Sealove, Manager

A PostPunk, Hip-Hop, Musical

or something

by Sander Hicks

VERSION: Post Tour Revisionism 3/26/98










Sander Hicks


98 Suffolk St #3A, NYC 10003


Act I

Scene 1

Sealove mowing the lawn, singing as if for an engine that is not listening.




















Lights up on Joe Joe, in a backwards baseball cap, in the house, upstage, playing bass with large sweeping disonant intervals.



















Sealove looks up at Joe Joe, keeps singing and mowing:

Key Change - Modulation up to melody starting on the A here, not the F#























Sealove stops the mower and the music thus also stops. Joe Joe stops playing .

Sealove sings, back down inthe original key:






He takes off the bag from the mower. Joe Joe comes downstairs.

Sealove You didn't think I could still be lazy. You thought I was too old to get lazy. So did I. But what do you know. I suddenly feel lazy.

Joe Joe Dork. Of course.

Joe Joe Enters, with a skateboard.

Sealove What?

J You said you never did coke.

S I'm not straight anymore. I told you that. You get older, you try everything.

J You get fat, happy and disgusting.

S You get tough.

J And you know what's in your fat.

S If I was starving, I'd have something to burn.

J POT you Pot belly yuppie. DisGUSTING. Oh no, it's a natural high. It's brain poison. Can you remember my name?

S Joe Joe

J Look at you. fat shiny as a plastic beer beach ball. Something outta the Quick Stop out at Seven Oaks.

S good place to skate, right?

J You won't see me buying anything.

S But you profit from the plastic stuff sold there, just being there, you profit off the asphalt. You love Quick Stop. You love that kind of architecture, skating around the commerce of the beach balls and the beer.

J [skating a little] Yeah!

S Imagine the managers there. [Joe Joe guffaws] They're working with a profit and loss statement. You call it your P&L. You manage with the P&L. You get it every month, you can see. It get's pretty tight. Even if you used to skate, suddenly you don't really need skaters skateboarding in the parking lot without buying anything. The older, paying people don't like it, you're adding a hassle, hassle is loss.

J Go back up north, old man

S This is where I was born

J Take a shower

S I am mowing the lawn

J You mowed the lawn yesterday.

S I'm mowing the lawn, and I like to be sure I'm doing a good job. It is definitely under control. The lawn is my responsibility, now.


What's your responsibility?

J I work at the Snack Bar. When I take a five minute break, I swim. When it's this hot. You're bugging me with the sound of the mower, every day.

S Joe Joe! Look, it's Sealove, Manager. The greatest manager of our time. The manager with the philosophy to make it happen. Sealove, your brother has returned home, for the summer, maybe forever. Don't you see the potential here?

J You used to live here?

Sealove stops.

S Of course. I'm your brother.

J When? I don't remember.

S You were nine.

J If I can't really remember, how am I supposed to talk about this?


S I'll be done soon. You wanna go to the comic book store after?


J I'll think about it.


Scene 2

Early in the morning the next day. Mom is dressing Sealove for mass, They are in what is now Joe Joe's room. Joe Joe is dressed already, sitting up on his loft bed. Mom is picking out horrid, old stuff from Sealove's old closet. Sealove is trying things on .

Mom Have you been drinking enough fluids?

S Yes

M The radio said it was 96 yesterday.


M Try this one. Your godmother got you this, remember?

S Really? No.

Sealove ties the tie.

Mom stands back, takes him in, clothes-wise, doesn't like it.

M It clashes with the pants

S Yeah

Mom takes the tie off, adjusts the collar. She goes to the closet

S What mass are we shooting for?

M The 8:30. I always think the church is cooler, earlier on in the day.

S Cooler?

M Not as muggy

S It's air conditioned

M Still.

She comes back from the closet with yellow yuppie dotted suspenders and matching bow tie.

M Try this on. You always looked smart in this.

He begins tieing the tie. She looks at him , split focus, in a mirror.

M Did I tell you Phil Sherry is in his third year of law school down at UVA? And just loving it?

S Of course.

M Says he's no longer interested in going into politics, though.

S Sure

M No really, he has changed. You'd really like him now.

S So he went to charm school....

M Listen, he's going to be going places and he's an old friend of yours.

S He was a friend of mine in fourth grade. I knew I hated him by the sixth.

M I didn't care for him around then too.

S And all throughout high school.

M But he's changed now.

S So have I.

She looks up.

M We're going to be late for mass.

S Then let's hurry up.

She brings him his blazer.

M I hope in all of your New York life you were still trying to make sense of it all.

S Definitely.

M Remaining open.

S Always.

M Searching. I pray every night you will rediscover your faith.

S It wasn't faith, it was belief.

M Of course. But you have to have faith.

S I have faith.

M you said you don't believe in God.

S I... Well I don't believe in...this. Where we're going..

M Then why do you come along?

S You said I couldn't live at home unless I came to mass every week.

M I don't just want you to come along for the ride. The Lord doesn't need your hollow prayers. I want you to have your life together. Our souls are not at rest until they rest in you O Lord.

He sings, he goes to her:

S Death! and if not Death, at least a close trim! Have you applied to be a CIA assasin? Have you misplaced your passions?

M Sometimes I wonder what's gotten into you. I mean, what's gotten inside you, do you hear what I'm saying? What happened to the Christian values you were raised with? What has taken control over your soul?

S My mind. I am a manager.

M There's room for everybody in the house of the lord. Socialists, Managers, "New Waves," everybody.


S We're going to be late. I don't consider myself on time unless I'm five minutes early.

Scene Three


Sealove, Joe Joe, and Mom enter the church. As Processional Music :










Mom's solo:

He is money to the poor and needy

He is peace of mind to the rich

Some boys of this world are too good to believe

It must be the sexual itch.


Some say there is no God

Some say he's just a old trend

But when you say God, Think of your Kick-Ass Dad!

Your Kick-Ass Dad never bends!







Father Bob and Joe Joe as altar boy come up the center aisle.

