Sarcoxie & Sealove
by Sander Hicks
Draft 14, 10/23/03
Act I, Prologue
Sarcoxie and her band of friends and fellow punk rockers are hiking in the woods, with backpacks on. She sings to them:
What will you do
now that were out of school?
they gave degrees
for tripping on mushrooms
we pack our packs
live out of our backs
a week in the woods
searching for mushrooms
they butcher the language
they butcher children
bomb teenage armies
hospitals and prisons
are brought to their knees
so that Coke and Nike
can do as they please
So what will you do
now that were out of school
death dresses up
in a suit of fine wool
will you join me
back in DC
take our little band
into the belly of the Beast?
they butcher the language
they butcher children
ravage the army
of our resilient resistance
Coke and Nike
can do as they please
to a generation that
bred without beaks
some of you chickens are ready for slaughter
some want blood to flow like water
you tell me I argue like an economists daughter!
Yes, burn down the Banks
Off with their heads!
But is it OK to love your dad if he works for the IMF?
feel free to join me in my DC
experiment with power and anarchists!
Early Summer, in a upper-middle class neighborhood in suburbs of Washington, DC. At the jobsite, where Hunter Brown, a tough, mid-30s, white guy, runs a small crew of trim carpenters, working on a huge house in the DC Suburbs.
Hunter sometimes gives orders to Sealove, a lanky carpenters assistant in his early 30s. Sealove is stapling in waterproof linings where windows will go. He is taking strips of vinyl and with a hammer stapler, tacking them to the frame. He misses and accidentally drives a staple through his thumbnail. He screams and cusses, ad lib. The ghost of Coby Benton is with him.
Coby This how you will die someday, blind, desperate, tripping on it in darkness
Sealove The glove sticks, stapled to my hand.
Hunter Sealove! The way we work, before we leave, we have all this shit cleaned up.
Sealove pulls the staple out. Sucks his thumb a little when Hunter is not looking. Hunter gestures around the yard with a carpenter's pencil.
Hunter Sealove, pick up all these scraps, make a pile for the Spics, if its two feet then we save it. This cedar is not cheap. Me and Karlre gonna plastic the windows on the turret. Pull that cord of 2 bys into the garage. Do that first.
Sealove Yes, Sir!
Hunter Cut that Sir shit I work for a living too, brother.
Sealove goes to the wood, a neat pile of about 40 12 2x4s, he picks up three and puts them on his shoulder.
Hunter Karl can get five up there.
Sealove Its wet.
Hunter Christ, I should call Bayside and tell em replace this shit.
Sealove We can work with this, once it dries. Five? I can do five.
He puts five up there but almost falls over.
Hunter Oh yeah?
Sealove It's green and dripping.
Hunter So was your sister.
Sealove My sister would eat you alive.
Hunter Maybe she'd get some work done today. Bring her in. Throw that on the sawhorses. Karl, do you have to leave the cord all tangled like that on the plank? What want to kill me? There you go. Now were working like White guys.
Sealove stops. Hunter looks at him,
Sealove Youre the boss.
Hunter No shit. Take the other new guy over to the garage and cut all the shims to inch and a quarter. (to Candidate) Go with him.
(The Candidate appears)
Candidate I dont want to work today. My daddy got me this job. I wasnt cut out for this kind of work.
Sealove Hunters not a bad guy, just a little racist.
Candidate Well, if it wasnt for a little of that here and there, the blacks and the Jews would completely take over.
Sealove Do you have a razor on you?
Candidate I hate all this.
Sealove We have to cut these shims down to inch and a quarter. You never installed windows?
Candidate Im just killing time.
Sealove Youre not going to work out here.
Candidate Im running for President. Time is on my side.
Sealove Time is fluid. There is a new class of prophet revolutionary emerging who can see two futures in a present moment. Total destruction, or the swords melted and beaten into farming tools. Two subatomic particles can occupy the same space at the same time. In the same way, two futures are in one present.
Coby Now, you will cut your hand.
Sealove shit! (razor slips, he sucks slashed finger, blackout.)
Tom, a 64-year-old IMF economist, sits with the Washington Post in the kitchen of his large suburban home. He is the father of Sealove and Sarcoxie his sister, who appears at the screen door with a backpack. She stops and smiles and takes him in before speaking.
SarcoxieDon't shoot, it's me!
Tom The prodigal daughter returns!
She comes in and they hug.
Tom When we didnt hear from you for a couple of days, Mom was worried, but I said, oh she and her friends probably threw a wild party. College kids!
She puts her backpack down and takes out some water.
SarcoxieWe went to the Blue Ridge and hiked for three days.
Tom goldfish swallowing, cramming 10 people into a phone booth .
Sarcoxie We had to get ready.
Tom(suddenly crabby) Oh, dont tell me that thats still happening.
She puts the water bottle back in the sack.
Sarcoxie Studying for finals, I came across this great quote by De Tocqueville. "Can it be believed that the democracy which has overthown the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesman and capitalists?"
Tom Well, the answer is yes, they will. If you have the cash, they will cower, give 'em treats, they retreat.
Sarcoxie I need to unpack.
Tom I put on your old Space Kitten sheets.
Sarcoxie (she sings)
"Space Kitten, the Defender of Truth
A potent pussy-cat from Planet Ruth"
Tom Lunchbox, pillow cases, school supplies. Space Kitten, Space Kitten, Daddy, Daddy, I love Space Kitten.
She shoulders the pack.
Sarcoxie Now I AM Space Kitten.
Tom Is that it?
(beat. She walks toward him.)
Sarcoxie For the whole bus ride, Ive been thinking how to say this. This past year, I know there were people in the collective who wrote harsh, critical things about the IMF?? And I know that made you feel, probably a little, betrayed?? That wasnt me, and-
Tom Your political friends dont know the first thing about economics.
Tom gets up and goes to her slowly.
Tom The only thing worse than a poor country getting exploited a little is a poor country not getting exploited at all. The free markets open cheap labor to global capital, the money goes where its wanted, Bubby.
Sarcoxie Sealove will be back by dinner time right? Lets you and I whip something up. Have you heard from Mom? How is she?
Tom The medical students are so eager, she says. She's back in Nairobi and out of the bush.
Sarcoxie hows Sealove's newspaper?
Tom He doesnt have time. Sealoves working as a Carpenter now, Just like my father. Hes working on some very nice new houses in Great Falls.
Sarcoxie Is that what a liberal arts degree is worth on the market in eight years?
Tom He needs to get his act together. What are YOU going to do this summer?
Sarcoxie The bands moving out here and theyre getting this awesome group house downtown .
Tom For MONEY.
Sarcoxie It would be really cool to find something anti-capitalist that paid decently .
Tom You dont have to throw rocks and get put in jail, again. What about an entry-level position at the Cancer Foundation, Save the Whale. Sealoves little newspaper is about to go under. He had a lot riding on that nut, Coby Benton.
Sarcoxie Sealove was doing good stuff.
Tom Coby Benton died, about three months ago. I told him go Chapter 11 with the paper. He asked me if he could come out here, I didnt know it was for the whole summer, its fine. Like your grandma used to say, "I dont want to tell you what to do, but this is what I would do if I were you." Have you thought about the Peace Corps?
Sarcoxie "Space Kitten saves all the mice,
not just the ones who are nice."
She goes to cut vegetables Tom can be facing out to audience, for a kind of soliloquy
Tom Last time I flew into Bolivia, an armed guard met my plane. Everywhere I went, I had The Heat! The Shining Path goes and bombs the Coca Cola plant I was supposed to visit. Can you imagine? I'm here to help you people! I'm an economist. We know what poverty does, we know how it feels, we're here to fight poverty. Open up the borders, reduce the tariffs, clean up the corruption, no longer let political extremism be a viable option, lock em up, you might get some real investment .
Sarcoxie (she looks up from cutting carrots and gestures with a big knife) I want to cook dinner. I don't need an argument right away.
But one question people have is if you let the big money in easier, doesnt it leave easier? If you take away the leashes, how do you keep the horses of international money in the country? Look at the total economic meltdown in Asia in 98!
Tom There are always going to be booms and busts in capitalism. We used to advise them how to become more attractive to foreign capital. These days, we make them stop putting up walls to foreign trade. The big developing countries that play along are experiencing hot growth, and poverty reduction.
Sarcoxie What countries?
Tom China! India, Uganda.
Sarcoxie China is not a developing country. Sealove says
Tom Sealove doesnt know anything about economics. Your brother has got problems. Total poverty worldwide is down for the first time in 20 years. The only people who dont understand that are hooligans and romantics striking poses in the street and burning trash.
Sarcoxie Im proud of my arrest.
Tom Assaulting a police officer?
Sarcoxie Thats just a phrase. We were in lock boxes, in the intersection, there was a bonfire and Canadian cops came around the corner, pepper-spraying, so lunged at their legs, we brought a few down to our level.
Tom In Venezuela, demonstrators have snipers on the roofs.
Tom What if they began shooting IMF economists like your father?
Sarcoxie Help me cut apples. I see youre aging gracefully, but youre still aging. Baby oak trees are growing on the roof.
Tom Your mother wont let me up there. A neighbor fell off and was in a coma.
Sarcoxie I will get up there.
