Our first offering will be the serialization of an original novel (available only on the internet) about the strange life of two families trapped in a Mexican sinkhole by drug lords. Follow their harrowing experience week after week as they deal with deprivation, snakes and intrusions by outsiders. What’s their history? Who will survive and who won’t? And what’s the deep dark secret behind the whole saga?…Twenty-seven episodes posted! READ FINALE NOW!
ASHAMED AND EMBARRASSED. HOMELESS AND HAVE AIDS.
PLEASE HELP ME.
Another young man, SNAPPY, walks past the young man in the
doorway. He is healthy and vibrant, the epitome of gay well being. He
wears a GMHC tote bag slung over his head and shoulder, and a huge
rainbow button pinned to the bag.
SNAPPY stops dead in his tracks and turns back to look back at the
seated, shivering young man, HAPPY.
(Aside) It can’t be.
(Aside) Can it be?
(Aside, angrily) It shouldn’t be.
(Aside) Could it be?
SNAPPY walks away, proceeds to make a cell phone call.
(Aside) Well, that was embarrassing.
(Into cell phone) Hi, who is this? Let me speak with
(Aside) Guess it can’t be.
(Into cell phone) Charles…I’m on 14th Street and there’s
a guy panhandling on the sidewalk with a sign in front
of him saying…
SNAPPY turns slightly upstage and continues his conversation, his
(Aside, incredulously) He can’t be calling the cops on
me. Man, he’s got no shame.
(Turning downstage, audible again, into cell) Send a car
around. I’ll wait here to make sure he doesn’t get away.
(Aside) Oh my God, he did call the cops!
(Aside) Better stall him before he bolts. (Strolls up to
HAPPY and stops with his crotch at eye level ) Hey,
buddy, where do you live?
(Aside) Oh my God, what a basket! (To SNAPPY) Right
here on 14th Street.
Have you got an address?
On this lime slice of a sidewalk.
Very poetic. But you’re not supposed to sleep on the
(Aside) Here it comes.
(Aside) He’s really cute in a skanky sort of way. (With
curiosity) How do you eat?
Basically, I put food in my mouth, chew and swallow.
Just like anybody else.
Ha-ha. You don’t dumpster dive, do you?
Hell no, that’s some nasty shit.
(Aside) Greasy and grimy.
Much to my chagrine, I beg.
(Aside) And he won’t put up much of a fight. (To HAPPY)
I noticed your sign.
And not in a good way.
(Eyeing him with interest) You said it. (To SNAPPY) Say,
would you have the time to…
SNAPPY turns away abruptly, takes his cell phone from its holster.
Looks at his watch.
It’s on vibrate. (Stepping away) Excuse me.
(Aside) I wonder if he’s under cover. I wonder how he
is under the covers.
(Into phone) All right! Hurry up!
I thought you’d be much…longer.
Sorry for the interruption. So…why are you on the
Like it says on the sign, I’ve got AIDS.
(Aside) This is all wrong. (To SNAPPY) I noticed your
GMHC bag. And the button. Very good, if a bit
You’re vice, right?
Well, forget it. I’m not going to proposition you, so you
can just move on.
If I’m the heat, shouldn’t I say that to you?
(Laughs) Though it has crossed my mind to come on to
you. (In Dracula voice) I vant to suck your…
Come on, dude. (Offering his arm) May I accompany
you across the street?
My, aren’t you the gentleman!
You overestimate me.
HAPPY struggles feebly.
I’m not a cop!
(Stops struggling) Too bad. Some of my best fantasies
(Helping HAPPY to his feet) Cut the crap.
They cut out housing for PWAs on welfare.
Not yet. We’re fighting it.
The sons of bitches are gonna. So I beat them to it. I
moved out of their crappy lodgings.
(Aside) Where the hell is that car?!
I’ve got my gay pride, you know.
Your sign says you’re ashamed and embarrassed. Do
you really even have AIDS?
You fucking ass! You don’t have a clue. And what the
hell kind of “car” are you talking about? You sure it’s
not a squad car?
(Benevolently) My limo.
Your limo! Just where do you think you’re taking me in
your homo limo, Prince Charming? Sign wasn’t lying.
That’s AIDS, A-I-D-S, AIDS.
I believe you. Don’t feel so sorry for yourself. I’m
Aw, damn! Sure?
I’d like to help you. Think of it as becoming more
(Sings) Baby, you can drive my car…
You think I’m bullshitting?
Look. I just want to help. I’m rich.
That don’t mean I want to be your bitch.
You are a pain! (Looking off stage) Finally! There he
is…Charles, over here.
SNAPPY momentarily walks off stage and makes a phony screeching
(Shouting from backstage) Just park across the street.
