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I. The Shit Begins With Some Video And Some Fishing And Some Walk-Talking
VOICE Today's Lesson : The earth is not a chocolate covered cherry Materials: 1 chilled chocolate covered cherry 1 paper towel 1 serrated knife 1 diagram of the earth's layers Step 1: Spread paper towel and carefully place chilled chocolate covered cherry on it. Do not eat it. Step 2: Using your knife, cut the cherry in half, as neatly as you can. Use a sawing motion to cut through the shell to prevent the total collapse of the candy's shell. Dissecting a chocolate cherry is very messy business, work slowly and carefully. Step 3: You may now eat one half of your candy. Step 4: Examine the Outer Chocolate shell. It is thin and brittle and easy to break like the earth’s crust. Beneath the crust is the mantle, sticky sugary goo that keeps the cherry in place within the crust. Step 5: Examine the cherry. Dive your way through the dense but malleable fruit of the outer core. Beneath this layer is the pit. The hard iron core of the earth. Carve delicately into the pit, because entering it is a dangerous undertaking. No one has yet managed to explore its depths, but you can try. Step 6: You may now eat the other half of your chocolate covered candy Step 7: Next explain in your words, how the Earth is NOT like a chocolate covered cherry and how you know this to be true. HADES Fishing with my uncle. I cast my line my line into the water. There is a worm at the end of the line, a juicy blind worm, earthworm, called bait. The line and the bait are in the water. Wet. He catches a fish. A trout or bass or carp or goldfish or Nemo or some other fish. My bait is still in the water. And the bobber--that’s the red and white ping pong ball type thing attached to the line--it’s still floating. And now... [PERSEPHONE TINA appears on one of the screen interrupting Hades – She speaks to him from the screen, she may switch to PERSEPHONE SHANNON, and TINA may or may not appear in the midst of this dialogue onstage.] PERSEPHONE TINA Gorgeous isn’t it? HADES Isn’t what? PERSEPHONE SHANNON (entering) The World. HADES How do you know? PERSEPHONE SHANNON (till further notice) How do I know what? HADES You can’t see most of it.
PERSEPHONE I can only judge what I see. HADES That’s a fairly dumb answer. PERSEPHONE Well you don’t have to listen to me. HADES If I don’t, will you keep talking anyway? PERSEPHONE Feel free to keep walking. HADES What’s your name? PERSEPHONE (pause) Persephone. And you are? HADES Uhh. Steve? PERSEPHONE Hi Steve. So you don’t think it’s gorgeous today? HADES I’m withholding judgment. PERSEPHONE Why bother? HADES I don’t like to be wrong. PERSEPHONE Well then I guess you don’t say very much, huh? HADES Well I just know a lot. PERSEPHONE I bet. HADES Ask me something. PERSEPHONE Why? So you can impress me with your vast knowledge? HADES
Well it would just be a shame for someone so beautiful to be so stupid. PERSEPHONE You’re an asshole. HADES See? You’re getting smarter already. PERSEPHONE I guess so. (Pause.) HADES So did you ever think about what you can’t see? PERSEPHONE What do you mean? HADES What you can’t see. PERSEPHONE (pause, stares) I’m not deaf, thanks. Are you talking about like the thousands of bacteria swarming all around the air and my body, or are you talking about a realm of reality beyond my senses. HADES The latter. PERSEPHONE So you’re asking me if I think about the things I can’t sense, have no way of sensing, may or may not exist, and have no way of affecting anything I will ever do? HADES More or less. PERSEPHONE Why would I bother? HADES You have no interest in why things happen? PERSEPHONE No. HADES Oh. PERSEPHONE As long as my world continues to behave as it does, what do I care if an unseen force is pulling the strings? HADES Well, what if it’s not a benevolent force? What if it’s a sinister one?
PERSEPHONE It’s been pretty good to me so far. HADES Fortunes change. PERSEPHONE And what do you have in mind? HADES Get rid of it. Learn how to pull the strings myself. PERSEPHONE (Pause) Well good luck with that. HADES Or worse yet, what if nothing is pulling the strings? PERSEPHONE I don’t see how that’s worse. HADES Doesn’t it worry you that the floor could drop out from under you at any minute? PERSEPHONE I don’t know you well enough to get into that. HADES Everyone has doubts. PERSEPHONE Not everyone. HADES What are you doing right now? PERSEPHONE I’m talking to you. HADES I mean generally. PERSEPHONE Tending to my garden. HADES Oh. PERSEPHONE Why? HADES
You know, I thought maybe you’d want to take a walk with me. PERSEPHONE Sure, Steve. [Persephone gets up and disappears out of the cubicle video screen.] HADES And now, a tug. The bobber goes under. I feel a tug. Wow. A tug. I pull and pull and pull, well reel and reel and reel and pull a little. Something’s stuck. Feels stuck. Reel’s stuck. Stuck. So I pull and...unstuck, reel reel reel. Something’s breaking through the surface. Something. Coming up.
