Writing / Spoken Word / Performance

COMING SOON!

While I am getting all my writing together (poems, plays, and prose) here are a few samples:

Untitled (or should be something like ‘Whore’ or ‘Only as Good as My Vagina Since I Only Exist for Your Objectification and Consumption’) (Poem, 2017)

He doesn’t want to hear about my bad experiences
because he likes to think of me as perfect
a madonna, a virgin, untampered with and intact

I am not

I am wild and sad
damaged but grateful
kind yet selfish

and I think most people I know here are like this

The peril of seeing the limitations to existence
is not without joy, is not without struggle

But life doesn’t have to be a competition
we’re not in darwin-ian times
survival of the fittest still permeates
but does not dominate

and in this perspective
there is hope

so that’s what I tell him at the end
or want to, but
too many times I’ m drunk before I finish the story
and maybe I don’t care about what he thinks, that much anyway

__________________________________________

Excerpt from Two Second Intervals (Memoir, 2013):

Maria and I had met a month earlier when we were both crashing at this crazy guy James’ flat in the Haight. Neither of us liked James because he thought of himself as a guru when he resembled more of a cult leader, though we never talked about our dislike of him. He was tall with a thick black beard and all of his clothes were velvet. His eyes were piercing and looked black even though they were brown. He had crystals all around his room and kept some of them in a black velvet pouch he wore around his neck. He talked excessively about his good karma and psychic powers. Maria and I tolerated James because we saw through him and we didn’t feel threatened. Plus, we both needed a place to crash in San Francisco and James was always opening his door to pretty girls who would help him sell the knickknacks he collected from his job.

James worked as a caretaker for the terminally ill. Oftentimes the people he looked after didn’t have anyone else in the world that knew them so when they died James would inherit most of their belongings. This is what James told us. I never knew the logistics behind his actions, like if they were actually legal. James would also take seasonal trimming jobs in Humbolt County, home to the biggest Marijuana harvest in the country, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t playing by the rules. I was nineteen then; young, naive, and fresh on the road. I didn’t care if people played by the rules and I didn’t ask a lot of questions.

The only other request James had for us, other than keeping his flat tidy, was helping him with his eccentric hobby of planting flowers in the missing squares of pavement along Haight Street. After we all planted the flowers, sometimes together and other times alone, James would construct a cheap chicken wire fence around the plot. The purpose of which was twofold: James wanted to keep neighborhood dogs from urinating on the flowers, but he also wanted to make these plots memorials to the Haight Street legends like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jerry Garcia.

With the makeshift fence erected James would bring color printed tabloid size printouts of the legends to adhere to the chicken wire with garish quantities of clear tape . Subsequently, during this particular activity I met a lot of aging hippies who had hitchhiked to Frisco back in the 60’s. Most of them had gone at least partially senile and collected SSI from the state. Most of them had been living in their respective rent-controlled apartments for decades so they managed to survive. One guy, Bruce, who was also James’ legitimate roommate, was especially senile. So much that he almost made it back to normal again with his bitterness and cynicism.

Bruce talked endlessly about the days of The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia. He prefaced most of his stories with “Before Jerry” or “After Jerry” regardless if his story had anything to do with Jerry or the band. It was his way of distinguishing the years which had gotten distorted in the decades since he he dropped acid as regularly as he showered: often, but not every day. Bruce’s preface’s mostly amused and sometime irritated me, but overall they never had much effect. I had no sentiment for The Grateful Dead. I had grown up on the East Coast listening to West Coast bands like The Dead Kennedy’s, Rancid, and Bad Religion. I couldn’t name a single Grateful Dead song at the time despite the fact that I was emerged in hippies. Of course, I knew who The Grateful Dead were and who Jerry Garcia was. They were pop icons, a household name, which made it impossible not to know them.

