|to die with music|
I wrote this in high school. It's typical teenage dreck and I'll be the first to admit it, but it's also the one thing from that period that I wouldn't print off a handful of copies of just to pile them up and burn them in a symbolic destruction ritual. For the love of all gods, please try to enjoy.
(Lights come up low, revealing two chairs and a coffee table, a set on a stage. It is a stage in a church after the rehearsal of some sort of religious one-act play for children and youth. After a few seconds, a young PRIEST walks on from right, with a duffel bag full of costumes, props, and the like. He stops at one of the chairs, resting his hand on it a while. He looks up at the ceiling and speaks. He is unsure as to how to approach God vocally, and often becomes quickly apologetic.)
PRIEST: Lord, what’s going on here? I always knew that whatever happened in my life, it was because you wanted it, and I never doubted your judgment…until now. I mean, when I chose to live in your service, I gave up directing just so I could let those who wanted to hear you have a voice for them to associate with. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Lord, I had no doubts that your hand would guide me on the path…I just, y’know…I always thought that a life of religious service sounded really…well…lonely. Once I was able to convince the elders to let the children do their own plays, I thought, “What a deal! Both of my dreams come true at once!” But it’s nowhere near what I expected. The congregation sees me as too liberal to be accepted, and the elders are always getting in the way with their “permissible actions” nonsense. Now don’t misunderstand, I respect your choices for your high councils…but they just won’t let anything slide! And, on top of all of it, those children! They have celebrities’ egos and they’re barely in school! They just don’t understand what’s going on! Please, your mercy, I just want to know, is this all you've got for me? Because...I don't think I like it much. If you could just help me, give me a sign, anything…
GOD: OK, HEARD ENOUGH!
(GOD enters from right. His hair is long, his beard scraggly, looking a bit like The Dude. He wears jeans, untied combat boots, and a Pigface t-shirt. He is very laid back, yet seems disgusted with our little PRIEST’s plight.)
PRIEST: (bewildered) Wha…what’s happening here? Who are you?
GOD: (irritated) You whining little bitch! (walks right up to PRIEST and smacks him upside the head)
PRIEST: (shocked, not recognizing GOD) Sir, I beg your pardon, but this is a house of God! Violence is not tolerated here! I will have to ask you to leave the premises or I will call the authorities!
GOD: I am The Authority, you little shit! This is my house! You’d kick me out of my house?
PRIEST: (still not getting it) Sir, I dare say, you have little right to talk to me like that, after your entrance!
GOD: Oh, just shut up! I’m sick of hearing sniveling little turds like you crying about your sucky lives. You think you’ve got it tough? Let me tell you what a tough life is, pal. A tough life is creating the fucking Universe! A tough life is making sure everything vibrates and gyrates exactly how it’s supposed to, or else you get a new Big Bang every eight seconds! A tough life is keeping a certain two-faced pain-in-the-ass would-be Archangel from raiding your stash every month! And last, and certainly not least, a tough life is listening to crying weaklings like you piss and moan about their abused childhoods and crappy career choices, and have the fucking audacity to ask you to make it all better for them! That’s a tough life, got it? Now, you got anything left to say?
PRIEST: (totally dumbfounded) Wh…who…who are you?
GOD: Fucking…do I have to spell everything out for you people! I made you, and know for damn sure I gave you more brains than you’re using right now.
(PRIEST stands silent, still bewildered)
GOD: (sighs, exasperated) Okay, I can see this is going to be a little difficult for you, so I’m going to say it very slowly, alright? I…(PRIEST nods)…Am…(PRIEST nods again)…God.
PRIEST: (unconvinced) You’re…God?
GOD: Oh Lawdy mercy me, he can hear! Saints be praised and all that rot!
PRIEST: How the…how can you be God? Isn’t God, like…big?
GOD: (on the verge of murder, one eye twitching) You really don’t get out much, do you?
PRIEST: But…I mean…doesn’t God…well…appear with light and a chorus of angels and that stuff?
GOD: What is it whenever I make an appearance to you creatures, you always fall back on that “lights and angels” bullshit? What are you, just out of a coma or something? You think I want to make a big entrance around here, with the way you jumpy little freaks act? Please, whenever someone recognizes me, word gets out, and I wind up as a National Enquirer cover story for the eighth month in a row. Not a chance, dude. Even I have credibility to protect.
PRIEST: Okay, so if you’re really God…ummm…(searches area for something for proof, looks at hands)
GOD: Oh, what’s the fucking matter with you? You want proof? I swear, you shallow little pissheads.
PRIEST: You want me to believe you, don’t you? Here, uh…give me stigmata! (holds out hands)
GOD: (points at PRIEST, warning him) Hey, buddy, don’t even joke about that stuff! You haven’t earned it, so don’t even think it. (gets an idea, grins) I can do something for you, though, since you’re so queer for evidence. Stand right there, and don’t move, alright? I’ve got all the proof you need…(raises index finger)…right here.
PRIEST: (wary) Just…stand here?