Sealove appears at the screen door. She sees him in the middle of her next line, and smiles.
Sarcoxie I would like to save the baby oak trees and see how they do over where my tree fort used to be.
Sealove I would like to bitch-slap a postmodern intellectual!
He enters with a 6 pack of Budweiser in cans and his tool belt on his shoulder.
Sarcoxie The first-born is home. Hey, trouble.
Sealove Hey. Congrats on college and shit. Beer?
Sarcoxie No, thanks.
Sealove gives him one and sits down.
Sealove So! What did you learn at college?
Sarcoxie It would be hard to summarize.
Sealove What was important to you?
Sarcoxie Ok. I will have a beer after all.
Sealove breaks one off the six, opens it with one hand and hands it to her. She takes it, drinks, stares at it, takes a longer pull and puts it down on the table.
Sarcoxie The old ways are dead, but the new have not taken form.
Sealove You mean Class Struggle is at the center of history, but the capitalists have the upper hand.
Tom Capitalism is fun and natural until your newspaper begins to sputter and cough blood.
Sealove Ow Dad.
Sarcoxie (with the tone of a young person too earnest to explain things)
Language is flawed God is dead Power is corrupt, authority is trite and oppressive? The inverse is to support the struggles of indigenous people, womens and workers rights?
Sealove It's a question?
Sarcoxie Is what a question?
Sealove You phrased it like a question.
Sarcoxie It wasnt a question.
Sealove When you talk like this? As in "authority is trite?" As if its "Im a white girl fresh out of a hippie college but I dont want to do anything to get you down, man? None of my statements bear any weight? Or authority? At all? Because its all like, tentative?
He takes a long pull of his beer.
Sarcoxie The way I talk is my problem.
Sealove If you choose to put question marks at the end of your phrases, it means youre looking for someones approval, probably some guy.
Sarcoxie How was WORK honey?
Sealove Better. Bitter. The day is long but it flies by. I humped a lot of lumber today.
Tom busting your hump. Tell her about the young conservative.
Sealove The boss is Hunter, classic American, both patriotic and rebellious. the deciding factor in the revolution who can win over the frustrated working-class tough guys? they are wildly, funny, we all love to laugh. we joke all the time, the jokes are always about race, or gay sex. They all say they hate gay sex, but they cant stop talking about it. "Were proud to be Country." Or "We never go into the City. We cant deal with those niggers." Im not sure what I can do about that.
Sarcoxie Those people are going to lead your revolution?
Sealove Everyday they are in a war. Sometimes with themselves.
Tom (to Sarc.) Wait, you dont want a revolution?
Sarc Im an anarchist. Sealove thinks a revolution and a dictatorship run by his communist friends will make things better. rednecks, contractors around here cant take over, and I dont want them to. They just want to yell things at women from their trucks on their way to the Klan meeting.
Sealove You can't judge them with that, they don't speak that PC language. It takes a lot to get up every morning, go outside and work in the weather, you have a family to take care of, or a little business you believe in. You can't write off a man like Hunter Brown, he calls us all "brother" it connects us. You should meet this guy, go beyond the fear of the working class you were just taught. This is a system without heroes, yet, look at this one ignored worker, Hunter has this open energy, a craftsmans self-respect, it brings people together.
Tom People are fuck-ups. They are lazy. People dont work unless you force them to.
Sarcoxie Youre right, Dad, they are.
Sealove They are? (to her) Welcome back to the species! Dad, your generation didnt have to drive nails, got a college education, got out of the Class. These carpenters are just like your father-they have talents that just dont get used in a chaotic system. Thats the beautiful thing about Marx, hes talking about smashing the chains on human potential. Why should these funny, hard-working, men have to live in ignorance, work all their lives, since age 15, 10 hours a day, nailing cedar trim in the hot sun? The house is badly designed by rich guys who dabble in architecture, their windows dont open, and we build their airless tomb. The rich guys have every thing you need to develop into a a good, whole person, but they do not. We're outside, driving nails, hammer-stapling plastic insulation, working around chop saws and table saws that could take your arm off.
Tom You become the choices you make. You havent told her about your big success story, Mr. Coby Benton. You havent told us what you learn when you choose to fight a revolution in public with an ex-con as a partner.
Sealove (to her) I learned it wont work.
Tom Would you do it again?
Sealove (to her) In a heartbeat.
Tom Coby Benton was questioned by the media: if you had known what it would be like, to write a series of truthful articles about the Candidate for your paper, would you do it again? And he said no, hed never, never do it again. Seven weeks later he was dead by his own hand.
Sealove I KNOW.
Tom Who can believe anything a crook writes?
Sealove Funny how the one reporter who got the full story on the Candidates youthful cocaine arrest was the one reporter who was most discreditable. Time and again the big news people came to us and promised to look at the guys writings, but time and again, their story ended up being about Coby Bentons salacious past. Now, The Candidate is the President, the system is in crisis, a war distracts us, and theres no good reporting about any of it. What are you going to do about it? Sarcoxie?
Sarcoxie Im in a band. What are YOU doing?
Sealove When five five 12 hoot two by fours crush my shoulder, I think of Coby Benton, nailed for writing about this devil. I came to destroy the temple, not one brick on top of another.
Sealove yeah, Pop?
Tom Get. A Life.
Tom With your mother overseas, I am alone every night with this crazy kid. I sleep with a handgun.
Sarcoxie Dinner is ready. I am setting a place for Mom.
They all set the table and bring out food and milk and water and begin to eat, at this point. Sealove sets something down on the table sharply.
Sealove Dad, maybe not everything has worked out for me this year, but if Im your son then really how crazy could I be?
Tom It skips a generation. Look at her!
Sarcoxie We have the kind of intelligence the world doesnt have a use for yet. Its not cold. Its not cynical. Its dramatic and formal and warm. You could have been a Wall Street whiz kid, own huge sailboats, but you did 34 years at the IMF trying to make capitalism work better.
Tom We call it development.
Sarcoxie Developing the worlds poor, with the capital of the worlds rich. Were very similar to you.
Sealove Except I want to abolish capitalism. Little miss anarchist thinks peace and justice will plop down on us from a heaven where everyone is mellow, slack and there is no authority? Peace is just an idea, war is fact. We want to do what you set out to do, because you have failed.
Sarcoxie Thats it for you with the beer
Sealove You authoritarian!
Sarcoxie He says there has been an overall reduction in poverty, due to the IMF .
Sealove Thats a lie.
Tom No sugar-coating it, Sealove. Tell me about what you are feeling.
Sealove The best the IMFs work in development will do is open up poor countries to new exploitation. Development is the development of big business.
Tom You are 31 and you're trying to find yourself. I have always supported you, we both have, your mother and I have always wanted to be proud of you. But you're getting too old to be surprised at this imperfect world. What do you want, socialism? The nail factories in Russia made nails eight inches long if the production quotas were set in total length of nails, or the factory managers made a million tiny nails if its faster that way and production is measured in weight. That didnt work! Who was listening to demand for different sizes of nails? A market is specific, sophisticated demand of real people. Globalization is short term pains for long term gains. Some sectors of labor become obsolete.
[phone rings offstage.]
These damn telemarketers. Do they always have to call during dinner?
Sealove Thats Capitalism!
Sarcoxie No, that's not a telemarketer, Dad, thats Mom calling from Kenya!
Tom Oh, good.
Sealove Welcome home.
Sarcoxie Hes 64. Do you think you could lighten up? Im not crazy about you telling our old man hes a failure.
Sealove Were both failures. We tried to make a difference. He gave his life to the IMF. Trying to cure poverty with the poison of big business. But Im no better, A troubled writer I tried to save killed himself in poverty, because of me. Some people say he got whacked.
Sealove I can feel that.
Sealove I keep having these dreams. Coby Benton appears. Im running for President, and hes my advisor. I never ask him if he really killed himself, he wouldnt know.
She goes to the fridge and brings out two more beers.
Sarcoxie take the blame off your shoulders. Youre not working on Saturday are you?
Sealove Half day
Sarcoxie You need to come out to our show. Retarded Slave has moved into this group house in Mt. Pleasant Theres going to be a lot of action at the IMF protest, and the organizers want us up out front. I told the band, and they were like, we gotta take opportunities ugh, you know, "build the buzz".
(she laughs, but hes miles away. She stops and looks at him)
Oh, trouble. The ghost is in you. Coby Benton is dead. Wake up and realize what you learned: you grabbed headlines, represented yourself in a way that macked the major national media attention. Teach me. Its worth something in the service of your politics.
Sealove The national media fucked us with a stick.
Sarcoxie Coby looked like a man with a past, so they took that tack.
Sealove Like it was bait.
Sarcoxie But they know you now. It could help the movement. We are fighting a war, and one of the many fronts is public opinion. How can we present ourselves as intelligent, contemplative, true? Retarded Slave needs a manager. Youre my #1, first-round draft pick.
Sealove I have to be up at six, the truck leaves at 6:45. Im on it every morning.
Sarcoxie In your closet, you still have red and black suits. I have seen them. I could really do something with this hair. Sealove, you could be our Malcolm McClaren.
Sealove You want a record deal. Have you paid dues? Waited tables for a 12 hour shift? Done five years in an all night copy shop? It does wonders for your politics, and your career as a political punk rocker. Ill go to the show on Saturday, if you come to Mass with me on Sunday.