Father Bob:

Imagine him coming in glory

Imagine the people that are wrong

Imagine those people down in the dark pit!

We'll still be singing this song:











Music ends. Father Bob addresses the mass of all gathered.

Fr. Bob Peace be with you.

Mass And also with you

FB Boy are we in for it today.

Mass We are?

FB The humidity, I mean.

Mass We'll be inside.

FB Watching the game?

Mass Of course

FB Well that's a good starting point for my sermon today.

He adjusts his posture.

Imagine a bookie that knew the outcome of every game.

Wouldn't you want to place your bets with this bookie?

Don't you think you could sort of see it in his eyes

when you were trying to beat an impossible spread?

And I do mean impossible. Imagine him.

This is a bookie who knows the outcome.

He decides the outcome, the winners, the losers.

He decides who is kick ass, and my friends, who is not.

Mass AMEN.

Father Bob: My friends, this bookie is our God. He is the Father.

He has a Son who is also the Father.

And He is also the Spirit who is also the Father, as well as the Son.

And He is the book maker. He is the word.

We can say nothing without the word.

I can not speak but for the book maker touching my lips.

Mass AMEN.

Father Bob: So boy are we in for it today. Stay inside, I tell you

It's gonna be a scorcher.

But if you do go outside, at half time, go with God.

Mass AMEN.

Music. Joe Joe and Mom present the chalice and bread up the center aisle. Father Bob takes the gifts to the altar. Begins the consecration, everyone is silent.

FB Just like Jesus, we are unsure. Just like Jesus, we live in a world of strange powers. We can pick up the sword or we can break bread. Jesus broke bread, and breaking the bread said, take this, all of you, and eat it. This is my body, to be given up for you. Not to be given up to you, this is my body to be given over to Rome and the soldiers. To be given back to you when Rome is done scourging and injecting it.

Mass Blessed be God forever

FB This is the cup. Cup of ever-lasting life. Should we drink from this cup? I don't know. Jesus said we can either drink from the cup or we can put it down. You can pass it, it's up to you. But if you drink from it, believe this: living forever means God knows eveything you do. If you're in heaven, this isn't bad. But If you are damned, well, you might wish you had not drunk from the cup of everlasting life. I don't want to tell you what to do but...Fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become for us our spiritual drink.

Mass Blessed be God forever.

FB This is the body and blood of the most high, Jesus Christ. What do you know?

Mass Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

Everyone lines up to receive. Father B holds up a wafer, says "Body of Christ," and each says "Amen." First the Chorus Leader, then the Chorus. The Chorus goes back and plays an instrumental, passionate version of the verses of God Is Kick Ass.

Sealove and Mom go up last , he is hesitant as they approach up the center aisle. Suddenly he stops.

Sealove I am a manager.

Mom You got fired

S I don't believe in God.

M It's not you do or you don't. You need to, that's pretty clear.

Father Bob: Either way. You can never really be free from doubt. And it's not essential that you are. Body of Christ.

Sealove I want to imagine myself on death row, walking down the last hallway, about to be executed, like Christ was executed. This is my body, convicted, and about to be executed.

Joe Joe This is my body, soft as a lamb but not as innocent.

Mom This is my body. All I want to do is something good.

Joe Joe You're a virgin if you don't have sex with somebody else

Are you a virgin if you have sex with yourself?

Seven times seven I've had my lucky, virginal self

This is my body, soft as a lamb unsure of itself

Sealove Did I really believe that was the body of Christ?

I did I remember it now, white in my eyes

Now what does that say about my will to believe

This is my body and mind: employable, easy.

Father Bob Body of Christ a truth all alone

Executed yes, but spirit enthroned

In the world that ignored him, that forsook its own

This is my body, salvation gunned down by Rome

Sealove I want to believe but I know I can not

And I want to receive just like I was taught

Its true I was fired, but when you get hired

You'll say you believe anything, whether or not.

Father Bob Body of Christ.

Sealove Amen.

He receives.


Scene Four

Joe Joe and Sealove outside the church.

Joe Joe Watch this.

He kicks it:

God is a pod

in space waiting for me

the cool side of the pillow

when I fall asleep

He is the fabric

once it is cleaned

the feel of the cotton

the smell of the bleach


God is a dream

You choose to believe

You believe in dreams

out of a need

I did too

we've had the same dream

Blank spot there now

the color of bleach

Joe Joe:

I love the smell of the bleach

like the smell of a beach

orange and fresh

my first memories?

God is a pod

in space waiting for me

The cool side of the pillow

When I fall asleep

And if not God what?

what crawled up your butt?

God never hurt you

the door ain't shut.


Am I a fool for thinking I'm free?

Will I be broken for choosing my dreams?

God was a Pod in space waiting for me

But I've gotten picky and prickly about what I believe.

Joe Joe:

Who do you talk to as you fall asleep?

the soft fabric?

the smell of the bleach?

God is a rod

to swipe at the teeth

the milkweed pod

floating in the breeze


Those things are things

no character to cheat.

Joe Joe:



You personify things

Can't you see anything

not in the context of you...?

Joe Joe:

But what makes me me?

In line for communion you chose to receive


It felt right somehow, to suspend disbelief

Joe Joe:

But did you really receive him, did you really believe?


I remember well I used to believe

Joe Joe

Who are you?

What have you seen?

I am what seems true in the best of my dreams.

A sense warmer than feel

Realer than Real

I dream, I scream

of a Thing without seams

God is a pod in space waiting for me

The cool side of the pillow when I fall asleep

He is a ship

and though I may trip

someday I'll return, he'll recognize me.

MOM parks the car and exits.

Scene Five

Joe Joe gets ready to go to work.

Sealove The smell of bleach and sugar cereals. America. What's for brunch?

Joe Joe Dorkola, I gotta go to work.


Who's your manager?

They probably

trained under me.

What's the name of your manager?

They started us at two an hour

What are they paying now?


I don't want to know anything

I just gotta go to work soon

I don't want to work in the Snack Bar

I don't want to start to know how to work


You've gotta know all you can

The more you know, the more you make

If you don't want to know

You yourself will be nothing to know.

