The Monster at the End of this Play
© 2011 Adam Smith
Adam onstage talking to audience. He has a flashlight in his pocket. At the end of the play, a box monster will appear. The monster will be 4 pieces of cardboard on poles. The head will be at the top, with a body attached by rope or string on one pole, then arms on the other poles.
What did you do? did you not hear it?
There’s a monster at the end and you’ve brought me quite near it.
Something so foul so rank so vicious
just thinking about it makes my underpants viscous
Adam moves to the landing. Lights out. Adam lights self with flashlight. He holds an audience member’s hand or rests his hand on their shoulder when appropriate.
What if I get closer and speak in quieter tones
Shane lower the lights, let’s see how this goes.
Let’s hold each others hands and talk about feelings
Let’s come up with solutions to all the debt ceilings
Let’s busy ourselves with the plight of the farmer.
Passitivity and distraction to avoid that the monster.
Slight pause. He shines the flashlight shines on stage. During, SO WHY DON’T YOU COME OUT HERE, Adam storms to the stage, yelling to the backstage.
There’s something wrong here, this isn’t quite right
Hiding and hoping to avoid conflict all night
SO COME THE FUCK OUT HERE MONSTER AND WHY DON’T YOU FACE US
BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES TO SCRAPPY BATTLING YOU KNOW I’M ALL ACES.
He faces the audience and lights his face, a moment of reflection.
Maybe we Jules Verne it before this unravels
Clearly the answer to this predicament’s time travel
Please concentrate hard with your eyes tightly closed
think about all that is good; take me two minutes ago
Think about parents and falling sensations
and all the homo-laterally walking dalmations
sidewalk flowers, the birds and the bees
awkward young kids with their wobbly knees
think about loved ones, just friends ones, and those ones betroathed
concentrate on the joys of getting disrobed
the laughter of babies and the camaraderie of coworkers
even the awkward guy whose kind of a lurker
reflect on your scars and when we each got our name
the elation of riding home drunk on the train
transport me back to places less violent
where there are less words and it is unbelievably silent
He takes a breath and turns off the flashlight for a moment. He turns it back on.
It didn’t work, these theories are bullshit
wishful thinking provides us no respite
all my attempts to repel monsters are futile
not drinking nor fucking nor smoking nor anything brutal
not grand-standing, pretending, nor running out the door
will provide me protection from this anymore.
From backstage a box monster is brought slowly behind and above Adam. It should arrive at accountable, tilt its head to listen for a moment, and slump its shoulders in disappointment after the final line.
The monster I address isn’t physical manifestation.
both you and I know the monster is a creation
Self-induced problems dressed like solution
infecting our mind like foul pollution
Basic feelings that become insurmountable
and then we kid ourselves to be less accountable.
Look, let me be clear so we can all see
The monster I’ve talked about, it’s really just me.
And you were so scared.
Light is turned off.
OWN the book!
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