The Son, The Son, and The Son (Complete Edition)

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Long-time readers of the blog will recall a play I posted in pieces here. Well now, for old fans and new, that play is available in one easy-reading format! Considering all the other work of mine that I don’t care for anymore, the fact that “The Son, The Son, and The Son” still amuses me speaks volumes of its quality!

Check it out at: https://mytrendingstories.com/article/the-son-the-son-and-the-son-a-play-by-nick-edinger/#

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 4 (Finale)

SCENE 4

Street Lights down, Apartment Lights up. “Three Pretenders, by Kansas, plays. CONWAY and ORSON stack the chairs, the desk, and the bed against the door as PEARL directs them with elaborate and graceful body motions. Once ORSON and CONWAY finish their job, PEARL silently congratulates each one. He gives CONWAY a cigarette, himself a cigarette, and ORSON twenty cigarettes. PEARL then takes a book from the floor to read and discuss it with the other two Jesuses. SABINA, KIM, and OLD WOMAN approach the door. SABINA unlocks it, pushes it to no avail. KIM helps to push. After a while, only KIM is still pushing. SABINA keeps OLD WOMAN from talking. The music ends when SABINA knocks on the door.

SABINA

Hello? I’d like to enter my apartment, please.

PEARL

You cannot instigate my friends anymore, unholy midget.

ORSON

Yeah! We make the rules!

PEARL

Our transcending intellects will not be chained to this earth by your corrupting feminine influence.

SABINA

Conway, it would help me a lot if you opened the door.

PEARL

This is not her first attempt to deceive you.

CONWAY

I’m sorry, mam. Real sorry. But Pearl’s right, you keep asking too many questions. He got us some food and cigarettes, and found this comic book we all like. You never let us find out what we have in common. Sure we have that one disagreement, but we get along fine if no one brings it up. If it’s any consolation, I don’t think you’re a midget.

OLD WOMAN

Adonijah? Adonijah, it’s momma. It’s momma. I come for you.

CONWAY

I think she means you, Pearl.

PEARL

How can I respond when I hear nothing?

CONWAY

She sounds-

ORSON

If he don’t hear it, then he don’t hear it.

CONWAY

All right. I guess I didn’t hear it either.

SABINA

Kim, I wouldn’t do that.

KIM

Call the police?

SABINA

Yeah, I kind of told them Conway was here as a joke, so I’ve been kinda-sorta-obstructing-of-the-justices.

KIM

So? These people need to go. What happened to no longer hiding?

SABINA

I know. It- Look, Pearl won’t face his mother so soon. Calm her down elsewhere. If I don’t join you in ten minutes, go ahead and call them.

KIM

This isn’t time-

SABINA

This is my choice. I clean my messes.

KIM

I hope you can. (To OLD WOMAN) C’mon, we can’t help here.

PEARL

Isn’t this an astounding masterstroke of symbolism.

SABINA

Pearl, she’s gone. I can see you through the keyhole.

PEARL

Now that the knight’s lance has failed to penetrate the giant’s side, it shatters into the wind, representing our knight’s foolishness in embodying an ideal through only relics of the past. It’s well visualized. You requested well, Orson, in recommending the graphic novel adaptation.

CONWAY

The Cervantes I knew wouldn’t draw him like that.

SABINA

You’ll get hungry, you three.

ORSON

What did you say it’s a symbolism of again?

SABINA

Isn’t it obvious?

PEARL

The lance is the knight’s ultimate weapon and mark. It creates and destroys worlds. It is the tool of the kingdom and the kingdom itself. It-

SABINA

And it’s his penis.

ORSON

You wash your mouth!

CONWAY

That’s not what the author means!

SABINA

It’s what Pearl means. Haven’t you listened to him? He’s always hardened by this or made soft by that or penetrating all of it. He sure “shook the vacuum cleaner” until all its junk “came out.” He’s obsessed with cocks. Why do you think he practically lives in the bathroom?

PEARL

I do not masturbate. Though I am required to trim a candle to cleanse myself of negative energies, willfully masturbating on my part would cause the earth to shake and tumble before I lost my godlike size. The reverberations in the cosmic stream-

SABINA

And so on. You’re not explaining as much as laying bricks between us, Adonijah. I’m not challenging your identity as Christ right now. I’m giving it to you straight. Christ is a symbol, and you are a man. No man can keep it up forever. Prove me wrong about you hiding from the world in 9 minutes, and I’ll leave. Otherwise, you come out.

PEARL

Time is a concept. Let us not concern ourselves with it.

SABINA

Deal. Now. No one else is here with me. It’s ok to discuss your mother.

ORSON

You go get her, Pearl!

PEARL

This is a duel, Orson. I do recall beating out the influence of the witch in my life.

SABINA

I’m going to ask you difficult questions. Can you promise me truthful answers?

PEARL

Knowledge is the truth. Jesus is knowledge.

SABINA

Then you know, Doctor, what “let me play Freud” means.

PEARL

As a child, my belly could stroke my spine, I was so thin. I scrambled for discarded milk cartons at school for nourishment. My mother spent all her time at church. Her time there kept me anchored to this earth. All my hard work, it only supported her lifestyle.

SABINA

You starved. Your mother was right, she prayed for you all the time.

PEARL

Every minute to relics.

SABINA

Aren’t those just symbols? They don’t make you hide.

PEARL

Symbolism connects our malleable selves to the cosmic stream. But the mind can be manipulated to center too shallow on a subject, resulting in the learning of wrong lessons. Such as loving relics over saviors.

SABINA

I don’t follow.

PEARL

I am a doctor. You are not, even with your feminine façade. You hate us, but cannot deny the superiority and manliness inherent in the person of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you are the one who hides from our godlike knowledge.

SABINA

This is about you.

PEARL

If you did ‘concern’ us, you would have surrendered us to the electronic duping of mental hospitals. Are you limp in your intent? Isn’t your ‘psychology’ just forcing us to clash like swords?

SABINA

You really think I’m not that good a psychologist?

CONWAY

I wouldn’t-

PEARL

Let her answer. The sharper the response, the better.

SABINA

(Laughs)

PEARL

Explain yourself.

