The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 1

SCENE 1

 

AT RISE: “Who Are You,” by The Who, begins playing. All action on stage is silent.

Street Lights up. CONWAY holds a cardboard sign bearing “I am the Second Coming” and an arrow pointing to himself. He talks to TOURISTS 1 & 2.

SABINA exits from the College of Psychology building. She sits on the bench opposite of CONWAY. Neither notices the other. After opening her suitcase, SABINA brandishes a pen and attempts her homework. However, the preacher interests her more and more.

CONWAY pulls out a bottle of wine and steals a water bottle from TOURIST 1. CONWAY silently communicates his intention to turn the water into wine. Before CONWAY can finish his spell-casting, PEARL enters. He wields a sign that reads, “I am Lord of Lords.” PEARL and CONWAY argue with gestures.

SABINA has long abandoned her homework, and now stands up to watch the argument. On her way to join the TOURISTS, she stumbles into ORSON, who’s sleeping on a square of cardboard. SABINA mimes a quick apology before joining the amused onlookers. ORSON dusts off hamburger wrappers from his body, picks up his square of cardboard, and walks over to PEARL and CONWAY. He taps them on the shoulder, asks them what’s going on without sound. The two homeless men begin talking to him, each stepping in front of the other’s way to prove his dramatic point. As they pantomime their arguments, the cardboard square in ORSON’s hand twists around to reveal the words “I am Jesus” on the side. ORSON snatches the wine bottle out of CONWAY’S hand and smacks him in the face with it. PEARL and ORSON begin trading blows. CONWAY just lies on the ground.

While this occurs, SABINA looks up to the “Department of Psychology” sign, and then looks back to the three Jesuses. She rubs her hands together and give the audience a wide, mischievous grin. She walks in between the two fighting men to stop them, and begins talking to them. PEARL and ORSON calm down. They start nodding alongside SABINA’S gestures. The psychology student then grabs CONWAY drags him over to Stage Left, where the two Jesuses follow. Street Lights down, Apartment Lights up.

SABINA invites and leads the Jesuses into her apartment. After they all enter the apartment, CONWAY is able to stand on his own. Music fades.

CONWAY

They’ve changed the water since last time, I reckon.

ORSON

They changed nothing. You’re just mortal.

PEARL

Only I have the strength to pierce the cosmic reality.

CONWAY

I’m supposed to do that! I need it to save the world from the plague of the gays!

PEARL

That’s my mission, sir. The gays and lesbians of the world will tremble before my might. I’m not here to harm anyone. That’s my father’s department, the thrust of our God’s Work.

ORSON

Afraid of me, machine of Satan?

PEARL

Must we antagonize each other? Are we not children of God? Well, some of us here are more so, of course.

ORSON

Don’t you tell me what to do! I can be as gentle as the morning dew on my own!

CONWAY motions to the part of his face ORSON hit him on.

ORSON

Yes, even to a swine such as you. But I harbored no affection for that demon I tried to cast out. Perhaps he needs a stronger rattling.

PEARL

I reckon you would not speak such lies without all that boxed wine loosening you.

CONWAY

How dare you profane my Father’s sacraments!

ORSON

Your father was a greasy whore!

The three Jesuses begin another fight. SABINA watches, takes notes, then clears her throat. The three Jesuses stop mid-fight.

PEARL

We forgot our host. She was kind enough to sheath us from the streets.

CONWAY

She’s our host? Good lady, we thank you for your hospitality, and apologize for our sins.

SABINA

I don’t mind it.

CONWAY

Can you forgive us?

SABINA

I was just worried about damaging the apartment. It’s not my place to stop you.

ORSON

Oddly smart for a modern woman.

SABINA

I wanted to ask: Did any of you know that there were two other… men with similar mindsets living not just in the same city, but in the same district?

CONWAY

The Lord does not answer to statistics.

PEARL

You speak of a grim pit engulfing our solid city. Hospitals consider treating the mentally ill for too long too costly. Many distressed minds have nowhere to sleep.

ORSON

I met a man yesterday that claimed to be the reincarnation of Napoleon.

CONWAY

And I’ve met two.

PEARL

It’s a shame, all those delusional people out there.

CONWAY

Quite.

PEARL

(To SABINA)

You quoted Scripture well when you invited us in from the heat.

KIM enters.

SABINA

I would like to speak to my friend. Please don’t fight.