Sealove Im a better Catholic after 10 years as an atheist. My understanding of God is organic, political, active. Ive got some concepts sketched out .
Sarcoxie What happened to you?
Sealove One Saturday, I went to a Mass for the dead Mom paid for, on the anniversary of grandma's death. I wanted to go, to have a mass for my own dead. It was good for my head. It was like I had never left. It felt so physical, like a warming up for a sport, I felt an electricity up and down my spine, I was plugged back in.
Sarcoxie What are you doing?
Sealove your friends in the black bloc, the boys in the band wouldnt dig it.
Sarcoxie the Church is a diseased blanket thrown over human history. The Church is against reproductive rights, the full range of human sexuality. They arent in the real world.
Sealove The political informs the spiritual and vice versa, they strengthen each other, two boards fastened with screws creates a beam with more strength together than the sum total strength of the planks apart.
Sarcoxie There are certain traditions you cant just casually pop back into if you want authentically modern consciousness.
Sealove And there are certain traditions that you wake up and realize you never left, I was always fighting for truth these past years, some call Truth, God. What if we werent just a punk rockers, but we were prophets?
Sarcoxie The newspaper is dead, if you cant be a reporter anymore, Can't you chill out for a while?
Sealove I am a reporter of the future. I work as a carpenter now to not live back in the mess. I think about it too much, it possesses me. A good reporter stays out of the story, right?
Sarcoxie That was never your strong suit.
Sealove Its good to have you home. You make it really home. I gotta crash. Gnight.
(he kisses her on the cheek, and then moves into a dream . There should be no blackout, but a somewhat seamless transition .)
Coby Benton appears. Hes the age he was at the time of his death: about 42.
Coby : The gloves are on now and its all "nice-nice" but when the first debate question is thrown out, its gonna be like two cats with their tails tied together thrown over a clothesline!
Sealove Thats when the American People will finally see The Candidate, and me for who they are.
Coby Issues. Boil it down to a simple message and one or two key issues. Keep it simple, copasetic and telegenic. Repeat yourself.
Sealove This campaign is about offering the people a whole new program, about making American Democracy democratic, putting the reins of the economic horses into the hands of the common people, sweeping the pigs off the pedestals, starting with my opponent.
Candidate But I wear a pilots flight jacket and shuffle and smirk just like one of the guys. Im going to win because I am suspicious of the darker breeds, like the rest of the guys. I have a base. You, my friend, are a freak.
Sealove Benton, how is it that a ruling-class prep school brat gets to pose like an average guy, but I cant seem to get on the scoreboard? Ive got real politics. What are the polls?
Coby Not bad, not great. Youre on the board, down 5%, plus or minus 2 points for margin of error. 20% undecided. Eight weeks to go. A big fat blunder on either side could throw this one. Do we try something risky or maintain the strategy?
Sealove "Go big or stay home?" lets do it for real. Whatya got?
Coby As you know, rumors have been flying for years about the Candidates wild youth. Hell I wrote the book on his 72 cocaine arrest, but they killed that story. I say we take the opposite tack: total transparency. Past behavior IS representative of current character. Lay it on the line.
Candidate Coby Benton is a science fiction writer, a felon whose credibility is zero, but thats already a zero with me, because with me, his credibility was zero to begin with.
Journalist But sir, what about the evidence of some sort of arrest in 1972, the suspension from flying duty in the Texas Air National Guard, the new Texas Drivers license number right before this campaign?
Candidate Coby Benton was arrested for trying to kill his boss. I think bosses everywhere should shudder and think twice before believing anything in his writing about me. Thank you, and God Bless you, and may God Bless America.
Journ Sealove, youre a left-of-center new new Democrat running to the left of anyone in your party. Does this mean you will admit to smoking cocaine?
Sealove (with Clintonian/JFK poise)
I have never smoked cocaine. I have never shot heroin. I did snort that stuff, and it was fantastic. But really, reeeally dangerous.
Marijuana, however, is a safe, warm, nurturing substance. My opponent will not publicly recognize this truth, because all things warm and nurturing were beaten out of him long ago by Ivy league fraternity hazing rituals, a persistent hard narcotics habit, and failed ventures in the oil industry. Ive published the truth about him, and regret he doesnt recognize the beauty and the suffering implicit in life. He has turned into a glib creature, a short-tempered, sarcastic, cruel, foul-mouthed runt whose candidacy is a joke we laugh at at our own peril.
Journ Your rebuttal, sir.
Candidate My opponent is a communist and he hasnt had a serious girlfriend in over four years. Hes been OBSESSED with a certain newspaper that slings mud and feces at yours truly. But whats the secret about Sealove? Does he have The Compassion? What about this? (he holds up a white piece of paper) My team recently uncovered the details about Sealoves history with genital warts!
chaos erupts, everyone ad libs
Journ HOT, MAN, this is HOT.
Coby "Go big or stay home." Were going big!
Sealove Ha! A common ailment that plagues a million Americans. Another reason we need more openness about sex education, less fear of the body. Now, for a whole new definition of God. My opponent is old school.
Candidate God is a man, a jealous god, a white bearded crotchety old father figure who breaks balls, lays down the law, and lets the hammer fall.
Sealove Its true when people say God is Dead, but more specifically, they mean his definition of God.
God is the bedrock of a set of ideas about liberation, God is a revolutionary machine, and every revolution marked by the hunger for freedom is marked by God. But you have to know how to look for the mark of God, and to do that, you would, once or twice in your life, have to have experienced freedom. Not shallow jingoist pretensions, shady business deals through family connections, not a life spent first in aimless debauchery, and then the gluttonous accumulation of wealth and power. In fact, I personally cant think of a worse antithesis of Freedom, of God, than the life I am describing. A life that never really stood for anything. A life that never broke away from the family, the pack, the frat, the Board of Directors, and said, Im my own man, I have my own mind, and this is what I think.
(seamless or somewhat seamless segue out of dream and into work the next morning SCENE 4)
Hunter I think you had better get your fucking head out of your ass before you knock us both off the fucking scaffolding. Where are you today? Youre daydreaming so much I should smack you silly.
Sealove Sorry. Im trying to focus. My sister got back into town and shes got me thinking.
Hunter Take the tape and hold it tight, TIGHT! Were all chalked off now and Ive got to give Karl his numbers.
Hunter OK Karl?
Hunter 98 _ heavy. 75 3/8 perfect, 51 and 5/16s, 39 1/8 light, make it a C-hair light.
(Karl, who is down on the ground, cutting, throws up the first piece of cedar siding. Hunter and Sealove use aluminum block spacers to place it and then hand-nail it on with trim hammers.)
Sealove At least I know now what vinyl siding is supposed to look like. Its designed to look like this cedar clapboard siding.
Hunter We dont do vinyl siding. And you wouldnt in this neighborhood.
Sealove Oh, I know. Its not old fashioned enough. Give it 20 years.
Hunter Its also not my trade. Trim is my trade. Trim and windows.
Sealove I wonder if thats why some people call pussy "trim." Because its delicate, like cedar moldings, its special, it surrounds an opening, not everyone is good at it.
(Karl throws up another piece. Hunter catches it and smiles.)
Hunter Is that why youre so out to lunch?
Sealove No. I have a brain that is a horses brain. Its wild. Sometimes the thoughts go galloping across and they drag me along. (he catches a siding piece from Karl. They nail it on.)
Hunter Then why are you doing carpentry?
(Karl throws another piece to Hunter, who sets it but then takes out his tape and checks it.)
Hunter Karl, this piece is a C-hair heavy. Watch your cuts. And check your tape, the way you treat tools Take a C-hair off a this, a BC hair.
Sealove What does C-hair stand for?
Hunter C-Hair? C-hair is cunt hair. BC hair is black cunt hair.
Sealove Oh. This whole house was built with one thing on the mind.
(Hunter catches piece from Karl)
Hunter God forbid. I m trying to get my ex off of my mind.
Sealove How long has it been?
Hunter We were engaged, it was supposed to be this summer, friends let me know she was cheating on me, I asked her about it, we start fighting, I come home from work the next day the moving truck is there and her friends are moving her out. Thats how I found out. Catch.
(Throws out the tape for new numbers, in a big gesture.)
Lets take the next set of numbers, lets keep Karl busy down there.
You know how I was in that Skeet Shooting competition on Saturday? I get up at 4:30 to hit the road and she calls me. She was just coming home, probably, probably got into a fight with that new guy, so she calls me. She asks me, "Am I an asshole? Am I a total bitch?" I didnt know what to say. But I remember, I said, "You know, its funny. Im just getting up, and youre just going to bed. That says something right there, doesnt it?"
(he writes down numbers on his tape. Beat.)
Sealove You asked her to marry you though.
Hunter I have never loved anyone like I loved her. And she doesn't know what she's doing. I'd rather fall off the 40 foot ladder down onto dry earth then have to go through this again.
(He looks down and sees Karl)
Hunter Whered you go?
Karl I was taking a piss.
Hunter You were around back petting the trout.'
Karl Nah, I got mine. Hey, I checked my watch in the truck. Its 10:10.
Hunter You whiny bitch, we take break when I say the word.
Karl I didnt even say anything. I was just letting you know.
