Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dido revisited

I have a question about this one. Do you know the story I have decided to re-tell? I only ask because, apparently, my teacher does not, this concerns me. Should it?

This is not finished, no, not at all.

The lock sounds like an explosion1 in her head as it slides into place. She rests on the coolness of the door waiting for the pain to pass. Long ago the queen ordered the conversion of this cave into her own place of retreat. One brass door opening into the mountain, double doors lead outside to the cliff, fire and sea. Hundreds of hours she has spent here. Watching the water vainly attempt to break down the rocks below is the only meditation she knows.

Slowly she makes her way to where Anna has lit candles, their light casting shadows on wall and floor. Her feet strike the damp mosiac floor, slow beating drums. Smoke from the fire outside creeps through the opening and into the cave, crawling up the walls only to dissipate high above leaving behind its bitter sweet smell. Dark, spicy and masculine.

She finds a hastily written parchment near the candles:

“My sister, my queen,

You will find some theriac on the table next to the pitcher of water. I noticed your pain when we met in your rooms earlier today. My potion should only be taken in small amounts, too much could prove fatal.

Everything you requested, all that I found, is near the fire, as you desired. Perhaps here you will find some comfort and closure.

I hope you will stay, one day forgive me.

Your sister, your servant,

Anna”

She knows that she will not take the medicine, this needs to be felt, cherished even. Dido smiles. Anna always searched for comfort, even in the darkest of moments, especially for her beloved sister.

Her sister has done well. Next to the fire she has placed his effects in an orderly fashion. Sandals and sheets, his capes, cloaks and armor all separated and on display. At the end of the bench are his dagger and sword. The painting, commissioned by the queen herself, a man with his back to the sea, leans against the rock wall.

His dagger she places in her belt and absently fondles through the night as the fire burns and the piles, pieces of Aeneas, evaporate into smoke.

The fire is low, soft even. The moon is high, bright and almost full. Sailors would be safe on such an evening, if sailors there be. She feeds the fire long into the night; relishing the destruction of each item. Only while the pieces burn is there relief, then it is gone. Nothing remains where there once was flame.

As the painting turns to ash in the fire, her beautiful lover melting before her eyes, Dido removes the dagger from her belt and tosses it in the fire. Only now do the tears begin to silently roll down her face.

Once she was the flame, now, the nothing.

Revisions of an old one...

This is the metamorphosis of the opening scene from a short play that I wrote several years ago, and never finished. I started working with these characters, among others, after reading a small news blurb online about authorities in Columbia arresting the worlds most prolific serial killer. I became fascinated with the idea of an ordinary man hiding a much darker side, and what happens to that man, and those he loves, when his dark side is brought into the light. These questions and I are not yet finished.


