Friday, September 10, 2010

Mell, Myself and Isaac: A One-Man Play

A One-Man Play

A table surrounded by five chairs. This is Isaac’s mind. ISAAC #1 sits at the head of the table with a piece of paper and a pen in front of him. He glances at his watch and peers around to look for the others. Moments later, ISAAC #2 enters from stage right.
2: Sorry I’m late.
1: I better be.
2: I got distracted.
1: Were you helping an old lady cross the street?
2: Very funny. No, I was helping an old man with his groceries.
1: Ha ha. We’re such a comedian.
2: It’s one of the things we have in common.
1: But punctuality isn’t. Where’s Isaac and Isaac?
2: Don’t you want to know where Isaac is?
1: Well, I know obviously he’ll be late, but I don’t understand where Isaac and Isaac are. (ISAAC #3 and ISAAC #4 enter from stage left.) Oh, there I am.
3: Yep, here we am.
4: Sorry we’re running late.
2: No problem. Some of us just need to learn to relax.
1: I don’t appreciate our tardiness.
4: Sorry. I was talking to someone.
3: Me, too. I was talking to Isaac.
1: You could have done that at the meeting!
2: But now I’m all here.
4: Well, except for Isaac.
1: Yeah, but he’s always late.
3: Yeah, he’s always the last of me to show up.
2: So what do I say you get started?
1: Fine, we will. (He looks at his paper.) First order of business: memory recall. (He turns to ISAAC #3). Isaac, you were going to write up something about that.
3: Damn it! We forgot I was supposed to do that!
1: Well, that’s exactly the thing that I’m talking about. Our recollection ability is subpar.
3: We just don’t remember as much as I should.
2: I don’t really think that’s a big deal. I actually think we’ve got a fairly good memory.
1 (to ISAAC #4): Isaac, what do you think?
4: I think we should get a second opinion.
1: That’s why I’m asking you.
4: No, I meant someone other than Isaac.
1: Someone other than—but we should be able to figure this out on my own!
4: Well, we probably could, but it might be more fun if we didn’t.
3: Oh, we should do that other thing then. We should try to have fun.
1 (sighing): I’m not going to get anywhere arguing with myself. I’ll talk about this again when the three of me are willing to compromise. OK, second order of business. (He looks at his paper.) Nighttime consciousness. We’ve got too much of it. In other words, it takes us a really long time to fall asleep at night.
3: Oh, we know. We’re awake far too long.
1: It’s bad enough I’ve got problems of my own—I’ve got to listen to the rest of me chattering amongst myself, too.
2: I don’t like me very much, do I?
1: What? No! I like me! I really like me!
2: Are we a narcissist now?
3: Is it monotonous being monomaniacal?
1: Do I get a choice between self-obsessed and self-loathing?
2: Make that selves-obsessed and selves-loathing.
4: If we have a problem living with us, what about bringing in a guest?
1: Are you suggesting that we sublet Isaac to another person?
4: No, no. Just invite them over for a visit. The air is a little stale in here. We need to liven up the atmosphere.
2: We could use the company.
1: You can’t be suggesting that we’re lonely in here.
3: But sometimes it gets too crowded with so much of me around.
1: I can’t believe all of me are ganging up on me! This is how you repay us for all my hard work?
2: You know what our problem is? You’re a control freak.
3: Yeah! Who do I think I am? I’m not the boss of me!
2: You’re scared that we can only be myself when we’re alone and inside our own head.
4: Third order of business: intimacy problems.
2: You’re afraid to let people in because you can’t control what they think of us.
4: You can’t stand that people could think of us as someone we’re not.
1 (sighing): I admit it. All of me are right. I have difficulty being around others because I’m afraid of losing me.
2: But it’s not all about Isaac.
3: It’s not all about me-saac.
4: Other people are just as important, if not more.
2: We understand our problem. We’re scared that people will hate us.
4: We’re scared of the pressure of people loving us so much.
2: We’re afraid we’ll fuck it up.
4: We have trouble believing in us.
1: There’s too much of us to believe in.
4: But maybe if we got out more, we’d feel better about ourselves.
2: Look, we’re an interesting guy on our own, but we can’t be more interesting than the rest of the world combined.
4: It’s time to get out of our own head.
2: Clear the air a little bit.
3: I’ll go crack open a window. (He exits stage left.)
2: I’m going on a walk. (He exits stage left.)
4: I’m going to go find someone to talk to. (He exits stage right.)
1: But there’s people to talk to here! Isaac? Hello? Isaac? Where did I go? Am I still here? (He jumps up from the table.) Wait for me! (He exits stage right.)
Moments later, ISAAC #5 enters from stage left.
5: Sorry we’re late!

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