history of walking James Ijames

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1 history of walking by James Ijames 1

2 The Players- SENATOR CLOUD- 30 s. Does not identify as black but A former soldier. LESTER - 30 s-early 40 s. White. Severe s. Any ethnicity. Refugee from California s. Black. Sterling s sister s. Any Ethnicity. Wears a grey suit s. Black. A manager at the Flip and Stack. Kind, thoughtful and spirited. MATTHEW- Played by the actor playing Sterling. MARK- Played by the actor playing Kurt. LUKENJOHN- Played by the actor playing Price - Woman. Played by the actor the plays. She is dressed simply and other worldly. S.W.A.T. TEAM- Everyone but Tina and Price, maybe Harry. 2

3 The when: The future. Things don t change as quickly as they can or should or want. The where: In America. The what: It s much hotter. The coastline of the east and west have moved in land. And explosions have become the norm. 3

4 / Overlapping the previous line. // Simultaneous over lapping dialogue. words These words should be meant, felt and tonally inform the line but should not be spoken. Don t leave space say they line as though the word wasn t there but allow the word, inside of that moment, to color it s delivery. small words These are the only words the character can find but are not the right words. Spoken in a small way and almost to themselves. Almost like a stifled weeping sometimes. Not a whisper. More like you re trying to speak through tears. Haaaaaaa These are voiced breath. Please honor the extended vowels as scripted. Please do not shorten them. If they feel weird, GOOD! 4

5 Scene titles should appear as large as possible at the top of each scene. The actors see them. I m open to what affect they have on the actors. The actors could see the titles as reminders of what s next and then scramble into place. The titles invade and push the action. Don t pretend they are not there. They should read as follows: 5

6 Also the set should fill with water until everyone s feet are submerged and they must splash when they move about the set. If you can t afford this be creative. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability. --- James Madison on the Senate Facultad- The capacity to see in the surface phenomena the meaning of deeper realities, to see deep structure beneath the surface. Facultad is most strongly developed in those who are pounced on...the females, the homosexuals of all races, the dark skinned, the outcasts the persecuted, the marginalized, the foreign. This shift in perception then allows the individual to access sacred space. --- Gloria Anzaldua I feel that the dormant goodwill in people needs to be stirred. People need to hear that it makes sense to behave decently or to help others, to place common interests above their own, to respect the elementary rules of human coexistence. --- Václav Havel Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. --- George Orwell 6

7 FIRST DATE We are in a busy airport. stands with a sign that reads WELCOME. Kurt enters Hello, Alva. You re here. Yes. This is your first time in Cleveland? Yes. I ve never been to the Capital. It s beautiful. I ve live here my whole life. Nothing special to me. When the capital moved here it didn t change anything for me. Thank you for taking me in. It s the least we can do. You all have lost so much. Kurt extends his hand. So formal. Oh. It s fine. It s very endearing. 7

8 Endearing. Yes. You made a sign for me. Yeah. I wanted you to feel at home. Thank you. I m nervous. Don t be. It s good to meet you in the flesh. I wasn t sure what I should wear. You look very handsome. Thank you. It s different seeing you in real life...not online. You know? Yes. It is. You're younger than I...you looked older online. You too. Oh. I looked older? Not older. Tired. 8

9 I guess I am tired. I have something for you. Here. Kurt gives Alva a pie. Oh! A pie. I made it. From scratch. Crust and everything. I wanted to bring you a gift. Thank you. Was that weird? No. Not at all. But it was a little weird? No? Just a bit. I can get overzealous. So can I. I...I have been...thinking about what you said. About being connected. You know how you said that you feel like we re the same person sometimes? 9

10 Yeah. I feel the same way. Now that I m standing here with you It s like we are just so in sync. This is good. This makes me happy. I can see this makes you happy? Yes! Of course. Talking to you makes me happy. May I hug you. Yes. He hugs Alva. It's clumsy. How was that? Perfect. Yes? Yes. Well let s go. Alright. 10

11 They begin to leave. Outside, an airplane explodes in midair. Kurt and Alva stop and watch this. Then they notice each other s attraction. Did you see that? Mmhm. That was What do you see? A flower blooming. You? A tide at dusk. Red with the setting sun. You see with my eyes. I guess I do. (Beat) My house is small. Thank you for letting me stay with you. I welcome all who are displaced. They exit. 11

12 SHIT S CRAZY stands before a sparse crowd. He is a worker. Probably honest. Former soldier. Hello Hello Hello! Wooo! Sparse applause. It is so great to be back in Sevierville in the great state of Tennessee! Woooo! How y all feeling tonight? Silence. A cellphone goes off. It s country music. Wooo! Well uh We ve had a great time here! Y all have been so welcoming. We petted some deer over at the Smokey Mountain Deer Farm and took a few selfies in front of the Dolly Parton Statue. I have to tell you, this town is one of the most beautiful in the country. The people of Sevierville are hard working. You ve seen your jobs and your industry leave over the last few decades and I m here to say enough is enough! Uh yeah! Someone yells. Go back to Cleveland you greasy swamp toad. The president sitting in his glimmering glass tower in Cleveland, has shown us time and time again that he is not on our side! That he doesn t care about the people. Someone yells booooo dude you suck Yeah...uh 12

