Pity Anger Shame & Love: A Play for One Actor
(Soon to be retitled: A Rather Long, Mostly Pointless Play About a Madman)
Michael Moret & Alex M. Frankel
Cast of Characters
Grim Reaper / Stagehand
Scene: A graveyard in a desert near an American town; a South
American jungle; a Maui beach/mental hospital; a room on a
farm in Northern California
A graveyard in a desert near an American town. Different parts of a
store mannequin are scattered around. PRIEST
enters holding a teddy bear.
Thoughts and prayers! The children come up to me.
“Father Joshua, can you explain what happened? Why did
nine kids have to die today? Why are fifteen people in
the hospital? If that kid was so depressed, why didn’t
he just shoot himself?
I am a golden retriever bitch and they’re grabbing for
And I have to give them some answer, because I wear
this collar. Because my voice is deep and comforting.
Because I’m Father Joshua. Fuck it.
I went to the memorial and I grabbed this bear when no
one was looking. I couldn’t–I grabbed the bear and I
came here to finish this charade. This whole priest
thing–it was all my mother’s doing! And I didn’t fit
in anywhere else. They always made fun of me. Maybe if
I had a gun I would’ve massacred my school as well. But
that wasn’t God’s will. “God”! I’m done.
(He tosses the bear on the ground.)
I don’t even remember what I told them when they came
to me. The usual line about not blaming God. Turn to
Him for comfort. Whatever. I don’t have the answers any
more than those children did. All the sirens and the hugging and crying people on their phones. People asking what did those kids do
wrong that they had to die?
Instead of asking what we did wrong!
That night after Bible study I saw thousands of candles
all over town.
“Breathe, mourn, and pray,” I told them. “Everyone on
the planet is praying for us. Even people who never
heard of our town.”
“But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun
of justice with its healing rays.” Yeah, right.
I wonder…if the morning of the shooting someone told
that boy that he was loved. If somebody ever made him
Mom said, “You’d make a good priest.” We all wanted to
please her so bad. And so I did. Never could get along
with anyone above me.
And I guess that includes you, God, whoever you are.
He drinks from his hip flask and looks up at the
Inside the sun there’s a moon, and inside that moon
there’s three hyenas fighting over a man’s body. And in
that body, where the heart should be, there’s a rat
running on its rat wheel and it’s healthy and horny as
fuck! And inside this heart…
(Puts his hand to his heart, addresses
the stage and the “body parts”)
there’s a nightmare of falling sky and ashes, dust and
body parts. And the Beast screwing me with a grin on
Electronic fusion music [Track Two] plays as the
PRIEST rises with a part of the mannequin.
I loved you with all my heart and all my soul and all
my mind all my strength! And all my broken. For an
hour we were one! And then we were two again. You said
thanks and shut the door. That was the last time I saw
you. One hour. And the world lost its star. Before I
loved you, there was something like life. Just one hour
in a one-bedroom apartment. You kicked me out and so I
loved you harder. Went to you for healing, and I found
PRIEST takes another swig from his hip flask.
Been carrying you around with me all this time. The
first year I was in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous I must’ve mentioned you every single time I shared at a
meeting. All the fellows there, they knew exactly what
you looked like and sounded like and–within
limits–what you smelled like.
Sex and Love Addicts. How many years did I go to those
Years of sobriety. Made speeches! Took on sponsees.
And, when they asked what I did for a living, I
confessed I am a Catholic priest.
Of course I had to drive to the big city where no one
knew my face. And when my sponsees slipped in their
addiction they called me in the middle of the night,
just like I told them to. “You’re doing the right thing
kiddo, keep up the good work.” “You are taking care of
you tonight and I am proud of you.”
(He drinks again from the flask.)
There was one: Alex. I’ll never forget him. He was the
saddest schmuck who ever came to me for comfort, but
how could I turn him away? He talked so fast and he was
so goddamn needy. But I was there for him, I mean I
pretended to be.
Alex, wherever you are, forgive me! Years in basements
and community centers with battered upright pianos
broken ceiling fans and fluorescent tubes and me
listening to a bunch of addicts and pervs. And then go
“home” to some rectory that was never really a home,
with a son-of-a-bitch Indian pastor to order me around.