Hunter copies a final number down off the wall onto his tape.
Hunter Fuck it, lets take break.
They climb down off the scaffolding and take off their tool belts. They all take out sandwiches and snacks. They break out lawn chairs and Sealove breaks out a box to sit on. Sealove takes out plastic containers and pours himself a bowl of cold cereal. Karl takes out a tin of anchovies and crackers.
Hunter At the skeet competition, squeezing the trigger, I thought I would think of her, but I couldn't, I wouldnt even think of ever hurting her. Can you believe that? Don't I have the right to be angry? Are you eating Anchovies?
Karl They remind me of my girlfriend.
Hunter A dirty sanchez reminds me of your girfriend.
Karl Fuck you, Nigga.
Hunter Watch your mouth, Cracker.
Sealove Wait, Dirty Sanchez, what is that?
Hunter Its when you get a blow job at the same time you're taking a shit.
Karl I'm eating!
Hunter Eat it!
Sealove Before I forget, my sisters band is playing tomorrow, at the hardcore show, at the American Legion Hall. Do you want to go.
Hunter Is she hot?
Sealove You two love women and the way they taste, and so do I.
(they put on their tool belts. Sealove considers his answer.)
Sealove But remember, we are surrounded by death. Its a deathly place this world. Dont you see that from the heights of our scaffolding? The way we are trained to treat each other is death. How can we elevate our minds, fight the death? Punk rock is a starting point.
Hunter Is she Hot?
Darkness for 10 seconds. A lighter is lit and held high. Sarcoxie brings it down slowly and illuminates her face. Expectant. A little scared.
SarcoxieWho is it? What? What are you? It's not me you're looking for. I am an anarchist. I don't even believe in the language.
The lighter instantaneously goes out. We hear her make a sharp moan, twice, breathing deeply. She re-lights the lighter. She looks down at her wrist. There is a wound. She holds the lighter up to the other. There is another wound.
Scene 5 B
Sarcoxie is on stage with the other members of Retarded Slave: a female keyboard player, Terry Grodin on guitar, and a boy drummer. They are in the middle of a set, sweaty.
Sarcoxie Were Retarded Slave. Were from Vermont. This next one is a sing-along. Feel free to sing along, or dance, or DO something. Or are you just a part of the scenery?
God is Kick Ass!
When you say "God"
I think "Kick Ass!"
Ah, but some of you say there is no God.
Some say hes just historys trend
but when you think God
think of your kick-ass Dad.
Your kick-ass Dad never bends.
God is Kick Ass!
When you say "God"
I think "Kick Ass!"
He is money to the poor and the needy
he is peace of mind to the rich
some of you part time punk rockers
are too good to believe
I blame the sexual itch!
Imagine Him coming in glory
imagine you kids who are wrong
Imagine you radicals down in a dark pit
Retarded Slave will still be singing
our little song:
God is Kick Ass!
When you say "God"
I think "Kick Ass!"
[song ends, but Sealove takes the mike, the band amps into a faster groove that backs him up.]
OK, no problem, your points are nailed to the wall
God is dead to you, the God of cock and balls
once we saw God, in a desert, dry and sore
a God that slayed Arabs, a hard cock and sword
and now history has brought us here, a springboard to the new
A new definition is ours if you can do it, Can you?
God is Kick Ass!
When you say "God"
I think "Kick Ass!"
God is in you, the word and the truth
the Light, the sacrifice, the tree and the root
when we fight the greed were not doing something new
were putting God back in the world he once knew
God is Kick Ass!
When you say "God"
I think "Kick Ass!"
[band begins playing a new song. Sarcoxie pulls out a big bottle of red wine.)
Sarcoxie Are there prophets in the house?
The word of God in your mouth?
Who wants that now?
What is in the Name?
Jesus Christ? The name is lame
It means nothing now.
It means nothing in a fight.
He said, "The Devil runs this world
And I am not going to fight him here."
But my brain is a pearl, look, a riot grrl
Can go farther than his fear
Fight the devil in his sphere
Make him nothing now
It is nothing, without a fight.
Band plays while she pulls the cork from the bottle, drinks. She fills her cheeks, and holds them full, raises her arms out as if inviting the crowd forward. Sealove gets what she is trying to do, first, and steps closer, drinks the wine from her mouth, a wet red kiss. Others follow suit, Karl, punk rockers of all kinds, black skinheads, Asian skate rats, and finally, Hunter.
This is my blood
Part of the earths flood
work blood shed
A subsistence wage
This is my blood
And now its your blood
My rage, your pace
My face your grace
Anything I do
You can too
And should do
And will do
It has passed to you
To you, pass it among you, too
She passes the bottle out to the crowd, and they share it that way. She sings, right at Sealove.
Do you think they will spot you refuge
give you a spot on which to speak the truth?
Why are their priests always men?
What kind of God do you worship then?
Are there prophets here?
Yes, they are near.
Do they know the plan?
No, they dont fully understand.
It's not outside of us,
it's in us, here
if it doesn't smash the casts of the past
then I'd rather drink a beer
but if this blood could be mine
and yours at the same time
and the messiah was everyone
then I think the plan is clear
or you might become a priest
a fattened hesitant beast
plump regrets in the lonely night
it was nothing without a fight.
(song ends, crowd goes wild.)
Sarcoxie Eat your heart out Jim Morrison. Oh, were playing in two weeks exactly at the IMF Protest March and Concert on the Mall, thats June 30th, with Fugazi, Sleater-Kinney, Dead Prez, and Kool Keith. Im a co-facilitator for Global Justice Mobilized?? next week?? Here?? there will be a class about civil disobedience and non-violent resistance. There's a sign up sheet in the back, and some more info, OK? Good night.
Sarcoxie gives high fives to band, and people who come up to her after the show, but it breaks up quickly, and people go home, while Sarcoxie, Hunter, and Sealove all go together to a bar. Over the course of SCENE 6, they buy and pour pitchers of red beer. The first lines happen as they are walking into the bar .
Sarcoxie You went to Robert E. Lee? Me and him went to St. Ignatius. Obviously.
Hunter Wow. You had to wear the uniforms?
Sarcoxie Ha ha, yeah. Thats what I remember most too, the uniforms.
Sealove And having to take religion every semester, 8 semesters of Bible, I hated it at the time, but now
Sarcoxie Are you religious, Hunter?
Hunter Well, like I said, I went to public school. My familys Presbyterian. I believe in a hard days work, and treating people right. I believe in the country, what it used to be. I don't vote, because they're all scumbags. Every single one of them.
Sarcoxie Yeah. I'm down with that.
Sealove But what you dont know is that Hunter would never hire a black guy, or a Hispanic guy and
Hunter The hell you say, you dont know my whole history!
Sealove Youve hired black guys?
Hunter Yes. It just didnt work out.
Sealove So when I asked you about the NBA semi-finals and you said "I dont watch that baboon ballet" that was?
Hunter That was a joke. Most people find that funny. I know NOW, you dont so I wouldnt bother you with that stupid kind of shit. I know now you're smarter than the average guy who works for me.
Sarcoxie If you believe in the country, then you have to believe in everyone having a shot, right?
Hunter Yeah, its against the LAW not to hire black guys.
Sealove What about "Now were working like White Guys." You say this when a part of the job is going right. What does that mean?
Hunter Blacks have black pride, whites can have pride too. It doesnt mean white supremacy, Its just something my dad used to say.
Sarcoxie You were there, you took some of the blood wine at the show, you were there connecting with all kinds of people.
Hunter I thought your show was great. It was like it wasnt like anything Ive ever seen.
Sarcoxie Thank you.
Hunter Have you ever seen this movie, Liquid Sky?
Hunter Ive got it on DVD. Youd love it. Maybe you could come over and see it.
Sarcoxie Maybe when?.
Sealove I forbid it.
Sealove Shes going out with this guy Terry Grodin.
Sarcoxie Thats hot and cold.
Sealove (gestures to Hunter) Do you know how he talks when a pretty girl is NOT around? Hunter, tell her how we take measurements on a house, go on tell her, 92 3/8 light, or 92 3/8 "C-HAIR" light. Gee, I wonder what does "C-Hair" stand for?
Sealove Go on
Hunter well its a little embarrassing, now.
Sealove Come on, chickens come home to roost.
Hunter cunt hair. "c-hair" is cunt hair
Sarcoxie Really? I think thats kind of cute.
Hunter You do?
Sealove Listen, God is Kick Ass was great, I like my new part, we should record it together. As a duet. its smart. I can see the cover art
Sarcoxie No comment on the other New Song, though.
Sealove youre out of your league.
Sarcoxie Dont turn your back on the radical tradition and ignore the blood spilled in "holy wars," the back alley abortions, the denial of humanity to women, all foisted on us by the Catholic Church.
Sealove I dont turn away from that. The Church is a bunch of people. We fail our mission all the time. But at least the Church has put in place a method to recognize flaws and get them out in the open.
Sarcoxie Yeah, they have repressed the homoeroticism in all of us, and closeted up their priests and handled the sex scandals really well.
Hunter Yeah. If any of those priests had touched my brothers kid, he wouldnt just get a slap on the wrist from the Bishop.
