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2001 version


this version has been replaced by a new version from 2004

POINTLESS
By Eric Nakao

ACT I
Scene 1


(The LIGHTS FADE after the band finishes playing Fauxverture.)

PARK.

(The LIGHTS GO UP on PARK MOTHER and CHILD sitting on a bench. Soon, SQUIRREL enters, stage right. SQUIRREL stops stage right, making squirrel-like motions. MOTHER points out SQUIRREL to CHILD, then takes a one to two-foot long peanut out of her bag and gives it to CHILD to give to SQUIRREL. CHILD takes a few steps towards SQUIRREL and holds the peanut out for him. SQUIRREL approaches CHILD and takes the peanut. A delighted CHILD returns to PARK MOTHER. SQUIRREL retreats a few steps, then stands trying to eat the peanut.

SCRUFFY MAN enters, stage left. He stands, stage left and observes the situation. He then approaches SQUIRREL and wordlessly tries picking a fight, but single-minded SQUIRREL continues trying to eat his peanut. So SCRUFFY MAN starts pushing SQUIRREL who continues with his peanut until SCRUFFY MAN knocks it out of his paws. SQUIRREL tries standing his ground, twirling his paws in front of him like an old-fashioned boxer. But SCRUFFY MAN, with much longer arms, starts popping SQUIRREL in the face, then wrestles him to the ground and starts pounding away at him. Smacking and thudding sounds are heard when SCRUFFY MAN hits SQUIRREL in the face and body, respectively.

PARK MOTHER, who has been looking on in horror, ushers CHILD off, stage left, as the LIGHTS FADE.)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT I
Scene 2


PARK.

(LITTLE OLD LADY sits on the bench. Soon, PARK PIGEON flutters in, stage right. He starts strutting around and acting like a pigeon. LITTLE OLD LADY takes a one to two-foot wide popcorn kernel out of her bag. She tosses it on the ground for PARK PIGEON who struts over and tries to eat it by pecking at it and tossing it around with his beak.

SCRUFFY MAN enters, stage left. He stands, stage left, to observe the situation, then approaches PARK PIGEON and starts kicking the popcorn away from him. Single-minded PARK PIGEON keeps trying to peck away at the popcorn until SCRUFFY MAN trots around behind as PARK PIGEON is leaning over the popcorn and kicks him in his big rear end. PARK PIGEON stumbles forward, but doesn't fall. SCRUFFY MAN keeps at PARK PIGEON, following him around and kicking his rear end until he falls flat on his face whereupon SCRUFFY MAN pounces on top of him and begins to wrestle with the outmatched bird.

Suddenly, PARK MOTHER and CHILD rush in, stage left, with POLICE OFFICER. They stop, stage left, MOTHER pointing at the horrific scene.)

MOTHER
There he is, officer! There's that horrid, horrid man!

(POLICE OFFICER approaches SCRUFFY MAN and PARK PIGEON.)

POLICE OFFICER
All right. Break it up, you two.
(He pulls SCRUFFY MAN up by the collar and off of PARK PIGEON, then addresses SCRUFFY MAN.)
Why'd you do it, Lefty?

SCRUFFY MAN
Why'd I do it?
(to the audience, taunting)
Who's gonna stop me!
(laughs tauntingly at audience)

POLICE OFFICER
All right. Come along with you now.

(He takes SCRUFFY MAN off, stage left. PARK MOTHER and CHILD, who have been attending to PARK PIGEON, help him off, stage left. LITTLE OLD LADY continues sitting on the bench.

Soon, OLD MAN enters, stage left. He stands, stage left, observing LITTLE OLD LADY who doesn't see him yet, then goes over and sits next to her. LITTLE OLD LADY is aware of him now, but tries not to let on. Soon, OLD MAN scoots closer to her and whispers something in her ear. LITTLE OLD LADY is deeply offended, stands up, hits him a few times with her bag, then stalks off, stage left. OLD MAN watches her exit, then continues sitting, lost in his own thoughts.)

OLD MAN
OH, SOMETIMES I WISH I WAS CHRISTIAN.
OH, WHAT A GOOD LIFE THAT WOULD BE.
I'D LIVE BY THE GOLDEN RULE EVERY DAY
AND BEAR MY CROSS PEACEFULLY.
AND THE GIRLS ARE SO LOVELY, LOVELY,
THEIR VIRGIN LIPS UNKISSED
BY WORRY, FEAR, PROTECTED BY
A COMMUNAL CHRISTIAN BLISS.

OH, SOMETIMES I WISH I WAS JEWISH.
OH, WHAT A GOOD LIFE THAT WOULD BE.
I'D LIVE BY THE TORAH EVERY DAY
AND LIVE MY LIFE PEACEFULLY.
AND THE GIRLS ARE SO LOVELY, LOVELY,
THEIR VIRGIN LIPS UNKISSED
BY WORRY, FEAR, PROTECTED BY
A COMMUNAL JEWISH BLISS.

(TRISTAN enters, tumbling in from stage left.)

TRISTAN
Whoa!
(stops tumbling, center stage, ending up lying on her back)
That was quite a fall.

OLD MAN
(looks to heavens)
Thank you.
(to self)
Be still, my heart.

(TRISTAN gets up and looks around, but doesn't see OLD MAN yet.)

TRISTAN
I wonder where I am?

OLD MAN
(to TRISTAN, sounding far away)
Hello.

(TRISTAN hears OLD MAN, but still doesn't see him.)

TRISTAN
Hello?

OLD MAN
(to self)
Oh, be still, my heart.
(to TRISTAN, playfully, but still sounding far away)
Hello.

(TRISTAN begins backing up towards OLD MAN.)

TRISTAN
Hello? Is anybody there?

OLD MAN
HELLO, HELLO. IT'S ME.
HELLO, HELLO. IT'S ME.
HELLO, HELLO. IT'S ME.
HELLO, HELLO. IT'S ME. WOO!
(TRISTAN falls back onto the bench, to the left of OLD MAN on "woo," then OLD MAN to self.)
Oh, my prayers have been answered.
(to TRISTAN)
And what is your name, my child?

TRISTAN
Tristan.

OLD MAN
Tristan, Tristan. Isn't that a young man's name?

TRISTAN
I don't know.

OLD MAN
(looks over TRISTAN's body)
But you're not a young man, are you?

TRISTAN
(slightly uncomfortable, but trying to be polite)
Oh no. I'm a young woman. A girl-woman.

OLD MAN
(to self)
Ah, a girl-woman. The best kind. I think.
(to TRISTAN)
Forgive me, Tristan. It's just that when you get to be my age, you just can't contain yourself sometimes.

TRISTAN
Mm.

OLD MAN
I mean you just can't contain yourself sometimes. Do you un-der-stand what I'm trying to say to you here, Tristan.

TRISTAN
(a little nervous, but still trying to be polite)
Just can't contain yourself sometimes.

OLD MAN
(shudder)
Rrrrr.

TRISTAN
(still trying to be polite)
Rrrrr.

OLD MAN
(with more feeling)
Rrrrr.

TRISTAN
(sort of playing along)
Rrrrr.

OLD MAN
(cuts loose)
RRRRR!

TRISTAN
(very uncomfortable, realizing she has to end this)
I have to go now.

(TRISTAN gets up and exits, stage right. OLD MAN watches her go, then returns to his own thoughts.)

OLD MAN
THE TIME IS NEAR.
THE DAYS GROW COLDER.
YOU LOOK WITHIN
AND FIND YOU'RE OLDER
THAN YOU'D REALLY LIKE TO BE
IN ALL YOUR BROKEN DREAMS.

THERE'S NOTHING YOU
CAN DO TO CHANGE
THE LOOKING GLASS
THAT REARRANGES
EVERYTHING THAT YOU DESIRED,
SO MANY YEARS AGO.

THEN RRRRR. RRRRR!
SOMETHING IN YOUR HEART
BEGINS TO STIRRRR!
THEN TO HELL WITH ALL THE CONSEQUENCES
THAT YOU MAY INCUR.
IT'S RRRRR. RRRRR! RRRRR!

(OLD MAN exits, stage right as rap MUSIC from the next song begins. Three old RAPPERS enter rapping, stage right. Maybe the LIGHTS FADE and RED LIGHTS or something start to flash to give a surreal feeling and the LIGHTS GO BACK UP when OLD MAN re-enters.)

RAPPERS
JUST CAN'T STOP A LOVE LIKE THAT!
JUST CAN'T STOP A LOVE LIKE THAT!
JUST CAN'T STOP A LOVE LIKE THAT!

(OLD MAN, dressed in hip-hop attire, enters, stage right, and takes center stage.)

OLD MAN
A-WHEN YA SEES A SOMETHIN' THAT YA NEED,
YOU GOTSTA GRAB IT WITH BOTH HANDS AND
SQUEEZE.
AND POP IT IN YOUR MOUTH JUST LIKE A CHEEZ-IT.
AND EASE IT.

(OLD MAN does some sexually suggestive dance moves. RAPPERS watch him approvingly and offer words of encouragement.)

RAPPER 1
Mm hm.

RAPPER 2
You got it, baby.

RAPPER 3
Show them how it's done, old man! Show them how it's done!

OLD MAN
THEN FREEZE IT.

(He does more suggestive dance moves.)

RAPPER 1
Oh yeah.

RAPPER 2
Don't hold back, baby.

RAPPER 3
Show it no mercy, old man! Show it no mercy!

OLD MAN
THEN SLEEZE IT. WOO!

(He cuts loose with some very suggestive dance moves.)

RAPPERS
JUST CAN'T STOP A LOVE LIKE THAT!
JUST CAN'T STOP A LOVE LIKE THAT!
JUST CAN'T STOP A LOVE LIKE THAT!

(OLD MAN finishes his dance, then swaggers off, stage right, to the dangerous rhythms and noises of the music, followed by the approving RAPPERS)

(LIGHTS FADE.)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT I
Scene 3


OUTSIDE.

(MISSILE GIRL, a young woman around TRISTAN's age, stands singing, center stage. The back end of a missile is sticking out of the top of her head at a slight angle.)

MISSILE GIRL
OH, I DESPISE AMERICA.
AMERICA. AMERICA.
OH, I DESPISE AMERICA.
AMERICA, USA.

(TRISTAN enters, stage left. She stands, stage left, and doesn't see MISSILE GIRL yet.)

TRISTAN
Well, that was strange, but I must keep pressing forward.
(notices MISSILE GIRL)
Oh look, maybe she can help.
(approaches MISSILE GIRL.)

MISSILE GIRL
FOR IN THE LAND OF OPEN SPACE,
THE HUMAN RACE, ELECTION DAY —
BIG STORES, BIG PRISONS, ALL CONSPIRE
TO MAKE THE WORLD GO 'ROUND.

TRISTAN
Excuse me…

MISSILE GIRL
(apparently doesn't notice TRISTAN yet.)
OH, I DESPISE AMERICA…

TRISTAN
Hello?

(MISSILE GIRL seems to be aware of TRISTAN's presence now and alternates between singing and quick, but friendly, responses to TRISTAN.)

MISSILE GIRL
AMERICA…
(to TRISTAN)
Hello.
(sings)
AMERICA…

TRISTAN
I was just wondering…

MISSILE GIRL
(to TRISTAN)
Yes?
(sings)
OH, I DESPISE AMERICA…

TRISTAN
I mean I don't mean to interrupt — you have a lovely voice, by the way…

MISSILE GIRL
(to TRISTAN)
Thank you.
(sings)
AMERICA, USA.

TRISTAN
But I was wondering…

(MISSILE GIRL has finished singing for now and devotes her full attention to TRISTAN.)

MISSILE GIRL
Yes?

TRISTAN
if you could tell me…

MISSILE GIRL
Yes?

TRISTAN
where I am … exactly?

MISSILE GIRL
Hm. I don't know if I should.

TRISTAN
Oh, I understand.
(indicates missile)
Is it painful?