Maria and I gardened during the day. At night, I would write poetry and go to open mics. Maria played at some of them, her music sounding more suited for a room full of kindergartners than for the adults that heard them. But Maria was determined to spread her message. She used the last name Mango after she experienced what she described as an “awakening” while camping on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai the previous year.
She returned three months later and with a shaved head to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where she’d been living before traveling down to California and over to Hawaii. Maria was Canadian and had been born and raised in the rural town of Flin Flon, six hours north of Winnipeg. She had moved to the city after graduating high school, started college, got an apartment and worked at a coffee shop. While in Winnipeg she met and frequently hosted traveling kids who were passing through. After a few years of living in the city and learning how to play guitar from the folks she hosted, she decided to hit the road and go traveling herself.

Maria told me this story one day as we planted flowers. I think I had asked her when she learned guitar and her basic life story surfaced. Maria left Winnipeg the summer before her last college semester with a bunch of people in an old VW bus. She busked with them as they made their to California. She told me she didn’t write a lot of music then and only played the covers the traveling kids had taught her: She learned Ani DiFranco songs from the gutter punks, Joan Bias and Bob Dylan songs from the hippies, and long guitar solos from the boys she had crushes on.

It was in Kauai that Maria began to write her own songs and when she returned to Winnipeg after three months on the Island and nearly a year on the road, she registered a record label and dubbed it Star Seed Harmony Music, named after her galactic signature, another one of her Island inspired revelations. She recorded her cd with the help from her mother and old boyfriend who accompanied her on guitar. Maria left Winnipeg again soon after the cd was finished. She always talked fondly of Canada, but She told me she felt more at home in San Francisco.

“Hey, you know why they say San Francisco is like a bowl of granola?” Maria asked me once.

“No idea, Maria.” I answered.

“You’ve got your fruits, flakes, and nuts!”

I laughed. It was hard not too.Maria didn’t have too much difficulty stationing herself among like minded company in San Francisco. On the other hand, I was judgmental and still listened to punk rock and wore a lip ring. I was holding onto the worldly cynicism of my youth, which basically made me an outcast from most of the dread-locked, free loving, spiritual hippies. Maria had told me once that I was her most grounded friend.

This is when it’s clear you are a foreigner in a foreign land, especially when you resonate with the nuts of the granola. The other group of traveling kids were the gutter punks and I wasn’t one of them either. I was too nice and introspective for them and I hadn’t train hopped or hitchhiked at the time. I also refused to spange for change when I felt I had the means to make money for myself. I was stationed in the middle of the two dominant worlds, an inbetweener, whose definition would take on yet another meaning years later.

Maria returned to San Francisco with her new CD titled “Playing for Change.” It included songs with names like “How to Feed Two Birds With One Crumb” and “If You’ve got a Room Then You’ve Got a Floor.” Her music caught me by surprise when I first heard her play it on the street. It was by far the most bizarre music I’d heard someone on the street platy, mostly for its optimism. She smiled as she sang her simple lyrics about sharing and caring while playing various combinations of the three chords she new well. A few of her songs were okay. Those were the ones that were more intricate in story and music, but even then there was a Mr. Rogers-esq message to be found. Maria never strayed far from this theme. Indeed her “awakening” in Kauai was truly transformative. I’ve often wondered what Maria was like before, as I often reflect on the person I was before all of this too.

Regardless of my negative judgments, I appreciated Maria’s presence. I was glad to know her because even though negativity to her was like kyptonite to superman, she welcomed me, even if I didn’t always feel welcomed. It was hard for me to relate to her and I’m sure her to me. At the time our friendship would have been defined by an elaborate serendipitous meeting, but in reality our friendship was rooted in survival: we had put ourselves in a potentially damaging situation and despite our differences in appearance, opinions, and personality, we did share the differences and we needed each other. This kind of connection would became a common theme in my traveling adventures.

We made it through the 2003 Christmas season together with me feeling surprisingly homesick for my friends back east even though i arrogantly told them when I was leaving that I would be too involved to ever miss anyone, and Maria using up her calling card talking to her old boyfriend in Winnipeg. It was New Year’s eve day and we were out on Haight Street bent over with our gardening tools and newly purchased flowers. Someone we sort of knew came along and told us about The Dead show happening that night. The Dead, as in The Grateful Dead, post Jerry, had just started a new tour and San Francisco was their first stop.