II. Then They Walk And Sing And She’s Cold And THE BOX INDUCTION (Plus God)
[PERSEPHONE TINA has appeared to join HADES for a walk. Persephone TINA sits behind and stage left of SHANNON her back against SHANNON's legs. Music “Righteous” begins. HADES walks slowly towards them -stopping about center stage. TINA pushes SHANNON towards Hades. SHANNON stops short – turns back to look at TINA and then walks confidently to himextending her left hand.] PERSEPHONE SHANNON (after song) I'm cold. HADES Better? [Video of TINA ALONE] HADES Better? PERSEPHONE SHANNON I'm cold. [HADES pulls SHANNON close and kisses her – she breaks the kiss first and pulls away –put her hands on cheeks. They stand for just long enough, hands on each others cheeks.] [As they stand, flowers are all around them. HADES begins to gently sweep them away from SHANNON. He sweeps them gentlemanly away into a square. ] HADES Stand here. HADES I meant here. PERSEPHONE SHANNON What’s this?
HADES It’s your induction. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Induction into what? HADES Would you mind passing me that tape. PERSEPHONE TINA ( TINA hands shannon tape) Oh sure. Here. HADES No, not the box tape. The gaff tape.
PERSEPHONE TINA ( again from Tina to shannon) Umm. Here? HADES That’s the paper tape. HADES Electrical tape. Double sided tape, Packing tape. PERSEPHONE TINA Isn’t that the same thing as box tape? HADES No, box tape is brown … like a box. Packing tape is clear, for use on things like bubble wrap, or a white box. PERSEPHONE BOTH You’re an idiot. HADES Wait you had it. Just to the left. HADES Yes. HADES Yes. Give it to me. PERSEPHONE TINA Why should I give you my tape? HADES It’s not your tape. PERSEPHONE TINA I don’t see you holding it.
HADES Everything here belongs to me, whether I’m holding it or not. PERSEPHONE TINA Not everything. HADES Everything. (Pause) HADES The tape. (Persephone Tina tosses it to him) HADES Now, whatever you do, don’t move. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Okay. [HADES walks forward and stands less than an inch from Persephone SHANNON as though they are about to kiss. He doesn’t kiss her. He tapes the floor.] PERSEPHONE TINA What are you doing? HADES Can’t you see I’m working? PERSEPHONE TINA Looks to me like you’re taping the floor. HADES Well you wouldn’t want it fall out from under you. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Then thank you. HADES Don’t thank me. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Why? Because you are so selfless that you do these things just because. HADES I don’t know. I think I’m a pretty deliberate person actually. I mean really, does anybody do anything just because? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Why else would I do anything? Because God makes me? HADES
What God? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Exactly. HADES No, I was asking which God you were talking about. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Oh. Well, I was talking about the being above Zeus. You know, what’s his name … Jesus. HADES Ah. So here’s a question [Tina tapes a square around Hades. He fucks it up easily} PERSEPHONE SHANNON Shoot. HADES Would you care if you were cut off from it? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Cut off from what? HADES A higher power. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Like if I was excommunicated? HADES Like if you lost your faith. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Well I think I’d have to have faith to be able to lose it. HADES I think you should have faith. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Oh, really? HADES I have a deep faith. PERSEPHONE Do you ever go to church? HADES No. I don’t. PERSEPHONE
Do you pray often? HADES Certainly not. PERSEPHONE Then how deep can your faith really be? HADES Is faith nothing more than sacrifice for you? PERSEPHONE If faith is this intangible thing, emotion, whatever, then how else can you express it except through dependence on it, or reliance on it? HADES What’s your point? PERSEPHONE Well how can you show your faith, your dependence, without sacrificing anything for it? HADES So? PERSEPHONE I mean, if you never sacrifice for your dependence on faith, then you’re not really dependent, and you don’t have any need for faith. HADES You’re a smart girl. PERSEPHONE Woman. HADES Gal. PERSEPHONE Miss. HADES Phillie. PERSEPHONE Phillie? Really? HADES Why not? PERSEPHONE Why can’t your treat me like a woman. HADES
You’re not a woman though. PERSEPHONE But I suppose you consider yourself a man. HADES I am certainly no man. PERSEPHONE Then what do you consider yourself? HADES Well, what do you think? PERSEPHONE What do you mean? HADES About the floor. PERSEPHONE Oh, uh, it’s fine. Very black and shiny. Clean. HADES Thanks. But I was asking about my taping job. PERSEPHONE Oh, um, it looks pretty decent. Not really a square though. HADES I wasn’t really aiming for a square. PERSEPHONE Well then good for you. You’ve succeeded. HADES It’s a Hexagon. PERSEPHONE Umm, Great. HADES Well, I really appreciate this. PERSEPHONE Appreciate what? HADES Binding you. PERSEPHONE Who’s binding me?
HADES I already have. PERSEPHONE Why? HADES I don’t want to you go-t hurt. PERSEPHONE You don’t want me to goat herd? HADES Get hurt. Get hurt. I don’t want you to get hurt here. So I’ve bound you so that nothing can get in. PERSEPHONE You’ve put me in a box – HADES Hexagon PERSEPHONE Whatever. So I can’t be hurt? PERSEPHONE But I can’t get out either. HADES I’m afraid that’s the draw back of it. PERSEPHONE Then how are we going to do anything? HADES We can do stuff. We’re talking right now. PERSEPHONE That’s not what I’m talking about. HADES You said anything. PERSEPHONE But I didn’t mean, anything. HADES (aggravated) Then what are you talking about? PERSEPHONE Use your imagination. HADES
Like – PERSEPHONE Yesssss? HADES Competitive arm wrestl- oh. OH! Oh. Oh. Ho. Yeah … Well I can enter the square. PERSEPHONE Sorry, girls only in the square. [HADES exits. PERSEPHONE SHANNON starts to follow but is stopped by some unknown force at the edge of the tape.
