A Micro-Play (responding to COVID-19) #1MPF
Saw an opportunity to write and submit a 150 word micro-play responding to current events on Facebook. It's due today at 5pm (EST, I imagine) so coming right up, but you can learn more about that HERE if you want to write/send something fast. Here's the original version, a little longer than what I cut down to send them.
I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and managing okay during this wild time.
Much love and goodness to you all.
Inside an apartment. ZOE and CAM, any age/race/gender, together in front of their laptops. They’re sort of talking to each other but sort of to themselves.
CAM: It’s the uncertainty more than anything, all the unknowns.
ZOE: I know.
CAM: How long this will go on, when we can go back to normal…
ZOE: I think I’m such an introvert but then this happens and I realize how everything we do depends on being in a room with people. And you, we’ve both lost shows, but all your gigs, your income…
CAM: Maybe I’ll play music again but maybe not live?
ZOE: I still have a job, but the stress of moving all my classes online is…
CAM: Maybe we'll live on Zoom all our lives...
ZOE: And what if the internet breaks?
CAM: And you’re adjunct so there’s no security.
ZOE: There’s no security for anybody.
CAM: You’re right…there’s no…anything...
Cam gets lost, falls into skin and starts to float away, out of the chair/floor.
ZOE: Cam! Don’t float away!
CAM: Can’t help it...
Zoe reaches up and pulls Cam down with big might, keeping Cam grounded.
CAM: Whoa. Thanks Zoe.
Cam struggles to stay on the floor and grips onto Zoe.
CAM: What do we do?
ZOE: Let’s. Look outside.
They do. Cam opens a window as Zoe holds them down.
ZOE: Look at that squirrel, what’s he burying?
CAM: A walnut?
ZOE: A chestnut?
CAM (like a dirty teenage): Chest-nut.
They both laugh.
ZOE: Smells fresh.
CAM: Like spring.
They hold hands, watching outside. They float away, in a different way, a present way, staying here in this moment but up in the clouds too.
END OF PLAY
with notes inside
the moment panic started
a quake in my ribs
the salad bar closed
the drive ranting
up nightly hyperventilating
assignments, the project, too much caffeine
heavy emotions absorbed from love
nobody ever proved that cold hands mean warm heart
the chill of rain
tiny violets on the grass
in Philadelphia it's 80 degrees
bricks in the green room
eons caught in the space between cracks
permanent marker on my favorite pants
I notice that what I want to post here change cyclically, seasonally, as my interests do. Normally I'd post what we did in my last Drop-In Writing Workshop today, but now I'm feeling more satisfaction letting what takes place during those events happen ephemerally in that room at The Cabin. As I read through my old notebooks more quickly these days, fragments and raw rough writings are how I'd like to spend these pages at this time. I know that could and will likely change again in the future/ I'm getting better at listening to my curiosities as they shift, instead of forcing myself to stay with one format or another because it's what I've been doing previously.