Joe Joe

I have a couple of managers

Plus some I don't know their names

How should I know if they remember you?

I don't remember when you lived here last


I want to know you

I want you to remember me

I want you to know who I am

I am not from here, although I lived here

Ten summers ago

I built a ramp

and I skated late at night out under the lamps.

You were four, you were bored

You were as fun as a houseplant

But you watched me from upstairs

Falling from my first ramp.

Joe Joe

Yeah, my brother Sealove was a skate-punk

But now he's 'a manager', head full of junk

But you're not my boss, and I'm just your bro'

We both live here now, That's all I know

Sealove, one octave higher:

You admit a lot there,

But Puppy Child, there is more

maybe, I can show you.

Call in sick to the Snack Bar


I don't want to know anything

Nobody calls me "Puppy Child" anymore

I don't want to work in the Snack Bar

I don't want to start to know how to work


we...we could go for a ride

Do you want to go for a bit of a drive

we...we could go for a ride

Do you want to go for a bit of a drive


As long as we stop,

at the comic book shop

Anything worth knowing,

is in the ink drops

In the non-adult section

of the comic book shop

Everything worth knowing,

worth making the stop.


In the non-adult section

of the comic book shop

Everything worth knowing,

worth making the stop.


The music of this exchange builds as lights fade.

Scene Six . The Creek.

Enter Sealove, Joe trailing, reading the X-Men.

Sealove I remember when that place was just baseball cards and coins.

Joe You're talking like an old fat guy again.

Sealove Well I once bought this rusty old coin thing there, I mean it looked like it was uh...a bottlecap caked up with all this corrosion. They said it was from Ancient Egypt. I said "How Can You Be Sure?" The guy said, "Because it's my business to know these things."

Joe Joe Uh huh

Sealove I bought it. I took it home, taped it down into my book. With a ball point pen, I wrote next to it, Ancient Egypt.

Joe Shouldn't you be like, reading the Help Wanted section, back at home?

Sealove This place is important. Even more than the comic book shop, if you'll believe me.

Joe I've been here a million times

Sealove But have you ever been this far up?

Joe Up the creek? Up shit creek?

Sealove This is not shit creek.

Joe Drink some of it then


Sealove Dmitri and I used to follow the creek for miles. In summer and even in winter. Winter was easier sometimes, it would freeze over.

Joe Well, it doesn't freeze anymore

Sealove In summer sometimes there were these black snakes in the trees.

Joe Joe What are we doing?

Sealove We are exploring uncharted territory. I want to show you something.

Joe If you know what it is, it's not really uncharted territory.

Sealove Pretend this is all a movie. You'll feel better.

Joe What kind of movie

Sealove Your kind. What kind is your kind.

Joe Japanese Animation. I can't believe they were out of stock. Nobody cares about what I like.

Sealove All right. Let's pretend we're 200 years into the future.

Joe Watch this. Woof-woof. I am the last of the dog people. There was a nuclear war a long time ago, but everything healed. Except the fascist bastard fishheads have taken over the water supply and the dog people live in the desert. And we are looking for the lost river. But this is the lost river. But it's poisoned.

Sealove We have to find the source. That's what Dmitri and I were always looking for. The spring it springs from. Or the sewer pipe.

Joe We have to find the source, because it's the only thing unpoisoned. The fascist bastard fishheads make Dog Boy make money. But he doesn't want to make money. Because it hurts. But it's the only way for him now to get unpoisoned water from them.

Sealove What happens the next time the fishheads make him make money?

Joe It is sad. But it will be a big scene and he will rat the dog people out. He will tell the fishheads where to find them in the desert. He is weak, but he just wants love.

Sealove He can't rat!

Joe I don't know. He can't find the fountain source. Everything he drinks is poisoned. Everything is meat and sugar and he can't find the fountain source.

Sealove His brother Sealove will show it to him.

Joe You don't know where it is. You never said you found it.

Sealove I am a manager. I found it in a different city. Far from this one. Fascist bastard fishhead central. I will show you where to find it.

Joe You better.

S OK, this is it, this is step one. I think this is the same bend in the creek. This is the scene of the Dmitri Fire.

Mom pops up from behind a bush.

Mom It's illegal to light fires in a public park.

J This is a park now?


Mom pops back down again.

Joe Why a fire?

S Dmitri fell in. I told you we used to walk up it, a lot in winter, when it was frozen? Almost frozen. We were curious about certain spots along the edges that became unfrozen and then froze again. Beautiful textures. Dmitri stepped on them and on one, went in up to his thigh. Some kids were playing hockey nearby and they laughed hard at us. So we limped away and built a fire. No one had ever built a fire around here before, there was plenty of good kindling under the snow. We made this fire huge. PYRO JOE, we used to call each other. It was a fun fire. And I remember how scared we were when...


Sealove Right, that lady called to us from the nature path. She really scared us. Oh no, we're going to get reported. We are breaking the law.

Joe I don't want a record.

Sealove In this moment, then, we have to become the law. If you don't want trouble, you have to impersonate people who are right. We have been boy scouts together for a little while, so we'll yell back, IT'S OKAY WE'RE DOING THIS FOR A MERIT BADGE.

Mom (out) Oh well, if they are boy scouts, they obviously know what they are doing. Uniformed agents of our nation's values obviously have the right to usurp the park authority.

Sealove That's right baby, so like they say in the scouts,

Joe "Don't Fuck with the Fire."

Mom disappears again. Sealove sits by the creek bank, catches his breath, makes a transition.

Sealove Why did we come out here every chance we got?

Joe You wanted to find the lost tribe of the dog people

Sealove Instead we found older kids playing hockey, who laughed at us when we fell in. 'We told you not to step on the ice there.'

Joe Fish heads.

Sealove Dog people don't have to hide at the creek. They won't be around fishheads forever.

Joe I know.

Sealove Fires are a load of fun.

Joe You can cook shit too.