13 THE CALLING A man on a conservative talk radio show. He wears a grey suit. This is. And while we re at it Let s talk about Senator Sterling Cloud. Huh! Right!? That guy doesn t have a clue. And he wants to be the president. I saw him giving a speech in Tennessee this morning. What a flaccid turd, huh? How liberal can you get? Hey, Sterling Cloud? When you come down to real America, When you try to talk to real American Try wiping that smug smile off your face. Sterling Cloud. Ridiculous name! I m telling you folks. This guy is the end of freedom. This country has gone to pot. Our once glittering capital city is now at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Our once great film industry relocated to DENVER! Who allowed our country, OUR PLANET to be ravaged by melting ice? Who turned a blind eye to the problems of the world. Who was soooooo concerned with what celebrity slept with which sports figure. Who abandoned morals and conservative values? The same ilk that Mr. Cloud comes from. Now this guy wants us to elect him to the highest office in the nation? He wants us all to be these powerless, unarmed, mindless Peace mongers. I don t trust him. I don t trust him any further than I can throw him. And I got a bad shoulder. The current administration has our backs. We should stick with what we know. What is certain. 13

14 Gotta pay some bills. Stay tuned. The Fact Checker will be back after a word from our sponsers. The ceiling opens. The floats in through an opening in time. She lands. Splitting the pavement and shaking the earth. Woooo! Hey there baby. Harry just stares. Shaking. Sorry about the mess. Harry tries to speak Nothing comes out. Is this 487 Muldrew Drive. Harry just stares. Is your name Lester Price? You gonna just stare at me Speak! Harry, stunned, stands to run away. Hold on there. You You just You just came out of nowhere. I know. It s odd. You talk a lot of shit. 14

15 I And you use my name a lot. Which I m not crazy about. Are you an alien? Ya ll so worried about the aliens. Chiiiild The aliens don t care nothing about y all. Then what are you? Calm down. WHAT-ARE-YOU! The second coming. The Messiah. You re so quiet. Like a thief in the night. But I can be real noisy when I want to be. Heavenly trumpets. Messiah strikes a triumphant pose. Harry just stares at her. He is frozen by her gaze. What you think? What are you going to do to me? 15

16 What s your name? H Harry. She smiles at him. She approaches him. Please don t come any closer. I m going to give you a gift. What is it? No fear. Why? I like your shoes. Oh. Hold still. Messiah places her hands on Harry s temples. She shows Harry the future of the world in once glance. The hair on his temples goes grey. God. Feels good to know, right? 16

17 Thank you. Harry removes his shoes and gives them to Messiah. She puts them on. Be good baby. Am I a prophet? Do you wanna be? I can t hold everything you just showed me. I have to Pass it on? Careful with that Nowadays they don t listen to prophets they lock them in padded rooms. She begins to leave. Wait. You ve come back. What do you want? Can t stay baby. Gotta go see a lady about the end of the world. You ve come to destroy us all? Oh no hunny. I ve come to start over. She s gone. Harry sits and weeps. 17

18 POLITICS Same day. CLOUD enters. Lester Price? Heard you fired your campaign manager. Is that true? Yes. But That s not public yet. How did you--- I have my ways. You know where you are in the polls. I m a bit behind....a bit? You are tank-ing. I wouldn t say that I m tanking. TRUTH! Tell the truth. That s my only requirement. Have you heard about me? Yes. So then you know what I can do? I do. Jesus you re handsome. 18

19 Mr. Price...I have come here at your request. I have taken time from my campaign If you want to call it that. You re insulting me Yes Stop FINALLY! A spark of something villainous. What do you think I m doing wr Wrong? You keep trying to appeal to the decency in people. People are good. People a fucked up. They re scared and angry. They are looking for someone to tell them that their fear and anger are legitimate. You can t sail in, pristine and glorious to his office. You have to bludgeon and seduce your way in. Stop acting so kind. Stop being so reasonable. STOP PLAYING MAN IN THE MIRROR AT YOUR FUCKING RALLIES. Honestly. Get hungry. I can make the nation believe you are both the second coming and the antichrist. That s how it s done. That's why you're here. Americans want someone they can trust. 19

20 We give our power to representatives and council people so we can forget. We don t care about trust or change or goodness, we care about protection. Who s going to keep us safe. Starts in childhood with the fucking big bad wolf at bedtime. We have to turn that into votes. I Just nod your head and say...yes. You know I m right. Yes. You ve killed people, right? Yes. Did the killing of those people make the world better? Beat I believe it did. People don t admit that. The act of governing might mean choosing who gets to live. You are capable of making that decision.in a split second. You gotta accept that friend. We don t have deities anymore we have politicians. You sign a bill and everyone gets a tax hike. Like Hephaestus sneezing on Olympus and accidentally wiping a little Greek town off the map with lava and ash, you have the power to change people s lives with the smallest of gestures. You have to understand that. 20

21 You re unmarried. Yes? Yes. So you re gay? Does it matter? Not to me. But it matters. No. Why aren t you married? I m just not. Come up with a reason. Next: Stop talking about the president. But I m running against him. He s not talking about you. He s talking about himself. He s reminding the voters of what he s accomplished. He doesn t care about you. He doesn t consider you. Right. Stop talking about him. Next: You sweat too much. 21

22 I have no control over that. Figure it out. Alright. Next. This is a long list. Next! Lose the suits. Roll up your sleeves. Get some jeans. That s easy. Finally. Stop smiling. Really? I mean it. Stop it. How am I supposed to reach out to people if I m not pleasant. By all means be pleasant. But please stop grinning in every photo. Why? 22

23 Because you are not the nice guy. You are the solider. You are the hawk. Fuck being the nice guy. You are the MAN! Next step...you re something new. You are different from anything that has come before. I am? You will be. They exit. 23

24 CAKE MATTHEW, MARK and LUKENJOHN: sit, lean and stand. They wait. They switch these positions so that now they: lean, stand and sit. They rotate once more: stand, sit and lean. enters with bags and a cake box. Boys! Where have you been? We have been waiting. We waited an hour. Well hello to you too. Ma. Where were you? MATTHEW MARK LUKENJOHN MATTHEW MARK MATTHEW It's too late to be out like this. On this block. There have been multiple bombings in this neighborhood. This isn t the best neighborhood. It s where you grew up. I know that. LUKENJOHN LUKENJOHN 24

