Where Fate is in the Hands of Heaven

Where Fate is in the Hands of Heaven

A Stage Play by Gil-nam Moon
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A young woman without a name finds herself out on the streets. She seeks help from friends, but it is not forthcoming. The sun sets, the day gets colder, and new faces, perhaps dangerous, emerge.

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`Where Fate is in the Hands of Heaven

A play

By Gil-Nam Moon

(D. Bertz)

Dramatis Personae

The Young Woman

Marco

Marcy

A Well-Dressed Older Gentleman (WDOG)

Isabelle

Curtain. The stage is empty save for a single, leaf-less tree. It is late autumn, near winter. Maybe there’s a bench or something.

The Young Woman speaks. She wears a long-sleeved red t-shirt appropriate for an overcast day in summer. Black skirt, not a mini, but not quite long enough to be a midi. Then again, she could be wearing black jean shorts. White legs. Red shoes. The white legs and red shoes are most important.


The Young Woman (TYM): When I was little, I had two imaginary friends. Taylor and Tyler. Brother and sister. I forget who was who. Sometimes they were on speaking terms with me, sometimes not. God, wasn’t that lonely?

(Bites lower lip, a bit nervous)

Fortunately, just after that, I made friends. I was lucky enough that the building I lived in had such a large sandbox. Really lucky, me.

(She lights a cigarette)

Lucky-lucky-lucky me.

(She inhales, exhales)

Unlike some people, I never had to fight for friends.

(Beat inhales a little)

Keeping them interested however………..

(She sits down, hands head down low. Suddenly she sees Marco)

TYM: Marco!

Marco (M) : Polo!

(Marco walks closer)

TYW: Marco!

(She stands, happy)

M: Polo!

(He waves, still a distance away)

TYW: Marco!

(Her arms waving)

M: Polo!

(He waves, walks away)

TYW: Now, what the f**k was that supposed to be about? He comes over almost, and then he walks away. I can only imagine he sees me, wants to come over, had some internal monologue issues in his head, and then thought better of it. Marco Leibowitz was one of the sandbox kids. Ain’t his hair dreamy? I think he looks like Bob Dylan, don’t you think?

(She brushes skirt with side of hand)

Hm…late afternoon. I’ve plenty of time.


I ne’er had brothers or sisters. The whole sandbox crowd, they were like, like, an adoptive family, I think. That’s right. If at any time, they wanted to get rid of me, I’d’ve gone. No complaints. I still had Mom and some dolls. It would’ve been enough.


I should call Isabelle.

(She takes out her cell phone)

Doot-doot-doot. Is Isabelle home?

(Waits thirty seconds.)

Well. I guess not.

Isabelle was another member of the sandbox crew. She’s good at remembering birthdays. Not so great at presents, but who cares?

(She puts cell back in pocket)

Only the thought that counts, anyhow.

(A long sigh)

I know. I’m bored too. I wish I was better. I’m sorry.

(Stretches)

When I was little, there used to be an abandoned building we’d all sometimes play in. It was much better than a tree-house. More stable. It was nice. Like a castle, like a cathedral. All our own. Let’s see, it was me, Marco, Izzy, Dora, Felipe, his sister Felice, who I hate, Luisa, and fat little Danny, and-and-and-and-hey! Marco’s coming back!

M: P to the O to the L to the O to the Hello.

(TYW hugs Marco)

M: Hey, whoa, what’s that for? Did someone die?

(TYW shakes her head)

M: Anything wrong?

TYW: Oh. No.

(Awkward silence)

TYW: (very suddenly) It wasn’t nice walking away form me, you dick!

(TYW jabs arm playfully. Marco is not really all that amused.)

M: Well, I had a call.

TYW: (still trying to be playful and such) I didn’t hear a ring tone!

M: Had it set on vibrate.

(His voice is a little cold)

TYW: (still playful, against all hope) Oh, who is it?

(TYW does everything but bat her eyelashes)

M: (suddenly warming to TYW) Annasophia.

TYW: Really? The lovely-cute-sexy-perfect-gorgeous-who-if"only-men-were-granted-the-benifets-of-suffrage-would-surely-have-been-elected-to-high-office-Annasophia?

M: The one and the same. I’m going to her folk’s place. All weekend. All mine.

TYW: Wow. Um….what does that mean?

M: Guitar Hero 24/7 baby! "and what’s more

TYW: What’s more?

M: Surely a youngish miss with her proclivities and house all her own for 72 hours would not be adverse to-

(He removes a large bag of weed from his pocket)

This!

(His eyes gleam with joy)

TYW: (not really impressed, but pretending) Oy vey, eh?

M: Oh yes. It’s true. It’s true.

