|Existential Phenomenological Psychology
Author: The Melancholy Astronaut PM
A short play.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy - Words: 1,853 - Reviews: 4 - Published: 03-25-06 - id: 2140232
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Existential Phenomenological Psychology
(Jean and Michael are on a rooftop. Jean is standing looking outwards and Michael is sitting down looking up at Jean.)
Jean: Would it matter to you if I fell?
Michael: On accident? I suppose if you slipped it would be bad.
Jean: And what if I jumped?
Michael: Just the same as if you slipped. But why would you ask that? Then again, there's something I need to tell you. None of this really—
Jean: What? I can't hear you. Here let me sit down from here before I really do fall (Jean sits down next to Michael). What were you talking about?
Michael: Would you really like to know?
Jean: What do you think?
Michael: I think that you might and youmight not.
Jean: (laughs) Stop it, the suspense is killing me. Just tell me.
Michael: Are you sure?
Jean: Michael, don't be ridiculous.
Michael: I'm not, this is very important to me. I want to make sure you've thought out this decision.
Jean: Now I'm worried. Do I want to know?
Michael: How should I know what you want and do not want?
Jean: (incredulously) Well you're the one who was talking about it. I assumed you'd know whether it was something bad or not.
Michael: You didn't ask whether it was bad. You asked whether you wanted to know.
Jean: Why would I want to know something bad?
Michael: Why wouldn't you?
Jean: If I'd be happier not knowing…
Michael: But wouldn't you rather know if you needed to do something about it?
Jean: (distressed) Do I need to do something about it?
Michael: It depends.
Jean: Won't you just give me a straight answer?
Michael: You wouldn't give me one.
Jean: You're acting like a child. When have I not given you a straight answer?
Michael: "Do I want to know?"
Jean: (shrill) I'm sorry that I presumed you were capable of understanding. I won't be so prejudiced next time.
Michael: Well I'm sorry too. I thought that you would want to know and so I started to tell you but you didn't hear me. So before I repeated myself, I wanted to make sure that you did want to know.
Jean: I am absolutely positive I want to know. All I can say, Michael, is that this had better be important. Oh wait—answer your cell phone first.
Michael: My cell phone is ringing? Hold on… (Answers the cell phone) Hello? Yes, speaking… (A long grave pause)…I understand…Goodbye.
Jean: Who was it?
Michael: I'm so sorry, Jean…your father is dead.
Jean: (in disbelief) Oh my god. I have to go see him. (Begins to stand up but stops) Before I go, please tell me. (Earnestly)
Michael: Do you know what your father looked like?
Jean: (becoming uncomfortable) What are you saying? Michael please, I just want to know what you were going to tell me.
Michael: (firmly) this is what I was going to tell you. Answer the question.
Jean: (pulls away from Michael and stands up) of course I—look I don't need this. My father is dead I just want some space okay.
Michael: No you don't.
Jean: How could you ever accuse me of—?
Michael: Because he's not your father.
Jean: You could never understand the bond that me and my father had so don't you dare talk to me about that. He may have not been my father by blood but he loved me, and it's love that makes a father—not genetics.
Michael: That's not true. I'm sure somewhere in the back of your mind you know it isn't. In fact it came straight from a movie. Can you separate fiction from reality?
Jean: (shouting but unsure; becoming childlike) No—yes! Shut up. Shut up! That is not—why would you do that Michael? You—you are lying. You are the one who is saying lies.
Michael: Shhhh (stands up and places a hand on Jean's face) Am I lying to you or are your fabrications coming into focus? This conversation, for example, is an invention of your underdeveloped brain. This place is composed of memories (motions to their surroundings). I too, only exist in your mind. I've got your father's eyes…your real father who is lying in a hospital with gunshot wounds from your gun. Look closely, Jean. I bet you can trace every part of me to someone you've seen before. My left ear belongs to Tom Cruise and my right, your baby sitter from when you were small (points to each ear as it is mentioned). Look I have something to say to you and its going to sound strange but in the short minutes I have lived you captured my fascination. (Now desperate) I loved you since the moment you asked me if it would matter to me if you fell. And not in the sense of attraction but as a child loves a parent or a creation its creator. And yes it would matter to me if you fell. And perhaps this delusion of receiving the news of the death of your father is a step closer to understanding why you shot your father (The news soaks in and Jean inhales sharply). It's okay—you weren't in your right mind. (Gives a troubled laugh) But if yours is a wrong mind, then am I a mistake?