SABINA

I’m worried about being judged by three paranoid schizophrenics! You know, not too long ago, I thought everyone else decides who you are. That they take one look at you and mold the rest of your personality around that glance. I thought that was the only way to define someone. So what do I think now? I think you’re all hypocritical, blind, and fascinating. You might not choose to be Jesus, but you chose to be yourselves. I can be like that too.

PEARL

You do have the capability to rise into knowledge, yes.

SABINA

And I know that talk only hides you for so long. You can only pretend for so long that you’re not hurting anyone. Like with you and your rampage.

PEARL

I do not recall such an event.

SABINA

I don’t care what you know. You ‘know’ you’re humble.

PEARL

I am greatest humble.

SABINA

So why is it bad if I don’t agree? Define yourself all you want, at least one belief needs social support. A humble person wouldn’t fear me entering.

PEARL

I’m defending my friends from your corruption. We have much more in common than your instigating techniques would let us solidify. We have some disagreements, but we don’t let them flatten us.

SABINA

I never stopped you from becoming friends, only forced you to stop hiding from the most important question of your life.

PEARL

That’s your belief.

CONWAY

Actually, she-

PEARL

Shut up! This is not a substantial deviation.

SABINA

Would the real Jesus dodge the question? Even if you want to ‘become knowledge,’ you still live on this Earth. Other people told you about Jesus first.

PEARL

You do not plunge deep enough for your answers to transcend the physical reality around you!

SABINA

Nice try. Why should we call you Jesus?

PEARL

Because I am the way to ultimate knowledge! Because my brain solidified, signifying the message of the Father! Because apparently my birth certificate does not satisfy you!

SABINA

Your body represents you?

PEARL

I will leave this body, and forever dive into the cosmic stream!

SABINA

Your body is just a symbol, then.

PEARL

Yes!

SABINA

A religious relic.

PEARL

Those are corruptions! For simple witches who refuse to ask why tastes can be seen, or why boys must starve. The witch thought she owned me! I broke free with these hands and smashed the shrines of evil! And she cried, oh, how they cry to see their Virgin Maries defiled. “What have you done,” she cried. She did not see the glass shards digging into my hands. I tell her “My identity was revealed eons ago. I am not your son.” “But I loved you! I prayed for you!” “You do not pray for me! I am your Savior! I no longer support you, because you worship me now! You worship me now!

SABINA

And then what?

PEARL

I departed that realm.

SABINA

You ran away.

PEARL

I- yes.

SABINA

From what I’ve seen, and what you’ve told me, she may be mentally imbalanced. But it must have been frightening, what you went through.

PEARL

It could be.

SABINA

Maybe it’s too late. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry for everything. You should control who you want to be. But other people don’t disappear with your memories. Your mother will keep looking for you. You’ll run out of food. Man cannot live on Christ alone.

PEARL

If that is what you choose to believe.

SABINA

To you as well. Kim?

KIM enters.

SABINA

Call them.

KIM

You mean it this time?

SABINA

You can’t trust me, so I’m trusting you. Call the police before I change my mind.

CONWAY

Pearl, I hope you don’t think this isn’t my business. But I forgave my parents before I went to the hospital. I have that power.

ORSON

Thought that was just me.

PEARL

I am aware of the extent of my ability, Conway. Thank you.

KIM

Hello, yes, three people have locked my girlfriend and I out of our apartment…

PEARL

You are sending us to the hospital.

SABINA

I’m to blame.

CONWAY

Did I displease you?

SABINA

No, this needed to happen. I’m sorry. I only study psychology, but I don’t think you could tell by how I treated you. If you want to ignore each other, or be friends, it’s ok.

CONWAY

We-

ORSON

Didn’t you hear her? She said she’s sorry. It’s over.

PEARL

Not yet. We shall stand tall in defense.

CONWAY

We don’t have anything to defend with.

PEARL

We have as much as anybody. We have ourselves.

KIM

This was a really big thing you did.

SABINA

I should’ve done it ages ago.

KIM

So now what?

SABINA

I won’t be jailed for long, if even that. I really should study more than experiment. Maybe I’ll become a psychologist so I can do this again and do it right. Help both other people and our bank accounts. It’ll be a fight, but I’ve got two people worth fighting for.

KIM

Empathy and self-confidence? Who are you, and can I speak to Sabina now?

SABINA

Hey, I’m serious. I know what I was like to you. The Jesuses defined themselves with no outside influence, and I defined myself too much by outside influence. I can’t change that memory. But do you know who I’ll be? Empathetic, authentic, robustomatic. Of all the people to be, I want to be like you. I love you. And I hope everybody heard that.

KIM and SABINA make out.

ORSON

Quit hoggin’ the view!

PEARL

I hope you two are satisfied on your shallow surface.

CONWAY

I don’t mean to upset anyone, but you’re doing a very bad thing.

ORSON

Them? Why?

PEARL

Science explains it. A magnet of a positive charge attracts a magnet of a negative charge. Therefore, homosexual activities are against nature. I have already encountered some justly punished, shortened homosexuals.

CONWAY

Spain legalized gay marriage a while back. Now I have to save them from themselves!

ORSON

So?

PEARL

So!

CONWAY

We must be fruitful and multiply! If the gayness spreads, then everything will collapse and the human race will die! Or worse, the human race will be gay!

ORSON

I’m all the humanity you’ll ever need!

CONWAY

You said you made everyone! If you won’t listen to me, listen to Pearl! You made him!

ORSON

He’s a nerd, I didn’t have anything to do with him.

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers, begins playing.

PEARL

You are mistaken. I am all people, for I am the Lord. The best you can hope for is to embody the manliness of Jesus Christ inherent within yourself.

CONWAY

You’re Jesus? You never saved the world! You just lock yourself in the bathroom and masturbate!

PEARL

It’s called stroking the candle!

CONWAY

Well it’s not very Christ-like!

ORSON

He’s not Jesus, I am!

PEARL

You are nothing but constructs of volcanoes and stardust.

ORSON

I’m not just any star, I’m the sun!

PEARL

You hallowed-out God! Humans are born in volcanoes and think they create volcanoes. Only I, though the cosmic stream, am both created and creator. You envy my towering presence!

CONWAY

Speak for yourself, midget!

The three Jesuses fight. This continues as the lights fade out.

