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Redemption in the Verse

[Dog barks loudly. Annie gets up from bed and walks passed the calendar and glances.It’s late at night.]

God, I miss him. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already. I don’t know if I can stand it anymore without him. I needed him. I need him. He… We needed each other. He was my other half. My other half who got ripped to shreds by that drunk… [opens door for dog to go outside] fucker who threw his car off the road. No one cared. He had no family. They threw his death to the wind. But not me. I remember. I remember every. single. day. and every waking moment I think about that god damn man and how much I loved him. [Looks up] Why did you have to work so much? I barely got to see you! And look at how you died… on your way to that shithole. Can you tell I haven’t slept very well since the last time that we spoke? [Looks down] He used to tell me [wipes tears from eyes] “I know that I am here, and you are there… but we still have our love.” It’s some song quote, I don’t know and I don’t care. None of that matters now. He’s gone. [Looks up again] Maybe we still do have our love, huh? But guess what I don’t have? You. All the love’s still there. I just don’t know what to do with it now. [Goes into the refrigerator and downs a bottle of alcohol. Coughs] What do I have to do to bring you back… what do I have to do? Please understand I’ve been drinking again and all I do is hope. Please… [breaks down and cries] Ya know… [opens door for dog to come back inside] this isn’t what he’d want. He’d want you to be strong, to be brave and move on, find someone else. But I c- Yes you can. You can and you will. For him. I can’t forget about him. He was… is my everything. If love is a labor, I’ll slave til the end. I don’t care. I’ll die loving him just like I- what the fuck am I doing? Is this what it’s come to? Talking to myself? He’s gone. Deal with it. Forcing things to be bright just makes the darkness underneath even darker. Look at me I’m doing it again for fuck’s sake… like there’s two different people in this room, what am I? Crazy? I should just go back to bed, I need a break from all this… Hell, I need a break from myself. [Walks away singing] “...but we still have our love. I’ve been to heaven, I’ve been to hell. I’ve been to Vegas, and God knows where… But nothing feels like home… like you babe. I love you more than you will ever know.”
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Monsters in the closet

(Jonathan is tossing and turning in his bed because he is having nightmares about a monster from childhood.)

(Something falls and Jon Jumps from his sleep) All that I know, from every creak in this wood and every bump in the night is that there are too many bags sagging under your eyes to keep them closed half the time. I always find myself back in this same place with you and I can’t find a way to let you go!! Its like I-I-I can feel you breathing down my neck every second that it gets dark and I’m tired of thinking that I’m crazy! Remember when mom said if I was ever scared, to hold onto my kneecaps, because our kneecaps are the closest we come to god before bed, but my kneecaps, are ashy and scared. God has never taken a seconds breathe out his time for me and why should he. I’m still a boy trying to face my childhood demons under the covers. As if goose feathers in fabric will somehow protect me from what lurks behind splintering wood. And yet, you’re the only one who ever listened. Mom was always gone off to work cus’ of that no good bastard who only gets off  using his semen as a legacy. Spitting out children like mucus and he wasn’t the only one. Remember the two after? Coming and going like zombies tearing up used condoms and when I screamed she never heard me. After I told her that-that-that THE SOUND OF JINGLING BELT BUCKLES felt like fingernails on chalkboards but too quiet for anyone else to hear. YOU WATCHED! and I screamed.  Monsters were never made easy work of but befriended in this house. Fathers are supposed to protect their sons the only way a Father could. But every man that comes through that door is another bruise on mom another scream another tear,  so I guess I don’t deserve that because everything just comes and goes as it pleases. Ghosts, Zombies, Terrorists, dressed in sweatpants and tattered t-shirts. Came and left, but you, You’ve always been faithful. You never left just got louder! Just listened! and every time I woke up you were waiting to be my nightmare in solid sound. Breathing and creaking, because you only came out when it was dark and cold. It’s always cold when you’re in the closet! The only thing I have ever talked to honestly yet my bones tremble every time I’m waking up in the middle of the night! Because you’re here! Shaving the enamel off my teeth in blood curdling screams. I should have never let you stay, but it seems monsters in the souls of men are the only things that I am familiar with. I hate you. Because you make me a coward as well as a child in one body. When I hold my stomach to open the closet! or when I tremble on cold nights tossing and turning, to afraid to get up because I always regret finding surprises under the bed. I am tired of treating you like an ally when are you have ever been is a concoction of painful memories wrapped up in fear. A monster in the closet.

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Christ-Mess by. Serge Mass

Serge Mass Christ-mess

Oh my god! I am just so excited for christmas Tommy, you do not even know. What do you want santa to bring you? (take a pause)

Oh thats cool and let me get my list from my mom or see if she has it. Give me a second…  

Hey mama do you have my christmas list that you mailed to santa, I wanna tell Tommy what I want Santa to get me. (take a pause)

No I can’t wait, I need it now i’m on the phone with him now! (open up the door)

Mom… wait… what is… that? Wait woah what are you doing with Need For Speed: Most Wanted? Toys for Tots don’t accept video games and Ian already got it……… Wait… is that for… Me?

Mom, are you santas helper? hahaha I knew it! (Take a break and observe)

How mom? There is no way he is fake. Nooooooooooo! (take a break)

Uhh Uhh! (say with confidence) Mom, all my friends all get gifts from Santa except for JJ because he is jewish and he gets presents from his parents but, you… you just don’t undewwstannndddddd! There is no way that you can buy me these gifts mom, its just too much… Santas elves made these presents. (take a break)

Fine then mom please tell me how “santa is fake”! (wait a little bit)

So I sat on some guy that was dressed up as santa at the mall for the last 7 years?

Uhh Uhh you and pop would ever lie to me, not for the last 7 years no way! Anyways last week you guys told me to never lie. When… when I threw my lunch box at JJ last week and I told my teacher I didn’t and I lied… you… you got really mad. Well now I am mad mom… you two lied to me.  I don’t understand… why, why would parents lie to their children for all of these years?!?! (take a break)

Mom that makes absolutely no sense at all, but if you say so, then I guess it’s true just like SANTA BEING REAL! Ugh I… just cannot believe this. Well how will I do this for my kids when I get older? I don’t want to lie to them! ( take a break)

Well… I guess I understand, but when do I tell them… when do I break the truth to them? (Take a break)

What do you mean “I will know when the time is right”? I just found out the hard way mom. Ugh you… you are just… I don’t know… Wait… wait… wait a minute. I guess this was the time! Ohhhhh I understand now… I have got to tell everyone!

*runs to grab phone and starts dialing*

Tommy guess what I found out?!

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I'm better right?

Education is all I’ve ever been worried about, not because my parents would tell me that education is the key to success or that I wanted to get the most money when I found my ideal career, it’s just that my pursuit of of all things knowledgeable willed me to want to know everything about everything, even the smallest details.

Jackasses who go to school for other reasons are people I can’t really stand. “Oh I’m only in school until my football career takes off and I become the next Peyton Manning Cuz I’m Just that good.” Sit your ass the fuck down Kyle Carter who’s going to community college later this year, you are not that good and the statistical chance of you getting into the NFL is slim-shit cuz you can’t run or have the proper arm to be a quarterback. But all fun aside I hope the best for Kyle who will probably bald by the time he is 30 and will spend all of his days in a cubicle, yeah good luck throwing footballs with typist's cramp.

Speaking of Athletic, I’m 6’3 220 pounds, I can bench press more than my own weight. People always ask why I don’t become a linebacker or something but the answer is simple, playing sports does nothing for nobody. When was the last time that the guy who threw the discus farthest got up and saved the life of a newborn baby suffering from anemia? Or a wrestler like John Cena, when did he save a family of four stuck in a burning building? I feel like my physical body is just a bonus in life, my real saving grace is obviously my mind which allows me to comprehend and understand material better than the rest of the world.

It’s 3 a.m and I’m packing up to leave for my flight to Massachusetts. This is the last day I spend in Bozeman, Montana. From the day you step out of your house you get two choices, conform and become like everyone else have friends casting away any shots at being successful, or cast aside any social interactions I… crap I mean you will ever make. Yes I took the more saddening option but I refuse to be tethered to the ground by idiots who will never pass high school. They’re all so close-minded… The struggle of having both an academic and social mind is just impossible. But screw all of that.

