ms thucker, martha (flyingcarousel) wrote,
ms thucker, martha
flyingcarousel

Hypothesis: a play

Hypothesis: a play


Act I Prelude

{The tap spurts on, water cascades and hits the tub with the deep rumbling you hear as it collides with the water already inside. [time: ] The tap turns off, followed with the sound of waves gushing back and forth tinkling (the sound water makes when it’s being disturbed). The tap drips, the rhythm erratic as it slows to a lazy pace of falling as the sound of breathing and faint scraping (shaving) accompanies.}

[this be better spoken in a very deep, male, tenor key voice, if possible] Let’s picture this. You are sitting inside a tub, taking a nice, hot bubble bath the water filled to the brim. Let’s say your name is Susanna, because no, you prefer not to use real names, and you are shaving. As you drag the sliver of burnished silver across your legs leaving a wake of frictionless, pale, bare hairless skin, it digs into your skin. The way you press it, it marks the path of the blade with a meandering strip of pink, but not deep enough to inflict a wound, the strength insufficient to lacerate. You immerse your legs into the bathwater and let the clumps drift away in a swirl. They either sink or get caught in the tiny clouds of foam on the water surface. Then, your hand holding the razorblade, almost unintentionally, moves away from your legs and lands on the insides of your wrists. There, the delicate blue y indistinct but impossible to miss under your semi-translucent skin, stretched over bone. It’s name is [ ]. You know this because you know your biology, and you think it sounds [ ]. You could almost see the blood below pulsating silently, propelled forward by the pressure generated from your heart that also, pulsates itself, the energy still being there after venturing through the endless labyrinth of blood vessels and diverging ones like crossroads tracing to even finer, narrower ones, the pulse unwavering and unperturbed by resistance.

And with one hand holding a razorblade, another facing up, you look at your vein and ponder why your heart manages to pump blood up from this long way away.
You ponder, if you pressed the razorblade down hard, slit your wrists open, would you bleed to death?
You marvel at the fact that death could be so close, in fact, a few millimeters away from your fingertips while you sit naked in lukewarm water smelling of lavender body wash, inside your own porcelain tub that comes with nice chromium taps, inside the safe, steam filled white confines of you bathroom.
The notion of death, of dying, of eternal comatose.

Press the razorblade hard against your skin. Inhale. Exhale. Press harder.


Act II The Anchor Theory

It is always consoling to think of suicide: in that way one gets through many a bad night. Friedrich Nietzsche

**
In our lives, meaning exists in the things you care about. Your loved ones, work, your cat, and even, yourself, the focal point of all your actions, these are the reasons why you are happy, and therefore find meaning in. Let’s call them anchors, because they are the sheer matter that ties us to life and what we will not exist without.

But if we cease to be ‘anchored’, what will happen?
Will we cease to exist?

**
Let’s pretend you are in a Starbucks getting coffee, now, frazzled by the choices on the menu when all of a sudden, you hear a familiar voice. You turn around, and you see your two best friends deep in conversation, and it strikes you peculiar that they would come out without telling you to join them. I mean, you guys are supposed to be best friends. Right?
In terms of mass, if cats should have nine lives, theoretically, we should have about what, ten folds?
You eavesdrop anyway.

A: Hey. God, look at that frat boy over their, his hair is so lame. And, my frap is too sweet. Is that even supposed to be skim milk?
B: It even rhymes. Why do you even drink skim milk? Full cream tastes so much better, it actually tastes like milk.
[pause]
A: You know, to be quite honest, I’m starting to get tired of her.
B: Who?
A: Suze. She’s like, the queen of emo, except I think she’s just trying to be scene. Fucking hypocrite. Scene queens and all that exaggerated makeup and all that.
B: I know, she’s been wearing black all the time.
A: God. Seriously, Pete Wentz? That band sucks big time. She’s not even after it for the music.
B: True
A: I know, right. I mean, grow the fuck up. She’s going to lengths of self-destruction to prove herself. Yesterday she was like, ‘I’m so depressed, I want to cut myself’, and like, she actually did, with her cutter and stuff, and took pictures of the blood she spilt in her laptop and posted it on the internet.
B: What.
A: And the next day she’s like, taking these online quizzes for what mental disorder suits you best, and she posted it in her journal. I mean, it’s so obvious that she’s trying to prove that she’s fucked, you know, the way sad emo kids do? Like, I’m so sad and fucked up, and like, I’m so goddamn cool. See, there’s like, blood coming out from every one of my fucked up orifices.
B: What a sadist.
A: Sad fact of life. When people are devoid of their use, you dump them. There’s no sympathy for them because every decision is meaningless. Life goes on.

Wait, and you think, maybe it’s your fault, because who told you to go poking in private conversations?
Next day you stop talking to both of them, because, damn, you thought they understood but they don’t.

**
Lunchtime.
On the toilet pan, you hug your knees and make yourself small. There’s graffiti spilling all over the cubicle walls scrawled untidily in permanent markers and correction fluid and lipstick, all teen angst and uncensored cuss words. Jenna loves Mark, Dianne loves Mark, et cetera, the whole history of makeshift human relationships and faux family trees laid bare on a fragment of dirty wall for one who’d care to examine them. Emily is a whore, Caitlin is pregnant.
There is no Susanna on it, nor Suze, let alone Suzy. Honestly, you don’t know if this makes you feel better or worse.