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 3 (Part 2)

Part 1 of this scene can be found here!

FRANKLIN

I didn’t mean to upset you. Are you trying to jump into the chalk drawing?

MARY POPPINS

What?

FRANKLIN

Like in the book, when Bert and Mary jumped into a drawing of the countryside and went there.

MARY POPPINS

Jumping into chalk! That’s completely ridiculous! I just want the chalk to shut the hell up!

FRANKLIN

Oh, I get it now.

MARY POPPINS

Just who are-

FRANKLIN

It’s like the book, see? You denied everything magical that happened in it. Well, where would you like to go?

MARY POPPINS

Nowhere!

FRANKLIN

Come now, Mary. I can travel the world too, even without your magical compass. We can go anywhere you want. You know what has great food? India! Shall I make a reservation at the reservation?

MARY POPPINS

I just told you. I shall leave when I please, and it will not be with you.

FRANKLIN

Well, what do you want to do?

MARY POPPINS

That is not the question. The question is why you care so much.

FRANKLIN

I’ve been all over, sure. Poland, Romania, Scotland, Albania, Ireland, Russia, Oman. And I loved it! I’m a citizen of the world now! But I’ve never done it with another person, let alone someone like you. Everyone else thinks I just close my eyes and mumble.

MARY POPPINS

That’s probably because you do.

FRANKLIN

But you’re the one! You can prove them wrong, because you can actually go there with me. Please Mary. There’s no point bein’ a citizen of the world if you’re not livin’ in it.

MARY POPPINS

I will accept on the condition that you leave me alone afterwards.

FRANKLIN

Ok. It’s been hot and dusty lately. Let’s go… North!

MARY POPPINS

Well?

FRANKLIN

We wait a bit now. Once my legs start burning-

MARY POPPINS

A liar’s pants will be on fire.

FRANKLIN

Once that sensation hits, you won’t stop me for nothing. You know me, I just won’t quit.

MARY POPPINS

I don’t know-

FRANKLIN

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAHHH! Aha! Man, it’s cold this time of year in Australia! Hey, that dime store might have some good stuff in it, if the Eskimos inside don’t cannibalize us.

MARY POPPINS

I’ve had quite enough of this!

FRANKLIN

Wow! Would you look at that, Mary! A real elephant! With flippers and everything! Ow!

MARY POPPINS

I hope I’ve taught you a lesson, mister.

FRANKLIN

Argall.

MARY POPPINS

I didn’t ask.

FRANKLIN

I’m sorry it wasn’t a jolly holiday for you. It’s not like- actually, I don’t remember you havin’ any fun in the book.

MARY POPPINS

I’m too old for fun.

FRANKLIN

Now what sense does that make?

MARY POPPINS

Did I say something wrong?

FRANKLIN

Well, now I’m just curious. Your time with the kids in the book, and this- is it all a chore for you? Because I’m not sure why you’d stick around otherwise.

MARY POPPINS

We had a deal.

FRANKLIN

Look, you know me, I’m not one for pushin’. But I’d love to live in your world of zoo parties and umbrella flying. Why don’t you?

MARY POPPINS

Well, Mr. Argall, perhaps you should return to Australia or wherever in hell you went to and enjoy yourself. Now, if you excuse me, the East Wind has arrived. It’s time for my morning commute.

FRANKLIN

Aren’t you supposed to be floating away?

MARY POPPINS

You’ll have to speak louder. I’m floating away.

FRANKLIN

That shouldn’t be no commute. I think I understand. All that stuff everybody’s enchanted by, you’re sick of. Well, if you don’t mind me asking- has anything in your world tried to kill you yet? Because my lightbulb did. It asked me to kill you as a job

MARY POPPINS

I heard something about a job. If you have a job to do, you best hurry up and do it, then.

FRANKLIN

But I won’t! I don’t care if the lightbulb makes that noise forever, or if no one will ever like me again. Mary Poppins, you will make my life worse. But you’ll make my world better. That’s why you watch over the kids. They haven’t lost their innocence yet. Not like you.

MARY POPPINS

Why haven’t you?

FRANKLIN

I’ve had every reason to. People spit at me on their walk. I can play my ribs like a piano. No one believes I can travel. Why do I love the world? Because I choose to. But none of it matters if I can’t choose you.

MARY POPPINS

How would we ride it?

FRANKLIN

Yes?

MARY POPPINS

The elephant. However are we supposed to ride it? We’re in Australia, and we still act as if we haven’t left London yet. Why are we wasting our time?

FRANKLIN

Silly thing to do, ain’t it?

FRANKLIN and MARY POPPINS exit.

ORSON

“And then Franklin and Mary flew over to Germany and kicked Adolf Hitler in the moustache. They invited Jane, Michael, Mr. Banks, Mrs. Banks, and the radio to their wedding. If took some effort, but my father convinced the lightbulb to screech out the Wedding March for my mother.

“Mary Poppins gave birth to Orson Argall, the Lord and Savior of the world. We never had any troubles ever again. No one ever took mother and father away and put them in those white coats where you have to hug yourself. I was not six years old when it did not happen. The End.”

And that’s my story. I see some of you have some questions. First of all, I would like to make one thing perfectly clear. I never need anything explained to me.

The curtains pull back.

SABINA

That was a lovely story.

ORSON

Now leave me alone.

SABINA

Perhaps we can make a deal.

ORSON

No.

SABINA

I can get more cigarettes. I need to know first why you steal them.

ORSON

You want me to conjure them? I could do that all my life. But I’m tired nowadays.

SABINA

How can you be too tired to be God?

ORSON

It’s a mystery.

SABINA

And why do you like mysteries?

ORSON

I never met a good answer in my life. They think they can get at you, at the soul in your skin, because they wear white coats? That they can take away your parents and turn them into machines. I can be anything I want to be, me folks said. I can make it. But then the robots got them, last I saw.

SABINA

You told me yesterday that your parents created fireworks and built a large inheritance for you.

ORSON

Why can’t you just settle down? You’re as bad as the two machines there. They go on and on about Christ’s life and who he represents and what he looks like… he’s white, I tell you! A white man! And they don’t believe me!