I’m going to go to Harvard and eventually go to graduate school for law. That way when I become a Prosecutor I can berate people for their asinine actions and get paid for. Its a pension, great salary, and health benefits all for the price doing what I love. I’m going to see all those jerks in court on trial for committing stupid crimes like muggings and robberies. In that moment all of my social suffering will have been worth it.

I know what you guys are thinking “But there is so much more to law! helping people, giving out second chances!” second chances and help are for those who can make a difference in other peoples lives, not some drunk driver who ran over a mother and 2 of her three children orphaning the third one. Sometimes there are just too many reasons for people not to receive that second chance, and as a Prosecutor I plan to find out whether or not people deserve one.

I’ve got too many gripes with people, I throw up in my mouth a little every time something hypocritical happens, its amazing if I keep my breakfast down for more than a few hours.

I know you all have seen those people outside wearing the the T-shirts that say “Non-Conformist” or “Retro” or some shit about saving some obscure animal which is clearly not fit to survive in today’s modern environment. Those people have always ground my gears. They act as if they are outside of society because they aren’t conforming to the norms when in reality they are just the trendsetters changing the norms around which eventually everyone will catch on to.

I am going off on a rant. I never fit into social groups, not even the subpar ones. They all seemed so beneath me. That’s why I sit alone at lunch. That’s why people rarely talk to me. That’s why I’m rarely noticed even though I’m a physical behemoth. But that’s all gonna change, because people in college will be just as sophisticated as me, no more being forced into one group of one type of person. I won’t have to be all alone anymore. I’ll be with equals just like me, right?

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My Day Off

(Alarm clock goes off)

“YAWNNNN. What time is it? (looks at time).

“It’s only 5:00. I got some time left.” (hits the snooze button. Then the alarm goes off again minutes later)

(Groans) “I don’t wanna get up for school! (Sigh) I don’t want to go to school.And it’s a Monday too?! Ughh, why does it need to be Monday already? I was having the best weekend. Went shopping a little. Bought the new Jordans and Lebrons. Partying non-stop on saturday night not leaving until 3 in the morning. But now school comes around to end the happiness with boring work and annoying teachers.

Oh snap! I forgot to do my homework too!  Just great.

Now my day is going to be ruined and my A's and B's are now going to be C's. What am I going to do? This is bad I can't go to school today. Wait. That's it. I won't go to school today! That's a great idea! I won't go to school today then that way I can finish my homework then when I'm done, I can have a free day to do whatever I want and a house all to myself. This is going to be good. Ok let me make some fake coughs really quick. (Cough Cough). “Mom! Mom! My stomach hurts really bad and my head throbbing. I don’t want to skip school today but I think I might have to because I’m in so much pain. Mom please! I’m not asking for much. I only asked to stay home this one day that’s all. I promise I won’t do anything bad. Come on you know nothing’s going to happen. So are you going to allow me to stay home? Thanks mom! You're the best. Yeah I remember where the chicken noodle soup is. Yes mom I know to lock the door and not to answer the phone unless it’s you. Ok mom have a good day. Love you too.

( Waits a few minutes). YES! She’s gone. Now I got this house to myself and now I can do whatever. Ok what’s first on my list. Alright. First, I’m going to make the best breakfast in the world. 4 eggs with bacon, 2 things of toast, and I can’t forget about that orange juice. After my little meal, imma play me some 2K14 and fry these niggas with The Heat and Lebron. Yeahhh! Can’t forget the squad though. Then maybe I can go Downtown and do some shopping or just chill down there. That’s a good idea!. This is perfect! Ok got the best day to start the week off with but I there’s something that’s not right. I can’t remember something that I had to do. Did I leave something out? No. I don’t think so. Oh yeah that's right! Homework. I got homework I have to complete! Man, who am I kidding. I wasn’t going to do it in the first place. I can just turn it in late or something. But wait! I had to come in today to get help with the homework and do redo a quiz and this is the last day! And it’s too late now. I’m late to school and my mom just left so I’m screwed. Oh man. My chill day has been put on hold. Damn. I messed up. I messed up really badly. Way to go genius. Way to go.

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Ilker's Monologue

Never Going Back

Mmmm, that looks good, and oh, that looks good.  Let me just get all of that and throw it in here.  I need all these vegetables, but how will I hide this from mom.  Maybe I need to buy a refrigerator for my room.

Let me get some more.  I will handle this problem later.  Maybe I should start making dinner myself and sending my parents somewhere out for the time.

(he puts the food in his cart and heads to the next aisle)

I still need to pick up the food that they want me to have so that it does not seem suspicious.

(phone rings because of facetime)

(Plugs in ear phones and accepts facetime)

“Hey Mom”

“Good good, I'm shopping for our food for the next few weeks.”

“I have gotten three pizzas, two packs of burgers, bread and some cheese steaks.”

(he says with a sad face)

“Yeah I know you guys are getting this food for me.  I just don't want to be overweight again.  Mom I do love the food you buy me!!  I am very thankful and I will eat it.”

(he heard one of the workers across the hall)

(he turned his phone toward the cart)

“No I do not need any help, but thank you!!”

(turns his head really fast)

“Mom! What!”

(he looks terrified)

“Its just some extra flavored food to make our meals more enjoyable…

(he says in a whisper)

and healthy.”

“Mom stop guilting me out.  I do love this food but I want to fit in and be happy.  The way I was before made me miserable.  Don’t you care about how I fe..."


(ends the facetime)

(squats down and put his hands on his face)

Why is she so passive aggressive?  Why can’t she just be happy about my life and make good food choices without her changing!

(sits there for a while. Pays no attention to people around)

(gets up and puts all the food his mom wanted away)

(phone rings again)

(he answers)


“I accept your apology, but we have to make a change to this family”

“I am allowed to buy what I want!!  Thank you, thank you!”

Things might be getting better from here.

“So for dinner I was thinking that we would have…”


“You went to the corner store and got dinner for tonight!


“I do like your cooking… MOM, we are not going over this again!”

(he trips the cart over and lets all the food fall on the ground)

“I'm done Mom, you're so thick headed that you are going to mess up my life and I am going to end up where I was before.”

“I am glad I have such a caring mom.”

“Don’t ever talk to me again, until you understand me.”

(he ends call and leaves store without picking up the food)

Time to move out and forget!
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Mr. Velvet and I Against the World

(Sits down cross-legged center stage, holding a stuffed animal.)

I get in trouble for taking a cookie from on top of the fridge, and the only thing I can ask is... why? There are so many other things worth getting in trouble for. Pollution. War. Genocide. Cheating. It’s all wrong, and yet it still happens, and they don’t get in trouble for it. Why does it seem that only children get punished for stupid things like taking cookies, and adults let the things that are much worse just... happen? The atmosphere struggles to breathe with all the chemicals seeping into the air. Thousands of innocent people die in the combat of war. Whole races die in the process of a genocide. I just don’t get it. Why can’t the whole world just be like you and I, Mr. Velvet? 

(Holds out stuffed animal and looks at it. Strokes the fur.)

Why does it need to be such a bad place. I wish we could just fly away and be gone of all the troubles that get in our way. Because, well... When we get to be adults, we’ll have to deal with all the problems that adults in this world now are passing down to us. The worse they make it, the harder our job will be when we get that old. I mean, that won’t happen for like... I don’t know... Whatever. I guess the only thing I can do is just sit here and watch. Adults don’t care what some kid has to say about how the world works, and how to fix it. I might as well not even try. It’s not like I’ll actually help, right? It’s just me and you, Mr. Velvet. We’re in this together.

(Leans back on hands, and crosses legs while looking off into the distance.)

