Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lost Time

(An unprompted, nostalgic poignant fragmentary play; one person, one act, with three voices; a
 Production for the stage)

By Dennis L. Siluk, Dr. h.c.


Lost Time (The Play)

Curtain: Stage is dim to dark. Slowly fades up the listener’s face (the old man) about fifteen feet above the stage level, mid-stage off center. An old man with a white face, cane by his side, overcoat on, dark hat, dark shoes, and green scarf is staring listing to the voices…
The voices we shall call them A, B. and C, are coming from all sides of him, one above, one from his right and one from his left side. They modulate back and forth without much break, they flow, yet there is a silence of seven to ten seconds between each voice. As if for the old man to recapture the composure he wants to display.  The listener’s eyes are wide open, you can hear him breathing now and then, it is normal breathing…   The switch from one voice to the other, should be clear and slightly traceable: if you need all ten-seconds to do this so be it. What is he doing on stage all this time?  He is listening.

  1.  Time Lost, you went back in time to look at the ruin still lingering here, where? Right there where you left it as a child  (eyes half closed), now it’s time to look for that lost child, left in the place only  the old fences of your mind will find.

  1. In and out of the houses you and your friend Mike Rossort when you were ten and twelve, took a portrait of a cathedral out of one house,, ran along the railroad tracks, kicking the heels of sleeping bums, sat down to rest on our bikes on the Wabasha Bridge overlooking the Mississippi—and in and out of the downtown city of St. Paul you raced, when was that

  1. On the old stone statue of Hercules, someone broke his nose, who would do such a thing you thought, to such a marvel looking statue? Every time you passed it you loved view it, wanting to touch it, maybe Mike did it, he said to you, it was the old custom to do so? 

  1.  Straight up with a jump onto the train, in the night fog you and Tom one right one left, to the curse of the old spirits jumped up onto the iron ladder rain of the train, to ride to Chicago, from St. Paul, and the dirt flying in forefaces as you went under tunnels, for God’s sake all went well, you didn’t fall, or for you mother’s sake, I should say, you were but fifteen, yet you didn’t hide from any childhood folly.

  1. You ended up only seven miles away, never making it to Chicago, and had to walk back home, you lot wasn’t yet to travel the world, cold and hungry, it was three in the morning when you arrived home, your mother sleeping,  he snuck in the house with your arms folded hugging yourself for warmth, it was late fall,  no living soul knew this, your mother asked what are you doing there, and you replied, ‘going to the bathroom’   she took it for you drowsing around  trying to find the bathroom door, never any more…

  1. And Lora, you were thirteen, your brother fifteen, Lore seventeen, you loved her, well, puppy love, at night you dazed in bed, no sound, not a word ever given, every now and then to vow you loved her you gave a murmur, she married that one you called ugly-creep, Steve. How could she marry him, you told yourself, but he was eighteen at the time, remember?  It brought tears to your eyes. You saw her ten years later, she didn’t look so good to you then, no more tears over spilt milk. The rose had wilted, now even a fresh weed was in a better position for you to admire. What did you learn?

  1. He learned waiting for tomorrow, was a waste of time today. Folly is folly, you just have to clean up the rubble, in any case, for three years you sat in the bar drinking like a man in his mid-twenties, and you were only sixteen. Trying to hide the child, the one that begged Jesus, complained to him you didn’t have a father, and he said “Okay, I’ll be that father you never had,” and he was and you still sat in the bar!  You were like a man alone, in water, in a leaking ship.

  1. Until you gained some sense, and gave up the drink, hoisted your head high and went into the Army, to war, only then was  Grandpa proud, no longer pulling your ears and saying “Wake up, catch up, you lazy bum!”  You tried to make it out of the neighborhood, it was where you were held back where grandpa bought his house, where you lived, and you didn’t put yourself in that Donkeyland! It was where your black blood came from, gradually you made it out, faced the swivel on the masses in the world.

  1. You left the church, not much time for Christ, not like it used to be, when you went to church per near five days a week, studied to be an altar boy, but in Vietnam you sure asked him for your help, you remembered him then! Nothing to be seen, but clouds, turning this way and that way, and you murmured “Help Lord,” and he did.  Think about what it might have been, had you not asked him to, well you know what! The young Vietcong might have had different thought for you.