Jean: No. You can't be. It's what makes you not the same. Not the same as Frankenstein's monster. You're not scary at all.
Michael: I'm (takes a deep shaky breath) I'm glad. I thought I'd frightened you. I tried to break of all this to you slowly but it sounded—it didn't sound right and then I did the wrong thing by just trying to argue out of it, as if not telling you would make it all better. I'm so sorry I upset you, I had to make you understand, though in my eyes your flaws are perfection and your self-deception a miracle for it has given me my few moments of existence. I love your face, because it is all your own and not stolen from others as mine is. I love every hair on your head; they belong to you and only you. They are the most beautiful hair and face I have ever seen, admitting you are the only person I have seen or will ever see. But even I had seen the multitude of people I am—pieced together from—you would be the loveliest. I am yours, in the most literal of ways. After this, we will never see each other ever again—
Jean: (suddenly looks up) Why would I do that?
Michael: Do what?
Jean: Why would I shoot my father? What is wrong with me? (Long pause) How can you still love me?
Michael: Jean you must understand…
Jean: No, there is no forgiveness for that. If you're a part of me then why don't you hate me? If you know everything about me then how can you stand there with that innocent look on your face and tell me that I'm perfect in your eyes?
Michael: I'm sure that if you could take it back you would. You have no memory of it, how can you still blame yourself?
Jean: (screaming) How can I not blame myself for it, Michael? You're saying that I pointed a gun at my father and pulled the trigger, but it wasn't my fault?
Michael: You're legally incompetent; you're talking to someone who doesn't exist.
Jean: Oh and that's supposed to be comforting? Well goodbye Michael, you're one of the few people who truly loved me that I haven't shot (Begins to step off the edge of the roof).
Michael: (grabs Jean's arm) Stop, Jean please, don't do this.
Jean: Aren't you the one that said this is all a dream? I'll just wake up right before I hit the ground.
Michael: (quietly) If that's what you want then go ahead. I just thought that…never mind, fine do it. What do I care? It's your choice.
Jean: (Hopelessly) Oh Michael. What have you done to me? (With greater intensity) Who are you?
Michael: (confused) I'm yours Jean. I'm everyone you've ever known. I'm your memories.
Jean: No. Shut up. I mean who are you? All I can think of is that maybe you're just the product of an overactive imagination. I can't be your god. I'm just a freak. A homicidal maniac.
Michael: Don't cry, Jean. Just breathe. Don't start comparing yourself to Hannibal Lecter.
Jean: (crying) I never cry, that's ridiculous. And, Hannibal Lecter never felt remorse. Hannibal Lecter was never faced with his own reality. Hannibal Lecter never shot his father. And Hannibal Lecter—is just a fictional character. (Sighs heavily and looks out at the sky) Mmm, there are great sunsets in my head.
Michael: It's amazing.
Jean: Don't you ever wish that—I don't know what I'm saying. Part of me doesn't want to know about it. When you're a little kid, things aren't beautiful. There are still wars and disease and people still die. But when you're five years old, you don't know that. You're in your own little world. Maybe the other kids think you're weird but they're never ashamed of you. They never treat you as though you're less than human. They don't talk about you in front of your face.
Michael: Is oblivion really better than truth? (Lies back on the roof)
Jean: I wouldn't doubt it. (Also lies back on the roof) You know you're the only person who ever told me that my insanity was the most beautiful thing they ever saw.
Michael: Maybe its not you. Maybe everyone else is insane.
(Jean laughs and they stare up at the sky for a few moments. Michael suddenly sits up)
Jean: What's wrong?
Michael: I can't feel my toes.
Jean: What does that mean?
Michael: I think you're waking up.
Jean: I can't I mean what I will I wake up to? A bunch of guys in white coats leaning over me? I don't want that. Can't I decide not to click my heels together three times? Oh please don't go.
Michael: (stands up shakily) my legs are numb.
Jean: I don't know what to do!
Michael: I don't want to die like this. (Quickly) Please don't worry you won't remember any of this. I love you Jean. Goodbye.
Jean: Michael, wait—
(Michael jumps off the roof. Blackout)