“Good morning. My name is Angela Gonzalez.” Angela stands in the small room, at the edge of the table, holding out her right hand, giving him a few seconds, then places her hand on the table. “I'm your court appointed attorney.” Still nothing, the man in the chair does not even look up at her.
She decides to allow the silence to grow. Retrieving from her briefcase a pad of paper and pencil, the tools of the trade, Angela allows the seconds to stretch onto themselves, she is in no hurry and her actions are designed to relay this information.
“And you are Luis Ui?” She says absent mindedly, as she shuffles through the complaint. This is not an uncommon occurrence for Angela, the initial silence, at least with the pro-bono clients. She already knows the name he has given the authorities is an alias, she even knows his real name, these things will take time for him to recognize, if at all, and only if necessary.
Putting down complaint, Angela takes a minute to examine the man sitting in front of her. She is not looking for the specifics, no, hair color, eye color, age, height, weight, these things she already knows from his processing paperwork. “May I call you Luis?”
As it is with all of her clients, he is poor, which is almost always a synonym for uneducated. Along with a lack of education often comes a lack of trust, a lack of faith in their fellow man. His real name, Garivito, not the alias he still claims as his own, suggests Latino descent.
He is small, not just short, but small, there is no fat surrounding his small frame, yet muscular, just on a smaller scale.
“Are they feeding you well enough? Is there anything I can get for you?” Slowly he looks up, no longer is the corner demanding all of his attention. There are tears in his eyes, he is not crying though, nor will he allow himself to blink, not until the moisture is no longer a threat.
Their eyes lock for only a second, it is Angela who looks away. Somehow the combination of strength and weakness in that one look has taken her breath away. Unexplainable, yet, undeniable.
“Do you know why you're here?”
Luis holds his hands to his chest, covering the “Property of Fulton County” patch on the front of his jumpsuit and sighs. “Do I know why I'm here? Do you know why I'm here? Porque estoy aqui? Saves porque estoy aqui?“ As if holding a small child he begins to rock himself back and forth in the chair. His eyes are now staring in the direction of the corner, yet, unfocused. “Te dan sufficiamente comida? Sufficiamente? Well enough?”
Looking straight at him, both hands flat on the table, leaning down towards the chair where he is seated. A stance of power is necessary. A show of fear, even in the slightest, would escalate the situation. “I'm here to help you.”
He suddenly stops rocking and speaks plainly. “Don't patronize me.” Slowly he turns his head towards Angela, and smiles.
The smile is contagious “I'm sorry” she says with a lilt in her voice. “How old are you Mr. Ui? May I call you Luis?”
Enunciating each word, giving them purpose and meaning like never before. As though he were speaking to a ghost, looking in every direction of the cinderblock room. “Will you stop with the questions? Questions, questions, questions.” Slowly, purposefully, exquisitely he begins to sway in his chair once again.
She takes a minute to sit, shuffling through the pages of the complaint, searching her mind, her training, for the next step. Seeking the right combination of authority and curiosity, hoping to keep any trace of her previous condescending tone from showing through in her voice. “Answer one question for me and I'll ask no more today. Simple enough. Do you agree?”
Like an actor in a role far superior to her ability Angela finds that her hands have little minds of their own, attempting to convey meaning with their movements, fluttering above the table, in front of her face and shoving themselves into her jacket pockets.
The rocking simply continues.
“Do you know why you're here?”
“Do I know why I'm here?” He quietly returns the question and resumes his rocking, refusing to look at her.
“Well, do you?”
Slamming his right hand on the table, his hand glides along the rim as if searching for an imperfection. He then begins tapping his palm on the edge. Luis continues to rock, matching the rhythm of his rocking with the tapping of his palm.
“I'm frightened.” there is no inflection, real or perceived, in his words. “When I get frightened people get hurt.”
Rather than tears this time Angela notices a bead of sweat rolling down his face, tracing his hair line and becoming lost below his chin. She is suddenly cold and can not help but pull her jacket closer to her body. Perhaps for warmth, perhaps for security? The only trace of her fear is shown in a quick glance towards the door.
Slowing his rocking motion “Two plus two is four, that's what God is for. I know that one.” Again, he slowly turns his gaze to Angela. There is something disturbing in the purposefulness with which he produces this slight action.
“Do you remember that one?” Once more his lips slowly turn into a smile, this time the smile reaches his eyes where there is a glint of genius quickly glimpsed by Angela. “My turn to ask the questions.”
Desperately trying to stay on topic, attempting to reestablish control of the conversation, Angela asks once more. “Do you know why you're here?”
“Two plus two is four, that's what God is for. I can never remember the rest. Tell me how it ends.” Luis asks in earnest.
“How it ends?” The words forming the question come out of her mouth before she realizes they are gone.
Her loss of control, giving him the lead in the conversation, allows Luis to smile, with a nod of appreciation to Angela. “What comes next? After God? I can't remember.”
Hands flat on the table, knuckles quickly turning white from the pressure she repeats her question. “Do you know why you are here?”
“Yes.”
“Will you tell me? Why are you here?” She says as she breathes a, hopefully, silent sigh of relief.
His eyes drift off back into the corner of the room, the rocking begins again, as if the past several minutes had not happened, any signs of playfulness from him are long gone.
“Because men with hats and guns and those, what do you call them? Those black stick looking things, they hang on their belts. I don't know how, but they do, they hang there until someone needs a good bashing. That's what they call it, you know, a good bashing."
“A billy club?” Damn, she did it again!
“Yes, a billy club. You win the prize!” With that he turns to fully face Angela, elbows barely toughing the table he clasps his hands together. “I'm afraid I don't have much to offer you. Limited funds and all.” He has returned to that playful character, the one which Angela is quickly finding irresistible in a repulsive sort of way.
“O.K., so, they brought me in here. Lovely room, don't you think?” He pauses, waiting for Angela’s reply, daring her to look at the room with the swipe of his hand. “Well, it may not be up to your standards but, compared to the rest of this hotel, this room is lovely, simple and lovely.” Their eyes meet once again. This time Angela focuses on the details, the length of his eyelashes, his clean shaven face, all in an attempt to calm something within herself. “Yes, simple and lovely, like you.”
Angela shakes her head, stepping back, trying to escape his touch as he reaches out for her. “Not this room, this is a jail. Do you know why you're in jail?”
Impulsively she begins packing her items back into the briefcase where they came from. Quietly, almost to herself. “I'm not a therapist. I don't think I can help you. You need a psychiatrist not a lawyer.”
“Lawyers get psychiatrists.” Luis states this as a he begins to stand, forcefully spitting out each word.
For a second there is no movement, no sound, only two people, each standing at opposite ends of a table, neither wanting to move first, neither able to stand still.
Angela resumes her packing, throwing a pen into the briefcase, not caring where it lands. “I sent one. You refused to talk to him.”
“I like talking to you. Your psychiatrist is, is” as if searching for the right word, while searching her eyes “well he’s a quack.”
“Quack?” Is all she can manage in reply.
His eyes are searching for something from her, her expression is left intentionally blank. “I like talking to you.” His words glide through the air, attempting to seduce her, pleading for tenderness.
Finding the anger within her boiling, rapidly rising to the surface. “That is not the point. I am a lawyer not a psychiatrist.”
Luis sits and once again resumes rocking in his chair, his eyes once again, staring blankly in the corner. “Two plus two is four, that’s what God is for. Two plus two is four, that’s what God is for.” The words slowly turn into a low humming emitting from the back of his throat, no longer words, yet the meaning remains.
“You do know. Don't you? Why you're in jail.” Angela asks as she sinks back into her chair, once again pulling her jacket tight against her chest.
Again, as if stating the obvious. “Yes.”
Digging through her briefcase in search of a pen. “Tell me about it.”
Suddenly, the rocking motion stops and all is still.
“You're not a therapist.” As Angela turns from her briefcase to look at Luis, knowing before her eyes see, there is a smile, no, a smirk, there is a smirk on his face, and there is.
Perhaps if she will let down her walls, shows him something more than a struggle for power, perhaps then he will begin to trust. “No, I think we agree on that much, I'm not a therapist.
I am, however, your lawyer and if I'm to come up with a defense for you I need to know what happened.”
“What are the charges?”
“You know what the charges are.” She waits, one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand. “Why am I wasting my time?” More to herself than the man sitting across from her.
“You have something better to do?” He asks as, in one graceful move, he puts his right foot up on the corner of the table, hands crossed in his lap.
Angela sinks into her chair, almost defeated. “I'm not sure. I mean, I do have other things to do.” Leaning forward she asks. “Will you talk to the psychiatrist if I send him back here?”
With his left hand he traces the arch of his nose all the way down and to his lips, slowly circling his mouth, deep within his own thoughts. “Questions, questions. I suppose that is what lawyers are for. Yes, I will speak with your quack. Under one condition.”
Angela snatches her briefcase off the chair, steps toward the door, quickly swings around to face Luis. Then, cautiously, she moves back to the table where she sets her briefcase in the chair and hisses at Luis. “You still don't get it! This is not a game.”
“Oh, but it is a game. All of this. Just one big game.” His voice booming across the table at her. Then gently now, “Just ask the Quack, Pedro, was that his name? Pedro the Quack. This is, we are, simply something to have fun with, something to make you laugh. Life, life is just a game. The more you enjoy it the more you do it, the more you do it the better your score. Are you ready for my condition?”
Angela can only nod.
“You will be here. That's all. You will sit right here next to me while I talk to that man. Do we have a deal?” He slowly rises from his chair holding his right hand out across the table toward Angela.
As if acting on its own volition Angela watches as her right hand slowly raises to shake the hand of a murderer. “Deal. Now will you answer my question?”
“Question?” He tilts his head to the side. “Two plus two is four.”
“Why are you in jail Luis?”
“Because, as your psychiatrist will inform you, I am insane. Nutty as a fruitcake. Nothing more, nothing less.” With that he sits in his chair, propping his foot on the edge of the table.
“What happened?” She can’t help but ask. Searching his face for some sort of answer.
“You'll know. Soon enough, you'll know.” That look, as if he sees straight into her soul. “Will you still love me?”
“Love has nothing to do with it.” As she straightens her jacket, retrieving her briefcase, as if it were a shield. “Listen, you are my client. Nothing more, nothing less.”
That smile again, no wonder so many people trusted this man. “Good girl. You're learning. When will I see you again?” He asks with a subtle pout and tilt of his head.
Angela again turns, this time motioning to the guard that they are finished. “With the psychiatrist. Soon. Good day Mr. Ui.” She says as the guard opens the door and she exits.
“Wrong again, my lovely friend, wrong again.” Luis whispers to himself, his eyes focusing on the corner of the room.

The Horse

No worries. Incredibly busy with work, school, kids, holidays, and health.
Me

For the past 14 months Susan has taken the dirt path leading north into the pasture beyond the mare’s barn to retrieve her horse. Even on the brightest of days this four foot wide section of beaten down earth remains in shadow. The fresh and clean fragrance of recent rain is perpetually replaced with the scent of decay. In the fall the gold, red, yellow, green and brown leaves blanketing the ground simply sink into the earth under the weight of a foot. A low sucking sound that pops, like a bursting bubble, can be heard as the boot is lifted. Susan hates this walk.

Today the barn boy, Susan thinks his name is Lucas, excitedly told her the news, his voice breaking as he addresses her “Um, Ms. Harris, I’ve got good news.” His mouth is so full of tobacco he must spit before he can continue. Susan imagines the brownish black ball of mucus must be what cancer looks like, on the inside. “Vet said she was all better, good as new, so we put her out in the field with the big horses.” Little plumes of dust are created as he shuffles his feet from side to side. “Says you can even sit on her for a few” Raising his hand to illustrate a stop sign “Sit, not ride, just sit, that's what he said.” With that he turns and leaves the barn.

Halter, lead rope, a hand full of oats in a bucket and she is ready to go. As she steps out the barn door Susan instinctively moves her sunglasses into position, protecting her eyes from the brutal sun. The walk along the roadway scattered with fall leaves is a symphony of sounds as the colors crush beneath her feet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Purse

“I think you should just take me to my mothers.” Caroline could not prevent the quiver in her voice nor could she stop he brown eyes from tearing up. A single tear runs down her face only to get caught at the corner of her mouth.

“I’m taking you home honey, we are going to get through this. Alright?” Taking his right hand off the steering wheel he reaches for her only to find dead air. There was a time when her entire body would have gravitated toward that hand as it reached out, that time is not now.