SABINA

We see things differently. Jesus was born in the Middle-

ORSON

You can be born with towelheads without being one. I tell them, I’m white, the Jesus on the Church walls is white. That’s it.

SABINA

He can’t choose what color to be. I know that can be disheartening, but sometimes character serves context.

ORSON

I don’t get it.

SABINA

Well, Conway and I discussed this a while back. You create yourself out of the reactions of those around you. If you made this world half-asleep, maybe someone else told you about Jesus. We don’t live in a- a vacuum-

ORSON

Are we done? I want to stop these talks. Why won’t you let us stop?

SABINA

We can stop. Conway, make sure nothing happens between you three.

CONWAY

You can trust me. Again, I’m deeply sorry about letting in those prostitutes yesterday.

ORSON

They said they loved me!

Apartment Lights down, Street Lights up. SABINA paces in the town square.

SABINA

Ok, what to say, what to say. “Kim, I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough for you.” No, too passive-aggressive. “Kim, I’ll take you to a nice dinner.” No, she’ll see right through that. “Kim, I’m sorry I hurt you?” Did that even happen? Maybe she’s right, maybe I have been hurting people. Well, you know, maybe it’s ok, maybe we should just go to the theater again and I’ll be a better person from now on. The theater. Why did I never become an actress? It seems like it’d work so well for me…

SABINA steps in front of the closing curtains. Drum roll plays.

ANNOUNCER

And the Oscar goes to… Sabina Capello for her role as Loki in “The Avengers 5: Thanks Again for all the Money.”

“Rondeau from Suite de Symphonies,” by Mouret, plays. SABINA picks up her gold statuette from the podium.

SABINA

Thank you, thank you all! I’d love to thank not just the academy, but my old acting teachers for revealing the complexities of human emotion to me. In fact, I’d like to thank all my grade school teachers. Until I got in trouble, I got my start from mocking you.

REPORTERS 1 and 2 enter.

REPORTER 2

Miss Capello, Miss Capello, will this Oscar be stored alongside you other nine Oscars?

SABINA

Oh well, you know me, I’d rather not discuss the many times I’ve won Best Actress.

REPORTER 1

Miss Capello, People magazine ranked your current lovability as higher than the Beatles at the peak of their fame. Do you, like them, consider yourself ‘bigger than Jesus’?

Music fades out.

SABINA

Well, I don’t mean to brag, but- huh.

The curtains pull back. REPORTERS 1 and 2 exit. SABINA sits down and thinks. Lights fade out. When lights fade back up, SABINA is taking notes.

SABINA

Kim has not visited the coffee shop or her volunteer shelter recently. She’s not answering her phone. I know it ended badly, but now I know how little my past matters to who I am. Environment, race, first impressions, they only begin it. A nice smile and some kind words some months ago can’t support us. She needs to know I can change. I can be the person she loved.

But this is not my journal, this is a log. I believe I understand Orson’s childlike demeanor better. He most likely inherited his condition. And the dependent tendencies of schizophrenics explain why both Orson and Conway regard their parents so highly. That still doesn’t explain, however, why each one of them is a terrible Jesus. So why pick Jesus, of all the people to be? Do they feel they have a choice about their suffering?

KIM and OLD WOMAN arrive.

OLD WOMAN

I raised him all my own, all my prayers to him. Thank you. You are angel.

KIM

Not really. Keep talking.

OLD WOMAN

He was a good boy, supported his momma. One day he come home and he- all of the- he shattered them. I thought he would shatter me.

KIM

That doesn’t sound like- well maybe he- oh great.

SABINA

I’ve been looking for you.

KIM

So much for sneaking back into your place, then.

SABINA

Back into my place?

KIM

She’s been asking everyone on the street about her son, including the drug addict I was working with. Her well-behaving son went on some sort of rampage and couldn’t stop babbling about some cosmic stream.

SABINA

So I assume the experiment’s ending, then.

KIM

Assume?

SABINA

No, it will. I can change for you.

OLD WOMAN

Please, he was such good boy, I pray for him everyday, all the day.

KIM

That’s not- look, I’m taking them to a hospital with or without you. You don’t need to be someone else for me.

OLD WOMAN

My son is very sick…

SABINA

What if I wanted to keep them there? To study them. You wouldn’t want me to choose that.

KIM

Speaking of which. What are you trying to prove again? You’re a lazy student, but even you know you can’t equate choice with a mental condition.

SABINA

It’s a subtle choice.

OLD WOMAN

Please my son-

SABINA

You had a religious upbringing too. And your spare time is for helping the ill, not being one.

KIM

You had to have learned more than that this month.

OLD WOMAN

My son-

KIM

So did they answer your question yet? Or will they confess under more torture?

OLD WOMAN

Please-

SABINA

I’m-

OLD WOMAN

My-

SABINA

Well-

OLD WOMAN smacks SABINA with her purse.

OLD WOMAN

We find my son now! No more talking!

SABINA

Ok, ok! Goddammit, I-

OLD WOMAN hits her again.

SABINA

See, this is why I have to act like a Christian girl!

Read the finale here.

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 3 (Part 1)

Scene 1 here! Scene 2 here!

SCENE 3

 

“Why Am I The One,” by Fun, plays. Apartment Lights up. CONWAY reads a book and PEARL meditates. ORSON pushes the door open and enters, wearing a jacket bulging with cigarette packs. He sits down and begins emptying out the jacket. PEARL approaches him and mimes a polite request for a cigarette. ORSON glares at him. CONWAY approaches ORSON, but backs down from the glare as well. ORSON takes all of the cigarettes out of a package, pulls out a lighter, and lights all of them together. He inhales all of them at once. Music ends when ORSON begins a loud, extended coughing fit. Once he’s finished, ORSON then inhales again. The smoke detector goes off. ORSON runs to under the detector and smacks it repeatedly with his cigarette hand, shouting incoherently as he goes. SABINA runs out of the bathroom, her make-up only half-applied, to turn off the fire alarm. She snatches the cigarettes from ORSON and throws them in the toilet within the bathroom.

SABINA

Who gave you money for cigarettes?

ORSON

I made those cigarettes! And I made the 24-7 store too! Don’t tell me what to do!

SABINA

I just find them an immoral practice. It’s poison-

ORSON

Oh shut up! You know who decides what’s moral and what’s not?

