drama

Reflection

The character enters and sets up a video camera which faces him. He pushes a button on the camera and says something to indicate it’s recording. There is a mirror on stage. The mirror reflects the audience back at themselves. The character addresses the audience directly.

Only two types of people are noticed in this world. Only the best and the worst of humanity are recorded. Mandelas and Hitlers; Mother Tereasas and Bin Ladens; Gods and monsters. Never people like me. Too ordinary, too normal. People like me are merely the darkness of the night sky allowing for the best and the worst to shine brightly.

I’m nothing special… I have enough friends to not be an outcast… But I feel so alone. Sitting at a party with my friends hearing everyone talking about their lives, I just feel distant. Like I’m on the outside looking in. That’s exactly it. Standing in the cold rainstorm of my own rage looking into a huge glass window at everyone warm and happy inside.

My friends don’t know I’m hurting inside. It’s always been easy for me to pretend. I’ve been pretending my whole life. Pretended I was okay with being told I was adopted… Pretended I was okay with my brother’s death at cancer’s hands… Pretended I was okay when I read this letter from my biological mother… (Reading from a letter he removes from his pocket.) “You’re not mine, you never were. I didn’t ask to be raped, I didn’t want you. I don’t want to make contact with you ever.”

I don’t think I could ever describe how deeply that hurts me… That I’m the by-product of crime… A forced mistake. My father, a criminal probably not even aware that I exist, that he has a child. (Pause). I’m a nobody (looking in mirror) an ugly nobody fuckup with no sense of belonging. (Pause).

(Addressing the camera more directly now). Now I want you to understand that I’m thankful to you both for trying to make me feel like I belong when I’m clearly a mistake. But neither of you can change the truth. You might have raised me, but I’m not yours. I’m nothing. A human who was forced into this world by a man’s need to dominate.

He takes the mirror and places it on the floor roughly. He proceeds to take his foot and ram it into the mirror in order to break it. He picks up a piece of broken mirror.

This is all I am. A shattered reflection of this fucked up world. And I’m tired of reflecting a world that doesn’t care… I don’t want to be here when the future arrives… (Looking directly at the camera.) Mom… Dad… I’m not sorry for this, I’m sorry for being the cracked reflection of this world.

He takes the shard of mirror and uses it to end his life.

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The Matriarch

A man stands with a packed suitcase next to him or behind him. He stares out into the distance obviously thinking hard. He is wearing a jacket.

At first, I loved her and she loved me. Loved me. Loved me. She made me so happy. I never thought that I’d find that kind of love. I was prepared to settle down with someone I mildly liked. But she changed that. And slowly she started to change me. I was once brave and bold albeit a bit sceptical of love’s role in my life.

It’s been fifteen years now and three children later… And I cannot take it anymore. You know now days how you hear about how bad patriarchy is? Don’t get me wrong, I support feminist views and I believe in equality. But little thought is ever given to the minorities like me who suffer at the other end of the scale.

You see this suitcase? It’s packed. (He picks up the case, seemingly ready to leave.) And I am leaving. (He pauses and stares as he did previous. He then puts down the case softly.) I don’t want to do this to her. But I must. Please don’t judge me. Don’t judge me like her. Don’t tell me I’m a spineless fool. That’s all I ask.

I wear long clothing because of the bruises. This is my favourite jacket. Well, it’s my only jacket. I don’t get much money. (Ashamed.) Well I do, but she takes it all. I didn’t mind it in the beginning. It made her happy and when she was happy I was happy too. But you can’t take away a toy from a child… Especially if that toy is money and that child is a greedy human… (Pause. He is lost in thought now.)

Child. Children. My children… What about them? (He snaps out of it). I mustn’t worry about them. They’ll be fine. (He isn’t convincing). You know, she’s threatened them before… Not to their face but to me. She said if I ever tried to leave her she’d hurt them. And she will. (Getting upset.) Trust me she will. If she can do it to the father of her children she can sure as hell do it to them. (He is now notably upset at the idea of his children being hurt by her.)
I fell for her and I fell hard. But now I realise that I didn’t fall in love… I fell and broke. False happiness hid the bruises. Well, this jacket too. (Pause.) I must go now. (He picks up the case again. He takes a few hesitant steps but then stops and drops the case.) I can’t… I just can’t. (He is now on the edge of a breakdown – tears if possible.) She has me trapped. What am I without her abuse? I’m nobody. She’s right. Without her I’m nobody. I’m useless. I’m, I’m… I’m fucked up. (He gains composure.) I know – I’ll leave tomorrow. I promise I’ll leave tomorrow. Just one more night with the kids… Just one more night.