**
[muffled giggling]
God, Suze. Stop being anorexic.
Come out
[muffled giggling, then the giggling ain’t muffled no more but this is for a brief timing, then it resumes to muffledness]
What did you just do?
Shit, my hair.
[v. loud giggling. Hard keel-over giggling]
[banging on cubicle door]
Shit Suze, why don’t you just die in there already.
[more laughing]
[more banging]
[Laughing]
/fade out

**
Answering machine [sound filter: phone]:
B: I’m sorry, seriously. Suze, you there? Really, we shouldn’t have done that to you at the toilet. [stifling laughter] Okay, it was really funny the way you sat on the toilet [starts to laugh, anyway] Shit, sorry. God – [starts to laugh again], if you’d been there –
[a sudden, terminating beep and it goes quiet again]

**
You are inexplicably detaching yourself from your supposedly best friends. At lunch, you either disappear into hiding in the library or the toilet or join some others who eat homepacked lunches at school
[hustle & bustle]
C:
D:
C:
D:
(a discord of conversations)

It isn’t that you aren’t being accepted into their clique of friends, but it’s just that you don’t get that much phone calls than you did before.
Maybe, you just don’t fit in because you are supposed to be solitary in nature, no, scratch that. Make it independent. Or maybe, you have your differences. You don’t laugh at their jokes and find their habit of going to toilet in pairs weird and you just don’t like to talk, or doesn’t have anything worthy of talk, nor want to, because you feel unsafe talking because that way you’d spill out yourself and they would see you for what you truly are, some form of immature limp dick.
Maybe this way they’d never found out who you truly are.
It crosses your mind that, maybe they won’t even give a shit if you died.

**
Friends are major source of self-worth since they make you feel like you are needed, necessary to one’s happiness. But if your friends are torn out of the picture, your self-worth degrades, and therefore it is necessary that you find something to preoccupy yourself with, something you are good at doing to prevent yourself from a mental breakdown.

But the thing is, how do you define good? Will good mount its way up to perfectionism?
It’s hard to define the limits of anything without the feedback of ones whose opinion mattered the most.
**

You painted a picture. Still life of a red cactus in a white ceramic hairline cracked pot, oil on canvas. But that wasn’t all, there was the smell of turpentine, and you used colors that didn’t look as if they’d fit into the picture but did work, like perhaps, cobalt. Your tube of white was running out and sharp metal foil edges from all that folding was pricking your skin.
But the process didn’t mattered. The result did.
The spines where not fine enough, were too stiff and kind of runny, ran in with the red. You blamed the brushes for not being fine enough. But deep inside you knew you could have held that brush in another angle if you tried. The barrels were too smooth, the texture didn’t stand out. You shouldn’t have blended the colors that much such that the difference in shades didn’t stand out.
And maybe you should’ve painted something else. The whole thing was too cheerful, too bright and bubbly. It’s cliché, something you’d avoid to lengths.

Total devotion to his art requires self-sacrifice. You never really put your heart into painting it, anyway. The wiry spikes that look like sticks.
Art never comes from happiness. You agreed with that. Cheerfulness in art in general indicated triviality, or so you thought.

And for some reason, that picture ended up in your living room above the TV.
You wanted to cringe and bury your head in the floorboards and it looked even than the initial finished product. It was fucking embarrassing and you just wanted to die right that fucking instant.

You tell your mom it’s fucking ugly, minus the swearing.
Mom: Oh darling, don’t say that. It’s filled to brim with style.
What bullshit. There is no style, there is only perfection.
**

And gradually, your happiness will start to depend on the satisfaction of accomplishment. It’s like drug tolerance. The more you accomplish, the more you expect of yourself until your standards mount to something unrealistic, to extents of which it disrupts the routine of life.
**
[bell rings]
[explosion of sounds, chairs scraping the floor]
E: Dude, you coming to the movie with us?
Suze: I can’t.
E: Oh c’mon, there ain’t no tests tomorrow anyway.
Suze: I just…I can’t

because you just can’t dammit no you can’t, you have to count the minutes on your watch and go home on record time because, damn, you’ll be wasting time while you could be doing something constructive instead of being stuck in the stairs in human traffic or crossing the goddamn road or standing at the bus stop doing nothing staring in the distant for neon bus numbers for the bus that will take you home.

[rapid breathing]
[keys jiggling in keyhole, the key doesn’t go in, and pauses in which Suze tries to find the right key]
Suze: shit. Shit shit shit shit shit.
[finally door opens, slams]
Suze: God, fuck this.
[bag thumps loudly on the coach]
[door to bedroom slams]
[rapid breathing slows]
[silence]
This void, this feeling, when you come back home and realize there’s nothing waiting for you anyway.
What is the point.
[the clock ticks]
Then you realize the clock is ticking
Suze: shit shit shit shit shit -

**
Isolation is necessary so you can concentrate fully, intensely, utilize every second.
There’s a line in the movie ‘The Prestige’ that says ‘total devotion to his art requires self-sacrifice’. Chuck Palahniuk once said ‘art never comes from happiness’. Dakin from the History Boys once said all literature is a consolation.
You dole out acrylics the paint palette, inhale the turpentine like oxygen. Cobalt blue, cerulean, emerald green, vermillion. Apply paint on canvas. Ease your breath. Those shaking fingers. Don’t worry, you still have time. Carefully, now.

