilinagay yung hagan? (he looks around for the ladder) Hindi mo ba nakita yung hagdan? (he sees it) Ay buti na lang. Kung minsan, inisip ko kung nasa tama ba akong pag-iisip. Tapos lumalagpas siya at kasing tino na ako nang dati. (he gets up the ladder and looks outside the window) Nasa ilalim siya ng tubig! (he looks) Paano kaya ‘yon? (he pokes forward his head , his hands aboves his eyes) Hindi naman umulan. (he wipes the pane. Looks . pause)  Ay gago. Nasa maling gilid ako. (he gets down, takes a few steps towards window right) Minsan nagtaka ako kung nababaliw na ba ako. Lalagapas din naman at sing talino na ako ng dati. (he sets down…) May bahagi ka bang gusto? O gusto mo yung buo?

Hamm: Buo.

Clov: Yung pangkalahatang  dulot? Sandali lang (he looks outside the window. Pauses)

Hamm: Clov!

 Cov: (absorbed) Mmm.

Hamm: Alam mo ba kung ano ‘yon?

Clov (as before): Hmmm…

Hamm: Hindi pa ako nakapupunta roon. (pause) Clov!

Clov: (turning towards Hamm exasperated) Ano?

Hamm: Hindi pa ako nakapupunta roon.

Clov: Buti ka pa (looks outside the window)

Hamm: Wala, lagi. Nangyari lahat nang wala ako. Hindi ko alam kung ano nangyari. (pause) Alam mo ba kung ano nangyari? (pause) Clov!

Clov (turning towards Hamm, exasperated) Gusto mo bang tumingin ako sa kanal na ito o hind?

Hamm: Sagutin mo muna ako.

Clov: Ano?

Hamm: Alam mo ba kung ano nangyari?

Clov: Kailan? Saan?

Haam(violently): Kalian! Ano nangyari? Gamitin mo ulo mo, hindi puwede! Ano nangyari?

Clov: Ano? Puta wala na namang halaga.

Hamm: Hindi ko alam (pause. Clov returns towards hamm)

Clov: may isang bagay na hinding-hindi ko maiintindihan. (he gets down) Kung bakit lagi dapat kita sundin. Kaya mo bang ipaliwanag sa akin iyon?

Hamm: Hindi…. Siguro naaawa ka sa akin . (pause) Isang uri ng lubhang awa. (pause.)

Clov: Napapagod na ako sa pang-araw-araw nating Gawain, pagod na pagod.( he moves the chair…)

HammL (anguished) Huwag mo ako iwan ditto (angrily, clov restores hamm to its original space) Nasa gitna ba ako? Ibigay mo sa akin yung aso ko.

Clov (looking): Tahimik.

Hamm: Ibigay mo sa akin yung aso ko. (clov drops the telescope…)

Clov: Heto aso mo (dog falls into the ground.)

Hamm: Tinamaan niya ako.

Clov: Nababaliw ako sa’yo, loko-loko na ako!

Hamm: ‘Pag kailangan mo talaga ako tamaan, tamaan mo ako ng palakol. (pause) O ng hagdan, tamaan mo ako ng hagdan. Hindi ng aso. Ng hagdan. O ng paalkol.   (Clov picks up the dog and gives it to Hamm who takes it in his arms)

Clov: (imploringly) Huwag ka maglaro!

Hamm Hindi magpakailanman! (pause) iIatag mo na ako sa kabaong ko.

Clov: Wala nang mga kabaong.

Hamm: Di hayaan mo nang matapos. (clov goes towards ladder. Clov gets up ladder gets down again…) sa karimlan! At ako? May roon bang magmamaka-awa sa akin?

Clov: (Lowering telescope)  Ano? (pause) Ako bang tinutukoy mo?

Hamm: (angrily) Patabi, chonggo! Hindi ka pa ba nakaririnig ng patabi? (pause) Naghahanda ako para sa aking solilokokyo.

Clov: binabalaan kita. Titignan kong busababos na ito dahil sa utos mo. Pero huling pagkakataon na ito. (he moves the telescope) Tignan natin (he moves the telescope) Wala… Wala… Maayos…Maayos… Ma… (he starts. Lowers the telescope examines it… Pause) Ay ‘pag minamalas ka nga naman.

Hamm: Dagdag sa kumplikasyon. (clov gets down— moves ladder…)

Clov: (dismayed) May bubwit.

Hamm: (sarcastic) Bubwit!

Clov: Titignan ko (he gets down, drops telescope, goestowardsthe door) Kukunin ko yung panungkit.(he looks at gaff, picks it up, hastens towards door)

Hamm: Huwag! (clov halts)

Clov: Huwag? Isang pusibleng manganak?

Hamm: ;Pag buhay pa siya, pupunta siya rito o mamatay siya. At kapag hindi (pause)

Clov: Hindi ka naniniwala sa akn? Tingin mo linuloko lang kita? (pause)

Hamm: Huli na clov, nakarating na tayo sa bingit ng kalahatan. Hindi na kita kailangan.

ClovL: Suwerte ka (Clov goes towardsthe door)

Hamm: Iwan mo yung panungkit (clov gives the gaffto Hamm. Goes towardsthe foor)

Clov: Iiwan na kita. ( he goes towardsthe door)

Hamm: Bago ka umalis…  (Clov halts nears the door) magwika ka.

Clov: Wala na akong masasabi sa’yo.

Hamm:  Isang salita lang… na paglilimuan ko … sa aking puso.