CONWAY, ORSON, PEARL

Me!

CONWAY

Well, I enjoy smoking as much as anybody. Smokers can do what they want.

PEARL

Indeed. I appreciate cigarettes not because of nicotine or other chemicals, but because they allow throat transference to the cosmic stream, they represent civilizations and its price wherewithal, and because they resonate and remain relevant in those symbolisms explained.

SABINA

So. How does one decide what’s moral or what’s not?

Orson. I would like to talk with you.

PEARL

Do not listen to this lying woman, friend. She insists on antagonizing us to flatten our rise into knowledge. This dreadful week reveals her impatience.

CONWAY

She just wants to help you.

ORSON

Well I don’t need it!

SABINA

How am I lying to you?

PEARL

I know everything. I am a doctor. You want to see our beings deflated so you-

CONWAY

So, Mr. Pearl. Which Spanish author invented the picaresque novel?

PEARL

I recently conversed that subject with some friends today. I hope she… no. You killed him.

SABINA

I beg your pardon?

PEARL

He was the most brilliant being in a millennia, and you emptied out his insides!

SABINA

Who?

PEARL

The vacuum cleaner!

SABINA

You dug through my vacuum cleaner? I mean, I apologize.

PEARL

Oh, we conversed so this week! He expelled knowledge when I shook it. They rightfully worshipped my divinity as their originator, the image they are formed in! He stimulated my intellect! He stimulated me!

SABINA

I didn’t know you were a vacuum cleaner.

PEARL

I told you. I’m a doctor, not a vacuum cleaner.

SABINA

Conway, what do you think about the voice from Pearl’s friend?

CONWAY

Pearl, the vacuum cleaner couldn’t have been a stimulating conversationalist. If he originated from you, what could he say that you don’t know?

PEARL

When as deep in the cosmic stream as his mind was, he knew everything about me, including what he knew I knew in a previous future. You know the price of sin. Soon, an earthquake shall swallow you up, and you shall be turned into a midget.

SABINA

I think Orson would like you to stop disturbing him.

PEARL

You called my friend a ‘voice’ to Conway. You will not melt Orson’s mind.

ORSON

I don’t need help melting my mind!

CONWAY

What could you even do? I’ve never seen any of your miracles. How do I know-

PEARL

I am too humble to interject myself in such phantasmagoric demonstrations of power.

But if you desire a representation of my massive, towering omniscience, I shall lift that bed!

PEARL squats and concentrates on the bed.

CONWAY

I don’t see-

PEARL

It is moving in the cosmic stream.

 

SABINA

Conway, I would appreciate it if you watched for a bit. (To ORSON) May we talk?

ORSON

Fine. I give up.

SABINA

I’m sorry their shouting upset you.

ORSON

I forgive you. I didn’t want them to talk about how earthquakes work. I already know how.

SABINA

Could you explain it to me?

ORSON

I made them.

SABINA

So you know how they work.

ORSON

Kind of. I didn’t remember what I was doing, most of the time, when I made Earth. It was boring.

SABINA

Is it like-

ORSON

Would you quit bugging me about my past? It’s all week like this. I don’t need to explain myself.

SABINA

We don’t have to talk about you. Should we talk more about your parents? What were they like?

ORSON

I wrote a story about them. Would you like to hear it?

SABINA

I would love to.

ORSON steps in front of the closing curtains. He picks up a storybook.

ORSON

I wrote a story about my mother Mary and my father Frank. That’s right, a story. You kids don’t know what stories are these days. I didn’t return to earth after my resurrection to see my name in a hashtag. How do you even get on the Internet Explorer? Who’s Alt? Why do I need to control him? Does ‘delete’ mean you deleted the ‘W’ from Walt? I’m your Lord and Savior, and even I don’t get it. The Indian on the phone was very rude to me about computers. I cursed him to a thousand years of eternal torment in a history class. That’ll teach him! No one beats Custer and gets away with it! Where was I? That’s right, my story.

FRANKLIN enters with book and lamp.

ORSON

“Once upon a time, there was a good man named Franklin Argall. Franklin lived a big life. He fought in the Great War. He played jazz in Harlem. He joined the Communist Party so he could steal all their food at the annual picnic. Yes, it seemed that Franklin did everything a man could do.

“Even though Franklin was a great man, nobody seemed to like him. They called him ‘rambling’ and ‘crazy’ and ‘schizophrenic.’ Franklin was sad. He wanted to be everything he could be. He could travel anywhere in the world without moving his feet. He could feel fireworks in his eyes when no one else could. But it seemed he couldn’t be liked.

“His only friend was the radio, who told him about the world and would answer any question he asked. But the radio wasn’t the only person to talk to him. One night, another voice chimed in.”

LAMP

Franklin Argall.

FRANKLIN

Who said that? Radio? Are we under attack?

LAMP

This is the lightbulb, Franklin. You are fraternizing with the enemy.

FRANKLIN

How could that be? I’m just reading this wonderful new book called “Mary Poppins.”

LAMP

That is the enemy. Listen close. People love Mary Poppins instead of you. There is only one solution. You must kill Mary Poppins.

FRANKLIN

Why?

LAMP

What?

FRANKLIN

We just met. Just because you’re a voice, that doesn’t mean you’re credible. No offense.

LAMP

You talk to a radio!

FRANKLIN

And we have a blast! You know me, I’m a sucker for learning about new places.

LAMP

You have hurt my feelings, Franklin. Do you understand why you must follow everything I say?

FRANKLIN

I do not, sorry.

LAMP

(annoying screech)

FRANKLIN

Please stop! That is quite annoying!

LAMP

That is what you will hear for ever and ever if you do not obey my commands!

FRANKLIN

Ok! I’ll kill Mary Poppins! How do I do it?

LAMP

I don’t know!

FRANKLIN

You don’t know?

LAMP

I am a lightbulb!

FRANKLIN

Should I travel to London again? Wait for the East Wind? What?

LAMP

(annoying screech)

FRANKLIN

Ok, ok! You’re quite convincing, as lightbulbs go.