**

Sometimes when people compliment you on how well your painting looks, you want too cut them up in little pieces and feed them to a dog just because you think they are lying. They use all these big words like perfect, and marvelous, and tremendous but they are all stupid big beautiful cliché, and empty words.
**

Your love for your parents is primitive, as theirs for you, almost as if it’s a rule of nature. There is always a deeply anchored conviction inside of you that you can always fallback on your parents when you have nowhere to go, and that they will always love you no matter how much of a habit it has become of them to scream at you.

But what if they just aren’t…there?
**

Saturday morning. Your mom is probably out, and dad at work. You are bored. Feels placid. You venture inside your father’s study, walls smothered with shelves heaped with tomes and volumes, spines with crooked fold-scars running down their lengths, spine with titles with golden embossed lettering. He’s a barrister or something like that. Light filters through the horizontal slats of the pale blue Venetian blinds. You see dust motes shimmering. You see the narrow slits of light impaling the circular dried coffee mug prints on his oak study. Cloak draped around its leather throne.

You go and bury your face in that goddamn cloak because, fuck, you haven’t seen or heard a fucking soul in god knows how long. Fuck this eau de cologne that’s ramming its molecules way up the pores of your nostrils. Fuck Armani, because you just want your dad, not just some motherfucking, sad, pathetic, sagging piece of animal skin.

And then, you moron, you go poking inside your dad’s pockets and find a half filled pack of cigarettes, the cardboard a little squashed on the sides. The smokes sticking up like tiny detachable chimneys with little brown filter ends.

You nearly choke with panic overcome with the sudden revelation that your dad is going to die of lung cancer.
**

[hustle and bustle, radio announcements announcing themselves in the speakers in a polite female voice, sounds of luggage being dragged around, of people talking, of the airport]

Your parents are flying to New York for business.

Dad: [phlegmatic raspy voice] take care of yourself, okay? I love you, Suzikins.
Mom: Your meals are on the third rack inside the fridge. Remember. Heat them for three minutes. There’s five hundred dollars on the coffee table in case of emergency. Don’t disappoint me.

She is implying that if you wreck shit up, she will be after you for forever and a day, shredding you into paper thin slices and cooking you for dinner.
But you are a nice, good girl and you say

Suze [speaking not too sentimentally, as opposed to her parents]: I won’t, mommy.
Mom: That’s my Suzikins. Give me a hug.

You give them a hug. Or rather, they do.

[sounds of cloth rubbing against each other]
Mom: Oh, my dear, we’re going to miss you so much.
Dad: We’ll be home soon, sweet. Now, be a good girl and run along. We have to catch a plane.

And they do.
And so you watch your dad disappear through the crowd wearing the Armani cloak with the squashed half pack of cigarettes inside.

**
This time period of two weeks alone might have caused your death.
Or, probably the false conviction that you have deeply buried in yourself of that you are could be a great artist.
You thought maybe depression could be a source of inspiration.
You thought maybe the fear you have in yourself could be transformed into strokes of paint, into some form of art.

Instead it kind of implodes inside of you, almost soundlessly, the way it’s so soft only you can hear it.

The phone is ringing. Pick up the phone. Someone’s wants to know how you are.

Suze: Hello?
Mom [extremely shitty sound quality, ‘cuz it’s a long distance phone call]: Hey, baby. We are in JFK. We have a minute here before the queue behind murders us. How are you doing?
Suze: Fine, I guess.
Mom: What did you do today? Did you heat your lunch okay?
Suze: Uh, painting. Um yeah, the microwave was nice to me.
Mom: I miss you dear, dad wants to talk to you. Here wait –
[phone static. The dragged out signal]

**
Sunday, 6 am, you wake up early because you’d have more time to do whatever you want to do. So you don’t panic when you wake up at 10 am and realize that 4 hours could be utilized in doing something else constructive instead of sleeping.

You take out your oils, squeeze out little globs of paint from the tiny metal tubes onto the palette.
You stretch the canvas on the board.
The blank canvas mirrors your blank mind as your mind keels back at your utter failure in producing anything, any idea, that’s worthy of painting.
And here, inserts the panic.
Tick tock tick tock, and there goes a few seconds of time that you could’ve been productive. But it’s not like you can do anything now so you just sit there, trapped, digging your nails into your skin until there grooves are bruised into waxing-moon-crescentlike beings, you are punishing yourself until your mind could produce that could be transformed into something become solid, tangible, real.
Think. Think. Think. Think. Think.
Have some faith.

And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep
**

Sometimes in class, on the street, when you are sitting in a window café pencil in hand, musing on a pad of lined notepaper drawing skinny women and sad dark eyes, your coffee untouched in a porcelain cup, you wonder if that person with the blue trenchcoat sitting right across you, there, alone, is lonely and shooting you secret glances.