  I don’t know for how long we’ll have to be, but we’ll be in this together for as long as we need to. Grownups just don’t understand that there is only one planet. They don’t understand that once this one is destroyed with their carelessness, it’s over. I know I’m too old to be talking to some stuffed animal, and my parents have the mindset that I must be 8 years old, but I guess I just have to deal with it. Deal with the world. Deal with everything. Who knew what the weight of living would be? But... Maybe I can do something. Maybe I can let my voice be heard.

(Stands up while holding the arm of the stuffed animal in one hand.)

Maybe, just maybe, I can be that voice that makes it through to them. I can be that person that everyone wishes they were. I can be that person that puts words to thousands of unheard voices. I can be anything, because I tell myself I can be. In fact, I can be more than anything. I can be everything. I can be everything that the adults don't know. I can be everything that I am meant to be and more. Mr. Velvet, I know you can't respond, but I'm sure you would do the same thing.

(Looks to audience. Spreads arms.)

"I am nothing but a kid," is what we're grown up in this society to think. But no, I will be more than "just a kid." I will be the voices of my generation. The voices of a lifetime. The voices that need to be heard. I will be... Everything I need to be. Remember, Mr. Velvet. We're in this together, right? 


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Matty Mcallister

I am your typical boring fifteen year old Emma. I was going to have the courage to talk to Matty Mcallister... or maybe not. I rethink that thought, while Matty flips his perfect brown curled hair. I stare into his green hazel eyes. We exchange eye contact, as his pearly whites peer through that cheeky smile of his. He ran his hands through his hair as he smiled at the ground, I knew he was nervous. Every time Matty did that, he was nervous about something, but what? It couldn't be me, could it? But he was still looking at me. He wasn't looking behind me, he was looking at me! I swear I wasn't hallucinating, or was I? I was starting to question myself. A lot. It's not like Matty would ever like me. I wasn't his type, whatever his type actually even was. Besides he can’t like me after what I did to him in 8th grade. 

It was boring summer day, at Camp Deer Park, and no the park didn’t have deers. I was forced to go to because my mom wanted me to get out of the house. Or because she wanted a summer alone with my dad. Either way life could not possibly suck more than it did that summer. I got these major cramps, and no they were not girl cramps. That week I’ve never been more miserable. I felt sick and wanted to go home, but my mom obviously did not want to pick me up. Because I was feeling sick my idiot counselor suggested that I feed myself to the point where I could no longer feel my stomach. There he was, Matty Mcallister sitting right across from me, devouring his food and still managing to look hot as hecking heck. Then there was me, feeling even more worst about myself because of all that fatty oily food that filled inside me. I ran as fast as I possibly could, the next thing I knew there was puke all over Matty Mcallister's shoes. We started at each other for a good 5 seconds, before I ran back into my cabin as tears streamed down my face. I wanted to die. Well not literally, but I didn’t want to face Matty, especially after what I did. Yep, so that’s the embarrassing story of how I puked on Matty Mcallister. He was still staring at me as I snapped back to reality. Could a popular guy like Matty Mcallister, like a loser like Emma Brinley?!
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What is a Life Without a Sum of Sadness?

(Inside of a nursing home, private room an old man-Eugene sits at a table filled with papers and medication and he’s looking outside. It is in the middle of the afternoon about 2-7 Pm on a colorful fall day. He turns and looks at the audience, he has both sadness and happiness in his face and tone at this moment, he is content)

Eugene: I’m going to die. I’m 92 and as you’d suspect I’m not in the best of health. But I’m going out on my own terms. I gave a ring to all the people I want to say goodbye to and my daughter will come by with my granddaughter and I’ll say goodbye to them and tell them I love them. My nurse will wheel me outside to see my last sunset over this beautiful valley in the middle of Fall. Then I’ll take a few pills (Chuckles) and a last sip of wine and say goodbye to the world. But I’m not scared. I think that (Pauses and thinks for a quick second) that when you get around my age death stops being so scary. You’ve become so used to the pain, loss and cold that the idea of relief, going someplace happier, friendlier and… I dunno warmer I guess, is (Thinks) is soothing.

(Phone rings, looks at it and picks up) Hello? (Shocked) Elizabeth? (Lowers down the phone looks at the audience, puts phone up to ear) What do you want Elizabeth? Oh You want me to call you Liz? Well, maybe you could have mentioned that sometime over the past, Oh, I don’t know 40 years? Oh, you don’t want to fight, then what the hell did you want? (Pause) Sorry? (Taken aback, but still enraged) you're sorry? No. No, you see (motions with his hand like she’s in front of him) you don’t get that. (Screaming) You don’t get to leave me and your daughter for 40 fucking years, don’t reach out at all then say you're ‘sorry’ like you knocked over a damn dinner!

What they hell are you thinking? Oh, ‘you needed more in life’ yeah I got that back awhile ago- I’m asking why are you talking to me now? (Pause) Wanted to clear things up? What before I kicked the damn bucket? Well let me tell you this: Things will NEVER be cleared- you got that? And you want to know why? Not because of the fact that you left me. I could have lived with that. I could have handled that. But leaving your daughter? (Pause, visibly saddened) She was eleven. ELEVEN FUCKING YEARS OLD AND HER MOTHER JUST FUCKING LEFT HER. Do you know how long she cried? How many times in the night I- not you- I had to hug her and tell her it wasn’t her fault when in my own room I was falling to pieces on my own.

But afterwards (Pause) she graduated from her collage with the highest marks and let me tell you- I was there- not you- but I was there in the crowd giving a standing ovation with tears over MY (Pointing to himself, tears rolling his cheek) beautiful daughter. I saw her get an incredible, wonderfully paying job. I saw her marry an amazing, funny, smart and handsome man. I held my granddaughter for the first time and now (Pause) she’s going to be just as good, if not better than her mom. But you? (Makes a face) I bet you don’t even know her name do you?

(Pause) What? No, NO! NO! NO! STOP JUST STOP! I don’t want your pity! I don’t want your anger! I don’t want your apologies! (Sobbing and yelling greater) I... DON'T... WANT... YOU!!!! (Pause) WHAT DO I WANT? I- I- I WANT YOU TO DIE! Please. Do that for me, would you? Would you please just drop dead right now and I can forever be at peace because I know that you will never crawl back into their lives again. After everything you've done to me- to us you could have at least given that! Hello? HELLO!? (Pauses calmly puts down phone, then suddenly then in a  burst of anger picks up the phone and throws it across the room hitting the wall, knocks everything off the table, stands up and flips over the table and knocks down his chair before he falls over, he's on his back aching in pain he starts whispering with his eyes closed still tossing and turning. HE IS NOT DYING he is just in pain, but great pain nonetheless) You could have given me that. You could have given me that. You could have given me that. You could… you could...
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I think I'm hungry,or not!


NO, I’ve gotten so far with this I’m not going to start eating now. You know I just make cupcakes for Susana’s birthday and I just want one!! You know what Amy you don’t understand me you’re skinny . well… I’ve been doing good all week and my period is about to come on so I am PMSing its okay, this always happens. just one. (takes one bite) This shit is good as shit. mmmmm mhhhh mmmm … I can bake. (after  finished eating  it walks into the bathroom) ….No What am  I doing. Get it together TARA… but Why am I so fat.It is crazy how hard I starve myself and try everything in my power to loose weight. why can’t I be like those white girls who are so skinny.  I want to eat what I want and when I do I have to throw it right up?

Waking up everyday and looking in the mirror and not liking what I  see is aggravating. I hate how I look. I hate walking the the Halls and feeling like I don’t belong. Last year when I was a freshman people used to say I looked like a monster. I don’t appreciate being constantly made fun of by them because of how I look. Being constantly criticized by them does not make me feel better about myself. I should not wake up everyday feeling like I don’t belong. The life I live is horrible. I hate when people” say awww your not fat you’re just thick”. No my favorite is when the skinniest person says “I’m so fat” Well what the hell am I than?.

You know what I’m doing for a fun tomorrow! Yeah that sounds like a plan...running NO… but I hate running. I hate sweating. What is it called perception, no persperate. I don’t like to perspire. Well, guess thats that. I need to be skinny. I am so fat. I want to stick my finger down my throat but I’m scared. My fat fingers are too big to be shoving down my throat like sausage links.