A Book and Pencil

On stage is a boy holding a weathered book and a pencil that is almost finished. He is sitting down with his legs crossed and is dressed in rag-like clothing.

All I have is this book and this pencil. I mean it. That’s all I have. Well I lie, I have these clothes too but they aren’t much anyway. Look for yourself! Holes everywhere. Much like my life… Missing pieces, ripped edges, filthy marks… It’s quite funny actually that all I have is this book and pencil. (He chuckles.) I can’t write. Or read. Or count very high. But that’s me. I can draw though. Look here! (Standing. He shows the audience a picture he drew – it’s a simple stick family) That’s what I imagine my family looked like. (Pause. He seems a little sad by mentioning family.)

When I said this is all I have I meant it. I have nobody. My parents died when I was still a baby. I have no brothers and sisters – well none that I know of at least. I was raised by an old lady, she had a face like my clothes. That’s all I remember about her – I never knew her name. She left when I was seven. She went to the clinic – she’ll be back. I’ve been on my own since. It’s always been natural for me to find food for myself. I manage. I think I should be bigger by now though… I’m sixteen. I think I’m sixteen at least. When I said that old lady left when I was seven, well that’s how old I think I was. I don’t actually know.

I don’t count days very well… I just draw a picture for every day that I don’t get hurt by them… I haven’t drawn many pictures. When I say ‘them’ I mean the guys who sleep under the bridge. They hurt me whenever they see me with money. And they take the money to buy this green stuff and smoke it. It smells horrible. Sometimes they sniff this white sand. But that’s not often. I just try avoid them, but they always find me. If I have something to give them, I know I won’t be hurt that much.

They also call me names. They tell me I’m worthless scum who can’t even read. But I know that I’m not worthless. Just because I can’t read or write or count properly doesn’t mean I can’t think. I’m good at thinking. I think all day about my parents. I know they loved me. Just like the old lady with the dirty face. (Pause. The emotion shifts to very sad.) I lied when I said that all I remember is her face… I also remember she used to hug me and I felt warm. I want to feel warm again… Why did she have to leave? I want her back. She’ll stop them beating me. She still hasn’t come back from the clinic. Maybe she’s waiting for me there… Or maybe she’s, she’s… (Pause at the realisation she is probably dead.) No! (He cries. He then rips out the page of his family from his book and crumples it up in anger, frustration and sheer desperation.) Why?

Choice

I stand here as someone who has choice. Choice. Choice is a gift. Choice is something to be valued and used. It must be used with great care. It must not be used with an ignorant mind and an unwilling heart. It must be used with careful understanding and intimate knowledge.

I stand here as someone who has choice. There will always be people coming from different angles trying to pull you their way, trying to make you conform to their standards, to what they want for you… To what they want for themselves… This isn’t their journey. I experience the pulling all the time. Like a rope around my neck with ten different ropes coming off it, each in the hand of another wanting me to follow them.

I stand here as someone who has choice. I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t want you to think that I’m being arrogant, I’m being honest. There is a difference between arrogance and believing in yourself. Every second person I met told me to go to med school. “Oh you’re so bright! You must be studying medicine!”, “You’re so precise – you’d be the perfect doctor!” Luckily I’m quite headstrong. But after a while you begin to question…

I stand here as someone who has choice. People will always doubt you. They will always doubt your choices if they aren’t what they would have chosen. They will rip your choices to shreds to make their choices feel like the right choice because they aren’t sure of themselves. Their insecurity is redirected to your security. Do you know what it feels like to be doubted? To have people wanting to see you fall? To have people constantly looking down on you? I do. And it hurts. But it builds character. I don’t think you understand the power of fierce determination.

I stand here as someone who has choice. I’ve decided what I want and no one is going to change that. You either support me genuinely or you take your upturned nose at my choices elsewhere.

I stand here as someone who has choice. And I have chosen.