Sealove OK, youre both right. So, how could I possibly find anything of value here? My experience has shown me that neither punk rock or socialism has anything as healthy and self-correcting as the sacrament of confession.
Sarcoxie Hunter, would you tell your deepest secrets to a priest?
Hunter I dont have any secrets. Secrets are for liars.
Sarcoxie I mean, why cant it be to your best friend?
Sealove Your friend isnt trained to heal, its a counseling, its therapy to the poor. In the priests blessing is the collective energy of the whole Church, in there, in the laying-on of the hands.
(he lays his hands on her head. She pulls away.)
Sarcoxie (She pours herself a pint of red beer from a pitcher as she recites Crass lyrics with an eerie calm, and a bit of an English accent. He joins in a little, at times.)
"I am not He
Nor master nor lord
No crown to wear, no cross to bear
I am not He nor shall be
Warlord of nations
These heroes have run before me
Now dead on the flesh-piles, see
Awaiting their promised resurrection
There is none.
Taken aside, they were pointed away,
For God, Queen and Country.
Now in silence they lie."
Hunter (out to audience) I used to think Sealove was weird, the weirdest guy I ever met. Then I met his sister. What the hell was that? If she hates religion so much how is she going to raise her kids when shes older. I can see her having really smart kids. A boy and a girl. And I could teach the boy stuff, like how to make a go cart. Hell, I could teach the girl that too. Two go-carts, made out of spare pieces of lumber, racing down the driveway, to roll fast towards their waiting mother.
Sarcoxie Taken aside, they were pointed away,
For God, Queen and Country.
Now in silence they lie."
Sealove (with a gesture of pulling in.) I love those Crass lyrics just as much as you do, they are sublime because they connect us to truths about religion and the abuses of religion, hell, I would love to see them incorporated into a Mass someday
Sarcoxie Thats never going to happen! The Church is just too conservative!
Sealove God is the distribution of social justice, a collective work. The tradition of the prophets is gorgeous, clear language of the people rousing the weary Thats you, Sarcoxie, Isaiah was talking about you. And Hunter, when hes not being the "tough-guy boss", but I love you, brother.
Hunter I saw on the science channel our DNA, in the species shows that we were all one race only about 50,000 years ago, or so. I was thinking today, hell, look at how similar we are to trees. If you really focus on the way wood cuts, when youre on a piece of trim, on the router, sawdust is flying up as the bit cuts in and makes the nice colonial groove you want, you realize, this is a flesh, the cells of the cedar are just like the cells of human muscle, they are stacked up and strong. I love working with wood.
Sealove According to the Gnostic Gospels, Christ once said, Cleave the wood, and there am I.
"You have heard that the religions are divine and the Bibles divine, and I do not say they are not divine.
I say they have all grown out of you, and may grow out of you still.
It is not they who give the life, it is you who give the life."
Hunter (laughing) Awesome! Who said that?
Sarcoxie Walt Whitman! he used to build houses in Brooklyn, you know. His dad was a carpenter, too.
Hunter oh really? yeah, the best writers are carpenters. I've got one for you. This was my moms favorite. OK, let me see if I can remember it.
wind rocks the car
we sit parked by the river
silence between our teeth
birds scatter across islands of broken ice.
I would have said
knowing you love them
a year ten years from now
I will remember this
this sitting like drugged birds
in a glass case
only that we were here
Sealove's next speech is out to the audience, completely oblivious to the fact that Hunter and Sarcoxie are slowly turning to each other and kissing.
Sealove Prophets are the mouthpieces. We can all do it. Our enemy is huge, maybe once you get a job youll see the size of the monster. Global capitalism, the ruling class, are not going to be taken down by anarchist pop rock and not eating meat. We need a unified working class and a clear program to fight for and a new kind of leader. maybe, that new messiah, that vision, once defined, can come from everyone involved.
(they stop kissing and listen)
Sarcoxie That's exactly what I was singing about. With the right amount of consciousness, what some call "Soul", we realize the Messiah is in everyone. We all become Messianic. Because its inherent. We don't need your religion, or your political parties.
Sealove There's just not enough structure in your argument, though. How do we get to that level of mass-consciousness? What are the tools? We a new kind of art, art that challenges,
Sarcoxie Challenges even the elect, the elite who run revolutions?
Sealove Absolutely! The role of the revolutionary party, of a new form of the "Church", is to articulate and advance new values, new artforms. Part of that has to be self-criticism. You Sarcoxie, are already on that path. But you need to go farther, follow the arguments you've started to their logical conclusion.
Sarcoxie someday Yr gonna us all killed, Trouble. I think I want a shot!
Sealove At revolution? Or bourbon?
Sarcoxie Bourbon! (to Hunter) You too?
Hunter Wow. Wow. Yes.
She gets up and gets 3 shots of whiskey. Puts them down on the table.
Sarcoxie First, a toast.
She puts her hands on Hunter's head.
You are hereby liberated from all past pain. I am pulling pain energy off your brain reservoir, and am pulling the fear and hurt energy off your spine. I am sucking it out like snake poison. Just give it to me.
Now, boys, this is the Turkey. It's fighting bourbon. So go out and fight for the rest of your lives. Here's how.
They shoot the shots.
I read The Art of Sun-Tzu in a couple of fuckin days
Used to practice Kung-Fu with this nigga that's like, double my age/
And you can put this on the government's grave
Somebody payin for the way we have to suffer and slave!
Hunter So, you want to unify the people, train the militias and clean out the government, I mean, take em out.
Sarcoxie Thats the idea. But Im not a communist.
Sealove If you had the faith the size of a mustard seed you could move mountains.
Hunter Isnt your dad a cop?
Sarcoxie Our Father is an economist. For the IMF. International Monetary Fund.
Sealove Loanshark to the third world
Sarcoxie We love him anyway. You should come to the protest in two weeks, listen to what people have to say about it, and try to get both sides, and make up your own mind.
Hunter You think I dont know anything about the IMF?
Hunter I have friends in the Teamsters, the steam-fitters union, and also the sheet metal union, the guys that do all the H-VAC work, you know all the ventilation in all the houses we build. Teamsters say these IMF people come into a small country in Africa and tell the government to just cut programs on worker safety, let us smash the unions, stop protecting your own industries, because the big U.S. corporations want cheaper workers.
Sarcoxie Whered you get all this?
Hunter Gary from the Sheet Metal guys Local 5, fell through the attic floor and we would visit him in the hospital. You think I dont know whats going on? I ranked sixth in the State Champs for Skeet shooting, so watch out.
Sealove walks out, and the other two walk out together the opposite way.
Sealove back in his dads kitchen, Dad is eating a snack, looking at Washington Post. Ghost of Coby Benton is rummaging through the fridge.
Sealove Hi. What are you doing up?
Tom I never sleep through the night any more. Wheres Sarcoxie? I thought she drove.
Sealove She did. Shes spending the night at a friends.
Tom Someone in the band? How was the concert?
Sealove The show. It was good. She has a great voice. As you know, shes grown. Shes writing new material. Im trying to get her to take more risks.
Tom Ah, Risk. The soul of capitalism.
Sealove Oh, boy. Are there any beers left
(He goes to the Fridge, where Coby finds and hands him one.)
Risk? There is no interest in a new, exciting, different way of getting something done especially in the mass media, the big money doesnt want to risk anything on substance, danger, dissent. I am risk. Capitalism hates me.
Tom Oh, you had a small anti-establishment newspaper for a relatively short period of time. You were in a niche market .
Sealove I dont want to be in a niche! I want to liberate the masses.
Tom But the masses want big TVs, they dont want to talk about politics.
Sealove Tonight, Hunter, the master carpenter, said some incredibly smart- when was the last time you TALKED to working-class people? they are brilliant, they are just misinformed.
Tom What about carpentry? Have you ever thought about really buckling down and getting serious about that? I mean, youre 31, youve got to be serious about something. I mean, I wouldnt mind, even if it was the carpentry. But something.
(Sealove turns out to Coby Benton.)
Sealove He doesnt know me
Coby What am I chopped liver?
Sealove (to both) I cant be a carpenter all my life. I keep daydreaming of things irrelevant to building houses, and then BAM, Ive driven a hammer staple through my thumbnail (To CB) What was your death to him?
Coby Probably not that much of a surprise, really.
Sealove What was your writing? What was that newspaper?
Tom What about graduate school? American Literature? Then you could teach.
Sealove Id feel cut off from real life. "Nothing without a fight" your daughter sang that tonight, and now I feel real, I haven't in a while.
Tom You have no money, and at this rate, you never will. You have no savings, what if you met someone, and you wanted to settle down?
Sealove You turn on the television and sarcastically say "lets see who we bombed today?" Years ago, you said you would come with me to the counter-march protesting the Gulf War parade. But you suddenly couldnt make it. Youve got a suspicion about your own life, but then the cynicism breaks across you like a wave, and the suspicions are washed away, with a joke, or a sharp comment.
Coby Remember, also, to say:
Sealove I love you. But in this family, love has always been critical. Hey, theres a protest against the IMF/World Bank downtown in exactly 2 weeks. Come out and join us. March. Speak out. Youre of two minds, I'm talking now to the better part of you.
Tom Those crazies? They dont know what theyre talking about. They dont know economics.