ORSON

“Frank began by asking around the soup kitchens he ate each meal in. One of the volunteers mentioned a beggar lady on 7th Avenue that called herself Mary Poppins. Franklin Franked- Thanklin fanked- thanks Franklin- Franklin gave his thanks to the volunteer, and set off to assassinate the world’s greatest nanny.”

MARY POPPINS enters.

ORSON

“Franklin found Mary Poppins on 7th Avenue. She was jumping up and down on a chalk drawing. She was the most beautiful woman Franklin had ever seen. He was so awestruck by her feathered hat and perfume smell that he forgot his mission. Instead, he declared, ‘You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen! Will you marry me?’ Mary Poppins said, ‘Of course!’”

FRANKLIN

You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen! Will you marry me!

MARY POPPINS

Go fuck a horse!

Continued in Scene 3 Part 2.

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 2

Scene 1 can be found here.

SCENE 2

Street Lights down, Apartment Lights up. “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am,” by Fall Out Boy, plays. PEARL sleeps, ORSON mindlessly toys with a Chinese finger trap. CONWAY bursts out of the bathroom door, wielding a spray bottle and a book. He weaves through the furniture in the room, checking behind each corner like a spy. When he arrives at the window, CONWAY mutters some Spanish prayers under his breath as he sprays the inside of the book. He wipes it with his beard. Then he throws it out the window. Seconds later, everyone hears honking horns and a car crash from outside. The music stops right before the noises. ORSON and PEARL awake.

ORSON

Pipe it down!

CONWAY

I did it! I’ve saved Spain!

PEARL

Explain yourself.

CONWAY

I just saved the world! Everybody wanted me to. Praise me! I’m Jesus, and I’ve saved Spain!

VOICE FROM OUTSIDE

I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

 

ORSON

I liked you better as a suck-up. And stop calling yourself Jesus!

PEARL

These ‘world-saving quests’ of yours are indubitably a psychological attempt to gain favor beyond the cosmic stream.

CONWAY

I’m sorry you think that. But all of this takes very hard work. Miracles need practice.

PEARL

Yesterday, you claimed that the theft of your omnipowerful abilities prevented you from performing miracles, such as your return to Spain. Do not assume your charade as a false human will save you. I’m watching you. You will not outlast me.

CONWAY

But I saved the world. Aren’t you happy?

SABINA enters with a bag of fast food.

ORSON

Conway did it!

SABINA

Did what?

CONWAY

Now wait, is it ok if I explain myself first? I don’t want to be misrepresented.

SABINA

Of course.

CONWAY steps in front of the closing curtains.

CONWAY

An agent of God has responsibilities. I must act for a greater glory, doing things nobody else would do for Queen and Country.

“James Bond Theme” starts playing.

CONWAY

My name is Conway, but you can call me Bond… Jesus Bond.

JULIE BAIT enters, held up by HENCHMAN.

HENCHMAN

All right, Miss Julie Bait… hand over that top-secret book you stole! The one with all the secrets about Spain!

JULIE BAIT

Oh no! Won’t someone come save me!

CONWAY

I’d do as the lady says.

HENCHMAN

Jesus Bond? But we’re on an island. How did you get here, walking?

CONWAY

I guess it’s not always sink or swim.

CONWAY knocks out henchman.

JULIE BAIT

My hero! But you must stop rogue agent Judas. If he gets his hands on the book, all is lost!

CONWAY crosses the stage. JUDAS meets him there.

JUDAS

A pleasure, Mr. Bond. I miss our suppers together, we had such fun at the last one.

CONWAY

I’m shook up about it, but not stirred.

JUDAS

Now!

HENCHMAN grabs CONWAY. JUDAS brings in a cross, begins nailing CONWAY to it.

JUDAS

Do you like my elaborate death trap? You’ll be powerless from stopping me now. Once I claim the book, I will rule the world under your stolen power!

CONWAY

Crucifixion? This never happened to the other fellow!

JUDAS

You know, I’ve been meaning to ask, why does your face change every time we meet? Is it different actors or something?

CONWAY

Different Jesuses. You’ve met Orthodox and Protestant Jesus. I’m the Catholic one. But why are we chitchatting? Do you expect me to talk?

JUDAS

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!

CONWAY

Judas, you know not what you do!

CONWAY dies. JUDAS laughs.

JUDAS

Come, my henchman. We have a white cat to stroke.

HENCHMAN lays down CONWAY, exits with JUDAS. After they leave, CONWAY stands up.

CONWAY

They never expect a resurrection device disguised as a shoe. Thanks, Q.

JULIE BAIT enters with book.

JULIE BAIT

Bond! Bond, I love you! But Judas attached a bomb to this book! If it blows, then so does Spain!

CONWAY

Time to go out with a bang, then!

The curtains pull back. CONWAY runs to the window.

PEARL

Not again!

CONWAY throws the book out the window. “James Bond Theme” stops playing. After a silence, sound of crashing cars, yelling, an ambulance, and a fire.

SABINA

If anyone asks, it wasn’t us. Let’s calm down and have lunch. Chicken nuggets for Orson, those fruit bar things for Pearl… Conway, they didn’t have broccoli, I’m sorry.

CONWAY

I will eat what you want me to eat, madam.

SABINA

I suppose you can share my fries. May we eat them together?

CONWAY

I prefer to eat alone. We prefer to.

SABINA

May-

CONWAY

I’m sorry, that’s sinful of me. Of course I’ll join you. And thank you again for this roof over our head and for the daily bread. I can’t thank you enough.

SABINA

So I’ve seen. I enjoyed our conversation last night. Did you?

CONWAY

Not particularly, no. Pearl doesn’t know nearly enough about Spain as he thinks. And Orson has terrible manners.

Both of them notice PEARL, who’s watching both of them while eating.

PEARL

She will render us limp with her lies and negative energies. But God will see this, and he will throw down his lightning through the cosmic stream and turn you into a midget.

CONWAY

Can you please make him leave?

SABINA

Pearl, I would like to talk with Conway alone. Perhaps Orson would like the company.

ORSON

Go piss out your cosmic stream!

CONWAY

I’m sorry about that.

SABINA

You don’t have to-

CONWAY

Don’t worry. I’m going to help you out. Pearl and Orson think the false Jesuses are machines or midgets or something, but we know the truth. The truth is that they’re mental patients.

