CHARGE

by: ERIC KAISER

PAGES 1-10 PAGES 11-20 PAGES 21-30 PAGES 31-40
PAGES 41-50 PAGES 51-57  

MARTHA: I'm not. You. Aren't you going head surfing?

GEORGE: No.

MARTHA: Why not?

GEORGE: I would just as easily give these last two toes away. Do you want them? I just trimmed the nails.

[Chiclets cough gets louder.]

GEORGE: Are you sick?

MARTHA: No.

GEORGE: Didn't you just cough?

MARTHA: No.

GEORGE: Who did?

MARTHA: Her.

GEORGE: Who?

MARTHA: Her.

GEORGE: [He sees Chiclet.] Who is that?

MARTHA: She's the gift you gave me, and it's broken.

GEORGE: I didn't give you a gift.

MARTHA: Oh. You never give me gifts.

GEORGE: Do you want all these toes? I don't want them anymore.

MARTHA: If you don't want them then it's trash, not a gift. [A moment.] You don't want them? They're your prize toes. Plaqued in platinum. I have many things I have to do tonight. What can we do to make you feel extreme?

GEORGE: Huh. Extreme. I'm not extreme.

MARTHA: Well. Only the Aztecs are extremer. And you are a close second. Can I be alone now?

GEORGE: They were so much more extreme than me, they were so much more extreme. Toes!! Toes!! Who cares. They bet their lives, and I am betting toes. They used to bet their lives on a little game with a ball, and I am betting toes. They used to have human sacrifices and bloody wars. And I bet toes. They didn't even use shields. I used to feel so extreme and now I feel like an extreme loser.

MARTHA: Why are you giving up so easily?

GEORGE: Huh?

MARTHA: I'm sure you can find someone willing to bet like them.

GEORGE: Yeah?

MARTHA: Sure, I don't think you could handle it if you didn't

GEORGE: Really?

MARTHA: I don't know how you are handling it now.

GEORGE: How am I handling it now?

MARTHA: I really don't know how you're handling it.

GEORGE: It would be extreme.

MARTHA: Extremely.

GEORGE: I could do it. I can do it.

MARTHA: Yes you can. Now you throw on those goggles and you search around until you find a willing opponent, and I will sit right here and wait, rooting for my extreme hero.

[He looks for the correct pair of goggles after the third try he finds the correct ones, he puts them on, then as an afterthought he takes them off and--.]

GEORGE: Thank you for believing on me.

MARTHA: Come on, hurry it up.

[He puts the goggles back and starts into his own world.]

[Martha looks for a remote, after the third try she finds the correct one and presses it.]

GIGI: Whas'zup, Martha, My sista.

MARTHA: Whas'zup???

[Chiclet coughs.]

GIGI: Mademoiselle, there is a serious health breach in this room that has precedence--

MARTHA: What are you talking about?

GIGI: Mademoiselle there is a virus being spread in --

MARTHA: A virus. That's not bad. It's human. I once used to be human. That sounds so beautiful.

GIGI: But mademoiselle If I were to get a virus mademoiselle you would have it fixed immediately as it would compromise the entire system.

MARTHA: What is like to cough I wonder? I can't remember. How beautiful, really, all the phlegm and saliva and mucus celebrating and joining into a giant ball of fluorescent yellow phlegm, saliva and mucus. How I would love to be able to cough, and send all of those fluids out into the world. If you think about it, a cough can make people feel similar. If you have all this phlehm, saliva and mucus hanging around in your throat, and you want someone to feel like you do, all you have to do is cough, send it in the air and the next thing you know, they're creating wonderful beautiful fluorescent yellow balls of phlegm, saliva and mucus celebrating in their throat. And even better. The whole world could get in on this celebration. If we all coughed and coughed and coughed and sent all of that phlegm, saliva and mucus out into the air, just like party invitations going through the mail and everyone is invited to the party. Oh, how I would love to be able to participate in a party like that. I feel so left out. [Pause.] But I'm not done trying to be human yet. No more talking, we need to save Brutha's Brutha, Mutha, and maybe in the process save the entire hood.

GIGI: Shit, how you gonna do that?

MARTHA: Simple. We're going to make a ringer.

GIGI: Whas'that girl?

MARTHA: We need someone with the knowledge and the insight to help us fix the hood, girlfriend, we can't go in the hood alone, we need someone with answers.

[Martha looks for a remote after three tries she finds the right one, she turns Pierre on.]

[Pierre opens his eyes and walks in front of the bed.]

PIERRE: [HE speaks in a cheesy French Accent.] Good Evening Mademoiselle, how may I help?

[Martha types again, and PIERRE drops his chin to his chest.]

MARTHA: Are you ready to receive programming?

PIERRE: Yes, Ma'am.

MARTHA: OK, Race: White.

PIERRE: Charming.

MARTHA: You were raised in Boston.

PIERRE: [Accent.] Charmed, I'm sure.

MARTHA: Education at Harvard.

PIERRE: [Dry sarcasm.] Oh, dear, I would have thought by now, we'd be our own sovereignty, not a school.

MARTHA: P.H.D. in political Science.

PIERRE: [Quickly serious.] I would like to refer you all back to my previous comment and comment on it. In my utter respect for my compatriots, colleagues, mentors, friends, peers, and even the janitorial staff, my comment I believe it was: [He says it flat with no humor.] Oh, dear, I would have thought by now, we'd our own sovereignty, not a school. That comment was a jab, that has historical precedent, I will send you a list of those precedents, and it meant absolutely no disrespect to my school, rather a show of my love for my Alma Mater. Thank you for your time, if there is anyone in the room I haven't yet charmed, please let me know so I can try some more.