MISSILE GIRL
You learn to live.

TRISTAN
Gosh, well how did it happen? If you don't mind my asking.

MISSILE GIRL
Oh, you know. You walk around, going about your business, then one day you cross paths with the wrong people and they drop a bomb on your head.

TRISTAN
That's terrible.

MISSILE GIRL
Yes. And if they decide to detonate, well…

(She makes an explosion sound.)

TRISTAN
Well, I wouldn't want that to happen.

MISSILE GIRL
No.

TRISTAN
Well, I guess I'll be moving along then.

MISSILE GIRL
Thank you for your support.
(TRISTAN starts to exit, stage right. MISSILE GIRL resumes her singing.)
OH, I DESPISE AMERICA.
AMERICA. AMERICA…

(TRISTAN stops and turns back to MISSILE GIRL.)

TRISTAN
Oh, one more thing…

MISSILE GIRL
Yes?

TRISTAN
I mean I don’t want to get you into trouble or anything…

MISSILE GIRL
Yes?

TRISTAN
but could you tell me how to get out of here?

MISSILE GIRL
Oh. Well. The same way you got in, I suppose.

TRISTAN
(not sure she understands)
Oh. All right. Well, thank you, I guess.

MISSILE GIRL
Mm hm.
(TRISTAN exits, stage right. MISSILE GIRL watches her go, then resumes her singing.)
OH, I DESPISE AMERICA.
AMERICA. AMERICA.
OH, I DESPISE AMERICA.
AMERICA, USA.

(The LIGHT FADES on MISSILE GIRL as she's finishing her song. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on four to six, male and female SINGERS.

At the end of many scenes, a singer or singers will sing a stand-alone song. They may either be standing with the band, if the band is facing the audience, or may be standing stage right or center stage.)

SINGERS
ARRIVEDERCI, A MI AMORÉ,
A MI AMORE.
ARRIVEDERCI, A MI AMORÉ,
A MI AMORE.
ARRIVEDERCI, ARRIVEDERCI,
A MI AMORÉ.
ARRIVEDERCI, ARRIVEDERCI,
A MI AMORE.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT I
Scene 4


OUTSIDE.

(SWEEPER, in work clothes and orange safety vest, is sweeping with a push broom. WHIP MAN, in a suit, watches SWEEPER closely and writes things down on a clipboard every once in awhile. SWEEPER bends over to pick something up. WHIP MAN pushes him to the ground, then takes out a whip and starts whipping him.

TRISTAN rushes in, stage left, and tries to stop WHIP MAN.)

TRISTAN
Stop that! What are you doing? My God!
(POLICE OFFICER enters, stage left. TRISTAN rushes to him and points to WHIP MAN.)
Officer! Officer! Arrest that man!

(POLICE OFFICER goes over to WHIP MAN and SWEEPER.)

POLICE OFFICER
All right. Break it up, you two.
(He pulls SWEEPER up by the collar. WHIP MAN stops whipping. Then POLICE OFFICER addresses SWEEPER.)
Why'd ya do it, Lefty?

(SWEEPER is not played by the same actor who played SCRUFFY MAN, nor do they physically resemble one another.)

TRISTAN
Not him!
(points to WHIP MAN)
Him!

WHIP MAN
That's all right, officer. Good work.
(POLICE OFFICER lets SWEEPER go.
WHIP MAN cheerfully addresses SWEEPER.)
All right. Back to work.

(SWEEPER picks up his broom and starts sweeping again. WHIP MAN watches over him again. POLICE OFFICER starts to exit, stage left.)

TRISTAN (upset)
Wait a minute.

(POLICE OFFICER stops.)

WHIP MAN
What.

TRISTAN
I mean you beat this poor man and then go on as if nothing's happened?

WHIP MAN
Not at all. Our workfare participant has just learned a valuable lesson on the value of hard work.

(SWEEPER and POLICE OFFICER nod.)

TRISTAN
By beating him?

WHIP MAN
When people fall they need a little incentive to get back up again.

TRISTAN
You pushed him!

WHIP MAN
No, I didn't.

TRISTAN
Yes you did! I saw you!

WHIP MAN
I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. Besides, our workfare participant is free to leave the program whenever he chooses.
(to audience, cheerfully)
After all, this is still America. The land of opportunity.

WHEN MY FATHER WAS A YOUNG BOY,
HE SAILED THE SEVEN SEAS
IN SEARCH OF FREEDOM AND OF GOLD,
A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY.

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY.

WHIP MAN
AND WHEN HE FOUND AMERICA,
HE KNEW THAT HE COULD BE
A MAN OF SUBSTANCE, GOALS AND DREAMS.
A WIFE, A HOME, A FAMILY.

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
A WIFE, A HOME, A FAMILY.
THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY.

WHIP MAN
BUT NOW, IT'S JUST A POST-COLD-WAR WORLD.

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
IT'S JUST A POST-COLD-WAR WORLD.

WHIP MAN
IT'S JUST A POST-COLD-WAR WORLD.

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
IT'S JUST A POST-COLD-WAR WORLD.

WHIP MAN
WHEN YOUR BODY STARTS A SHAKIN'
AND YOUR FEVER STARTS A BREAKIN',
THEN YOU KNOW THAT IT'S JUST A POST-COLD-WAR
WORLD.

TRISTAN
Wait a minute. What does whipping a, a workfare participant have to do with the Cold War?

WHIP MAN
Well, you know, when Communism fell, it knocked the wind out of the Communist-inspired or supported or whatever American welfare system.

TRISTAN
What?

WHIP MAN
WHEN THE SOVIET UNION DIED

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
WHEN THE SOVIET UNION DIED

WHIP MAN
AND ROOSEVELT WELFARE, TOO

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
AND ROOSEVELT WELFARE, TOO

TRISTAN
BUT WE STILL HAVE SOCIAL SECURITY
AND PENSION PLANS AS A SURETY.
ISN'T THAT COMMUNIST THEORY, TOO.

WHIP MAN
THAT'S COMMUNISM FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS.

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
THAT'S COMMUNISM FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS.

WHIP MAN
SO THAT'S OK.

SWEEPER AND
POLICE OFFICER
SO THAT'S OK.

(SWEEPER points to POLICE OFFICER on "that's OK.")

WHIP MAN
BUT WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO THE POOREST,
THEN YOU'D BETTER JOIN THE CHORUS
AND JUST SAY THAT IT'S JUST A POST-COLD-WAR
WORLD.

SO, JUMP DOWN, TURN AROUND,
PICK A BALE OF COTTON.
HA!
(cracks whip on "ha")
JUMP DOWN, TURN AROUND,
PICK A BALE ALL DAY.
(gets down on one knee and spreads hands)
OH, MAMMY!

POLICE OFFICER
(to SWEEPER, handing him the broom)
PICK A BALE OF COTTON.

WHIP MAN
OH, MAMMY!

POLICE OFFICER
(to SWEEPER, twirling nightstick)
PICK A BALE ALL DAY.

(SWEEPER starts sweeping until WHIP MAN links elbows with him and starts dancing him around an axis)

WHIP MAN
ME AND MY PARTNER CAN
PICK A BALE OF COTTON.
HA!
(cracks whip on "ha", then links their other elbows and dances around in the other direction)
ME AND MY PARTNER CAN
PICK A BALE ALL DAY.
(unlinks from SWEEPER and kneels and spreads hands again)
OH, MAMMY!

POLICE OFFICER
(to SWEEPER, pushing him down on one knee)
PICK A BALE OF COTTON.

TRISTAN
I'm reporting this to the authorities.

WHIP MAN
(to TRISTAN, over his shoulder)
Sorry, I'm busy!
(sing)
OH, MAMMY!

POLICE OFFICER
(to SWEEPER, pushing SWEEPER's hands up like WHIP MAN's with his nightstick)
PICK A BALE ALL DAY.

(WHIP MAN rises, pulling a slightly dazed SWEEPER up also.)

WHIP MAN
(to TRISTAN, over his shoulder)
Look! I'm helping him get back on his feet!
(He links elbows with SWEEPER and they exit kick dancing, stage left. POLICE OFFICER follows them, not dancing, but nodding his approval.)
ME AND MY PARTNER CAN
PICK A BALE OF COTTON.
HA!
(cracks whip on "ha")
ME AND MY PARTNER CAN
PICK A BALE ALL DAY.
HAAAA!
(cracks whip off-stage on "ha")

TRISTAN
(to self, looking stage left exit)
Well, that was unfortunate. And I think I might have meant Socialist theory, not Communist.
(to audience)
See what happens when you don't go to grad school.
(to self)
Oh, and I forgot to ask them how to get out of here.
(A push broom is tossed from off-stage left to TRISTAN's feet. She picks it up, silently reads a tag that's attached to the handle, then sourly relates to the audience.)
Socialist broom stick.
(TRISTAN tosses the broom back, stage left, then addresses off-stage left)
No thanks! Roosevelt had the WPA program, remember? They were inclusive, not punitive!
(sighs, then to self)
Well, I guess I'd better keep going then.

(TRISTAN starts to exit, stage left, but thinks better of it and exits, stage right. The LIGHTS FADE as she exits and the MUSIC begins. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on a female SINGER.)

SINGER
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE ME CRY
YOU'D BETTER SHUT THE DOOR,
CUZ I FEEL THAT I'M ABOUT
TO START JUST LIKE BEFORE.

I JUST DON'T KNOW WHY YOU CAN'T SEE
WHEN I AM FEELING BLUE,
CUZ WHEN YOU'RE DOWN
YOU KNOW THAT I
AM RIGHT DOWN THERE WITH YOU.

IT'S NOT SOMETHING
I LIKE TO SAY.
BUT WHEN I FEEL SAD
IN THIS OLD WAY.

I KNOW THAT YOU'RE NOT MEAN OR CRUEL
YOU JUST SAY WHAT YOU SAY.
IT'S JUST THAT I DO SOMETIMES WISH
MY LIFE COULD GO ANOTHER WAY.

SO IF LOVE
IS SOMETHING IN
WHICH YOU DO NOT BELIEVE.
AND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE ME CRY…
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE ME CRY…
THEN YOU'D BETTER SHUT THE DOOR OR LEAVE.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT I
Scene 5


OUTSIDE.

(TRISTAN enters, stage left.)

TRISTAN
Hm. I don't seem to be getting anyplace. If only they had information booths here or something, I'm sure I'd be much further along.
(Four DUCKS enter, stage right. TRISTAN sees them.)
Oh look, maybe they can help.
(to DUCKS)
Excuse me, excuse me. Could you please tell me where I am?

(The DUCKS stop.)

DUCK 1
Why of course. You're in…

OTHER DUCKS
BEAVERTOWN, CALIFORNIA.
YOU'RE IN BEAVERTOWN, USA.
YOU'RE IN BEAVERTOWN, CALIFORNIA.
YOU'RE IN BEAVERTOWN, BEAVERTOWN, BEAVERTOWN,
BEAVERTOWN.
BEAVERTOWN, BEAVERTOWN, BEAVERTOWN,
BEAVERTOWN.
BEAVERTOWN, BEAVERTOWN, BEAVERTOWN,
BEAVERTOWN.

TRISTAN
Oh. Well, where are the beavers then?

DUCK 1
(shrugs)
Why would you want to see a beaver when you can see a duck?

(DUCKS do a "ta da" pose.)

TRISTAN
But why would I want to see a duck at all?

DUCK 1
Oh. Well ducks are…

TRISTAN
Yes?

DUCK 1
are…

TRISTAN
Yes?

DUCK 2
Wonderful!

DUCK 3
Fabulous!

DUCK 4
Amazing!

TRISTAN (skeptical)
Amazing.

DUCK 1
(laughing gently)
Yes, yes. Amazing. Amazing.

TRISTAN
What's so amazing about ducks?

DUCK 1
Well, they can…

TRISTAN
Yes?

DUCK 1
can…

TRISTAN
Yes?

