That Damned Fork

“I’ve had my freedom/but I don’t have much time”

O philosopher-king, what do you say of time in an age where there is none? Where a certain darkness clings to every surface like an undefinable scent? Every day a cigarette, burning towards the filter.

Want to keep smoking this one. Just this one.

Never been too light on my feet. Some seem to float through their days, but it’s always been a struggle for me, each morning another lifting into the light. It’s hard to let go of the dark; you see such interesting things there. The road forks, one way up the hill into bright sun, the other curving into a shaded grove, I know which way my feet will take me. Because somehow from a very early age, I guess I’ve always known this ends in the dark. Starts there, ends there. So maybe I’ve thought there were answers there. Maybe it’s just a proclivity. Sometimes it seems like the night is more honest, the days so loaded with bullshit.

When the lights go down in a theatre, it marks a beginning. A demarcation from the ordinary. It’s the everyday that cuts, whittles away. Could it be you don’t age in the dark? Or maybe it just doesn’t show quite so clearly.

About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

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