Almost in a whisper she say to him “He took my purse Jim.”

“It’s fine, I’ll take care of it. You won’t have to do a thing. I’ll cancel all the cards in the morning, put a hold on our checking account and buy you a new purse. You may have to go to the DMV to get a replacement for your drivers license though. I really should have asked them about that at the police station. Anyway, that can wait a day or two.”

“I want to go to my mothers.” This she does whisper as she leans her head on the car’s window, pulling her long legs to her chest she wraps her delicate arms around them, locking her hands. Watching the streets as the car silently moves closer to home and further from her mother’s home. The one place she believes would grant her the safety and security she must have in order to survive the night.

“What honey? Come on, what did you say? Caroline? I want to know.” These words are said with the patience of a man scolding a five year old child for mumbling.

“He could have hurt me, I mean really hurt me. I was so frightened.” This time there is no stopping the flood of tears from exploding down her face. Suddenly every muscle in her body is shaking, as if she were the epicenter of an earthquake.

“Oh, baby, everything is alright now. He did not hurt you. Lucky for us that patrol car came by when it did, yes terribly lucky for us. Come on now, stop crying. You‘re with me now, you‘re safe.” This time his hand reaches her elbow, resting there as if waiting for some secret signal to continue.

Shifting her position in the passenger seat, his hand returns to the wheel. “He knows where we live. I would feel better if we went to my mothers, please take me to mothers.” Instinctively this is said with power and purpose. Her please comes out more as a now.

Waiting for the light to change to green, he turns to her. Seeing his wife, perhaps for the first time that night. The beginnings of a black eye, her face from cheekbone to forehead is swollen , appearing blue in the dark car. Without uttering a word her eyes speak to him. Telling him all he does not want to know, all he chooses to ignore.

“I don’t like sleeping at your mothers. Why don’t I find us a nice hotel for the night. Everything will look different in the morning?”

“Everything already is different. Take me to my mothers, then you can go home.”

Monday, October 20, 2008

Easier said than done.


She slowly walks now, she feels as if her body has stopped any forward momentum. Leaving behind that short, well rounded, which is to say slightly overweight, woman and moving toward the end. She wonders if she is having an “out of body” experience. The thought makes her smile. Staring straight ahead her essence continues, moving away from that woman, in slow motion, continuing down the street.

Occasionally she hears things, distractions really, sometimes distractions can be good. The sound of a car door slamming, perhaps a bird singing on a lovely spring day. She suddenly knows, without a doubt, if she were to turn her head to the right she would see a baby crying.

He always wanted a baby. This thought does not produce a smile. Three years since he died. Three years of absolutely nothing productive. She needs this, for her, for his memory. Twelve years ago today they met, exactly like this. Well, not exactly, then she was young and full of life. This, finishing this will help her, somehow, she just knows it will.

Hot, so incredibly hot. She should look for a nice pub, somewhere with air-conditioning and good beer. Wouldn’t that be nice, to sit back and drink a nice cold one? “Later.” she promises her taste buds, we need to finish this first.

The water is good, pure, refreshing. Never in her life has anything tasted, or felt, so right, so perfect. She has no idea where the water came from. The water would feel good on her head, to just have it pouring down and through her short red curls, and engulfing her sweat drenched back would be heaven. And it is.

Picking up some speed now, close to the end, too close not to give it one last push. He would say “time to turn on the afterburners.” The body is screaming now, begging for relief, yet her mind refuses to budge. There is no better feeling than overcoming something, finding the strength and power from somewhere deep inside to keep moving.

Her feet are still moving. All she has to do is look down and know that her feet are still moving, doing exactly as she commands. The feet still move while the rest of her body, from her little blue eyes to her cute pink toenails, all else, wants to stop.

Push, push, push. The finish line is now in sight. Just a few steps more and the rest of her life can begin, finally.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And it begins... I hope!

This is for a class, and a grade, so please feel free to tell me what you think:

Its not that anyone was listening, she simply could not resist talking. “Spinach, sprouts, other green stuff, cranberries, pears, some almond shavings, sprinkle of goat cheese, with dressing on the side. Raspberry Balsamic vinaigrette, if you please. This my friends, neighbors and fortunate co-workers of mine, is how you make the perfect salad.” This last part being said as Laurence’s pudgy hips gently nudge her out of the way of the salad station with the single mindedness of a four year old getting into his sandbox.

Laurence the lion, king of the weeds. Jolene wonders, and not for the first time, how he ever made it into law school. Then again, the West Georgia School of Law didn’t exactly have a reputation for a stringent admittance policy. “Money goes in, lawyers come out.” That’s what the locals thought of the school. Not being a local, and having recently received a full scholarship, Jolene still allowed herself to hope for better.

Laurence may not have been the most studious of pre-attorneys, nor did he have a talent for “this whole business of bringing people food and drink“, as he often called it, but he had a kind and generous heart. His parents owned Coeurs et Fromage, and insisted that he work in the restaurant every weekend. If only Jolene’s parents had pushed her towards that type of responsibility, pushed her towards anything at his age... If only, if only.

No time for that now.

“Look out, watch it there, perfect salad coming through!”

Three hours later the restaurant is transformed from a bustling place filled with the smell of garlic and the laugh of good drink into something more akin to an apple orchard, at night and with a full moon. There is still the gentle fragrance of good times and better food lingering, yet quiet, dark and sanitized. Jolene sits at the bar with Javier, the dish washer, Laurence and his mother, Michelle, counting money, cursing the economy and trying to stay awake.

Michelle only hangs out at the bar after she and Javier are finished with the dishes and obligatory kitchen cleaning. Javier downs the last of his beer, a treat for those who work until the doors are locked, rinses his glass at the bar sink and puts his jacket on.

“Come on Dorothy, I walk you to your car.” he says as he places his keys on the bar.

Jolene can’t help but laugh, Javier has called her Dorothy since the first night they worked together. “My car is in the shop, again, Mr. Tin Man.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

4840 Miles


Is one hell of a long distance argument. Man, that sucks!

Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home from Helen, GA

It was wonderful seeing Richard, Denny, Zonker, Georgia, Rick, Kelly, the Senior Chief, Dax, Velociman, Key, little Key, RSM, Eric, the better half of Eric, Charles, and they guys at Auto Zone!

Now a few quotes, not necessarily in chronilogicle order:

"Stump!", "A good goat will do that", "CSI Helen", "Keep your change", "it's just 1/2 a mile", "WTF", "You came back", and "What religion are you?"

One thing that should have been said, and yet was not:
Richard is many a splendid things, mechanic is not one of those things!

So, many thanks to all for not hanging me from a tree for being a: comunist; marxist; left wing fanatic; socialist; democrat; and for still drinking with me! Can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tired, tired and a weeee bit sad.

So, it appears as if all of my "excitement and fun" is over for a few days. I can not even begin to tell you of all that has happened in the past 7 days..... but, I can let you see a picture or two.Honestly, did you think that I was joking about the ladies dancing in cages? No, it happened, it was there, it was wonderful.

The Eldest tried to get his revenge for not being cast. Luckily security arrived and escorted him from the building before the house was open.

Yes, I know, amazing, simply amazing!

These old guys were pretty gosh darn good too.

All in all, a very nice production. It makes all the difference in the world having an amazing technical staff and actors that know their craft! If you happened to miss it, try to make the show next time. I work very hard to make it worth the while.

Now, lets see what the Youngest was up to this weekend:



It seems as though his confidence has been restored this season! Turning into quite a good goal keeper. Did I tell you he is now running cross country just to improve his soccer skills? Well, he is.