DUCK 2
Sit on top of the water!

DUCK 3
Swim in straight lines!

DUCK 4
They can fly!
(spreads her wings and runs around like she's flying)
Whee!

(Maybe five to ten more DUCKS enter, stage left, as the MUSIC starts. This song might sound good if it sounds like a choir is singing it. Also, maybe DUCKS can file across the stage in opposing directions like in a shooting gallery at some point.)

ALL DUCKS
DUCKS, DUCKS, DUCKS.
SO HAPPY AND PEACEFUL ARE WE.
DUCKS, DUCKS, DUCKS.
CONTENTED AND LOVING AND FREE.
IN OUR WORLD
THERE NEVER IS WORRY OR FEAR.
WE GLIDE O'ER THE WATER,
OUR SONS AND OUR DAUGHTERS
SWIM IN A STRAIGHT LINE AT OUR TAILS.
A QUACK OR TWO AS WE ASSAIL

DUCK 2
(to TRISTAN, in passing)
QUACK QUACK.

DUCK 3
(to TRISTAN, in passing)
QUACK QUACK.

DUCK 4
(to TRISTAN, in passing)
QUACK QUACK.

ALL DUCKS
NUTS, BUGS, BREAD.
THE APPLES OF OUR ROVING EYES.
IN OUR HEADS,
THE HEAVENLY MORSELS WE PRIZE.
WATCH US SWOON
AS WE SETTLE DOWN TO OUR MEALS.
WITH LOVING EMBRACES,
WE SCOOP UP THE TRACES
OF KINDNESSES LEFT IN OUR TRAILS,
THEN PADDLE OFF WAGGING OUR TAILS.

DUCK 2
(to TRISTAN, wags tail at her in passing)
QUACK QUACK.

DUCK 3
(to TRISTAN, wags tail at her in passing)
QUACK QUACK.

DUCK 4
(to TRISTAN, wags tail at her in passing)
QUACK QUACK.

TRISTAN
Oh, that's very well for all of you. But what about me?

(Maybe during an instrumental interlude and buildup, the DUCKS can spread out in a formal pattern across the stage, standing like statues with their wings raised at their sides like they're addressing the audience for the start of this next verse. Then they individually start falling out of the formation as the verse progresses and do whatever they were doing before.)

ALL DUCKS
QUACK, QUACK, QUACK.
THE WORDS THAT ALL DUCKS LOVE TO SAY.
OFF OUR BACKS,
EACH DROPLET OF RAIN ROLLS AWAY.
IN A GROOVE,
OUR LIVES COULDN'T BE MORE SERENE.
WHEN WINTER APPROACHES
AND DARKNESS ENCROACHES,
WE FLY OFF LIKE BIRDS ON A WING
TO WEATHER CONDUCIVE,
ALL DUCKS, SWANS AND GOOSES,
BOUNCE OVER THE GLOBE LIKE SPRINGS.

TRISTAN
But what about me?

(DUCKS start filing out, stage left.)

ALL DUCKS (softly)
DUCKS, DUCKS, DUCKS.
SO HAPPY AND PEACEFUL ARE WE.
DUCKS, DUCKS, DUCKS.
CONTENTED AND LOVING AND FREE…

TRISTAN
How do I get out of here?

ALL DUCKS (softly)
IN OUR WORLD,
THERE NEVER IS WORRY OR FEAR.
(DUCK 1 hands TRISTAN a sheet of paper in passing.)
WE GLIDE O'ER THE WATER,
OUR SONS AND OUR DAUGHTERS
SWIM IN A STRAIGHT LINE AT OUR TAILS.
A QUACK OR TWO AS WE ASSAIL…

DUCK 4
(to TRISTAN, over her shoulder)
QUACK QUACK.

(TRISTAN stands watching the DUCKS exit. DUCK 4 was the last.)

TRISTAN
(to self)
I never knew ducks could sing so well.
(looks at paper)
Well, let's see what they have to say here.
(reads)
Keep your head above water.
(to self)
Well, I guess that's kind of a common sense thing to say.
(reads)
Beware of decoys.
(to self)
Huh. I wonder why they'd say that?
(reads)
Ducks are quadra-amphibious.
(Four to six PIGEONS enter, stage right. They stand, stage right, observing TRISTAN, who doesn't see them yet. TRISTAN continues speaking to herself.)
Quadra-amphibious. Four-amphibious? Let's see. Walking, swimming, flying…floating? I don't know.

(PIGEON 1 approaches TRISTAN.)

PIGEON 1
That's right. Cuz you ain't no duck, chicky.

(TRISTAN hears, but hasn't seen, PIGEON 1 yet.)

TRISTAN
Oh yeah? Well, I ain't no chicky,
(turns to address PIGEON 1 and is slightly taken aback to see that she's talking to a pigeon, but she's still annoyed.)
pigeon.

PIGEON 2
She ain't no nuthin'.

PIGEON 3
Strange bird.

TRISTAN
(tries to explain patiently)
I'm not a bird. I'm a young woman.

PIGEON 1
A young woman.

TRISTAN
(annoyed again)
That's right. A young woman, you pigeon-bastard.
(PIGEONS start cackling to each other.)
Would you stop that? My God, you pigeons are annoying.

(PIGEON 1 gets the others to stifle their laughter.)

PIGEON 1
(mock innocent)
But we're not pigeons.
(the kicker)
We're young women!

(PIGEONS laugh and start to mockingly act like young women.)

TRISTAN
(to self, shaking head)
So rude.
(starts to exit.)

PIGEON 1
Wait! Don't you want to hear our song?

TRISTAN
No!

PIGEON 1
Wait! Don't you want to hear me play the harmonica?

(TRISTAN stops. She turns around to set him straight, slightly indulgent.)

TRISTAN
Pigeons cannot play the harmonica.

(PIGEON 1 looks confidently at TRISTAN.)

OTHER PIGEONS (separately)
He can! He can!

TRISTAN
You need lips to play the harmonica.
(points emphatically to her lips)
Lips! Lips!

OTHER PIGEONS (separately)
He can! He can!
(to PIGEON 1, separately)
Show her! Show her!

(TRISTAN comes over to PIGEON 1 who takes out a harmonica and brings it to his beak.)

PIGEON 1
(to TRISTAN)
Ready?

TRISTAN
It's your funeral.

(PIGEON 1 almost begins, then stops.)

PIGEON 1
(to TRISTAN)
Prepare to be amazed.

TRISTAN
Just do it.
(PIGEON 1 commences with a pathetic series of pecks and stray notes. When he's finished, he waits for what he's sure will be a complimentary response from TRISTAN. But TRISTAN is not impressed at all.)
Give me that.
(She snatches the harmonica from PIGEON 1 and commences with a soulful rendition of "My Old Kentucky Home." She stops briefly, looks up at PIGEON 1 and speaks emphatically.)
Lips. Lips.
(She then continues with her soulful rendition, but PIGEON 1 can't stand being shown up and snatches his harmonica back. TRISTAN, unperturbed, addresses PIGEON 1 triumphantly.)
And that's how you play the harmonica.

(PIGEON 1 isn't going to take this lying down though.)

PIGEON 1
You think you're pretty clever, don't you.

TRISTAN
(fake modesty)
No. I just did what any 6-year-old child could do.
(aside for OTHER PIGEONS, happily rubbing it in a little)
A human child, that is.

(OTHER PIGEONS start grumbling. PIGEON 1 goes over to them. They confer, then PIGEON 1 goes back to TRISTAN.)

PIGEON 1
THINK YOU'RE PRETTY CLEVER,
BRIGHTER THAN THE SKY.
WHEN TROUBLE REARS ITS UGLY HEAD,
YOU PUNCH IT IN THE EYE.

(OTHER PIGEONS start circling around TRISTAN.)

TRISTAN
(to OTHER PIGEONS, starting to get a little nervous, slightly sing-songy)
Remember, you were mean to me first.

PIGEON 1
FIRST OR SECOND, THIRD OR LAST,
IT DOESN'T MEAN A THING.
FOR WHEN YOU'VE CROSSED A PIGEON'S PATH,
YOU'LL FEEL THE CRUSH OF A PIGEON'S WING.

ALL PIGEONS
THE PIGEONS ARE GONNA GETCHA,
IF YOU DON'T WATCH OUT.
(COO, COO, COO.)
THE NEXT TIME YOU'RE OUT, YOU BETCHA,
YOU'RE GONNA WANNA SCREAM AND SHOUT.
(HEE, HEE, HEE.)
YOU KNOW WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT,
YOU'RE GONNA FEEL THE DRIVIN' RAIN.
(YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!)
(A different PIGEON pelts TRISTAN
with an exploding bag of white pigeon poop with each "yeah".)
DON'T GIVE US YOUR POO
CUZ YOU KNOW YOU
WILL BE GETTING IT BACK AGAIN.

PIGEON 1
(fakes a throw causing TRISTAN to flinch)
AND AGAIN.

PIGEON 2
(fakes a throw causing TRISTAN to flinch)
AND AGAIN.

PIGEON 3
(fakes a throw causing TRISTAN to flinch)
AND AGAIN.

TRISTAN
YOU KNOW, HEY, I'M REALLY SORRY.
I SHOULD HAVE JUST CUT AND RUN.
(PIGEONS fake a group bombardment. TRISTAN protests as she's trying to cover herself.)
(NO! NO! NO!)
(returns to regular singing)
BUT WHEN YOU MADE FUN OF ME, WELL,
I HAD TO SHOW YOU ALL HOW IT WAS DONE.
(PIGEONS fake another bombardment. TRISTAN begs.)
(PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!)
(returns to regular singing)
I THINK THAT YOU'RE REALLY SOMETHING.
IT WAS ENVY, I JUST HAVE TO SAY.
(PIGEONS start making bombardment motions again. TRISTAN speaks as she's going into a defensive crouch.)
(NOT IN THE FACE!)
(But this time, they mercilessly bomb the crouching TRISTAN with the exploding bags. Maybe near the end of the bombardment, some of the PIGEONS make bombing noises when they throw their bags. After they're finished, TRISTAN looks sheepishly up from her crouching position. The area of her clean protected face is clearly demarcated from the rest of her white goo covered body.)
SO IF IT PLEASE YOU WELL,
I GUESS THAT I'LL JUST
BE GOING ON MY OWN WAY.

(A pleased PIGEON 1 considers her request.)

PIGEON 1
(mock conciliatory)
Well, she does seem repentant.

PIGEON 2
(mock conciliatory)
And we did slightly disparage her in the beginning.

(A CHILD PIGEON enters, stage right. He runs up to TRISTAN and holds out a towel.)

TRISTAN
(tentatively, but as to a child)
Is that for me?

(CHILD PIGEON starts to hand TRISTAN the towel, then pulls it away.)

CHILD PIGEON
(coyly mischievous)
No.

(He scampers to the adult PIGEONS who laughingly approve.)

PIGEON 1
Well, our work is done here. Come along, piggies, let's leave this young woman to think about what's just happened here.

(ALL PIGEONS start exiting, stage left, in high spirits.)

PIGEON 2
Pigeons rule!

PIGEON 3
Pigeon stool!

(PIGEONS exit laughing. TRISTAN rises, unhappy. Maybe her goo-covered body makes her look a little like a bird, but she doesn't play this up.)

TRISTAN
Oh, what a nasty world this is.

(MUSIC starts as four to six male and female SINGERS jauntily enter, stage right, with buckets of water, sponges and mops. They dump the water over a startled TRISTAN and quickly clean her off and mop up the excess water as they sing.)

SINGERS
CHILL, BRO, CHILL.
IT'S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL.
WE FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL.
SO CHILL, BRO, CHILL.

KEEP IT REAL.
ALL WOUNDS WILL EVENTUALLY HEAL.
WE FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL.
SO CHILL, BRO, CHILL.

(SINGERS exit, stage right. A shocked TRISTAN considers her present soaking wet condition, then she gets a little peeved and starts exiting, stage right.)

