Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
By Jason Britt
(singing Fiona Apple’s “Shadowboxer” in the dark… lights up on naked man, knuckles wrapped in bandages, blood in his hair, maybe high on some substance…singing)
A shadowboxer, baby
I wanna be ready
For what you do
I’ve been swinging
All around me
‘Cause I don’t know
When you’re gonna
Make your move
I thought that was a fitting selection, right? I mean the way you put these bandages on my hands it looks like I’m all wrapped up for a UFC fight or something. I mean, aside from the missing …clothing article… I suppose. Speaking of which… I don’t suppose I could get my clothes back at all? At least maybe my shirt? Getting a bit nipply in here… I mean, ok… I’m sorry about throwing my clothes at you… It’s just …It’s just …I ran out of everything else! And that was days ago! … Right? … I really have no idea. Let’s see… remember… remember when I did that rendition of “Shadowboxer” for you? That was at least an hour ago! Isn’t it time we put the past behind us? And let bygones be bygones? I’m just me and you’re just you …all of you. I don’t want to hurt anybody! We don’t need all this glass and bullshit between us! Let’s hug it out and squash this thing! Let’s sit down with a cup ‘o tea and talk about feelings and shit! We don’t need this gap to come between us and make you look at me that way while you nod and jot and make notes and confer with those shoes and that hair with the hands and fingers and pens circling and squaring off with paper and files and clipboard eyes swallowing me whole in every moment sucking me up digesting and shitting me out over and over in judgement!
(singing Fiona Apple’s Criminal)
What I need is a good defense
‘Cause I’m feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I’ve sinned against
Yes it’s another Fiona Apple song! I thought it was also fitting and appropriate for the SITUATION. Maybe I have a thing for Fiona Apple! I can have my guilty pleasures just the same as the next guy, but I don’t feel guilty about it. Not one bit. You think one of you fuckers could get me a goddamn glass of water? I’m feeling a bit parched. And I’ve got this sticky stuff in my hair. Wait. Wait. This is blood. Is this blood? Is this my blood? Wow. This. This. This is like Wild At Heart. A David Lynch film with Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern where he breaks parole, blah blah blah …There’s this freaky car accident at night yada yada and everyone’s dead except this girl that comes outta nowhere and she’s in shock and she’s all “I got this sticky stuff in my hair, I got this sticky stuff in my hair, where’s my lipstick, it was in my pocket, it was in my pocket, but now my pocket’s gone”, then she, then she dies…. she was real pretty too. Even with the blood coming out of her mouth. Maybe even prettier with blood coming out of her mouth in a way. Beautiful. Tragically beautiful. And they just left her there. Maybe she’s still there. Maybe she’s not dead. No… no… that was weeks ago. She was worried about the upholstery. Nicolas Cage was worried about the car upholstery. He was wild at heart and didn’t have any “Parental Guidance.” They touch on that a couple times in the film about he didn’t have any “Parental Guidance” as if that could explain or defend his actions or tendencies of reckless behavior. Parental Guidance. I had lots of “Parental Guidance”. Everyone I befriended growing up seemed to be able to do whatever the fuck they wanted…And I was peanut butter and fucking jealous. But it turned out that the reason they seemed to be able to do the things they wanted was because they lost a parent or their parents were divorced and fucking hated each other so much that they were susceptible to their child taking advantage of the situation by doing whatever they wanted through manipulation, etc… My parents, Father and Smother, on the other hand, are still together and…. love each other…. if that’s what you want to call it. Smothering me with their constant caring and love…Always wanting to be there…wanting me to be there, wanting to be there for me… was it unconditional? Is it really unconditional? Or is it based on the presumption that I’m someone they think they can love? I mean, we all have different sides of our personalities that we amplify more in certain company… and then certain parts of ourselves that we turn down the volume and hide, but is that… how much of all that is… How much of me can they really see? How much of me did they love? How much of that is complete bullshit and how much of that is the real me? …. IT’S EASIER THAT WAY… ISN’T IT? ISN’T IT EASIER WITH THESE MASKS ON? LET’S KEEP IT SIMPLE. Simple sally. Simple sally isn’t pally with the crackers in the alley. She’s a smacker and a whacker – wouldn’t dally with a slacker. Anyways, I don’t blame them. They were decent, loving parents. None of this is their fault. I turned out this way on my own. If anything they smothered me too much. Can that be used as a defense? Is there a precedent for that? Too much affection?
(starts singing Marilyn Manson’s “I Have to Look Up Just To See Hell”)
The light shines in the darkness, And the darkness will never understand it.
THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS WILL NEVER-
That one’s a little more obscure. You probably don’t know it. But I mean, How can you… how can you understand a thing … unless you can touch it? How can you be affected… unless it can touch you back? And when you ask for love… what do you really want? She would’ve liked my old man… Dear old dad and his belt. Spare the rod and you spoil the child! That’s the saying isn’t it? And then there’s the “This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts me”…wait. This will hurt me more than it hurts… them. This is going to hurt. This will hurt us both. This hurts. Affection. It’s all about love, right? Well, I’ve been talking for days now and none of you have said a thing. And I still haven’t gotten my goddamn glass of water, so are we done with this observation bullshit! Or is it time for another song? … very well…
(starts singing Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box”)
I’ve got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
I’ve got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice, your advice, your advice, your advice
This piece was written for Zombie Joe’s Astroglyde 2015 at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in Los Angles.