III. Oh Shit! She Can’t Get Out! Doors And Microphonic Poetry About Stickyness
There is no music. There is a high-pitched squeal. [Doors and confessions ] HADES enters Movement/interaction of Persephone TINA and Hades in silence outside of box, SHANNON continues to cover her ears. PERSEPHONE TINA (microphone) there is an empty face an empty place in my future mine where is the family? too many things going on at once or one long complicated thing why do i complicate things easier to believe that people love that people care that things matter easier less frightening to believe that community exists what does that mean? stop questioning yourself or don't stop? i can't can't stop it's impossible why? see no use in it is there use in anything anyway? do you ever think about jumping in front of a car when it passes you or running head first into a wall or jumping or being shot not to die not at all to die but to live
to feel alive the thrill of life right before death the feeling of becoming unstuck from the ultimate glue life which is what keeps us stuck more than anything we are stuck with life until we die stuck with being stuck the ultimate act of attempting to become unstuck is to attempt to die but to die--is to become stuck again stuck in death which, come to think of it, is stickier than life is there, after all, any way to become unstuck from death?
PERSEPHONE SHANNON Don't touch me! [FREEZE!] (Tina kisses him) [He pushes her violently away, they stare at each other, she steps forward, he turns and exits.]
IV. All I Have To Do Is Scream, Scream Scream, Scream. Er…Dream
PERSEPHONE TINA I had a dream once. PERSEPHONE SHANNON You’ve only dreamt once? PERSEPHONE TINA No, I dream often, I just don’t always remember them. PERSEPHONE SHANNON So you’re saying you’ve only ever remembered one dream? PERSEPHONE TINA That’s pretty sad. PERSEPHONE SHANNON No. I remember a fair number of them. I just wanted to talk about a specific one. PERSEPHONE TINA Well, why beat around the bush? Just get to it. PERSEPHONE SHANNON She probably would if you would just shut up. PERSEPHONE TINA So in this dream, there was a man. PERSEPHONE SHANNON
Oh, I remember this one. PERSEPHONE TINA How can you tell? All my dreams are about men. PERSEPHONE SHANNON But this wasn’t a sex dream. PERSEPHONE TINA Oh, then I know what dream you’re talking about. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Anyway. This man had a family. PERSEPHONE TINA A wife and daughter. PERSEPHONE SHANNON And one day he took them to an old stone mansion off the coast of Nova Scotia. PERSEPHONE TINA They were attending a costume party. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Hey, who’s telling the story here? PERSEPHONE TINA You’re just going really slow. PERSEPHONE SHANNON What are you talking about? I didn’t even add in any details. I’m only giving the bare bones. PERSEPHONE TINA Well it’s boring. You’re boring. Your existence bores me. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I suppose you think you can do a better job? PERSEPHONE TINA Well, since you’re asking. BOTH Yeah? PERSEPHONE TINA The party they were attending was supposed to be the biggest one of it’s day. With 25 ballroom rooms, 38 lounges, 18 dining halls, and innumerable gardens, bedrooms, libraries and game rooms. Thousands of guests were invited, each sent a unique mask. The man dressed up in a crescent moon mask, while the wife simply wore a stark white shell of a face. The child, however, wore only one of those skinny little masks. Like … you know what I’m talking about? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Like the Lone Ranger mask.
PERSEPHONE TINA Right. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Or the Hamburgler. PERSEPHONE TINA Umm, also right … if you’re an idiot. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It’s not stupid. It’s just a more modern, and hence, more appropriate pop culture reference. PERSEPHONE TINA There hasn’t been an ad using the hamburgler since, like, 1987. If you wanted to use a modern reference you could have just said a raccoon or something. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Did you just say that a raccoon is more modern than the hamburgler? PERSEPHONE TINA Anyway, the family arrived at the mansion and were promptly given three names. The man was dubbed Mr. Winks. The mother was renamed PERSEPHONE SHANNON The Wraith PERSEPHONE TINA Right. And the child was dubbed simply – PERSEPHONE SHANNON Hamburgler. PERSEPHONE TINA No. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It is in my dream. PERSEPHONE TINA Well that’s just another reason I should be telling the story. PERSEPHONE SHANNON You are telling the story. PERSEPHONE TINA Touche. Anyway, the child’s name was raccoon face. So Mr. Winks, The Wraith, and Raccoon Face quickly got separated in the thickening crowd of the main ballroom. However, none seemed to mind until close to three AM when a shriek went up from somewhere in the depths of the main kitchen of the 8th dining hall. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It was the Wraith. She was dead.