TRISTAN
(to off-stage SINGERS)
Hey, what about a towel! And I'm not a bro, I'm a "sista!"

(As TRISTAN is exiting, the LIGHTS FADE and the MUSIC for the next song begins. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on a male or female SINGER.)

SINGER
ONLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE GO OUT ON A SATURDAY
NIGHT.
BUT THEY DON’T LOOK HAPPY,
LIKE THEY'RE JUST FINISHING UP
WITH A GOD DAMN, KNOCKDOWN, DRAG OUT FIGHT.
OR IS IT JUST ME,
KINDA UGLY AND FREE,
SUCKING ALL THE AIR OUT OF SIGHT?
CUZ ONLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE GO OUT ON A
SATURDAY NIGHT.

BUT HONEY, I DON'T CARE.
LIFE'S UNFAIR. FULL OF ANGER AND STRIFE.
BUT WHAT DOES IT MATTER
SINCE YOU DON'T LOVE ME, ANYWAY?
BUT IF YOU HELD MY HAND,
I COULD FEEL
A DIFFERENT KIND OF BEAUTY INSIDE.
AND TO FEEL THAT FEELING
WOULD BE GOOD, I THINK.

CUZ ONLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE GO OUT ON A
SATURDAY NIGHT.
BUT THEY DON'T LOOK HAPPY,
LIKE THEY'RE JUST FINISHING UP
WITH A GOD DAMN, KNOCKDOWN, DRAG OUT FIGHT.
OR IS IT JUST ME,
KINDA UGLY AND FREE,
SUCKING ALL THE AIR OUT OF SIGHT?
CUZ ONLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE GO OUT ON A
SATURDAY NIGHT.
AND ONLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE GO OUT THERE
ON A SATURDAY NIGHT.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 1


BEDROOM. Very messy.

(SEBASTIAN, a teen boy, sleeps in his bed. His SISTER enters, stage right, and is disgusted by both the mess and her lazy brother. She goes over to SEBASTIAN, takes out a compressed air horn can and lets loose an ear-splitting blast. SEBASTIAN is startled awake.)

SEBASTIAN
I'm up! I'm up!

SISTER
How can you live like this!

(SEBASTIAN falls back into bed again.)

SEBASTIAN
What.

(SISTER lets loose another blast and SEBASTIAN is startled wide awake again.)

SISTER
(picks up various items)
Like this! And this! You just can't close your eyes to some things in this world, Sebastian!

(She throws the items on SEBASTIAN.)

SEBASTIAN
(starting to relax again)
Would you please stop?

(SISTER lets loose another blast and SEBASTIAN reacts again.)

SISTER
Get with the program, Sebastian!

SEBASTIAN
What program?

SISTER
The Clean-Up-Your-Room Program, Sebastian! The Clean-Up-Your-Room!

(The MUSIC starts as SEBASTIAN groans, then rolls face down into his pillow. SISTER throws up her hands, then yanks her brother out of bed and stands him up to set him right.)

SISTER
WELL, YOU KNOW YOU'RE GONNA ZOOM-A
WHEN YOU CLEAN-A UP YOUR ROOM-A
CUZ YOU'RE CUTTIN' OUT THE TUMA IN YOUR HEAD.
HA!
(hits him on the head on "ha")
CUZ THE FILTH IS HITTIN' CRISIS
AND YOU'RE KNOWIN' WHAT THE VICE IS,
(snatches up pillow)
WHEN THE MOLD BENEATH YOUR PILLOW STARTS TO
SHED.
YUK!
(throws pillow at SEBASTIAN on "yuk")

SEBASTIAN
HEY, BIG SISSA, DON'T BE STRESSIN'.
LITTLE BRUDA BE ADDRESSIN'
ACCUSATIONS OF THE MESS IN THIS HERE ROOM.
YA!
(flicks fingers in SISTER's face like casting a spell on "ya")
TROOT, YOU BE A-GUILIN'.
LITTLE DIRT WON'T HURT MY STYLIN'.
WHEN I'M HERE, I'M JUST A-SMILIN'. IT'S DA BOOM.
ZA!

(SEBASTIAN flicks fingers in SISTER's face on "za." A slightly dorky, teen boy, hip-hop-type, CHORUS LINE enters dancing, stage right.)

CHORUS LINE
BOOM. BOOM BOOM.
DA BOOM. BOOM BOOM.
DA BOOM. BOOM BOOM.
DA BOOM.

BOOM. BOOM BOOM.
DA BOOM. BOOM BOOM.
DA BOOM. BOOM BOOM.
DA BOOM.

SISTER
WELL, THE TRUTH I AIN'T NO MEAN ONE.
CUZ YOU KNOW THAT I'M THE CLEAN ONE.
DIDN'T MEAN NO DISRESPECT FOR WHAT YOU SAID.
BOO!
(flicks fingers in SEBASTIAN's face on "boo")
YOU MAY THINK I'M KINDA SCREWY,
BUT YA SOX-A GETTIN' CHEWY.
AND YO MAMA'S YELLIN' SOOEY IN YA HEAD.
CHECK IT OUT!
CHECK IT OUT!
CHECK IT OUT! HUH!

(SISTER backs away while saying "check it out" to introduce MOTHER with a wave of the arm. A SPOTLIGHT reveals MOTHER to be looking down on the proceedings from a position above the right rear of the stage.)

MOTHER
SOOEY!
SOOEY!
SOOEY!
HERE, PIG, PIG, PIG, PIG.
(snorts like a pig, then her SPOTLIGHT FADES.)

SEBASTIAN
WELL, BIG SIS, I SEE DA ERRA
OF MY WAYS. YOU WAS DA BEARA
OF GOOD NEWS.
SO I'LL BE CLEANIN' RIGHT AWAY.
YA!
(flicks fingers at SISTER on "ya")

SISTER
WELL, DON'T KNOW THAT I CAN TRUST YA.
BUT, LITTLE BRO, DON'T WANNA BUST YA.
SO, I'LL LEAVE YOU NOW WITH JUST THESE WORDS TO
SAY.
WOO!

(SISTER and CHORUS LINE start to exit, stage right.)

SISTER AND
CHORUS LINE
(to SEBASTIAN, jeering)
PIG STY!
PIG STY!
PIG STY!

(SISTER and CHORUS LINE are gone. SPOTLIGHT shines on MOTHER again.)

MOTHER
HERE, PIG, PIG, PIG, PIG.

(She snorts like a pig, then her SPOTLIGHT FADES.

SEBASTIAN starts to clean, but soon he notices his nice soft bed. He is torn between the two, but the bed wins and he blissfully flops back into it.)

SEBASTIAN (sighs)
I'll finish later.

(He climbs under the covers and goes back to sleep. After a few moments, a wet TRISTAN enters, stage right. She stops, stage right.)

TRISTAN
It was nice of those singers to clean me up like that, but they left me all wet and everything. And who knows what was in those buckets.
(sniffs sleeve)
Probably twice-filtered poodle urine or something.
(stretches and yawns)
And I'm just so tired, too. My God.
(notices bed)
Oh look, a bed.
(goes to right side of bed, but doesn't see SEBASTIAN who's completely under the covers on the left side)
I wonder if I should…
(feels mattress)
Nice and soft.
(SEBASTIAN sighs and moves. TRISTAN pulls her hand back quickly and reacts with a loud whisper.)
Oh, oh! There seems to be something in here!
(goes to SEBASTIAN's side of bed and pulls back the covers from his head)
It's a boy.
(peers under the covers at the rest of SEBASTIAN)
A teenage boy.
(releases covers, then to audience)
Well, I guess I should go.
(starts to exit, stage right, then stops)
On the other hand, I am tired.
(returns to SEBASTIAN's side of bed)
And he seems like such a sound sleeper.
(She pokes SEBASTIAN who makes some noises which causes TRISTAN to jump back, but he doesn't wake. She pokes him again. He sighs, but doesn’t wake. Then TRISTAN to audience.)
I guess it'll be OK.
(She goes to the other side of the bed, then feels her clothes.)
I guess I should get out of these wet clothes first.
(starts stripping down to her underwear)
I don't want to catch a cold.
(When she finishes undressing, she sees a t-shirt nearby, picks it up, shrugs, then puts it on. She then crawls into bed next to SEBASTIAN and lying on her back, closes her eyes, sighs, then falls asleep. After awhile, SEBASTIAN lets out a medium-sized snore. TRISTAN responds as if she's responding sexually, though she's still asleep.)
Oh yeah.
(After awhile, SEBASTIAN lets out another medium-sized snore. TRISTAN again responds.)
Yeah baby.
(SEBASTIAN begins snoring regularly with each snore getting louder and more forceful. TRISTAN continues responding sexually to each snore with her volume and passion also increasing.)
That's it…You got it…Oh, baby!
(SEBASTIAN's snores are rattling the rafters now and are coming on both his in and out breaths — amplify and use recording, if necessary — as TRISTAN responds loudly and dramatically over the all-consuming snores.)
Heavy snore! Smashing snore!
Seething, heaving, bashing SNORE!
Fulsome, cracking, lashing SNORE!
Seeping, building, crashing, AH! AH!
(TRISTAN has an enormous, bed-rocking orgasm as SISTER comes rushing into the room.)

SISTER
What the hell's going on here!
(rushes over to SEBASTIAN and starts shaking him)
Why aren't you cleaning up this room!
(SEBASTIAN is startled awake and starts screaming in confusion. TRISTAN is also awake and scrambles out of bed. She starts fumbling for her clothes, but SISTER rushes over to her.)
And you!

TRISTAN
(wide-eyed terror)
Ahhh…

SISTER
(grabs TRISTAN and starts shaking her)
Who the hell do you think you are! Climbing into my little brother's bed and doing God knows what!

TRISTAN
I, I, I, I…

(SISTER pushes TRISTAN away.)

SISTER
Go on! Go on! Trash! Filth! Garbage!
(TRISTAN starts to stumble out, stage right.)
Wait a minute!
(TRISTAN stops.)
Is that your shirt! Is that your shirt!

TRISTAN
I, I…

SISTER
Well, don’t just stand there! Take it off!
(She takes out her horn can and gives TRISTAN a blast. TRISTAN reacts, then starts to take off the t-shirt until SISTER notices that TRISTAN only has on her underwear underneath.)
Keep it! Keep it!

(TRISTAN stops taking off the t-shirt and starts backing out.)

TRISTAN
I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm…

SISTER
You're, you're, you're, you're…We don't want to hear what you have to say! Just go! Go, go, go!

(She gives TRISTAN another blast. TRISTAN reacts again, then stumbles out, stage right. SISTER stands looking disapprovingly in the direction of TRISTAN's exit. Then after things have settled down a little, a self-satisfied, all-knowing SEBASTIAN speaks.)

SEBASTIAN
Women dig lived-in rooms.

(SISTER throws up her hands, then begins exiting, stage right. As she exits, the LIGHTS FADE and the MUSIC begins. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on a female SINGER.)

SINGER
THEY SAY THAT LIFE'S UNFAIR,
THAT LOVE'S A DIRTY GAME.
BUT I CAN'T HELP IT.
NO, I CAN'T HELP IT. OO OO.
THANK GOD, FOR SEX IN THE BRAIN.
IN THE BRAIN.
IN THE BRAIN.

WHEN YOU CAME HERE TO ME,
I KNEW THAT WE COULD BE
SO LIKE NO OTHER,
SO WITH EACH OTHER, OO OO,
IN LOVE, IN LIFE, IN THE GAME.
IN THE GAME.
IN THE GAME.

THEN YOU DID SOMETHING BAD.
GAVE UP ALL THAT WE HAD.
NOW YOU CAN'T STAY HERE.
PLEASE GO AWAY, DEAR. OO OO.
AND LIVE YOUR LIFE IN THE RAIN.
IN THE RAIN.
IN THE RAIN.