You mind immediately branches out to a million different outcomes and possibilities, and you imagine her to be some teenage artist scout who happens to know you are a pretty smashing painter. Maybe she is some form of reincarnation of your dead dog. The cogs are powering in that clogged up rust mottled shit colored brain of yours until she slams down a coin on a table and walks right pass you, without a word, head down, boots thumping on the greasy tiles out into the rain.
The umbrella pops into a dark round shade that surrounds her upper torso.
You never see her again.
And now the mere thought of this memory makes so mortified you want to go back in time and shoot yourself dead.
**

You walk home, trying not to step on the gas rainbows that gleam iridescently under the obfuscating glow of the streetlamp. Everyone’s sleeping. You turn on your computer and check your mail. No mail. Facebook: notifications says zero. A word document pops out and it feels cathartic to write.
Fuck this.
You refresh xanga until morning peeks out from the blinds and you go to sleep again. Morning depresses you because you either feel so naked and exposed under the bubbly bright cheerful sunshine! Or that it makes you feel extra depressed the way contrasts does this to people.
You question yourself, why then, refresh xanga for the whole goddamn night.
Juxtaposition or contrast.
In the end they are just implying the same thing.
**

Suze (all teary): mom?
Mom: Suze! What a surprise. We’ll call tonight, okay? This isn’t a good time. We are in a business meeting.
Suze: I just kind…kind of miss you, that’s all
Mom: I miss you too, sweetie pie. But I really have to go now.

**
You fall into a routine. Sleep. Eat. Wake up. Eat. Sleep.
Wake up.
Everything awash in light. It’s so beautiful how everything kind of go blurry on the edge with light, somehow. You rub your eyes and it’s still there, it’s like epiphany, some kind of holy phenomenon. So beautiful it breaks your heart, and it kind of reminds you of how far are you away from achieving this kind of beauty, that your paintings are just plain shit compared to this.

You draw the curtains and go back to sleep. Ignorance is bliss. You can’t deny that.
**
But when you wake up there it goes again
[anguished groans, weeping, thumping, sobs]
Suze [kind of strangled, through gritted teeth]: stupid, motherfucking, talentless little bitch –
[canvas ripping]
[things shattering]

**
Tonight, mom and dad didn’t call.
[Suze: [whisper] I miss you]
Your voice, so foreign, it sends a draft up your spine and you instinctively reach for your black ipod classic that you keep constantly inside the kangaroo pouch of your hoodie and plug in the earphones. Some rock band plays and the bass pounds in sync with your racing heartbeat and you feel a little safer.

**
[intercom beeping]
Suze: yes?
H: [Crackling static] Pizza delivery
Suze: Can…can you leave the thing on the front steps?
H: uh, you have to pay.
Suze: Ah, yeah. Shit. Sorry. I pu-ut..the money…money…is right beside the door in an envelop, cash in exact change.
[a pause]
Suze: Oh and thank you.

You don’t know why you are doing this. If it’s the light, the fear of exposing yourself to human contact, or embarrassing yourself, in which you just did. Maybe, all of the above.

**
If your dad died, he wouldn’t have felt it, it would feel like it is as if he never existed. And even if it inflicts upon you emotional wounds, he will still not be here to see you suffer so it won’t matter to him anyway.

Maybe death is being forcibly shoved inside a too dark claustrophobic closetlike space, elbows scratching splintered wood and profuse sweating. Cries of help muffled by layers of earth and hardwood.

Then you turn on the bedlight [click of switch]
And keep yourself awake with paperback chicklit romance for the rest of the night [rustle of paper, sounds of rapid breathing, swallowing], your prescription for nightmares and the closest thing you have to feeling human existence. But you know it’s just a band aid cure, just to keep the plane crash and sputtering detonating engine from playing out behind your eyelids, from the dark black void of coffins and limp dark asphalt lungs and the panic from pressing its cold black lips against your neck like a noose and the screams from leaking out from behind your lips and the panic that grips you when you find no one’s there, someone’s probably dead…

Suze: [rapid, super quick repetitions of] think happy thoughts think happy thoughts think happy thoughts think -

And you think maybe you love your parents but love is overrated and commercialized and maybe they don’t really love you, leaving you alone like that, and you don’t think you trust the thing called love anyway.

Maybe, you think, in the end we are nothing and we are alone.
**

[repetitive, click, click of lighter]
[a pause, cuz Suze’s burning something, sounds of breathing]
[long, sharp inhale]

**
When your parents come home,
[keys jiggling in keyhole]
They are baffled by how dark the house is,
Mom: god, it’s dark.
Dad: Susikins? Did you draw the curtains?
Stop breathing, before the coagulated vomit and bacteria infested takeaway leftovers reach the pores inside your nostrils.
Mom: God, what kind of smell is that?
Dad: [shit (quietly)]
[scraping and furniture legs screaming with friction against the floor as dad walks over to open the curtains]
Your freeze. The thousands of nerve connections in your brain tells you, screams to you telling of intrusion. High frequency warning sirens rapidly alternating between wail and silence. Panic pulses in your nerves and your fingers hovering above your keyboard and you are frozen, paralyzed with this utter panic but you just can’t walk out and tackle your parents, or parent impersonators.
Suddenly you feel very small and at the same time exploding.
There’s the blood in your head, your heart is thumping rather loudly and you realize you are kind of loud.
You are naked and exposed.
They’ve found you.
Your sanctuary

Venetian blinds ripping open, the slits of light grazing your being.