PERSEPHONE TINA Murdered. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Brutally. PERSEPHONE TINA She was repeatedly stabbed in the neck with a sterling melon baller. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It was very gruesome. PERSEPHONE TINA Because the melon baller is so blunt. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Her throat was like a Niagra falls of blood. PERSEPHONE TINA I think that’s enough. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Not for my dream. PERSEPHONE TINA Anyway. It was raccoon face who was first on the scene. Stepping out of the shadows from behind some sort of ancient blue and yellow hanging tapestries she rushes over to her dead mother. She begins to tilt back her mask, put it is caringly yet forcedly pushed back down by the huge hand of the host. PERSEPHONE SHANNON You can never remove your mask. Not for anything. To do so would cause one to be tossed from the mansion down the rather deep bluff that the mansion overlooked. PERSEPHONE TINA Sometimes when I have the dream, the host doesn’t reach her in time. She takes off her mask and the guests tear her to pieces before dumping her remaining limbs down the cliffs. PERSEPHONE SHANNON How often do you have the dream? PERSEPHONE TINA Often enough. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It doesn’t matter. We’re finally getting to the best part. PERSEPHONE TINA The Host? PERSEPHONE SHANNON For all the seemingly infinite number of guests, the host had greeted each one, made sure each had a mask which was unique from all the others, and gave names to all of them. Impressively, he always remembered every name.
PERSEPHONE TINA But it was the man himself that always impresses me. PERSEPHONE SHANNON You don’t know that it was a man. BOTH You think he was a woman? PERSEPHONE SHANNON For all we know he could have been a beast. PERSEPHONE TINA But his voice … PERSEPHONE SHANNON Was gutteral at best. PERSEPHONE TINA Anyway, he – PERSEPHONE SHANNON It. PERSEPHONE TINA - always wore large black gloves to fit with his rather formal all black attire. PERSEPHONE SHANNON But his maskPERSEPHONE TINA Yes, his mask. PERSEPHONE SHANNON You never said what happens to the child. PERSEPHONE TINA In my dream you never find out. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It carries her away. PERSEPHONE TINA But you forgot his mask. PERSEPHONE SHANNON And what about The Wraith? PERSEPHONE TINA She is celebrated and forgotten. PERSEPHONE SHANNON
And the mask. PERSEPHONE TINA And what about the husband? PERSEPHONE SHANNON He never heard the scream. He never found out about her. He was already lost in the catacombs of the wine cellar. PERSEPHONE TINA His mask – PERSEPHONE SHANNON Yeah. PERSEPHONE TINA It’s just a human face.
V. Okay, Now The Sex Starts. Only Tina Doesn’t Get Any.
[TINA ALONE IN BOX WATCHES VIDEO OF INTIMACY] [SHANNON and SCOTT enter embracing and find their way to an intimacy onstage taunting TINA without paying any attention to her, they eventually lie down. Lights fade on TINA though she continues to watch screen, video changes to much more still footage or no footage. All focus is on Shannon and Scott.] PERSEPHONE SHANNON Why are we so strange? HADES Who says we’re strange? PERSEPHONE SHANNON I don’t know, we just are. HADES I don’t think we’re strange. We’re just interesting. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I gotta admit, for how anachronistic this is, it’s kind of boring. HADES I suppose I can see that, if you don’t know what’s coming. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Well … HADES What? PERSEPHONE SHANNON What’s coming?
HADES Secret. PERSEPHONE SHANNON: Are you going somewhere with this? Why won’t you tell me what’s going to happen? HADES I don’t want to ruin the surprise. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Well, how long do I have to wait? HADES A little while. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Well, can we … can we do stuff in the meantime? HADES Like what? PERSEPHONE SHAN You ever see Risky Business? [Dark Love Happens. Mmm.] [They speak together. The light flickers.] PERSEPHONE SHANNON and HADES Well? Well? Hmm. Yeah. Yes. Well. Mmm. Okay. There are massive tree-flowers that suggest organs of a body, torn out, still glistening with undried blood; there are harsh cries and sibilant hissings and thrashing sounds in the garden as if it were inhabited by beasts, serpents and birds, all of savage nature… Love. Love. Hmm. [The light dies out.] [Some more breathing. Some more piano.] [Breathing stops.]
VI. What Do I Talk About After Sex? Well, Surgery, Clearly. And Hot Dogs. I Talk A Lot After Sex.
HADES Arm transplant. PERSEPHONE Excuse me? HADES I need an arm transplant. I need a new arm. PERSEPHONE What’s wrong with the one you have now? HADES Thin wrists. PERSEPHONE So? HADES They’re girly. PERSEPHONE It’s true. HADES I don’t think they’ve reached that level yet, though. PERSEPHONE Who? HADES Doctors. PERSEPHONE They’ve transplanted a hand. HADES I’m not saying the technology’s not there, which it’s not. But we’re even farther away from cosmetic arm transplants, morally speaking. It probably won’t happen in my lifetime. PERSEPHONE Well, then you’ll have to get used to them. HADES I only want one done. PERSEPHONE Why?
HADES If I get both done people will think I was born that way. PERSEPHONE So, isn’t that what you want? HADES I want people to know the insufferable hardship I lived through. PERSEPHONE (laughing) You’re an idiot. HADES You know you think I’m funny. PERSEPHONE Do I? HADES Yes. PERSEPHONE Why are we so strange? HADES Who says we’re strange? PERSEPHONE I don’t know, we just are. HADES I don’t think we’re strange. We’re just interesting. PERSEPHONE Interesting to who? HADES To each other, I hope. PERSEPHONE Of course you do. HADES Of course I do what? PERSEPHONE You hope I find us interesting. HADES Maybe. But you’re just as pathetic.
