Tag Archives: paranoia

Bombardment, Episode 18: Five Feet Off the Ground, Heels Clickin’

Splattworks continues its presentation of Bombardment, a two-act drama by Steve Patterson. The author will attempt to post an installment each day, but, if events intercede, installments could arrive a day or so apart. So please be patient.

[EPISODE 18]

PLACID: You call it yours, they want it. They want these chairs and that pipe, that knife and this paper. Your bracelet, your necklace. They’ll rip it from you, never mind the cuts. That dress. Gone. They’ll steal the underwear right off your ass. And they want this space. That’s what they want most of all. The dry air. The heat. Feel it. Nice and warm. Not like outdoors. Warm in winter, cool in summer. What they dream of. Out there. Freezing. Faces breathing on the glass. Lips open. Teeth yellow. All you can see are eyes. Glowing. They see in the dark. Fly through the air. Breathe under water. They’ll do anything to get what you have.
CARMELITA: It’s not true.
PLACID: The hell you say.
CARMELITA: Not the poor. I know the poor. They’re too busy staying alive.
PLACID: That’s what they want you to think. They’re so vibrant! So alive! They make couture out of dishrags! Turn plate scraping’s into high cuisine! Give ’em two spoons and a empty oatmeal box, and you got an orchestra! And they love! How they love! Love, love, love all the time. In a way we’ll never know. In a way we can’t imagine! I’ve heard it all!

PLACID backs CARMELITA onto an armchair.

PLACID: I’ve heard it, and it’s a lie. Like all shows of respect are a lie. Yes, sir. No, sir. You know best, sir. I know because I’ve done it. Said it. Felt the cut. You say it because you have to. Because you don’t want your raise jerked. Your job jerked. Your life jerked. There’s a cord ‘round your neck, and all it takes is a tug, whoop, you’re five feet off the ground, heels clickin’. You want to know why? You really want to know why? Because at the heart of it, it’s gimme’. Gimme’ your house, gimme’ your job, gimme’ your position. Your leverage. Gimme’ one little thing, and I’ll take the rest. Because, babe, I’ll never be satisfied. The second I’m satisfied, the rest of them catch up. You’re lucky. You just wander past the outstretched hands, and wonder why everyone acts the way they do. I’ll tell you. We’re animals. All of us. Whether we’re rich or poor, whether we hide it or not. That’s all there is. And I like it. I’m good at it. It’s why I breathe, why I eat, why I get up in the morning. Gimme’, gimme’, gimme’!

PLACID kisses her savagely.

CARMELITA: Placid, that’s not it at all. We should open the doors.

PLACID: You’re crazy!
CARMELITA: Let those people in. It’s cold out there.
PLACID: They’d strip us out in five seconds!
CARMELITA: We can break it. Can’t you see? It’s a cycle. It goes on and on until someone puts a stop to it.
PLACID: Let someone else put a stop to it! I’m gonna’ live!
CARMELITA: How long can you live like that?
PLACID: I’m livin’ to be old and rich.

CARMELITA: Are you? You said it yourself: they’re all struggling to get in. You think you can keep them out forever?
PLACID: I’ll fight ‘em.
CARMELITA: Every single one, Placid? You’ll fight them all at once?
PLACID: If I have to.
CARMELITA: All the time? When you’re sick? When you’re sleeping? You want to be rich. You want to grow old. How will you fight them then? When your bones snap if you fall, and the fat hangs over your belt, and you can’t catch your breath? You’re fight every man Jack of them? Young guys? Guys as strong as you are now?

Like an old man, PLACID sags down in an armchair.

[To be continued]


Bombardment, Episode 16: Sometimes a Pipe is Just a Pipe

Splattworks continues its presentation of Bombardment, a two-act drama by Steve Patterson. The author will attempt to post an installment each day, but, if events intercede, installments could arrive a day or so apart. So please be patient.

[EPISODE 16]

CARMELITA: I see him on his boat. Wearing his thick sweater, his plush woolen trousers. His hands upon the wheel. Steering. Turning. The prow cutting the waves. The spray. He’s standing in the sun. He’s standing in the sun, and he’s got that smile. Wind catching his hair, but he’s got that smile. The brilliant, too-large teeth. The trembling lips. His eyes squinting at the sun, at the wind, and you see through his eyes. You see tomorrow. It’s bright and it glistens in the wind, sharp and brilliant with promise. Oh yes. It’s right there in his eyes. In his smile. It’s there. There. It is right there. It’s still there. Oh god, it’s still there. Here. It’s here. He’s still here! Dear lord, he’s still here!

CARMELITA’s breath breaks into moans. PLACID continues reading. In the background and from opposite ends of the stage, ARETHA and CORNO slowly emerge from darkness. Dressed like PLACID and CARMELITA in Act I. Distant. Cool in shades. They are invisible to PLACID and CARMELITA. Everyone should be in place just as CARMELITA is about to orgasm. Suddenly, she stands.

CARMELITA: No! No.

Carefully, she places the pipe back in the rack. She grabs the carving knife.

CARMELITA: It’s here. The beast is here. I can smell it. Thought the smell was something else. Placid. Placid!

CARMELITA walks in front of PLACID, and cuts his paper in half.

PLACID: What the hell was that?
CARMELITA: Stock split.
PLACID: You know what that was? That was the newspaper. That was the last newspaper. There won’t be any more. That means we’re out of news. We won’t know what’s going on.
CARMELITA: What’s happening is–
PLACID: Wind.
CARMELITA: Wind? What wind?
PLACID: Winds of change. Yeah. Winds of change blowing. We got to be ready. Gotta be prepared.
CARMELITA: Or what?
PLACID: Or else we get blown away, babe. Plain and simple.
CARMELITA: A regular hurricane.
PLACID: That’s right. We’re right in the eyes and–
CARMELITA: Eye.
PLACID: Huh?
CARMELITA: Eye. Hurricane’s only have one eye. Go ahead.
PLACID: We’re right in that eye. Here, it’s calm. Real calm. But out there, right out there, it’s the worst midnight on the worst road of the worst winter. Believe you me. Right out that door it’s trees pulled out of the ground, roof tiles flying like hatchets, little girls and their dogs carried off.
CARMELITA: So we stay in the eye? We never move because of this hurricane?
PLACID: No. The hurricane shifts. Today it’s here, tomorrow it’s over there. And the eye moves with it. The stuff. We got this stuff now.

[To be continued]