TYW: Uh-huh.

(She bites her lip, cracks her knuckles)

For three whole days. You, weed and Nintendo. What more could a girl want?

(Awkward silence)

Anything else planned star-sailor?

M: Well, she has a huge collection of old Atari games.

TYW: Uh-huh.

M: Invisible Tank, Pong,

(He rattles off a long list of names)

TYW: (interrupting) Yup.

M: (continues, never having stopped) and she’s got mods on her PC of Galaga, Dig-dug, and oh s**t, what time is it?

TYW: Around 4.20.

M: No, really.

TYW: (holds up cell)

M: Oh s**t, almost five, s**t! Gotta split!

(He gives her a peck on the cheek)

Take a good look! You might never see me alive again! Ha-ha! Guitar Herooooo!

(Marco exits)

TYW: (to audience) and I can clearly remember a time when Marco cared about actual guitars, not just games about them. He was a lot cooler back then.

(Her shoulders slump)

I’ll call Isabelle.

(Calls)

Nope. Not home.

(She looks directly at audience)

I used to love Marco. Madly.

(Pause)

But that was a while ago.

(Sighs)

What to do, what to do…….

(She becomes briefly lost in thought)

All Marco cares about is Nintendo now. Do you know what Nintendo means in Japanese? “The place where fate is in the hands of heaven.”

(She smiles)

Ain’t that beautiful? My old friends. People get older you know. It’s strange. Some people change, some people don’t. Wait. That’s a cliché.

(She rubs her arms)

It’s getting colder. Definitely yes.

(Pause, rubbing continues)

What to do. I should’ve brought a jacket-damn!

(She sits down.)

I know what my problem is. Even when we were all together it was never enough for me. I was always so selfish. Stupid.

(She hangs her head down, jerks it up suddenly)

Omigod, is that Marcy?

MARCY (M2): Good lord, is that you?

(A fake smile)

(They hug, briefly)

M2: My god, how have you been?

TYW: Oh, this is a surprise. How’s the university life?

M2: Dull. Without you. How’s Marco, haven’t seen him in forever-

TYW: Marco? Oh, he moved.

M2: Well, he always talked about doing that.

TYW: To Kentucky.

M2: Really, now? He always talked about Amsterdam. Or Vancouver.

TYW: Certain parts of Kentucky are just like Amsterdam.

M2: I guess.

(Beat)

How have you been keepin’ busy?

TYW: Oh you know…

M2: I’m working at a research lab. Med school’s awesome.

TYW: Lovely to hear that.

M2: Well, I’ve got to run.

TYW: You do that now.

(Marcy waves, exits. TYW turns to audience.)

I loathe Marcy, actually. Her entire plan in life is to attend university long enough to snag a rich doctor. That’s actually her plan. In the 21st century, can-you-believe-it?

(She folds her arms, cross)

And she’s pretty enough to do it. That accent, damn!

(Pause)

And no way she’s in med school. Pre-med at absolute best. She’s the exact same age as me for Christ’s sake.

(Sighs)

I once knew a girl who wanted to be a doctor. She was bright and smart and, and, and, - I don’t have the words. She wanted to help people. No really. Not any stupid Mother Teresa s**t, either. She was serious, a practical dreamer. She wanted to find a cure for malaria. For AIDS. That was her dream. She tried to explain it to me once, but I got lost in all the big words. I know my place. I know my place.

(Beat)

God, why couldn’t I have been more like her?

(Beat)

It didn’t really work out for her. I’ll tell you about it some other time.

(Beat)

I’m always so selfish. I suck.

(She sits down and sulks)

Listen, I’m real sorry about all this, but I’m gonna take a nap. (To herself) I’m f*****g freezing.

(She lies down for a second, in an almost foetal position. A Well-Dressed Older Gentleman walks by her.)

WELL DRESSED OLDER GENTLEMAN (WDOG): Hey there, Tiny.

TYW: Hey there gross old guy.

WDOG: You look like you could use a cup of cocoa.

(She is irritated, not worried)

TYW: Go away. Please.

WDOG: Oh come on. When’s the last time you had something to eat?

TYW: (still not worried, incredibly) take off, eh?

WDOG: You look cold. Why, that’s just a thin little t-shirt you’ve got on. You need cocoa. Come on.

TYW: Oh lord. Why me. Really? Why?

WDOG: We could get cocoa, well, you’ll get cocoa, and then we could, I don’t know, get you a sweater or something.

TYW: Uh, um, I don’t think

(She is starting to get a bit afraid)

That you’re aware of…..

(Realises she may be in trouble at long last)

WDOG: And I don’t think that you’re aware of how pink and rosy your little cheeks are. You must be freezing, Tiny.

