Nicholas Linnehan

ErosionPC

EROSION Sample. scroll down for the poem...

Scene 2: TO OZ

(Lights come up on ENSEMBLE.)

ENSEMBLE #1
Are you still with me? If not, I don’t blame you, I know it seems like a soap opera, but I promise this is true. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right? I hate that saying, which was probably invented by someone who never lost anyone. Sometimes it’s too much and you just gotta say…

ALL ENSEMBLE
”What the fuck?”

(Lights fade. When they come up. ENSEMBLE and EMILY are seated in a circle for group therapy. This is DONNY'S second hospital visit)

ENSEMBLE #2
Does this ever get better? Everyday I wake up with this feeling of dread and doom. I wanna stop be so god damn scared of everything! Worrying keeps me half the night and I'm just wondering will this get easier?

EMILY
It does and it will. Does anyone else want to share how they’re feeling today?
DONNY
Yes. I would. My name is Donny, I’ve been here four days and I don’t see the point. I'm feeling trapped and I wanna go home.

EMILY
Well, when we feel you’re ready. I'm sure you’ll be on your way.

DONNY
ITS BEEN 4 DAYS AND I FEEL LIKE I’M IN PRISON. I’m not going to try to hurt myself again, why can't anyone get that? They aren’t even giving me the proper medication for my disability here. Don’t you people know how to do your job?

EMILY (Unaware)
What disability?

DONNY
Cerebral Palsy.

EMILY
You're new here so I don't have all your records yet, but you don’t look disabled.

DONNY
Well, you look rational, but you’re not. I hate when people say that almost as much as I hate when people have the audacity to ask me, “How can you be gay and Catholic?”

EMILY
And what do you say?

DONNY
How can you be straight and stupid?!

EMILY
Point taken. You’re right, but it really is for your own good that you’re here, and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before you get the medicine you need. We just need to make sure we’re giving you the right things. Try not to look at it as a punishment, but a chance to learn about yourself Now does someone else want to share?

WILL
Well, first I wanna tell Donny that this is nothing like prison, I’ve been there I know. At least here you don't get frisked and probed 3 times a day. I’m actually afraid of leaving.

EMILY
And why’s that?

WILL
It just seems like I do so well when I’m in here and then I get out there, do well for a while, and then I eventually just fuck up.

EMILY
And, hopefully, we’ll help you learn some new skills while you’re with us to help you to better handle the problems that brought you here in the first place. And then maybe the outside won’t be such a scary place when you get back, okay Donny, Will?

(Bell rings)

Time for lunch.

(WILL goes to DONNY as everyone else leaves.)

WIIL
You’re new here huh?

DONNY
Yeah. How do you get through it?

WILL
It’s not that bad. C’mon let’s go see what they’re calling lunch today.

DONNY
OK.

(WILL and DONNY start to leave. DONNY stops.)

DONNY
Hey, can I ask you something?

WILL
Yeah. But I don’t kiss on the first date, hotstuff!

DONNY
Damn and I thought I was going to get some. No really, what happened to you?

WILL
I was born. (beat) Oh you mean the limp? I guess you could call that getting my just desserts. I was a druggie and I did so much heroin that it ruined the left side of me.

DONNY
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean too…

WILL
It’s Okay. I think it makes everyone else feel better about themselves because their addictions didn’t leave them disabled. Like somehow it makes their using better that mine. I bet you feel better now huh?

DONNY
Yeah, but not for the reason you think. It’s kinda nice to meet someone else with a disability.

WILL
Well look at that I’m here to detox and you’re here for suicide. But we’re both crips.

DONNY
Small world I'd say. Looks like we’re two peas in a pod.

WILL
A very fucked up pod, but yeah, I guess you’re right. Can I say something one crip to another?

DONNY
Sure.

WILL
If we don’t go get lunch, they’ll be none left. Some of these nuts forget that just because they have multiple personalities, they don’t need to eat for all of them.

DONNY:
Good point. To Oz?
WILL
Wha-

DONNY
You know The Wizard of Oz….

WILL
No no no, I get the reference. I just can’t believe someone loves it as much as I do. When I see it I'm a kid again and everything is right with the world just for that minute.

DONNY
YOU kidding? I feel the exact same way. It's my favorite. I’ve been in it twice (Imitating Cowardly Lion.) Put em up put em up.

WILL
Easy there lion, you’re scaring me.

DONNY
To Oz?

WILL
TO OZ!

ENSEMBLE #1
So, they say be careful what you wish for cause you may get it.

ENSEMBLE #2
I always heard that God works in mysterious ways. Well here we are. I'm getting help for suicide and in walks Will. My life stopped at that moment. Literally.

ENSEMBLE #3
Since we had nothing else to do we just sat and talked for a month. One time he even showed me how he taught himself to run down the corridor., with that little limp. He looked like a bunny hopping along. He was my bunny.

ENSEMBLE #1
I wanted love so bad, but in a place where everyone's cuckoo for cocoa puffs? Yeah right. But their he was and I was his. I thanked God for him every night.

(Lights up on WILL and DONNY sitting in the hospital. No one else is around.)

WILL
So you tried to kill yourself because of your brother-in-law?

DONNY
It wasn't just that. It's just...

WILL
It's OK. You can tell me.

DONNY
When Tim died it was just the icing on the cake.
WILL
Go on.

DONNY
I lost seven people this year. I mean they didn't all just die or anything. But nonetheless it was seven people.

WILL
That's a lot. What happened?

DONNY
Well, let's see my best friend moved to Ohio with the guy she met on the cruise that I paid for. I mean, go figure I pay for the cruise and she gets laid. What can be more fucked up?

WILL
Is she hot?

