Forward Toward Onward
Setting: Blank stage.
Man: (dressed for the weather, leaning into what must be a ferocious wind, and rain must also be pelting him quite angrily as well, he speaks, throughout the play, in a heroic, shouting voice to be heard over these extreme elements) Must.... reach.... goal!
Reporter: (dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, carrying notepad and pen, talking in a conversational tone, no storm rages about him, but then again, he doesn't know that one is supposed to be) Excuse me... sir?
R: We've received some calls at the paper from people describing what they say was a man walking forward, but not really going anywhere... I'm assuming they were referring to you.
M: I wouldn't know! I guess it's possible!
R: O.K. Great... can I ask you why you're doing this?
M: Doing what?!!
R: Uhhh... walking, but not really going anywhere?
M: I'm going as fast as I can!!
R: Really... you... you seem to be pretty healthy so...
M: Yes! I am healthy!
R: ... uhhh... so why are you not moving... or moving so slowly?
M: It's very hard to move in such a powerful storm!!
R: Storm? What... storm?
M: The one that rages around us right now!
R: Really... ummm... o.k. I don't see any storm.
M: Doesn't mean that it doesn't exist!!
R: True... enough... so where are you going, so slowly?
R: To where?
R: Righhht... uh... where did you start?
R: How long have you been walking in this storm?
M: What time is it!?
R: About... four-thirty.
M: Almost one month!
R: Uhhh... a month?
M: Very nearly, yes!!
R: You mentioned something about a "goal", what goal?
R: To where?
M: Onward! Ever onward!
R: So when will you stop?
M: Most likely never!
R: Wha.... why?
M: Because I'm a metaphor!
R: A metaphor?
M: Yes! An enduring metaphor at that!
R: O.K.... ummm... Can you give me a name, sir?
R: (waiting) And... what would that name be?
M: How about Benjamin Franklin?!
R: Your name is Benjamin Franklin?
R: What is your name, then?
M: I prefer to remain anonymous!
R: I think people might be better able to relate to you if you shared your name.
M: I'm a metaphor! Metaphor must be impersonal! That way it can be generalized across many different situations by many different people!!
R: Ohh. What metaphor are you?
M: I am man's quest to move ever forward, progressing at a slow and incremental pace against the very worst this world can throw at him!!
R: O.K., but what do we take from that?
M: Well, rugged individualists see the good of survival against the odds, conservatives see the progress of business, liberals see measured and sustainable development, many women see the soft-focus, human-interest story, kids see the importance of pursuing goals!
R: If I may be so blunt; I see it as fairly absurd.
M: Yes, some see that side as well! Good for them, I say!
R: The fruitlessnes of struggling against imaginary forces...
M: I see: The Power of Heroic Conquest!
R: The disabling of the mind, the disconnecting from reality...
M: The Courageous Fight against an Irresistable Force!
R: ... in the face of societal expectations... playing a useless game that brings no satisfaction...
M: The Humbling of Nature in the Face of Man's Dogged Persistence!
R: The persistence of man's doggerel to mask personal failings and deep, abiding anxiety...
M: Motions Full Of Purpose!
R: Emotions filled with pretense...
R: Signifying nothing!
M: Nothing! (snaps upright, starts talking conversationally, now) You're right. Thank you. Wanna get a burger or something?
R: Sure. Sounds good.
(they walk off together)
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