Couldn’t stand a word that came out of those slurpie
motherfuckers. At least the congregation liked me;
sure, they liked my sermons and my accent.
At Christmas I’d tell people to focus less on Santa
Claus and more on Jesus. Uplifting shit like that, you
know? The poorer the people, the more they loved me.
Just thinking of them gets me so tired.
(He drinks from the flask. Then: To
The PRIEST curls up with the teddy bear as pillow,
and, very briefly, sleeps, and is awakened by his
own loud screams. Dreamy music that ends with a
I always dream of the Himalayas–or is it the Alps, or
a volcano in Mexico? I am in a garden all the way at
the top, but there isn’t any snow; it’s a flower
garden, and there’s
a party going on. It’s like one of those moments I
truly believe God put us on earth to be happy. I’m not
a priest; I’m just a man. And they come by and offer me
drinks and I stuff myself silly with hors d’oeuvres and
I am feeling fulfilled for the first time. But someone
says to me, “Are you here for the burning?”
I look at him and he says, “It’s the day of the public
burning. The heretics!” I stare and realize I’m one
of the heretics and that garden party is my last meal.
And they’re going to burn me…but then I’m at the foot
of the mountains, in a caravan on the Silk Road. I’m a
camel. A camel. Well, fuck that shit.
The music fades. The PRIEST seems now to wake up
from his dream.
I heard that I had a twin, but he died in the womb.
Died so I could live? Sometimes I took my parishioners to the Holy Land!
(He waves a tour guide flag.)
A fucked-up priest and a bunch of pious old freaks.
Those hot sweaty days and nights in the Holy Land–Lord
have mercy! They loved everything that came out of my
mouth, as if every phrase I strung together was a
miniature Sermon on the Mount.
(Addressing the void and using the tour
guide flag as a microphone while he
Sagittarius 1992 unsuccessfully rise city fuel,
invisible mirage rushed to be liked got the
mystical magic material now vortex, this Mecca
April 21 feeling outcast illusions into beautiful
drugs dragon spinning classic beyond hyper...(etc etc in this absurd vein)
(To Audience, as he again waves the tour
I remember an old couple, drove me insane. They must
have been nearly a hundred years old, it was torture
dragging them from place to place. I wanted to strangle
(MORE) them. One morning I was–frankly, I was in bed jerking
off ahead of a stressful day, and the lady comes
bursting into my room. First time I was ever caught.
From then on the way she looked at me, that sly,
knowing, matriarchal way. I knew she had dementia but
what if this was the one act she couldn’t forget? It
was our last night in Jerusalem–I took a bottle of
maximum strength Ambien tablets and ground them up.
When she wasn’t looking, I slipped them into her soup.
May God forgive me! She was about to taste it when I
gave the bowl a subtle push off the table and it went
crashing down on the floor.
Ego sum solus est amor et sexus addicta apud est
confringetur contritos corde et corpore.
Miseremini mei meus fidelis: Ora pro nobis, male ad
Igne natura renovatur integra
“Oh Father Joshua, Father Joshua Sunday that was the
best sermon, you have filled me up for this day, please
tell us that it’s not true you are moving on to another
parish, how will we manage without you? Your
voice, your way with words, your skill at saving
Yes, I am there for your soul care, folks, Father
Joshua will bear your burden. Ye are so blind and so
meek. You came to me for comfort, but you didn’t know
that I was the shooter. I was the boy that shot and
killed nine kids. I had the rage in me. That was me
inside that shooter the other day in the midst of your
safe school and wholesome town and close-knit community
bullcrap, that was me, because I know where he was
coming from, because we both hate our fellow man.
The PRIEST takes out a concealed gun from his
concealed holster and shoots himself in the mouth;
he collapses. In black, the STAGEHAND/GRIM REAPER
comes in and drags away the body.
*I am just an old sex and love addict with a broken heart
and broken body. Have pity on me, my faithful: for your
shepherd is sick unto death!
The FREEDOM FIGHTER enters, wearing combat pants
and a wifebeater shirt. He is in the jungle. He
looks around suspiciously at his environment. The
mannequin from the previous scene, now
representing a dead body, is lying there
“A revolution is not a garden party, or writing a play
or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot
be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate,
kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A
revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by
which one class overthrows another.” -Chairman Mao.