THEY SAY THAT LIFE'S UNFAIR,
THAT LOVE'S A DIRTY GAME.
BUT I CAN'T HELP IT.
NO, I CAN'T HELP IT. OO OO.
THANK GOD FOR SEX IN THE BRAIN.
IN THE BRAIN.
IN THE BRAIN.
IN THE BRAIN.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 2


BEDROOM.

(SEBASTIAN and HENNY, a teenage girl, lie in bed. They appear to be naked under the covers.)

SEBASTIAN
(satisfied, slightly business-like)
Well, you've done it again. Congratulations.
(HENNY shrugs.)
Oh, here…

(He reaches over, gets two cans of soda and hands one to HENNY. They simultaneously open up their cans and take a drink. SEBASTIAN takes a big drink. HENNY a small one. They sit silently for a little while, then SEBASTIAN sighs. Then after another little while, a not-overly-demonstrative HENNY breaks the silence.)

HENNY
What's the matter?

SEBASTIAN
(a little coy and distracted)
Oh, I don't know.

HENNY
Mm.

(She takes another small drink.)

SEBASTIAN
You know, I'd always imagined it'd be different.

HENNY
You mean…

SEBASTIAN
Yeah.

HENNY
Mm. Well, you seemed happy.

SEBASTIAN
Oh, I was. I am. In my body.

(HENNY shrugs.)

HENNY
What else is there?

SEBASTIAN
(insistent, but not shouting)
In my mind, Henny! In my mind!

HENNY
Oh. Well. What's in your mind then?

SEBASTIAN
Oh. Well. I shouldn't say.

HENNY
Why not?

SEBASTIAN
Because it's too personal. Too intimate.

HENNY
(deadpan)
Tell me.

SEBASTIAN
(slightly squeamish)
I can't.

HENNY
(deadpan)
Tell me.

SEBASTIAN
(slightly squeamish)
I can't.

HENNY
(deadpan)
Tell me.

(SEBASTIAN struggles mightily before giving in.)

SEBASTIAN
(intense, but not shouting)
All right!
(explains)
Now. Do you know how beautiful you are?

HENNY
(deadpan)
Yes.

SEBASTIAN
Well, when we make love, I, Sebastian, would like to feel as beautiful as you look. Do you know what I mean?
(HENNY nods then shakes her head.)
OK. Let me put it another way. You said you knew how beautiful you are, right?
(HENNY nods.)
Well, when we were making love, so to speak, did you feel that I was as beautiful on the inside as you were on the outside.

HENNY
(thinks it over, then deadpan)
No.

SEBASTIAN
Right. Why not.

HENNY
(humoring SEBASTIAN, but with a little sarcasm, too)
I don't know.

SEBASTIAN
(a little thrown)
Right. Well.

HENNY
(takes over)
So what you're saying, Sebastian, is that you'd like to feel as beautiful on the inside as I am on the outside, right?

(SEBASTIAN thinks it over.)

SEBASTIAN
Right.

HENNY
So why, if this is the case, do you think you were not able to achieve this state of inner beauty.

(SEBASTIAN thinks it over, then shrugs.)

SEBASTIAN
I don't know.

HENNY
(patient, but firm)
Yes you do.

SEBASTIAN
No I don't.

HENNY
(patient, but firm)
Yes you do.

SEBASTIAN
No I don't.

(The LIGHTS FADE and the MUSIC begins as SEBASTIAN and HENNY continue with their "yes you do/no I don't" exchange, though HENNY's "yes you do's" start to sound less formal and more like a teenage girl's. Their exchange ceases when they are in the dark. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on a female SINGER.)

SINGER
SOME PEOPLE YOU
JUST WANT TO SCREW
OR HAMMER OR NAIL AWAY.
WITH OTHERS YOU THINK,
IT MAY TAKE A DRINK
TO MAKE THEM LOOK SORT OF OK.

OH, WHY THE DISPARITY IN SEX APPEAL?
OH, WHY DO WE FEEL WHAT WE FEEL?
IT SEEMS THAT WE SHOULD
ONLY SLEEP WITH THE GOOD
AND LET THE BAD WITHER AWAY.

WITHER, OH WITHER, AWAY, AWAY.
WITHER, OH WITHER, AWAY.
IT SEEMS THAT WE SHOULD
ONLY SLEEP WITH THE GOOD
AND LET THE BAD WITHER AWAY.
OH, AND LET THE BAD WITHER AWAY.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 3


BALLERINA WOMAN'S ROOM

(TIED MAN sits blindfolded with a sleeping mask, stage right. He is tied to a plain wooden chair with silk scarves, his legs spread wide. His chair faces stage left. BALLERINA WOMAN, dressed in a leotard, sits at a makeup table, stage left, that faces the audience. She's applying makeup while looking at herself in the table's mirrorless mirror frame. The audience can see her through the frame.)

TIED MAN
(a little tired, a little worried, but trying to maintain his composure)
Can you please just tell me what you want? Tell me what you want and I'm sure we can work something out.
(BALLERINA WOMAN smiles to herself and continues applying makeup.)
Is it…Is it something I did? Did I do something to upset you? Is that it?
(BALLERINA WOMAN pulls a "well, what do you know" face, then continues with her makeup. She appears to be making herself up as some kind of demented Sugar Plum Fairy. TIED MAN struggles to free himself, but finds it's useless.)
Do I know you? Is that it? Have I offended you in some way?
(BALLERINA WOMAN finishes applying her makeup. She puts her hair up in a ballerina bun, then puts on a tiara. Meanwhile, TIED MAN is beginning to lose it a little.)
Please tell me. I mean, God, can't you just tell me what you want? I mean, what do you…what do you…why am I here? What have I done?
(BALLERINA WOMAN checks herself in the mirror and is satisfied. She then calmly puts on a pair of ballerina slippers. TIED MAN tries to regain his composure.)
Look. I'm not a wealthy man, OK? But you can have my car. And I have a few thousand in the bank. It's yours.
(waits for a response, but there is none)
And I think it's clear from what I've said so far that I don't know who you are, right? So just let me go. You can have it all and we'll just forget this ever happened.
(tries a reassuring chuckle)
OK?
(He chuckles again, but after no response, a little desperation creeps into his voice.)
OK?
(BALLERINA WOMAN smiles to herself, delighted at the effect she's having on her captive. She stands and puts on a tutu. TIED MAN hears her get up.)
What. Is that you? Are, are you still here? Was that you? Hello? Why won't you answer me?
(BALLERINA WOMAN positions herself in a ballerina pose, her body facing the audience, her face turned towards TIED MAN who's beginning to feel the desperation of his impending demise.)
Listen! Just tell me what you want! Who are you! What do you want!
(As BALLERINA WOMAN begins to Sugar Plum Fairy dance her way across the stage, she also starts to sing the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies melody in a sort of deliberate, menacing, yet almost innocent manner. Meanwhile, TIED MAN, appalled at what he's hearing, tries to bargain his way out. His bargaining overlaps the BALLERINA WOMAN's singing.)
Oh my God. Who are you? Why are you doing this? I, I can help you. The finest doctors. Season tickets to the ballet. Anything!
(starts crying)
Oh God. Please! Please! Just let me go. I won't tell anyone. It's all yours! I have nothing, but it's all yours! Please! Please!
(But BALLERINA WOMAN is determined. She is within striking distance now and with one fell swoop, on the final note, she lunges demonically with one hand towards TIED MAN's testicles. The LIGHTS FADE as she's swooping, so we don't actually see her grab TIED MAN. A terrible crunching sound is then heard in the blackness, followed by the agonized scream of TIED MAN.)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 4


(In the darkness, the opening drumbeats of Thus Spake Zarathustra are heard. Suddenly, on a big video or movie screen above the stage, an attractive female with boob bottom-revealing attire appears as a SPOTLIGHT lights up  three male SINGERS on the stage below gazing up reverently at the larger-than-life spectacle.)

SINGERS
BOOB BOTTOMS.

(The camera gracefully zooms in on her boob bottoms accompanied by futuristic swooshing sounds. The SINGERS then repeatedly sing "boob bottoms" as subsequent, similarly revealing females appear, accompanied by similar zooming and swooshing. Suddenly, the SINGERS stop their singing as magical twinkling notes are heard as we are treated to an awe-inspiring, side shot, journey that goes slowly across a pair of perfectly-formed boob bottoms, moving from left to right. The boob bottoms are set off against a rich black background. When we reach the other side, a magical buildup of cymbals or the Zarathustra drums are heard, followed by a final, heartfelt "boob bottoms" by the SINGERS.)

(LIGHTS FADE)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 5


BALLERINA WOMAN'S ROOM
The sleeping mask is on the seat of TIED MAN's chair. Some silk scarves are tied to the chair while others are on the floor at its base or lead to the stage right exit.

(TRISTAN enters, stage right.)

TRISTAN
Well, I didn't get much sleep back there,
(feels hair)
but I think I'm pretty dry now.
(stands stage right, feels t-shirt)
And I got this nice t-shirt, too.
(looks over the room)
Hm. I don't see any beds…
(sees TIED MAN's chair)
but maybe I can sit for awhile.
(tries out chair)
Well, this chair isn't very comfortable.
(She reaches underneath and pulls out the sleeping mask. She puts it on, then puts her hands behind the chair's back and her feet close to the chair's legs as if she's tied to it. She moves her head around as if she's looking around, but isn't sure if this suits her.)
I don't know.
(She removes the blindfold, then goes to the makeup table and tries out that chair.)
Hm, this chair is much nicer. And look, I've got a table.
(TRISTAN looks over the makeup items on the table. She takes up a powder pad or something, studies her face in the mirror, then starts applying powder or something to her face.

Soon, BALLERINA WOMAN enters, stage left, behind TRISTAN. She looks normal now with her hair down, regular makeup and regular clothes. She carries a baby in a blanket. She stands, center stage, then speaks nonchalantly.)

BALLERINA WOMAN
Oh, is he gone?

(TRISTAN, caught unawares, stops applying makeup in mid stroke. But she doesn't want to appear out of place, so without turning around, she tries a low-key response.)

TRISTAN
He wasn't here when I got here.

BALLERINA WOMAN (sighs)
Oh well. That's OK.
(lightly considers)
I don't need him.

(TRISTAN turns to look at BALLERINA WOMAN. TRISTAN indicates the baby.)

TRISTAN
Is that…

BALLERINA WOMAN
(slight, derisive laugh)
Oh yeah. Who needs him though,
(gives TRISTAN a mysterious smile)
right?

TRISTAN
(shrugs, then mumbles)
I don't need him.

BALLERINA WOMAN
(laughs slightly, then appraises TRISTAN and addresses her with a slightly teasing question, almost a challenge.)
Wanna hold my baby?

TRISTAN
Oh, I don't know…

BALLERINA WOMAN
(a little softer, slightly assuring)
Come on.

TRISTAN
Well…
(She goes over to BALLERINA WOMAN who places her baby in TRISTAN's arms. TRISTAN gazes into the baby's face. She's beginning to fall under the baby's spell and speaks softly.)
She's very nice.

BALLERINA WOMAN
(small laugh, also looking into her baby's face)
Yeah, but he's a boy.

TRISTAN
Oh…

BALLERINA WOMAN
(studies TRISTAN some more, then moves closer to her and speaks intimately)
He likes you.
(But TRISTAN is a little lost in the baby experience and doesn't respond. After a little while, BALLERINA WOMAN gently touches TRISTAN's arm and speaks intimately, almost a whisper.)
Would you mind watching him while I go fix him a bottle?

TRISTAN
(not looking up, barely hearing her)
Uh, sure…

(The LIGHTS FADE and the MUSIC begins as BALLERINA WOMAN exits, stage left, and TRISTAN continues gazing into the baby's face. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on a female SINGER.)

SINGER
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG GIRL OF JUST TWENTY-THREE,
MY FRIENDS ALL GOT MARRIED AND LIVED HAPPILY.
THEY RAISED THEIR YOUNG FAMILIES IN LIVES FILLED
WITH JOY.
A BIG HOUSE, A NICE JOB, OH BOY.