PERSEPHONE Why is it pathetic? HADES Oh, I don’t know. I suppose it’s not. (They walk along in silence) HADES Do you want a hot dog? PERSEPHONE But we just had sex. HADES It wasn’t a euphemism. PERSEPHONE I realize that. I was making a joke. HADES Oh. Right. I know. (Pause.) PERSEPHONE You realize I don’t think your penis looks like a hot dog. HADES Thank you. Because I was really concerned. (HADES takes two hot dogs) HADES Do you want anything on yours? PERSEPHONE Ketchup and mustard. HADES Well come over here and do it. PERSEPHONE Why did you ask if you were just going to make me do it myself? HADES I was curious. (Hades walks away and eats his hot dog in two to three bites while Persephone goes mono a mono with the condiments. Eventually Persephone joins him, is somewhat thrown off by the disappearance of his hot dog, but says nothing. They continue.)
HADES How is it? PERSEPHONE I haven’t tried it yet. (Pause.) HADES Do you think it’s fate that we met? PERSEPHONE No. (Pause.) HADES Then what? PERSEPHONE I don’t know. Are you asking do I think we’re meant for each other? HADES Kind of. PERSEPHONE I love you. HADES I know. (Pause.) HADES But do you think we had a choice? PERSEPHONE Of course we did. HADES I don’t know. PERSEPHONE Uh-huh. HADES Well it’s like we are what we are because of all our experiences from birth. PERSEPHONE Plus your genes.
HADES Right. So your very first experience decides what your second is, and your third, and so on. So we kind of never have a … PERSEPHONE Do I have mustard on my cheek? HADES Yes. PERSEPHONE Where? HADES There. PERSEPHONE (not really trying to get it) Here? HADES No, uh, farther … (PERSEPHONE creeps closer to HADES) PERSEPHONE Here? HADES Not quite. Uhm … PERSEPHONE Show me. (They kiss.) HADES I kissed you. PERSEPHONE I know. HADES But seriously, you have to do something about that mustard on your cheek. It’s really not attractive. PERSEPHONE (wiping herself) Oh. Right. Sorry … Gone? HADES Close enough. (Hades walks on and Persephone rubs her cheek some more with the napkin.)
HADES But you know what I’m saying? PERSEPHONE About what? HADES Have you been listening to this conversation at all? PERSEPHONE Yes! Fate. Choice. HADES Well? PERSEPHONE Well what? HADES What do you think about it? PERSEPHONE I honestly don’t care. HADES How could you not care? PERSEPHONE Because we’re together and we’re happy. Why does how matter? HADES If we didn’t have a choice than it’s not special. PERSEPHONE So? HADES If it was meant to happen, than it’s not unique. PERSEPHONE I don’t care if we’re unique. I don’t care if we have the same song as every other couple. HADES Well first off, I really don’t think there are many other couples with “If You Love Somebody Then Set Them on Fire” as their song. But more importantly, it just means that this could end whenever it wants to. PERSEPHONE What? HADES If we didn’t decide to have the relationship, then we don’t get to decide when it ends. We’re just tools … on multiple levels.
PERSEPHONE Kiss me again. HADES Why? PERSEPHONE Do you have to have a reason for everything? HADES I don’t know. We’re just talking. PERSEPHONE That’s why you’re a tool. HADES Fuck you. (Silence.) PERSEPHONE Isn’t that why you hide down here anyway? HADES No. PERSEPHONE Then why? (Pause.) HADES Because this is my home. (Pause.) PERSEPHONE Maybe I should go home for a while. HADES What are you talking about? PERSEPHONE You’re not enjoyable to be around right now. HADES Well, I’m not happy.
PERSEPHONE Thanks for the tip. HADES You’re just going to abandon me? PERSEPHONE What do you want me to do? HADES What if I kill myself while you’re gone? PERSEPHONE You can’t. You live forever. HADES I realize I live forever, thank you. This is a hypothetical. PERSEPHONE I’d be upset. HADES Would you feel guilty? PERSEPHONE Probably. HADES Then don’t leave. PERSEPHONE You’re the one that says we don’t have any choices. If I leave, then it’s just what I was meant to do, right? HADES You’re not meant to leave. PERSEPHONE How do you fucking know? HADES Because I – PERSEPHONE You can’t always have what you want. (Pause.) HADES Do you want anything?
(Silence.) PERSEPHONE I don’t want you to hate mmmeeyy god. (Pause.) HADES Then don’t go. PERSEPHONE I don’t want to be the reason for your faith. (Pause.) HADES You’re not. PERSEPHONE I know. HADES I know you do. (Silence.) HADES I think you’re a liar by the way. PERSEPHONE Took you long enough to figure it out. HADES But it wasn’t what you said that gave it away. PERSEPHONE No? HADES No. PERSEPHONE Maybe you know me too well. HADES No. PERSEPHONE No.
HADES I think you’re a very confused god. PERSEPHONE But I am still a god. HADES So am I. PERSEPHONE Even without me? HADES Especially. PERSEPHONE Then I should leave for your sake too. HADES You don’t get it. PERSEPHONE I do get it, though. (Pause.) HADES I’m very aware. (Pause.) HADES Have you already made up your mind? PERSEPHONE Why are you so unhappy? HADES I’m not the only one. But at least I can put it into words. PERSEPHONE Just whisper it to me. (They kiss.)
VII. Boredom And Jealousy Lead To Binge-Drinking And Clams
PERSEPHONE TINA (Excited, shouting to be heard) It’s a party! Ooh!