“And it’s fucking New Year’s. This show’s gonna be off the hook!” Said the mutual 
acquaintance.

Maria and I decided to go. Well, actually Maria decided to go and I didn’t have any other plans.

As we stood ticketless in the crammed parking lot, Maria suggested we sing a verse that would manifest our imagined tickets. I nauseously asked,

“Oh man, what is it?”

“It”s easy” she said. Then is a soft, simple voice she sang,

“‘I believe, I believe you reap what you sow. I believe, I believe in miracles.'” Adding,
 “If we walk around and repeat this someone is going to give us tickets.” She declared.

There was no way to dissolve her enthusiasm even though I thought the verse was ridiculous and I knew I’d feel like a fool singing it. But I didn’t really have another choice and it made sense to try something to get into the show-it beat standing around in the parking lot all night.

The lot was full as Maria and I made our way through the crowd. I followed behind her sheepishly, self consciously singing the verse and feeling goofy. We sang past a group of people hanging outside their modified school bus with their shoeless kids drooling from the windows. We past men and woman dressed in tie-dye selling grilled cheese for three dollars and joints for five. We past a homeless guy with a shopping cart full of cans who was, no doubt, anticipating a great night of aluminum scores. We sang past a dog wearing a bandana and a small dog pack that someone was traveling with; past men with banjos, women with dreadlocks, and poets reciting their words aloud to the old time rockers drinking beer in the backs of pick up trucks. I wasn’t sure if this was a temporary parking lot or a permanent encampment.

After about thirty minutes of walking around behind Maria singing this ridiculous mantra, sure enough someone handed her a ticket. She looked at me and smiled. She didn’t leave me though. Instead, she grabbed my hand and pulled me along as she continued singing. Fifteen minutes later an aging hippie came up to me and offered me a ticket. Then someone else handed her a joint and me a hit of acid. We shared both and went into the show.

.

____________________________

This is a poem/stream of consciousness/performance piece I wrote during my second residency at Goddard College. I wrote it as I was statically pacing (two steps at a time) back and forth in the dorm “hospital” room I slept in. The “stage directions” are marked by a colon at the end. The format reflects how I originally wrote it so it remains unaltered and fragmented.

 

scene comes up:

 

a women paces back and forth:

 

lines are drawn out and in rhythm to her steps:

 

1. the sky is dark

 

 

2. the leaves are sharp

 

3. but I’m at home with you.

 

 

 

close

maybe

someday stay

lady

inside

tree bark

 

on an avenue

 

 

 

buildings fell

there was smoke

 

 

and  time

 

few were rescued

 

he was sad

and I held him

 

 

what’s plausible

 

what’s tissue

 

what’s vein

 

what’s muscle?

 

we watched it on TV

a documentary I think

the day before

or this is what I’ve told myself

 

 

 

 

And then there was a nameless map

 

no lines

no sides

no race

 

kneel down and say:

 

let me drink on it

with wine smearing my thoughts

let my body pulsate with it

my skin as thin as dew

 

until the conclusion fits

and a reason’s found from it

 

 

standing:

 

fast now:

 

 

I saw you through the window

the cracked glass leaving a

shoddy expression on your face

I heard the sound of promise

I felt my legs ready

 

to stop or run or turn

 

to stretch to wrap around

the idea

 

the sky is bright

 

the leaves are stiff

 

and I’ve never seen you since.