Sealove yawns, lays back for a nap. Joe Joe pulls his cap over his eyes and does the same. Enter Klein, addressing Sealove.

Klein Sealove, I'm really looking for two things out of you. That you develop a management protocol and that you train the workers with it.

Sealove gets up off the ground. Puts on a clip-on tie.

Sealove Yes.

Klein This office is a mess

Sealove Yes

Klein Somebody needs to clean it up

Sealove Def...

Klein And I mean a deep clean.

Sealove And what's the best method of doing that?

Klein You tell me.


Sealove Ok, well first...

A loud beep comes from the intercom.

Klein YEAH!

Intercom Mrs. Schwarzkopf from International Wrap Factory on two.

Klein OKAY. he turns to the intercom Hi. Absolutely. Absolutely. I don't know. Absolutely. Thanks. B'Bye.

hangs up. Looks around desk. Hunches over more.

Klein Where were we?

Sealove The best method of implementing a new management protocol

Klein Yes

Sealove Well there's a lot here that needs changing. First things first, the language...

intercom beeps

Klein Yeah?

Intercom Giorgio from 'She Goes To Your Head.'

Klein Aaaaaa...Take a message, I'm in a meeting.


Sealove Thank you. I think people here have a tendency to try and do everything themselves, not work together. I think they fear one another.

Klein Really?

Sealove Not enough trust.

Klein A ha?

Sealove By the way, if I could interrupt, I haven't gotten my tax forms yet.

Klein You haven't been hired yet.

Sealove But I've been working here for two weeks

Klein This is just you training period.

Sealove Oh.

Klein Anything else?

Intercom beeps, louder.

Klein Yeah?

Sealove gets up and grabs a phone. He picks it up, listens, holds it to his chest. He speaks to Joe Joe who has gotten up, put on a clip-on tie and slumped into another office chair on casters .

Sealove I've got a client here says he was promised service three weeks ago and still hasn't received it.

J Have him call the network

S He did. They told him to call here.

J Does he have his merchant number?

S Yeah.

J Did he reboot his system?

S Yeah, Yeah.

J It's out of my hands.

S What is?

J You're wasting your time to talking to him anymore. Hang up the phone.

S I'm not going to hang up the phone on the guy...

J We've done all we can do.

S This guy is out there on the front lines of retail and we have to support him!

J It's out of my control. The network should take care of him.

S Is that the procedure?

J It's just what we do here.

Exit Joe Joe

Music: "Way Downtown"

Sealove I'm high up the creek

Klein You're way downtown

Sealove I'm doing a good job

Klein You're just screwing around

Sealove I've just been hired for the job

Klein You just called me a fat slob

Sealove I am looking for the source

Klein You are dreaming, of course

Sealove Feels just like a humid

afternoon's end

Is that the sound of a rushing stream

Both Or the fax machine jamming again?

Sealove I am Proactive, I'm on the go

Have a lot to contribute to the firm I know

Klein I like you a lot, that's why it's hard

To say I'm sorry but we're letting you go.

Sealove Feels just like a humid

afternoon's end

Is that the sound of a rushing stream

Both Or the fax machine jamming again?

Joe Joe

This is your vision of being a man

Jobs and bars and marketing plans

Your dulled edge helps you ease into it.

But I am straight and don't have to believe it!


I am with you, the one who gave you

your first straight edge tape

I am back here, it's still up here

It just takes a different shape.

Joe Joe

Look at them! You salute them

You're in their decay

They can't look me in the eye

You're getting older in the same way

You used to be hard

and set against this

waltzing with the swine...


Joe Joe try and understand

I can be hard and I can be soft at the same time.

I can be hard and I can be soft at the same time.

I can be hard and I can be soft

Sealove repeats above stanza twice, while Joe Joe and Klein repeat the first Chorus twice:

Klein and JJ: Feels just like a humid

afternoon's end

Is that the sound of a rushing stream

Or the fax machine jamming again?

Joe Joe and Sealove are sitting where they were before their nap. No music save for the sound of the creek.

Sealove But I'm the manager with the philosophy to make it happen!

Joe Joe What?

Sealove I can be hard and I can be soft.

J You say the word philosophy an awful lot

S takes a deep breath

S The creek sounds nice, doesn't it?

J Better than kids whining for ice cream.

S At the snack bar?

J Kids never worked a day in their life.

S Little fucks.

They get up, brush off, laughing.

They walk back to the house. Lights fade.



Scene 1

The lawn has gotten long and unruly. Sealove sits in front of the house drinking the last two cans of a six pack of Red Dog. He is bloated from the beer and the humidity.

Joe Joe enters with a box of stolen ice creams from the Snack Bar. He sings:

White latex dripped on fake gold

"We're not building a swiss watch."

We built a world out of particle board but

"We're not building a swiss watch."

He throws Sealove a toasted almond. Sealove opens & eats it.

Warped grade-C lumber is cost effective!

"We're not building a swiss watch."

Sell ice cream when tots scream, dog-boys work hard!

Punch the clock like a swiss watch.


You are a real boy. You have a job.

Joe Joe:

"We're not building a swiss watch."


DId you steal this ice creams? Tell me the truth.

Joe Joe:

"We're not building a swiss watch."

Joe Joe:

Whatever happened to wanting to know?


"We're not building a swiss watch."

Joe Joe:

Whatever happened to a lawn to mow?


"We're not building a swiss watch."


It's not easy to do things well

Joe Joe:

"We're not building a swiss watch."


You get tired. You get beat down.

Joe Joe:

"We're not building a swiss watch."

Joe Joe:

I am NOT one of you

beat of swiss watch line unspoken/unsung

You can't see my dog paws under my hands

beat of swiss watch

I am going to the creek

beat of swiss watch

I am going to make a swing.

Sealove Out of what?

J Out of rope.

S Good luck

J You're not helping.

S The trees leaning over the creek

always fall in the creek.

Your swing tree's gonna make a nice bridge

in a couple weeks.

J Good bye.

