An absurdist play


A terminal, absurdist, wordist play


"Ze heeft fijne vrienden, houdt van goede koffie en van theater. En ze wil dood. Al van jongs af aan voelt Laura (24): 'Leven, dat is niets voor mij.' Deze zomer zal euthanasie een einde maken aan haar leven vol innerlijke strijd, depressies en zelfdestructie." In "Laura is 24 jaar en fysiek gezond. Ze krijgt deze zomer euthanasie," by Simone Maas, de Morgen, 19 June 2015.

Translation:  "She has good friends, loves good coffee and theater. And she has felt that she wanted to die ever since childhood. Laura (24): 'Life, that’s not for me.' This summer, euthanasia will end her life full of inner conflict, depression and self-destruction."
"Man is a useless passion." Jean-Paul Sartres (1905-1980), Being and Nothingness, trans. Hazel Barnes (1956), Gallimard, 1943.
"God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves." Albert Camus (1913-1960), The Fall, trans. Justin O'Brien, 1956.

Cast of Characters

Joan of Noah's ark, shortened to the point
Care Actor, physically reformed and real chair bound
Eve, an up-or-down comforter
Song, sung blue, everybody's noosed nun
The Greek or Us, a chorus of no more than one
Jolly John, a found object which speaks and leaks
Frank Frankly, a looming figure
Mercy, in leotards for the most part
Symbolic Vick, a Tory Labouring to be Liberal, mute role (not to be played by a Scottish Nationalist)
A sordid extra Volk, mute for the time being
Belle, an able bell
Laura, the central character in the mourning

The little town of Foucault de Champs, in the California desert
Set pieces of indiscriminant sighs, a beer battered Nissan, prepared sand
Lighting dark enough to be scene
Act Won

A bell whistles in the dark, illuminating all: Joan of Noah's ark enters, sits, sent her stage, speaking softly, lyrically, in a theatrical agony as obvious pretense:
Joan:      this is tube bee red allowed / weeply bare reed in deep shroud / dank dark not do nevermore knot / as all us call us cads meowed / dog dug pits far feathered down /
                earth from birth to dirty brown / firmly wormly dies the time / for each, the clown, the cap and gown, / why absurd all Adams dream / yea absurd so do dreams seem /
                slow to anger slowly slower / dark towards rancor scythed Job's mower....

Care Actor speaks with urgency, faked by a too genuine portrayal: Joan listens deafly
Care Actor:  mumbled jumbled fumbled  / stumbled tumbled / crumbled humbled : -- / muttered cluttered uttered / stuttered fluttered / sputtered guttered : --

Joan attempts to speak, interrupted by.... Eve and Song, a duet, dissonantly harmonious: a processional:
Eve and Song: 
                dread the distant candled dead / echoed, voiced, round rings my head / breathlessly yawn goes going gone / tangling dangling twining thread /
                occur crimson, yell, oh paled / laurel wreathed and hardy hailed / gaffe queue laugh track looking back / as what where why 'tis Noah veiled /
                floods flat memory fade to black / sauce mart men Job said attack / flimflam flutter flattering float fears / to gloat their cleverest blabber quack....

Joan of Noah's ark, again lyrically and less urgent, as dense pretense is discovered:

Joan:      very sure I am it was / not wasn't that for this because / the what went where to why at when / rubbing elbows as it does / on the ready river reedy bank /
                ending all the think with thank / you me us them all around / from behind as from the forward flank / sound it tout the deepening veil / dropping dripping draping scale /
                measure what as withers all / words tell worth tall tattle tale /the stranger brought the plague in fall / that seemed the end of it / no exit from the absurd at all /
                so true, so true the counterfeit....

Care Actor speaks, alienated in style: rising to take the bait:

Care Actor:
                up sir'd, down sir'd, abstain, engage / lusts for power make many rage / merely right what's meager wrote / mere words parade on eager page /
                the lovely lie, smiled, soft, sincere / betrays beneath besmirching fear / that all is naught nothing null this void / all being familiar turns too queer /
                platitudes that lie in bed / flat the rubes that ply that stead / read it read it get it got it / youth in Asia western sped

Jolly John, zapped, hair marceled by chance: thrown onstage ceremoniously:

Jolly John:
                there is only yearning yearn / i teach that there's not much to learn / when all is taut and said and done / ends make simmering bake broil burn /
                spewing forth absurd demands / aesthetic march the firebrands / yet youth grows old and fresh decays / while meaning absurdity reprimands /
                grate our philosophers' wordy words / whipping narratives into curds / and way beyond the sense of things / whistle Belle's thespian birds....

Joan holds her head in her hands as Jolly John is verbally assaulted by The Greek or Us, a chorus of no more than one: Jolly John cowers, glowers passing the hours

The Greek or Us:
                    monotone seen monochrome / dawdling, plodding foot falls roam / wanting to die but not too soon / still is calling trawling home / the forward guard advanced to gloom /
                    dialects die a lectured doom / there is no exit fade to black / crest fallen spirits away the tomb / despondent see it's all the rage / in theater filmed as on the page /
                    know nothing no no nothing know / this character of a passing age....