Be right there. (Walks back on. To HAPPY)
Almost. Wow! Rich, gay and positive! I’m swooning.
Fuck it. I can’t wait any more!
SNAPPY runs off. HAPPY starts humping the ground. BLACKOUT.
Sounds of two men climaxing. LIGHTS SNAP BACK UP.
Oh, baby, that was mad!
(Comes back on stage, zipping up his pants) You make
Just want to keep you happy, baby.
(Slipping him cash) See you tomorrow, then?
Sure. Got no place else to go.
Lights fade down as SNAPPY walks off.
Older Woman: Kittenish. That’s how I’d describe her. Kittenish.
Younger Woman: I’ve always respected her. But now, somehow…
Older Woman: She’s very respectful toward me. One might even say, solicitous.
Younger Woman: When I look at her mouth, I hear a whispered wind of sibilants. Fox-x-x-x-x-y.
Older Woman: Congenitally inverted, that’s what I think. My tongue is useless.
Younger Woman: How fortunate I am. She’s a hard grader, and I get all A’s. A is for Aphrodite. Blah-blah-blah.
Older Woman: What is her name? Erinna? Djuna? Virginia? Frida? Ma Rainey?
Younger Woman: I’m so distressed! I feel foolish, as if I’m drowning in a….well, a well of loneliness. Yet here she is, as bold as factory smoke.
Older Woman: Here she is, right in my face. Her budding breasts, her supple waist.
Younger Woman: She’s got no shame. I like that.
Older Woman: I must be true to myself. No shame. Look her directly in the eye.
Younger Woman: She’s looking straight in my eyes! My panties are getting wet.
Older Woman: The scent of her…from here, like vanilla cream and strawberries. I yearn and I seek.
Younger Woman: I bet her breasts are still erect. And she is so cut!
Older Woman: She is so cute! Would I be her first? A golden pulse grows along the shores.
Younger Woman: My nipples are erect. Oh, this is disgraceful. I’m probably just imagining the whole thing.
Older Woman: I’ve let my imagination run away with me. Maybe I should just go home and…watch Oprah.
Younger Woman: I should just forget about the whole thing, go home and…do my homework.
The Younger Woman turns around to go.
The Older Woman drags her finger across her desktop. It makes a squeaky noise.
The Younger Woman turns around with curiosity.
Older Woman: Mabel?
Younger Woman: Yes, Miss Hall?
Older Woman: (To herself) I’m thinking about her silky pubic hair and sweetly turned up mouth. As if always in a smile.
Younger Woman: Miss Hall?
Older Woman You are very promising, you know.
Younger Woman: (To herself) Should I ask her to tea? Christ on a crutch! What am I thinking?!
Older Woman: (To herself) What a vapid thing to say to her. Still, better than nothing.
An awkward silence.
Older Woman: I mean your poetry.
Younger Woman: Your Titian hair.
Older Woman: Excuse me, dear?
Younger Woman: Your teaching here has been such an inspiration to me. (To herself) Stupid Sappho.
Older Woman: Do you…have the time?
Younger Woman: (Looking at her watch) I have a class.
Older Woman: Is that all? I thought you’d be rushing off to meet your beau.
Younger Woman: (To herself) Who says “beau” any more? How adorable. (To Older Woman) I don’t have one.
Older Woman: Perhaps later, then? I have some remarkable literary memorabilia I think you’d find very enlightening. It might even provide some good fodder for your final paper.
Younger Woman: Or next poem.
Older Woman: You understand me.
Younger Woman: Let’s see what you got.
Older Woman: (Under her breath) It’s all so fast. (To Younger Woman) Shall we say 8:00 this evening, then?
Younger Woman: Cool, cool, cool…How about Prairie Lights? They’ve got a nice little coffee house on the second floor…
Older Woman: I’m familiar with it. (She gingerly puts on a pair of white lace gloves) In fact, my flat’s close by there.
Younger Woman: (Playing with her hair) Awesome.
Blackout. Sound of ticking. Lights snap back up.
Later. Older Woman sits alone at a table, a big scrapbook on her lap. She leafs through it without interest. Her back is to the door. She’s slightly slumped. The clock: reads: 9:30.
Older Woman: (She sits up with resolve, reads aloud): Better the swan’s chant than a windy world of rocks in an April Sky.
Younger Woman: (At the door) “Antipater of Sidon.” Sorry I’m late.
Older Woman: Andrew Lang, 1844-1912. Right on time, Mabel.
Younger Woman: My friends call me Sita.
My dear sweet buoyant struggling tough
Marshmallow lesbian genius savant dead friend
Who knows what we shall live to see
Or not see?
