Night Becomes Mourning…an excerpt

LOURDES: Isn’t this my reckoning? 

EARLE: Is this a tragedy?

LOURDES: I hope not. 

EARLE: Listen. I’m not what you think I should be to you. I’m a user. Resentful. Angry and never satisfied. I’m unfaithful. I was unfaithful and that’s why I’m alone. Not because of anything I wanted my life to be. I’m here because I can’t be where I want to be.

Pause.

EARLE: No matter how much you feel you can handle the situation. I’ll always look for the exit.

LOURDES smiles.

LOURDES: Of course you will.

EARLE: The only way I can take something from you is if you let me. 

LOURDES: And I let you. Because I wanted you. 

Pause.

EARLE: Don’t be stupid. Play your cards better.

EARLE starts to move toward the door.

LOURDES: We need to finish this.

EARLE: What do yo think we can give each other?

LOURDES: This is a two way street. It didn’t just happen because I willed it to happen. You wanted something out of this.

EARLE: I got what I wanted.

Pause

LOURDES: I’ve never been able to understand your infatuation with Instagram. Perhaps that’s where it all is in terms of the deterioration of relationships, right? All stuck in a blip.

EARLE: . . .

LOURDES: Shallow games. Self worth tied to the “likes.” All Emojis and manipulations targeting for acknowledgement.

EARLE: You don’t post.

LOURDES: You noticed?

Pause.

LOURDES: Texts.  Insta-posts. 

EARLE: Where are you going with this?

LOURDES: Blips don’t replace real connections. One can’t compete. I..I found myself going deep into their portal to find the truth about people. It became a distorted truth I’d think into my circle of want. Because in this brave new world, that’s the way we resort to find our place. This technology, held tight in our grip, begins to believe that people’s posts are their intuitive truths, their true first thoughts. But they’re masks? 

EARLE: They’re curated.

LOURDES: I found myself spending hours, scrolling posts, trying to find some understanding. Something you’d reveal so I’d know what you thought. If you’d thought about me. I posted for your to see me. Then, I had the brilliant idea of writing you a text. Participate on your level sorta speak.  Hoping there would be a cascade of conversation that would spark more, and more, and then open into something more meaningful. 

EARLE: Curated conversations.

LOURDES: But you didn’t play. So I swore it off. Had no interest communicating that way. Too much misunderstanding or avoidance. But there is something that kept calling me back. Our moments in the workshop lifted me. Made me feel I was doing something right. I can’t, don’t, wanna look away from that. 

EARLE: I’m flattered but I’ve nothing worth giving.

LOURDES: Maybe you never stopped long enough to take notice.

Running on Soul

I paid the man and he took my money without blinking an eye…and now I’m down all that stuff and can’t make it out to pay the rent.

He stole from me my means to an end…I have no way out…no way to keep things close…to allow things to happen…no way to keep it goin strong.

When I replay over and over that moment…over in my head…I get so mad I wanna hurt some one…wanna hurt myself…you know what I mean?

Do you see what I’m telling you?

This ain’t no Ken and Barbie shit this is real…real life poverty knocking me out of the game…and I’m running…running on soul and the ice…is its real thin…like it don’t matter anymore if I’m dead or alive.

You get what I’m telling you?

Little Fe(a)t

Across the road, in a small gathering place, elementary children sat, in woods conjuring, fantastic worlds, beyond knowing.

While sitting on logs, heroes pretended, with protecting swords, saving the weak.

One morning, a kindergarten girl, stole in the gathering place, imagining pretended fire, occupied logs, in a summit of conversations.

Realizing her solitude, imagining hands reached, the sky dissolving in-between treetops: a confluence of man and nature.

A broken thought interrupted: Why is it so hard to tell the truth?

Trees answered, understanding, beyond a single moment, representing all moments, as witnesses of harm: nothingness is easier.

Senseless harms, let houses burn, skies smoking war, or oceans disintegrate.

The winds howl, shook branches, pointing to bystanders, with closed eyes, shielding fear, then, returning to circles, around fires, killing all things, outside the circle.

In the clearing across the road, in the small gathering place, children sit in woods, conjuring fantastic worlds beyond knowing.

Sitting on logs around a pretended fire, planning futures, pretend swords, protect damsels in distress: heroes saving the dangered weak.

Monologue of a Distinguished Service Medal

It’s an honor to be pinned.

Salutes make my gold bar shine. Don’t ya think?

It’s bittersweet though. . . this moment.

Do you like my ribbon?

It has a story in it.

A bittersweet chronicle.

A marine’s moment . . . cherishing life . . . protected by the man’s unselfish act.

Life’s more important than self-interest.

The place I rest is with the living. . . but it mostly means people have died.