Tomorrow we have a wrestling match, a cross country meet and a soccer game. I guess the Daughter could not find a horse show to attend as well, just to make it more fun finding gas!

I saw JJ off this afternoon and walked tiredly back to the car. The visit was very fruitful, new sink, new bathroom counter (almost complete), new shelving, yes quite the handy man he is. Best of all, I am now wearing a piece of clothing that once belonged to his great grandmother, how cool is that? Yet, I would trade all of these things to be next to him right now...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Death & Cages



I just wanted to share a picture or two of the set for our upcoming production of "Death of a Salesman":

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Death of a Salesman" - Call for tickets, limited engagement.

Tickets are on sale now!

Carroll County Community Theatre presents Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Directed by Michelle.

September 25-27 at 7:30 and Sunday September 28 at 2:00 p.m. in the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center Theatre. Tickets are $10.

Winner of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play, Death of a Salesman revolves around the last days of Willy Loman, a failing salesman, who cannot understand how he failed to win success and happiness. Through a series of tragic soul-searching revelations of the life he has lived with his wife, his sons, and his business associates, we discover how his quest for the “American Dream” kept him blind to the people who truly loved him. A thrilling work of deep and revealing beauty that remains one of the most profound classic dramas of the American theatre.

Carrollton Cultural Arts Center
251 Alabama St Carrollton, GA 30117
Ph: 770-838-1083
Fax: 770-838-9686
Email: plewis@carrollton-ga.gov
Website: www.cprcad.org

The ladies are in the cage and the strippers are ready! Don't miss your chance to see a one of a kind production!

FREE opening night, Thursday, September 25, 2008, wine and cheese reception sponsored by La Fiesta Warehouse!
Seriously... Food, wine, sexual situations and a night of theatre all for $10.00!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fannie, Freddie takeover - What does this teach?

Forget welfare, forget unemployment, pay no attention to bankruptcy, ignore any other bail-out you have ever read about, witnessed, heard about, or imagined, this is the one that gets my blood boiling like never before. This will cost the American people more than even I can imagine, wars can be won with less money, principles be damned.

What lesson are we teaching our children with this?

"Greed is good!"

Hell, that is the only thing this is teaching me!

Being an election year, with so many people on all sides effected, not one single politician that I have seen is saying "NO!!" Why? I honestly wish that I knew. Perhaps it is because the greed that is responsible for the current "housing situation" knows no bounds, crosses all political, economic, sexual orientation, racial, and fiscal lines, it is evenly spread and highly contagious. The simple greed that has caused this "crisis" comes from all walks of life.

From the builder and buyer, to the real estate agent, mortgage broker, mortgage company, appraiser, and secondary lender, right up to Freddie and Fannie, that is all it was folks, greed. Each and every one of them improved their lives via greed and now my tax dollars will finance that greed.

I never thought I would use that line "my tax dollars".

There was a system in place where everyone was making money hand over fist and those with the power to stop it either benefited from it or turned a blind eye. This was unique though, this system of greed was propelled from all angles and it disgusts me. Talk about the ultimate victimless crime, until now. Now each and every one of us will pay, even those of us who gained nothing from the crime.

The kick to the gut is this..... we will bail them all out. All, not just a few, those that knew how to work the system then, will work it now and continue to benefit to some degree. None of the criminals in this scandal will pay, there are simply too many of them. From the big mortgage companies down to the guy making minimum wage living in the 200K house, they will all get to keep the spoils.

What ever happened to knowing the difference between right and wrong and simply refusing to do wrong. Don't lie on the loan application, don't advise the buyer what not to disclose, stop pressuring the appraiser into raising the home value, stop caving to the pressure. Why did it just simply not stop, somewhere?

Jiminy Cricket is Dead, I will dearly miss him.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Train Stations

This is, admittedly, not the worlds greatest picture, it is, however, one of the first things I was privileged to see upon my arrival in Ostrava, Czech Republic. That little blob to the left is JJ running to rescue me, or rather my luggage.

I would have to admit to one minor flaw in my character... I am, still, at the age of 30+, incredibly naive when it comes to safety & the protection of valuables. That blob to the right, all of our luggage. I just wanted to get a picture of the walk-way before it filled up with people again...

This is the train station in Ostrava, I had just gotten off the plane from Prague and we were now on our way back to Prague via train. Which is another long story, one which I will save for later.

Yes, I had read in all of the travel books, brochures and web-sites to keep my belongings close to me, especially in train stations, so as not to loose said belongings to beggars and thieves. I just thought that information would only be pertinent once entering Prague. JJ thought differently. I am proud to report that, due to a more than diligent JJ, not one single item was taken from us during the entire trip.

The train was incredibly HOT, the air conditioner in our unit was not functioning, at all. Which is really not a big deal on a train, if the window in your cabin opens, ours did not. The perfect beginning to a dream trip? Well, actually, yes. I curled up in a ball and slept, leaving the "security" up to my trusty traveling companion. Trains are much easier to sleep on than planes.

Some several hours later, we arrived at the Prague train station, the wrong Prague train station...this we did not realize until the return trip. Another little piece of advise given in all the Prague travel related items we had been scouring through for weeks went something like this: "Taxi drivers are sometimes con artists, only use a reputable taxi service!"

So, we called a taxi. (This was only after following hand painted signs into a dark tunnel where sixteen men, were sitting at a table and enjoying a rousing game of cards. Suddenly, upon their seeing two obvious tourists, in unison, all of them dropped their cards and came running at us asking us, with sign language, passable English, and possibly other languages, if we needed a taxi. "No, no, we were just looking for someone, we don't need a taxi, thanks.")

So, out to the front of the train station.... where is the front, which is the front? There were two definite possibilities. We took turns "guarding" the luggage and checking the other entrance, and waited, and waited, and waited.

During one of my trips to "the other side" a young man approached me and said something like this: "Být příjemný darovat mne nějaký peníze , JÁ am hladový." In total frustration I began shaking my head and waiving my hands, much like the "fake taxi drivers" earlier. The boy just looked at me... I said "No, no, English, only English." with irritation, sadness and a touch of shame in my voice.

"Oh, OK, I was just wondering if you had a few crowns you could spare for a fellow traveler" says this young man in ragged clothes with dirty hand held out to me. Shaking my head and muttering no, no, I simply walked away........bilingual bums, who would have thought?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My little construction workers!


I needed help measuring for the new shelves in September, how much help can one mother handle?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Prague, at a glance







No words........ just a picture or two.








Monday, July 28, 2008

Rehearsal - Day One - Death of a Salesman

WOW, I can not say more..... well, you talked me into it!

This is a wonderful group of actors!

The art work is wonderful.... for whatever reason it will not allow me to upload.. but you can go HERE and find it in and among tons of other really cool art, which you should buy, really you should!

I think I have freaked the actors out with my vision... belly dancing, sex scenes, more dancing, women in cages, flying footballs, not to mention nudity. (only three or four will make it to the final cut) Hey, I want this theatre packed! Sex sells, it really, really sells..... Marketing, I need a marketing guru to come and save the day!

These actors are true professionals. I am, yet again, a truly lucky lady.....

Mark your calendars: September 25, 26 & 27th at 7:30, 28th at 2:00, Carrollton, Georgia! Bring a friend or eight.... we may even be giving away some cool stuff... not really, just wanted more interest!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sex Sells?


After passing this billboard a couple of times in our travels we were left with only two questions.......... what are they advertising and where can we get some?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

David Cherny - Art? Heck yes.


As JJ and I enjoyed a nice cappuccino and Turkish coffee with some honey cake we spent a couple of hours watching people react to this fountain..... the reactions were widely varied and most entertaining. Most of the visitors wanted their picture taken in front of the fountain, some in rather erotic positions. Many of the women, and some of the men, actually "held" certain parts of the statue.