TYW: Well, yeah. I guess I am a little cold.

(Then, to the audience)

Jesus! Why on earth did I say that?

WDOG: I’ll bet it’s been a long time since someone spoke nicely to you. Or offered you a free cup of cocoa. You like sweet things, sweet thing?

TYW: Whoa…..whoa…..alright. I really….

WDOG: And I’m sure you need this more than I do.

(He hands her some folded paper money. She refuses.)

TYW: Alright. This has gone on long enough. If you think for a second that-

WDOG: (not missing a beat) I’m going to waste a cup of cocoa you’re mistaken. There.

(He hands her the money)

I’ve made an investment. Come on, Tiny. You need to get warm. Do you want to get sick, Tiny? No-one wants that.

TYW: I am not a w***e. And I have a home.

WDOG: That you just got kicked out of, I’ll bet. Poor little Tiny. All alone.

TYW: Wait, what-how-

(Her face twists like a tropical fish suddenly speared on it side)

WDOG: And where did you learn such filthy words? Of course you’re not a pros- of course you’re not a bad girl, Tiny. No-one’s saying otherwise.

TYW: Ok. You are so f****n’ creepy, I can’t find the words.

WDOG: It’s natural for you to think that. You think we’re strangers. But we’re not strangers, Tiny. They don’t think you’re special, Tiny. I do, Tiny Little One, I do.

TYW: I have a husband. We have six kids. His name is Abdullah. He’s gentle for a Sudanese but he has an awful temper.

WDOG: Now come on. Who though you were such a little comedienne? It’s getting colder. I’m cold in my coat. I know. Cocoa, sweater and a nice winter jacket. How does that sound?

TYW: Yes it’s true. I was kicked out of my house because I’m unemployed, unemployable, and pregnant. How “tiny” am I now?

WDOG: Liar.

TYW: And I have AIDS.

WDOG: Liar. I thought you were a nice little girl, Tiny.

TYW: Are you willing to risk it?

WDOG: How have I been unkind to you? Explain that.

(His voice rises. He is angry.)

TYW: Go ahead. Do whatever the f**k you want to me. You’re big. I’m little. But ask yourself, is it worth everything?

WDOG: (with contempt) you are a very troubled little girl.

TYW: Pot, meet kettle. Go away, sir. Go away.

WDOG: When you feel different, and I know you will, I’ll be there. You won’t be hard to find.

TYW: I swear to Christ I will scream if you say another word.

(WDOG makes a single rather threatening step towards her. She holds her ground. He walks away.)

TYW: And I’m not a little girl d****t! And my name’s not Tiny! And I don’t even like f*****g cocoa!

(She turns to the audience)

What a loser. What a loser. It’s good I’m not-wow. What a loser.

(Pants once or twice)

Well, we showed him, didn’t we, eh? And I still have my

(She counts out the bills)

Seven dollars.

(Beat)

Seven dollars. That creepy old fart thought my dignity was worth a whopping seven dollars. Oh lord.

I feel like a Kmart Blue Light Special.

(Beat)

I’m ok, though. Boy, we sure showed him, didn’t we? Wow, I totally have to tell Isabelle about this.

(She rings Isabelle)

Pick up, pick up, and pick up, godammit. Oh, why Isabelle, why?

(She turns to face the audience)

Isabelle is my best friend. When all my old sandbox comrades grew up, they all left me behind in varying degrees. Even Marco. Especially Marco. But she left me behind the least.

(She rubs her arms.)

Bless me, it is getting cold.

(She slaps her forehead)

Oh Christ. Why didn’t I ask Marco if I could come to Annasophia’s house with him? Annasophia totally doesn’t hate me at all. We get along great, considering.

(She sits down. Head in hands.)

And why should I cry? I’m one of those naturally lucky people. It’s all going to work out. I know it.

(TYW seems to nap in foetal position again. Isabelle flits like a nightlily across the stage. She whispers into her dozing ear)

ISABELLE (I) : Wake up sleepy-headsy-deadsy.

TYW: Old creep-(shock) Omigod, Isabelle!

I: Dreamin’ about creeps again? Bad habit!

(They hug, bear-like, in contrast to the weak hug TYW shared with Marcy)

TYW: Jesus! Where have you been?

I: Lookin’ for you. I see you’ve been tryin’ to call me.

TYW: Like all day! Why didn’t you answer?

I: Face-to-face works better, eh? Say, have you seen Marco? If I can’t find at the usual places, he’d be with you.

TYW: Oh….it’s so sad, almost. He transferred to…to Toronto.

I: For real?

TYW: Yup.

(Pause)

TYW: And do you know the kicker?