KIM

I got your text. What the hell did you mean by “Second Coming Triple Play?”

SABINA

I think your God’s looking out for us. Three paranoid schizophrenics, each with the same identity delusion!

KIM

Really! Wow, you must be in heaven right now. That’s awesome.

SABINA

Thanks. That means a lot coming from you. And I’m happy as long as you’re happy.

KIM

So is our date still on, or-

SABINA

Keep it down. Sorry, love, I know you really wanted to see that play tonight.

KIM

You did too. You cleared out some paper for notes and everything.

SABINA

How did you know?

KIM

You really think I don’t know you by now?

SABINA

Maybe I won’t take notes, just to surprise you.

KIM

The harder you try to, the less you do. What’s the plan with these three?

SABINA

They’ll stay here. Indefinitely.

KIM

But it’s our apartment!

SABINA

I know, you just cleaned it. I’ll clean up after them. I’m serious this time. Look, these three wouldn’t stick together long if I didn’t do something right away. They’re tired, homeless, need a smile-

KIM

You don’t have to manipulate me. This isn’t about their well-being. This is about you and some snap social experiment.

SABINA

I’m sorry.

KIM

What they need is a hospital. You can’t lock them up yourself.

SABINA

They will go, I promise.

KIM

Really?

SABINA

When have I let you down? Don’t answer that.

KIM

You know what, just tell me what you want out of this.

SABINA

Where to start? I mean, I’ll let you compare these Jesuses to the big one. Even if they just thought they were the same Joe Normal, there’s so much to learn about the structure of belief systems, especially under immense resistance. They gave up reality to be someone they’re not even good at being. Their interactions are a goldmine of science. Remember when we snuck into that CEO dinner as environmentalists and pitched Swift’s “Modest Proposal” as a solution to poverty and hunger?

KIM

We got to keep the donations.

SABINA

Right, right! This is just another fun time, like that one.

KIM

You said they’re from the street?

SABINA

Unless we help. If we spend our evenings watching them, we’ll save theater money.

KIM

I know this is important to you. But if they put you in danger- or you put them in danger- I’m calling the cops. These kinds of people are not well. They’re probably not in the mood for pranks.

SABINA

You can trust me.

KIM

Ok. If that’s who you want to be.

KIM moves closer to kiss SABINA, but SABINA stops her.

SABINA

They only trust me when I’m look like a good Christian girl.

KIM

Like you need another excuse.

During the conversation, the three Jesuses explore the prank items on the bed. The snake-in-the-can prank spooks PEARL.

ORSON

A hundred dollars! It’s mine now!

SABINA

It’s a fake bill, I’m afraid.

CONWAY

I hope we don’t impose ourselves for too long.

SABINA

You can stay if you can sleep on a wood floor. There’s just one rule. Every evening, we’ll share dinner and talk amongst ourselves. Get to know each other. Do you consent to this?

CONWAY

We get to eat here too!?

SABINA

Why wouldn’t you?

ORSON

Thanks be to your generosity!

CONWAY

Truly you are blessed among women!

PEARL

I’ll stay too. But why-

SABINA

One more thing. I can’t have you here without learning your names. Tell everyone here who you are.

 

Also, this is my good friend Kim.

KIM

Hey.

ORSON

We already did introductions.

SABINA

And you were so eager about it too!

PEARL

We had to. But we established all we meant to.

KIM

That’s a good question, friend. Why bother them?

SABINA

I would like to know your names. If you have multiple names, I’d love for you to discuss it with all of us. I can wait. If my generosity goes unrewarded, then, well, greater is my treasure ‘up there,’ then.

CONWAY

Hello. My name is Conway. I am also Jesus. I hope we can all get along together.

ORSON

My name is Orson, and I made Jesus. Let’s leave it at that.

PEARL

My birth certificate says-

CONWAY

Bullshit!

ORSON

Wash your mouth out!

CONWAY

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. But really, this guy doesn’t have ‘God’ written on his birth certificate, he can’t!

PEARL

It wouldn’t matter. My habeas corpus speaks for itself.

ORSON

What?

CONWAY

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m not upset about you, and I just don’t belong here. I should be in Spain right now.

SABINA

It’s ok.

PEARL

As I was saying. If anyone here plunged into the office complex of the Archangel George, one would see my birth certificate hanging on the wall. It reads “Dr. Domino Dominorum et Rex Rexarum Simplis Christianus Peuris Mentalis Doktor.”