SABINA

That’s quite observant of you.

CONWAY

Thank you. So I’m on your side.

SABINA

I actually wanted to talk about mental hospitals, Conway. Or maybe not, if you don’t want. You love Spain. Why is that?

CONWAY

Where to start! Her wavy hillsides, her lined churches, the tapas, literature, history…

SABINA

Could you tell me about the history?

CONWAY

Are you sure? People think I talk too much about it.

SABINA

I wouldn’t object to an abridged version.

CONWAY

I’ll try. You see, after the fall of Rome, many invaders came to Spain. These include the Moors and Visigoths, whose cultures formed the basis of Spanish culture today. But it wasn’t complete until the land’s former Catholic monarchs retook the land. That led to The Golden Age! So many books are written about that. But the Spaniards got too greedy for colonies, and invested too much power in lands they couldn’t control. Franco’s fascist reign brought in Spain’s Darkest Hour in the thirties and forties. But we reformed into a democratic parliamentary constitutional monarchy once I kicked Franco out.

SABINA

You deposed Franco?

CONWAY

Oh yes. He was not a nice man. I sent Franco to the devil, restored the regions of Spain to glory, and worked as Chief Producer of Great Literature.

SABINA

You are Jesus and a government employee?

CONWAY

I’ve got to earn a living too, you know.

SABINA

Well, I see things differently. I heard that Franco died in bed.

CONWAY

If you say so. Say, did you know that Lazarillo de Tormes invented the picaresque novel? It often involves a rascally character exposing various injustices as he explores a-

SABINA

Someone told me something depressing a few days ago. Could you help me understand it?

CONWAY

Anything.

SABINA

Someone told me Rokeach State Hospital knew you. I wanted to learn more.

CONWAY

You didn’t talk to them! You wouldn’t!

SABINA

I wanted to see what I could learn.

CONWAY

But they’re bullies! Germs! They never let you leave, it’s always back to the beginning with them! Back to your sins! They can’t accept me!

SABINA

They said you’re from Missouri?

CONWAY

It’s not true, doggonit! Not anymore. Oh, I can’t stand it.

SABINA

It’s ok. No one here will force you to do anything. I’d like to talk about this- their lie, if that’s ok.

CONWAY

Could I leave when I need to?

SABINA

Of course. Now let’s assume- assume- that these men and women are right, that you cannot represent Spain. Why is this so important to you?

CONWAY

Because Missouri doesn’t fit me. A worse person, someone who repeats the evils of his father, now he might be born in the backwater. But not the Second Coming.

SABINA

Jesus was born in-

CONWAY

But that’s not fair, is it? No one chooses their parents, or their calling. And if you’re born on the wrong ground, people will put your nose in it.

SABINA

Did you feel unappreciated in your early life?

CONWAY

Maybe. I used to think that it was my pride that made me hit someone close to me. But then, days later, when I was on the run, I felt a searing. Like a branding of my cells. It’s still happening. I though I was real sick back then. But no, sickness is much older than I’ll ever be. I’m not the sickness. I know it. This branding was too relevant to be sickness. It was purification. As they struggled over me in the emergency room, arguing about where it all went wrong, I listened to this searing feeling. And I made my first choice in this world. The only choice anyone has.

SABINA

You chose to be Jesus.

CONWAY

And you chose to be Sabina.

SABINA

Not really.

CONWAY

What does that mean?

SABINA

I mean- never mind. You know, I almost find it impossible to believe myself, but there are some people out there who hate Jesus. How would you talk to a Satanist at a nice dinner party? There are negative consequences to whichever persona you choose to be. If I wanted to be loved, I couldn’t just be Sabina. I’d have to play different people.

CONWAY

Maybe it’s the Jesus-haters that took my powers. People really wouldn’t like me?

SABINA

You made your choice, I guess.

CONWAY

I need to go now.

SABINA

Did I upset you?

CONWAY

No, just reminded me. God has responsibilities. And I have people to save. Spain shall rise again!

CONWAY runs out, singing the American National Anthem, replacing key words with ‘Spain.’

SABINA

Yep, definitely from Missouri.

Apartment Lights down. Street Lights up. Sabina arrives on the scene taking notes.

SABINA

This really was an exhilarating day. Each of the Jesuses spy on each other now, hoping that one of them will mess up and reveal his mortality. And Conway presents such a fascinating look into mentally challenged minds. In a sense, he’s just another schizophrenic creating beliefs without social support, due to trauma in this case. But he frames it in the lens of choice while his illness condemns him to one identity for life. And how much is choice worth when you can’t choose when to change it?

I may have to dive deeper into research when exploring Orson. Unlike with Conway, it’s doubtful that Rokeach Hospital will confirm an abusive past or an incarceration. Even alongside men with isolationist tendencies, Orson is incredibly reserved. His interactions at dinner consist of him shouting “I’m Jesus!” or “More cheeseburgers!” Again, zoning out for hours is common among schizophrenics, but Orson does almost nothing else.

KIM enters.

KIM

So what did we learn today?

SABINA

Kim? Kim, oh my god, didn’t you forget the Jesuses?

KIM

What?

SABINA

The Jesuses! Kim, they can’t be alone! Remember yesterday when Pearl kept claiming that the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene were the same woman? And when Orson claimed he’d still hit that? We can’t let this escalate too far!

KIM

They wouldn’t have if you didn’t keep them on topic. Also, you asked me to come here.

SABINA

I did?

KIM

We had a dinner reservation.

SABINA

I didn’t come to dinner because, because I discovered something.

KIM

Really?

SABINA

I was here at the town square before dinner. I was writing about the Jesuses when something happened.

KIM

You’re lying. You’re just trying to cover yourself with a “social experiment.”

SABINA

I’m going to be direct because I love you.

KIM

And now you’re mocking me.

SABINA

That fountain over there plugged up and there was this phlegm-like sound inside it. And I reached into it, over there…

KIM

And then I’ll reach into it, and you’ll splash me.

SABINA

It was a Chinese finger trap! Here! It looks just like Orson’s! It’s a miracle!

KIM

It’s not working.

SABINA

Kim, one of those Jesuses may be the real one! We need to find Him before-

KIM

There was no date!