Enter Mom from behind Sealove, exiting from house. She watches Joe head down to the creek. She looks at the yard.

Mom If someone doesn't cut the grass soon, there are going to be complaints. The neighbors are going to think there's something wrong with us.

Sealove I'll explain everything.

Mom Has Joe Joe said when he was planning on cutting it?

Sealove A dog doesn't cut the grass.

Mom I don't think that's very funny.

Sealove It wasn't supposed to be funny. It was supposed to be true.

Mom Your brother is not a dog. I didn't give birth to a dog.

Sealove I don't think you did. He says he's a dog, not me.

Mom Have you been talking to him?

Sealove Yes

Mom Where did he get this idea?

Sealove Maybe he had it himself


Mom Do you think it was those comic books?

Sealove Yes. No.

Mom Will you find out?

Sealove I'm trying to mom, I'm trying. It's hard. I'm in a transition.

He makes a"I'm in a transition" gesture.


Mom(ltenderly) Take it seriously.


Sealove I'm going to the store. I'm taking the car. Is that ok?

Mom How many beers have you had?

Sealove One

Mom And the one you're holding?

Sealove Is another one.

Mom Well, a walk will do you good. When you get back we need to have a serious talk.

Music. Sealove moves to edge of stage but hears this:


My two boys.

They scare me so much.

They can be touched

only with noise

What are they?

A dog and ex-manager?

Is this the new branch here

of the family?

Permanent decline

and the grass grows thick

they don't care a lick

for this heart of mine

but my boys

God tell them what's right

push them towards light

and no more noise

Permanent decline

and the grass grows thick

they don't care a lick

for this heart of mine

but my boys

God tell them what's right

help them fight the good fight

free them from noise

Scene 2

Sealove in Quick Stop store, outside the Seven Oaks mall. With a six-pack of Red Dog.

Clerk Do you have ID?

Sealove Yes but not on me.

Clerk I need to see ID.

Sealove I bought beer here two days ago. You sold it to me.

Clerk They're cracking down.

Sealove Look, there are two ways to run this, with the letter of the law, or with the spirit of the law. You know I'm old enough to buy this, so you won't be breaking the spirit of the law, the essence.

Clerk I'll get fired.

Sealove Come on, you won't get fired if you figure out how to do the best job possibile here.

Clerk You're not the Mystery Shopper, are you?

Sealove Look, this is not a test. I just want to show you a tool. This is called Reason Over Rules Self-management. The best job possible is something no one can tell you how to do. You gotta figure it out.

Clerk How do I figure it out?

Sealove By using your head! What's your philosophy of customer service?

Clerk Philosophy?

Sealove What is it that keeps you going?

Clerk Five twenty five an hour.

Sealove But if you had to say why this job wasn't so bad, what would you say?

Clerk I don't know. You see a lot of people...

Sealove Exactly! The People!

Clerk Everyone wants something from the store.

Sealove Right, and therefore, your job here is about...

Clerk Getting people what they need.

Sealove And what do I need?

Clerk A six pack of beer.

Sealove And why am I buying it from you?

Clerk Because maybe I understand that you need it.

Sealove And even though I don't have ID now...

Clerk You're willing to sign a piece of paper saying you're old enough and give me three bucks extra for the hassle.

Sealove Now hold on there, my friend...

Clerk "Only I know how to do the best job possibile here."

Sealove I really don't have the three bucks extra though.

Clerk Well, then you don't have to sign the paper neither.

Takes beer back.

Little beat.

Sealove Nice talking to you.

Clerk Nice talking to YOU.

Scene 3

Outside the store

Gary Excuse me

Sealove Yeah

Gary I really liked the way you handled youself back there.

Sealove Ha HA! [stops sees G isn't laughing] Well, thanks...Yeah, I used to be a manager.

Gary Retail?

Sealove Mostly, yeah.

Gary I'm expanding my company, and would really like to talk to you about opportunities.

Sealove Oh, OK.

Gary Can we sit down sometime?

Sealove Sure, How about now?

Gary That would be great.

Scene 4

Back at the house. Mom is yelling up the stairs at Joe Joe. He is in his room.

Mom Joe Joe, could you come down here please? Joe Joe?

He enters.

Mom What are you doing in there?

Joe Nothing

Mom Nothing? Why's your door always closed?

Joe Ayooof.

Mom There's nothing you can't tell me. We are a family, we confide in each other. I'm worried about you and your brother... Has he ever talked to you about sex? Is that what this dog acting thing is all about?

Joe Has he ever .... ?

Mom Is that what it is?

Joe I just like to act like a dog sometimes.

Mom Okay. But has he ever talked to you about sex?

Joe Sex? Um. um. no. Except.

Mom Except what?

Joe Once, he said one thing.

Mom You can tell me anything. I'm your mother.

Joe Once, on vacation.

Mom On vacation?

Joe When I had just turned thirteen. He said now you're thirteen, you will start feeling things. And that you might start doing things to yourself in your bed, at night, when you are alone.

Mom Uh huh.

Joe And that he used to...that he started, when he was 13.... He said he wished someone had told him about it. So that he wouldn't feel guilty about it.

Mom And what did he say this was called.


Joe (nervous laughter) I can't say it.

Mom Say it.

Joe Mom.

Mom Say it.

Joe Awwyyoof.


Joe I'm going back upstairs.

Mom You are going to get out there and mow the lawn. You are NEVER going back upstairs. You are NEVER going back upstairs.

Scene 5

Gary and Sealove enter a diner. They sit down, the scene resumes twenty minutes into their conversation in a restaurant.

Gary Imagine - when you play your computer at chess, the machine never makes a wrong move. You can't hope it wont see something. To beat it you play a cleaner, sharper game. In life, you can't count on emotions when it comes to economics. Nobody gives anything away, nor should they even want to. To win, you have to get smart, play the game, and beat the machine with its own rules. By being better than the machine.

Sealove People will always act in their own interests. Marx said so himself. That's neither good nor bad, it's just a fact.

Gary Are you a Marxist?