SABINA

Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, Simple Christian… Christian…

PEARL

Simple Christian Boy Psychiatrist. Your translation was otherwise accurate.

CONWAY

But I’m Jesus, and I’m not a doctor!

ORSON

I am!

CONWAY

Why are you on the street then?

ORSON

Why are you?

PEARL

(To SABINA)

I do not wish to continue this discussion.

ORSON

You’re machines! All of you, machines! Machines! From Google!

CONWAY

It’s not my fault I’m here! I’m going to get my power back soon! Then I’ll be back in Spain!

SABINA

Maybe we should-

CONWAY

And you’ll always be stuck here, forever a sinner!

ORSON

I’m not allowed to break my own rules, goddammit!

PEARL

I want to stop this.

ORSON

It’s not my fault you’re so stupid!

CONWAY

Stop being negative! I command you to relax!

PEARL

Enough!

SABINA

Perhaps we should set some ground rules. All your wishes are to be respected. Dr. Domino Dominorum-

PEARL

I am also known as Pearl.

SABINA

Pearl wants us to stop, so we will stop. How about you each find a place to sleep.

Each of the three Jesuses begins scouting for a piece of floor to claim. Once Pearl finishes, he approaches SABINA and snatches the legal pad from her, scanning over it.

PEARL

Of course you didn’t stop them. Why are you forcing our safe bodies to clash? And who are you to impose your negative energies on us?

SABINA

I’m going to mass in half an hour. Should I bring a coat? Looks like heavy rain tonight. It’s nice to have a roof over my head. Don’t want to lose it.

Apartment Lights down, Street Lights up. SABINA arrives and sits on a bench, taking notes. A COP walks around, examining.

SABINA

Day 1. The three Jesuses responded well to a meek and generous identity. This venture reminds me of when I played various identities for the Bystander experiment. The people on the street didn’t want to help a fallen bike gang member or a fallen drug addict, but they jumped to help me when I dressed like an old lady. Anyways, Kim expressed concern about our safety, but we should be fine. If my diagnosis of schizophrenic is correct, then these men will likely harm themselves before anybody else. Hopefully, I can use this data to jump-start my master thesis.

Unlike most of my social experiments, I can’t act like an imitation of my participants. Rather, by acting as someone they want to see me as, they’ll learn something about their own beliefs, just as I’ll learn from them.

COP

Hey. Do you visit here often?

SABINA

Yes?

COP

Have you seen one Conway de Plaskett in the neighborhood? Caucasian male, average height, fake glasses. He thinks he’s not himself. Don’t interact with him, if you can. Rokeach State Hospital wants him.

SABINA

He’s at my house. Does that count?

COP

I’m afraid so. I need-

SABINA

Officer, I’m scared to go back. His delusions didn’t like me much. He’s not well.

COP

Don’t worry.

SABINA

And he said he just wanted to use a computer, so I let him in and promised to keep an eye on him. That’s when the personalities began. He has a Twitter for each one. First he had this gravel voice, and then a woman’s, then a bear’s, like this.

SABINA imitates bear mannerisms and noises.

SABINA

I’m so scared.

COP

Was one of those personalities Jesus?

SABINA

Yes! He had a Mexican accent for that one!

COP

Ok, mam, we need you to stay right here while we take care of this. Where’s your-

SABINA

(laughs)

I couldn’t help it. A little social experiment. You walked down here practically welded to your uniform. I’m Sabina, I study psychology at the college here.

COP

Sabina, yes, very funny. I’m going to keep searching.

SABINA

So if I do see him, whom do I call?

COP

Ask for Milton.

SABINA

Ok. Hey- from what you said, Conway may have schizophrenia. That’s not multiple personality disorder. Also, you may want to make some more Mexican friends.

COP

What did I say?

SABINA

You assumed you knew me. And now you know a little more about yourself. Just helping out.

COP

And what a pal you are.

NEXT TIME ON ‘THE SON, THE SON, AND THE SON’: 

More friction between Kim and Sabina!

We learn the truth behind one of the Jesuses!

Conway gets crucified and saves Spain!

I like where this work is, but it can always use improvement! Comment away!

Continued in Scene 2.

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2 thoughts on “The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 1

  1. Pingback: The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 2 | Word Salad Spinner

  2. Pingback: The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 3 (Part 1) | Word Salad Spinner

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