 

____________________

This is a poem I wrote at my first residency week at Goddard College. My advising group was given a mono-syllabal writing task and this is what transpired for me:

 

splat

goes

the

bug

pressed

on

the screened

door

 

I was

young

and

small

and

kind

 

the rage

had not

set it

quite yet

I think

it was

in the

hem

of the

old

skirt

my

mom wore

to church

 

with this

I take

a sip

of

wine

just

to sit

still

 

in

time I

catch

my

breath

back from

the wall

to which

it had been stuck

 

the bug

is not dead

and

frees

its

wings from

the screen

 

it flies

far

from the door

 

a grave

it

was

for one

pause

 

of breath

 

A one act play I wrote in my first months of living in Brooklyn:

THE ROOTLESS

A play in one act by kelley brannon

© 2010 Kelley Brannon

CHARACTERS AND SET (by scene and order of appearance/speaking)

SCENE ONE

SET: Brooklyn A street in a BedStuy like neighborhood. There is an MTA station in the corner, and a small bodega and Fried Chicken take-out to the side. There are also a few chairs outside a deteriorating apartment. After lights go out set will be filled with disaster debris.

CHARACTERS: *each “extra” character will play two parts. The first, will consist of a background person (listed in parentheses). The second character will be played after the lights go out in the first scene. The second character will also be accompanied by use of character props (hat, apron, tool belt, etc).

GIRL 1 – mid 20’s GIRL 2 – mid 20’s SHANNON – mid 20’s STAGE EXTRA (sitting in chair outside of an apt. building) and STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE – early 30’s STAGE EXTRA (loitering outside of MTA station) and MILLIE – mid/late 30’s STAGE EXTRA (talking on cell phone outside of train station) and LAWYER – 30’s STAGE EXTRA (outside Bodega) and CONSTRUCTION WORKER – 30’s STAGE EXTRA (by train station) and WALL STREET BROKER – 30’s STAGE EXTRA (by bodega/fried chicken) and JAN – 30’s STREET SWEEPER – any age

SCENE TWO

SET: Manhattan 5th Avenue with high class shopping and dining. A small restaurant with one round table, disaster debris, MTA station in corner (opposite side from Brooklyn scene).

CHARACTERS: WOMAN 1 – 30’S WOMAN 2 – 30’S WOMAN 3 – 30’S MAN 1 – 30’S SHANNON – 20’S STAGE EXTRAS: THE GREEN PEOPLE – various ages

SCENE THREE

SET: Brooklyn as in scene one. Add three milk crates and one cardboard box for card dealer.

CHARACTERS: DEALER – 30’s MAN 1 – 30’s MAN2 – 30’s WOMAN 1 – 30’s WOMAN 2 – 30’S SHANNON – 20’s COP 1 – 30’s COP 2 – 30’s MAN AT CORNER – 30’s

******************

SCENE ONE

The rise of the curtain will show SHANNON at stage right holding a briefcase and slowly heading toward the MTA station. Shannon is moving much slower than the other people around her. The “EXTRAS” will be in their positions and will be doing their various activities.

Lights come up. GIRL 1 and GIRL 2 enter from stage left. They are engaged in conversation. As they talk they stroll by Shannon and stop near her.

GIRL 1: Yeah, and then my mom took me shopping.

GIRL 2: Does your mom live in New York?

GIRL 1: No, she drove out here from Cleveland, Ohio.

GIRL 2: Wow!

GIRL 1: Yeah, and since she had her car she helped me do laundry.

GIRL 2: That’s cool, how was the rest of the visit?

GIRL 1: It was nice, Lots of typical mom stuff…

Shannon turns down stage as Girl 1 and Girl 2 laugh and cross the stage, and exit stage right.

SHANNON: (addressing audience) She’s not from here, I mean, not literally, she could be. How the hell do I know? But

what I mean is, she isn’t from my city…

Shannon’s words trail off. There is a giant rumble in the sky. Glass breaks. Lights flash. Lights out. 2 second black out. As lights fade up all of the extras are laying on the stage “dead.“ The bodega and Fried Chicken are smashed. There is disaster debris. Shannon is still standing and has moved position only slightly.

SHANNON: (still down stage and addressing audience) What if the world lost gravity and plummeted? Or, what if the Earth spontaneously combusted? I mean with all the technology in play it’s getting easier to cross the wrong wire, But what would we do? Really? Call our mothers, our fathers, or sisters, brothers, friends,

distant, but now circumstantially close, relatives? If family is what the majority of Americans value most then am I now justified to say what use is capitalism?