Sealove some of your brightest colleagues have crossed the line, men you always found frank, friendly, down to earth. The world economic system needs serious repair, it needs your sober criticism. Joe Stiglitz is calling to you from the other side of the ravine.
Tom (while getting up)
I decided long ago that Jesus Christ didnt really rise from the dead, he was drugged by the disciples. They revived him to pull off the biggest scam in history. There are no messiahs, there is just science, and hard work. I tried to do the best I could with my life. I think I did all right. Povertys not gone, but we put a dent in it. Im OK with that. I think I can sleep now. (gets up) I would say I love you but you make me so mad.
Ghost of Coby Benton moves forward.
Coby Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
Sealove It seems we never talk anymore, except to fight.
Coby Imagine. Someday youll be staring at his grave, wishing you had been more patient.
Sealove I was supposed to remind him about that hiking trip in the Blue Ridge. When I was young we would go out for days, hike the old fire roads, find a spring coming out of the side of a mountain, and camp there. We promised wed go out again sometime this summer. But I never remember to bring it up. I opened that can of beer and took a sip and just wanted to fight.
Coby Do you want to go back? I can spot you one.
Sealove You dont mind?
Coby Dad? yo, DAD? Could you come back? Sealove wants to try it again, its important.
Tom I was just going to call your mother.
Coby Lets take it from the opening of the final beer of the night.
Sealove "Yeah, Sarcoxies got a great band, but Im trying to get her to take more risks."
Tom ah risk the soul of capitalism.
Sealove Oh, boy. Are there any beers left?
Coby Nope! Sorry! Cleaned ya out! "King-a-Beers!"
Sealove You talk about capitalism like its person, with good qualities. Cant you see that this "capitalism" is the same thing that drowned and washed up your first born son at your door?
Tom I dont know. You cant do it all. Some people never fail until theyre like age 45 and then, well, they cant handle it. They shoot themselves in their corner office. Im glad that wont be you.
Sealove Dont be so sure.
Tom hey hey hey Dont joke about something like that.
Sealove hey, remember our trips to the Blue Ridge. when are we going to get back out there. live off the land again?
Tom Oh yeah, the wild turkeys, do you remember them? running down the fire road in front of us? and what a fire road! boulders and trees fallen into it, no one could have gotten a fire truck up it in 50 years. (yawns) ah, Im so tired. I gotta get to bed. OK, sleep tight. You make me so mad sometimes, but I love you.
Coby "Beers gone, Im gone." We need to sleep too. Youre gonna be off your schedule, partner. Youre gonna be a bear to wake up at 6 on Monday.
Sealove Its Saturday Night! Or it was.
Coby Sleep. Dream of me. I will tell you secrets.
Sealove Youre dead. You only have the past.
Coby Sleep. I will tell you stories.
Sealove why did you die with $800 cash in your pocket? Why did you drive a BMW to the hotel, where you wrote,
Coby "its time for me now to go take my pills. Just remember, I am a good man who got caught in bad circumstances. I regret I wont walk little Adrianna down the aisle some day."
Sealove I got all the official evidence available that tells me you really did kill yourself, with the antidepressants and Smirnoff, and I still have doubts.
Coby Sealove, What's so scary about admitting I killed myself? Ever thought that that is the way you're going to go? Well, I have news for you, it is.
Just kidding ya, good buddy.
Seriously, you miss me, a little dontcha? Didnt you ever think, someday me and Coby will be old men on a porch, reminiscing? You've only got half a soul, and the other half doesn't fit right, because one half of it is gone! I was your other half! when we were both on a suicide course, you didn't fulfill your side of the bargain. Now, go upstairs and find dads sidearm and finish what you started, son. Or don't you have the guts?
But I love you I think you know that.
It sucks being dead. I cant find new facts for you. But I can remind you of what you forgot. They threatened My life after I first published the cocaine story. They didnt like that You brought me back from the dead, that my stories would be republished in your paper. and on the phone, they said,
Sealove watch your back, watch your wife, Jennifer, watch little Adriana.
Coby That last night in the Days Inn, I was thinking, well, the effect is the same. Watch your back. I had one eye on my back all the time. They have an eye in my head. Its still here, in my ghost head.
Sealove Youre drunk on vodka and clomnazipan.
Coby Yeah, its great, isnt it?
Sealove Whats your point?
Coby Well, I know youve got an event coming up.
Sealove What event
Coby The Big Protest!
Sealove Oh, the demo, the concert
Coby Gonna sell a lot of newspapers?
Sealove No, I dont run the paper anymore.
Coby Oh, right, right. But youre gonna make a big splash in the media with siss little combo.
Sealove the big media? their eyes are hard boiled eggs. I will just talk to the people in the streets.
Coby OK then, but think about this. Sarcoxies big show, right? And youre a big help, big brother, arent ya, gonna give the old message some more oomph, and then, well who knows what? Will you read the warning signs this time? Will you guide her down better than with me if she gets too high up a tree? Hell, I sure wasnt willing to risk my family I called my lawyer, I was like, Chris, kill the deal!! But he was like, Co-oh-by, we cant, the kid has the stories now and wants to go forward. This time, would you back down if her life was threatened?
Sealove Youre dead. Go to bed and sleep it off.
Coby Im dead. But buddy I will always be with you. You become what you are not. Out of my death comes a new life, a new purpose for you is emerging, isnt it. Well you owe me that. You owe me your new life. I will be with you forever, my ghost will fade a little, sometimes, but then a whole new wave of suspicion will break across your brain like a drink in the face. I didnt drink Smirnoff, I was a bourbon man. Every time you wonder how I died, I will be alive, clear as a moving picture.
Sealove and Sarcoxie take out a cord of 2x4s and lay them out, with saw horses.
Sarcoxie What was that Gospel all about? Jesus Christ clearing the temple? He destroyed property. If he was around now, hed be out there with us, smashing the windows of a bank, Starbucks, the Gap, he would think the cause of justice was worth it. That Gospel was major Space Kitten cool. Im surprised he didnt get arrested.
Sealove Oh yeah, the Gospel of John is all about Jesus avoiding arrest. He says he wont show up at a wedding feast, and then he does, in disguise and preaches there.
Sarcoxie What are we building.
Sealove A philosophical framework. Lets start with the legs. The structure needs two bases of real world support: the political and the spiritual. So, we take two 12 footers and screw them together, like so (he breaks out a screw gun drill.)
Sarcoxie Wouldnt a nail gun make this so much faster?
Sealove If we had one.
He continues to drive screws, but the screw guns power supply is weak. She goes off stage and comes back with a big orange Paslode framing gun. She goes down the beam and nails it all off in 20 seconds. While Sealove gives up on the screw half screwed in.
Sealove Whered you get that?
Sarcoxie Its Hunters. He showed me some stuff last night and I asked if I could borrow it. Because its so cool.
(she nails off the post)
Sealove Its going to make this job a hell of a lot easier.
Sarcoxie I just cant remember how to reload it.
Sealove Its easy, you pull this down like this, and the ammo goes in at the angle
Sarcoxie Oh right, he showed me that last night.
Sealove How to nail? Or get nailed
Sarcoxie Fuck. Off .
Sealove he just went through a bad break-up.
Sarcoxie not with me
Sealove Youre not going to break his heart, are you?
Sarcoxie I slept with him once.
Sealove Here, nail this one, off, I will pull out more legs.
Sarcoxie Why dont you let me know if youre going to be weird about this all day.
Sealove I thought you were sleeping with Terry Grodin.
Sarcoxie On occasion. We see other people.
Sealove But theres nothing there.
Sarcoxie I care about him. Hes a friend. Ive known him forever.
Sealove Im just trying to not get fired. [she playfully aims the gun at him]
Sarcoxie What your church doesnt get is sex, women, and reproductive freedom.
Sealove Also, I care about you.
Sarcoxie They go to all this effort to prove Mary was a Virgin, and Christ was too, when the Gnostic Gospels record that Jesus was in love with Mary Magdalen, a prostitute, and kissed her on the lips.
Sealove Sure. And John the Evangelist refers to himself as the "disciple Jesus loved" who "reclined on Jesuss chest" during the Last Supper. Whats up with that?
Sealove OK, the legs are done, now the braces, and the platform.
He takes out 6 foot 2x4s, and small ones for braces at an angle of 45 degrees, to nail to the top of the legs.
Catholics, communists, conservatives, we all talk about the need for moral standards. The bracing effect gives us a platform to stand on, a look out.
Sarcoxie You are placing yourself above the people. "No moral absolutes can apply to a world that is fundamentally absurd." Simone De Beauvoir .
Sealove But that lets the big pigs off the hook, how can we condemn the evil in the world without a philosophical framework?
Sarcoxie Wait, were making, a platform?
Sealove To shelter baby oak trees.
Sarcoxie A new treehouse?
Sarcoxie Glad Bear! I suddenly have new respect for your philosophical framework!
Sealove Morality is just what we do to survive. Do you get that yet? The alternative is to die young
Sarcoxie Im not afraid to die.
Sealove then while you live, live to the fullest. Revolutionaries want to smash the barriers between mental and manual labor, right? Our way of living has to be the moral equivalent of this, a hybrid
Sarcoxie Hey, can you fire this at something, if you pull back the safety?
