Monday, July 20, 2015

Inspiration, It Just Hits You

CRASH
An Avant-Garde Play in One Act

— Cast —
The Victim
The Victim’s Friend
The Perpetrator


Scene: A street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, late at night. Two men stand outside the door of a bar, smoking and speaking to each other.

The Perpetrator enters, slowly advances to the men.

Perpetrator:
You seen my dog?

Victim:
What?

Perpetrator:
My dog. My dog, Crash. You seen my dog? His name is Crash. He needs me.

Victim:
Naw, man, I ain’t seen your dog.

Perpetrator:
Now, how you know you ain’t seen my dog? You know my dog? How else you gonna know you ain’t seen him. He’s a three-legged dog. I take care of him. He needs me. His name is Crash. Whatcha know about my dog?

Victim:
Man, I don’t know nothing about your dog. Now lemme alone.

Perpetrator:
Fuck you, sucker! I’m looking for my dog. (He pulls a handgun from his back pants pocket. Points it at the Victim.) My dog, man! You got my dog? Where’s my dog Crash? (He swings the gun in an arc and smashes it against the Victim’s face. He hits him again, several times, repeating lines about his dog. The Victim falls to the ground, bleeding. The Perpetrator continues to beat him about the head and face. Finally, his anger abates. He calms himself down, and rises to his feet. He speaks to the Victim’s friend.) You seen my dog Crash?

Victim’s Friend:
(A beat.) I think I saw a guy take a dog inside a few minutes ago.

Perpetrator:
A little three-legged dog...?

Victim’s Friend:
Yeah. Inside.

The Perpetrator enters the bar through the door, the gun in his hand. A pause. The Victim’s Friend runs offstage.

The End

Now Why did I call this post Inspiration? Click here and see why. And, by the way, on the 400 block of Burgundy is a bar called The Three-Legged Dog.

You can’t make this shit up...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Revelations

The other day I received a visit from a couple with whom I used to do theatre. It was a nice visit.

After a long meander of talking about this and that, like giving up cigarettes and what we were all enjoying on television, the inevitable question raised its head and peeked at me over the brim of the fence, would I be interested in directing again?

I’ve been expecting, wanting, to hear that and wondering how I would answer it.

Now I know the answer.

I would answer, “I don’t know.”

So much time has passed, and I have become comfortable—Is that the word I want to use? For lack of a better one, I’ll let it stand—not doing theatre, not being around theatre people (who have certainly never sought me out since I stepped aside and walked away because it had seemed to me then that no one wanted me around any longer anyway).

Besides, I have always been a wall builder, and I found myself explaining to my young friends that while I had built a wall to keep the bad things out and away from me—and people, too—I had lately come to realize my wall has another side to it and now it keeps me locked inside of it, a prisoner of my fears.

So I really do not know if I will or maybe would or even could direct again.

Coming up at the end of this month, there will be a gathering of people who have retired from the Louisiana Department of Labor, coworkers from different towns and cities. They get together once a month for lunch at different spots around the state. They invite me every time, although I haven’t been to any of their turnouts yet.

A couple of months ago, I answered one of their invitations and asked that they give my contact information to my old boss from the Unemployment Office. I would have liked to have been able to hear his voice again and speak with him. But until now I haven’t heard from him.

When I worked for the state, I had a place to go. I knew who I was meant to be and the things that I was meant to do.

Lately, I seem to have gotten lost.

I don’t seem to fit anywhere anymore.

I figured I might have caught a tone of certainty from the man and maybe found some firmer footing. Or maybe not.

Who knows?

Ha! Famous last words.


Monday, June 22, 2015

On Mythology

Not too long ago, I came upon this quote of Tennessee Williams’, captured by James Grissom in his book, Follies of God:
One wakes up in the morning and reaches for eyeglasses, coffee, and a myth. You can see that one needs vision, energy, and that myth. Otherwise, the day is simply impossible to face, endure, survive.
About a week later, I was reading, and my mind began to wander (as it is wont to do these days), and that quote crept back into my consciousness.

I idly asked myself, “What is your myth, Glenn?”

And, without pausing for a moment to think or take a breath, I answered, “Prometheus.”

The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, and I shivered.

Damn.

Do you think it’s too late for me to haul myself over to the exchange counter and see if I can’t replace this thing with a little something not so snug in the shoulders and hips...?


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