Why can’t I wake up look in the mirror and love myself. I should not feel like everyone around me is better. I should feel confident enough to feel like being me and live my life. Being skinny is all I want to be.

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The Car Ride

(5 people sitting in the car. In the back it is Nora in the middle and her brother and sister on wither side with her dad driving and her step mom next to him. Nora is hungover. They are all on their way to Thanksgiving dinner.)

My father is lecturing my brother about decision making. He keeps using me as an example of good decision making. I went to a party last night and got super wasted. My dad picked me up and I probably did the smartest thing ever, I told him that everybody there was smoking and drinking and that I thought they were all really stupid for doing that. Of course after that he never for a second thought that I would be doing that stuff, I mean why would he. When I got home he told my brother how proud of me he was, and that he should use me as an example of what not to do, I think my brother saw right through the lies. My brother keeps shooting me looks like “thanks a lot, you went out and got wasted and I’m paying for it”. I feel a little bad, I didn’t mean for my brother to get lectured, but what can I say? I had to do what I had to do, I couldn’t get caught. My parents would never let me out of the house again. The way I think about it, I did what had to be done.

The problem here isn’t actually me getting my brother in trouble, but the fact that my head is pounding, my eyes can’ts stay open and I think I might be dying. Oh god I’m dying. (sigh) Okay well maybe not dying, but I honestly don’t know how I’m going to get through this.

Now my dad is yelling at my brother for God only knows what and why my sister is talking to herself. She’s mumbling things that nobody can hear. Why does she always do this? Or a better question, what the hell is she doing? God, she is so annoying sometimes. Why can’t she just be normal? She’s always off in her own world. I feel like when I was her age I was sooo much more mature. She might be the baby of this family, but that doesn’t mean she can be a baby her entire life. She looks “speecciall”, if you know what I mean. She looks like she belongs in a “speecciall” house. Why does anyone… Oh god all this thinking is making my head hurt.

“Hey Dad, are we almost there?”

Of course I get no response. Why would you ever think of responding? That’s like a foreign idea to him. Whatever. I don’t even care. I just want to be there. Why aren’t we there yet? Wait, maybe we are this looks familiar… wait no it doesn’t its just more dead corn fields. I want to be there. I want this day to be over. Wait what? No I don’t, Aunt Madge makes the best mashed potatoes ever. Ugh I love mashed potatoes! I love them almost yellow and creamy. Oh my god and apple pie! So much deliciousness. I love Thanksgiving. I need Thanksgiving. Where are weeee? I want to be there already. Hey it’s quiet. Why is it quiet? Oh wait. We’re here!!!
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The Race

The Race

[panting, running] I can’t do this. When did these hills get here? Who designed this course anyway…? It’s unreal. [heaving].


What is this muscle hurt like this [desperately] And why do my shoulders hurt. And my arms. And my thighs. And my calves. And my feet. And my toes. I won’t finish it all, there’s no way. My body just won’t take it. No way.

[running, wiping sweat, looking around]

How are you doing that?!?! And why are you so jolly and carefree. How are you all putting up such a great facade? [angrily] I know you you’re hurting everywhere, just like I am… right? Maybe…. Maybe I’m just not cut out for a full marathon. Maybe I need to cut it short right now. I have more miles left than I can count on my fingers.

Oh my god! It’s been twelve miles already?! How come I suddenly don’t remember running.

On no. There he is. Ellington. God I hate Ellington! Last week he came to work with coffee and donuts for himself and our boss- what a kiss up!! [rambling] He constantly pretends like he does all the work around this office yet he comes in late and leaves before anyone else! God and he is so rude to me! I don’t even know why he hates me so much. What did I ever do. Ugh. I don’t really care though, I just know hes a dick and I hate him.


Well shit, now I have to run better than him!!

Nope, not today mister. You show me up everyday. But today will be different, I just know it. I have earned this. After all, I haven’t been practicing manically for nine months just to be shown up at the last minute by Mr. Perfect.

You can do this. You can do this. You can do this!! SWEET! A downhill. Alright, just focus on the mile now- Ellington is out of the picture. Well, almost.c  He’s just down the street, and  I know can pass him if I just go a little bit faster!!

[passes Ellington, sticks tongue out at him]

Huh, I feel strangely rejuvenated!! Maybe 14 more miles won’t be so deadly after all. And anyway, there is no way Ellington will do the full thing in that condition. Heh, heh. Tomorrow at work I’ll hang up my medal right by my desk so whoever enters my office, will have no choice but to notice that gold, gleaming beauty.

And [gestures back] boy won’t have anything to say because he’ll know I’ve beaten him- FINALLY!
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The Breakup

-A clock somewhere close chimes five o’clock, a man looks up from the work he is doing in his home office-

(He starts to talk out loud) Crap! It’s five already, she’s going to be home soon.

-starts to pace at a brisk speed-

It’s ok don’t freak. You can do this. You can do this. You can do this.

-throws hands up-

Who am I kidding? I can’t do this. I don’t even know what to say. I could just walk up to her, say ‘We’re over’, then walk away. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Yeah, thats good. I’ll say that, then I’ll be done in enough time to watch “Glee”.

-hits his forehead with his palm lightly-

Glee! That what I’ve should've done last night, instead of watching cat videos on youtube, I should’ve watched reruns of “Glee”. Those confused hormonal teens are always going through these type of things. Maybe I should study tonight, and just break up with her tomorrow.

-starts to shake his head-

No, I can’t do it tomorrow, I promised Sam I would get this done. Sam has been the other person for weeks now, and it’s all my fault.

-stops pacing-

(To an invisible person)I knew Sam was the one from when I first laid eye on the shirt Sam was wearing, when we first met, “ I HAVE BOOBS...made you look, and shame on you for looking at my chest.” I remember I died laughing.  And when I asked where it came from, I  got an earful on how it was impolite to look at someone’s chest. Even though most would say there was nothing there to stare at, I couldn’t take your eyes off it. Thats when I knew Sam was the one for me, from that first moment. If I can’t do this for me, then I have to do it for Sam.

-restarts pacing, slower than before-

Why am I making this hard for myself, thinking of what to say. I’ll just tell her the truth. That I found the love of my life, and it happens to not be her. She’ll understand, right? I mean, I only started saying I loved her, because she said it first, and I didn’t want her to feel bad. I didn’t really mean it. What am I thinking!? I can’t say that she’ll hate me forever, and it would break her heart.

Maybe if I told her how it never would've worked between us. How I could never love her in the way she deserves. Then, just maybe she won’t hate me. I’m only trying to save her the heartbreak, that would have come. If not now, then later. But what if she doesn't understand?

What if she doesn't that this is who I am. That I wasn’t meant to fit in the perfect life she planned. What is it she said again?(in a girl voice) ‘After college we could move in together’. That we didn’t have to get married until I was ready. That I had until she was twenty-eight, because she isn’t going to have kids in her thirties, and we have to have at least two. Two. Two messy, noisy, crying things. That always want and need. Why would anyone in their right mind have them willingly? ‘But don’t you want the chance to be a(baby voice) DADEEEE?’ No.

-runs hands through hair-

I guess it’s not all her fault she thinks we are ‘Soulmates’. If I hadn’t stayed with her this long, I would have gotten this break up over a long time ago, two years ago to be exact. But no I had to say with her because Dad thinks she’ll make a( in a deep man voice) ‘suitable wife’ and a ‘decent mother’ for our kids. And Mom was happy to see me with a girl.(older lady voice) ‘You didn’t date all through high school and your first few years of college, I was starting to get worried. I didn’t know what to think. You were a nice boy, got good grades, and you weren’t that hard on the eyes. The ladies at the club were starting to talk about you being one of ‘those’ boys. You know the kind that are afraid of marriage.  I’m so glad to know your not. You need to marry ’

If only she knew what kind of boy I am. The kind that strings on two great people good people, one for years. The kind who is going to break, the first person to love them’s, heart. If mom knew that and the rest of the stuff I am, then she wouldn’t even recognize me as her own flesh and blood, because she raised ‘A good, sweet, All-American boy’.