Here is a video that JJ took in the weeee hours of the morning, before the stinking tourists appeared.


video

I could not get the stinking thing to stand upright so you will have to turn your head....

The fountain, is that the proper term?, stands in front of the Kafka museum, which we did not take the time or energy to view on this trip. We must save something for our return!

I can honestly recommend to anyone Prague as a European travel destination. Many times I hear people use the language barrier as an excuse not to travel. In Prague this was not a concern! Everyone we encountered, even in some of the smaller towns, knew enough passable English to make things run very smoothly. So. Go. Just Do It.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ostrava Bound!



I leave you with a picture of the picnic site awaiting me at my final destination this week.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Some pictures from the beach...



Although JJ was not there to do his photgraphic genious ... I think the Daughter did a fine job with my little camera here...

A new hat...

video
It is my honest opinion that Elisson has found a new hat...

Just listen to the laugh.

UPDATE:
I don't know why you can not see anything here, on my computer it is very light... close your eyes, picture Elisson in shorts, T-shirt and Dr. Seuss hat, all red, white & blue................... No, that does't work either.. hell with it, the post stays!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oncologist Visit

On each and every visit I had been confronted with incredibly strong women looking death straight in the eye and laughing. Most of my visits were filled with laughter, around the tears at times, but laughter none the less. I have to tell you that if any of your mothers, sisters, aunts, lovers or mistresses happens to need an oncologist and lives in the state of Georgia, I know where I would send them. These people are wonderful.

We planned a picnic during one of my visits, honestly planned a picnic while in the waiting room. It will always, for me, be the picnic that never was. Fantasy picnic, if you would. Two ladies awaiting test results, one for a preoperative appointment, one mother there supporting her 52 year old daughter and me. We were going to have a picnic, one day.

One of the ladies was from Italy, another's accent screamed New York, in a husky whisper she spoke of balaclava. My mouth was watering just to think of all the flavors from all of the delicious recipes promised at our picnic. We even invited a couple of the nurses who laughed uproariously and promised to join us. I was in charge of desert, visions of cheese cake and lemon meringue pie danced in my head, I promised these deserts would be some of the best I had ever made, even if only to myself.

It was not so much that we wanted to have a picnic, or even to see each other again that was so exciting. It was the planning. When people plan like we did, they want to know that there is something the next hour, the next day, the next month, the next week even the next year, something. Something was all that we were looking for. A fantasy picnic is what we found.

I know that cancer is an enthusiast disease, that it can, and will, attack those from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, sex, education, religion, income, and orientation, sexual or otherwise. It was practically the only thing that these ladies and I had in common, it was enough.

Monday, June 23, 2008

2000 Volvo S70SE - and it is mine

Well, after much blood, sweat and tears I finally have a reliable car that I would feel safe taking anywhere! I am a happy lady. Want proof?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Prague, Ostrava, Frydek Mistek, Czech Republic

I am once again asking my three readers to look into their knowledge banks and come up with some wonderful places/things to see on vacation.

The next trip will be to Prague, Czech Republic. Don't ask why, just accept that I go on some pretty cool adventures.We will spend five days in Prague, take the train to Ostrava and then onto Frydek/Mistek for a couple of days in the small town environment.

I already have my trusty Rick Steve's guide. What a cool job that he has! What I am looking for from you, my trusty reader(s) is insight into the real thing. I will, of course, hit the big tourist traps, but what about that little out of the way restaurant with the best espresso you have ever tasted? Perhaps it is an art gallery, or theatre you just fell in love with? I want to know. To help inspire you I will add some pictures which JJ has already taken in Ostrava and surrounding areas.















Thursday, June 19, 2008

100 Words, Again

I honestly hope that all three of my readers take a few minutes to listen, read or, perhaps, write something for what is quickly becoming one of my favorite contests.....FOUND HERE.

Dragon Strikes in Park

Early Monday afternoon newly formed Boyscout Troop 714, from Detroit Michigan, was planning a simple Fourth of July party, Mexican style. A quick meeting in the park suddenly turned to tragedy when the dragon struck yet again.
Volunteer parent, Janet Turner, was the only survivor of the attack. Troop leader, Melinda Cox, was heralded as a hero for using a pinata costume and distracting the dragon long enough for Janet to escape by building an airplane, according to directions found in the boyscout handbook, and flying away. The plane crashed, killing the other sixteen parents onboard.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Teacher


He was washing his hands. A simple act, one done millions of times, water, soap, scrub, wring, pool, rinse, rinse some more, turn water off, dry hands...

The simple things, the quiet times...that is when he finds himself, on occasion, thinking of her. The acts done thousands of times, the lessons he now gives, what he teaches his own.

“You butter the bread, not the pan.” or “The way a bed is made is the way the maker sleeps.” even “Floss before you brush, but only at night.”

With his hands dry, towel still in hand, he sits at the kitchen table lost in memory. Twenty two years without her, those years have gone by in the blink of an eye. So many lessons learned, remembered and passed on without conscience thought given to the source.

“This is what remains.” he thinks and smiles looking around the kitchen. Allowing himself to remember many of those lessons about food, about books, about babies, about life. Much was learned, more was forgotten.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

100 Words, its like the plague or something!

So, I was over at Ellison's site looking for tales of adventure. What I found was this little contest. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try...... a try is what we (I) ended up with....... will someone please tell me how to make a flipping MP3? GOSH! I have a story, pretty good story telling voice and no way to understand the technology to put the two together! I made a sound file.. ends with wav, not MP3.

Oh well, you can read my story below:

“Rode hard and put up wet.”

She heard it very clearly, chose to ignore. What good would come of confrontation? “Hell,” she thinks to herself with a chuckle “that weekend in New Orleans, 85, rode hard and put up was exactly what we were, and damn proud of it.” Her smile fades with the expression of remembrance, that was a long time ago, so long ago.

Years of the chase made her somber, not sober, somber yes. Head in hands now, red dreadlocks brushing the table, sagging bosom heaving with sobs. Another smoke, another shot, another night. Whiskey & me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Drunk Painting

A sport that I highly recommend! Depending on the results seen in the morning, this opinion is subject to change!

Now, off to cook dinner . . .

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Chair

"Have you ever been inspired by a chair?" She asks with that twinkle in her eyes, telling him more, all, and nothing without uttering a word.

"Perhaps I have, who knows?"

"How do you know?" She whispers. "What truly inspires and what is merely muddying up the water?"

"Why do you ask so many questions?" He says now with understanding, his lips do not form the smile lingering in his tone.

"Why do you give so few answers?"

He knows these are the words uttered, if only for his ears. Swelling with joy and sorrow, mingling within his blood, consuming his being.

"A study in contradictions." isn't that what she always said he was to her? Perhaps this proves her right, yet again?

His sun is setting. His sun.

Here is the proof,
of something more
of something less
of metamorphosis.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Little things

There is something inside my mind that is scratching to escape, to see the world a new, possibly it will change my world, possibly is will just be. But for now, it crawls, creaks, bangs and itches, just around the edges, looking for that escape valve that moves from the mind through the neck, into the arms, around the elbow, past my wrists, into my fingers, and, at last, onto the paper.

As soon as that happens, you will be some of the first to know.

New Purchase

It is rare to find a new CD in my collection, I prefer to "borrow" from those around me. Jack Johnson's new (to me) mix is nice, not much different from the last one though.. which makes me happy & sad. His music - now that moves me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm so excited!