ST ARBUCKS EMPLOYEE: (rising from the dead and putting on apron) Capitalism allows for a free market based on economic value!

The market can charge whatever people will pay. (she holds out a coffee cup) I have a $5.99 tall soy latte for Millie!

MILLIE stands up from the dead. She puts on her MTA coat and hat and pays for her drink from the Starbucks Employee.

MILLIE: Thanks. I can’t make it through the day without it. (taking a sip) Wow. This is great. (semi sarcastically) You’re really great at your job.

STARBUCKS: Thanks (cupping her mouth to Millie). I’m actually a trained dancer, but that doesn’t really pay the rent.

MILLIE: (laughing) I know. Don’t quit your day job. A hard day of mindless work is excellent for the brain and psychological morale.

Suddenly the LAWYER rises from the dead and grabs a briefcase (that is hidden under set). He stands next to Millie.

LAWYER: (to Millie) Is this train going to move or what?!! I’ve got a nine O’clock appointment with Pen Oil Co., my firm’s biggest client, and I’ll be dammed if I’m going to stand here and watch you make me late!

Mille and Lawyer begin walking toward the station.

MILLIE: LAWYER: MILLIE:

LAWYER: MILLIE: LAWYER:

(shouting back to Starbucks Employee behind her) I guess the best part of my day is over! (to Millie) The best part of my day ended this morning when I had to wake up.

(to lawyer) Don’t you mean fifteen minutes after you woke up (looking downward to his crotch with her eyes)?

Didn’t that movie come out like ten years ago?

Something like that, but nothing’s changed since.

Nothing will sweetheart. Most of us like it this way. This way I don’t have to care about people like you, which would take too much of my time and energy and for what? (impatiently) Now, will you please drive this train as you are paid to do?

The CONSTRUCTION WORKER rises from the dead and crosses to Lawyer. C. WORKER: (to lawyer) Maybe you should drive the train. You’re the only one who’s in a hurry. The WALL STREET BROKER, dressed in a very expensive suit , rises from the dead and approaches the group.

BROKER: I am in a hurry as well. Memphis just closed yesterday and I’ve got to move fast.

LAWYER: You see? Some us have jobs that actually demand our attention

C. WORKER: And my job doesn’t? If I’m not paying attention I could miss a footing and one of those glass panels that supports the south wall of your office building could break which would directly jeopardize the integrity of the structure…

LAWYER: I didn’t mean…

JAN, the owner of Jan’s Beads and Embroidery rises from the dead. She puts on a Jan’s Beads and Embroidery hat and approaches the group.

JAN: (to Construction Worker) He didn’t mean to say it, that’s all. (to Lawyer) People like you never come into my store, even though my cheap plastic is essentially the same as your expensive plastic. My clothes are also made by impoverished 5 year old children.

BROKER: Why don’t you have your own five year old sew them at home-more profit that way.

JAN: My five year old is still in Guyana, South America with her grandmother and they do not work in a sweat shop. My husband and I are here to make money for them to come to the United States so they don’t have to.

LAWYER: (to Millie) See Millie, the benefits of capitalism! An honorable immigrant coming to America to make a liv…

MILLIE: Making nothing! Just selling cheap shit, (turning to Jan) no offense, I mean it’s great there is a market here in America to embrace, but that Starbucks Employee is only making on$8 an hr, a pitiful portion of the profit, to stand on her feet all day slaving over indulgent coffee drinks, when, all the while, she is a college graduate with a BFA degree!

C. WORKER: Be careful with word ‘slave’…

LAWYER:

MILLIE: BROKER:

MILLIE:

BROKER: JAN:

BFA equals someone who went to school for enjoyment. Enjoyment doesn’t pay! (arrogantly) I didn’t enjoy law school, but I’m sure as hell not complaining on where that misery got me!

Didn’t you say that your good day ended when you had to wake up?