Sealove Yes. Dont point that at me. I saw a guy get shot in the hand once. Guys were fooling around one shot the other in the hand, and it stuck in.
Sarcoxie What happened?
Sealove Boss came over, pulled the nail out, told him to knock off the horseplay and get back to work.
Sarcoxie Where in the hand did he get shot?
Sealove Right about here (points below thumb.) Why do you ask?
Sealove Well, it's weird. I had a dream, a couple nights ago, right before the show, right here, I had nail wounds.
Sealove Just like
Sealove That's a powerful sign. You'll say it was something you drempt up.
Sarcoxie I'll speak for myself. My mind fights so much, I'm getting a feeling from a different part of me that there was something to that dream.
In the ancient book of the prophet Joel it is written "Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams." And your ex riot grrls will do things you old men haven't even dreamed of.
Midnight, Sunday, one week later, at the house. Hunter comes on stage with a beat up acoustic guitar case.
Hunter [he hisses] Sealove! SEALOVE!
Sealove comes to the window.
Sealove I was asleep.
Hunter Come down here and help me.
Sealove We gotta work in the morning
Hunter This is more important. Its just four chords.
Sealove comes down to the front door.
Hunter here. I wrote this last night. Its just four chords. Over and over. Its going to be great. Its going to work. I just cant play it and sing it at the same time. Play an A-flat. Right now down to there, and then there, and there. Like this beat, boom dee boom dee boom dee dee boom; boom dee boom dee boom dee boom de boooom. Not too fast, follow me for the feeling.
Sarcoxie appears at the window
Sarcoxie You must be here for your framing gun.
Hunter I wrote you a song.
Sarcoxie You write songs?
Hunter I used to. Mostly old school Country. I hope you like it. (to Sealove) Ready?
Sarcoxie, You are not mine
but I dream about you all the time
someday you could be mine
but now, all I have is time
its not natural for me
to fall so hard
a crush this tough
is taking all my time
what if you never yes, Oh all Right
Ill go out to eat with you sometime?
All the time Ive spent thinking about you
I could have been cleaning the tools
or designing a house in my mind
I have wasted all my time
You are not and will not be mine
You are not mine
youre made of light and dreams
and I grind my teeth
dreams are not true
in the morning dont you ever feel used?
If my time, was paid like a wage
youd own it all
and I would be your slave
at wet t-shirt contests
I cant see some nice breasts
without thinking youd disapprove
and thats fine Im OK, I can be the better man
the things youve said are the touch of your hand
on my heart
and it smarts, cause you dont understand
the effect on me, of you
you are not mine
you have never let me look deep into your eyes
what are you afraid of?
in my mind, Im looking deep into your eyes
do you remember the one time
you touched my arm in a bar?
I want that all the time
I just want you to touch
my arm in a bar
sex is not sex if you dont spend the night
funny how you can "sleep with" someone
and never close your eyes
come over again
sleep in these arms of mine
Ill make French Toast for you
well make the most of time
Terry Grodin comes to the window and looks out, besides Sarcoxie. Hunters song modulates and amps up in intensity:
But you, you are not mine
Im not your tree-hugger
who knows whats on his mind
I am outside your life
the suns my ex-wife
its burned my neck red
like the other working guys
No, you, you are not mine
and the red sun is setting on the workplace of my mind
I just hope youre happy with hippies and street mimes
you deserve someone sharp and fine.
Hunter is upset and he leaves.
SarcoxieThis is so wack.
Sealove hes so strung out on you
Sarcoxie I wish youd quit.
Sealove Im part of that crew.
Sarcoxie youre going to tell me to call him.
Sealove too pushy.
Sarcoxie Ha! You want me to think of him.
Sealove Id like to know why you dont
Sarcoxie Terry and I separate but then come back together fast, like parts of a magnet.
Sealove youre getting more serious?
Sarcoxie We have three major problems. But were getting less careless.
Sarcoxie What are you doing?
Sealove Terry Grodin, come down here a second, would ya?
Terry Whatsup, Sealove?
Sealove Do you love my sister?
Sarcoxie You dont have to answer that.
Sealove What do you mean, he doesnt have an answer?
Terry Whats going on?
Sealove OK, let me rephrase it. Terry, what do you believe in?
Terry The Clash. Retarded Slave, I believe in the black block, direct action. What do YOU believe in.
Sealove kissing counts, and that sex is serious. I came over because Hunter sort of fell for Sarcoxie and they would be good for each other, I see them refining each other, like crude oil into spirits.
Terry But wouldnt that be almost running your sisters life?
Sealove Im the spiritual leader of Retarded Slave! You bring the ruckus, I bring the discipline! Somebody needs to get involved here, I think. [beat.]
Sarcoxie You think of me as just your kid sister, but Im a grown woman.
Sealove Oh, Crap, Is this none of my business? Or are you two suddenly more serious about each other?
Terry You need to get laid. (he exits.)
Sarcoxie Ill see you later, Champ.
At the worksite, in the rain, one week later.
Hunter You know how to use a table saw?
Sealove Ive seen you do it.
Hunter You always keep your hand on the wood, because it might bind, and shoot back into you. Never lean into it, you might slip and fall into the blade. Never wear gloves, take those off. If it nicks your hand, with those things on, itll pull you into the blade. This thing is no joke. Look here, its got a measurements guide on it but you never use this, its not accurate. You take out your tape and measure from the inside of the blade to the guide bar. Now, I need all of this cedar cut to 2 1/4" its got to be perfect. Ill do the first couple, show you how its done.
He turns it on. He pushes wood through to Sealove, on the other side, huge, super long pieces of cedar.
Hunter So, I saw her last night.
Sealove Oh yeah? How was that?
Hunter (pause) I should have called ahead last week, played the song some other time.
Sealove Did she tell you you are in a new song, of hers?
Hunter What? No.
Sealove Not like a love song, like a song about real life. She writes about relationships comments on past failures, finds a pattern, is up above it too, just to prove she didnt fall in love like a sucker. Its part of her war on gender.
Hunter Sounds awful.
Sealove its entertaining to watch.
Hunter Im really wasting my time with these hopes.
Sealove maybe what shes writing about now, is just a transition to something deeper, heavier, more substantial.
Hunter thats bullshit and you know it. shes writing about herself because thats who she thinks of first. I gotta find someone right, someone traditional. Not someone who enjoys getting on my mind. I spend so much time. And shes just nervous. At the show, it was like a window, I saw someone as pure and rich like the cedar, blood in her cheeks, wet sweat on her forehead, a smile like the devil on her face, singing about .
He cuts his hand on the table saw. He screams and cusses, ad lib.
Sealove Shit, put pressure on it!
Hunter Pick up the fingers. You can drive the box truck, right? Were going to the emergency room. Get me in the fucking truck before I go into shock. Fuck that was so fucking stupid. Women. Look at what women have done to me.
Scene 4. Sarcoxie visits Hunter in the hospital. She reads to him from Cool for You by Eileen Myles.
Ive often thought of a female Christ. David told me theres one in a church in Montreal. Mostly the world cant take it. Because of peoples feelings about the delicacy of women and also because of what a meaningless display female suffering simply is. If you belittle us in school, treat us like slaves at home and finally, if you get a woman alone in bed just tell her shes all wrong, no matter what sex you are...or maybe you just grab one on the street and fuck her real fastin an alley, or in her own bed.
I mean if thats the way it usually goes for this girl what would be the point in seeing her half nude and nailed up? Wheres the contradiction? Could that drive the culture for 2,000 years? No way. Female suffering must be hidden, or nothing can work. Its a mans world and a girl on a cross would be like seeing a dead animal in a trap. We like to eat them, or see them stuffed, we even like to wear them, but watch them suffer? Hear them wail?
Hunter I would never want to watch you suffer. I would go crazy if someone hurt you.
Sarcoxie Well, I'm not enjoying that my friend Hunter had to have two fingers sewn back on his hand.
Hunter Don't worry about it. The painkillers are awesome.
Sarcoxie Wait till they wear off.
Hunter (super mellow)
I can hack it. I've had hunting accidents. Been out there for hours. I had a dream about you. You were being chased by a pack of wolves, but then you remembered you had a nail gun and you shot it at them. And then I was there too, with my deer rifle, and we were blasting them. It was full-color.
(he nods off)
Sarcoxie That's awesome
She says quiety, because he had fallen asleep. She tucks him in a little and goes, but leaves the book.
At the IMF. Daniel Winerman impersonates a friend of Toms.
Dan Tom? How are you, old man?
Tom Oh, hi? Im sorry, help me with your name.
Dan You dont the Christmas party a couple years ago?
Tom Oh its a yes I think
Dan So, how are the kids?
Tom Oh, fine. Were very proud of them. They.
Dan Still causing trouble?
Tom Well, theyre grown now, both of them.
Dan I hear your daughter will be out there this weekend.
Tom You did? What did you hear?
Dan shes a "co-facilitator" for a front group of anarchists and communists.
Tom Shes a musician. All of those lessons, paying off!
Dan wed call them Terrorists if this was Colombia, Tom, and you know it.
Tom You know what they say, in 20 years, most of them will be in here, trying to change the world from the inside.
Dan And you know what else they say, this interference doesnt understand what our organization stands for, what we are trying to do, they dont have the hard science to comprehend the work. They are romantics.