25 I m home, all is well. Nobody got blown up. Why were you out so late? MATTHEW I worked the late shift. Sterling Cloud you know senator that s running for president? He s coming to the Flip and Stack this week so I stayed a little late to help get the place ready. LUKENJOHN You still could have told us you were going to be late. You don t live here. I didn t know I needed to alert you of my comings and goings. We were worried. You re always worried. This is not funny. I m fine. Alright. Alright. I bought the cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Alright settle down. Settle down. MARK LUKENJOHN MATTHEW MATTHEW MARK LUKENJOHN 25

26 Cut it! Cut it! LUKENJOHN Now boys! You know the rules. I tell the story and then we have the cake. Couldn t we just eat the cake? No! I have to tell you the story. LUKENJOHN It was a warm spring day. By warm you mean hot as hell. LUKENJOHN I mean warm. I had you all dressed up in your best suits. I repeat. Hot as hell. Shhh. You re just going to make it longer. LUKENJOHN MATTHEW MARK I walked you all up the steps of the convention center and there they were. The President and First Lady. The first family. Continue. MATTHEW, MARK and LUKENJOHN MARK 26

27 I brought you all to meet him. He was giving a speech. Doing the whole presidential thing you know the whole nine. And he picked each of you up and kissed you on your foreheads. He said What are their names? And I said This is Matthew. This is Mark. And this is LUKENJOHN. And he laughed and gave me the biggest hug. And she was like giiiiiirl with names like that I bet they are little angels. And she laughed. And I said MATTHEW MARK LUKENJOHN I named the youngest Lukenjohn cause I had my tubes tied and didn t want to ruin the joke. That s right! Not the funniest of jokes. Now can we eat the cat. Lord have mercy. Yes. Eat. Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! We love you. LUKENJOHN MATTHEW MARK LUKENJOHN Love you too. I m so nervous to meet that Senator tomorrow. What do you think he s like? He s awfully articulate. Handsome. I think he s a son of a bitch. MARK MATTHEW LUKENJOHN 27

28 Don t be like that. What? LUKENJOHN MARK You would think with a name like yours you would be more liberal. LUKENJOHN I m conservative. I value the importance of individualism. Of self-reliance. Of inginuity. Of--- MATTHEW ---Yeah. Yeah Yeah. I bet you do. Thats real easy to say from your corner office. Fuuuuuck you man. LUKENJOHN HEY! You stop it. You re all my smart boys. Be kind to each other. You re all you have. Yes Momma. Give me a kiss and get out my face. MATTHEW, MARK and LUKENJOHN Kiss Bye. MATTHEW Kiss Bye. MARK 28

29 Kiss Bye. LUKENJOHN They leave. 29

30 LATE NIGHT COFFEE Closing at the Flip and Stack. It rains outside. Tina is closing the restaurant down. Harry enters. He now has a slight beard. His hair is more grey than before. Sir. Harry is still transfixed by her. Sir! Harry snaps out of his trance. Yes? We re closing. Oh. I got caught in the rain. You re soaked to the bone. I m really not hungry. Just need to rest. Well I just need to sit for a minute. Well go on. He watches Tina. Do you know who I am? No. 30

31 I I m on the radio. I have a talk show. Oh. Oh Okay. Yeah I don t really listen to the ra Do you believe in God? I do. The Messiah s come back. Hmm? Came down through the ceiling. Say what now? I M NOT CRAZY. Huh My name is Harry. Hello Harry. You don t think I m crazy, do you? 31

32 Well, Harry, honestly I haven t made up my mind yet. I should work on how I introduce myself. Maybe. Do you have any coffee left? yeah Could I trouble you? Sure. Tina grabs a coffee pot and a coffee mug. She pours him a cup of coffee. Aren t you going to have some? Uh. Please. She grabs a mug for herself and pours a cup. She doesn t drink it. I have to get going soon. I understand. Do you see the world? What? Can you see the world? 32

33 Sure. Like really see it? Yes. I smell sea salt all the time. The water will cover up everything that s living. I mean It s bad. But it s not that bad. It is. Harry grabs Tina s arm. It s a bit too firm. Tina breaks free. I m sorry. World is what you make it. It is? Must be painful to think everything is bad. I didn t believe in God this morning. And now you do? I don t know. I saw the Messiah falling out of the sky. She was She? 33

34 Yes, Ma am. She fell out of a hole in the sky. You poor thing. You don t believe me? No baby. But you seem real sweet, so you can sit here while I finish closing out. She showed me the future. That s why I m here. Uh huh. To see you. I see. Don t be frightened. You re making that really hard. She looked me square in the eye and time peeled back like an onion skin. Goodness. I can see everyone I meet s future. Hmph. You wanna try me? 34

35 You supposed to meet the future as it becomes the present. I don t need to know what s gonna happen. It s a curse. I know. Are you gonna drink that coffee? No baby you go right ahead and drink it. Shouldn t have that much caffeine though. My wife used to tell me that. Smart woman. I like this place. You do? Yeah. Good pancakes. I m all cleaned up now. You finish your coffee? Oh. Harry downs the entire mug of coffee in one gulp. You are something else. I appreciate you letting me sit for a bit. 35

36 That s what a diner is for. I ll be on my way. Hey. Don t be a stranger baby. Tina? How did you know my You have three sons. Uh huh. You got some goodness coming. But it s followed by some sorrow. That s what life is right? Sorrow following goodness in a circle. Chasing the tail of the other until they spin into butter. I d like you to go now. You re just fine in the end. Well that s something to hold on too. It is. G night. Good night. Harry exits. Tina watches him go. She sits for a minute. 36