Sealove I'm a post-Marxist.

Gary We can go there later.


Sealove Everyone thinks they are the one exception to the rule, everyone places their bets on a slim chance. They're playing the lottery.

Gary Exactly. Economics isn't "cruel." It's the truest understanding of the material world.

Sealove Yeah!

Gary You're familiar with the philosophies of Werner Erhardt?

Sealove No

Gary But you've heard of est. The Landmark Forum?

Sealove Um...No

Gary Everything changed in my life when I read the story of Werner Erhardt. Would you have thought that a used car salesman leaving his wife and kids in the Mid West would go on to become the greatest mind of our time?


Gary Nor would I. And Yet! Well, this is it, in a nutshell, these are the principles: Most relationships just do not work. Why? People live in the past. People are always playing their memories onto each other, like they are film projectors, instead of moving on, into the present. Being with that person, now. Which leads to the second principle: people don't change. The only way to make relationships work, is to first ACCEPT people as they are.

Sealove Hmm. Like, my old friend from 4th grade, Phil Sherry. Super competitive at football by always bringing up obscure NFL rules. Years later, he's graduating Law School, my mom want me to schmooze him for my future. And we BOTH know he's a weasel. But SHE wants me to think that he's CHANGED.

Gary She probably wants to see you become effective

Sealove I am effective.

Gary Where's your beer?

Sealove This world. Is fundamentally devoid of justice.

Gary Be specific for me.

Sealove Jesus, Specifics are everywhere. Mumia Abu-Jamal. The growing chasm between rich and poor.

Gary Again, be specific for me.

Sealove How about the specific way you get your ass kicked by banks when you're poor? Suddenly your level of customer service goes from mediocre to lethal. And I know what good customer....

Gary Yes, but also understand banks have an oblig...

Sealove My mom. OK ok take my mom. I've had the same song in my head since I was a teenager, when we first started to fight. And this summer, moving back, I finally started to write that song down. But I can't sing it for her. It's too honest.

Gary Your point

Sealove Where's the justice here? No! I'm finally beginning to get it. I understand this world's justice now: honesty is for losers. If you're honest, you get shut down. You don't get to finish your song. And people don't change.

Gary Do you love her?

Sealove I can't fight it. I was always like AAAIIIIIIEEEEYARRGHAAAA. Spit on love. Whatever. But Yeah. Yeah I do.

Gary Does she love you?

Sealove She always says so.

Gary OK, Does she accept you? Has she permitted you to be?

Sealove "Permitted" me?

Gary Are you a Marxist?

Sealove Probably. I mean, I'm a PostMarxist.

Gary Does she permit you, as a PostMarxist, whatever that terms means, all the things that term means to you.

Sealove Um...No.


Gary Then she doesn't really love you.

I'm sorry. Most relationships just do not work. It's time to repair the world.


Sealove What does your company do?

Gary There are certain things everyone needs, right? Toilet paper, deodorant, phones. What if you get ten people together to get the stuff wholesale from the suppliers?

Sealove Because retail supports a network of middle men.

Gary But why should we pay those mark-ups? The suppliers just want their wholesale price, they don't care who they're selling to.

Sealove Sure.

Gary Are you with me so far?

Sealove Of course.

Gary You look skeptical.

Sealove Not everyone needs toilet paper, deodorant and phones.

Gary There will always be a radical fringe, but we're talking about most of the people, most of the time. Now, those initial people, that initial group has a good thing going with these suppliers, let's say. What they're going to want to do is get their friends in on the deal. OK?

Sealove Um, ok.

Gary Let's say each person in the original ten person group can get ten friends in on the wholsale deal. Now for the advantge of getting in on the deal, the friends of the original group pay a little extra to the original group member that got them in. They don't get exactly the same low price, but they're still getting a deal. And this way, the original group members are getting a great deal, plus a little what's called...what?

Sealove Residuals

Gary Residual income, right. Just like a conventional sales force. "Ledger income." Totally legitimate, totally legal, you incorporate, you see.

Sealove What do you call yourself

Gary Four Star Distribution

Sealove And the original group?

Gary That was just a story.

Sealove But what did the original organization call itself?

Gary You mean?

Sealove Who is this.

Gary AmWay.


S Geez...why does that name give me the heebie jeebies?

G I don't really quite know, but it's like that for a lot of people...Which is why we don't say it at first.

S Still, I wish you had.

G Well, I'm sorry.

S I'm looking for a job.

G This is a job, if you decide it is. You just have to decide.

S See, I used to be a Marxist. No, I mean, I think I still am. But the free market seems to be so dominant, and In the push and shove of the natural forces of the market, I saw two kinds of roles open to me with my unmarketable liberal arts degree. I could become a Salesman, or I could become a Manager. Being a manager was harder, because you had to deal with people. The same people day after day. But being a salesman seemed to be all about image, you know being overwhelmingly, brightly handsome. The Teeth. So, without really having to choose, I was a manager. More improvisation. Content over form, you know...a more philosophical approach.

Gary You'd be a great salesman.

Sealove Thanks. If I give you five dollars, would you buy me a six pack of beer?

Gary I think you're old enough to buy your own beer.

Sealove I am, I just don't have my ID here. It's back at the house.

Gary Can't you go back and get it?

Sealove I could. I don't want to cause, I don't want to, right? What's your name?

Gary Gary

S Gary, can't you get this for me, please?

Gary I don't drink

S You don't have to drink any of it

G Well, I don't support drinking either. I thought you were a manager.

S I am a manager. I'm in a transition.

G And you're looking for work.

S Yes, real work. Something I can believe in.

G Good luck.

He exits.

Scene 6

Sealove and mom in the kitchen

Mom Joe Joe says you met someone last night who offered you a job.

Sealove yeah.

Mom I think it's about time you found something if you're going to stay.

Sealove But this guy was an agent.

Mom An angel? What?

Sealove Yes! An angel of death! Deep cover. Career track. Global security assasin.

Mom A what? An assasin?