PERSEPHONE TINA Wake up! (Pause) It’s a party! Ha! PARTY! HADES What are you doing? PERSEPHONE TINA It’s a party! HADES A what? PERSPHONE TINA A party! Don’t you hear the music? HADES (Confused) Uh, no. What’s a…? PERSPHONE TINA A party? Ha! A party is a social gathering for celebration and recreation. While having some things in common with religious and seasonal festivals, the term "party" usually denotes a smaller gathering for a personal, rather than cultural, occasion even when the occasion is simply that of gaiety. Parties provide numerous opportunities for social interaction of various kinds, depending on the participants and their understanding of the accepted behavior for a given occasion. As a result, they tend to reinforce cultural and/or counter-cultural standards, though sometimes this is simply by providing a semi-acceptable social context for violating some of those standards. Citation needed. HADES What? PERSPHONE TINA You weren’t listening! HADES I was. But I have no idea what you were talking about. PERSPHONE TINA Did you have trouble following? HADES Well, yes, after a bit, but— PERSPHONE TINA —There are all types of parties: Birthday parties, housewarming parties, office parties, dance parties, beach parties, dinner parties, cocktail parties, keg parties, New Year’s parties, house parties, orgy parties, pharming parties, tea parties, toga parties, cast parties… HADES (Shouting) —Stop!
PERSPHONE TINA Going too fast again? Here, I’ll— HADES —No! It’s fine. How do you know so much about— PERSPHONE TINA Wiki—(interrupts herself) That is no question for a party! And we haven’t even decided what kind of party this is yet! I think it should be a dance party! Dance parties are super fun! (She starts dancing by herself, then grabs his hand) Come on—dance! (Music fades in) Don’t you hear the music? HADES No— PERSPHONE TINA Dance, sir! HADES But I can’t— PERSEPHONE TINA (Almost singing) DANCE! (They dance awkwardly—movement mimicking the ‘walk’ dance, except they can’t keep the same beat) PERSPHONE TINA (Gets frustrated with the awkward dancing and stops). This dance party is lame. HADES (Embarrassed) Oh. (Music stops abruptly. PERSEPHONE TINA walks to the box, sits down in a huff) PERSPHONE TINA Maybe we should have a beach party. That could be fun. HADE A what party? PERSEPHONE TINA A beach? You know sand, ocean, water? Have you ever been to the beach? HADES Um, no. (Slowly remembering) But I went fishing a couple of times-caught a frog once— PERSEPHONE TINA (Clearly disinterested) Oh, that’s nice HADES (Too engrossed in his story to notice) And a clam, which I thought was pretty damn impressive—the clam. My lure was obviously so tempting that a creature that’s known for having a closed mouth—or whatever it is—opened it for me to catch it…
PERSEPHONE TINA (Yawning loudly) So exciting. HADES —And I felt embarrassed and humiliated for a few minutes, until I realized it was kind of poetic and beautiful. For a creature with a forever closed mouth to open it for me. PERSEPHONE TINA (Yawning again, and curling next to P-SHANNON to fall asleep, sarcastically) What a fun party. HADES (Trying to keep her attention at first, then gets lost in his own story) I dissected a clam in biology in high school one time! To get it open you have to basically tear the shit out of the muscles holding it closed with a scalpel. Even way after the clam is dead, you can’t open its mouth without cutting it. And this one OPENED its mouth for me. But I guess its mouth was closed when I pulled it out of the water And I couldn’t get my hook out or the lure without cutting the muscles with my Swiss Army knife. Jesus…and it was alive then…I never thought about that…I never fucking thought about that. It just becomes more poetic every minute. Christ. (P-TINA is asleep. HADES snaps out of his memory, notices she’s asleep. Stands at edge of box). HADES Wake up. P-SHANNON (Sits up slowly, groggy). How long was I asleep? HADES Not long. Come here. (Reaches out hand to her) (P-SHANNON walks to edge of box and takes his hand, careful to stay on her side) HADES Come on. (Pulls on hand—She refuses to move). Come on! It’s okay. (P-SHANNON shakes head violently) HADES Don’t be silly. I put you in here; I can take you out. Come on! (Pulls hand again; P-SHANNON jerks hand away and backs into the corner of the box, shaking her head, clearly upset) HADES (Frustrated, shouting from outside the box) COME ON! IT’S SAFE! COME HERE! P-SHANNON (Quietly, shaking head against knees) I can’t. No. No boys allowed. [HADES storms off, reappearing moments later on the screen, watching the Persephones]
VIII. Our Heroines Talk And Dream And Think. And Decide Do Something.
PERSEPHONE TINA I love you like this. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Like what? PERSEPHONE TINA Just you in this moment. You're beautiful. PERSEPHONE SHANNON What do you want from me? PERSEPHONE TINA What could I want from you that you haven't already given me? PERSEPHONE SHANNON I don't—you're embarrassing me. PERSEPHONE TINA Embarrassing you in front of whom? Yourself? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Yes, I guess. You don't need an audience to be embarrassed. PERSEPHONE TINA I guess not. I've never been, so I wouldn't know. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Never? PERSEPHONE TINA No. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Oh. PERSEPHONE TINA Could you do something for me? PERSEPHONE SHANNON See! I knew you wanted something! PERSEPHONE TINA Stay. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Stay? PERSEPHONE SHANNON
I want to go home.