Words to live your life.
In the far distance, gunfire and voices. These can
be heard periodically during the FREEDOM FIGHTER’s
The jungle will be raining body parts.
What a style to go. I was hoping to take a few Fascists
with me. Don’t look like that gonna happen. So where do
terrorists go when they go? No heaven. No hell. God is
dead. So where do we go?
(As if listening for the mannequin’s
Non-existence? Correcto mundo!
(He pretends to ring game show bells.)
Like when you blow out a candle. Or like when you go
under a general anesthetic.
Four Three Two One! That is it. Nothingness. Why is
that so hard to accept? Pure, unadulterated nada.
(As the video ends, to the mannequin
while putting a Che Guevara poster on
Long life to you, Comandante Ernesto Guevara de la
Serna! Long life to Stalin and Mao and especially
Comrade Pol Pot–he had the right idea. Take the
intellectuals out of the city and make them to work in
the fields. No no no no no no no no. Those were not
“killing fields”–that was supposed to be the
new Eden, where men and women and childrens work the
fields and everyone become equal. Comandante Che, the
world has lost its head.
The FREEDOM FIGHTER places the mannequin head on
But you live forever. Thought everyone would know my
name. I thought I would be your next incarnation. Don’t
look like that gonna happen.
The FREEDOM FIGHTER takes out his phone and films
himself as he goes on, sitting pensively on a
Burn my body. Scatter the ashes in the Caribbean Sea!
Burn me in uniform.
To my mother in Medellin, I leave my watch, my ring,
and my diary. To my father, all my books. Father, I
taught you how to read. Read the fifty-one books in my
collection.Read them and you will understand why I
could not believe that Jesus Cristo was my Savior.
To Nicolas–I leave my machete that have been with me
since the beginning. Nicolás–who I tried to educate in
socialism. Nico–just sixteen when we met. I rescued
you from a village before the Government could burn it
to shreds. Sweet, strong Nicolás, a young man in your
prime, and then we became lovers. Now you’re
twenty-three already. Take the machete. I love you more
than life. I love you more than Revolution! Si. Boys
and bombs–that is always my motto. Never imagined I
would find one until I met you. In the village, they
slaughtered your mom and dad like pigs, then I became
your new papa and teacher and mentor and lover. Nico, I
think on you before I sleep even before Mao’s Prayer.
The FREEDOM FIGHTER sings badly:
Guerrilleros de las FARC/ con el pueblo a triunfar ;/
por la patria, la tierra y el pan./ Guerrilleros de las
FARC / a la voz de la unidad / alcanzad la libertad.
Last and least: Alex. I leave you all the money I
have in the world: eight hundred fifty-five thousand
five hundred and thirty seven pesos: two-hundred
forty-three American dollars. All for you, my friend,
my materialist friend.
We were so young. I was an exile in Spain and you were
an American expatriate living off your rich dad. What
did we have in common? Both of the same orientation.
Both outsiders. We roomed together as lodgers in the
house of an aging Flamenco star. And then I convinced
you to go East Berlin, when that paradise was still
blooming. You spoke German and you said you would help
me. So we took the train into the East.
(He places his phone on the mannequin.)
We went to the Communist Party.
(He stands at attention, raising his
right fist in a Communist salute.)
We said to the policemen that I wanted to defect! They
looked at each other puzzled and amused but they told
us okay and put us in one of their little toy police
cars and drove us to a serious grey building where they
locked us up in a cell. Alex Frankel, in a cell in East
Berlin- you got down on your knees and said a bunch of
stupidities. You prayed to Ronald Reagan.
They took us building to building and everywhere I saw
the picture of the East German leader Honecker looking
down at us and smiling. And after–it was past
midnight–they finally took us into a high-class
apartment and there was Erich Honecker himself, in
pajamas and smoking a cigar. He came near to me and
said it was not safe for me there. East Germany was
going to…poof, just question of time, and I would be
a man without a country. “Go back to South America,” he
told in perfect Spanish. “Take fire weapons again. Help
the people to open their fucking eyes and stop sucking
(Toasting the image of Che Guevara on
the mannequin and looking into its face,
using his phone as champagne glass.)