LOOK. SEE. SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE ME,
HER EYES FILLED WITH STARLIGHT, A WONDER TO SEE.
HER FACE IS SO LOVELY, SHE MUST BE BRAND NEW,
BUT NOBODY APPRECIATES MY BABY.
BUT NOBODY APPRECIATES MY BABY.

IT HAPPENED, IN AN INSTANT, AT TWENTY AND FOUR.
WE WERE TO BE MARRIED, THE MAN I ADORE.
BUT AS THE DAY DREW NEAR, HE STARTED TO ROAM
AND I WAS LEFT ALL ON MY OWN.

LOOK. SEE. SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE ME,
HER EYES FILLED WITH STARLIGHT, A WONDER TO SEE.
HER FACE IS SO LOVELY, SHE MUST BE BRAND NEW,
BUT NOBODY APPRECIATES MY BABY.
BUT NOBODY APPRECIATES MY BABY.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 6


OUTSIDE.

(TRISTAN enters, stage right, carrying BALLERINA WOMAN's baby in a blanket. A baby bag is slung over her shoulder and she holds a sheet of paper in her hand.)

TRISTAN
(half to herself, half to the baby)
Oh, baby baby, I don't know if I'm ready to take care of you.
(stops, stage right, and shows baby the sheet of paper)
But your mama left this note saying that I should, so…
(Four to six talking WOMEN carrying babies in blankets enters, stage left. They stop, stage left, and continue their conversation. They apparently don't see TRISTAN.)
Oh look, maybe they can help. Let's go see.
(She goes over to the WOMEN and tries to get their attention.)
Excuse me. Hello. Hello?

(The WOMEN's conversation slowly peters out as they become aware that someone is attempting to establish communication.)

WOMAN 1 (brusquely)
Yeah?

TRISTAN
(a little taken aback)
I was wondering…

WOMAN 1
Spit it out, honey.
(notices baby)
Whatcha got there?

(TRISTAN starts taking a backward step.)

TRISTAN
Oh, I uh…

(WOMAN 1 hands her baby to WOMAN 2 and approaches TRISTAN.)

WOMAN 1 (impatient)
Come on, come on.
(takes baby from TRISTAN and looks it over in an impersonal manner)
Huh. Not bad.
(studies TRISTAN)
Doesn't look like you though, does it.

TRISTAN
(making motions like she wants her baby back)
I, uh…

WOMAN 1
(studies TRISTAN some more, then in a gruff, slightly amused, superior tone)
You don't talk much, do you.
(calls over to VELMA)
Hey Velma, whadya think?

(She tosses TRISTAN's baby in a high arc across the stage to VELMA who tosses her own baby to WOMAN 1 a moment after.)

TRISTAN (horrified)
Ah!…

(TRISTAN relaxes a little when she sees VELMA safely catching her baby. But her terror is quickly renewed when she sees that WOMAN 1 is making no effort to catch VELMA's incoming infant causing TRISTAN to make a lunging, last-second save. WOMAN 1 looks over at the other WOMEN and nods her head in TRISTAN's direction with grudging approval.)

WOMAN 1
(calls out to other WOMEN)
So whadya think?

WOMAN 2
(motions with TRISTAN's baby)
Looks like Betsy's kid.

WOMAN 1
Huh! Is that right.
(to TRISTAN)
Whadya say there, cutie pie? Look like Betsy's kid to you?

TRISTAN
(fumbles for note that she dropped when she caught VELMA's baby)
I…I…

(TRISTAN picks up the note and holds it out to WOMAN 1 who takes it and looks it over.)

WOMAN 1
(reads note)
To whom it may concern…
(to TRISTAN)
Is that you?
(TRISTAN peers uncomprehendingly at the note's contents. Then WOMAN 1, who is pleased at having rattled TRISTAN again, continues reading.)
Please look after my baby. Don't worry. You'll know what to do.
(to self)
Huh.
(to TRISTAN)
So is that right? You know what to do?

TRISTAN
(struggling)
Well, I…I'm st —

(But WOMAN 1 cuts her off with a dismissive snort. She looks at the note again, then shoves it close to TRISTAN's face.)

WOMAN 1
(mock angry)
Hey! There's no signature here! Whadja do with it!

(TRISTAN tries reading the note.)

TRISTAN
No, I uh…

WOMAN 1
(snorts dismissively, then calls out to VELMA)
Hey Velma! Betsy gave up her kid again!

VELMA
Is that right.

(WOMAN 1 tries to size up TRISTAN, slightly suspicious.)

WOMAN 1
Where you from anyway.

TRISTAN
Oh. I, uh, you know…

WOMAN 1
(sarcastic)
Good.
(She takes VELMA's baby from TRISTAN and gives her the note. As she's heading to rejoin her group, she calls back over her shoulder to TRISTAN.)
Well, good luck to you, Ms. Note, you're gonna need it!

(TRISTAN runs after WOMAN 1.)

TRISTAN
Wait! Wait! Why does Betsy keep giving up her baby?

WOMAN 1
(mocking)
Oh. You know. I, I —

(She makes a muddy raspberry sound with her tongue and lips. WOMAN 1 has rejoined her group and they start to exit, stage left, but TRISTAN keeps after them.)

TRISTAN
But why? Why?

WOMAN 1
(imitates TRISTAN to VELMA)
Why? Why?

(The WOMEN walk around the stage with TRISTAN following.)

TRISTAN
But why would she do that? And why would she give him to me?
(WOMAN 1 shakes her head derisively at her similarly derisive cohorts. TRISTAN runs in front of them and stands her ground causing the WOMEN to stop. Then TRISTAN speaks, firmly and a little angry, to WOMAN 1.)
Well, she did give him to me.
(shakes the note in WOMAN 1's face)
And she gave me this note, too!

WOMAN 1
(after a moment, she takes up TRISTAN's challenge)
You wanna know why?

TRISTAN
Yes.

WOMAN 1
Well, little girl, as the young woman in question used to say…

OTHER WOMEN
MY BABY STINKS.

TRISTAN
What?

WOMAN 1
What? What? You heard them.

OTHER WOMEN
MY BABY STINKS.

TRISTAN
She gave up her baby because it smelled bad?
(WOMAN 1 shrugs.)
But I thought babies were supposed to smell good.

(She smells her baby bag. WOMAN 1 gives a derisive snort, then rejoins the others who maybe start a heavy-footed, body twisting, syncopated kind of dance.)

ALL WOMEN
MY BABY STINKS.
HE'S GOING IN AND OUT OF STYLE.
MY BABY STINKS.
ANOTHER DIAPER ON THE PILE.
MY BABY STINKS.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT HE'S GOT.
SLEEPS A LOT.
IN A POT.
MY BABY STINKS.
(TRISTAN takes her baby back.)
MY BABY STINKS.

(The WOMEN stop their dance when TRISTAN starts to sing.)

TRISTAN (sweetly)
BUT MY BABY'S DIFFERENT.
A WHIFF FRONT AND BACK
WILL TELL YOU IMMEDIATELY
WHAT MY BABY LACKS.

(WOMAN 1 takes TRISTAN's baby, smells it, then hands it off to the other WOMEN who do the same. They confer, then face TRISTAN again to deliver their verdict.)

ALL WOMEN
YOUR BABY STINKS.
(start dancing again)
THERE'S NO EXCEPTION TO THE RULE.
YOUR BABY STINKS.
HIS FUMES A ROCKET SHIP COULD FUEL.
YOUR BABY STINKS.
PLEASE LIFT THE BLANKET FROM YOUR EYES.
THERE'S NO DISGUISE.
HE'S ATTRACTING FLIES.
YOUR BABY STINKS.
(They swarm around TRISTAN making buzzing sounds.)
YOUR BABY STINKS.
(They make more buzzing sounds. TRISTAN takes her baby back. The WOMEN stop buzzing when TRISTAN sings.)

TRISTAN
I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE THAT
YOU'D SAY SUCH BAD THINGS,
TO HURT HIM ON PURPOSE
WITH THE WORDS THAT YOU SING.
(starting to get agitated)
ATTACKING HIM GLEEFULLY
AT YOUR EVERY WHIM.
(angry)
IT'S MEAN. IT'S CRUEL.
IT'S A BIG FAT LOAD OF BABY DROOL.

(The WOMEN look slightly taken aback. They confer, regroup, then face TRISTAN again with their verdict.)

ALL WOMEN
WE HAVE TO GO.
(start dancing again)
IT'S BEEN A TRUE DELIGHT, MY DEAR,
TO GET TO KNOW
YOU BETTER, UNDERSTAND YOU CLEAR-
LY. AND THEN SO,
WE'RE OFF, WE'RE GONE JUST LIKE A BIRD
TO LEAVE YOU WITH
THESE FEW WORDS.
YOUR BABY STINKS.
(start exiting, stage right)
YOUR BABY STINKS.

VELMA
(over her shoulder to TRISTAN)
Pee yew!

ALL WOMEN
YOUR BABY STINKS.

WOMAN 1
(over her shoulder to TRISTAN)
It's the way of the world, little girl!

(The WOMEN exit laughing. TRISTAN watches them go as the LIGHTS FADE. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on a male SINGER.)

SINGER
IT'S A LITTLE PUNGENT.
BABY, HEAR MY PLEA.
IT'S A LITTLE PUNGENT.
AND A LOT OF ME.

BABY, IN THE EVENING,
WHEN THE WIND IS BLOWING FREE,
IT'S A LITTLE PUNGENT
AND A LOT OF ME.

OH, MAN.

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 7


OUTSIDE.

(TRISTAN enters, stage right, carrying her baby.)

TRISTAN
(sighs, then talks half to herself, half to the baby)
Now I have two things to do, get out of here and find you a home.
(She stops, center stage, gives the baby a longish kiss on the forehead, then takes a bottle out of her baby bag and starts feeding him. She then sings softly to him.)
HEY NEIGHBOR, HOW'S IT GOIN'?
SEEMS LIKE WE'RE GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT.
JUST FINE AND CAREFREE, TO AND FROIN'.
WE'RE HAPPY ALL THROUGH THE DAY AND NIGHT.
(She takes the bottle from the baby's mouth, looks to see how much is left, then puts it back in her bag. She then studies the baby, sniffs him, then holds him over her shoulder.)
Good baby.
(She gently pats his back and he gives a little baby burp. Soon, TIED MAN enters, stage left, limping slightly. He sees TRISTAN and the baby and stops, stage left, to consider them. He then approaches them, though they don't see him yet. When he reaches TRISTAN, he taps her on the shoulder and speaks quietly.)

TIED MAN
Excuse me.

(TRISTAN looks at him.)

TRISTAN
Yes?

TIED MAN
Uh, your baby looks familiar. May I?

(He indicates that he would like to look at the baby.)

TRISTAN
Oh. All right.

(She lets him look at her baby.)

TIED MAN
Mm.

TRISTAN
Do you know him?

TIED MAN
Uh, I think he's mine.

(TRISTAN looks at TIED MAN more closely, then at the baby, then at TIED MAN again.)

TRISTAN
He doesn't look like you.

TIED MAN
Yes. Well. He looks like his mother.

(TRISTAN thinks back and realizes this is true.)

TRISTAN
You know, you're wife gave me this note.
(takes the note from her baby bag and hands it to TIED MAN who looks it over)
She says that I should look after him. That I would know what to do.

TIED MAN
(nodding, still looking over the note)
Mm.

TRISTAN
(after a short while)
Would you like to hold him?

TIED MAN
Oh. May I?

(TRISTAN smiles slightly, then hands him the baby. TIED MAN ponders his baby's face. TRISTAN stands close to him and looks at the baby also.)

TRISTAN (softly)
He's very nice.

