November 13, 2006

A Play A Day #214



Setting: Outside, the curb, dark, one streetlight overhead.

Junkie: (looks awful) Awww, c’mon man, you know I wouldn’t ask you unless I really needed it.

Buddy: (well-dressed) You ask me every day, Junkie.

J: I know, Buddy, but I really need it every day.

B: Isn’t there somewhere else you could turn?

J: You’re it, man... you are the source.

B: No. You have made me something I’m not.

J: You’re my friend.

B: Yes, I am your friend.

J: You’ve always been there for me in the past.

B: Yes, I have.

J: So, why not now?

B: I think I’m not really helping you. You seem more and more dependent on me all the time.

J: So? Don’t you like that?

B: It’s nice to be needed...

J: And you know I appreciate it...

B: Well...

J: C’mon, you know I do. I do!

B: Yes, okay, I guess you do, but.... ahhh...

J: What?

B: I feel... used.

J: Used?

B: Yeah... used, like you only come around once a day; you only seek me out for your fix.

J: No... no... it’s not like... well, I like you.

B: Yes, I know you do, but it seems like there should be something more. You know what I mean?

J: (pause) How much do you want?

B: What?

J: How much?

B: For your fix?

J: Yeah. The fix. How much do you want me to pay you? That’s what you want, isn’t it? Make it a business deal, then you won’t feel so “used”?

B: Junkie, no. I could never accept payment for what I give you. It’s not in my nature. I do what I do out of love.

J: But you feel used.

B: Yeah... I guess I’m not feeling any real love back.

J: What? How can you say that?

B: Well, you say you love me, but I think it’s not real love. I think you want me to believe that you really love me, but you actually just want me to set you up, so that, for another day, you don’t have to feel afraid.

J: I’m not afraid of anything, Buddy.

B: Sure you are; I see it in your eyes. I hear it in your voice. You’re like all junkies. You are so terrified of everything in life you don’t understand, or can’t control, so you turn to me, as so many others have, looking for a way out.

J: No, no...

B: And I give you just that. You take your hit , and you fear less. You feel like you can never die. Like you’ve been promised some sort of immortality. I give the shit out for free, and get nothing in return. People who claim to love me, all desperate for protection from their fears.

J: I... well...

B: All you feel like you have to do is seek me out once a day, and I will give you that comfort.

J: So, are you cutting me off?

B: (long pause) I’d like to, but I can’t. I want you to find your own life. To confront your fears, to confront the reality of death without falling back on me. It’s too easy.

J: No, not for me, I have to work at it.

B: No you don’t. I’m here whenever you need me; I hook you up. You disappear for twenty-four hours; come back, make a little small talk, act like you’re here just for friendship; then, wham, you hit me up.

J: But I need it!

B: No you don’t. No one does. The answers are inside you You just have to stop and think. Don’t play up to me so you don’t have to think, like what I have is the answer to all you fear.

J: But it works so well.

B: Of course it does, because you’ve told yourself it does. Like I said, the answer is in your own brain. Think for yourself, Junkie, please, you can break this thing.

J: Ah, man, don’t do this to me.

B: Why not?

J: Because it’s not you. You’re so much nicer than that.

B: I know what I am, Junkie. I’m asking you to find out who you are... apart from me. I am nothing special. I have no answers for you. My drug will not set you free; you have to set yourself free.

J: Ahhh... don’t sell yourself short!

B: I don’t sell anything, Junkie. It’s always free. What I’m saying, if you stay addicted, you’ll never know anything for yourself.

J: Okay... okay... I’ll try it.

B: You will?

J: Tomorrow...

B: Come on, Junkie.

J: Please!?

B: Break free!

J: No! It’s too much!

B: It’s not, you have the power!

J: No, no, no, I don’t! I need it, man!

B: You don’t!

J: Just one more hit, Buddy!

B: I’m asking you to voluntarily kick the habit; I have to keep giving it out if you ask.

J: Right! So, come on; give it up!

B: I’d prefer you not be so demanding. A little dignity would be nice.

J: Sorry, please; I’m getting shaky.

B: Face your fears, Junkie. I’ll always be there. I can help, but I can’t be the answer. If that’s the case, then you’ll only ever be an addict with the same dead eyes as any other addict. Whether it’s heroin, crank or alcohol; it’s all the same... finding the answer in something other than yourself. You have to wake up to the unpleasant truth, that nothing outside of your self will...

J: Please no sermons! Please. Just give it to me!

B: (pause, raises his hand, does the sign of the cross on Junkie) In the name of my father, myself, and the Holy Ghost. Amen. (touches him on the head gently for a few seconds, Junkie lifts his head)

J: (happily exiting the stage) Thanks, man! That was some good blessing! Rock out!

B: (glumly) He’ll be back. They just never learn... never.

(lights fade as he slowly walks offstage)



Anonymous said...

Wow. Religion is a drug... where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah! Marxism. Sounds like something Lenin would say.


Brendon Etter said...

Yeah, but Lenin would never extend the metaphor like I did; plus they used that metaphor as a strawman to deflect opposition to their particular opiate: totalitarianism.

Thank you for reading and commenting! So few do.

- Bleeet