GOD: (trying not to chuckle) Yeah, that’s good. Okay, here goes…
(PRIEST instantly stiffens, and begins to sing the theme song to Three’s Company and dance like a Downs. GOD acts like a puppeteer, moving and mouthing the words, laughing hysterically. When the song ends, PRIEST falls to his knees, gasping and on the verge of tears. GOD nearly herniates himself with laughter.)
GOD: Funnier every fucking time!
PRIEST: Jesus save me!
GOD: (still laughing, helping PRIEST up and patting him on the back) Congratulations, my boy, you pass.
PRIEST: (shaking) That…that was sheer Hell…
GOD: (sits PRIEST in a chair) Ah, never you mind that, you did great. Anyway, you believe me now, don’t you?
PRIEST: I had better. I don’t ever want to see that again…
GOD: Well, this is why you do what you do, eh? Or, at least, that’s what you think.
PRIEST: (looks at GOD quizzically) What?
GOD: (sitting in the other chair) Your job, I mean. You’re “in my service,” right? Keeping your sleeves creased and your asshole clean, sailing through life with a on a one-way ticket to the Pearly Gates?
PRIEST: Well, yes, and that’s what I meant earlier…
GOD: Hey, listen, forget earlier, look at you right now. You think that fat fuck Ashcroft ever got a sit-down with me? Fuck him, he’s a prick! You, now. You’ve done more in the last five minutes to earn a chat than most guys in your line of work do their whole lives, even if you did have to piss me off to get it. But, then, that’s why I’m here for you right now, not some other dickless puss on his knees twenty-four seven.
PRIEST: What do you mean?
GOD: I mean, you had the balls to think, and even say to me that I might have done something to you that I wasn’t supposed to. You questioned me! As you can guess, that’s something I don’t get much, what with my reputation around here.
PRIEST: So, you’re saying…this is a mistake?
GOD: Whoa, whoa, let’s not be hasty there, rube. I’m just saying it was smart of you to be cautious is all. Me making a mistake, another story entirely.
PRIEST: (now comfortable enough to joke) I’m glad to see the reigning deity of the universe is so modest.
GOD: (laughs) I calls 'em like I sees 'em, boyo. So, what’s this here problem of yours now?
PRIEST: Right, well…and my name’s Brian, by the way.
GOD: (chuckles) I know. Coincidence, eh?
GOD: Nothin’. Watch more movies. Anyway, your story, morning glory.
PRIEST: Okay, well, I’m just confused as to where I’m going with this priesthood thing. The congregation scoffs at me, the elders are holding me back, and those kids are driving me nuts! I don’t know how to handle this. When I joined the clergy I thought my life would be so much easier that it is for others, because I knew You were there, guiding me wherever You would have me go, but lately…I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.
GOD: Hey, man, if you’re losing your faith, just say so. Ain’t like I’ve got a problem with it.
PRIEST: No, no, it’s nothing like that. I think my current situation pretty much rules that out.
PRIEST: I just…I want to know where you’re taking me, what you’ve got planned for me. Can you tell me?
GOD: (breathes deep, leans forward, breaking it down for PRIEST) Well, what I’m seeing here is a serious lack of vision. (PRIEST takes a little umbrage at this) I’ve seen some incredible people with so much talent come into this old world, people such as yourself. They’ve got a plan for everything, and if they had just stuck to it and toughed it out a little, they would’ve found themselves coming out all roses and handjobs in the end. But, invariably, they buckle. They give it all up and turn everything over to…well, to me. They throw out their own plans and turn to me for a new one. Well, frankly, I never make plans. I can’t stand the idea of setting a schedule. And I certainly would never demand that anyone trust my judgment without thinking it over good and hard first. You think The Bible was my idea? Fuck that! The Bible was a bunch of guys getting together and conspiring to permanently fuck up the world’s head. Sure, it’s flattering at times, but mostly it’s a bunch of poorly-written cautionary tale that everyone got all weird over. (PRIEST gets a bit overwhelmed) Look, I never told you how to run your life, Brian. That’s not my department, to use the parlance of our times. I’m just here to have a good time, and to make sure that your kind does too. I ask one small thing, and that is not to listen to anyone but yourself. Go out into the world and be, not a “man of Gawd,” but a man of you. Be a Disciple of Brian. See how that works for you, eh? (gets up to leave) I’m going to keep an eye on you, alright? Might even drop by sometimes, see how you’re faring. Deal?
PRIEST: (stands, shakes GOD’s hand) Deal. (GOD starts to walk off left) Hey, wait! So, what now? Do I tell the elders I quit or what?
GOD: I dunno, you want to quit? Like I said, man, you’re the one supposed to be wearing the pants in your life now. You do something for a change. (GOD winks and clicks an empty at him as he leaves)
(PRIEST stands for a moment, absorbing what has just happened. His hand goes to his neck, where he feels his white collar. He takes it off his shirt, looks at it, then drops it, exiting with a smile)
(c) 2001, 2005 etaoin shrdlu the fucker what wrote it blah blah arserape