(Without looking directly at him, TRISTAN notices TIED MAN nod, almost imperceptibly, deep in thought. Soon, BALLERINA WOMAN enters, stage left. She stops stage left, sees TIED MAN holding her baby, then quietly goes over  to TIED MAN and stands next to him like a ghost.)

BALLERINA WOMAN
(softly, calmly, apparently not angry and without looking directly at him)
Hello, Roger.

TIED MAN
(not looking up, also not angry)
Hello, Leta.

BALLERINA WOMAN
(softly, looking at baby)
You like him?

(TIED MAN laughs a soft, slightly rueful laugh.)

TIED MAN
He doesn't look like me.

(BALLERINA WOMAN leans closer to TIED MAN, then speaks softly, with a barely perceptible, slightly rueful smile.)

BALLERINA WOMAN
Why should he.

TRISTAN (softly)
Well, I guess I should go now.

(She starts to exit, stage left.)

BALLERINA WOMAN
Wait a minute.

(TRISTAN stops. BALLERINA WOMAN takes the baby from TIED MAN, goes over to TRISTAN and gives the baby back to her. She then returns to TIED MAN, takes his arm and they exit, stage right. TRISTAN watches them exit as the LIGHTS FADE and the MUSIC begins. A SPOTLIGHT GOES UP on a female SINGER.)

SINGER
I'VE GOT A BAG.
YOU'VE GOT A BAG.
WHY CAN'T WE BE BAGS TOGETHER?
I'VE GOT A BAG.
YOU'VE GOT A BAG.
WHY CAN'T WE BE BAGS TOGETHER?

MY BAG HOLDS BABIES.
YOUR BAG HOLDS BALLS.
WHEN WE'RE TOGETHER,
THE BABY WILL FALL.

I'VE GOT A BAG.
YOU'VE GOT A BAG.
WHY CAN'T WE BE BAGS TOGETHER?
I'VE GOT A BAG.
YOU'VE GOT A BAG.
WHY CAN'T WE BE BAGS TOGETHER?

(SPOTLIGHT FADES)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 8


PARK.

(OLD MAN, from the beginning of the play, sits on the bench with VERY OLD MAN sitting on his right. Soon, TRISTAN enters, stage right, carrying her baby. She doesn't see the old men yet, or they, her. She stops, stage left.)

TRISTAN
(half to self, half to baby)
Oh, I'm not sure what I should do. I might have to take you home with me, you know. That is, if I ever get back there myself.
(OLD MAN suddenly notices TRISTAN. He excitedly nudges VERY OLD MAN, then starts waving to TRISTAN. TRISTAN, meanwhile, is looking around, though she still isn't aware of OLD MAN. Then half to herself and half to the baby.)
You know, I think this is where I came in. I came tumbling in…
(points to a spot, stage left)
over there. And I landed about…
(walks over to center stage)
here…

OLD MAN
(sounding like a loud voice coming from a distance)
Hello! Hello!

(TRISTAN feels like she's beginning to hear something, but isn't quite sure.)

TRISTAN
Then I thought I heard someone calling out to me…

(She starts backing up towards the bench.)

OLD MAN
(to the heavens, softly, but intensely)
Oh, thank you! Thank you!

TRISTAN
And I kept backing up until…

(TRISTAN falls back onto the bench and finds herself sitting to the left of OLD MAN.)

OLD MAN
(triumphantly happy)
Welcome home, young Tristan.

(TRISTAN studies the smiling OLD MAN for a few moments, then sets the record straight in a calm, but firm manner.)

TRISTAN
This is not my home.

OLD MAN
But this is where you began, so it must be your home.
(looks at TRISTAN's baby)
And I see you've been busy.
(starts talking baby talk to the baby)
Hi! Hi! Boobooboo. Boobooboo…

(He turns to nudge VERY OLD MAN and point out the baby. VERY OLD MAN smilingly nods his approval. TRISTAN pulls the blanket over the baby's face, so when OLD MAN turns back for more baby talk, he's surprised to find that the baby seems to have disappeared. He turns back to VERY OLD MAN and makes gestures like "where could the baby have gone." But VERY OLD MAN is as perplexed as he is and they start looking around for the baby without leaving their seats.)

TRISTAN
And although this is not my home, —
(notices that OLD MAN and VERY OLD MAN don't seem to be paying attention)
she said, maybe speaking to herself — someone once told me that I could get out of here the same way I came in. So maybe this is where I should be.

(OLD MAN and VERY OLD MAN stop looking for the baby and return their attention to TRISTAN.)

OLD MAN
Well, that makes sense.
(He looks at VERY OLD MAN who smilingly nods in agreement, then turns back to TRISTAN.)
So how did you get here?

TRISTAN
Well, I don't know exactly. I, I fell. You were here. You saw me.

OLD MAN
I saw you land. I didn't see you fall. Maybe if you fell again.

(OLD MAN looks to VERY OLD MAN who smilingly nods his approval.)

TRISTAN
Well…
(She sets her baby bag on the bench, hands her baby to OLD MAN, then stands and goes upstage a little. OLD MAN feels the weight of the bundle, pulls the blanket from the baby's face and is surprised to see baby. He shows the baby's face to VERY OLD MAN who also registers surprise. TRISTAN speaks over her shoulder to OLD MAN.)
Fall.
(OLD MAN who, along with VERY OLD MAN, has been entertaining the baby, looks up at TRISTAN, smiles and nods, then goes back to entertaining the baby.)
Well…
(She falls to the ground with a thud, then after a short while, registers her pain.)
Ow.

(OLD MAN looks up.)

OLD MAN
Hm, that didn't work. Try jumping.

(He hands the baby to VERY OLD MAN and turns his attention to TRISTAN.)

TRISTAN
(a little skeptical, a little concerned about the transfer of her baby)
Jumping.

OLD MAN
Yes. Jumping is the opposite of falling. It might work.

TRISTAN
Mm.
(Satisfied that VERY OLD MAN is taking good enough care of her baby and having nothing to lose)
OK. Here goes.
(she starts jumping. After a little while, she poses a question while still jumping.)
Isn't rising the opposite of falling?

OLD MAN
(ignoring her question)
Higher!
(TRISTAN jumps higher.)
Higher!

TRISTAN
I'm jumping as high as I can!

OLD MAN
Run around! Run around!
(TRISTAN stops jumping and starts running around the stage.)
Jump! Jump!
(TRISTAN starts jumping as she runs.)
That's it! Keep running, keep running! Leap, leap, leap like a gazelle! Leap like a gazelle! Leap like a…
(But TRISTAN falls back onto the bench, exhausted.)
Don't worry, we'll try again later.

(OLD MAN takes the baby from VERY OLD MAN and hands him back to TRISTAN. VERY OLD MAN didn't quite see OLD MAN take the baby from him and is surprised  and a little distraught to see that it's gone, but OLD MAN shows him that TRISTAN now has the baby and VERY OLD MAN smilingly nods his approval.)

TRISTAN
(getting her breath back)
Why isn't it working?

OLD MAN
Hm, I don't know. Maybe we should ask the Oracle.

TRISTAN
The Oracle.

OLD MAN
Yes. May I present…
(sweeps a hand in the direction of VERY OLD MAN)
the Oracle.

(VERY OLD MAN smilingly nods at TRISTAN.)

TRISTAN
(a little skeptical)
And he can tell me how to get back home.

OLD MAN
If anybody can…
(sweeps a hand in the direction of VERY OLD MAN, though not as grandly as the first time)
he can.
(VERY OLD MAN slowly starts to rise. OLD MAN is quietly excited.)
Oh oh. He's getting up! He's getting up! You're halfway home already, Tristan.

(VERY OLD MAN shuffles slowly upstage.)

TRISTAN
(whispers to OLD MAN)
What if this doesn't work?

(OLD MAN signals to TRISTAN that they have to be quiet now. VERY OLD MAN has reached his position and is ready to speak.)

VERY OLD MAN
(to audience)
Alice fell and so did Lucy.
Defying God in all his mercy.
Now young Tristan's done the same
And can't get home again.

TRISTAN
(whispers to OLD MAN)
I haven't defied anyone.

(OLD MAN nods.)

VERY OLD MAN
EVERY JOT, EVERY TITTLE,
FILLS MY MOUTH WITH LOTS OF SPITTLE.
EVERY TITTLE, EVERY JOT,
FILLS MY NOSE WITH SNOT. WHOT?
FILLS MY NOSE WITH SNOT.

TRISTAN
(whispers to OLD MAN)
Is he serious?

(OLD MAN gestures with a slight smile for TRISTAN to watch VERY OLD MAN who starts doing a cute little dance.)

VERY OLD MAN
SHE ROUGHS ME UP.
SHE ROUGHS ME DOWN.
SHE ROUGHS ME ALL AROUND THE TOWN.
FOR WHEN MY BABY STARTS TO SWAY,
SHE WANTS ME DOWN THERE EVERY DAY.

THAT FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.
(rubs cheeks roughly with both hands, going up and down simultaneously to simulate cunnilingus. Loud, sandpaper-like sounds aurally follow his up-and-down hand movements.)
FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.
(rubs again)
THAT FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW'S GOT ME SINGIN' THE
BLUES.

(TRISTAN gets up.)

TRISTAN
I can't sit here and listen to this.

VERY OLD MAN
FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.
(rubs again)
FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.
(rubs again)

OLD MAN
(to TRISTAN)
You have to believe!

TRISTAN
(slightly exasperated)
In what? Him?

VERY OLD MAN
THAT FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.
AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' TO LOSE.

(DUCKS 1-5 and MISSILE GIRL enter, stage left.)

OLD MAN
Oh look, here come the ducks and that young woman with the missile stuck in her head. Maybe they can help.
(calls out to DUCKS and MISSILE GIRL)
Excuse me! Excuse me! Could you give us a hand here?

(DUCKS and MISSILE GIRL come over.)

DUCK 1
Yes. How can we be of service.

VERY OLD MAN
MOO MOO MOO WENT THE COW COW COW.
MOO MOO MOO WENT THE COW.
"I WANT SOME MILK," SAID THE MAN.
REACHED OUT, THEN "OUCH."
TAKE ME HOME AGAIN.

OLD MAN
Yes. Well, my young friend here seems to want to return to her homeland.

(DUCK 1 nods. MISSILE GIRL smiles slightly. Meanwhile, DUCK 4, who has been watching VERY OLD MAN with great interest, runs over to him and joins him in song.)

DUCK 4
CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK WENT THE HEN HEN HEN.
CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK WENT THE HEN.
"I WANT SOME EGGS," SAID THE MAN.
REACHED OUT, THEN "OUCH."
TAKE ME HOME AGAIN.

TRISTAN
Take me home again. Yeah, right.

OLD MAN
You should listen to what he has to say.

TRISTAN
But he doesn't make any sense!

VERY OLD MAN
AND DUCK 4
OINK OINK OINK WENT THE PIG PIG PIG.
OINK OINK OINK WENT THE PIG.
"I WANT SOME PORK," SAID THE MAN.
REACHED OUT, THEN "OINK!"
TAKE ME HOME AGAIN.

TRISTAN
The only thing I understand is that "take me home again" part. I have no idea what the rest of that stuff means.

OLD MAN
YOU AND I WILL NEVER BE
STUCK INSIDE A TEA POT.
YOU AND I WILL NEVER BE
STUCK INSIDE A PEA POD…

(DUCK 4 looks confused and returns to the other DUCKS.)

TRISTAN
Well, now he's just making things up.

OLD MAN
No no. The Oracle doesn't make things up for he is the receiver and messenger of all good things.

VERY OLD MAN
ME. IT'S ALL ABOUT ME.
ME ME ME ME ME.
DEE DEE DEE DEE DEE.

(DUCK 4 runs back to rejoin VERY OLD MAN.)

TRISTAN
How can it be all about him if he's just the messenger?

VERY OLD MAN
AND DUCK 4
CUZ I. AY-YI-YI-YI-YI.
YI-YI-YI-YI-YI.
DEE DEE DEE DEE DEE.