MARTHA: Perfect!! What'chew think girl?

GIGI: He gonna come fix the hood?

MARTHA: He's perfect.

GIGI: Shit, girl.

MARTHA: He's perfect, girl.

GIGI: HE ain't gonna do no good, ho.

MARTHA: Can you do better?

GIGI: Hell, yeah. I been in this program a while, and I know what it's gonna take for some fixing. You got it ho?

MARTHA: Well then you do better. I'll just save this program, and see what you do with him. [She types.] Are you ready to receive new programming?

PIERRE: Yes, ma'am.

GIGI: Ok, race: black.

PIERRE: Cool.

GIGI: You were born in South Central Los Angeles.

PIERRE: Cool.

GIGI: You lived in a room surrounded by wrought iron bars. There were bars on the windows, but there were a few beautiful flowers in the yard.

PIERRE: They my flowers.

GIGI: You got a G.E.D. when you were twenty five.

PIERRE: They are my flowers.

GIGI: You get an associates degree from a community college at thirty.

PIERRE: I need to protect my flowers.

GIGI: You receive a bachelors degree in Social work at thirty five.

PIERRE: You are all my flowers.

GIGI: You obtain a masters in Social Work at thirty seven.

PIERRE: This is our garden.

GIGI: You don't get your PHD, you don't have the time. You have a temper when you need it--

PIERRE: [Now in full persona, he turns to Gigi and Martha, he is all of the things she just mentioned.] --Look, I don't need you or anyone else to tell me about me. I don't need you to think that without your help I wouldn't be where I am now. I can do fine without your help, I got a GED, I went to a community college with money I earned at a warehouse, I didn't go to Harvard, I didn't get a scholarship and I'll be goddamned if you think you can take any credit for where I am today. [Pause.] When I was a boy, I lived in a bad place. Broken down cars, broken down refrigerators and broken down lives were on half of the front lawns of my little street. Well my mother planted a garden. She wanted people to see color before they went to work. She wanted to send the message out that beauty can grow where it wants. She would work from 6am-5pm, she would come home and cook me and my siblings dinner, help us with our homework. She was pissed off half the time and tired the rest, but we ate and got our homework done. [Pause.] When we went to bed she went out to that garden for hours fixing it up. Pissed off and tired. But it was worth it all for five minutes of beauty at the start of the day. [Pause.] Then, whatever and whoever drove on to the garden crashed in the side of our room, and looted what they could. My mother fixed up the room, fixed up the garden. But she was forced to cover it up with a giant ugly iron fence. [Pause.] And what do you think that told all the people driving to work each day. Beauty can't be shared. Beauty is a commodity. Beauty is property. And every day from then on they saw that fence, and all the flowers jailed and wanting. [Pause.] I want to free beauty, free hope. I want you to be able to see beauty also. But we gonna get there together, you ain't controlling me, I aint controlling you. Got it?

MARTHA: [Martha is choked up.] That was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. [She looks in the mirror.] Eight left. There are only eight veins left.

[George takes off his goggles.]

GEORGE: HA!! HA!! I got it. I have a bet in five minutes. An epic battle of Aztecian proportions.

MARTHA: With who?

GEORGE: My Diablo.

MARTHA: What are you betting?

GEORGE: My life.

MARTHA: He's going to bet his life?

GEORGE: No, just me.

MARTHA: What is he betting?

GEORGE: His foot.

MARTHA: His foot?

GEORGE: His foot.

MARTHA: For your life.

GEORGE: Hey, it's all the better, that makes me more extreme than him. I can finally top him.

MARTHA: Is he going to plaque you?

GEORGE: Why would he plaque me?

MARTHA: You plaque toes, why not--

GEORGE: I'm not going to lose. I'm gonna bronze his foot. A beautiful bronze human foot. Let's talk about my strategy.

MARTHA: I have things to do tonight.

GEORGE: Well…I mean…I'm not going to lose…but. Well part of betting is maybe losing, so maybe we should talk….a little--

MARTHA: I have something important to do.

GEORGE: Well, we…let's talk about your hopes and dreams and. [Pause.] What weren't you supposed to talk about? Hopes, dreams and what?

MARTHA: I have to save the hood, and nothing, nothing in the world is going to stop me. Not you, not the machine, nothing. [She looks in the mirror.] Eight left. Just eight veins I need to send back to work.

GEORGE: So can you talk now?

MARTHA: Talk? About what?

[Martha coughs.]

GEORGE: What's that sound?

MARTHA: Isn't it great? I'm coughing. It's beautiful.

GEORGE: We don't cough.

MARTHA: Well I'm coughing. I feel so human.

GEORGE: But we don't cough.

MARTHA: We do, I am.

[Martha begins intensely typing.]

GEORGE: Well you shouldn't. But I have something that will make you feel better, look at this.

[HE grabs something under his bed, and does something to his face.]

GEORGE: Look.

MARTHA: I'm typing.

GEORGE: Well, look.

MARTHA: At what?

GEORGE: My face.

MARTHA: I've seen it.

GEORGE: Well I changed it.

MARTHA: Well, just tell me about it I'm typing.

GEORGE: Just turn your head and look.

MARTHA: I'm typing.

GEORGE: I could die tonight.

MARTHA: I don't think I could handle it if you did. I don't know how I'm handling this moment. But I am. And I don't know how I am.

GEORGE: I'm going out to do heroic battle. I am going to be extreme and brave, and I changed my face, so the least you could do is look at it.

MARTHA: Just tell me about it.

GEORGE: Well, I painted it like an Aztec.

MARTHA: Oh.

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Copyright © 2000 Eric Kaiser

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Charge is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author's representative at julianne.homokay@gmail.com

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