Inertia of a Dream

***

LIGHTS

Silence

Night time

The sky is dark blue. The stars flicker, like tricksters – a guide. In the horizon a fire burns. An unreachable light in the darkness. A beacon of hope. The trees have no leaves. Their wood is charred black. Branches reach for the ground, twisted and foul. Tied to one branch: a rope, a hangman’s noose. Its perfectly still, a pillar of worship in the wind. 

Underneath them stands A MAN.

He is shrouded in blackness, a shadow. 

The branches reach for him.

MAN: I cut open my arms to pull out snakes

Mosquitos won’t stop biting my skin

(In the distance): STOP IT!

MAN stops to listen, continues: My friends hang themselves from trees

Their mothers would suck the blood out of my veins

Pouring out of my wrists

Dripping on the floor

(drip drip drip) 

(Silence)

(drip drip drip)

(silence)

(drip drip drip)

(A long silence)

Can you hear that?

(Silence)

Is it in my head?

(Drip 

Drip

Drip)

Or is it in yours?

(Drip

Drip

Drip)

(silence)

DARKNESS

***

LIGHTS.

JUPITER stands in a clearing, her feet rooted to the ground. SATURN crawls out of the ground, gets up, brushes the dirt from his body and stands in front of JUPITER. Before them, a crown of thorns.

SATURN: I thought you wouldn’t come —
JUPITER: — Me neither … How could I not?
SATURN: You are tied to me —
JUPITER: — I am tied to you —
SATURN: — No truer words have been spoken.

(silence) 

JUPITER: Why are you here?
SATURN: …… I don’t know —
JUPITER: — You don’t know?
SATURN: I want to know —
JUPITER: — You do know.
SATURN: I am sad!
JUPITER Why? —
SATURN: — Because of the people. Their ridicule, their suffering … I suffer too!
JUPITER: Are you remembering every time Matthew humiliated you?
SATURN: And every time I believed there was a ghost in the walls —
JUPITER: — When the only ghost was you.
SATURN: It gives me reason to believe I’m disturbed.
JUPITER: Don’t be sad because of people, they will all die!
SATURN: That’s your answer to everything!
JUPITER: Everything isn’t answered so easily.

(silence)

JUPITER: I want to ask you a question.
SATURN: You ask too many questions. What if I didn’t want to hear your question?
JUPITER: I would ask anyway.
SATURN: Why do you resent me? You do not love me.
JUPITER: I love you more than I love myself!
SATURN: That’s impossible.

(silence)

JUPITER: You’re right, that’s impossible. Can I ask you my question now?
SATURN: I suppose…
JUPITER: What is the definition of hope? —
SATURN: — Hope is the process of waiting for something good to happen.
JUPITER: Do you hope that you will be happy one day?
SATURN: I hope to be fulfilled.
JUPITER: But that’s impossible!
SATURN: Yes … It’s impossible. I want to know what it’s like to love.
JUPITER: Let me love you, and you will know —
SATURN: — How will I know? It cannot be defined! If one can’t define something, does it even exist at all? I can’t define my love for you, ergo, I do not love you!

(silence)

JUPITER: I am tied to you —
SATURN: — But you can’t love me. I crawled through dirt for you, I cut the snakes out of my skin and stopped them from hissing. (Holds out his  arms for JUPITER to see the scars on his wrists) I couldn’t sleep!

(silence)

SATURN: Look at you – you’re in bloom. There’s flowers growing out of your mouth!
JUPITER: It’s actually quite difficult to breath —
SATURN: — I wish I could grow tall like you. Maybe I’d find the sunlight, but nothing works out the way I want it to. I’d be more successful than Icarus. I’d get so close to the sun I’d be able to touch it, knowing my luck. How miserable that would be!
JUPITER: Then you’d be revered as a god.
SATURN: I couldn’t bear witness to so much pain.
JUPITER: It gets easier with time —
SATURN: It’s easier being a god than a human.
JUPITER: And it’s easier to be human than nothing!

(silence)

SATURN: I wish to grow as a flower. I want to be beautiful like you. I don’t think i can … This dirt hurts my feet.
JUPITER: Lie down. Let me rub your feet.
SATURN: No. If I lie on my back I’ll sink and I most surely will drown. The ground really isn’t safe —
JUPITER: — You are so dramatic. (turns her back away from SATURN) It wears me out —SATURN: — Then why don’t you leave?
JUPITER: Fine. I’m leaving.

JUPITER doesn’t move.

(Silence)

SATURN: Has this happened before? —
JUPITER: — This has happened before.
SATURN: I feel like I have seen this every time I close my eyes, every time I blink.
JUPITER: I really don’t remember.
SATURN: It’s hard to tell apart —
JUPITER: — what’s real and what’s not —
SATURN: — What’s the difference?
JUPITER:  This is tiring.
SATURN turns his back away from JUPITER.
SATURN: I am tired too.

(Silence)

SATURN: Will you sing me a song?

JUPITER begins to sing. Her voice is echoed in the clearing:

All the star’s eyelids say
All through the night,

“This is the way to the valley of glory,”

All through the night

SATURN closes his eyes, His head drops to his chest until he appears to be sleeping standing up.

Any other light is darkness,

To exhibit true beauty,

The Heavenly family in peace,

All through the night —

— He is startled awake and staggers backwards. He cries out in pain as he steps on the crown of thorns and falls to his ground. Immediately the ground wraps around SATURN – he begins to sink.

SATURN: Help me! I’m sinking!

The stage goes dark as JUPITER reaches for his hand before it disappears into the dirt.

DARKNESS

***

LIGHTS

Silence

Night time

The sky is dark blue. The stars, stronger now, shine through the open window. 

In the horizon, the fire burns brighter than ever. 

Outside, the trees, with their branches reaching towards the window panes, are illuminated by the night sky. Their wailing is soft but deep – an orchestra of pain. 

The hangman’s noose sways from left to right – a pendulum.

The room is bare and wooden. In the middle is a bed. The shadows creep closer and closer. They whisper. Water drips from the ceiling.

(Drip

Drip

Drip) 

A MAN wakes with a start and looks around him wildly.

MAN: There is no escaping myself. This is really what suffering is.

(drip drip drip) 

(Silence)

(drip drip drip)

(silence)

(drip drip drip)

(A long silence)

Can you hear that?

(Silence)

Is it in my head?

(Drip 

Drip

Drip)

Or is it in yours?

(Drip

Drip

Drip)

(silence)

THE STAGE IS PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS 

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