PERSEPHONE TINA You are home. PERSEPHONE SHANNON This is not my home. PERSEPHONE TINA You do not want to go. You want to stay. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I want to go. PERSEPHONE TINA You do not want to go. PERSEPHONE SHANNON You want to stay. PERSEPHONE TINA I want— PERSEPHONE SHANNON —to stay. PERSPHONE TINA I don't— PERSEPHONE SHANNON —want to leave. PERSEPHONE TINA Please! PERSPHONE SHANNON Okay. … You can stay. PERSEPHONE TINA Please. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Don't cry. You can stay. You don't have to leave. You can stop now. PERSEPHONE TINA It’s beautiful outside PERSEPHONE SHANNON How would you know?
PERSEPHONE TINA It’s the kind of day that makes you feel like you could live outside forever. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Grass for a pillow— PERSEPHONE TINA — Clouds for a blanket PERSEPHONE SHANNON You walk out and the wind just hits you. PERSEPHONE TINA So warm—like you’re soaking in the best bath ever— PERSEPHONE SHANNON — The lights shimmering off the leaves— PERSEPHONE TINA — The birds are singing— PERSEPHONE SHANNON — Everything is so alive. PERSEPHONE TINA Let’s go outside. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Five more minutes. PERSEPHONE TINA What difference would five minutes make? PERSEPHONE SHANNON I’m in the middle of the dream again. PERSEPHONE TINA Well, wake up! PERSEPHONE SHANNON I can’t—not yet—I want to get it right this time. PERSEPHONE TINA Come on! The sun is out—the clouds are on the horizon—Wake up! PERSEPHONE SHANNON No. I’m at that part—It’s going to happen again and I need to fix it [Getting more into the dream] I can change it this time if I just do it again.
PERSEPHONE TINA Over and over and you think it will be different? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Maybe if I scream—maybe if I scream— PERSEPHONE TINA (overlapping with PERSEPHONE SHANNON) Wake up! The sun, the wind, the warmth. New grass, green leaves, and flowers—all the flowers! Wake up! Wake up! PERSEPHONE SHANNON (overlapping with PERSEPHONE TINA) Get the mask! Pull it off! Look out! Look out! I can fix this—I can fix this! (Screams. Then, a moment of quiet.) PERSEPHONE TINA Wake up, let’s go outside. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Five more minutes. PERSEPHONE TINA I had a kite once— PERSEPHONE SHANNON — It was blue— PERSEPHONE TINA — With the longest tail— PERSEPHONE SHANNON — Green bows: 7 in a row. PERSEPHONE TINA It flew so high. PERSEPHONE SHANNON A strong wind came. It blew it so high it hid behind a cloud. PERSEPHONE TINA The rope pulled so tight it snapped. PERSEPHONE SHANNON No! I let it go! PERSEPHONE TINA It broke! It was a beautiful kite. It was so blue when it flew into the sky you couldn’t tell where the sky began and the kite ended. I loved that kite. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It was a part of the sky. I loved it and I let it go.
PERSEPHONE TINA It was taken from me! Violently! Stolen! Forced! And I couldn’t see what was pulling the string. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I loved it and I let it go. PERSEPHONE TINA I want it back. It was my property! PERSEPHONE SHANNON I loved it. I let become the sky. PERSEPHONE TINA Who pulled that string? Who took it from me? I’ll never forget—never forgive—who pulled the string? I want to file a complaint! PERSEPHONE TINA There was a time before— PERSEPHONE SHANNON —Before this moment. PERSEPHONE TINA One sun, one sky, one road— PERSEPHONE SHANNON —One voice— PERSEPHONE TINA — One road. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I walked down to the water— PERSEPHONE TINA — Looked out over the edge. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I saw something. PERSEPHONE TINA There was something in that water. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Look deeper—deeper— PERSEPHONE TINA — The divide. PERSEPHONE SHANNON The me that sees.
PERSEPHONE TINA The me in the water. PERSEPHONE SHANNON And I dove in. PERSEPHONE TINA I fell. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I couldn’t forget— PERSEPHONE TINA —I didn’t want to remember— PERSEPHONE SHANNON The divide. PERSEPHONE TINA The dive. PERSEPHONE SHANNON There was the water. PERSEPHONE TINA And the road. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I wanted the surface. PERSEPHONE TINA But I went deeper—deeper. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I couldn’t face— PERSEPHONE TINA —That face, that face— PERSEPHONE SHANNON But it followed me down. PERSEPHONE TINA The echo. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Hello? PERSEPHONE TINA Hello?
PERSEPHONE SHANNON Followed me down. PERSEPHONE TINA Pulled me back. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Pull me back. PERSEPHONE TINA I’m cold. PERSEPHONE SHANNON You shot out the sun. PERSEPHONE TINA When did it get so dark? PERSEPHONE SHANNON You wanted to know what it felt like. PERSEPHONE TINA I can’t feel my fingers. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It made the most awful sound. PERSEPHONE TINA —Or my toes. PERSEPHONE SHANNON A thousand shrieking voices rained down as the pieces shattered. PERSEPHONE TINA (Touching face) My nose— PERSEPHONE SHANNON Just to see what it felt like, you smashed it all apart. PERSEPHONE TINA (Blowing on hands) Isn’t there a heater in here or something? (Starts searching) PERSEPHONE SHANNON You’re the only light in this world. PERSEPHONE TINA I can’t find the switch—Dammit, why’s it have to be so cold? PERSEPHONE TINA What’s your name?