I: What?

TYW: He’s living with Marcy.

(Isabelle holds hand to mouth)

I: Oh. My. God. Those horrible……well; they’re both off the list now.

(Isabelle takes out cell)

Good riddance, you two. Both of you are no longer on the list.

(Beep-beep-beep)

TYW: So anyway, what brings you back in around here? I mean I haven’t seen you since….

I: I’m well…..yeah…it’s….y’know…..spectacular seein’ you here….really cool……

TYW: Oh god, I just wanna hug you again-

(And they do)

I: Easy now, don’t break the Isabelle….

(Isabelle gently, gradually pushes TYW away)

TYW: (to audience) and I haven’t seen Isabelle since the funeral. Oh, how I’ve dreamt about this moment. Sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. At the funeral I wanted to talk to her, but I couldn’t. Naturally she sat with her family.

So How could I approach her then, with father guarding and mother standing vigil and brothers patrolling the frontiers? Isabelle was surrounded. What was I supposed to do? Yell and wave and whistle at funeral?

(Beat)

No, it was far better just to stay silent.

(Beat)

We made eye contact once. That was enough.

I: Whoa, you spaced out there, for a second little astronaut.

TYW: (under breath) don’t call me little. (Normal voice) Oh, nothing just thinking. Say, are you hungry or something? We could you know, get something to eat…..

I: wish I could but I gotta run, y’know?

TYW: We could get something on the way?

(TYW’s voice sounds heart-breakingly hopeful)

I: Can’t. Hafta meet Annasophia.

TYW: (to audience) Gulp. (To Isabelle) Really?

I: “Course. It’s her half-birthday and I want to surprise her. You didn’t know.

TYW: Must have forgotten.

I: Well, it was nice catching up with you. Br… so cold to-day. Aren’t you freezin’?

TYW: Oh, me? Not at all.

(pause)

Listen……

I: Spit it out…..

TYW: Can I……come with you?

I: Hey now. If Annasophia wanted you at her half-birthday, you would be invited, y’know?

TYW: Oh come on. Let me come with you. I-

I: You burned a lot of bridges, darling.

TYW: Not at all. I just-

I: And you’re not latchin’ on to me like before.

TYW: I never, ever-

I: Not Leaching, not Looming, not Hovering, not Following, not Imitating, not, not, not, bein’ an annoying little creep. I like you, but no. It won’t be like before ever.

TYW: Alright. Here’s what happened. I-

I: And you should really move out. Your worship your mom. It’s creepy. She’s a b***h. You should stop that. Grow up. Move on. Move out.

TYW: Funny you should say that, cos-

I: Grow up. Do like my grandad always says to my dad. Be a mensch. And why aren’t wearin’ a jacket? Do you know how cold it’s goin’ to get tonight?

TYW: Wow, everyone’s been telling me that….

I: I won’t take care of you forever. I like you, but I won’t do it anymore.

(Isabelle turns to leave)

TYW: I’m sorry. I really am. I want to say-

(Isabelle turns around)

I: Don’t cry. Don’t dare cry. The tears would freeze like little icicles. You should go home. It’s gettin’ dark, getting’ late, it’s not safe anymore. Don’t you read the papers?

(pause)

Listen. Next time I’m in town I’ll spend the whole stupid day with you, alright? We can go to the aquarium or something, alright?

TYW: But when-when will you-

I: you just don’t get it, do you? Still a little cling-on. Get a job. Go back to school. Anything besides smoking on park benches and feeling sorry for yourself.

TYW: but-

I: I’m sorry. I should not have said that. I’m sorry.

TYW: You-

I: I’m sorry for your friend, too.

TYW: She was your friend also.

I: Not really no.

TYW: Oh.

I: Really changes your opinion about me, eh?

TYW: Nothing could. Nothing.

I: I need to go. You only get one half-birthday a year.

(Isabelle leaves, ploddingly)

TYW: (To audience) Well, that could have gone better. What do I do now? Christ, its freezing. You know what will happen. Isabelle will go to Annasophia’s place and Marco and-oh-oh god. You people saw this coming ten clicks away!!! Why didn’t you warn me?

(pause)

And that’s the last of them. All my sandbox friends. Scattered like birds.

Well. I got seven dollars and the night is young. I think I might get a cup of cocoa.


CURTAIN



© 2013 Gil-nam Moon



Author's Note

Gil-nam Moon
This was written in 2010, so some of the video game references are a bit anachronistic. For this I apologise. You may already be able to tell this, but this was the very first play I ever attempted.

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Added on May 14, 2013
Last Updated on May 15, 2013
Tags: friends, loneliness, isolation, betrayal, monologue, cocoa