Auditions for Carroll County Community Theatre’s Production of Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, directed by Michelle will be held on July 21 and 22 in the Choral Rehearsal Room of the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center at 7 p.m. Parts are available for 8 men and 5 women.

The debut of Death of a Salesman was greeted with enthusiastic reviews, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949, the 1949 Tony Award for Best Play, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Death of a Salesman is the first play in history to win all three major awards. Produced worldwide, the searing drama confirmed Miller as an internationally-known playwright.

Production dates are September 25-27 at 7:30 and Sunday September 28 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Feel free to contact Michelle to request more information.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Remember to remind me, please.

I rented Kite Runner and must say that I was terribly impressed. Some things were changed from what was in the book, but the essence, the feel of the story was there and wonderfully acted, for the most part. So, if you get the chance, rent it. Better yet, read the book!

Honestly, I nearly cried...at the end ... something that never happens with me and movies. OK, not never, Steel Magnolias can still make me cry like a baby, no matter how many times I see it. When Sally Fields is in the cemetery, my goodness!

I think that part of what was reaffirmed to me, tonight, watching that movie, the thing that I loved so much about the book and could never put my finger on. The main character was not a bad man, he was just a man. He made some mistakes, terrible mistakes that, I feel, he tried to forget/erase his entire life. He failed someone he loved, honestly who among us has not? We can not forget or erase those mistakes. We must learn to live with them, not to allow them to haunt us but to learn the lesson necessary and behave differently next time. He had to learn that he was more than the sum of his mistakes. Wouldn't that be wonderful, to know that we are all more than the sum of our mistakes? Not better, no one is better than their mistakes. But if we are changed by them, if something is learned, no matter how small, we are better because of them.

I am more than the sum of my mistakes, more than the sum of my past, more than the sum of what I have done or said, and more than the sum of the things that have been done or said to me. It is easy for a person to say that, and a much different thing to believe such is so. Right this minute, I believe what I write. Perhaps in eight hours I will need to be reminded of that belief and learn to have more faith in my own abilities.

Did you notice that I changed from first person, to second person to third person all in one post? Talented I is.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yesterday

I took several pictures yesterday of the Youngest and the Daughter. The Eldest was at the motocross track for his birthday, happy birthday kiddo!

This is only one of two that survived my virgin voyage of transferring pictures from new camera to computer. There was one of her and her father that was breathtaking, would have made a nice gift for her.

Needless to say I was incredibly disappointed with my self for flubbing up and loosing all of those pictures.

Until, because I had nothing else to look at I really looked at this photo. A thousand stories could be launched by this one image. Nothing is certain, nothing is clear. Not the time period, not the horse, age, sex, disposition, nothing to tell the viewer where we were or what we were doing.

If you look closely at her face you know the daughter is not old, what is she thinking, just beyond our view? Imagine the thing capturing her attention. Is she alone or surrounded by Indians? Spring or fall? Georgia, Australia, England, where are they?

I like it now, and will keep it and treasure it for the rest of my days.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Now, relax and take a deep breath . . .

Shit, fuck & Damn....

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, April 7, 2008

For three weeks . . .

I lived the dream:

I could see her,
the woman of dreams,
almost touching,
She and I.

Now she is gone.
I want her back!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Is it genetic?

These words came out of the daughters mouth Friday night. Hey, at least she knows the definition and how to use it in a sentence!

So, I've been having some health problems that lead to a bit of surgery this last week. Some of you may have noticed the lack of posting in these last few months.....

I really don't want to go too in detail, as those things do not matter, but could not resist posting about my daughter's first question when informed of the situation. The last thing that I wanted was for my children to worry unnecessarily about any of this, so I did not tell them until after surgery and an almost clean bill of health. It was easy with the eldest and the daughter, they stay with their father during the week, so I just rearranged a couple of weekends with their father, using Easter and JJ's visit as a excuse. The youngest found out while I was having surgery, and did a really nice job of keeping himself centered and positive, it helped to hang out in bed with me for about an hour when I came home.

I actually only told a hand full of people, really I could count them on one hand! Why, because it felt like mine and I knew how frightening those three words can be, cancer, specialist, rare. Come on, it took me weeks just to wrap my mind around. That first one is the most difficult to come to terms with. I know two people in the last couple of years who have died from cancer and more who are undergoing the roughest of treatments. It scared the hell out of me and I did not want to spread that fear too far. So, five people knew, if you are one of those five then your fit into one of two categories, I love you and needed your support or I work for you and swore you to silence.

So, all is well and, unless the doctors are keeping me totally in the dark, all will remain well as well.

Is it genetic?

I was really worried about telling the older two, not knowing how they would take having been in the dark for so long:

Their father brings them to my house for the weekend, which is rare, as we usually meet somewhere, I was just too tired to drive and, well, sitting for too long is incredibly uncomfortable at this point.

They come in and I hobble around a bit showing them this or that bit of improvement around the house (JJ could not stay still during his three week visit), I give the Eldest his birthday present, I will post about that at a later time, and we look at some pictures taken the last time we went hiking together, then we sit down...... I need to talk to you two about something. Stares and casual "OK, sure."

"A few months ago the Doctors found some cancer which necessitated that I have some surgery last week." I say with complete calm and much care. "What, Where, When, How, Why"... all of this from the Eldest, he has always been the need to know kind of guy. So I explain as much as I feel they need to know, tell them that we are basically out of the woods physically, and inform them that we will not be going bowling, or hiking, or any of our usual activities this weekend. Which makes them smile and giggle because they wanted to see a movie instead.

Then the silent one speaks, with a bit of a squeak in her voice, "Is it genetic?" How could I not love a 13 year old with that type of perspective on life?

One positive that came out of the situation: I haven't smoked in about a month. This was helped along by a visit to a hypnotist, believe it or not.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Today, tonight.

So, lots going on in the life of Michelle, so much so that I just truly don' t know what to think, feel, believe or, mostly, say. And it is thus that I explain my silence.

The play is done, finished, oh not completed, just without inspiration and therefore now being relegated to the drawer once more, to be pulled out, dusted off, and revised, once again, in the hope of a complete project. Shit, I hate that!

The munchkins? Wonderful, amazing, awe inspiring, frustrating and just in general perfect.

The eldest qualified for the State wrestling competition! Yes, this is his first year wrestling, yes it was a fluke of the numbers, and HELL YES it was cool. I have video of his second bout, the kid almost made it the first two minutes. I was truly proud...because he is my son, because he is amazing but more so because of the pride that his accomplishment instilled in his little sister. The daughter was in charge of the video for the event, she did a wonderful job:

The eldest walks out onto the mat, doing that little jump to pump himself up, the competitor walks out, this kid is built, shorter than the eldest, but built. All of a sudden the video shakes and we are now looking at the top of a seat and hear "Come on, your bigger than he is." The daughter, giving her encouragement.

The match begins with much dancing, the entire area around us is screaming the boys name, because they too know what an honor it is to make it to this competition for a freshman. So, they dance, for what seems like forever, a slap here, a grab there, nothing too aggressive, nothing too physical, these gentlemen are sizing each other up. All of a sudden, like a lightning bolt this boy is on my son, bending, or trying to bend, his body in directions in which the body was not designed to bend. Then he flips the eldest, not into the air, just onto his back.......things are starting to look rough for the eldest, the video shows the beginnings of a pin, and then a miraculous recovery by the eldest, he is out of danger, if only for a minute, everyone is on their feet, chanting, screaming and yelling: "Look at that! Did you see that! Go!" Most of all you hear the eldest's name being belted out by this high pitched squeal of a sound. The camera is jumping up and down, around and over, as it it has a mind of its own. She is yelling so loudly that hardly a word is understood, but the sentiment, oh yes, we hear that and its meaning loud and clear.