“A la salud del Che!” and the three of us lift our
glasses to you, Comandante.
They put us on a train and the next day we woke in West
Berlin where we could worship MacDonalds and Burger
King. Your night in East Berlin. That is your
inheritance, Alex–thanks to your Colombian terrorist
friend, Juan Quixote.
The PSYCHIATRIST enters as the the FREEDOM FIGHTER
finishes his lines. The PSYCHIATRIST puts his
hospital gown on him and takes the gun, the
holster and the cellphone away. The FREEDOM
FIGHTER undresses as the last video starts.
Isn’t those lice boo-booing a day? Or are you by slap
I have the distinct impression the parish priest who
shares my body just went on an outing. The man who
tries to carry the world’s load like a camel.
Picken your boner calsters, aren’t ya? With a fact and
a wack and ballad wop.
And then this body turned into a freedom fighter in the
jungles of South America. He was like some great puma.
Spining up around the whelp of your easement, I see!
All that jam and whole fricken oddment twap. I gander
you’re pointedly wenchin’ a wee, but that’s not, I
magdelen NOT, what dew-flaps a pol.
I share this body with three dears who have concerns of
Do not wong-van for the dong sumption unless your
And what is this body? Grew up in Guatemala City where
my people owned a villa with servants. Did I forget
introductions? My name’s Frank-Mundo. I was determined
to be an actor! Arrived in Hollywood on July 4 1989. I
went there to cause a stir! I starred in a man’s first
play. The man was Alex J. Finkel and the play was
Revocable Tryst. He paid some a-hole to write a fake
review. I assumed I would have Hollywood at my feet.
A droll starps to flum a purdaction, that.
Wine, women and song.
You splain a jordi prebble but never wind.
Of course nobody noticed Finkel’s play. Couldn’t even
get his friends to go see it. That was my first and
last hurrah. Thirty years. In and out of psychiatric
wards. Odd jobs. Car wash assistant. Lawn mowing.
Errand boy. Pet-sitter. Window-washer. Stable-cleaner.
But in my mind I heard the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare! The drums, the trumpets! The torches and the red carpets! Ended up homeless. Ten years on Skid Row.
Somewhere along the way a shrink told me he’d found the
key to me: I’m juggling three strangers in my brain.
You could’ve weened or chaffed a gulleon stump.
(Beginning to remove his clothes.)
There’s three of me inside this head and your science
can’t do a thing. Then one day the rumor went around
that Maui was the ideal place for the homeless and the
penniless. So I pan-handled like crazy and five months
later I land in Maui. Great life by the shore, kind of.
When the cruise ships come in, people take pity and
here and there I get twenty dollar bills. Then one day
a few years ago along comes this distinguished man with
a cane and I know I’ve seen him somewhere… It’s Alex,
the playwright! It took him a minute or two to believe
he was looking at me, star of his play. Told me he’d
given up on getting the world to like his work and
whatnot, and he was just living the good life on cruise
ships. He gave me a hundred dollars. Bless his heart.
You’re skwauked. Cal unten riff a beta-mor.
It’s good to be three. Kind of a Trinity.
I’ve haten about a marrow den. You’re over-fortinbras
I feel my third self coming on! You’ll like her, she’s
soft like a muse.
That a parturition on your roski?
Double-Dutch to me, whoever you are, but the coat suits
you, fellow. Now the third me’s a-comin’ out of me,
like the Alien baby busting out of my chest, whoa!
Lights out. A recorded voice over a loudspeaker
(with different effects) announcing the turning
back of the clock of time.
RECORDED VOICE SOUNDS & PROJECTED IMAGES
“I did not have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky!”
Nixon: “ will resign the office of president of the
United States effective tomorrow at noon.”
“One step for a man; one giant leap for mankind”
(Beatlemania) “I wanna hold your hand..”