Suze: [screams]

They’ve found you. You close your eyes but you see the faint pink light suffusing through your eyelids. Your hands find your eyes and smother them from the light. You barely hear the sound of you laptop falling to your side with a faint thump and what presumes to be the sound of system failure and shattering, data loss. And then you realize your hands will also be exposed to the light. No matter how you try to hide you will be, inevitably be pierced with the light.
You are vulnerable
Sliced to pieces by light.
You are no longer invisible.
**

Your parents are the only ones who care about you, even if your friends don’t.

Mom: Suze, open the curtains. You can’t just stay in the dark all the time. You have to live. Suze (muffled, through door): No, no, no, no way.
Mom: Suze.
[pause]
Mom: We have gone through this.
[pause]
Mom: There is nothing scary about light. You are not exposed because the sun is shining down on you. You are being unreasonable and you know it.
[pause]
Mom (screaming): JUST GODDAMN OPEN THE DOOR AND OPEN THE GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING CURTAINS DAMMIT.
[a very long pause]
[door being continuously pounded on. Such explicit, loud pounding it makes you cringe everytime it pounds]
Dad: GODDAMMIT JUST STOP THE GODDAMN NOISE, JOAN, YOU ARE MAKING A MOTHERFUCKING RACKET FOR NO REASON AT ALL. SHE. IS. NOT. GOING. TO. COME. OUT. NO. MATTER. WHAT. YOU. ARE. DOING. JUST. QUIT. BANGING. THAT. DOOR. OKAY? DIDN’T WE AGREE THAT SHE IS A LOST CAUSE?
[pounding stops, we hear this from Suze’s side]
[mom crying, muffled outside the door]
[then suze starts crying too]

**

[sound of lock jiggling, door opens]
Suze [echoing in the hallway]: But I don’t see the point of it anymore.
Mom?
Dad?
**

You try to read, but you ask yourself, why can’t I write like that?
Television reminds you of how lonely you are.
What you do is, you refresh refresh refresh refresh the webpage.
Still, the emoticon says ‘Hi! Susanna, you have 0 messages.’
You wonder whether the exclamation mark is marketing strategy. So customers would actually feel the false cheeriness.

But why does it even matter, in the end, that customers care?

**
You are a lost cause.
Because, when you dole out the paint once again, you inhale the turpentine and it has lost its unique scent in which normally, invokes joy but instead now, it invokes something else inside of you, something similar to despair. Why do you paint anyway? What do you paint for? It doesn’t make you happy, because you hardly produce anything you like, let alone things that can be defined as products of aestheticism. It’s a waste of time. Even if you paint a pretty picture, there will always be someone who paints a prettier picture and some picture that has the same idea as yours. So you are basically inauthentic. What good, does painting do? Why do you paint? What meaning is there in painting? Could you have use the time in painting in doing something else? Why do colors matter when we could do well with black and white? Why waste colors when words, in mere black and white can convey more meaning?

Okay. So if you paint really well, and you get yourself into a prestigious art school. So what? In the end you’ll probably become a starving artist in the end. You are never satisfied because you never reach perfectionism. But what is the point of perfectionism? What’s the point of fame and riches and anything when you die in the end and you loose everything?

What does anything amount to or matter when we are going to die in the end anyway? It’s as if nothing’s happened. It’s as if you never existed.

So if you believe in afterlife, what’s the point of living if you are going to live forever?
So if you don’t believe in afterlife, when you die it will be as if you have never lived, nothing’s ever happened, what the point of living?

Suze[whispers]: It will be as if you never existed. [shudders]

**
[whispering]
F: Goddamn, why the hell does she wear black all the time, she’s like the emos. You know, the ones who cut themselves all up and put pictures of their scars on the internet?
G: Maybe she listens to too much My Chemical Romance, or something. It freaks the hell outta me.
F: Like, some people are just downright scary. I don’t know how to describe it.
G: Totally.

You kind of feel pleased when hear people. Whispering. Your name.
When on the outside you act like you don’t give a shit, on the inside you smile.
A life needs secret plans

**
Biology class
Teacher: Okay, class. We are going to investigate evolution this lesson. Can anyone tell me what we existed as in the most primitive of times?
[pause]
Anthony: RNA molecules?
Teacher: Thank you for your answer, Anthony. Exactly, we started off as RNA molecules. Can anyone tell me what came next?
[pause]
No one?
[pause]
Yes, Anthony, again. Please?
Anthony: They morphed into DNA molecules
Teacher: Unfortunately, this time, you are wrong. Maybe, partially right, because the weaker RNA molecules died and the stronger ones stayed, and the stronger ones became the DNA, and so on, like Darwin’s theory, in which the stronger ones survive while the weaker ones desist.
Anthony: And so our sole purpose of living is self-preservation? So we live to survive?
Teacher: Technically, yes.
Anthony: But what’s the point of surviving when one is going to desist in the end? What’s the point of evolution?

**
Sometimes during bad times, you are hanging by a thread, and wondering why you are here why are you feeling so empty why, why are you doing nothing, wasting goddamn youth away. Panic filling up like a flood in a claustrophobic space. When you die you become dust again. You realize you are but the weight of dust that might have or might have not existed.