Can you see my colors clearly? Their symbolism?

Red for valor – I know it usually means blood, but I hate it when people say that red is a violent symbol – blood’s a natural element – part of the human condition . . . for me it represents beauty in powerful and courageous acts.

Extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy force.

When people get all up into it’s political meaning . . . they steal its true value.

My white . . . faith and purity . . . always a favorite . . . but I question whether anything can really be that pure.

I suppose giving a life for a life is a kinda pure love.

The ultimate selflessness.

But then people take the blue and use that as a means to an end . . . using it as some political tool to defend a political view debunks my value.

Blue lives . . . black lives . . . brown or yellow lives representing lived lives . . . yes . . . things endured . . . but all that steels my ribbon’s reminder of the courage and valor that made me represent a saved life.

My cross, held by these ribbons, represents that act of protecting against an enemy of life.

Protecting against those in our global community that live to hate and hate to love all equal.

Resting on this chest of bravery and determination is my greatest honor.

This person protects us from hateful actors.

I represent what’s best in a person because this man . . . or woman . . . without thought took action.

A selfless headstrong action into danger.

It saddens me when people throw us away.

Or stomp on us as if trying to blot out the actions of madmen.

Saving a life in wartime is not a symbol of hate.

My ribbon is not political.

It represents sacrifice.

Honoring a moment of selflessness.

A son . . . lost . . . a daughter . . . lost.

The defense of a greater good.

You see me . . . now do you understand me?

Substance

The juice sinks into me like a warm sunrise,

While the luxury of self-indulgent paths imagines it as love.

I begged to graduate;

coercing the puncture of my curiosity.

Drinking the elixir of blood and guts,

grit and fear moved in slow motion veins.

I lived in a paper castle,

to avoid the somebody that always dies.

Never thinking that someone could be me.

No one hears the river as it thins out.

Touch. Stand. Strike.

Force only when a moment opens itself.

Yet impulses that cannot control, coerce me to my knees.

I fall. Crawl. To some safe space.

There are no closets.

There are no safe spaces.

Firm feet ready for the battering ram.

The lie I tell limits my capacity of

Certainty or certitude in defense

Of the slap across my face.

Jurors are convinced, and

In declaration, Robes speak.

“Look toward the sky.

Answers are there

In the ether of nothingness.”

Their call, capturing my breadth, deflects the

Principals behind authority standing to convict,

While unseen public opinions highlight how godless I am.

Innocence steps to the pursuit of guilty

ignorance, jack hammering a deep sleep.

My love struggles to be conjured my rage.

Challenges

A ONE MINUTE PLAY

A: Put down that rock.

B: Racist glass needs to be broken.

A: Why a rock?

B: Cause it’s hard and it hurts.

A: What if it hits the wrong person?

B: I won’t miss.

A: Broken glass only cuts more feet.

B: Gotta break it to fix it.

A: Just gonna make them madder.

B: Whose side you on?

A: Just seems rage equals murder around here.

B: My rocks are my right.

A: Voting’s your right too. Did you VOTE?

B: My vote doesn’t count.

A: All votes count.

B: Corruption took my vote.

A: Is throwing rocks gonna change that?

B: No. But it feels good.

A: An eye for an eye. What comes around goes around /

B: And around and around and around. All I want is to get off and get justice.

A: Me too. But what if someone throws a rock at your house?

B: Well. Shit. I guess they have a right.

A: Yeah. I guess they do.

Sheltered In

Couple watching TV.

NARRATOR: Democrats makes a big deal…

WOMAN: Change the channel.

NARRATOR: With limited testing…

WOMAN: No. (Gesturing) Please.

MAN: What’s wrong?

WOMAN: Give me. Please.

Woman snatches remote.

MAN: Mean.

WOMAN: You are?

MAN: You need / to be…

WOMAN: Enough.

MAN: Where’s your?

Woman changes the channel.

NARRATOR: The President said a cure is imminent.

MAN: Leave it.

Woman changes the channel again.

MAN: Stop controlling everything. You’re not / the only…

WOMAN: Don’t.

MAN: Selfish

WOMAN: Argh.

Woman exits.

MAN: Yes.

He channel surfs.

NARRATOR: With hundreds — deaths reaching the 1000s – spread soars — delayed responses — President’s Administration blames Fake News.

Woman enters.

NARRATOR: New York had its worst day. The testing capability continues to lag disastrously behind other nations. As the most developed country in the world, the United States will probably be hit in unmeasurable capacity because politicians denied the seriousness of the virus for so long. Sheltering is the only way to stop the spread. Many cry for Martial Law to force citizens to stay home. Stay strong. Find faith where we can get it.

Couple embracing.

Fin.