Celebrating the end of World War II
Wall Street Crash
Surrender of Robert E Lee
French Revolution Reporting Marie Antionette has
just been beheaded
Columbus discovers America- except from Colombus‘s
Signing of Magna Carta
“All men’s souls are immortal but the souls of the
righteous are immortal and divine” (Socrates)
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in
the east, in Eden; and there he put the
man he had formed. The Lord God made
all kinds of trees grow out of the
ground—trees that were pleasing to the
eye and good for food. In the middle of
the garden were the tree of life and the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
ANGELICA, a woman in her thirties, sits pouting on
her stool. Her body is in pain from advanced
arthritis. With her left hand she massages her
right wrist and hand, and then does the same with
her right hand. She looks out the window. She’s
wearing a kimono.
I adore my Jane Austen novels. What would I do without
them? I can spend my life inhabiting her little world.
Except it’s not that little to me! Gentle, so gentle.
I’m sleepy, if only I could fly to Brussels. The woman
I love lives there. I haven’t seen her since I got
sick. The other day a lovely grey cat came to court my
kitty; I call him Mr. Bingley. How slowly the days go
by since I was diagnosed. An hour with my Kona dog and
the music of the rain. The new medication kicked in. I
think it’s helping, but it’s too early to know. People
can’t grasp what it’s like to be an invalid. Only a
matter of time before I lose the use of these hands.
Look at these, they were pretty once! A letter from
Bonnie, says she waited in the cold, almost got a
glimpse of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones!
Her favorite stars, she’s seen everything they’re in.
Not my cup of tea–too much violence and mayhem in
their films for my taste. I wrote back to say I’d seen
102 Dalmations. I was hoping for a peaceful afternoon
at the movies, but I found some of it very disturbing
and would she please, please in the future not
recommend such graphic material. I couldn’t sleep at
night thinking of the violence. Healthy people would
rather not know there’s such a thing as rheumatoid
arthritis. What it does to you. How vulnerable and how
demanding it makes you. I took a walk down to the
creek, just me and the Kona dog. The hills are
greening, sprinkled with popcorn flowers. It is so
quietly secure as the soldiers fight and the bombs fall
halfway around the world. Clouds glide by my window
like vacant thoughts.
I try to nap but I can’t. It’s worse than insomnia, to
live a day without a nap. I call it the marathon way!
The other night I dreamed there was a man on top of me.
He was in soaking wet rain gear like out of a horror
show. I couldn’t get him off me. I grabbed a kitchen
knife and slashed him and sliced him till he wasn’t
moving. Why in heaven’s name did I go see 102
(ANGELICA attemps to get up but then
falls on the floor, where she remains.)
No, even when healthy people pamper me, I see they
can’t really empathize. I can hardly remember when I
was whole. I learned to play the cello once a hundred
years ago! I married a Portuguese man who could fly
airplanes, he flew me all over the world. I was a
school teacher in Japan and Thailand. Then one day the
pain and the swelling and the weakness. At first it was
misdiagnosed as Lyme Disease, believe it or not.
(ANGELICA picks up a mirror and looks
Not the naive face of my twenties! Pain will do that. I
was the most stunning in my class. Now I wake up and I
don’t recognize this… It’s a cloistered life here on
the farm. My parents wait on me hand and foot. I’m the
princess–some people say I did this to myself
deliberately so I will always be the princess.
(With great difficulty ANGELICA picks
herself off the floor and limps to her
Seems like eons ago that I got my masters degree in
conflict resolution. People still come to me for
advice, they still see me as some kind of Earth Mother.
Axel is like that. What a troubled little man. He
thinks everything is an encounter group, he thinks
everyone approves of his… deviancy. Well, I don’t! He
never saw into the real me, he just wanted someone to
mother him. One day–it was in Santa Barbara–we went
out to dinner and while we were waiting for our table,
Axel insisted on playing Twenty Questions. It went on
for ages, and when I finally gave up, he told me he
was… Charles Manson! How could anyone utter that name
in my presence. And then all through dinner he
insisted on telling me the details of his addictions,
as though I could wave some magic wand and make
everything better. So last night, right here at this
desk, I sat down and cut him off clean with a letter. I
mailed it–no return address: “Axel, we have been
friends for many years and we’ve had some very good
times, but despite my pointed warnings to you about the
graphic stories you tell, about other people and your
own life and your past, you continue to carry on as if
it was some kind of joke. So it seems the healthy thing
for me is to take a break. I hope you understand.”