You feel very lonely. You want to be understood, but you are afraid to be understood, because this way it would be like a public dissection, an open examination of your most private, profound scars. But there’s one and an only way of doing this, despite its impossibility, and it’s death. This way you’ll make a mark, your notebooks and journals be the remains of you which are forever of interest, because you are dead and dead people can’t be revived so you are forever a mystery which is very interesting. This way you will be interpreted, and even though you might be misinterpreted but in the end, someone will have to know what you were thinking, right?

And maybe your death will change people, somehow, by the sheer event of dying. Change how they think about their lives. You want to be an impact but you don’t have enough talent in public speaking, your vocabulary inadequate to impress. Death is one way to do this, if you don’t posses the above abilities.

And maybe this way is how you truly make a mark, having thought of some form existing after your death, which is, when you cease to exist.
**

Social worker: M’dear, so what’s it that you have to tell me?
Suze: umm…umm…i…

At the social worker, you find it hard to speak, the words stuck in your throat like glass.
Air contains oxygen. Even the safest safe corrode. No place in the world is a good enough place to deposit your secrets.

Social worker: Take your time, dear, take your time.

I feel so unfulfilled in life and as though I am wasting my teenage years, but I’m not sure what to do about it. Sometimes I want to be remembered so bad I think of becoming someone like Hitler because he was remembered. I want to die under tragic circumstances while I’m still young so people will remember me for everything I could have been, instead of growing older and failing to live up to the expectations set for me. I want to die in a way such that ever having lived will seem like folly.

You bite your lip.

Suze: Sometimes…I…I…ddon’t believe that there’s afterlife, and sometimes I don’t think god exists. So, without afterlife, it will be as if you never existed and what’s the point of living when you don’t even know you existed? Wouldn’t that make us meaningless, insignificant?

Social Worker: You have to have faith, dear.
**
Insomnia sinks you into an interminable loop of thoughts in which you anchor your existence.
What am I living for? You think. What is my purpose in life? Why does living matter when I have nothing to live for?
You are free floating into the vortex, sucked down by current.

Maybe, you think, I shouldn’t be existing already.
**


Act III

$$: Urban legend says if you listen with your ears pressed against the drain for long enough, you’d hear Suzy screaming, and on the days when she feels sad you’d detect a raspy undertone. Some say you can even hear it through those rust mottled detached old drain pipes listening at one end. You know, like the way they say you can hear the sea through a whelk shell?

B: I guess she ain’t that bad after all.
A: I can’t believe she just died like that.
B: You can’t be sure.
A: What are the chances, with a 10 centimeter diameter drainage pipe and a fully developed teenager body? And flesh coming up regularly in everyone’s sink?
B: It’s awful.
A: I know, it’s goddamn awful the way she died with the brain of a twelve year old.

**
Mom: She used to paint really pretty pictures, and we hanged them all over our house. But in the end she never really appreciated them and refused to come out of her room because she thought what she painted was ugly.

Dad: I was baffled.

Mom: You don’t know what the hell is going in your children’s minds, nowadays, and there ain’t no technology advanced enough to wheedle anything out of their brains.

Dad: and once, when we came home after two weeks at Paris for this business trip, she was alone at home, drawn the curtains, and when we opened them she screamed like nuts.

Mom: [exasperated] language

Dad: Sorry. But I mean, we thought she has some kind of disease associated with aversion to light or something so we took her to the hospital, and she screamed all the way there about being exposed and shit like that. She stopped on the way there on the account of being too tired, I suppose.

Mom: Then when she was there, the doctor told us she was as fine as a feather. Nothing serious. Something strong tea and sugar would cure.

Dad: Then on the way home she started screaming again. But I mean, isn’t this supposed to be a phase teenagers supposedly have to go through? Depression and shit like that? Our friends tell us Suze was going through a goth phase, some saying she ain’t because she wasn’t wearing black Lolita clothes and too much black eyeliner, that goth phases were supposed to be characterized of. Some said emo, of being a miserable nut holing into oneself. I thought it was that. But it was better than grunge and punk and that. Those other phases, supposedly, involved arson and wrecking shit in the community.
You know, I’m kind of impressed with the way teenagers have invented such ways to seek attention.
But, we weren’t fooled. At least we thought we weren’t.

Mom: At night, in the dark, we sat her in the living room with candles on the table and she sitting stiff on the couch, and talked to her about it. I told her, grow up, stop being a drama queen. You are not a kid anymore. Quit it. It’s not funny.

Dad: And then she just rocked right out of her seat and spewed strings of swearwords we never thought she’d know let alone speak if she did, and ones we never knew. Then she threw a cushion at us.

Mom: then she stalked upstairs, slammed the door.

Dad: We were furious. I mean, we were just trying to explain to her this kind of behavior is not acceptable in our household let alone in the society and she just stalked off. Like that. God. What a display of shocking vulgarity. God curse the ones who invented the internet. She must have had learnt it there.

Mom: Her computer is broken, so it wasn’t possible for us to find out what sites she surfs. But we found sites that self-destructive teenagers go to lurk. The pro-anorexia forums and the cutting and anarchist communities. And there are like, suicide pacts. You know, people in the internet set up pacts and how and when to die?

Dad: And you know, the way they posted pictures of the scars on their hands, you’d think they were having a race of who’s having the most scars or something.