37 WAR STORIES Sterling and Price talk strategy. We were in an unknown territory. Don t say unknown. Say new We were in a new territory. We had intel that there was a hot spot in the area with rebels on the ground. They had kidnapped a group of young women. Say girls. They weren t girls. Doesn t matter. They had kidnapped a group of young girls and were keeping them hostage. I was leading the raid and was in command of 20 plus men and women. It was successful. We were able to enter put down the rebels. Put down? Kill? Neutralize. Neutralize the rebels and rescue the women. Girls. Right. 37

38 And your injury? Oh. Right. I took some shrapnel in the conflict. Shrapnel? Yes. There was an explosion. We surprised them but they had surprise triggers that set off booby traps when we entered. Booby Traps? What is this Scooby Doo? You were blown up! Well I clearly wasn t blown up. Shrapnel sounds like a flesh wound. It kinda was. You have to make this sound like war. It was war that s what war looks like. No it doesn t! How would you know. I watch movies. I think I need a break. Take a fucking break and come back with a better story. 38

39 Sterling exits as the enters. She is dressed simply and other worldly. Excuse me I m looking for Lester Price. That s him. Thank you baby. Yeah Yeah Yeah. Sterling exits. Are you lost? Hmm? Do you belong here? Hmph...What s your name? I don t feel comfortable telling you my name. I ll just call you...robert. Hmmm That s a nice white man name. Do you want me to call secret service in here? Call ghostbusters for all I care. Who are you? 39

40 Sooooooooooo it s okay for you to know my name...but we calling the police when I ask you your name. I belong here. Yes. You do. I don t like your tone. I m the second coming. Of what? Your Messiah, Hunny Only Messiah I know is the one with a pecker. Only Messiah I know is the exact opposite of you. You seem certain. I am. Do you wanna start over? Ew no. Suit yourself. See you later, Bobby. 40

41 My name s not Bobby. I know. Toodleloo. Looks like rain. Hope you packed an umbrella. Bye. Sterling re-enters. I don t think I want to talk about the war. I don t need too. Right. Sure. Whatever. What s the matter with you? I need a walk. Clear my head. You good? Yeah. Yeah. Price exits. 41

42 BOOM Kurt wears a mask of a cartoon character or maybe of a president or maybe it s just a bandana over his mouth. He is tinkering with a back pack. Potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur. Black powder... Every mornin every evenin ain t we got fun. Not much money of but honey ain t we got fun Ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder. Minure. Shit bombs. The rent's unpaid dear We haven't a car But smiles were made dear For people like us He exits whistling the tune and doing a bit of a softshoe. 42

43 BLANK Alva and Sterling eat a meal. Fast food. They don t really look at each other....so the Polar bear walks up to the bar and says...i would like A beer. Mmmm. Then the bartender says What s with the big paws? Sterling laughs a very pleased laugh....that s very funny Right!? Yes. The laugh dies. They grow quiet. I thought it was. I said it was funny. But you didn t laugh. I 43

44 Nevermind. I could have told it better. Maybe. Thank you for meeting me. Of course. Have you found a job? Yes. That s great! Yes. Well What is it? It s temp work. It s a job. You could be doing something else. I know, Sterling. You re smart and you don t even know now it. 44

45 That s condescending. Sorry. Beat Do you need anything? No. Are you still living in the old neighborhood? Yes. Alone? Yes. I ve never liked you living alone. I don t mind being alone. Are you dating? Seriously? I have a handsome staffer. You want me too--- 45

46 ---What did you want to talk to me about? My campaign is struggling. It is. I fired my campaign manager. Good for you. Hired a new one. Is this why you just HAD to talk to me today? No. Then what? Come work for me. NOPE! Why not? I don t believe in what you believe in. 46

47 Yes you do...you just express it differently. You want us all to hold hands and share a coke. I want it all to fall apart so something new can be built in its place. That s fundamentally different from what you believe. You don t really mean that. I don t say things I don t mean. I think we should be trying to come together. Me and you. I don t want to stuff envelopes for you. Come on...you would be doing something more involved than that. You re smart. I know. You could do a lot of good. I could. You re wasting your time at that shoe store. I like shoes. I m not political. You can t avoid it, Alva. 47

48 I can. I do. Just...think about it? No. A mailbox blows up close by. Sterling and Alva regard it. Alva regards the explosion with curiosity and admiration. The explosion visibly annoys Sterling. Did you see that? Yes. Haunting. The fire. The smoke. Good work. It s barbaric. What s the point in destroying property? Got your attention didn t it? I just don t understand you. Never have. My lunch break is almost over. Okay. Thank you. For lunch. 48

49 I ll call you from the road. Right. It s good seeing you Alva. You too big brother. Sterling exits. 49

50 STUMP Midway through a speech. Sterling stands at the foot of Mt. Rushmore. Price stands off to the side watching. This glorious monument that bares the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt is a testament to American ingenuity. American grit! In November, I dare you to make a chang One of the faces on Mt. Rushmore explodes. It should shake the theatre. Sterling is arrested by this.--- Everyone remain calm! No! No security! I am not afraid. I say to whoever did this, you will not win. Come out of the shadow and show your face. You cannot frighten us. It. Won t. Work. God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Applause. Cheers. Amber waves of grain. Purple mountains. Majesty. All that shit. Sterling crosses to Price. Well? You re ready now. For what? To be president. That explosion Good work eh? That was you? 50

51 That solidified you in the American Imagination. They just needed a little nudge. I don t I m Yes you are. I don t want people to vote for me out of fear. What difference does it make? I want to win because I can affect people s lives. Make their lives better. That s not winning! That s ladling soup for the homeless. You don t want to win this thing get the fuck out of my face. You want to win this. Let me blow up the world so that you can come in and fix it. A stand-off. Finally. I m losing what I started with. It s baggage. Pack lighter. Pause. Where next? Now we go to Pittsburgh then to Knoxville. 51