(ANGELICA rises with difficulty from the
desk and once again goes to the window.)
If only life were more like a Jane Austen book. Would
that be asking too terribly much? Delicate, refined,
peaceful. Last night I dreamed I was an advice
columnist who had the ability to shrink men. They would
write emails to me asking for advice for their lives
and when I wrote back I included a formula at the
bottom of the message that would–over time, say a few
months–shrink a grown man into a microscopic organism. One day when I still lived in Santa Barbara I saw some little boys playing rough on the beach, anin their games I understood everything that’s wrong
with our world. Let life be a gentle Jane Austen novel,
but only for ladies. Why not? We’ll find our way…
When I was at my lowest ebb, I started painting to
cope with illness and, you know, my marriage coming
apart. A surgeon once explained to me that our hearts
are resilient. You can cut a knife into a heart and it
will recover. Our hearts can break but we find
wholeness again. That’s what my exhibit was all about.
They showed my paintings at a local gallery! Angelica
(To the audience, breaking the fourth
Would you like to see? Just one?
(With childlike pride ANGELICA retrieves
and shows off one of her paintings: it
is a very bright and colorful still life
of flowers in a vase by an open window.
ANGELICA appears uplifted with this
thought until she notices the mannequin
in the corner as if for the first time.)
Who are you?
(ANGELICA brings the mannequin closer
and strokes its cheeks.)
Let me forget my life. Take me into your breasts and
ease me out of the world.
(ANGELICA kisses the mannequin.)
The world drops away. Let’s never wake up from our
(Sensing that the mannequin is an
attacker, an early memory of sexual
abuse takes over as ANGELICA gradually
transforms back to the hobo/actor
FRANK-MUNDO sitting on his beach in
Maui–which is really a psychiatric
Who are you? Trying to fool me again. Get off me! Get
the hell off me, Papa. Motherfucker I’ll kill you, I
swear, miserable old cunt. I swear, I’ll kill you, Dad.
“Dad”–that’s not a father, that’s a pervert, that’s a
In the course of the above paragraph, FRANK-MUNDO
has stripped his kimono off and now appears as he
did in the earlier dialogue with the PSYCHIATRIST,
in a hospital gown. The PSYCHIATRIST approaches
him slowly, holding a hyperdermic needle and ready
to give him a shot to calm him down and put him
into a trance-state.
(Still acting as if he is being attacked
Get off me! Just die! Te odio!
(Noticing the PYCHIATRIST with the
needle and recoiling.)
“You are not the gentleman I was expecting!”
(Crouching in a corner. After this
point, FRANK-MUNDO is alternately the
PRIEST, the FREEDOM FIGHTER and
ANGELICA; following this, the three
“alters” converse with each other.)
The other day a lovely grey cat came to court my kitty.
I call him Mr. Bingley. The hills are greening,
sprinkled with popcorn flowers.
(Rising assertively. As the PRIEST.)
Inside the sun there’s a moon, and inside the moon
there’s three hyenas fighting over a man’s body. And in
that body, where the heart should be, there’s a rat
running on its wheel.
(Raising a clenched fist in a Marxist
salute. As the FREEDOM FIGHTER.)
A revolution is not a garden party, or writing a play
or painting a picture, or doing embroidery.
(As if with a great load on his
shoulders. As the PRIEST.)
Years in basements and community centers with battered
upright pianos, broken ceiling fans and fluorescent
tubes and me listening to a bunch of pervs…
(Dainty and vulnerable. As ANGELICA.)
Would you like to see? “There are always flowers for
those who want to see them.” “I do not literally paint
the table but the emotion it produces upon me.”
(As the PRIEST.)
Because my voice is deep and comforting. Well, fuck
(As the FREEDOM FIGHTER.)
Guerrilleros de las FARC / con el pueblo a triunfar–
It’s so quietly secure here as the soldiers fight, as
the bombs fall.
(Turning to the PSYCHIATRIST.)
There’s three inside me, there’s been three to look
after me ever since that day, that day of
Father Joshua, I loved your sermon about the exorcising
of the demons into the herd of swine.
(As the PRIEST.)