I am so sorry to hear of her troubles, maybe she’d like to live in Guyana where she can get married and have babies by the time she’s 16 and work for, well, no money all hours of the day!

This is America after all, supposedly the richest country in the world? I really wonder how true that is when we also have millions of our own impoverished people! I think America is like a stock on wall street with a lot of wealthy investors.

Yes, that is how businesses are run and our friend Jan here is trying to make a living running her own business. America is a better investment than Guyana.

I love my country, but there is not much work. Many small businesses fail quickly, but I am not poor like many. I was 22 when I had my first child. My mother runs a day care from our home. She doesn’t make much money- that’s why I am here. America is the place to make money and build a future for myself and my family.

SHANNON suddenly approaches the group, coming quickly to life after a frozen-like state.

SHANNON: JAN: LAWYER:

MILLIE: BROKER: LAWYER:

And what do you do if you’re not here to make money? What if you merely exist? You’ve got to make money. How else do you live?

Don’t listen to her Jan (putting his arm around him) You’re a respectable business owner and she’s probably either unemployed or getting ready to build a teepee with some other hippies.

(from inside train through intercom) Come one, come all! Fulton Street is the next stop. Sorry for the delay, we were experiencing some heavy train traffic.

(to no one in particular) Heavy trail traffic? There’s only one rail and I haven’t seen any trains- and we’ve been waiting here for half an hour!

(to Shannon) I think it’s about time you grow up and figure out the best way to make a living for yourself.

All of them board the train except Shannon who continues to stand outside the station. The doors close while she watches. She is still holding her briefcase. The train takes off. There is slight rumbling. The street is still covered in the disaster debris. A STREET SWEEPER enters slowly from stage left, and is casually sweeping the sidewalk with a small broom.

SHANNON: (to anyone) Did anyone even notice? SWEEPER: Notice what, darling?

Fade Lights. End Scene One.

SCENE TWO (currently being edited to add more dialogue and/or a monologue from Shannon)

5th Avenue, Manhattan. FANCY WOMAN 1, FANCY WOMAN 2, AND FANCY WOMAN 3 (obviously upper class women) are seated at a small table center stage, eating in an upscale cafe. They are wearing expensive looking clothes and have shopping bags from expensive stores resting below the table at their feet.

Fade Up Lights

SHANNON enters from stage left, exiting the train station. She looks around in dismay. The place, although still seemingly elegant, is destroyed. There are billboard signs laying haphazardly on the ground with many of the store fronts smashed and light posts slanted at crude angels. Shannon passes by the cafe with the three women in it. She peers at them as if through glass. She flinches, noticing that all three women’s hands are stained green.

OFF STAGE VOICE: Watch Out!!!

Suddenly, a whole herd of green people enter from stage right and run across stage to exit stage left. SHANNON is almost plowed down in the stampede. She takes shelter under a fallen billboard that is advertising Michael‘s Over-Priced Clothing.

End Scene Two. Lights stay on as crew changes props. SHANNON doesn’t move. Crew replaces her billboard for Michael’s Over-Priced Clothing with a store sign for Fried Chicken and Everything Else That Will Kill You

SCENE THREE

Brooklyn as in scene one. Add card DEALER, who is positioned on the street, and MAN AT CORNER who is positioned in a corner/background. The DEALER has three cards laid on a cardboard box that is supported by three milk crates.

After crew has changed props scene three begins. The card DEALER, MAN AT CORNER, MAN 1, MAN 2, WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2 take their positions. SHANNON slowly crawls out from the fried chicken billboard and takes her position in the background.

DEALER: (shuffling the cards) Watch the Jack. Follow the red not the black. (laying the cards out flat on the box upside down) Now, who’s got it?

MAN 1: (stepping forward to Dealer and pointing at the card on the right) I got twenty. The DEALER flips it over to reveal a 10 of spades.

MAN 1: DEALER: MAN 2: WOMAN 2: DEALER:

(taking a step back) Shit. (he exits stage right) Any takers? 50/50 get the Jack pass on the black. (to Woman 2) It’s the one in the middle!