Mom: It’s such a fad it’s not even funny. I think they did it just to show off. I was so angry when I saw the posts. [bordering tears]

Dad: We were devastated when our daughter died, especially as a result to this. Self destruction fad. We are now devoting our efforts to stop this kind of behavior in teenagers, even if it requires substantial amount of money and force.

Mom: You don’t know that.

Dad: She’s not going to come back.

Mom: She is. [obviously crying] And I’m still going to spank her if when she comes back begging down our front door.
**

Social worker: She was running out of faith, I think that’s what caused it. Not necessarily in faith as in God, but faith as in that in…everyone in general. She is convinced that her ideas, that are most probably wrong, right and fails to register the opinion of her peers.

**

Evening news. Good evening, this is Evelyn Waugh reporting. Recently, a substantial amount of unidentified chunks of, suspiciously, flesh of some form, has been discovered by households to be clogging up the drain. In fact, one of the videos in the recent episode of America Home’s Funniest Videos, seem to feature exactly, the phenomenon we are talking about here.

America home’s funniest videos
G [the mom]: brushy brushy teeth teeth!
Baby: [makes gurgling, baby sounds]
Eeeeeeee…
Ahhhhh….
Orr….. [plop]
[laugh tracks]

The baby, who is apparently making faces at the mirror as she brushes her teeth, seemed to be attacked by a lump of something shooting out of the drain.
**

J: Whenever I drink water, I don’t know why, but it makes me feel some kind of remorse, as though I have ignored the misery of close ones because I thought it was just pretense, a mere call for more attention?

K: You know, I’m starting to think all that crap about emo? It doesn’t exist, as it is nothing other than a stereotype. People just don’t simply cut theirselves because of some trend or fashion. Nor do they kill themselves without serious thought. I think it’s just…a coping mechanism in which they vent their emotional stress in the act of harming themselves

J: You know, it made me think, what have our generation done wrong in creating an environment which has caused so many teens to develop mental health problems?

**
[sounds of children in the background]
A: You know, I still think it was a piece of her that came out of the drain, in that America’s funniest home video programme. And the way she infiltrated herself through the water system of America, I think, changed us in a way that we pay more attention to our children, trying to understand, lending a shoulder when needed and keeping up with the time and trend so to keep up with them.

I think it worked, kind of, we are closer, and generally happier.
And isn’t that the only thing that counts?
**

[back to the bathroom]
[water dripping]
[suddenly she inhales sharply]
[water starts draining]
[limbs slipping on the tub, colliding and thumping dully]
Suze: Help, help!
[the draining makes a sucking sound]
Suze: HELP! HELP!
[the sucking sound gradually increases in volume, as it overtakes and smothers other sounds]
[suze screams]
[sound of draining]
[silence]
**

…On other news, a girl of sixteen has been reported missing. She had been taking a bath when she was missed, a

Jane, at the scene of crime:
(in a flurry of noise, people walking all over the place, smoking, drinking coffee. Sounds of footsteps, radio and static. Coffee cups all over the lawn and shit. )
Cop: We don’t think this is suicide, no. There’s water all over the place, I think she was trying to escape through means of climbing through the window, or something. We are now organizing an extensive search party for the girl. We hope she will be found, soon.

**
“Life which disappears once and for all, which does not return” writes Kundera, is “without weight...and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime...means nothing.”

Death is somehow like a storm, in which you devastate and hold people in such positions that they can’t help but to impose guilt upon themselves, you think maybe if you die, you will change people in such way you are inflicting a permanent wound on them, and as time pass it will turn into a scar, a permanent mark that you once existed.

But it would also be something that one would try to forget.
People learn to stand up, reconstruct, stitch themselves together. They learn to recover from storms.

When you consider death, you are at crossroads. You stop, and think about what would happen after your death. Maybe people will make tributes and say nice things about when you were alive, but somehow you know they are a lie.

So if you die, instead of being remembered, as time pass you will gradually be forgotten.

Dust to dust.

**
[Good Morning America]
L: As you know, Sergeant Kramer has been the chief investigator in the disappearance of Susanna Helena Way. Can you inform us about the progress of your investigations?

Sgt Kramer: To date, we have been discovering traces of her, throughout the city. But to be quite honest, despite how seemingly convincing they are, they all seem to be coincidences, you know, false signs. We don’t see a distinct trail of evidences leading to her. To be quite honest, I don’t even think she even left the bathroom.

L: Then where could she have been?

Sgt Kramer: I have no idea.

L(awkward laugh): Well, isn’t this creepy. Can you tell us about the false signs?

Sgt Kramer: well, about the false signs, we have been discovering traces of her DNA in public toilets, drainage areas. But the thing about this is that the locations are too scattered, and too widespread. She couldn’t have gotten there in such few days. Besides, on top of the posters we’ve pasted all over the cities, we have interviewed the homeless inhabitants and residents of the surrounding areas about this matter and they have all responded negatively in regards to having seen this girl.

L: Wow…I am speechless. Do you have any theories?

Sgt: Kramer: Well… you know…all the locations that her DNA has been found, they are all of…

L: You don’t mean…

Sgt Kramer: Well, I don’t know.