52 We should get going. Correct. Sterling Exits. Prices looks at his phone. The Messiah enters. My god. Hey lover. Security! They can t hear you, man! Get the fuck away from me. You don t wanna talk to me? How did you get in here? Floated up through the floor. I will have you arrested! You always threatening the police. You should stop doing that. It s rude. 52

53 Stay back. I m not going to touch you. Yet. The time is fast approaching. Me and you boo. I m gonna blow your house down. Wha You better get going. Messiah disappears. Price is sort of stunned by this. 53

54 DOM Alva enters. Price turns to see the her. Hello. Hello. I m sorry I had to reschedule I just started Strip. You don t waste time. No. Strip. Are you going too? No. Alright. You re cold. Nothing but the best for you. So What s new with you. You talk a lot. 54

55 I m I don t care. What do you think of I don t care. You re different. I don t like having to reschedule. Apologies. So? What? Strip. Down to what? Till I can see you. See me. 55

56 Yes Alright. Price begins to removes his clothing. Quickly. Nuh uh uh uuuuuh What? Slowly. Like you don't want me to forget it. I don't want to be seen like that. Like what? Submissive. Oh But you must. It is essential. Isn t that why you want me here? Hmm? Yes. You must learn to please. Now. Slow. Want to do it. 56

57 sings as he slowly and seductively does a burlesque for her. If I know just what to say when some trouble heads his way And can make him feel that everything is good Then I act like a woman and he likes a woman To act like a woman should If he's late and I'm alone and he doesn't telephone And the kiss that greets him says "I understood" Then I act like a woman and he likes a woman To act like a woman should That's right. Does this turn you on? Yes. Am I doing it right? Shhhhhh. Stop talking. Yeeeeeeees. Just. Like. That. Price is naked. He covers his privates with both his hands. Nothing left to take off. Good boy. Yes. 57

58 smacks Prices buttocks. Uh! Yes. Someone s been working out. Yes ma am. Turn around. Okay. There he is. cracks a whip. Jesus. Let s begin. They melt away. 58

59 TOO MUCH Harry enters. The world races by him. Like a blur. He stops in the middle of it. Things seem to slow down. The sound of the world increases around him until he is shouting. Your mother is going to die. She has cancer. It will be quick. She won t feel pain. Your husband will get that promotion. Your daughter is sleeping with her boyfriend. In your bed. She s doing it right now. You should text her. It s okay. We don t mind. You re not okay. Yes, he s cheating on you. You booked that play! They loved you. You got into Princeton. You will drop out in your junior year and start a tech start up. No, You will not be approved for that home loan. Yes, It will rain tomorrow. No, There is not Santa Claus but there is an Easter bunny. No, You won t survive. Yes, You will survive. Yes, This is real. Yes, I can hear you. Yes, I can hear you too. No I m not recording your thought. Though your thoughts are particularly smutty and I like them. Yes. No. Yes Yes. Yes. Yes. YEEEEES SHUUUUUT UP! Harry claps headphones on his ears. The music calms him. He runs out. 59

60 THE PROPOSAL Kurt and Alva have a meal. Quiet. I wanna Yes? I want to tell you something. What is it? It s something about me that no one knows. Alright. I blow things up. What? I make explosives in the bathtub. I destroy things with cleaning supplies and cow shit. 60

61 You do? Yes. I see. I understand if you feel uncomfortable with this-- ---I blow things up too. Oh thank god! I do. I like smaller things. I once blew up at matchbox car. It was thrilling. What about you? I blow up buildings. I knew there was something about you. Why...why do you do it? To make people see something they wouldn t normally look at. I blew up a 5 star restaurant to people would remember the hungry. I blew up a TV station so people would remember what it felt like to thirst for the truth. I blew up a police car so people would remember to love their neighbor. I want to get peoples attention! That s why! I just like the colors. Right?! I feel like those are good reason. 61

62 They re not. But they re true. Were you the Starbucks on 8th? I was. There s just so many of them. Were you the trash can outside the shoes store? Yes! I saw that one! Amazing! The colors were amazing. Wow. Yeah. Wow. I think we should turn ourselves into bombs and blow up the world. My god. Four horsemen of the Apocalypse. There are only 2 of us. Well we ll recruit. 62

63 Can I kiss you? Thank you for asking. He does. It s goooood. Ouch. What? Your mouth is hot. You re burning me. Good. They burn in the dark. Together. 63

64 BATTER The Flip and Stack. Sterling and Tina stand in kitchen of the restaurant. Throughout this scene Tina and Sterling pose for photos. Flash. Thank you for allowing me to serve with you today. Mrs..? Tina. Everybody calls me Ms. Tina. Photo. Flash. You can too. It is my pleasure. It s not every day that I get to work alongside the next president of the United States. Oh now. We don t know that. Could be the other guy. Photo. Flash No no! I have a feeling about these things. I can see it. It s written all over you. Well thank you. So what should I do? Well I figured you could mix the batter with me. Alright. Yeah see we make a batch of batter to start the day and then we just pull a little from that batch to start the rest of the batches. Oh. 64

65 It s kinda like a ritual. I see. Photo. Flash. Well...I ll be your assistant. Hand me that bowl and spoon. Alright. Photo. Flash. Harry enters. He sits. He waits. His beard is much longer. His hair is totally grey. Pour the starter in the bowl. Alright. Then I like to do the eggs. But I put the eggs in with the vanilla extract. That s the secret to the perfect pancake...you marry the eggs with the vanilla and the starter batter. You have this down to a science. No science. You mix the flavor with the thing that holds everything else together. You remember this when you get in that white house. I will. 65