Spirit of Her

(In a calm, friendly and conversational manner.) You know, all my friends have girlfriends… It gets kinda annoying after a while seeing how they act around them, how they try to impress them. But I see the way they talk about the girls behind their back… They don’t love their girlfriends… They love the thought of a girlfriend. Because it gives them power, a sense of manhood. (Pause, thinking.) But what is it that makes a man? A real man?

You know, I’ve always been different like that… I’ve never seen girls as trophies… I’ve never seen them as prizes to be won. Maybe it’s the way I was raised… (Getting slightly more serious, but showing compassion.) Yeah, that’s it. Most of these guys, their parents are divorced… Their homes lack love. Maybe that’s why they treat the girls the way they do… Maybe it’s their way of dealing with what’s happening at home. But that doesn’t make it right…

Recently, I’ve really been longing for a girlfriend… Because I want to feel loved(Pause, shift to slight sadness.) My mom died when I was only eight years old. She got cancer. Brain cancer. (Showing some upset.) I still remember the hospital visits… The white walls… The clinical air… The hopeless atmosphere… She deteriorated really quickly. She was bringing in most of the money to the family, so when she passed on my dad had to work overtime to keep my sister and I in private schools. So I’ve been lacking a bit of that love… Not that my dad doesn’t love me, he really does, it’s just not the same as that motherly love, you know…

Maybe that’s why I want a girlfriend… Need a girlfriend… Someone to love me… Someone to love… (Trying to lighten the atmosphere, smiling fondly.) I’ve always had this image in my head of this girl and I lying outside on a warm summer evening next to a pool, starring up at the cloudless sky filled with stars… Just being happy in each others’ presence and sharing pointless stories… To me that’s love… A bond between two people that is more valuable than all the world’s gold… (Pause. Deep in thought.)

(Looking upwards at the heavens. Truthfully, on the verge of tears.) Mom, I really miss you… I just want to feel your warm hug… I love you… I know this may sound weird but I believe your soul is now inside the girl who is meant for me… (With notable determination and desperation.) And I’m going to find her mom… I’m going to find her and I’m going to be with you again… Because that’s love mom… That is love.

Nobody Loves Me

(Onstage is the boy lying on the floor, on his back. He holds a small hand mirror in his hand. As the piece starts he raises the mirror and looks at himself in it. His arm is straight, not bent.) I shouldn’t even be here. On this planet, in this place. (He sits up, with his legs folded.) Everyone always says I’m the different one… The freak! I have no friends. Nobody loves me. My parents couldn’t handle me. They said I ruined their lives, that I destroyed their dreams. Their dreams? (Standing up.) What about my dreams?

We were happy, I was happy, until she came. A sweet baby sister named Angel. The irony. They gave her all the attention, all the love. So I made her go away. I clipped the angel’s wings and used her halo as a Frisbee for the neighbour’s dog. (Showing his excitement.) Oh the excitement of destroying something that was a destroyer itself. A destroyer of the already depleted love my parents had for me! I felt alive for the first time, like I had purpose! Flames of passion burned inside of me!

They told me I was sick… I smiled because it was a happy day for me, I thought they would be proud of me. But they sent me away… Nobody loves me. (Becoming paranoid.) I’m trapped inside this big, glass case… As the darkness shines in on me I wonder how to escape, how to escape this glass cage of society. They study me from the outside. Some say I destroy because I have a chemical imbalance. Some say it’s because I have a warped perception of reality. Others just shake their heads and pray.

I look into the mirror everyday and every night. I stare deep into my own eyes and try catch a glimpse of my soul… Is it black? Or maybe navy blue? (Smiling as he says the line.) I smile because I know it’s the only way to get through life. (Staring at an audience member.) I’m not different, I’m just like you – wearing a mask to hide the pain. As I stare into the mirror I feel the guilt, the guilt, the guilt. It burns like acid inside my chest.

(Slightly confused but also fascinated.) I see a brief reflection of an Angel with broken wings and a lopsided halo. (He suddenly becomes scared.) The angel smiles a smile of recognition. My existence is rattled. I scream. (Getting really angry.) I hate you for taking them from me! I hate you for turning the world on me! I hate you for living! (Pause. The hate turns into desperation. He drops to his knees.) I begin to weep until sleep drags me out of reality.

(Reaching out to touch his reflection as if he is looking at a mirror – which is the audience.) Each new day I stare at my reflection hoping it changes… If only I had love from someone to help me change… But nobody loves me.