I really have to do this don’t I?

-heavy sigh-

I wish I could just fast forward this part of my life. Past all the crying and explaining. Past the ugly fight Sam and I are going to have, when I tell the truth about my other woman. Past the strained weeks it’s going to take Sam to get over the fact that I betrayed the faith, wrongly place.

-Stops pacing and smiles to himself-

 Fast forward to Sam and I on the beach. It won't be any ordinary beach.  It’s not any ordinary day. It’s the first day of our honeymoon, the day after our wedding.  Just Sam and I on one of those private beaches. The kind where the sunlight, of the sunset, glitters on every grain of sand, the tropical birds are singing the song of love from the shelter of the trees, and the water, that were frolking in, is so clear that you can see all the even the smallest sea creature. We are splashing around, I get Sam’s shirt wet, it’s a white one, I can see all that’s underneath. Sam shames me for looking at the chest I admire so deeply, then getting even by wrestling me down into the water. Me getting the upper hand. Sam getting that look, our lips come together, the tast of salted water  shared between us. The time and place forgotten. First Sam’s shirt getting lost in the waves, my hands on that glorious chest. Then my shirt disappearing. Sam’s hands trailing all over my body, leaving fire in their wake. Then off comes…

-Car lights flash the window, and he goes to check-

Crap! That’s her car. I haven’t even decided what I’m going to tell her. I guess I’ll just have to tell her the truth. Well here goes nothing.

-A woman walks past the open door-

“Hey babe, can you come in here for a sec, I have to talk to you”

-she walks into the office, in tears-

“Why are you crying. What’s wrong? Come here, tell me what happened...Oh no, not your grandma, I know how much you loved her.”

-he pulls the woman into his arms-

“It’s ok she’s in a better place now. She wouldn’t want you to cry”

“Of course, I’m right. I always am. you go take a hot bath, I’ll cook dinner tonight.”

“I know, I know, I’m the best. Now go take that bath.”

-he pushes the woman out the door softly, she turn around when she reaches the threshold-

“What did I want to talk about? Umm, nothing important, we can talk later. You go take that bath”

“ you too.”

-The woman leaves-

(to himself)I guess I just have to wait until tomorrow to tell her about Sam. What’s another day pretending to be straight, when I’ve been doing it my whole life?

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"A Rainbow"

Huzaifah Malik 

“A Rainbow”

Last Monday, I was so nervous and bored, I even tried to kill myself. (pause for 4 secs) I didn’t have any reason to kill myself whatsoever. Neither stress nor pressure. I am just tired from the same day, night, routine, people, from police station to home and from home to police station. Corruption, gambling, pimps, frauds and corpses. I wash my bloodstained clothes and embrace death everyday. (pause for 5 secs)

Doctor I’ve won every battle of life, every case in the investigation department. But I’ve lost everything that was worth living for. I still remember those days when it made me feel good to stare directly at the sun without having to blink my eyes. I felt I am not weaker than the sun, but now I’m not brave enough to face this bright sun. (Long pause)

No I am not saying that I am tired from my duty, because it’s my job being a police man to protect citizens. Although, there are bizarre and weird feelings somewhere in my heart. You know what, my father was a hardworking man. He never gave up in any field of his life. When my mother fell ill, he ran into debts. He died before he could clear all of his debts. I want to fulfill my father’s wish. He always wanted me to be a vigorous man. (Pause) Yes I’ve accomplished his dream, everyday the new sun arises, but I am that same old man who has been living in the same world and doing the same work. I thought why not I’d puncture the wheel of my life to end my journey. (long pause)

Three reasons I couldn’t do it,...First, the official bullets we use cost 15 bucks a piece. I thought why waste the tax payer’s money to buy peace for myself. Next day was Eid and my friend came into my house. I thought my death will ruin his festivity. Third, when I placed cold barrel of the pistol on my temple, suddenly something allured me to the window. It was so fascinating that it pulled me towards it. Do you know what that was?? It was a beautiful rainbow. I thought it would be impossible to die watching such an eye catching, and mesmerizing scene. After, enjoying the beautiful scene I shut down the window and came back. When, I returned back the moment was lost, it was over. I was in no mood to die afterwards. (long pause)

Hmm....four or five days back I guess when, I slept..? When, I had been to my village. I laid my head on my mother’s lap and dozed off. Deep sleep (sigh)....a very deep sleep...for hours and hours, doctor. One sleeps well on his mother’s lap (tears) There’s no comparison of that sleep with the regular one.

Please doctor, don’t prescribe me these colorful pills. You guys get drunk and sleep but men like we can’t even die peacefully. I need to sleep. How long will I go on like this? 

Doctor, that rainbow has made me look out of the window and see how attractive the world is, how beautiful the life is, how beautiful everyone around me is. Never do I think, what would happen to “Ali”, what would happen to my friend, what would happen to my near and dear ones, and top of it what would happen to family, for whom I have been the world.


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Peanut Butter and Jelly

Setting: Center City, out on the street.

Mathis (Mat for short): Teenage boy who has lived in the city all his life. His family does not have a car so he walks everywhere or takes public transportation.

Homeless Woman: Simply a woman who lives on the street. Not a major character, she just gets the ball rolling.

Homeless Woman

Do you have any change to spare?

(Mathias ignores Homeless Woman)

Please sir, could you just spare some change? I haven't had anything to eat in two days.


I don't have any cash on me... Sorry.

(Turns slowly to face the audience.)

That was a lie. I do have cash. My parents always make sure that I have money with me just in case. But I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be giving it to hobos, sorry "the homeless".

It’s not that I’m being stingy, I just don’t trust her. Maybe thats a little stingy. But I see homeless people as often as I eat PB&J, which is everyday for lunch. I quite frankly I get sick of it, the people and the sandwiches. Sorry, that was really rude, but you don’t know who you can trust. Maybe I should try to have some faith in the human race, but I guess I don’t. I have seen some crazy shit happen and know better than to assume all glasses are half full, because some just ain’t. I wanna think that she would go get herself  something to eat, but it seems more likely that she would spend it getting high. That's probably how she got here in the first place. She's an alcoholic or drug addict and she got booted out of her home because she spent all her money on her addiction. Right? Maybe not. I guess I'm just trying to distance myself from her, I’m trying to make her seem like a bad “thing”, when the truth is she is a real person with real struggles. The truth that I don't want to give her my money. Part of the reason is because I don't know if it will help her or harm her. But I'm also just a selfish punk. If I pretend she is someone who has made awful decisions than I don't have to feel guilty for denying her money. I mean who knows when she has last had a good meal, and I would happily buy her some food, but I don't have time for that. And plus who just goes up to a stranger and offers to buy them dinner? Maybe I should just go volunteer at some homeless shelter, but I feel like that’s just a lame excuse so I don’t feel as guilty ignoring the people who only have the streets as their homes. I know that I would be making some difference, and I would be helping some people. The problem is it wouldn't answer my questions about what to do when I encounter people outside. All they want is whatever money I can afford to spare, so who am I to not give it up? I guess the best thing to do is go on a case by case basis, but that just seems like another lame excuse. But in this case I think I have something that might help her if she really hasn't had any grub in two days. This won't answer my questions in the long term... unless I just always carry a PB&J round with me. Either way it I will be doing the good I can with what I’ve got.

(Walks over to the homeless woman.)

Ma’am, I have a sandwich if you would like it. It’s peanut butter and jelly.

(Opens his backpack, takes out a sandwich and hands it to the homeless woman.)

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Yo-Yo Yossarian

Yo-Yo Yossarian

(A soldier walks into his tent with anger clearly written all over his face.)

I have had it up to here with this squadron. First they make fun of my name then, Colonel Cathcart won’t let me go home. What’s wrong with him (Pauses shortly) ALL OF THEM!!! I did all of my missions! First there were 55 missions and after that 60 then 70. To believe that everyone else is actually able to stand flying all of those missions is insane! Nately and Orr don’t care. In fact Nately likes it. Orr doesn’t care how many times he gets shot down as long as he gets to fly again. I have to live here in this hellhole until Cathcart finally decides to stop raising missions. These people actually want to stay here in Pianosa when they can easily spend some time with me in Rome and get a few whores to ficky-fick with. I can’t wait till I get to go to that whore house in Rome and ficky-fick all of those whores. Oh I hope Luciana is there with her buxom hips she flaunts around. When I ogle that ass at night I never get bored. That should have made Orr want to accompany me. Even after I offered Orr, he shoots down the offer and calls me by that GODFORSAKEN nickname. ALL OF THEM call me by that name! How can they even?! Do they know their names are just as crazy as mine. I mean there’s Havermeyer, Orr, Dobbs, Chief White Halfoat, Daneeka, Appleby, Clevenger, Aardvark. I mean his name is an animal for crying out loud!! (He sits down and brushes his hand through his hair) I mean it’s not even my  first name. My first name is plain and simple. It’s John. So what if my last name is Yossarian... I’m the best bombardier on Pianosa. I’m gonna kill Cathcart one day for forcing me to stay on this damned island in the middle of World War II! I swear if someone calls me Yo-Yo one more time they better hope they aren’t in the plane with me on any of my missions! You know what they say. I am going to live forever or die in the attempt... And I don’t care who I take down with me as long as no one EVER calls me Yo-Yo instead of Yossarian again! Not even just that but Milo won’t stop trying to sell people chocolate covered cotton! He stole all of our parachutes just to get some silk to trade with for the cotton from Alexandria. He didn’t even tell us and I found out while crashing  into the Mediterranean! I mean what does he want me to do use a handkerchief! When he discovered that cotton wasn’t wanted on the black market he tries to give it to us coated in chocolate and call it a delicacy. On top of that Hungry Joe won’t shut up in the middle of the night with his godforsaken nightmares! (Emphasizes “he”) He’s got his own problems with Halfoat. Next time he screams in the middle of the night he’s gonna get his throat slit. Why is everyone so crazy!! Am I the only sane one here cause I know for sure that I am NOT crazy?! (Pauses and questions himself) Am I?

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I Really Like Your Shirt

(Sitting on a bed in a purple bedroom, stands up as if to greet someone)

Percy, s’that you? Hi. Well uh, thanks for coming. I guess-I mean, I'm not sure whatta say. You don't know who I am? Oops, sorry (laughs) Yeah, my name’s Cora. I’m seventeen an’ I live down the block. You should come an’ visit sometime. I know that my moms would enjoy that...they think that I don't have very many friends. But you’re my friend, right? Yess! I, uh, actually wanted to ask you about that, um, well I really like...your-your shirt. It’s my favorite, like toads. (laughs nervously)

Okay, here's the thing. I really like you as a friend but I'm not sure if that’s enough for me. You make me sooo happy every time you’re around but I don't know if I do that happens to you. No no, don't say anything yet and stop moving around. Just sit and listen. I wish that we could become more than just fr-friends. I want to be able to call you an’ not think about what I’m going to say. I would talk to you like a diary, spilling out all of my feelings, good or bad. I want to be able to tell you everything and I want you to be able to do the same with me. I want to fill you up with happiness every time you see me. I want your eyes to be only for me an’ I want you to see me like your favorite stuffed animal, one that you have had forever but one that you will never let go of. I wish that you could fulfill my idea of a happily ever after. I’m a princess after all, but you wouldn't know th-that because you've never even acknowledged my presence before.

You make me crazy and insane. My mind goes sp-spinning whenever I see you. I can’t think str-straight and everything seems upside down. I see things that aren’t even there. I over analyze every move you make, think-thinking that it will mean something if you cough in my direction. Just tell me if it’s true. You know who I am, right? You know my name and you know about my life and you like me...even just as a fr-friend s’okay...Percy? Oh God, this is great...I've confessed my love to you and you just stand there. Are you even here anymore? What the hell just happened? Percy? (looks around) Percy? Stop hiding from me! Percy? Where are you? I don’t understand, you were right here and then you jus-just disappeared...and a toad? The room, the’s making me huurrt...I can’t breath...Percy? What’s happening? Make it stop! Stop stop! Ugh, I should’ve just listened to Mom (mimicking her mom) drugs are bad, very bad for you...why’d we even think of doing this? Licking toads...ugh...been there done that...and never doing it again.

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Sea Side Amusement Park

Do you remember the fun we used to have here? The unerasable smiles on our faces? Everything disappeared here. Our problem and worries vanished at the sight of bright twinkling lights and the smell of funnel cake.

This was were we first met, remember that Ruth? It was 1939, I had just turned fifteen. The boys and I came here to celebrate at the new amusement park. Sea Side Amusement Park, thats what we used to call it. It was like nothing the town had ever seen.  The whole gang of us, Mickey, Jerry, Fred, Ricky, and Hugh... I was waiting in line for the tilt-a-whirl with Jerry and Fred when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there you were. You said, “Excuse me Mista, could I borrow five cents for some cotton candy? I can pay ya back next week.” Without hesitation I gave you my last five cents. After that I figured I wouldn’t ever see you again, so the next week when I saw you there you could imagine my surprise.

But that’s all going to be gone soon anyway. This park that we held so near and dear to us is being knocked down to build some sort of new shopping complex. Even after the rides stopped running and the game booths gave away their last toys we always came back. Every year on our anniversary, we would walk through this park and remember. But now that you are gone, this park is all I have left of you. And they want to take it away. Ruth, I am scared I don’t want to forget all the fun we had here. Like right over there! The gazebo where we would all sit, us two, Mickey, Fred, Jerry, Mary Sue, even Annie from time to time. And over there! Right next to the House of Mirrors was where we had our first kiss. Right there, was our bench. I carved our names inside a heart so that every time someone would walk by, they would know that Ruth and Joe were in love. This park was our sanctuary, even in grief we still found it beautiful.

After Fred, and Mickey and even Annie’s funerals we came here. We held each others hand and remembered the fun we all used to have. And then you died, Ruth... I don’t know if it was meant to be, or God’s cruel way of saying “Enough.” It was our anniversary, we were supposed to come here together, but instead I came here alone. Without your hand to hold I sat in the rotting gazebo and remembered. I remembered how you would fixed your hair after riding the tilt-a-whirl, how you would hold my hand as we walked through the side show tent, and how you smiled after that first bite of cotton candy. This place is a kingdom of memories to me, and they want to take it away. So is the world losing is beauty or am I too old to see its colors?

The world today is speeding by me, these kids today on their laptops and IPhones. They lost interest in things like amusement parks, and old fossils like me.They have forgotten that our generation broke our backs to get them where they are. And what did that get us, Ruth? Huh? A big nothing thats what it got us.I think I might ready to forget. Forget the wars I’ve fought, the friends I’ve lost, the pain, the heartbreak  I’ve have suffered. And you were right by my side. We’ve been through it all, our lives like the ups and downs of the Rocket Roller Coaster.  But now  “we” is “I” again and I am tired of being here alone. I want the old gang to be back together, I want to be able to hold your hand again and smile.  I miss you, doll. But I am starting to forget... maybe thats a good thing.  
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Tonal Twine

Here I am again. I am in the same place I always have been, but now I am somewhere different. I still ponder the same questions and have the same complaints. Why is it always the guy next to me? It just isn’t fair. I work all the time. No rest when you’re being pulled from both ways. Even when I get what I want, it still hurts. I don’t know what it is about it, that makes me desire it. I guess there is a sort of satisfaction when the vibrations start. As they progress it starts to hurt. Towards the end, every fiber of my being starts to ache. A lot of the time, when she wants to stop the vibrations sooner, she presses down on me, which hurts even worse, although I don’t mind, now that I am no longer zooming about. I just don’t like how that one part of me gets bent into the cold hard metal, causing that one part to sting. I hate it so much. Why do I desire it so? What an annoyance, to feel so mixed. I feel as if I am going to split in two if I get no release. An occasional whack on the bar below me and not much more to her technique. And what is this? I see it coming towards me, as if time has slowed down for a while. That thin piece of plastic. The use of it implies some difficulty in her what she is doing. Why me? Why now?

Suddenly I am hit, but not how I am supposed to be hit, there is some reluctance. This hit is more of a slip. There is no intention for such a thing to happen on her part. Such motion will grant me no satisfaction. I begin to vibrate at the plastic moves away from me. It hurts more than usual. Could this be because I have not been hit in such a long time? Or maybe it because of the awkward stiffness to her motion. The twist in her hand seemed to indicate pain, but this is different because it does not look like pain exactly. I cannot see anything that could cause her pain close to anything that I experience on a daily basis. Maybe she is just like me, being stretched out, long and thin. I cannot think of a way to know for sure. As these thoughts cross my mind over the time of a split second, something is happening in the world around me.

Sudden color comes back to the world as my sound emits. I hear a sort of groan come from above. She must be unhappy. I hope this is not the case. It is true that she is a cruel mistress, however I wish nothing but the best for her. After all, she may rarely pay attention to me, but when she does, is the best thing in the world to me.

I feel myself being lifted. I recognize this part of the cycle. It has happened many times before. I know what will happen next. The same thing as always. Nothing but darkness, however I am not alone, I will always have the guy next to me. It will not be long until I can see the light again.

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Oh, Woof!

Oh, Woof, I hope teacher is nice. I hope she likes to play with blocks and legos! I hope she is like mommy and likes to read to me, or like daddy and likes to play with my trucks! Oh, Woof, I want to bring you with me, but mommy says she doesn’t want me to lose you in school. You’re my best friend Woof.

I hope teacher giggles when I tell her the joke I learned. I wish I didn’t have to leave this fort, that I could just stay here instead of school. You get to stay on my bed all day, it’s not fair! Oh, Woof, I’m scared. I hope teacher tells the kids to be kind. I hope the kids like to play doctor. Mommy said that we play outside with the big kids. I hope they are kind too.

Have you ever been to kindergarten? Did you like it? Was teacher nice? Did you get a prize for being good? Or a sticker on your homework? Woof, why aren’t you talking? Hello? Can’t you hear me? Mommy said I will make new friends there, but there are going to be girls at school! I don’t like girls. They like dolls and pink! Ewww…! I really wish I could bring you with me! Mommy can’t stay with me either! I don’t want to leave my bed, or my fort, or you, or my house. It’s not fair! I don’t want to go to school, Woof! Mommy wants me to go, but I don’t want to! I don’t want the kids to be mean. I hope they laugh at my jokes too! I don’t want to talk to them, Woof! I just want to talk to you! Daddy said it would be good for me. What does that mean? He said that I will learn to read. I don’t want to, then Mommy won’t read to me anymore.

Mommy thinks I should wear my Superman shirt! I think teacher will like that! Stacy told me school is fun, but she’s a sister! She says there are toys and paper and crayons there! Is she right Woof? Or is she just being a mean sister? Answer me! Wait, magic word… PLEASE answer me! You helped me sleep when I was three, why wont you help me now that I’m five? Can’t you talk?

Maybe I should make new friends, my best friend isn’t… can’t talk to me. If I bring you to school the kids might think I’m a baby. I hear Mommy’s alarm, I have to go soon. Bye Woof! You are good best friend, but I have to make new friends, ones that will talk to me. Bye again!

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A Life Worth Living

(Enters latrine with two others. He looks around nervously to make sure the room is completely empty and none is in earshot before closing the door securely.)

It’s not trolley cars, dammit, it’s machine guns! The parts we are making in this factory are for the MG-42 burp guns. We have a choice – we can go along with what we are told and make parts for the very machine guns being used to wipe out our men or we can take a stand and maybe save some lives.

(Lowers voice)

Whatever we do, we cannot let them know that we know, but somewhere out there American soldiers, like us, are being slaughtered by the weapons we helped create.  I know that it is easier to do nothing and follow orders, but what does one life mean when thousands are being killed.  Every life we save will justify the risk we take.  Our lives at present seem precarious.  Some days, rations are so thin we can’t help but concoct dreams of the perfect meal. As poor as conditions are, though, if we are caught, I can assure you they will not be merciful.  Except for the possibility of liberation, no one survives the punishment of hard labor. (Pause) While this is not the way any of us envisioned this situation unfolding, for me there is only one option.

When we joined the Army, we promised to defend our country.  We may be prisoners, but that doesn’t change the mission. This is not about our loved ones or our own lives; it is about the future of our country, and I will defend it at all costs.  To give up now is to give up all we have fought for up to this point, and all that we have been through will be for nothing. We were trained for nine long months to fight, but we never even had a chance. Our first battle - ambushed and captured.  Shamed… Now look at us. Killing our own. That’s not what I signed up for.  

There are many who would say that the virtuous thing to do would be to save our own lives, return to America, and take care of our families.  Maybe I’ll feel differently if things go badly, but no one lives forever.  The only moment in life that counts is the present. Any wasted moment is regrettable; so every opportunity to make a meaningful difference in one’s own life and the lives of others must be seized.  I have lived a full life.  What the hell is the reason for being alive if it is only to follow the rules and keep oneself fed in order to go on following the rules, and so on till we die anyway.

(Long pause)

Since there is no past and no future, there is no more postponing.  I will not be satisfied with a promise to myself that I will take action tomorrow.  It must start today.  Every second counts.

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My Mental Prison

A man sits in the shadow mumbling to himself

He looks up and laughs softly crescendoing into loud maniacal laughter.

You hopeless, ineffectual fools. You think you are sooo marvelous. The all mighty HUMAN RACE! You think you are so powerful and intelligent! But only I see the truth. Only I see you as you really are; as puny, worthless, ignorant parasites. Running this planet as though you were gods! You are destroying this planet. Have you ever just stopped to think for one second about how much you have changed this Earth? How no other species has over run this planet and destroyed the environment? No, of course you haven’t, because you’re human. Because you don’t care. You humans are all so ignorant. You go about your simple day, living your simple life, thinking your simple thoughts, in your simple brain. You think you are so great. You have accomplished so much. You are so smart. “Oohh, look at all these wonderful things we done, all these brilliant inventions.” Oh, but I am here to put you in your place! My mind is greater than that of any you could image. I can see things, notice things, that the average overlook. I can predict things, know things, before you even think to attempt such feats. I am able to see things visually and then mentally put myself there. I learn how to do things without having to do them. I know things about human behavior, why they act they way they do. I can read people when given enough information and spending a little time with them. My mind is running, racing at a hundred miles an hour every second of every hour of every day in a week in a month IN A YEAR! But my mind is a prison... An inescapable prison of my own thoughts. A mere mortal would go crazy within hours, but I have survived much longer. I have suffered much longer, but I now fear that I too am going crazy. But if I knew I was going crazy, then I would be aware and therefore not crazy. So that leads me to think I am not crazy, but now that I think I am not going crazy that leads me to think I am, but I’m not, which means I am, which means I am not, so as you see it is all just one terrible cycle that leaves me lost and without an answer. I hate not having an answer! It eats at my conscience to know that there is something I am missing!

Stops and calms down

Am I really that different?

Of course you are! What are you talking about! You are the greatest mind the world has ever known!

But am I? Or am I just a depressed lonely man with an overactive brain?

That is exactly what you are. That is why you are so brilliant, you can stay detached from emotion and make decisions and reasonings based on fact. You are a human computer.

But that is not true. I am human. I am one of you. I do have emotion. I do feel. I feel hurt. I feel lost. I feel alone. And this is my problem. I make myself believe that I am something other, something inhuman, but I know I am human. I know I have limits. I know I have emotion. I know all of this, I just choose not to accept it. Sometimes I have moments, much like this one, when I realize what I am doing to myself, but always end up back where I started: depressed, lonely, angry and without much reason to live. So maybe I should just end it. I could do it. All it takes is one cut and I would bleed out in minutes. I could do it... but I can’t.

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No One Wants Me

(ding! ding!)

Wait. What? People? Where?

(sniff, sniff)

It’s late. Who could be here? Ooh! Did they come to get me?! Are they here, are they here!? (tail wagging, barks)

Hi! I missed you so much! I want to-

Oh, it’s not them.


It’s been almost two months. They aren’t coming to get me.

I will never go home.

Wait, wait, what is that (sniff, sniff)smell? Is that... Peanut butter!!!

I want it! I want it! I want it!

Why, why does that girl have my peanut butter? I, I don’t know her. Who are those people behind her? Oh, they are here to get one of those little annoying things. Why do people want them? They can’t even, even carry a ball. Or, or a stick. Or play tug-of-war. Oh, tug-of-war is my favorite! (tail wags)

I can do all of those things and I have a tail to chase and, and I am pretty adorable. Why don’t people want me? Those ugly things yip and yap and bark all night and, and they can’t even find their tails!

They are such, such-

(footsteps interrupt his thoughts)

Where are they going? They aren’t going to those little things. Wait. They are coming towards, towards me? No that’s, that’s not possible, no one wants me, but she has peanut butter. Come on girl, just, just give me the spoon and I’ll get it myself just, just, come on!

(girl giggles and gives him some)

Ooooooohhhhhh!!!! Sooo good! Thank you girl! Thank you!

You smell nice. Like sticks and leaves. Like trees. I miss the trees- Wait, what are you doing? No, not there plea- oh, that feels nice. To the left a little, up, oh, you got it!

I like you. Can you take me home? I will be the best doggie you ever had, ever!

I will give you kisses and, and not eat your teddy bears, oh pleeeeeeease!! Take me home!

No, what? Come back, why are you walking away? You forgot me! Come back!

I knew it was too good to be true. I will never get a home. All the other dogs keep saying that I only have one more day anyway. I may as well give up now, no one wants me. She was my last chance and I will never be happy. All I wanted was to have a nice family that wouldn’t pull my tail, or muzzle me, or kick me.

I can’t stay here any more. Free me! Free me! Free me! Free meeeee!

It’s no use. I am going to die in this smelly dump all alone. I just wish that girl would take me home. I guess I will make the corner my friend until tomorrow comes.


Wait,(sniff, sniff) I know that smell. Sticks and leaves. Tree girl! She is coming back! Oh-she got the spot again. Don’t stop. Stay right there, perfect. Wait a second, what’s that? I’ve seen one of those stringy things before, I go for walks with those. Thank you doggie gods!!
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Gussy Up Pup

You say I’m your best friend, but you sure don’t treat me like that. You always want to parade me in front of your other “friends,” but we both know that they aren’t as loyal as I am. I’m always there when you get home from work, wagging my tail in greeting. When you’re stressed, I’m there to sit with you while you pet me. So why do you have to dress me in these ridiculous costumes? Don’t say you don’t know what I mean. You and me both know you do. During the summer, you give me one of those silly umbrellas to wear on my head and all your friends said “oh, what a cute dog he is!” Shut up. I have fur all over my body! I can’t get a sunburn. Last winter, you made me wear a disgusting sweater that your mother knitted for me. She even made a matching one for you, too. It was embarrassing. Why can’t I go anywhere with you?

I looked at the calendar the other day and Halloween is coming up. I’m nervous. Last weekend, you took me to the mall (leaving me outside tied to a pole like the bad owner you are) and went in no less than three costume stores. The costume you have in mind for me must be the most vile, embarrassing costume in canine history. That’s the only reason I can think of that you couldn’t find one. In fact, I saw you shopping on your computer for hours after work yesterday.

I can’t take this anymore - I’m getting out of here. I am running away. It is time to pack my things. I can take a few ounces of dog food in the backpack you bought for me last year (it’s vomit green, ew). I will take my favorite bone that I inherited from my grandmother. My lucky chew toy will fit somewhere too. I’ll walk to the bus stop and ride to the train station, then catch the first train out of here. I just have to find where you keep your money. Not in the kitchen, although I did find some good food there. Not anywhere in the basement. I wish I was big enough to ride your bike so I wouldn’t have to take the train. I’ll check in your room. Nothing under your bed. Here’s your wallet, right on top of your dresser. Ok, I got the money, let’s hightail it out of here!

These guys at the train stations are jerks! They say they can’t sell a dog a train ticket. I even took the time to learn sign language and sign out where I wanted to go to them, but they just laughed at me. “Hahaha,” they say, “a talking dog can’t possibly exist! He’s just doing an interpretive dance! That is far more rational and believable.” Well, I’ll give my old buddy Ralph a call and see if he can help me out.

“Hey, Ralph!”

“So, I’m having a bit of a problem here. I need a place to stay because my owner isn’t treating me great.”

“So I can stay at your place? Great, thanks.”

“What’s that?”

“No, I’m not dressing up for Halloween.”

“You want me to go trick or treating with you in costume? Listen, Ralph, I’m not sure that I can be friends with a dog who dresses up for halloween. You know my feelings about clothes, Ralph.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Right. I’ll just find somewhere else to sleep.”

“Ok, bye.”

Damn, I sure hate Halloween.

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“Just a Picture”

So, I was cooking dinner for me and my friends, but the meat was burning a bit. Ughh I am not a good cook haha. Relaxing in the house at the lake is the best thing you could ask for. Having five friends with you, and cooking whatever you want. Not having parents around gave us more responsibilities, but this is how people start, right? My friend’s parents let us go because they trust us, and wanted us to have some fun. Being in Poland just visiting my family, and friends made me more excited. But all the rainy days were reallllyyy annoying. My shoes were always wet. Ugh. We had this little yard outside where we sat all the time haha. Omg the meat was so delicious though! I was so full after eating it. We stayed there for about 5 days. After a dinner like we always did, we went into a house at the lake and started cleaning up after dinner. We played cards. It was always fun and screaming at each other for cheating haha.

I was really tired and went to sleep at about 2 in the morning. I wanted to get a lot of sleep so I put my phone on silent, and not pick up. I rang in the morning, but I ignored it. I mean why would I pick up my phone at 5am? Like no one does that. I just kept sleeping. My phone called like two times. It was extremely annoying like I just wanted to throw it against a wall. I checked the time and it was after 7am. In my mind I thought ‘why would someone keep calling?’. Maybe I should pick it up finally. Like I can still go back to sleep, but on the other side my bed is sooooo warm and comfortable. Ughhh I picked up the phone. It was my uncle. You could hear that I was really tired. He asked if I was still sleeping. Like really? Of course I am sleeping. What  teenager would wake up at 7am in the summer. He asked me if I could get a ride right now or something. I am was realllyyyyy confused. I just started asking questions like why? What happened? When? Huh??? What’s going on???!?!?! After he told me my grandpa passed away my life just stopped. I got up really quick and went outside. My best friend came outside after me and hugged me. My whole body was shaking. And my hands omgggg (showing how my hands were shaking). I didn’t even know what I was doing at that time. I ran back into the house, and just grabbed my bag, and told my friend not to wake the others. I said I am really sorry, but I have to leave. She understood. I left as quickly as I could. It was raining that day. My shoes were soo wet. The street was bumpy. I was tripping on my way. I was almost at the bus stop, but then I saw the bus leaving. Like really?

There was this guy unpacking some things from his car. He looked kinda weird. I was crying on my way home. He asked me if I need a ride home. I was so in shock that I did not even think about caring about myself. I only cared to see my grandpa before they take him. He started asking me random questions about me. He was going in the same direction, kind of. I told him to drop me off at the next bus stop.

I waited only like 10 min for a bus. After I got off the bus I just ran home. I opened the doors to my house and there he was. Laying down on his bed. His hands were laying on his stomach together. His face was very pale. His eyes were closed already. I did not have any words. His body was still warm, but it was cooling down slowly. My grandma was in the kitchen crying, I could hear it from the hallway. My uncle came up to me and hugged me. It was his brother and it hurt him too. I just stood there like a rock. No words came out from my mouth. No movement. Just tears. He was like my daddy because he took care of me with grandma, when my mom was in the US. The next few weeks were really hard for me, but I had my friends and family to support me. The funeral was the worst, and there it was. Just a picture of his coffin.
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