TRISTAN
See? When you want a straight answer, he goes into all that "dee dee dee" stuff.

(VERY OLD MAN starts looking tired.)

OLD MAN
Uh oh. The Oracle is starting to wind down. The Oracle is beginning to run out of steam.

DUCKS 1-3 & 5
HE'S TIRED, TIRED, TIRED. OH!
DO DO DO DO DO DO.
HE'S TIRED, TIRED, TIRED. OH!
DO DO DO DO DO DO.

(They continue singing this song until their next song. The other characters must speak loudly over their singing. VERY OLD MAN signals for DUCKS 1-3 & 5 to come over.)

OLD MAN
(to TRISTAN)
He wants the ducks to take over for awhile!

(DUCKS 1-3 & 5 line up close to each other, then start to shuffle over to VERY OLD MAN with their arms pumping like a locomotive. When the DUCKS arrive, VERY OLD MAN signals for them to take over. DUCKS 1-3 & 5 increase the speed of their singing and dancing, shuffling back and forth across the stage like maniacs, as DUCK 4 helps VERY OLD MAN back to the bench.)

TRISTAN
Can they just take over like that?

OLD MAN
Oh, anything's possible if you believe!

MISSILE GIRL
(not as loud)
Or anything's possible if it's not true.

(OLD MAN looks disapprovingly at MISSILE GIRL.)

OLD MAN
(not as loud)
And you wonder why you have a missile stuck in your head.
(regular loud to TRISTAN)
Don't listen to her! She's like Satan or something! Listen to us! Listen to the ducks!

(DUCKS 1-3 & 5 are now facing TRISTAN. They suddenly stop their shuffling dance and start a new song.)

DUCKS 1-3 & 5
WE'RE GIVING YOU THE GIFT OF MUSIC.
WE'RE GIVING YOU THE GIFT OF SONG.
WE HOPE THAT YOU, THAT YOU CAN USE IT,
THAT YOU CAN USE IT YOUR WHOLE LIFE LONG.
(They start dancing towards TRISTAN who backs up, but they follow her around. DUCK 1 holds up a sheet of paper for TRISTAN.)
OH WELL, I'VE GOT A NOTE MY DARLING DEAR
THAT TELLS OF ALL THE THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO
HEAR,
OF HOW MY LOVE IS STRONG AND DEEP AND TRUE
AND HOW MY THOUGHTS ARE FILLED WITH DREAMS OF YOU.
(DUCK 1 hands TRISTAN the sheet of paper. TRISTAN stops to read it, stage right. The DUCK 1-3 & 5 stand and watch her read.)
YOU'D SKIP A BEAT.
YOU'D SKIP A BEAT.

(DUCK 4 gets up and does a sprightly dance away from the bench.)

DUCK 4
PEOPLE JUST LOVE ME.
PEOPLE JUST DO.
PEOPLE JUST LOVE ME.
I DON'T KNOW WHY, BUT THEY DO.

(POLICE OFFICER enters, stage right, and stands, stage right, observing DUCK 4 who doesn't see him. DUCKS 1-3 & 5 see POLICE OFFICER enter and return to the bench area, a little afraid of him. MISSILE GIRL comes over and stands next to TRISTAN.)

DUCK 4
PEOPLE JUST LOVE ME.
PEOPLE JUST DO.
PEOPLE JUST LOVE ME.
I DON'T KNOW WHY, BUT THEY...

(POLICE OFFICER stands in front of DUCK 4 and holds up a hand, freezing her in mid-song and dance.)

POLICE OFFICER
PEOPLE REALLY HATE YOU. THEY
DERIVE PLEASURE FROM YOUR PAIN.
HOW COULD YOU THINK OTHERWISE?
CAN'T YOU SEE THAT THEY DESPISE YOU?
SAY THEY LOVE YOU, BUT THEY JUST
WANT TO SEE YOU SLIDING SLOWLY
INTO A BIG PILE OF DARK REGRET.

(DUCK 4 slowly melts out of her state of frozen joyfulness and into one of seeming contemplation. Then she slowly starts to whistle People Just Love Me, gaining confidence and speed as she goes. By the second verse, she's happy and dancing and whistling the song at normal speed. She starts to dance off, stage left, until she gets to the last line which she keeps repeating, along with the attendant dance moves, like a broken record. But she breaks through after a few repetitions and dances happily off stage and ending with a "woo!" POLICE OFFICER follows, not dancing.)

TRISTAN
I thought they were on the same side.

MISSILE GIRL (shrugs)
They are. They just do that sometimes.

DUCKS 1-3 & 5
WE'RE JUST PEOPLE, TOO.
WE'RE JUST PEOPLE, TOO.
WE KNOW JUST WHAT WE LIKE
AND WHAT WE LIKE TO DO.
CUZ WE'RE JUST PEOPLE, TOO.
DO. DO DO DO.

TRISTAN
I thought they were ducks.

MISSILE GIRL
Don't worry.
(indicates sheet of paper)
What does it say?

(TRISTAN looks at the paper.)

TRISTAN
Oh, it's a song.

MISSILE GIRL
Ah.

TRISTAN
Is that good?

MISSILE GIRL
Could be. If you sang it.

TRISTAN
Oh, I'm not much of a singer.

MISSILE GIRL
That's OK. As long as you're the one singing, that's all that matters.

TRISTAN
Well…

MISSILE GIRL
Here.

(MISSILE GIRL takes TRISTAN's baby and TRISTAN takes a few steps toward center stage.)

TRISTAN
OK. Here goes…
I'VE GOT NOTHING ELSE TO DO.
NOTHING ELSE TO SAY.
NOTHING ELSE TO BE
IN MY LIFE.
AS LONG AS I AM HERE WITH YOU,
I'VE NOTHING LEFT AT ALL…

VERY OLD MAN
I'M AN OLD GUY.
I'M AN OLD GUY.
I'M A FROG ON A ROCK TOAD GUY.
IN THE MORNING.
IN THE EVENING.
I'M JUST WAITING HERE TO DIE.
WOO!

(TRISTAN looks at MISSILE GIRL.)

MISSILE GIRL
Keep going.

TRISTAN
But he's singing about his own death.

MISSILE GIRL
Don't worry. Just keep singing.

TRISTAN
 OK. Well…
(finds her place on the sheet music)
THE MORE I SEE,
THE MORE I FEEL THAT
THE THINGS YOU WANT
ARE NOTHING MORE THAN
EVERYTHING THAT YOU DESIRED
IN ALL YOUR BROKEN DREAMS.

BUT SACRIFICING OTHERS FOR
THE THINGS THAT MAKE
YOUR LIFE WORTH LIVING
IN A WORLD THAT YOU DESIRED
SO MANY YEARS AGO.

(The LIGHTS START TO FADE. Winds start to blow and ominous rumbling sounds are heard.)

MISSILE GIRL
Uh oh, it's starting.

(The stage is now BLACK, except for a LIGHT that shines on TRISTAN and VERY OLD MAN, respectively. They are the only ones visible now. The wind and rumbling sounds start to fade as TRISTAN approaches VERY OLD MAN. They stop when she stands next to him.

Or maybe VERY OLD MAN is the only one visible after the LIGHTS FADE and he is standing in a CONE OF LIGHT. The wind and rumbling sounds start to fade when TRISTAN enters the cone of light and stop when she stands next to him.)

TRISTAN
Why am I here?

VERY OLD MAN
(not mean, slightly intimate, but not friendly)
Tristan, you say that you want to leave our world, that you are unhappy with your lot in life. But I am here to tell you that your life, your dreams, your suffering mean nothing to us.

TRISTAN
Then why am I here?

VERY OLD MAN
You are here because we want you here. And when, and if, you leave, the reason will be the same.

TRISTAN
I still don't understand.

(VERY OLD MAN bows his head slightly and disappears as either his LIGHT GOES OUT or he steps out of his LIGHT. TRISTAN remains visible. The DUCKS, OLD MAN and MISSILE GIRL become visible in the background as the winds and rumbling sounds return. A GLOWING LIGHT, maybe it's green, shines from the stage left exit plane. The winds become much stronger and the rumbling sounds increase to raging storm sounds. The DUCKS are in awe and slightly frightened by the GLOWING LIGHT. OLD MAN looks at it gravely. MISSILE GIRL goes to TRISTAN. They must speak loudly over the noise.)

TRISTAN
(to MISSILE GIRL)
What is it!

MISSILE GIRL
It's your way back, Tristan!

(She hands TRISTAN's baby and baby bag back to her.)

TRISTAN
But what he said! I don't understand!

MISSILE GIRL
Never mind! It's not important!

TRISTAN
But what he said!

(She looks at MISSILE GIRL for some sort of answer, but gets none, so she readies herself to make the run. But just as she's about to take off, she stops, turns to MISSILE GIRL and clutches her arm.)

TRISTAN
Come with me!

MISSILE GIRL
(heartbroken)
I can't.
(encouraging)
But you go.

TRISTAN
Really?

(MISSILE GIRL nods. TRISTAN gives her a parting hug, then readies herself again. MISSILE GIRL is slowly receding into the background with the DUCKS and OLD MAN as their LIGHT FADES until TRISTAN is the only one visible.)

TRISTAN
(over her shoulder, into the blackness)
Good-bye! Good-bye! I won't forget you!

(She makes a dash for the GLOWING LIGHT and leaps through. A BLINDING LIGHT FLASHES, stage left, and a great explosion is heard as TRISTAN passes through the stage left exit plane. The DUCKS, OLD MAN and MISSILE GIRL are seen briefly in the BLINDING FLASH, then everything FADES TO BLACK and all is silent.)

(END OF SCENE)



ACT II
Scene 9


TRISTAN's ROOM

(TRISTAN sits in a rocking chair, dressed in a bathrobe and slippers or some other homey clothing. She feeds her baby a bottle. A big wooden mallet leans up against the side of her chair. Maybe she's in a CONE OF LIGHT.)

TRISTAN
(softly to baby)
HEY NEIGHBOR, HOW'S IT GOIN'?
SEEMS LIKE WE'RE GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT…

(Suddenly, a trap door at TRISTAN's feet opens and OLD MAN pokes his head out. He turns back towards TRISTAN.)

OLD MAN
Oh, there you are. We were just wondering if…

(But TRISTAN has taken up the big wooden mallet and brings it down on top of OLD MAN's head. A comic conking sound is heard, followed by tweetering bird sounds. OLD MAN registers the impact, then slowly sinks back into the hole. TRISTAN puts her mallet down, closes the trap door, then sings a slower version of the first part of Fauxverture as the LIGHTS FADE.)

THE END


POST PLAY
Scene 1


(Four to six male and female SINGERS enter, stage right as the audience is heading for the exits.)

FEMALE SINGER
Thank you for attending our play. To show our appreciation, we will now serenade you with a final song as you exit the theater.

SINGERS
OH, I CAN TELL.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM.
SHE'S GOT THE BOOM.
CHICK-A-BOOM. THE BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM.
SHE'S GOT THE BOOM.
CHICK-A-BOOM. THE BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM.
FOR ME.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM-Y.
FOR ME.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM-Y.
FOR ME.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM-Y.
FOR ME.

THANK YOU FOR COME —
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM.
ING TO OUR PLAY.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM.
TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM.
TODAY.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM-A.
TODAY.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM-A.
TODAY.
CHICK-A-BOOM. A-BOOM. A-CHICK-A-BOOM-A.
TODAY.

(SINGERS exit after they finish their song. Meanwhile, in the lobby of the theater, a soothing MALE VOICE is heard over the lobby PA system, repeating the following message over and over.)

MALE VOICE
Please exit the building as quickly as possible. We have your money now and have no further use for you, you miserable curs.

(END OF POST PLAY)


copyright 2001 (c) eric nakao
date posted: december 6, 2004


(2004 note: a MIDI audio link has been added to "Chick-A-Boom.")


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