(to dealer) the middle one. I need to see some money

WOMAN 1: (to Woman 2) Show him you have money! (helping Woman 2 with her bag) Come on… WOMAN 2 takes out an envelope from her purse. She opens it and hands the dealer a $20

DEALER: I need $40

WOMAN 2 removes a another $20 from the envelope and hands it to the DEALER. WOMAN 2 points to the middle card. The DEALER flips it to reveal a five of spades. WOMAN 2, WOMAN 1, and MAN 2 all sigh with disbelief. They fall over and a bus comes and runs them over. SHANNON screams. No one else turns.

SHANNON: (to dealer) Have I gone mad? DEALER: (laughing) I don’t think so. You’re just seeing through the lines that’s all. (quickly turning to his right)

Shit. The DEALER quickly throws his cardboard box to the ground and kicks the milk crates apart. COP 1 and COP 2 enter

from stage right and give the street a quick look. They cross the stage and exit stage left. The DEALER walks over the MAN AT THE CORNER and hands him a five dollar bill.

DEALER: (to Man at the Corner) Thanks.

The DEALER then walks back to his spot and resets his milk crates, cardboard box, and cards. Shannon is watching him.

DEALER: (to Shannon, but not looking at her) Thing is sweetheart, you gotta be honest with what you’re doing. See, I may scam a lot of people, but there are no gap tags on the cheap clothing I’m selling.

SHANNON just stares. The dealer continues.

DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER:

(looking up) Get it? No, I don’t think I do (laughs) You will when the game’s over babe.

The DEALER shuffles the cards just like before and lays them out.

DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER:

Follow the red not the black (he lays the card out upside down). Not the black, that’s a strange thing for you to be saying (aware that the dealer is a black man)… Only when it comes to the cards, love, or the cops. Pick one darling, on me. You’ve got nothing to loose

since all you’ve got is space. SHANNON: Space?

DEALER: Yup, time. Precious. Finite. Go ahead, pick one. Really.

SHANNON looks at the DEALER for a minute. He motions for her to turn one over. Shannon flips the card on the right. It’s the Jack.

DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER:

SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON:

DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER:

SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER:

See! What did I tell you! Seeing between the lines has its benefits sometimes. Great I’m crazy, but I can win a gambling game. Everything’s a game, but you still lost. No, I picked the jack

But you didn’t win anything cause you didn’t play any money, and without winning anything– you didn’t really win and if the only purpose to play is to win than you may have guessed right, but you still lost.

Story of my life. You got any family, beautiful? Parents? Siblings? Kids?

Not really, My dads gone and my mom’s too old and incompetent to drive anywhere further than the grocery store; and I don’t have any kids, thank god.

Than it’s even rougher. See folks have families to keep them in check. Keep their priorities straight. That’s unfortunate . But that’s how the game is played-I mean if you want to win.

What if I don’t care about winning? Then you got to be on this end, (motioning to his own seat) and make a living off other people’s losses.

If I don’t care about winning money then I can’t deal either because-essentially I’d still be winning. That’s capitalism baby! That’s exploitation. Exactly

And no one cares

(nodding in agreement) Yup, just you. People like the game. They like to win. To most of them that’s all there is.

I thought you said family was everything to everyone? (laughing) Every great crime needs a great excuse. And they actually took Ginsberg to trial! Dude was trying to be honest, but he wasn’t speaking their language. Didn’t want to either.

SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: Now that’s survival (holds out his hand for her to slap).

SHANNON slaps his hand.

DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER: SHANNON: DEALER:

Watch out- that train’s coming right behind you. What the fuck is it doing on road? Coming for you babe. What?

Once you’ve won -you can’t win again. But I didn’t win anything. I didn’t play any money-you said that yourself! But you weren’t looking for money.

Then what good is that? Only good to the people who don’t want to play the game. Isn’t this a game? What’s the objective? To see who can stay the longest…

Fade Lights. End Scene. End Act.

 

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