It is just a moment, gone and done in a flash, focused once again on the match at hand ........... which only lasted a few more seconds. But in that amount of time....I was proud, proud of my children for, once again, showing me that hard work and determination does pay off in the long run.

I don't want to leave the wrong impression........had this been any type of competition between the two of these, eyes would have been scratched out and no dirty trick would be left untried. But, when it matters, when everything else is taken away........my children stand for each other and everything that we have taught them, sooner or later, all of those good things, well, they do shine through, if only for a few seconds.

They left the competition with almost matching t-shirts. The difference? The daughters was personalized with this statement on the back "___________'s Little Sister, be afraid!

Is that cool or what?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

From JJ, I wanted a story about the color blue.

He was looking at him trying to remember what it was that led him into this place. Nothing that he could remember. The big blank in his mind, although he was certain that he has seen such thing before, he could not organize any meaningful thought around it. Why every part of his body was aching like he has been through the toughest time of his life trying to fight alone against an army? Was he too old already? Was he getting sick against all odd? Yesterday still he was feeling in a good shape. But was it really yesterday? Try to catch a detail something significant enough to use it as a starting point to organize his thoughts, restart his mind. In front of his eyes was passing pieces of details, memories, like those little pieces of paper that the fire did not destroy completely; big enough to guess what they were before but not enough to be sure.
He felt like he was a painful piece of flesh. What was he suppose to do with it? Who was he? Human or something else? It may sound like a kind of stupid question but imagine having a virgin brain only able to feel, what for now seamed pain only.
Try again! Something must have stick somewhere in a remote corner of his memory. Give it a little bit of time, try to relax and not push himself into more stress. What was he looking for again? Oh yes a detail, to help him remember why this pieces of images kept coming in front of his eyes. How long has he been here? What was it looking like? Impossible to say it was dark like in an oven. Oven? Where does that was coming from? There! That has to be an important detail. That must mean something to him. So oven and dark goes well together then. Do they really? It is time to stop doubting all the time. He has to stick with some thought process. The noise! He can hear it again! Something was shaking this place, he could feel it clearly now. It was rocking now! Voices? Could it be voices? Light! A ray of light was now entering this box! Wake up! Someone was screaming wake up. Lets go! I am going to be late! Late? Late for what? It was the last of his preoccupation at the moment! he was more concern about escaping this place. One more effort he must be close now. JJ? Someone was calling like a name! We have to go! The light finally enter completely the place and what he saw was amazingly captivating.
A big circle that was looking like it was moving and changing size, right there in front of his eyes! Besides the spooky shape the color was, no were, because it was such a beautiful mix of grays and blues that it would have been a life work to try to describe it. the voice again was screaming. But what was it saying? JJ we have to go! Why I heard myself saying? I am going to be late for my soccer game! Soccer game? The light was there and the image was focused now. So close in front of me, was this boy staring at me. Soccer game, The Youngest, the name of Michelle's boy. Then suddenly everything went back in place. What a night! I thought to myself looking at the room around me. But it was more than time to go, a boy wanted to play soccer. Life is all about priorities.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Isalakys Perfoulion. . . .

“Tell me your thoughts maman.” says the child as he continues to stir.

The bowl is of a material new to the child. It is not glass, you can not see through it, nor is it some type of metal, it is not as smooth as either metal or glass. How could an object be fragile and strong, beautiful and substantial, dense and heavy while at the same time exquisite and ethereal?

“Why, child, would the thoughts of one change the being of the other?” A playful lilt to her tone tells the child that he is being tested.

“Must you always answer a question with another?”

Looking up from the task at hand, eyes sparkling with mischief or intent, the child can not tell, Me‘re replies emotionless. “No, but with you it is more fun.”

“As compared to with who?”, the child asks with a sudden ferocity that startles Me’re to the core. “You are all that I know, I am all that you know, how could you say with me it is more fun? There is no one BUT me.” In a large sweeping motion the child grabs the bowl intent on slamming it to the floor, where he will pound and stomp on it with his feet until every piece is shattered to oblivion.

In a single wave, almost unseen by the child, that is brutal and precise Maman replaces the bowl to the table without it touching the floor and grabs the child, bringing him into her strong, and yet frail, embrace. Maman cradles the child with a tenderness and strength that is at once comforting and disturbing. Here the child knows he will remain until his fury passes. That is how it always is.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In a Different World I Loved You, Scene 8/9

Here is where it truly starts to fall apart...So, constructive criticism is welcome and encouraged at this point, please.

Scene eight: Same set as in scene six. Luis stays in his cell to watch the action. Boy's Choir is heard again singing before lights come up music fades as conversation begins. Angela is sitting across the desk from Gomez.

Alfonzo: You're telling me that Luis is crazy and yet refuses to plea insanity?

Angela: That's about the extent of it.

Alfonzo: And you want me to ask the court to find him insane against his wishes?

Angela: Exactly, there's precedence.

Alfonzo: So, with my help, you want to put him in some place where he can get out and do this again?

Angela: We both know you don't have enough evidence for the death penalty, or even a certain conviction. We go to trial he could be found innocent. Think about it. At Tippling they could help him. Give him the therapy he needs. Keep him away from society for a long time maybe forever.

In the cell we see Pedro enter and sit across the table from Luis. They begin a silent conversation. The solo pianist is again heard quietly in the background.

Alfonzo: As far as I'm concerned he's responsible for her death. Your client is now the prime suspect in the disappearance or murder of 114 children over the last five years. He confesses to 140 killings. I'm not going to help you set him free.

Angela: He wasn't even in the country when several of those children disappeared.

Alfonzo: You're telling me he didn't do it?

Angela: What I'm telling you is that he couldn't have killed all those children. (Pause) You started your investigation believing several people were involved. A cult of some kind. You're not going to hang all this on my client.

Pedro hands Luis a small package that Luis hides under his shirt.

Alfonzo: Hanging's too good for the likes of him.

Angela: You can't be certain he's guilty.

Alfonzo: I can't?

Angela: Just hear me out. When the boy in Tunja was killed Luis was in Quito, Ecuador. Three of the disappearances and murders in Villavicencio happened when I have documented proof that Luis was in Pasto, working. None of the 27 bodies found in Valle de Cauca have been definitively, forensically, linked to my client. In fact you had no confession from him on those cases until Gomez asked him about them.

Alfonzo: Angela.

Angela: Here, this is for you. It's a timeline I'm working on. I'll tell you one thing, he did not kill all of those children! Please, as a favor, look into it.

Alfonzo: The task force has been disbanded. As far as we were concerned it was a clean confession, why would he lie?

Angela: Your guess is as good as mine. I'm trying to get through to him. Look, there is no doubt he killed many, possibly most, of these children but not all. Don't you see? If he didn't kill them someone else did.

Alfonzo: O.K., I'll get Gomez to look into Velle de Cauca and Villavincencio some more. You still need to understand he is guilty and dangerous. This is a game to him.

Angela: The time for games is over. Have your Doctors talk to him, see whether they thing he's sane enough to stand trial.

Alfonzo: You're asking a lot.

Angela: It's important.

Lights slowly fade as a voice of a child is heard reciting the following:
Two plus One is Three. Nothing in life is free.
Two plus Two is Four. That's what God is for.
Two plus Three is Five. No one gets out alive.
Two plus Four is six. Nothing He can't fix.

Scene Nine:
Set from cell again. This time Luis is lying on the table as if it were his bed. Lights instantly come up as Luis bolts up from a nightmare and screams.