Sealove He wouldn't say. They never do. They can't. But I think he was "State Department."

Mom Phil Sherry was talking about becoming a diplomat. It's a highly respected profession. Keep that in mind.

Sealove But everything this guy said was worthless.

Mom Well, we only hear what we want to hear sometimes, right?

Sealove I know what I heard. I just talked to him to prove to myself that I don't want his kind of life. I will never be a diplomat like that. I will be diplomatic in the things that I do, but I won't wear those masks. Underneath is death.

Mom Would you tell me, what is so wrong with being a diplomat? What is this big message you have for the world? We always showed you a lot of love.

Sealove I accept that

Mom Somehow, it was never good enough.

Sealove No, it was good. Love? Yes, okay I accept that. More than just that, Mom, I accept you. I decided last night, I'have to stop trying to change you.

Mom Thank You.

Sealove Not that I could, I mean that's just it. But it's important that I recognize this, see? I get free when I stop trying, when I say, "I Openly, wholely, totally accept you for what you are." Now, I'd like to ask for the same in return.

Mom If you think I'm going to condone some of the behavior, some of the immoral...sick....

Sealove I'm not going there. I'm talking about who I am, not what I've done. How about you meet me halfway? Could we just agree that accepting each other is something we both need to work on?

Mom There's nothing wrong with me. I have never had to be in therapy. If you're saying there's something wrong with me, you are dead wrong, mister.

Sealove Mom, just give me a minute. Just be quiet for a second, let's...

Mom You will never understand the way I love you. A child is a mother's heart walking outside her body. Sealove, you will never understand how I love you.

He Sings his fucking heart out:

you are the suburbs

I am the city

you remain here

because you do not permit me.


Love is easy

tag. we are related.

I am quesy

I need you to say you know me

before you love me

you say you love me

I need you to say you accept me

before you love me...

if you want to fly

gonna have to open your eyes

suck me in

like a new smoke you’ve never tried

you flinch but I say

savor this, understand

sweeter than the smell of sand

the sugar on my hands

what were the names

of the faces I have loved?

ask me how she was

versus how he was

what were the differences to the tongue?

Love me

we’re all adults here, in


the gleaming city

you want me white

like the scrubbed history

but I am leaving

back up North

to the tiny island

where I am allowed to be me

suburbs of DC

you say that you love me

you can say what you want

I was taught it's all diplomacy

I’ve got 25 bucks

I can get on that bus

you want to bomb New York City

you want to bomb what permits me


I am just the past

I am nothing but the things I’ve done

I am your memories of my sins

I am not even your son

but the things that I did, I did cause I had to

or really wanted to and could

I didn’t do them just to break with you

but I need to

I need to

leave leave leave

love love love

"I love you, you love me"

we’re a loving family

a love as soft as

the hands around my neck

Who Do You Love?

You love me as a baby

someone who didn’t do these things

And that’s okay

I’ll be your baby

as long as you can let me be me


I am Two!


Scene 7

Father Bob, Mom, Sealove and Joe Joe sitting around the kitchen table. There is stand off silence for a number of beats.

Mom SO.


Sealove Yes.

Mom Does anyone have the solution?

Sealove Joe Joe?

Joe Joe What?

Sealove What's the solution?

Joe Joe I don't know anything.

Mom Now, Joey, you can't say that, you've had a good education, at good Catholic Schools, right, Father?

F. Bob Immanuel Kant said, "All we can know is that we know nothing."

Sealove But that's so useless!

Joe Joe It's true. All the things I know already I don't want to know them anymore either.

Mom You're job is to go to school in a couple weeks, and learn all you can.

Joe Joe woof.

Mom You Are Not A Dog.

F. Bob Mary, I don't think Joe Joe really thinks he's a dog do you Joe Joe?

Joe Joe woof woof.

Sealove Try Spanish.

F. Bob Esta....Esta tu es lupo?

Mom Joe Joe Doesn't speak Spanish.

to Sealove

Mom Listen mister, it's either add or subtract. Your brother is in a crisis.

Sealove I know. I was in the same one nine years ago.

Mom And look how you turned out.

Sealove Exactly. My point exactly.

F. Bob Now, Mary, I don't think Sealove turned out badly.

Sealove I'm a complete atheist. I believe in things wholeheartedly and then they disappear. Jobs, loves, ideals, disappear. Perhaps if I hadn't believed so hard when I was here, when I was young, when I was a believer.

F. Bob You were president of the Youth Group...

Mom to S. Is that MY fault? Did I fail so badly as a mother? Tell me, where did I go wrong?


Joe Joe arf.

Mom to Joe Joe Spit it out!

to Father Bob Do you see what I mean? Do you see why I say we Need what I Say we need?

Fat. Bob Perhaps we could try prayer. Does your family ever pray the rosary?

Sealove Only in the car on long trips. I like it then, actually. It helps to pass the time.

Mom I was wondering why you said it with us then.

Sealove And you were thinking, "Well, as long as he is saying the words...."

Mom Do you really think I'm stupid? Do you like...

Fat. Bob WHY don't we say the rosary? It can't hurt. We can go around the circle, trading off being the leader. It's not about hierarchy.

Mom I'll start. OK. Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

ALL Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil

Sealove a little louder, sort of to everyone

What a run-on sentence!

Mom, Father Bob & Sealove O most blessed virgin, never was it known that anyone who prayed to you, or fled to your protection was left without recourse. Despise not our petitions.

Sealove Of course she's going to Despise Our Petitions, our petitions are selfish!

Sealove Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Eveyone responds in English, except Joe Joe who speaks the words in woofs.

All Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death...

Sealove Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

All Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death...

Sealove Staged whisper to Joe Joe at a volume the elders can not pretend to ignore.

What a funny prayer, we seem to be going inside her body, and then we decide we are going to die.

Mom Okay, that is it. I am convinced it is you. You are at the root of the problem.

Sealove I am saying the prayers!

Mom You need to say Only the prayers!

Father Bob The False Prophet is he who acts like a man of god.

Mom He knows all the words to all the psalms, because he is a trickster.