66 Photo. Flash. You will. You smart. (A phone rings) Excuse me. (She answers) Flip and Stack. Yes. This is she. Uh huh. Yes. Yes. Oh. I see. I can come now. No...it s not a problem. Yes. Yes. I know where that is. Yes. Alright. Thank you. She hangs up. She takes off her apron. She grabs whatever belongs to her...she begins to exit. She stops realizing she has been rude. Everything alright? No. 66

67 So...then you add your flours, baking soda, baking powder, milk, salt and oil and mix it all up...make sure you taste it. Gotta make sure...the batter ain t bitter. I have to leave. Ms. Tina? Are you alright? One of my sons was...uh...i gotta go see about my son. Is he alright? No. No he s not. What s happened? That was my neighbor. Say...he got robbed. Say he was coming to visit me. Say they couldn t get ahold of me. Say he been dead for about two hours now. Say the man escaped on foot. Say he was carrying Chinese take-out. Say he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Say she thought I should know. Say she been trying to get a hold of me. Say...Say...she...Say. Oh my god. Say...that's what I get for living on that bad block. In that bad neck of the woods. No. It s not your fault. My middle son. 67

68 So sorry. I have to leave. Yes. Of course. I m so Sorry. Yes. That s very nice. Tina makes eye contact with Harry. The first to fall is kind and careful. Caught in a cross fire. Harry waves. Tina pushes past him. Then to Sterling: Maybe you could take care of him...before you go. I have to leave. I m sorry. She leaves. Sterling is stunned. Sterling goes to Harry. Good morning Sir. I m Senator Sterling Cloud. I m I m campaigning for I know who you are. What can I get for you? Photo. Flash. 68

69 Coffee. And pancakes. Coming right up. Prepare. Prepare for what? Armageddon is heating up. Right under our feet. Can you feel how miserable we are all becoming? No. She s gonna split this whole thing open. Who? You ll know her when you see her. Everything must come to an end. Photo. Flash. You re gonna win. That s kind of you to say. No really I m a prophet. You re gonna win. And then we start over. Blackout. 69

70 IDENTIFY Tina enters. She stands before a large table with a body on it. It is Mark. Tina slowly peels the sheet from Marks s face. I generally don t like to tell actors what to feels so I will say this...her emotional response is not what you would expect. It s a wee bit more slippery than you would think. She doesn t weep. She doesn t scream. She doesn t rage. She considers him. The navel Remember I told you...when you were little. I said...that s the middle of the universe baby. If you don t wash it clean everything and everyone will get clogged up in there. You will get stuck...we all would get stuck in your belly button. Remember I told you that everything was tied up in your center. Right in your middle. Right here. Look at you. All clean. They washed away what happened to you. You you ought to tell your mother what happened to you. So she can know. So she can tell your brothers. Tell. Nothing. Silence. Where did your eyes go, son. Where did they put your organs...your blood. Hmm? Quiet. Did you see it when it went out of you? Your life. Like a ghost screaming past the car windows like a siren on an ambulance? What am I going to tell the women at the Flip and Stack? What will I tell the pastor? What will I tell the man on the corner by your apartment that thinks he can hear God talking in the wind.. What am I going to tell you girlfriend. What am I going to tell the tollbooth lady. What will I tell myself. What will I tell your shoes and your neck ties. What will I tell the snow you love and the rain you despised. What do I tell the empty walls of your office. Hey. I can t afford to bury you. I m just going to have them burn you up. Put you in something cold and shiny and glass. They ll seal you up inside like a can of peas. And I ll come get you. I ll scatter you. 70

71 BODIES We see Alva and Kurt in their underwear now. You are beautiful. So are you. Have you ever seen a woman nude? No. Have you ever been with a woman? No. Why? I don t know. Just haven t. I m the first woman you ve been with. Yes. Oh. You are not my first. 71

72 I know. What do you think? I can t really think. Lay down. It s cold. It ll warm up. He does so. Alva straddles him. You re so hot. Thank you. No. Your skin. You re on fire. Am I burning you? Yes. Oh. Burn me. 72

73 Shhhh Uahhh What do you see...in the dark of your eye lids. What do you see? I can only see you now. Is your skin prickly yet? Yes. All over. Good. What do I do now? Breathe. They melt into each other in the dark. 73

74 LET ME MAKE YOU A PROPHET Price on a treadmill. At the gym. enters. She jogs beside him. Or he could just be at work. Sweet thang What are you doing here? Not happy to see me? Look! I don t have any money. That s not true. You know what. You re right. Thank you. You re welcome. Gotta spare room. 5 spare rooms. If you re going to rob me just do it. I ve got a hundred dollars in cash, a half pack of gum and a bottle of water. And three almonds. 74

75 How did you know that? Really that s the revelation that gets your attention? What do you want? Wanna be a prophet? I ve been walking around just making prophets out of business men and check cashing ladies and little brown boys on the playground. Come on let me make you a prophet. That...very...bronze age of you. But no. I m the second coming. You keep saying that. I m not seeing it. I ve come back to make the world whole again. Did I miss the four horsemen? I know how this goes. This isn t it. Got the four horsemen in my pocket. Locked and loaded. I don t have to do that. I don t want to do that. I want you to get on the right side. I want you to be more like me. Ugh! What s that fabric you re wearing? Burlap. Nope. Not interested. And isn t the Messiah supposed to come back riding a horse or something. Allergic. 75

76 Oh my god you re a disaster. It s all in your hands. You can choose. Shouldn t there be some sort of Armageddon happening now? It is. Where? Right here. It s me and you. That s the battle. It is. Yes. Well that s anti-climatic. Why me? You make the world go round. That s why it s got to be you. Am I on the wrong side? Don t have to be. I don t even believe in you. 76