**
[sounds of pumping. The drain fixing man]
Drainage guy: man, what have you been putting into your pipes? Any weird trash?
[pumping stops. Twists open bottle cap. Cap clinks on the floor]
Mom: Ugh. These days, no matter how I pump it myself, the drainage system all over the place, I mean, they seem to be clogged as hell. You know?
Drainage man [sounds of pouring. Hissing. The chemical rattling down the drain]: you mean, the whole neighborhood?
Mom: Yeah. Been doing a good business lately?
Drainage man: Think it’s got anything to do with the girl? The one’s who’s disappeared?
Mom: I don’t believe in superstitions.
Drainage man: I think it’s her. Damn. What’s that smell?
Mom: What the….what is this?

**
HOSPITAL
[sirens]
[a racket of sounds, sounds of urgency]
[the above sounds becomes muffled as we enter automatic doors]
[sounds of footsteps, soft leather, rapping against hospital linoleum becomes more prominent]
[sounds of radio announcements announcing patient numbers ahead]
[sounds of people complaining, groaning, etc, yelling]
[we follow footsteps as if walks through corridor, hears people complaining, moaning. Louder than that of the emergency room. Saying, ‘hey nurse, if you helped my kid I’d give you all the money you want- ‘ that sort of thing. She ignores. We follow her to the safety and comparative quietness of the lift lobby. We hear doctors and medical officers discussing:
A: Do you think Ward B is having any success with the cure?
B: Well, if you ask me, according to the malignant nature of the protein of the nucleus of the Helena virus...[trails off to a muffled drag of words as lift comes, the announcement of ‘ground floor’ and the flurry of other surgeons and doctors talking smothers this. It should be made as if unintended]
A: I think we should just hope for the best.

[Inside the lift, the conversations subside to whispers, and quiet words. we hear the mechanical whir and click of chains of the lift being pulled upwards.]

Pre-recorded robot lift woman: The Fifth floor, Ward A to D, Isolation wards
[silence]

We follow footsteps. Lift door closes behind with a heavy thud. Silence except for footsteps that rap on the linoleum. As she walks along, (A pair of footsteps)

A (young female voice): you have to take this sample to pathology ward –

[footsteps]

B: Hi! Miranda
Nurse: Hey.
B: How’s the ward?
Nurse: We’re okay. We can manage.
B [sound of her voice distances]: yeah, good luck.
Nurse: thanks

[footsteps; pulls open door. Sound of air whirring past because of difference in air pressure between door, etc.]
[sounds of plastic/elastic rap of rubber band against skin. She pulls on mask/protective clothing.]
[rapid click of keys and beeps as they are pressed (the pw)]
[automatic slide of door (heavy)]

A flurry of activity.
C: Hi Miranda.
Miranda: Hi. Can you give me the stats?
C: Brown of sector F died of brain haemorrhage today. Reagan of E died of lung collapse. We have replaced them with new patients.
Miranda: How’s progress on the cure?
C: Stagnant.
[pause]
[sounds of someone moaning. Siren]
Miranda: Well, thank you for the information anyway.

[siren/ moaning distances. We follow Miranda’s footsteps round a corner. Where she raps against a the window, rattling the Venetian blinds inside as the sounds emanates from behind muffedly.
Dr. Auslander [muffled]: Come in
[she twists open doorknob. The door is lightweight. It slams shut loudly and the Venetian blinds on it rattles as it shuts.]

Miranda: So…seems pretty hopeless. Doesn’t it?
Dr Auslander (English accent): I know. [he sighs]
[chinkle of porcelain]
Dr A: Tea?
Miranda: Is that tap water or bottled water?
Dr A [chuckles]: Aha. This is distilled water, bottled by Bonaqua. Pure to the molecule.
Miranda [chuckles]: But really, I’m fine.
Dr A: Are you sure? The tea leaves come from the exotic plains of Switzerland, fresh picked. My friend airmailed them to me. I don’t think we have much more chances to ride planes, to be quite honest.
Miranda: Why would you think this?
[pause. The clink of porcelain. Dr A sips.]
Dr A: Don’t you see? This is turning into a worldwide plague. The Helena Virus is spreading through water. Don’t you see what this means? It has infiltrated the whole water system of our country and it’s spreading. Through the world. Soundlessly. I bet a year, to one and a half. No one’s going to escape. This might be apocalypse, finally.
Miranda: Why the negativity, professor? You don’t seem to be yourself.
Dr A: This is not negativity. I am being realistic. Go home, Miranda. Spend time with your family and loved ones. Get out before you waste your time on a lost cause.
Miranda: what about you?
Dr A: I’m going to stay/
Miranda: But we are fighting a lost cause.
Dr A: we still need hope.

**
[sounds of someone turning on an ancient radio. Rusted with age. Crackling static as one adjust the controls, to the best reception]

Radio Announcement:
Today’s body count is two hundred and sixty four. Estimated remaining world population is about 5000. It has been a certified fact that all water sources have been infiltrated with the Helena Virus. Intake will be fatal.

Suze [voice][reincarnation]: Okay, we will die if we don’t drink water.
Herms: Duh.
Suze: So what do we do. Die?
Herms: It’s inevitable.
Suze: So we just die?
Herms: yeah.
Suze: As if we have never existed?

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