Father Bob But in the end, all his promises are hollow.

Sealove Isn't there room for a critique? You know, for improvement of the language?

Fat. Bob These prayers have been around for thousands of years. Do you think the Son of God needs a lesson in grammar from some middle-class smart aleck down on his luck?

Sealove Yes.

Fat. Bob You're wrong, mister. You are dead wrong. You have a lot of work to do, A LOT of work to do. Before it's too late, I'd just stop and do some soul searching. What happened to your spiritualality? What are you replacing God with, yourself? You always were a leader in your community, whether it was the Youth Group or being a Manager. I'm sorry you got fired, but God didn't fire you.

Sealove Jesus Christ.

Mom Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Sealove I really feel like a walk to the creek all of a sudden. Anyone else? I hope it's OK if I cut out a bit early here in the chain of prayers, but I hear Joe Joe built a new rope swing recently, and I've been dying to try it out. If you'll excuse me.

He exits. Joe Joe gets up, raises his paws, follows him out.

Father Bob looks at Mom.

Father Bob You're right.

Mom I knew it.

Scene 8

Sealove and Joe Joe back down at the creek.

J Have you ever had your heart broken?

S It's hard to say how many times.

J When was the worst?

S Probably when I lived here.

J Franca?

S I see her now. She was the spitting image of mom. But you grow up, you learn the limits of what you can't have. And why. You learn why for yourself. Some people have to find out the hard way. I did. She was paranoid the way these people are, all the way back in high school, she was paranoid like an adult. She seemed so grown-up. Her dad was an arms dealer, I think. They were all very pro-Contra. She kicked my ass at Model U.N. Last time I came down I saw her. She's still the same.

J State Department?

S World Bank

J She was pretty.

S She hasn't changed. Pretty. And punitive.

J Have you ever broken somebody's heart?

S [beat]

J You don't have to answer.

S I'm not moving back in. Joe Joe, this is our last walk to the creek for a while. Home is one big heartbreak. And yes, I think I broke a heart. Once. Not a woman. The only guy I was ever serious about became ambivalent and weird, he was older. I couldn't tell what he really wanted, or what I did. He wanted me to be serious, but was afraid of the word "commitment." It was all so goddam political. I left him for Sharon.

J I remember Sharon.

S The Christmas I first brought Sharon home, tough season. He kept coming into the store. With flowers. While all the customers were going crazy he would come in with a dozen roses and demand to talk to me. Finally he moved to Vancouver to go to medical school. I think he was the only heart I ever really broke. All the women I've loved have been stronger than that. Stronger than me.


They say love

who you are related to

It's arbitrary like a disease


say I love you

I love you, I love you

You better love me back, please

Let me seize

the reins of this humid day

and say

I know who you are

I love your quiet rage

as you're skating away

I love you for who are

There is a big difference

North and South, the big there and here

I gotta go back up North

Let me kiss you on the ears

Joe Joe:

I lie in bed

pictures in my head

red blood pumping in my heart

I want to love

I want to fuck

What if it turns out I'm too smart?

Love and it happening

is so far away

I want to just forget about it for now

But in my blood is the pictures of dogs

who want with a want that could bring down a cow

There's a big difference

North and South, the big there and here

You belong back up North

where you can get kissed on the ears


I know it all

the smell of the Fall

and the pretty kids in white schools

all the kids act cool

and the cool kids rule

But you've learned to be smarter than cool

Joe Joe:

I'm not that smart

I have a dog's heart

Tell me how to change

into somthing real


You want to shout about it

They won't talk about it

They stare at the ballgames

out on the fields.


There's a big difference

North and South, the big there and here

You don't belong here.

Let me kiss you on the ears.

There's a big difference

North and South, the big there and here

You don't belong here.

Let me kiss you on the ears.

They hug and kiss. Sealove exits.


Father Bob, Mom, and Gary enter the creek hollow. they are wearing white sacramental robes. They seize Joe Joe and dress him in simple white garments. Blackout.


Scene 6

Back in church, in front of a font of water. As the lights come up, Joe Joe's head is removed dripping from the water by Gary and Mom. They hold him over the font . The garment is tied so that it restrains his arms. Father Bob stands in the center behind them, facing out with his psalter.

Father Bob:

Lord we stand before you with only one week of summer left.

Are we ready for this new season?

Prepare us to play the game as if it was our last.

To you we pray

They dunk Joe Joe

C.Leader & Mom:

Kick Ass! Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed be God Forever.

Father Bob:

When we are young we are sometimes too clever

You who knew us before we were born

You who know every smart-ass thing our siblings say

Before they influence us, and tie the mill stone around our necks

Clean our ears, purge our minds of things meant to be smarter than you. To you we pray.

They dunk Joe Joe

CL & Mom You are Kick Ass! Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed be God Forever.

Father Bob:

You are not shy and you do not pussy foot.

We love you because you are the upfront God

Anything Shy and introverted comes from the False One,

The Dark one, the two-faced trickster, the one who keeps secrets.

There are no secrets before you, and there is no shyness.

They dunk Joe Joe

All: Burn it out of us, drown it out of us, as we drown it out of this one. To you we pray.

You are Kick Ass, Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed be God Forever.

Father Bob:

You gave us dominion over the animals

You gave us language to name them

You who told Adam in the garden, call them what you like

Just don't forget what you named them for crying out loud

You are the Word, you are the language we use.

We are not dog-people, we are god-people

In the name of Jesus, who chased the false traders from the temple

In the name of the rage that fuels us against everything that is not you.

In the name of the fire that cleans.


Gary and Mom dunk Joe Joe

O, Dogged False One

O, Sly Dark Shy One

I call you,

Leave the body of this boy, never to return

Get him ready for school in a week

Give him a sense of his duty to his mother,

and a knowledge of what's important in Life.

They bring Joe Joe up coughing and sputtering, water and mucus flies from his mouth and lungs. It even looks as if he has been excorsied, from all the shit he's coughing up. Suddenly, he barks.