Tom I used to think that too.
Dan People in my department are beginning to wonder if she couldnt be reined in a little bit.
Tom How do you mean
Dan Is there a way she could be convinced to stay at home this weekend.
Tom Shes 22. The tricky part is to learn to let go. They learn to walk by falling.
Dan Spare the rod, spoil the child. Think about it, Tom.
Tom I've been thinking of this as a free speech issue.
Dan But your own family? Did you send them through college, Tom? Didn't you pay for piano lessons?
Tom Really, it would be bad for her future, most of all.
Dan Exactly. In 20 years she's not going to be in here, if she goes out tomorrow, gets arrested, get's put in the tank on the harder track they have for the leaders, and the real wild kids.
Tom Im sorry Im not sure I ever caught your name.
Dan Stroud. Internal Affairs.
Dan Look Tom, There are people who play hardball about these things, there are higher ups who want us to put pressure on the leaders, its a movement against us, you understand that, Tom, it's against my job, and yours, even though she is your flesh and blood, right? I dont want things to get out of control, so think about giving her a long talk, Tom. Take away the keys. Its going to be hell in the City this weekend. I wouldn't want my kids there. I wouldn't allow it.
Tom and Sealove in the kitchen. Sealove is laying out and packing his backpack with the things hell need for the protest: band aids, gauze bandages, small bolt cutters, gas mask, vinegar, handkerchiefs, bandanas, a pack of cigarettes, a cell phone, some gum, and a copy of the little red book.
Sealove 600 protestors were arrested an hour ago, just surrounded in a park and cuffed and put in vans.
Tom Well, thats the risk you run.
Sealove What happened to free speech? The Constitution is a piece of toilet paper, it's a police state out there now.
Tom You know what they say, "A man who isnt a socialist at 20 has no heart, and a man who isnt a conservative at 30 has no head."
Sealove well, I have a head. A person who is still a socialist at 30 is probably a better socialist then he was at 20.
Tom It looks like youre heading off to war.
Sealove just looks at Tom. Smiles a little.
Sealove Pray for us.
Tom I dont pray. You know that.
Sealove I should have called in sick and gone out there today, I shouldn't have waited for Saturday. This is my work. If you're not going to say some sort of prayer for us, then keep us in your thoughts. Have a great annual conference!
Sealove So, how are you? Are you ready?
Sarcoxie I got a death threat last night. On the phone. Isnt that hilarious?
(Terry and Sarc. Laugh together)
Sealove um, no. Terry, could you give us some space, just for a minute?
Terry Dude it's just like dude, whatever.
Sealove I don't laugh at death threats, Coby used to get them. What did they say?
Sarcoxie Anthrax tear gas. Cops shoot Anthrax. Yeah, right.
Sealove Anthrax reproduces so fast in your lungs, it creates a foam, youre gone within a half hour.
(sound of a siren going by. They stop and duck.)
Sealove This is your Garden of Gesthemene. This is the point in your process where if you were Jesus youd be sweating blood, praying to let the bitter cup pass you by.
Sarcoxie Do your fucking job. Do what you came here for. Thats what I would have told him.
Sealove Knowing its going to hurt.
Sarcoxie It was probably just some redneck they hired.
Sealove Close your eyes and have a moment of rest, it might be the last chance for that. Its time to look inside you, to be able to bring this off and out of you. Make a connection to what is serious, permanent and liberating inside and outside of you. Youre always quoting other people like youre possessed of spirits, but now its time for Sarcoxie to become a prophet with her own voice. Isaiah volunteered when no one would and the angels put a burning coal inside his mouth and it became his voice. That gives you something to shoot for.
Sarcoxie I have a new song. Youll hear it tomorrow. I think youll like it.
Tom Its really quite an honor to meet you, Mr. President. Thank for speaking here today.
Candidate I like banks!
Tom Ha ha! Well, what is it exactly about banking
Candidate They have money.
Tom Ah yes, well, you see, weve undertaken new initiatives to partner with the private sector in my region, Bolivia and Brazil, to try to open up borders to international investment, reduce tariffs, lubricate the gears, so to speak.
Candidate In Brazil, do you have Blacks?
Tom Im sorry?
Candidate Like in our country?
Tom Black, people?
Candidate Whatever. Which way is lunch?
Tom Lunch? I thought you knew how to get there. Come with me. (they exit.)
Tom Are you my daughter?
Sarcoxie Dad, what are you doing here?
Tom Look at this, this looks like Viet Nam. Is that tear gas? What are you doing here?
Sarcoxie Has anyone confronted you?
Tom No, I thought they'd love a chance to argue with a real IMF economist, but no one has said a word. Not much of an argument there.
Sarcoxie How do you feel about this?
Tom Well, your mother called. I told her you were performing at this, and she became upset.
Sarcoxie Speak for yourself, though, how do YOU feel.
Tom Well, I'm pro free speech you know that. But your mother said if you played the concert, you were no longer her daughter. It's not about politics with her, it's about loyalty to the family.
Sarcoxie But she didn't actually say that.
Tom That's what she told me.
Sarcoxie I would know it if she said that. (she turns to go) Get in touch with your emotions, Dad. Take a good hard look at your life.
Demonstration heats up. Concert starts simultaneously. Both happen at once. Retarded Slave are setting up on stage, upstage center, on tall platform. In front of band are the actions: marching drum circle, people selling newspapers, cops line up to stop march, massive arrests, protestors throw teddy bears, cops use tear gas and pepper spray against them, protestors pour water into each others eyes, to try and heal each other, remove poisoned clothes.
Over this, Sarcoxie sings the War Song.
Sarcoxie I trained my body to drink from the bladder
Through city and jungle
I track prey
I can slow my heart to almost stillness
The land teaches tricks, the night tricks the day
I want to fuck your fear
In the ass
I want to eat it while its still alive.
I will cut it open in the field
We will cook it over our fire.
Your argument is impaled
Your mind has failed
Your God is your hate and your hate will fade
The system panics
The system falters
The Beast sinks slow and it plaintively wails.
Back to first part, but this time a little faster
We tracked the Beast
It broke sticks as it panicked
It bellowed stuck deep in the tar
We dissected it when we fell upon it
Only then did it know who we are
Your body makes fluid that can dissolve metal
Your mind has ideas that snap chains like sticks
We are clay now
Heading into the fire
We will emerge and fly like the bricks
She backs up against the back wall of the stage, gets behind a mike stand. She leans down behind the drum kit and picks up the Paslode framing gun. She puts her left arm up against the wall, and nails the wrist there with the gun in her right arm. The drummer gets up, kisses her, takes the gun and nails the other wrist. Music changes.
Death is their trade
Their love is hate
"work is freedom"
written on the gate
they cover us in poison
but we have a reason
and nothing is holy to them
the cynics are crumpled
to them, nothing is true
the new Messiah
is an Idea
free as the radio waves
coming from you
Hunter emerges from the crowd, injured hand and all, and throws a fire extinguisher at the police who have been pepper-spraying the kids. They shoot him at point blank range in the face. He falls. Sealove runs from the stage to hold him in his last seconds.
Sarcoxie sits in a large chair, her wrists bandaged. She is like a queen of the chaos.
Terry and Coby are in front of her, talking.
Terry I dont believe you rose from the dead. I believe you were never really dead.
Coby lust for revenge is a force that takes you through walls! Would a neophyte like yourself recognize death when he saw it, or war?
Terry These nightstick bruises didnt come for free. We shut down the IMF Summit with our teeth.
Coby we can hold the City for one day, that to me says we have one chance to burn it down. my time here is limited.
Terry now wait, we might have more time the reinforcements.
Enter Sealove with a prisoner, it is The Candidate.
Candidate Hey Fellas. Hows it going?
Coby Gangrene Caesar, you're a cyst, I will stab it like a boil!
Candidate I cant tell you how I feel. I feel horrible about all of this.
Sealove Coby, there have been too many executions of the police in this revolution. The people need to re-establish justice. I saw this coming a long way off.
Candidate I havent had my favorite TV shows, or the special juice.
Coby Two months after I "ODed" & died, the world ended for 3000 New Yorkers. Did they tell you that would happen?
Candidate Thats funny. Not really. They said today you become a man, and that we cant tell you exactly what, because thats the trick, you have to figure out how to deal with it, on your own. Afterwards, they said, you ran and youre not a man. So I was like, aw, shit!
(he laughs. they dont. he stops.)
Candidate When can I go?
Coby We are going to hang you.
Sealove Not without a trial.
Coby My daughter is 2 years old. I will never see her again. Children in Iraq, hell, in the USA, are starving because of your kind. You will never see them. Thats why this revolution happened. And why youre going to die.
Sealove You will get a popular tribunal. The chief of police can serve as your attorney, or the D.A. if we can find him. And then the jury of the 12 will sentence you.
Coby Make him take off his shirt.
Sealove do it.
Candidate do I have to?
Sealove 14 police officers were slaughtered at point blank in Lafayette Square yesterday. The opposite of that isnt non-violence. Its specificity. The least you could do, Sir, is take off your shirt.
he stands without his shirt.
he addresses Coby.
Cand I thought you were dead.
Coby I was dead. But I wouldnt miss this.
Candidate Well, Im glad you rose from the dead. People like you make this country great.