Saturday, April 05, 2014

Broken Clocks and Blind Squirrels

I'm composing a ten-minute-play which is overrunning by two milliseconds. I now consider it a blunder to have 12 male characters, 5 female characters, extras, chorus (m/f), and a prehistoric jaw bone that tragically dies of a frozen stomach while eating a sizeable ice-cream cone. The title How to Avoid Running Away with the Minister's Wife or Mother is playing havoc with the plot, theme, and motif. Not to discount my mental and physical distress.

Genre: will it be tragicom, satire, romance (try to forget the prehistoric jaw bone overdosing on ice cream), musical drama, pastoral, or a folk drama? I’m on the verge of collapse. Moreover, I have observed the drama lacks clarity concerning a central question: what compels the jaw bone to climb naked up a tree? a jaw bone that comes from an affluent and devout family? Am I exaggerating my plight? No, but I haven't eaten for days, I sleep on the ground at night, and can't stop shaking the hands of beggars, broken clocks and blind squirrels. What would Molière do?

It is late afternoon. I am surrounded by illness and death. O.K., I’m in a hospital, but is this how patients are treated in the 21st century? How did I get here? I performed the 'Heimlich manoeuvre' on a man called Maurice Flapper who swallowed his false teeth while dancing the Charleston. During the unfortunate incident Mr. Flapper's dentures flew out and bit me on the nose. 

I might have been the victim of an unprovoked mastication attack if Mrs. Flapper had not been on hand to wrestle the dentures off, and secure the teeth in a container. As I left the scene I could hear the false teeth trying to escape: gnarling, snapping, and sounding uncannily like a debauched black crested gibbon. A policeman later informed me that the dentures had been taken away and destroyed. Apparently, I require a single stitch on my nose and, considering the trauma, will not be able to eat fish, or french kiss, without written clearance from a reputable doctor.

Reflections: Today, I'm not waiting for Godot; I'm waiting for an escalope of energy to pervade my existence. My marriage is badly frayed, my trousers and finances in shreds, I've mouths to feed - some with herpes simplex lesions - and my family has grown tired of eating soup each day made from my wife's left elbow. To be honest, my wife isn't particularly happy either, especially during the simmering stage.

At such moments I dig into my memory. If there is no sign of life I try to recall a time when all I had to worry about was the ability to forget.