A dance of sorts aborts the above: Mercy, a cunning ham, advancing from the rear of the stage: music accompanies unheard of

Mercy:       water walk that cactus play / zap steve's bicycle spokes today / urinaled christ marcel check mates / neither either nor applaud hurray / pachyderm dung marry the same /
                    but nary the profit in this game / the advance guard is left behind / as years tick off by slick declaim....

Entering on an upside down bicycle which is found, Frank Frankly, speaking frankly: no one listens, many do:

Frankly Frank:
                art is isn't is isn't it is / that's the trick picnic gee whiz / all's internal all's unreal / and only devotees will pass this quiz / pass those stones kid knee shall bend /
                adulation's intellect crooked wend / lines and swatches and swaths of square / for all is perception when we all pretend....

Eve and Song, a second duet: a kneaded response:

Eve and Song: 
                    graphing laughing autographing / photographing and choreograph / mated unrelated waited exaggerated / sophisticated laugh....

John, zapped, hair marceled: a defense of Mercy, frankly speaking:
Jolly John:
                right you are if you say you are / nothing means everything near is far / inward look with feelings' hook / shock the audience and you'll go far /
                chic opprobrium no scandal cools / all to serve to topple are the tools / itching chance say nothing yet all / these are among the favorite rules / no eggs it gives me gas /                
                omelets? no, I'll pass / to make an omelet you must break eggs / such innocent eggs, alas....

The assemblage assembles, dissembling: all together, in your Nissan: speaking together singly:

To T:       check out time, no exit yet, / waiting for from of about well met / no time like the present gift / before the squad fires cigarette / traditions crumple shot with glee /

                absurdity spawns its orthodoxy / and so take aim then ready fire / another style on the burning pyre / avant devant passed passé / modern postmodern post post hurray /

                what will we name the next we birth / to bury in arty earth the futurist day / such is the nature of all and more / nothing stays new but melts to the floor /

                next exit left next exit right / existence shall pangs such a boor....

All kneel, diamond shaped: Boxing Day arrives in the nick of time:

                post the modern to the door / like ninety-five theses nailed for / when all's sense a bull'll shop / in china brakes with silent roar / such is such as much seems you /
                eggs ill stench all threats seem true / false is sure relatively fine / as every cock will doodle do / thrice it crowed to chime the hours / ivy grows on ivied towers /

                stage to shower words like this / entertaining us kowtowers / cool is in when coldly spun / and that is half the chilly fun / when words will have their feeléd day /

                and audiences toast all well done / listen glistening silence sounds / to snuff a life of feel felt founds / love good coffee and theater / then die too young as death confounds /

                ah, men amen, women knot / meditation stains this spot / contemplate the con this day / absurd ditties are what weave got / wait for god, no, wait for not /

                says bright Johnny-on-the-spot / end with nothing once begun / declaiming loud no afterthought....

Pause: No exit, no applause, please. Starbucks baristas take orders from the crowd

(Capitalism-by-Socialists and Socialism-by-Capitalists are sold during the Intermission, in many tasteless flavors)

Act Too

Cast of characters, on strike for higher wages: none appear onstage: listen to the audience, silent no more: suddenly from offstage:


To T:        Sciopero! Rho! Row your boat! Deadly down life's dream!

Unfunny laughter as the newly euthanized Laura is carried a cross the stage by a pair of Belgian medics.

Repeat Silence until the next Klangwechsel is performed, lasting slightly more than four and a half minutes,

Edition Peters' Copy Write Tacit Copy Write Tacit Copy Write Tacit (or TACET as you please, stop, watch,

                lid down up sideways, listen) and worth every penny, Henny Penny:
Exit the theater of life quietly, with the appointed, pointed assistance of Belgian physicians.

De Morgen dawns. Fade to black.


Original materials  Copyright © 2015


Envoi:    " 'Hell is other people,' said Jean-Paul Sartre. 'Hell is other real people,' is what he should have said."   In "Introduction," Kurt Vonnegut, found in "Bagombo Snuff Box, Uncollected Short Fiction, Berkley Books, New York, 1999.


Addendum of Federal Terminations:   "Federal Bureau of Termination," said the warm voice of a hostess. / "How soon could I get an appointment?" he asked, speaking carefully / "We could probably fit you in late this afternoon, sir," she said. "It might be even earlier, if we get a cancellation." / "All right," said the painter, "fit me in, of you please." And he gave her his name, spelling it out." / "Thank you, sir," said the hostess. "Your city thanks you, your country thanks you, your planet thanks you. But the deepest thanks of all is from future generations." -- In "2BRO2B," Kurt Vonnegut, found in "Bagombo Snuff Box, Uncollected Short Fiction, Berkley Books, New York, 1999.


Addendum of Euthanasia Vans:   "Killing the elderly before their time can even be glamorous, Hopkins suggests. It doesn't have to be done in a dimly-lit hospital room with grandma strapped down to a table and forcibly injected. Cutesy little vans filled with euthanasia workers can drive around town and deliver termination pills to seniors' front doors, Hopkins says. 'Euthanasia vans -- just like ice-cream vans -- that would come to your home,' is how she described it, in her own words. 'It would all be perfectly charming. They might even have a nice little tune they'd play. I mean this genuinely. I'm super-keen on euthanasia vans. We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it's not necessarily the right thing to do'." In "Celebrity endorses 'euthanasia vans' because there are 'too many old people'," by Jonathan Benson, Natural News, 27 August 2016.