(DONNY just glares at him.)

Hey, just asking.

DONNY
Then, four of my closest friends wrote me off within three weeks of each other. Then-

WILL
Slow down. Tell me about the four fiends.

DONNY
They were all in a show together.

WILL
Let me guess. Drama queens?

DONNY
Will you let me finish?

WILL
Yea, sorry go ahead.

DONNY
Well, they got mad at me for writing a review that they didn't consider particularly flattering.
WILL
Wait, you're a critic?

DONNY
Yea, nothing big.

WILL
You kidding that's huge. I wish I was smart.
DONNY
You're no dummy. I mean it takes a lot to know how much heroin you can do before it kills you.

WILL
Asshole.

DONNY
You know it. But hey you're not stupid. I can tell.

WILL
You don't know me.

DONNY
I think I do.

WILL
You really believe that don't you?

DONNY
Yea, but more importantly, I believe in you.

(They go to kiss, but WILL breaks away)

WILL(uncomfortable)
So where were we? Oh yeah you were telling me about the people you lost.

DONNY(uncomfortable)
Right, then my dad moved to Florida.

(Lights come up on HENRY and DONNY)

HENRY
It’ll be OK. I gotta get going, my flight leaves in a couple of hours.

DONNY
You’re leaving already Henry?
HENRY
I gotta get back. I got work and don't you think you could call me dad?
DONNY
When you abandoned me to move to Florida you lost your right to be called Dad.

HENRY
Let's not start this again.

DONNY
Dad, please stay. Ever since you moved I have no one. You’re my best friend.

HENRY
Donny that will never change. I’m only a phone call away.
DONNY
It’s not the same.

HENRY (softer)
I know. I’ll call you when I land, okay.

DONNY
I miss you so much.

HENRY
Me too. OK. Goodbye Donny.

(HENRY subsides into the background. Lights come back up on DONNY and WILL.)

WILL
So you're dad just up and left?

DONNY
Yea, pretty much.

WILL
You said he was your best friend?

DONNY
He used to be. But once he remarried things changed.

WILL
Wow.

DONNY
What?

WILL
You're lucky.

DONNY
Hardly. Look he-
WILL
Would you stop feeling sorry for yourself!

DONNY
Excuse me?

WILL
I never knew my Dad. He left before I was born.

DONNY
I'm sorry. I didn't know. Did he ever contact you?

WILL
The only contact was the mug shot I found of him.

DONNY
Maybe, you should try to find him.

WILL
What for? All he used to do is drink and beat the shit out of my mom and brother. No- I have no use for him. He didn't want me and I don't want him. When I was little, I used to have this fantasy that my Dad would come find me. He would teach me how to ride a bike and how to hit a ball. You know, normal kid stuff. I kept waiting and waiting, until one day I found a note he wrote my mother calling her a useless cunt who was carrying a child that didn't belong to him. He was referring to me. I grew up the day I found that letter. I never thought about him, cared about him, or wanted him since. He took away my childhood. I mean how do you not want your own child? And all the drugs I did just don't kill the pain or the anger I have inside. I'm a walking, ticking bomb who's gonna explode. My Dad is the reason I use drugs, I just wanna numb the pain. Can you understand that?

DONNY
Perfectly.

WILL
Really?

DONNY
Come here.

WILL
What?

DONNY
Just come here.

WILL
Why?

DONNY
Cause I'm gonna hold you.

WILL
No, I'm no fag.
DONNY
That doesn't matter. Just come next to me.

WILL
You won't tell anyone? I'm not gay.

DONNY
Everyone's asleep. No one will know. Please.

(WILL moves closer to DONNY and slowly sits next to him. DONNY puts his arm around WILL and leans WILL”S head on his chest. WILL is reluctant at first, but eventually gives in and begins to cry.)

SSHH. It's OK.

WILL
You'll stay with me?

DONNY
All night if you want.

WILL
Look, Donny I should warn you now, you don't wanna get involved with me. I'm all fucked up. You're good and I'm not.

DONNY
Just relax and lay down with me.

WILL
I don't think that's a good idea.

DONNY
Everyone deserves a second chance Will, even you.

WILL
Nah, people have given up on me a long time ago and so should you.

DONNY
I'm not going anywhere.

WILL
Ok, but don't say I didn't warn you.

DONNY
I'm a big boy. I'll take my chances..

WILL
You're unbelievable, you know that?

DONNY
No, it's just the dimples. They work every time. Come, lay down.

(WILL lays down next to DONNY. DONNY puts his arm around WILL and lights fade.)
 
POEM
ENSEMBLE #1
It started with an eyelash.
A sign of luck and hope.
He took it off my cheek bone.
And it landed on his throat.

ENSEMBLE #2
Then he took my palm print
And put it on his heart.
Whispered secret words to me
Consumption in the dark.

ENSEMBLE #3
Then he gave me some of him
And clouded it in smoke.
I inhaled and he inhaled
But he inhaled my soul.

ENSEMBLE #3
He started peeling skin away.
Day by day, skin away.
Bringing friends along my way.
Day by day, skin away.

ENSEMBLE #2
But I was lost in madness.
And never saw the wrong.
I was eroded,
Corroded, imploded,
With precious moments stolen.

ENSEMBLE #1
Seconds of my life,
Minutes of my destiny
Hidden in his eyes.
Then he took the rest of me

ENSEMBLE #1
I was eroded.
Eroded like fields from flood,
With words and drugs,
And hopes and dreams.
Now what's left in front of you
Is what he left of me.

ALL ENSEMBLE
A broken heart, a puff of smoke
And an eyelash on his throat
With each tide that came in,
More and more of the sand of my soul went out to sea.
Erosion.

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