Who knows what we will not live to see
Or from that literary
Susie Salmon The Lovely Bones
Heaven, unbeknownst to others, see,
Or choose to turn away from?
Can you see it? Do you want to?
My dear sweet funny indefatigable
Forward-looking history fanatic friend
Do you feel tragic earthquakes and tsunamis?
Do you know that corporations now have
Appropriated the Supreme (sic) Court?
You would probably laugh if you could
See Congress haggling like two rabid dogs
Across the aisle about whether people
Deserve to be nursed, doctored, tended—
Yet effortlessly approve and fund another war?
Can you see it? Do you want to?
I sigh when I see your face and say your name
I miss talking with you, exchanging cynicisms
About the foolishness of the world, to wit,
The powers that be, how they are beneath
You and me. Floating above, it’s easy to have
All the answers, join the dance with celestial
Dancers, winners and losers, insiders and outsiders,
Meat eaters, subway riders, deaths of left-behind friends,
Chi Gung and rain, drug abuse, struggle, illness, pain
Parents, descendents, obstinate barren mothers we
Can you see it? Do you want to see?
—Joanie Fritz Zosike
February 27, 2010
I need a leg up to the platform
Can’t launch me by myself
I reach out for a helping hand
Someone hands me a microphone
And I fall back, right off the stage
I’ll be spammed and jammed
And later I’ll be damned
But you won’t get rid of me
So easily, like a too-dunked donut
Or a lightning stricken tree
I crawl back up ungracefully
To stand on that couch of inequity
The stage, where I get to rage
Where I get to cry, and even die
Where I’ve given birth
Swelled or sunk in girth
Wall-eyed madness of the mouth
Lost in reverie going south
Billowing with bluster
Turn the page, baby buster
Kissing someone I can’t suffer
But in this scene he’s my lover
Touching a woman intimately
To show my adaptivity
Wearing one long satin glove
Feigning glamour like a mourning dove
A grandma, mother, wife or child
A whole lot silly, a little bit wild
Wielding a whip, brandishing a machete
Strewing the stage with rice and confetti
Underdog wobbling on frostbitten feet
I need a leg back up I repeat
Can’t live without the old familiar bitch
Hope my star don’t blister before I get rich
But forget reaching out for helping hands
They’ve all got them down in their own pants
When it comes to climbing, thanks, I’ll do my own
It’s a long time still before I wreck your home
I was born to the stage and I hope to die
Before Messiah is a twinkle in Horus’s eye
I’m burning, churning, who got the mambo
Rustle up a mess o’ grub, I’m aiming for the Congo
Back back back to my black black roots
To the Mother’s belly, Mama Africa touts
The sacred mantle of the primal cradle
Tributaries from her loins are considerable
We all emanate from her yet man enslaves her
But her will and wisdom is what always saves her
Once I played Gaia on my theatrical path
She was my true grandmother, boiling with wrath
At the rape of the earth
At the violence of each birth
Each loss, each boss, each indignity
Yet she seldom wept, just bounced me on her knee
Now she curtsies to Africa, her heiress designate
“You got to carry on, Mama, ‘cause I’ve got a date
You got to bring these ornery creatures in line
Take away their weapons, realign each spine
Turn their eyes from warring to nurturing grain
Put them back in a harmonious crib again
“Teach them poetry, song, compassion, healing
It’s prophecy, baby, that I’m revealing
They can go no more to the poison well
They must get off their asses or they’re going to hell”
Gaia’s tough, but she does it so well
All the creatures shiver as they hear the death knell
“Thank you, Grandma, I owe my life to you,”
Says Africa, turning green and blue
“I can only imagine what you been through,
Battles fought on your terrain set the cosmos askew
Ma, my portion in this quadrant has as well been brutal
What with slavery, colonialists, war lords—futile!
“Or so it seemed to seem, but now I’m fulfilled
My sky is clear and my land is tilled
I’m Mother Africa, the Alpha and Omega
It’s this very concept I want to convey, Ma
This is the role I was born to portray
And when I grow stripes and am reduced to clay
I’ll be resurrected, remolded, and returned to play
Now push me back on that stage, I am emboldened
I will walk like a Gollum, laced in silver and golden
I can dance out loud like a wizened she-bear
Only decades left now for me to prepare
Who says I am a crone, am I left to dance alone?
“I am filled with moisture
I am pliable and flexible
I’m back from the Cloister
Antiquity is undetectable
My skin is soft and smooth
Ma Africa got back her groove
Released from the dreaded dungeon of time
I slide up through the sewers of primordial slime
Have overcome the trenches
Have healed from all the scars
Got my eye on infinity
By way of the stars”
—Joanie Fritz Zosike