tall, wide, broad like desert
heavy, rough, dusty salmon
same as Arizona foothills
surrounding that strange acreage
overwhelmed with lush grass
eat those boorish, massive walls
mouthfuls at a time
chew them up, grinding, smacking
inside i'm glass shards, rigid up/down
giant pane, expansive sliver
coated in spray paint
my chest a brittle wall
my shoulders, torso
on one side the loud mistakes
within that secret shames
hiding hurt hushed
on the other my face
sliding glass doors
a place to escape
from rock to rock
grab onto boulders
hands grip sharpness
a long look out
the vast Pacific
all about tourists
we'd fit right in
but we're the homeless kind of travelers
my partner behind me
his white Chevy one-ton
all he touches belongs to him
but right now
I belong to the sea
could drift to ocean
but I'm hungry
don't smell good
the bay opens
purring at me
I step further down
to clean dark blue
find somewhere to soak
and wrap up in kelp,
sun dips past horizon
but I'm hungry
hit by a flood
I don't miss the benzos I used to take
swimming through JELLO
head sucks in water
wavering back and forth
head filled with stupid
a journey to sea bottom
under a log
I hear a beeping
followed by a shimmer
it was a car, then music, then magic
like a hallucination
I was here, then I wasn't
snot in my nose
I'm not here to impress anyone
thank goodness, today
I might fail right back under the covers
I used to like being sick
the drive to your house
and your door creaks
i wait for you in the pregnant clouds
but no hurry
late night skin
far into dream places
i sense us together
rising in the not too cold
when I make our tea
leaves fell off maples
i jumped in the damp
and grew up into a small dog
we looked at the stars
who took me across country
me the always new girl
too many men bought me too many drinks
the haunting night called me into its bars
and my lungs filled with water, clutching iron
he took me away in a van
i discovered the weight of my cranium
and feared i'd go off a cliff
finding the moon, lassoing it,
i saw the you glow in its spotlight
and pined closer
i got off the love train for a while
and found my breath stuck in my sternum
i stayed too too long in the bathtub
i found hope in sweaters
we found places speaking to us
and spoke back singing
i took a lot of classes
i fell from security
the way i wrote got faster sharper
i found relief in mossy woods
i felt temperatures rise in my face
i looked up and saw you
thanks for being t/here
Once you woke up and saw you had everything you needed.
Surrounding was the idea of enough.
The truth is, everything is alright under this white blanket.
One day I woke up and had everything I needed. I drank a cup of English Breakfast, then two, used the same bag for extra steeping. I had a notebook to write in and coverings over my feet. A sweater kept me cozy.
I was becoming myself. I could look in the mirror and see me, unapologetically me, stripping away armor me, in daily stillness in the neighborhood of meditation, of nothing, active nothing, the art of nothing, the art of doing less me.
Looking into the mirror there, eyes open, I saw myself, I saw through the universe.
With all the stuff and nonsense I put on top in attempt to prove my worth, I am already worthy by reason of being born, being here. I am already enough without having to do anything.
To see that, to give myself that amount of love and care allows me to return that to others. Others like the one I’ve loved since we met. Look back and, how many years ago was that?
Enough. A worthy number.
As I find myself at a pausing point in the play I'm working on after this glorious summer of writing, developing, researching, exploring and rewriting rewriting rewriting, I think back to my last solo-written full-length play How to Hide Your Monster and what I was thinking about around this time in 2015. At the end of that summer, I similarly found myself unsure of my next steps, knowing I'd gotten as far as I could go before getting outside feedback.
I think about crystalizing my voice.
I think about cracking the earth, opening it with care.
I think about the job of an actor.
How much it teaches me as a writer
to watch what a person can do onstage,
fully present in each moment.
I fall down watching.
Writing used to be what I did to get the desperation out.
I had to put my story into words.
Now the next step: getting that story out to the world.
I've done it step by step,
getting the fiction out in pieces through plays, stories, essays and poems.
Now with this play I'm trying to get up the courage
to speak with more specificity and openness
about who I am and where I've been in person, onstage,
outside the veil of fiction.
Fiction can tell the truth in magical ways.
More powerful is its ability to get me to accept where I've been
and to name it out loud.
To learn from my mistakes and to see my failures.
Enduring humiliation and failure is important for everyone.
What we do with that is important.
If we didn't accept our failures and successes, we wouldn't learn.
Terrible mistakes get made and they should be acknowledged.
There is a big difference between "I failed" and "I am a failure."
Celebrate those failures.
Those are my teachers.
They are for me.
Successes are for the audience.
Deep ocean bottoms, the blues, the blacks, rising up.
Find your swallowing.
We are liquid. Wade in.
Water rises, taking over shores, bleeding inward.
This country rich. This me spoiled.
I can drink water. I can dump it out.
Water you tear at me.
Your salt, your kiss.
In this desert can't get enough fluid.
My organs cook inside.
Water is scarce. Is everywhere.
Wish for a bridge, for us all to have enough.
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make, as well as prompts and ideas I bring to certain workshops. There will also be some raw, rough content found in notebooks written years ago, previously posted on: