catch22 (catch22) wrote,
catch22
catch22

Of the moment (Unedited and finished for class)

The sun cracked through the vertical blinds that were hanging in Mr. Wirths office casting shadows that swallowed up the room as it moved higher up into the sky.

I knew why I was in there. They thought I had cracked up, but Im not crazy. It was only dumb Eddie Gratto who decided to kill himself last week. What a selfish ungrateful bastard. They declared a crisis. This means that each of the students of Agua Fria High School who were in Mrs. Phelps drama class fifth period get to put in one on one time with the counseling staff. I drew Mr. Wirth. Its an alright draw I suppose, but I really dont think we should be forced to go. Parental request or not.

Well some people need this. Jamie Peterson, who was sitting in the front row and got blood splattered all over her white dress, needs this. Mrs. Phelps needs this. The people who didnt see this coming, and have to ask themselves why did this happen, need this. Not me, but Im going to give them what they want. Maybe Ill cry this time. Then they might leave me alone.

Good morning Kim.

Morning sir.

How are you doing?

To be honest, Im five days late, and wondering if Im pregnant. Im anxious to see if the rents are going to give me a car now that my grade point average is twice as high as the dumb jocks they let on the football team. Im glad that the moved me to a different section in band. I didnt want to be in charge of 50 airhead flute players who couldnt play a 440 A in tune if it was the only note available on the flute.actually 5 of them could, and maybe 3 more would get it by the end of the season. Id rather be home rather then at school because the fact that the school board lowered the standards for graduation just proved my theory that high school is a pointless chore. If it werent for the extracurricular activities, to break up the on going papers paralleling religion to everything that happened or was written in the world, and hands on math projects, Id probably shoot myself too.

Kim

Look, Mr. Wirth, can we forgo the whole psychoanalyzing aspect of this pointless meeting so I can go to lunch early? Eddie shot himself, on stage, in drama. We all knew it was coming, and no one did a damn thing about it. Its ironic that he picked drama to go out like that huh. I mean, Im surprised that the news anchor didnt try and make a funny by going Tragedy in Agua Fria Drama classStory at 10.

Sweetie, I cant let you go early. Your parents are really worried about you. Youre isolating yourself from the rest of the world. I know you and Eddie were close, and its obvious that you have some feelings about the incident that happened

Of course I do. He fucking shot himself in our scene. He used a real gun instead of the one we rigged to shoot silver colored blood caplets. We were going to scare the crap right out of Miss Phelps who criticized our last scene on not being realistic enough. I dont blame her for his death though. A lot of the others do. She was hard on him because she knew he was good. Why is it that the intelligent get rewarded with a harder standard?

Who do you blame?

No one, it was a tragedy that no one could have prevented. A stupid thoughtless boy deciding to take his life in a scene starring him. It could have been a stupid boy deciding to do a shoot up a whole classroom then take his life scene. We all can be thankful that didnt happen. I think Im missing an AP Chemistry test, can we pass on today

I spoke to Mr. Smith, and he said that you can make it up next week. You know youd feel better if you grieved

How much longer is this going to take, I really dont want any special treatment because his note said I was his best friend, and the only one who understood him.

Were you his best friend?

I let him vent when he needed to. I helped him with his Algebra class. I agreed to go to prom with him because the light of his life turned him down flat.

Mary Sue?

Yeah, that precocious bitch never could comprehend how much he loved her. All she could see was he his social status as one of those weird geeks.

What did you see?

I saw Eddie. Someone who was always misunderstood. Someone who could have made a difference in the world. Someone who did make a difference.

Tissues are on desk to your right.

Thanks. I wont need them. I dont cry.

Why is that?

You show that you are weak if you cry. This gives people the upper hand.

Its ok to cry. Kim, no one is invincible. When was the last time you cried.

Last week, during the scene.

Can you tell me about it?

Does it mean I get to leave early?

Well talk about it.

It all started as a joke. Billy and Amy were teasing Eddie about Mary Sue turning him down for the prom. Eddie kept this journal, he wrote about everything in it. Billy and Amy thought that it would be cute to take it and ask Mary Sue to take it back to him and tell him she found it. Before they gave it to Mary Sue, we read it. It was all about us. How he felt about us. How he felt about his family. Basically who he was as a person.you know, deep down inside. It was all out in black and white and we took it at face value.

He called Billy for what he is; an arrogant self-adsorbed player who probably has more of a chance at contracting AIDS then a college scholarship. He called Amy an insecure bulimic prima donna that would have to sleep with producers to make it in Theater. He said I was a needy irritating semi-intellectual who needed something to be pissed at all the time to survive. He also said he was disappointed in me. He praised Mary SueMary Sue did this. Mary Sue said that. Mary Sue was so talented; she had the voice of an angel. She moved with grace that angels should take notes on and copy her style.

Why was he disappointed in you?

I was duped by Billy. He was right, about all three of us. They got mad at him and didnt read the following page where he commented on their good aspects. He was right about those too you know. He saw us reading his journal. Billy wouldnt give it back to him. Then he swung at Billy. Billy made do on his plan to have Mary Sue return the book. She read it. Hed walk down the halls and the jocks would trip him, and jeer him to the point where he was seething. The girls in class would point, misquote lines from it and giggle.

He and I would talk. We were paired up in drama after the rest of the class alienated him. I arranged that.

Why?

Cause Im a bloody saint, thats the way it happened. Then he started doing a half ass job in acting class. Mrs. Phelps called him on it and he blew up at her. She told him that he needed to rewrite our scene. Something mature, something believable. That was the maddest Ive ever seen him, but I know now, Mrs. Phelps broke the last straw. He felt trapped. Theater was how he escaped. It was the place where he wasnt running. He was the master. He could play God and create and destroy worlds within one act, one monologue.

So he wrote a new scene. One inspired by someone who had no escape left. He was alone. He didnt belong. Thats what this scene screamed. It was about a girlfriend and boyfriends love gone astray. He loves her, she cheats on him and they both get AIDS. He looses his identity to the disease. He came up with this idea on how to rig a starters pistol to shoot blood caplets. He was going to shoot the girlfriend and then kill himself.

And then what?

We practiced the blood caplets felt like paint balls. The gun almost looked real.

Do you need something to drink?

No, Im fine. Thank you.

Eddie got more distant. Rumor went around that he was gay. His brother found out and then his father found out. Eddie came to school with bruises. No one seemed to notice. I begged him to tell someone besides me. He kept swearing me to secrecy and then venting. He came to school with fucking black eyes, and no one noticed! No one cared.

One night he came to my house at night. That was the only time I saw him cry. His father beat him bloody that night. His back was black and blue. I just held him. Thats all I could do. My father has this gun collection in the den. There are about 50 different guns. He tried to kiss me. I respectfully dodged it. There was an awkward embarrassing silence. Eddie then asked if I had to choose a gun to die bye, which one would I pick. I couldnt take it any more. I couldnt take him. He was overwhelming mekilling me. I realize now that he reached out. He was most vulnerable and I denied him.
He then decided he should go. He then said hed use a nine-millimeter. The rest you can read in the papers.

Id like you to tell me. If you can.

I didnt see him until five minutes before drama class. He looked like he calmed down from the night before. There was something not right about him though. He wouldnt look me in the eye. The only thing he said to me was, this is going to be cake.

So we went out on stage and started the scene. He missed a line, and improvised with another one. So I picked up the slack, trying not to break character. The scene took off. It was a world I never didnt rehearse and never wanted to know. He was someone else, but we were pulling this off, we were drawing everyone in. Then he pulled out the gun. It wasnt the stage gun we rigged. It was a nine-millimeter. In the original scene he was going to shoot me then shoot himselfNo one realized it was a real gun.

He aimed the gun at me in his fit of rage we rehearsed, except it wasnt acting, it was real. I closed my eyes I was sure I was dead. I could feel the bullet. I felt this world imploding. I heard the shot. The world stopped. I opened my eyes; the lights in the cloud of the theater were harshly bright. I couldnt see anyone in the house. I couldnt hear anything. There was dead silence. Then they started clappingMrs. Phelps and a few of the others were standing. I was praying for him to get up. I prayed for this all to be a dream. I was in darkness stage left and he was in darkness stage right. I tried to get to him. I couldnt move into the light. Mary Sue, who evidently felt moved, went over to where he fell, she thought he was still acting. She picked up his right hand. The gun fell from it, knocking him in the head. He groaned. There was silence again, and then he said something to her. She said it was something about angels and going home.

It wasnt your fault.

In a way I cant be blamed for what happened, but Im guilty all the same. We all are. So I deal the best I know how.

Mrs. Phelps said you havent been going to class. If you miss to many you wont be able to go to Auditions.

I dont care any more.

She said you turned in the scene you were suppose to write. I read it. Its touching.

Its a bunch of bull crap. It doesnt matter.

Kim, I really dont believe that. Look at yourself youre trembling. Mrs. Phelps thinks the piece you wrote is moving. She doesnt say anything she doesnt truly believe.

Look, can I drop drama. I have enough hours to graduate already

Ill tell you what, go talk to Mrs. Phelps, and if she says its alright, Ill let you transfer to study hall. I really think you should reconsider though.

Thanks.




Whos out there?

Mrs. Phelps. Its me.

Jesus child, how long have you been sitting in the dark.

A while. Look I need to talk to you.

Come up to the stage.

I dont think

Come up to the stage, now.

But..

Now.

Yes mam.

Stop standing in the wings, come into the light where I can see you. There. If youve come to drop, no, you cant. I think youre wussing out. Eddie would be disappointed in you, running out like this.

YOU DONT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOURE TALKING ABOUT.

Kim, why are you yelling at me? Kim, youre a talented actress. One with auditions for possible roles in professional productions next week.

Its too hard. Its too real anymore. Drama is something that youre suppose to shut off as you clean off your make up. This is how drama and reality are supposed to coexist. He broke that. I could have saved him in real life. I didnt have control in his world, I let him die

You didnt kill him. It wasnt your fault.

If I listened moreIf I

It wasnt your fault.

If I talked to him, listened to him. If I gave him five more minutes.

Kim. It wasnt your fault.

You know, its ironic. Listening to the theater settling, in the dark. Sitting in this house. I can see the scene happening over and over. Sometimes I dream that were doing that scene again, except this time he shoots the gun and the curtain comes down, the sound of the velvet hitting the floor. Then hes enclosed in darkness behind that black curtain and the lights are on me.

You didnt know Kim, there wasnt anything you could do.

I could have ducked under the curtain. I could have held himstopped him before he left the house.

I know child. Its hurts. We endure and grow. Tell me, if Eddie were still here would you do the auditions?

Hed drag me there kicking and screaming if I even thought about not doing them.

I sit in this theater sometimes, at night, and I here the students who could make it but didnt. I hear the students who gave professional level performances and still do around the world; and I still hear the student who gave the performance of his life. The thing is theater is the mirror of life, and both will go on regardless if you want it to or not.

It just makes me wonder why him Why any of us?

Go home tonight and bring back something on paper for a monologue. Prepare it for auditions. If you cant get it done there will be other auditions. Before you fight me on this, think about this one thought. You once told me that the reason you were in acting is to show others what your perception of truth is. Eddie thought this was brilliant. Would you be a selfish as Eddie if you gave up too? Could you loose the part of yourself you found here? Life is hard and in the end the only reward is knowing ourselves.




Ms Phelps

Good morning Kim.

I have something.

Good God, child! It looks like you havent slept.

I havent. Tell me what you think. Its called The Lifetime in the Wold of a Moment.

OK begin when youre ready.

Enter stage left. Cross to down center stage. The stage is dark. The stage is empty. Nothing is there. Now. Something is born. The lights raised. A character is born. The world is created. Created from borrowed parts of everyone present. We are emotionally tied to this world. It pulls us deeper and deeper into its reality. Look away, back to your reality. They arent the same. The temptation is thereto give in. Theres a seduction that draws one through the stage portal. We fall. Willful prisoners captivated in our captivity. Comical is it not? The barrier between realities. The tie that binds us here can be torn apart with one prop. Result: The worlds come colliding in Hope enters stage right and lurks in the background. Clothed in black with silver tipped eagle wings. Tragedy enters through a trap upstage, also clothed in white and gold lined dragon wings. The lights fade and attention is paid to our character. A hero and anti-hero all rolled up in one. With the power and greed to combine all worlds into one, but the knowledge to know reversal of the process is not possible. Out from under our characters faade comes the prop. A two-sided coin with one face saying creation and the other side destruction. It is flipped. Tragedy leans in ready to pounce. Hope closes her eyes. The coin bounces and lands. Destruction. He pounces on our character. Darkness flashes and the sound of the coin striking and spinning on the hardwood stage is heard. Then the light is returned. The spotlight come on to the very spot where the sound is produced. Fate cuts through the darkness. The coin stops and falls in front of her. Creation. She picks up the prop replaces it with a single tulip plant and exits stage left. The tulip fades into the darkness, into the silence. The curtain falls and the house lights are brought up. We return to the point we ended at in our reality with the conclusion of the characters reality and begin the rest of our life.
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