Luis:
Two plus One is Three. Nothing in life is free.
Two plus Tow is Four. That's what God is for.
Two plus Three is Five. No one gets out alive.
Two plus Four is six. Nothing He can't fix.
Two plus Five is Seven. Bad boys don't go to heaven.
I know the rest. Two plus Six is Eight. . .

(Pause) Almost done. Come on,

Maria: (Entering) Anything I can help you with little brother?

Luis: (looking around and not seeing Maria) Who's that? Where are you? (Pause) Maria?

Maria: Did you have a bad dream?

Luis: Help me!

Maria: With what little man?

Luis: Heaven, what comes after heaven?

Maria: Two plus six is eight. . .

Luis: Hurry don't be late!

Maria: Yes, yes, don't make us wait.

Luis: No, no, never.

Maria: Why did you do it Luis? Why did you hurt my boys?

Luis: Made you stop. I win this way. (Laugh) I got more than you did! I win! (Laugh)

Maria: You cheated! Cheaters never will! Brother will punish you!

Luis: Don't you see? The game is over and I won. I couldn't let you win, I couldn't let you hurt any more, no not you.

Maria: You broke the rules! Rules are important, brother said so, we are nothing without rules.

Luis: I don't believe in the rules any more Maria. When you don't believe anything is possible.

Maria: You're alone now, you cheater!

Luis: I win, you loose, now get out!

Maria: (slowly backs off stage while repeating this line) Two plus Seven is Nine. Two plus Seven is Nine. Two plus Seven is Nine. (Laughs as she gets off stage.)

Luis: Wait, I'm not finished with you. Maria!

Fast to Black

Dribble

“I remember nothing.”

That is a lie, one that makes her feel better in many ways, one that makes this new existence easier to continue to the next, and beyond. That is the lie that was once the truth. The lie that must continue if only to find where it leads. To remember and honestly see could, most definitely would, be far more difficult than the here and now. She remembers nothing. She thinks she hides her awakening from all, illusions are at times necessary for continued life.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In a Different World I Loved You, Scene 6/7

Scene Six: Set is a desk and three chairs placed so that the audience can still see the jail cell. Gomez is sitting at desk talking on the phone. Luis is in his cell. Children saying Patty Cake, Patty Cake etc. . . begins as soon as lights up when they get to "fast as you can" Gomez begins talking and rhyme slowly fades as Pedro enters while Gomez is midcnversation.

Gomez: Yes sir. I understand sir. I have children of my own. (pause) No, I can't imagine what you are going through. I understand. All of the. . . children, have not yet been identified, yet. It may take some time sir. Yes. Please tell your wife that you are in my prayers. Thank you. Try to get some rest. I'll keep in touch. (hangs up phone)

Pedro: May I? (pointing to chair)

Gomez: Be my guest. I've just finished your report. Startling. Can't imagine finding my children like that. No wonder she lost it. What else can you tell me about her?

Pedro: Not much. I'm not her doctor. They had her sedated at Tippling last I heard. Heavily sedated.

Gomez: What about him? This Luis character? Do you think he did it?

Pedro: Up to a jury. I can't talk about that.

Gomez: Guess Angela will be pleading insanity. Try to make the jury believe he didn't know what he did was wrong.

Pedro: He'll have his day in court.

Gomez: Can't blame me for trying? (pause) Why are you in my office? What do you want? I have work to do.

Pedro: Just a visit between friends, we are friends remember. I thought we could do lunch.

Gomez: Can't today. Things are still busy, matching victims to dental records and all that fun stuff.

Pedro: So, with Luis's arrest I suppose the Ritual Slayings with multiple perpetrators theory is debunked?

Gomez: We still have several other missing or murdered children to investigate. (pause) Honestly, with his confession, I don't know.

Pedro: How are the kids, your kids?

Gomez: They want to know when I'll be home for dinner.

Pedro: With Luis in jail you should take some time to be with them. You have your man in custody. His confession should have cleared most of your open cases. Over a hundred and forty, wasn't it?

Gomez: It's not that simple.

Pedro: Yes, it is. If you don't relax and smell the roses, as they say, you're no good to anyone, not your family, not the department, not even your friends. You got the bad guy, take some time for yourself.

Gomez: You just want someone else to beat ion the court.

Pedro: Now that you mention it, how about tomorrow afternoon? We could play, then I'll take the whole family out for a nice dinner. Kill two birds with one stone.

Gomez: Next week is possible, tomorrow is not.

Maria: (offstage) Get your news here! Hot off the presses! Paper sir? Columbian killer confesses! News here! Mothers across Ecuador and Columbia breath sigh of relief! EI Loco in jail! Get your news here! Hot off the presses!

Pedro: What do you know about nursery rhymes?

Gomez: Nursery rhymes? Like "Little Boy Blue"?

Pedro: You have kids, I need to know about nursery rhymes. Specifically, rhymes that teach addition. Do you know any?

Gomez: What? Do I look like Mother Fucking Goose?

Pedro: Mother Goose?

Gomez: (laughs) You're serious? My wife says that nursery rhymes were originally designed to frighten children into proper behavior. We don't do nursery rhymes.

Lights slowly fade as the voice of a child is heard reciting the following twice:
Two plus one is three. Nothing in life is free.
Two plus two is four. That's what God is for.
Two plus three is five. No one gets out alive.

Scene Seven: Jail room is placed as in scene three. When lights come up Margaret is seen sitting in one of the chairs staring out into nothingness. She is humming a simple tune to herself and is startled as Luis is lead in to the room. She stands and holds her arms out. Luis sits rather than hug her.

Luis: How nice of you to come and visit.

Margaret: I would have come sooner but they refused to let me.

Luis: I understand.

Margaret: Luis, what is going on? The papers are saying terrible things about you. I don't know what to do.

Luis: Get on with your life, forget me and all this.

Margaret: Forget? How am I supposed to forget? I love you. Am I supposed to forget that?

Luis: You don't love me.

Margaret: We can get you out of this. I'll hire the best lawyer money can buy. They don't have enough evidence for a conviction.

Luis: I have a lawyer. They have a confession.

Margaret: She's not the best. Please, just tell me you're innocent and I'll do anything to get you out this place.

Luis: (pause) I can't tell you that. (solo pianist begins to play)

Margaret: Yes you can!

Luis: Don't you see? I can't. That wouldn't help, not now.

Margaret: What?

Luis: Listen, I'm going to ask you to do me a favor. Can you do one thing for me?

Margaret: Anything.

Luis: I want you to go to Tippling and visit someone. Just tell them you're her sister in law.

Margaret: Who am I going to see?

Luis: Her name is Maria Alftedo, my sister. Give her a message. Make sure she understands the message is from me.

Margaret: Your sister?

Luis: Tell her to visit Mother. Tell her to go the same route, she can find her. Everything is taken care of

Margaret: I don't understand.

Luis: Pretty Margaret. (touches her face) She'll understand.

Margaret: And then what? Will you let me hire a lawyer?

Luis: No, my love, no lawyer needed.

Margaret: Luis!

Luis: Don't you see? It all ends here. Made sure of that. No more blood to ruin innocence. It's all over now. Or, will be soon.

Margaret: What's all over? You're confusing me.

Luis: Deliver the message, the sooner the better. (stands) Don't visit me again. Relax and smell the roses, as they say.

Margaret: You love me!?

Luis: In a different world, I loved you. (pause) But that wasn't me. Not really me. Now, go, get as far from here as you can. Nothing he can't fix.

Margaret: (as Luis moves her towards the door) We can still fix everything?
Luis: I'm working on that. (Margaret exits and Luis faces audience, music stops)

Fade to Black

Show in June 2007

Show in June 2007
Daughter of the Year!