  1. No you’re not talking to yourself, I’m talking to you. Who else would have such an imaginary conversation with you, about your childhood, and your youthful manhood years, those spring years, you know you have two self’s, me and you. Don’t we, all these voices kind of have the same ring?  Anyhow, onto some more reminisces, out of the dark past we must look, look down the roads you cast no moonlight over for a long spell.

  1. You leaned a shady business does not make for a sunny life, as you said the Toad, you called him the Toad, who was shady, but you became rich nonetheless, for while anyway, instead of looking out the window, waiting for it to fall onto your lap, you took chances, harder and harder you worked, until your heart per near burst out of your chest! Had you not stopped your wife would have had to put over you the death shroud. You make up for time that’s for sure.

(Silence for ten seconds. Breathe audible. He closes his eyes for a few seconds and then opens them as to start his recollection with the voices again.)  

  1. Life is never the same. For you familiarity breeds disdain. You had a restless bone in you. Now at sixty-seven, the rats have gnawed away at those aging bones, or is God who has slowed you down to a snail’s pace? For your own good? I mean, what haven’t you don’t? Did you ever say: “I’ll slow down willingly?”     (eyes closed)   I suppose there was a point in your life you had to have a life turning-point! Otherwise we’d not be having this one way discussion. That was a great thing to turn your life about—modesty forbids acknowledge—I know, but you did all the same. It was as if you wiped off all the old mud, didn’t look back and was that the time, as now we look, I call,

  1. I know this monologue is kind of spontaneous, that is to say, unprompted, but if we don’t do it now, it will never get done so don’t leave and think it will get done another day, it won’t. Muttering, we’ve done a lot of that together, I call myself the second mind, the one with the visions, together we muttered, sometimes making it up just to talk when you were alone, sometimes, together somewhere under the sun, as in Augsburg, bit hat huge tree, facing downward towards the Army barracks, sinking into the bits and floe web of dreams to be this and that, drifting on and on, and you’ve followed your dreams like your brother said, now an old man. No, no, do the editing later, just keep writing this out, or it will not be unprompted.

  1. You always said, you were nine years behind. Not ten, not twenty, not five, but nine.  When you figured out, when God said, “What do you want to be,” when you fail in this and that, which was a time you didn’t really know yourself from Adam,   when you got rid of the dead black void, the alcohol, then believing in yourself, when you came out from the rain, knowing you had lost time, and time was closing-in, remember what Ana said at the travel agency, she said “Are you on some ardent mission?” You traveled around the world, throughout the world for ten-years, spending $76,000-dollars, and then another five, spending another $76,000-dollars. You thought your ill-ness would stop you from life, but you lived it fully then, perhaps God was giving you a message: get off your rump and do it, while you can! That’s my best guess: I think He wanted you to destroy your little web, before life killed you, like a lost spider, and you widened your life, and live it in the here and now.

  1. Your illness gave you a Psychological phobia, when you looked in the mirror, there was no sight of life in your face, which parallel your thoughts, you were a broken axle: but I told you in secret:  you’re only an inch away from touching what you want, no blood needed, just will and effort, no shades of thinking the worse, no blurs on the fringes, let nature take its course, until then, move as you dream. But remember, a dong cannot chase three rabbits at the same time.

(Silence for ten seconds. Breathe audible. He closes his eyes for a few seconds and then opens them as to start his recollection with the voices again.)  

  1. Not a sound, it’ll happen that way you know, the old breath you’ve had for all those years, will be gone, and then suddenly  your thoughts will turn to dust, fill all the pours of your body, all the chambers of your mind. You will not be able to open your eyes, all will be dust, if you’ve lost time somewhere down the line, will too bad. There will not be any sound. It will come and go. Like your mother said, “Here today, gone tomorrow”  just like that, here today and gone tomorrow, it will be a short day, angels or devils will be waiting, your mother say angels, your grandfather said devils were  digging a hole into his basement, coming to get him. It’s one or the other. Your mother saw two angels, remember in the hospital, you saw one at the end of your bed, well, it will be two, something like that.  

(Silence for ten seconds. Breathe audible. After three-seconds, eyes close. After five-seconds, a smile, hold that stance and smile, as the curtain drops and the light fades on the old man.)  

“Lost Time” A One Act Play, with three voices/ Copyright © April 20, 2015,
By Dennis L.  Siluk, Dr. H.c.  (No: 1079)