Darlings That Had To Die - Lesser Seductions edition
You might remember that for Pretty Theft, Adam Szymkowicz shared some pages of scenes that were cut from the final version, or as he memorably dubbed them, Darlings That Had To Die. I now share one such Darling of my own, an end of act 1 monologue that needed to die, though I loved it so.
The monologue is for ONE, and though context is helpful, this particular monologue to the audience stands on its own (which was partly why it needed to be cut). It was also too much like my own philosophy, and in some ways contradicted ONE's central message. In the moment before, MARIE reminds herself that she is doing God's work, and ONE (having now revealed herself as a God of Progress, among other things) says this to the audience as the actors drifted one by one from the stage.
God’s work, that’s got to be a good feeling.
That is, if you know which God’s work you’re doing.
Here’s how you can do mine. When you wake up
Think of the universe, how wide it is,
How unknowably strange, how unbearably
Lovely; platypus and pulsars, our sun.
Then remember that in our best guess,
All of this unceasing wonder ceases
By falling away from itself until
There is no heat to feel, no light to see.
Then pour yourself some coffee, some corn flakes,
And remember that to our best knowledge,
We are all the life there is in creation.
And then think about how far we’ve come,
With our soft bodies and mushy grey minds,
How we’ve split the atom, plumbed the oceans,
Gone beyond the skies, and let that feel good,
It should feel good, it didn’t have to happen.
And then, (and this is asking a lot, so
Pour yourself a second cup, by all means),
Ask yourself, what if we one day found out
How to stop the universe from ending?
How to save the universe from itself?
Chuckle at that crazy thought, sip, sip, munch.
Then wonder who else is going to do it.
And if, as you’re washing your cup, dish, spoon,
You find that saving it is impossible,
You may ask the point of washing your dishes
At all, knowing that even the idea
Of water will fade to nothing; and then,
(Because now you’re late to work), shake that off,
Realize we can try and save the universe;
Or failing that, try and save each other;
And what do I mean by saving each other?
I mean, living in such a way, with light
And compassion, that we all can bear it,
That we can bear the universe ending.
Also, I should tell you, it’s intermission.
Truly, a darling, but for the good of the whole it had to go...