Clov: Sa puso mo?

Hamm: Oo (pause. Forcibly) Kasama ng iba, sa bingit ng kalahatan, mga anino, mga bulong, lahat ng prublemang pinagpatung-patong (Pause) Clov, hindi siya nagsalita. Tapos, sa huli, bago siya pumanaw, nang hindi ko siya tinatanong, kinausap niya ako. Sabi niya…

Clov: (despairingly) Ah!

Hamm: Kahit ano… mula sa puso mo.

Clov: Sa puso ko?

Hamm: Isang salita lang… mula sa puso mo. (pause)

Clov: (fixed gaze tonelessly towardsthe auditorium) Sabi nila sa akin, ganyan ang umibig, oo, oo, na walang pagdududa, ngayon nakikita mo kung papaano.

Hamm: Linawan mo!

Clov: (as before) Kung gaano siya kadali. Sabi nila sa akin. Hayan ang pagkakaibigan, oo,oo ,walang duda, natagpuan mo na. Ito ang tagpo. Tumigil, itango ang ulo at masdan ang kagandahan ! Ang kaayusan! Sabi nila sa akin, o hindi ka naman masahol na hayop. Pagmunihan ang mga bagay na ito at lilinaw ang lahat. At sisimple.Sabi nila sa akin, kung anong bihasang pansin ang tamo nila, nilang lahat ng taong namatay sa paanan mo!

Hamm: Tama na!

Clov: (as before) Sabi ko sa sarili ko, minsan, clov, kailangan mong magdusa ng higit pa kung gusto mong pakawalan ka nila— isang araw, pero pakiramdam kong matanda na ako, at masyado nang napalayo para bumuo ng bagong nakasananayan. Hinding-hindi ako aalis. (pause) At isang araw, biglaan, matatapos siya, magbabago. Hindi ko naiintindihan. Mamatay siya o ako. Hindi ko rin ‘yon naiintindihan.  Tinatanong ko ang mga salitang nanatili pa, pagtulog, paggising, umaga, gabi; wala silang masabi (pause) Kapag buksan ko ang pinto ng selda at umalis, mapakukumbaba ako at makikita ko na lang ang aking mga paa at sa gitna ng binti ko , isang munting aninong itim ng alikabok. Sasabihin ko sa sarili ko kung namatay na ang mundo, hindi ko man lang nakita. (pause) Wala lang. (pause) Kung mahulog ako, magluluksa ako para sa kaligayahan.  (pause he goes towardsthe door)

Hamm: Clov! (clov halts with out turning) Wala. (clov moves on) Clov! ( clov halts with out turning)

Clov: (bows. Applauds Hamm.) Maraming salamat.

Hamm: Nakatali ako sa’yo,Clov, sa serbisyo mo.

Clov: (turning sharply) Paumanhin, ako ang nakatali sa’yo.

Hamm: Nakatali tayo sa isa’t isa. (pause clov moves towards the door)  Isa pang bagay (clov halts) Isang huling kabutihang loob naman (exit clov). Kumutan mo ako. (long pause) Hindi? Maayos. (pause) Akong maglaro (pause warily) endgame na napaglumaan, maglaro’t matalo at magsawa sa pagkatalo. (pause) tignan natin. Ay oo! ( he tries to..) Maayos (pause) Itapon (he throwas away the gaff…) Hinahon lang. (pause) At ngayon? (pause) Itaas ang sombrero (he raises his toque) Kapayapaan sa ating mga.. puwet! (PAUSE) At isuot muli. Kamalasang patas. (pause he takes off his glasses) pahiran (he takes off his handkerchief…) At isuot muli. (he puts on his glasses…) Parating na tayo. Kaunting pintig na lang at susuko na ako. (pause) Kaunting talinhaga bago ang lahat. (pause) Nagdasal kang —(pause he corrects himself) Umiyak kang maggabi (pause he corrects himself).Mahulog ang gabi; ngayon umiiyak ka sa lagim (pause) Maayos. (pause) At ngayon? (pause)  Pagkakataon para sa wala, ngayon tulad ng lagi, oras ay wala, oras ay wagas na.  Tapos ang usap at wakas ang kuwento. (pause narrative tone) ‘Pag makasama niyang anak niya. (pause) ‘Yon ang pagkakataong hinihintay ko.  (pause) Ayaw mo siyang iwanan? Gusto mong yumabong siya habang nalalanta ka? Naroon para palubagin ang huling milyun mong pagkakataon? (pause) Hindi niya ‘yan maiintindihan. Alam niya lang gutom. Alam niya lang lamig. Alam niya lang kamatayan. Pero ikaw alam mo na dapat kung papaano dumiskarte. Ay! Kalagayan niya muna  bago mga responsibilidad niya! (pause normal tone)  Oo! Totoo! (He whistles pause. Louder.  Pause)  Maayos. (pause) Ama! (pause) Maayos. (pause) Parating na tayo. (pause) At para saan? (pause) Itapon! (he throws the dog…)  Regalo ko! (he throwas the whistle towardsteh auditorium) (pause he sniffs. Softly) Clov! (long pause) Wala? Maayos. ( he takes  out handkerchief)  maglaro tayong ganoon (he unfolds) at huwag nang pag-usapan pa. (he finishes unfolding) Huwag nang magsalita pa (he holds handkerchief before him) Huklubang magnanakaw! (pause) Nanatili ka. (pause…)

END

 

 

 

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