 

Or maybe there was. It’s hard not knowing, isn’t it?

SABINA

I would never do that. I can make this up to you.

KIM

What don’t you make up?

SABINA

You’re right. I shouldn’t have to keep proving myself.

KIM

Unless it’s to three psychopaths.

SABINA

Ok, you know as well as I do that they’re paranoid schizophrenics. But this is just what we do. We want to be good people. I happen to learn through imitating the bad ones.

KIM

Just like you imitated me?

SABINA

You-

KIM

I don’t know, just- the best thing for me is to crash at a friend’s right now. You don’t live in a vacuum, Sabina. I’m sorry.

KIM exits.

SABINA

Fine. I have work to do.

“I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You,” by The Ramones, plays. Street Lights down, Apartment Lights up. ORSON zones out, PEARL and CONWAY converse. They seem to slowly be opening up to each other. SABINA enters and begins chatting with and taking notes on CONWAY. PEARL and ORSON attempt to sneak out. Before they leave, SABINA pulls aside ORSON and drags him into the conversation. PEARL waits, then tries to sneak out. He’s caught by SABINA and made to join the conversation. All three Jesuses are bored. KIM enters and begins to place various accessories in her suitcase. SABINA tries to talk with her. ORSON, once the coast is clear, exits. PEARL exits. CONWAY sits there until ORSON returns and drags him offstage. KIM exits. SABINA notices that everyone has left her apartment. Apartment Lights Down.

Continued in Scene 3.

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.

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Basic Information

What happens when three people who think they’re Jesus live in the same apartment? A while back, I wrote a play about that! Though I like where it is now, it can always be improved. Here’s some technical information for the curious. But if this is boring and you want to see the fireworks, start here!

THE SON, THE SON, AND THE SON

By Nick Edinger

Inspired by “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti,” by Milton Rokeach

CAST OF CHARACTERS

SABINA CAPELLO

A psychology student. She carries with her a backpack overflowing with papers. Her makeup is spotty. She wears prop reading glasses. An expert at imitations, she carries out several ‘social experiments’ to learn more about other people, and about who she doesn’t want to look like. Can’t keep a personal bubble when talking with someone.

CONWAY DE PLASKETT

A 65-year-old, homeless, paranoid schizophrenic. Believes he’s Jesus. He wears many layers of clothing, and glasses that hurt his eyes when he uses them. His unwashed beard covers his portly chest. When not studying Spain, he spends his time on ‘quests’ to save Spain. Was born in Missouri.

PEARL (ADONIJAH) BURAKGAZI

A 49-year-old, homeless, paranoid schizophrenic. Believes he’s Jesus. He wears a pinstripe suit, sleeps standing up. His face is blank until he’s furious. Pearl talks circles around anyone who will listen, especially regarding symbolism. He’s skin and bone, but would rather that we not ground ourselves on the maliciously brain-scouring materialism of the now.

ORSON ARGALL

A 77-year-old, homeless, paranoid schizophrenic. Believes he’s Jesus. Orson doesn’t talk much, but does mutter rambles under his breath when no one’s listening. Nearly toothless, his skin is soft and smooth underneath his mammoth beard. Would stop complaining if you gave him a good comic book, or some chicks.

KIM LEANNAN

Idealistic, if caustic, on-and-off-again girlfriend of Sabina. Her personal hygiene’s a mess. When not serving as a waitress or going to a play with her lover, she can be found working with a charity service that singles out drug addicts to support. To her, she’s the only one cleaning up the apartment and being honest.

TOURISTS 1 & 2

They’re watching the crazy man who thinks he’s Jesus in the first scene.

COP

Naïve and formal. Other than that, just a cop. Best played by Tourist 1

VOICE FROM OUTSIDE/ ANNOUNCER

He can’t feel his legs. Best played by Tourist 2

HENCHMAN

Up to no good. Best if played by Tourist 2

JULIE BAIT

James-Bond-style femme fatale. Best if played by Tourist 1

JUDAS

James Bond villain. Best if played by Orson Argall

FRANKLIN ARGALL

Orson’s father. Dashing, but still crazy. Best if played by Tourist 2

LAMP

A talking Lamp. Best if played by Pearl.

MARY POPPINS

Crazy beggar lady. Best if played by Tourist 1

REPORTERS 1 & 2

Reporting and taking pictures of the Academy Awards. Best if played by Tourists 1 and 2.

OLD WOMAN

Mother of Adonijah (Pearl) Burakgazi. Obsessively religious, not particularly good at English. In tears over her runaway son. Best if played by Tourist 1.

SETTING

The stage is divided into two segments. Stage Right is a cramped, dirty city. The center building has only one door and a sign above it that reads “College of Psychology”. Two benches occupy the city square. On the very outskirts of Stage Right sits a podium. Stage Left represents an apartment with a desk, two chairs, a dresser, a vacuum cleaner, and a bed. The bed is littered with various novelty prank items: a Chinese finger trap, a can with a spring-up worm, a fishing rod with a fake $100 bill attached to it, and so on. Books are scattered on the floor. The top of the desk is crammed with papers. There’s a window above the bed. A bathroom door stands on one end of the room, an entrance door on the other.

PROPS – Chinese finger trap – Can with spring-up worm – Fishing rod with fake $100 bill – Sign: “I am the Second Coming” – Sign: “I am Lord of Lords” – Sign: “I am Jesus” – Backpack – Pen, Homework – Bottle of Wine – Water Bottle – Legal Pad – Spray Bottle – Three Books – Fast Food Bag, Chicken Nuggets, Fruit Bar, Fries – Jacket – 30 cigarette packs – Vacuum Cleaner – Storybook – Lamp – Umbrella – Oscar Statuette – Cameras – Phone

MUSIC – “Who Are You,” by The Who https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5kmCgVhADY – “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am” by Fall Out Boy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99As-bdjKFM – James Bond Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii1tc493bZM – “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You,” by the Ramones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MG1QMoZdj8 – “Why Am I The One,” by Fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_lhJ3I2JbY – “Rondeau from Suite of Symphonies,” by Mouret https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hovXaCKcNs8 – “Three Pretenders,” by Kanas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMaEAyNev8Q – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” by the Proclaimers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2T0P6F-wk4