Thank you, my child. If only one day we could exorcise
the demons out of Frank-Mundo.
(As the REVOLUTIONARY.)
Hate breaking the news to you two, but Jesus Cristo is
as dead as Zeus and Apollo. We are on our own on this
(As the PRIEST.)
Such thinking won’t get you very far, Juan Quixote, I
(As the REVOLUTIONARY,)
You don’t believe in God any more than I do! You’re a
fake. At least I work for something worthwhile. You
have no beliefs. You’re still hanging onto your mama’s
Please, men, don’t quarrel in front of me. Aren’t we
all hear to help Frank-Mundo cope?
(As the PRIEST.)
Yeah, right, help him to cope with special guidance
from our fake religions and fake revolutions and fake
art. (To the PSYCHIATRIST.) And our fake science. Yeah,
you heard me right.
(As the REVOLUTIONARY.)
I say it’s valid as long as we help him through life.
It doesn’t matter if the stories are true or not. As
long as they’re good stories.
(As the PRIEST.)
Two cheers for stories, I suppose.
(As ANGELICA, suddenly noticing the
PSYCHIATRIST, who has stepped very close
with his syringe. FRANK-MUNDO screams,
the PSYCHIATRIST injects him, and he
falls back. Long pause. FRANK-MUNDO
gazes at the PSYCHIATRIST.)
“Whoever you are, I’ve always depended on the apathy of
(Relaxed, sedated, and falling into his
last identity, his own self as a CHILD
of seven, a personality that comes to
the surface whenever FRANK-MUNDO is
heavily sedated. The PSYCHIATRIST
One day my stepmother kicked me out of the house. I
walked all night in the forest and I saw this, er, big
dripping shape in the trees. It was like a big, huge
blob and inside of it, I saw a red light shining at me.
The red light spoke and said “You’ll be safe here.”
There was one man with a deep voice and he was like a
churchman, a minister, and there was another and he was
like a hero, like the Wolverine, and there was another
and she was this gentle, kind mother, like I always
dream Momma was like before she died, I mean, passed
away, and they made me a bowl of chicken soup, I think,
chicken soup and anyway, they told me a bedtime story
and said I’d be safe any time my stepmother kicked me
out of the house, or my father, er, put his hands on me
like he shouldn’t, and they all hugged me and I fell
asleep and then I woke up up when the tree was shaking
like crazy. It was my father and stepmom and they shook
me out of my home in the tree and dragged me back to
the cottage. But the next night when they were asleep,
I went back to the tree in the woods, and there was the
big white blob with the red glow in the middle and I
heard their voices again. I went back every night and
it was like home. And they taught me and told me
stories and we played. I was at home in the world. But
then my father, he came out one night and he chopped
the tree down and he, he, chopped up the blob with the
red glow until there was nothing left and he dragged me
back to our cottage. But I had the priest man and the
Wolverine man and the mother lady inside me, that’s
what Father didn’t realize, and so from then on I went
out of myself and I turned into one or another of them
when I needed them. But what’s, er, funny, is they need
me just like I need them, it’s like I’m the house they
need to live in and I take care of them more than they
take care of me. I mean, what would the world be
without a church man to take care of things and a hero
man to fight for you and a mother lady who paints
paintings and gives you hugs? But there’s one more,
like a doctor-scientist man who gives me shots and
talks in Dutch or German, he needs me too. He’s always
there with a needle to poke me. Well, if it makes him
happy,I say, right? My father and my
stepmother–they’re gone now. They’re both dead–I
mean, they passed away. Nobody knows what happened. One
day someone found them in bloody chunks, like they’d
been hacked to death, and it was the worst crime
anyone ever saw. Could only have been done by some
kind of superhuman strongman and nobody knew why.
I feel bad I don’t miss them. Should I? I’ve got a
priest man and a superhero and a mother lady–and a
science friend! I wish you too will find a family like
this someday. Listen to the waves. I’m gonna fall
asleep to them. Nobody’s ever heard waves this good
before, I bet. This is an island nobody’s heard of. And
they’re not going to hear about it either. The priest
will keep watch, or the hero, or the mother lady. It’s
like one of me is always up there at the front line,
fighting for us.
The CHILD curls up and goes to sleep.