77 Join me. Join you? Or I can turn you inside out. This is extortion. Join me. How? Sell all of your earthly possessions. Give everything away. All of your wealth. Everything. You re insane. You re hurting. I am not. You are. I can see it. You keep covering it up. But I can see right down to the marrow. You want someone to touch you. To set you free. To open you up. But it s okay baby. I can touch you. I m not religious. I ll be your religion. 77

78 I don t wanna be religious. Something s gotta hold you responsible. That s adorable. Try me. Said the Snake to Eve in the garden. These are sung in the tune of James Brown s Try Me. Try me. Find someone else. Try me. Fuck off. Let me be your stronghold. I Come on. Sell everything? 78

79 And give the money away. Then what? We set out walking. Planting trees as we go. Healing the sick. Blind man who can t see, starts seeing. Lame man who can t run, starts runnin, deaf ma am who can t hear, just heard about the blood of the lamb. Then we look at the world we made. The planet we repaired. Then we rest. And if I don t? There won t be a corner of this earth left uncovered with h. 2. o. Thought you said you would never destroy the earth with water again. Thought you weren t religious. I remember the basics. I m not gonna destroy the earth with water fire is my weapon of choice but you all making this planet mighty damp so maybe I don t have to do nothing but sit on the couch and eat a sandwich while you all drown. You re kinda fucked up. Messiah s are messy. Hmm. 79

80 Come on. No. That s okay...i can see you need to mull it over a bit longer. I can wait. I We just in the middle of eternity. Ain t no rush. Bye now. Messiah exits. Price watches. 80

81 FUNERAL #1 IN G Tina, MATTHEW and LUKENJOHN stand. She holds an urn. Over the course of this scene it begins to rain. Matthew say some words. MATTHEW Oh...sure. Mark was my brother. And I loved him. Silence. That s it? LUKENJOHN MATTHEW And I hope he has found peace in heaven. Amen. Amen. Lukenjohn you say something. LUKENJOHN Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can get you killed. Don t be disrespectful. I have work. We all have work. We should scatter the ashes. Mark always liked it here. LUKENJOHN MATTHEW 81

82 Yeah. Uh huh. MATTHEW LUKENJOHN He would run in this park. He loved to run. Yeah. Uh huh. MATTHEW LUKENJOHN I used to think it wasn t Christian to cremate people. Why? LUKENJOHN We don t know what you gonna need when Jesus comes back. You might need your body. That s why I m not an organ donor. You might need your eyes. Get to heaven and can t see anything. Sorry I asked. Do you want me to do it? LUKENJOHN MATTHEW No. We all can do it. Everyone take a handful. Nuhuh! No. We do this as a family. LUKENJOHN 82

83 LUKENJOHN He s already burned up! You wanna scoop him out of that urn like ice cream? Just do it. Please. I can t do this by myself. Fine. MATTHEW LUKENJOHN They all grab a handful of Mark. They hold it. They each have a personal internal ritual with this piece of Mark in their hands. Something should happen to make this. I don t care what...but it should be marked, either in the performers or in the space. Or both. They release the ashes. They grab another handful each and release. Repeat until the urn is empty. They stand in silence for a moment. Thank you boys. Of course // Yeah sure. You boys. You be careful. Yes ma am. MATTHEW // LUKENJOHN MATTHEW You say your prayers and you be good. Yes momma. Alright. I love you both. LUKENJOHN 83

84 Love you. Love you. Kiss your momma. MATTHEW LUKENJOHN They do. I have to go. Alright. Me too. Bye. Bye. LUKENJOHN MATTHEW MATTHEW LUKENJOHN They exit. Tina stands alone. For a long time. We see time pass by her swiftly. Like a blur. Harry enters. He has headphones on. He sees Tina. He stands beside Tina. When he finally speaks it s too loud because of the music he is listening too. I M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS! Startled, Tina looks at Harry. She is not sure how to speak to him. Finally. Hello. 84

85 PEOPLE NORMALLY SAY HOW ARE YOU AT THIS POINT! You re shouting. Oh Shoot. Forgot I had these on. Are you following me? I don t think I am. Good. I just happened to be passing. You got the timing of a bulldozer. I ve I ve upset you. No. Tina lifts the urn above her head and smashes it. My son would have hated that. Just leave it. Harry crouches down to pick up the pieces. 85

86 Are you sure? Yeah. It s done. I m Harry. I remember. You gonna blow your eardrums out--- Wha? Your music is too loud. What are you listening to? I forgot that was playing. It s just a band I like. May I listen? Sure. He gives her his headphones. She listens for a bit. She smiles. What is this called? The Comeovers. Rock band. Ah. 86

87 Did you like it? Yes. I did. Very much. Thank you for sharing. My pleasure. Are you...where are you headed? To work. Good pancakes. Good pancakes. I ll walk with you. You wear the same suit everyday? Wha---Oh! Ha. Yes. Well now I do. Your hair. Yeah. And your beard. I keep trying to cut it but it grows back every night. 87

88 What happened to you? You not normal. No. I m not. Well? I saw something. I see it constantly. It s like Yes? It s like. I m lookin at you. But your whole life is scrolling all over you. In tiny little green letters. Your life is sitting on you like fine fitting fabric. And the sound. The sound of your history is screaming off of you like a subway train stopping. It s deafening. But it s not just you. It s everyone. Every person I meet. Look at her. Right there. Her? Mmhmm. Can t you see her life story rising off of her like a mist? No. What about him? Right there in the Yes. That one. Can you hear his pain? I don t want to. I don t either! That s why I listen to these headphones. I m trying to make the world quiet again. 88