PERSEPHONE SHANNON Stop it. PERSEPHONE TINA What are you doing here? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Come on, cut it out. PERSEPHONE TINA Are you lost little girl? PERSEPHONE SHANNON I said cut it out! PERSEPHONE TINA Where’s your picnic basket? On your way to meet grandma? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Shut up. PERSEPHONE TINA Are you scared? (PERSEPHONE SHANNON refuses to respond) Are you afraid of the big bad wolf? You know about wolves don’t you? You’ve seen their pointy teeth? You know how deep they can bury them into your flesh? Have you ever seen a wolf attack its prey? How it doesn’t let go until it’s dead? PERSEPHONE SHANNON I said stop it! PERSEPHONE TINA (Sing song) Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? The big bad wolf! The big bad wolf! PERSEPHONE SHANNON (Shouting) I am the wolf! It’s me! (Breaking down) Me! Me! PERSEPHONE TINA It’s easier this way. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Easy? You call this easy! Ha! PERSEPHONE TINA No—not easy—easIER. Than it could be. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Easier than what could be? PERSEPHONE TINA It could be much much harder.
PERSEPHONE SHANNON How do you know? PERSEPHONE TINA It could always be worse. PERSEPHONE SHANNON But couldn’t it be better too? PERSEPHONE TINA Better? Ha! You really want to risk it? It could get worse. Really really worse. Like worse than you could ever imagine. There are no words for how bad it could be—And you want to risk that for “better”?! PERSEPHONE SHANNON Yes? PERSEPHONE TINA You’re a fool. Trust me, it’s easier this way. PERSEPHONE SHANNON What way exactly? PERSEPHONE TINA No more questions. Agreement. Staying the course. Easier. PERSEPHONE TINA Let’s get out of here. PERSEPHONE SHANNON As if it were that easy! PERSEPHONE TINA Why not? I’m bored. Let’s go. PERSEPHONE SHANNON There are rules here! You can’t just go breaking the rules! PERSEPHONE TINA Who cares? They’re not my rules. PERSEPHONE SHANNON They are your rules! I worked hard on these rules. They’re the only thing keeping you safe. PERSEPHONE TINA Oh come on, don’t be such a goody goody. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Without these rules, there’d be danger!
PERSEPHONE TINA God, you bore me. PERSEPHONE SHANNON And you find all this arguing entertaining? That’s a new rule: no more debate! No fighting. Only unity. Harmony. One mindedness. PERSEPHONE TINA Fascist! PERSEPHONE SHANNON A house divided cannot stand! PERSEPHONE TINA I don’t want to be a fucking house. I want to get out of here. PERSEPHONE SHANNON It’s a fucking metaphor. PERSEPHONE TINA I’m sick of metaphors! Fuck that shit. I got into this to have a little fun. And now it’s not fun anymore. So now I want to go home. Simple as pie. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Ha! Who’s using metaphors now! PERSEPHONE TINA Fuck you. That was a simile. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Whatever. How’s this one for you: I’m the left foot and you’re the right. I’m going to stay put. If you want to go so bad, go. Have fun walking in circles. You can run all you want. Run til we’re dizzy. Run til we fall down. Get back up and try again. See how far you get. PERSEPHONE TINA How do we put it back together? PERSEPHONE SHANNON I wish I knew. PERSEPHONE TINA Where is the quiet? PERSEPHONE SHANNON The place without a dissenting voice. PERSEPHONE TINA Yes and no do not exist. PERSEPHONE SHANNON No names, no pronouns.
PERSEPHONE TINA Just “is.” PERSEPHONE SHANNON I wish I knew. PERSEPHONE TINA & PERSEPHONE SHANNON (overlapping) I’m so— PERSEPHONE TINA —Afraid— PERSEPHONE SHANNON —Stuck— PERSEPHONE TINA & PERSEPHONE SHANNON It’s crushing. There is so much I don’t know. PERSEPHONE TINA I need proof. Evidence, facts, diagrams. PERSEPHONE SHANNON I’m destroyed by the what ifs? PERSEPHONE TINA What was that word? PERSEPHONE SHANNON Someone asked me about faith once. PERSEPHONE TINA What did I say? PERSEPHONE SHANNON You have to have it to lose it. PERSEPHONE TINA But I did, I did have it. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Did I dive or fall? PERSEPHONE TINA I dove to lose it. PERSEPHONE SHANNON Dove in to get it back. PERSEPHONE TINA I had faith it could be better.
PERSEPHONE SHANNON And faith I could find my way back. PERSEPHONE TINA All the things I didn’t know. PERSEPHONE SHANNON That I knew all along.
IX. The Choice Made, Must Now Be Lived With
PERSEPHONE you can’t fall out of love you crawl stretching your hands your arms as far as they can stretch stretching them away every muscle tightening and then going limp to breathe then tightening again stretching reaching each finger breaking pulling away from the shoulder stretching away from yourself from love grasping for anything that is in front of you anything something that could work it should work you’ve reached so far so hard that it should work but it doesn’t and you can’t explain why except to say that you can’t fall out of love like you fell into it you have to crawl out while being pulled back pulling yourself back [She leaves]
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