89 You must have done something awful to have to carry that. Maybe. It was just given to me. Jeremiah. What? He preached for years. Told the people to repent. No one listened. So he stopped preaching. He stopped. And he said it burned his insides. Down to the marrow. Fire. Shut up in his bones. That s it. Yes. I burn. Tina looks closely at him. You sweating. Do you want me to show you what s about to happen? I m afraid. Tina s cellphone rings. Harry knows what this ring means. It rings again. 89

90 You uh should answer that. Oh. Tina answers. Hello Yes. This is she. Uh huh. Yes. Yes. Oh. I see. I can come now. No...it s not a problem. Yes. Yes. I know where that is. Yes. Alright. Thank you. She begins to leave. Harry grabs her arm. It s like fire. She recoils. I m sorry. I have to leave. One of my sons was...uh...i gotta go collect my son. 90

91 Beat. That was the police. Say...he was in his office at the newspaper when the bomb went off. Say they couldn t get ahold of me. Say he been dead for about two hours now. Say they couldn t revive him but they tried. Say he was minding his own business. Say he was a good citizen. Say the suspects are still at large. Say they been trying to get a hold of me. Say...Say...she...Say. I I know. That s my eldest son. I have to leave. She begins to go. I ll come with you. They leave. 91

92 SHUT THE FUCK UP! Sterling and Price. On an airplane. Rain streaks the windows. They are flying through an electrical storm. Do you believe in God? Yes. You do? Yes. Oh. Why do you ask? I think God wants to kick my ass. Let him. Her. Nice. Silence. Do you like to be spanked? 92

93 No. Okay. You like that? It helps me concentrate. Huh. I pay a lady two hundred dollars an hour to spank me. Oh. Okay. She s very rough. Silence. Lester. Yes. Do you have children? No. 93

94 Why not? Just don t. Lester? Yes? Do you think we will win? I do. Our chances are every good. Never thought I would actually win. What? I never thought I would actually win. Yeah. That s what I thought you said. Don t say that again. Right....I m sure, when the time comes...you will be ready to serve... It s all happened so quickly. 94

95 It has. Lightening illuminates the airplane. It s kinda scary. Lester? Yes, Senator Sterling. We re the good guys, right? Politics is not about morality. Good guys. Bad guys. What s that? Nothing really. I think If you are elected tonight, and it s looking increasingly like you will be, people won t care whether you are good or not. They will want you to be right. What s the difference? A LOT! I m looking into the eyes of people on the campaign trail. I m telling them that I will work for THEM. I m telling each one of them that I will be their guy. Yeah. That s what you do. That s how it s done. Doing it differently. I want to be good for these people. 95

96 That s a lovely thought. Thank you. I think you are an amazing person. An amazing man. I believe you will change the direction of this country. Great. Now. Sit there. Read your magazine. Look presidential and shut the fuck up so I can get you elected. How s that? That s better. 96

97 TEA AND SYMPATHY We enter Harry s unkempt apartment. Tina looks around. Harry s beard is longer. Here we are. Tina stands in the middle of everything. Go on, have a seat anywhere. This is where you live? Yes. You need a maid. Perhaps. I I don t feel comfortable. Just sit. I d rather not. Please. Why are doing all of this? Carrying around people s burdens. Aren t you tired? 97

98 Yes. Then why? I can t help myself. Do you need anything? No. Alright. They stand and look at each other. You are very strange. Yes. I like the beard. It suits you. You think? Yes. Thunder. Lightening. Look at that lightening. Sbad out there. 98

99 It ll pass. I hate storms. Me too. Here we are. I used to I didn t trust people before Before what? You know. Oh I m glad you didn t know the old me What were you like? I was mean. I made other people mean. I made the world darker. My my. Now I wander around avoiding everyone. 99

100 Silence. Except for me I guess. Yeah. I when I m around you I can hear. Wonder why? Probably because you listen. You think so? Yes. Yes I do. Thank you. Can I get you some tea? Sure. Sweet? Whatever you have. Alright. Are you lonely? 100

101 Yes. That s hard. Are you? Don t you know the answer to that? I want to hear you say it. No. I m not. I feel held. That s a holy sort of thing. It is. Here. Thank you. Thunder. Lightening. Where do you live? Uh...Across town. You re right. I do need a maid. 101

102 It s lovely. I didn t mean to suggest I know. Silence. When you came in to the Flip and Stack that day, you knew didn t you? Knew what? What was going to happen. To me. To my boys. Yes ma am. Is that why you came in? No. I really just wanted to sit. You know I always wondered if you know what s coming why don t you fix the mess that s on the way. If you knew my sons would die why didn t you say hey Tina you might wanna call your son and tell him to look out. Instead you asked me for coffee. If you knew, why didn t you fix it. Everything is connected. I can see that if I tell you that your son should be careful and Mark lives I can see that because he lives a woman in his building will be held up in the lobby of his apartment building talking to him and miss her train. That train was supposed to take her to a job interviews and because she s late and frazzled and sweaty she doesn t get the job the guy who was early and went in ahead of her to interview gets the job. His job is to develop technology to cancer screening but he, unfortunately isn t fully equip for the job. He get overwhelmed with the 102

103 position and quits and the company has to put the research on hold while they look for a replacement. In the meantime a woman name Nadia pretty, home maker, she is walking around a grocery store in a suburb outside of the city when a collection of cancer cells that have been collecting in her bones starts to cause her just the slightest discomfort. The goes to the doctor who is a part of the research the company was working on but does not yet have access to the cancer screening technology that would be needed to detect her cancer that day and he sends her home with advil So Nadia continues another six weeks before the discomfort becomes unbearable and she has to return to the doctor only to be killed in an auto mobile accident en route. So If I would have told you Nadia wouldn t be alive today. I don t know her. Now you do I m losing them. Yes. I have another son. Mmhm. Silence. How is the tea? It s good. Just the right amount of sweet. Good. Thunder. Lightening. 103