the trunk

Written and Performed by Blake Habermann, NYC 2010

There is a trunk on stage.  The ANNOUNCER climbs out of it.

ANNOUNCER

Kill yourself.  Remove yourself from the equation.  If you care about the future of humanity you will end your life for the preservation of resources.  What could you possibly do that will equate what you have consumed, or the waste you have generated?  These can be quantified, can your contributions sustain such scrutiny?  If there is the slightest doubt, I say with the utmost respect it is better to end your life using the cleanest and most sanitary means possible, affording the least emotional damage to loved ones.  Messy suicides are selfish, cries for help gone too far, the final attention grab.  Here there is no such thing, in its place, a beauty, a simplicity.  Release, and thus, give life to countless others.  Our world is overpopulated, density is at a critical level, one not attained since far, far back in human history.  

    In the 14th century the world was nearly full, infrastructure improvements lead to an insupportable glut in urban centers, the world could simply not maintain the saturation.  The solution?  Simple.  Bubonic plague.  Wiped out thirty to, some experts believe, close to fifty percent of the world's population.  A terrible tragedy on a scale never replicated.  Now you look at me and say, Hey!  Mass extinction?  Societal collapse?  Looting and rampant religious zealotry?  And I say, well do you like italian food?  how about the Renaissance and the Enlightenment?  These were made possible by the events of the Black Death.  Land, vacated by those who died screaming in their own liquids, was taken over by former serfs.  These farms, which had previously grown wheat, in order to feed the largest number in the shortest time, could now be used for things like tomatoes, peppers and other nightshades, fragrant olive groves and shady orchards, all free from the infestation of other people.  The church's impotency combined with the ability of some governments to maintain social order began a shift away from the dogmatic belief in religious rulings and toward reason, scientific inquiry, the suffering provoked a massive outpouring of art and performance, these go-getters turned their mountains into molehills and then built huge buildings on them.  Something to look up to.  Scientists agree, we stand on the brink of a similar catastrophe, and I say, let's grab it by the throat.  To hell with some heretofore undiscovered microbe, let's do it ourselves.  But who decides?  And who goes?  Should it not be the presidents who pass, the designers and compilers, genius real or abstract, power unquestionable?  Or should it be the common man, perpetually rebuilding, clean slate, so to speak?  I say it should be neither, and that none shall decide save those who will perish.  It is up to us, each individual, to decide whether their life is worth living, or if they will die so others can better live.  So I ask you to join me, join me now in brotherhood and kill yourselves immediately.  I too will join you, once 100,000 people have died I will be 100,001, but others will carry on afterward, others will carry the torch, I promise from this day forward our immediate demise will ensure the salvation of humanity……!

 

He is pulled back into the trunk.  Slight Shake.  The girl comes out of the trunk.

 

GIRL

Okay, first of all, you're a fucking asshole and second a fucking joke.  You try and play it off all cool but you're just some poseur packed with insecurities and some preteen jerkoff fantasies of artistic expression.  Your entire existence is bedazzled fraud.  And to think that I was tricked by that, tricked by johnny fucking doe eyes over here.  You played it real straight and I walked right into the lion's den, except, there was no lion there, there was just some sniveling prick who didn't know his ass from his elbow, snored like hell and barely showered.  The whole place was littered with beer cans and spliff ends and some fucking lion's den isn't it?  Some lion leaving a woman to sleep on the street, outside on fucking avenue D at five o'clock in the morning because she gave some drunk ass imbecile her keys, not to mention it was her who fed him the booze, for free, and then he had to go pass out and she had to work and she was afraid to give him her keys and afraid he might have a girl waiting by the door but she gave them anyway, she sure as hell did because he said "what are you worried about?" and that was the phrase that kept echoing through her head while crackheads eyed her until she couldn't see them through the tears and through a half-pack of cigarettes that was full when she'd given it to you.  But I thank god every day for that stoop, every time I leave my apartment.  I remember it. It is branded into my cerebral cortex, THE END in big fucking letters down in the deep brain.  It showed me, showed me that you weren't there and i only pretend to be with you, and that scared me until I realized that's where I should be, alone and not dealing with some half-cocked fucking half-wit.  That stoop was perfect, the perfect place for me to settle down and start life like a responsible human with dreams and desire and some fucking hope of achieving them.  If you ever took a second and considered the feelings of others, or to understand what your actions really express about you and your fucking persona, your tiny brain would explode because all it has room for is your giant ego and your microscopic dick.  Fuck you.  Don't call me, don't text me, don't fucking facebook me in three weeks with some witty scandalous photo comment thinking I've forgotten how much of an asshole you are.  You should kill yourself, it would help everyone.

She gets back into the trunk and slams the lid shut.  The man gets out.

 

MAN

I got on a plane in Chicago, I think it was, it was early in the morning and I hadn't slept.  Wading through security in a haze, delays, half an hour or so.  When I got to the airport it was dark but as we sat waiting I saw dawn was opening on the overcast skies, that muted light just right for my state of mind.  The plane was taking off and we were headed straight for the clouds.  I always loved on planes with the clouds…for a moment, total nothingness.  When you're landing, you come through to the city from above, but taking off you come to another city, cloud city.  Cloud world.  A fragmented ocean stretching to the rising sun, cast in purples and bruised blues until it crisped into the whites of daylight. O'hare was backed up that morning, planes were jumping off the ground as we got going.  And as we broke the cloud cover I saw others break as well, surging up through foaming swells, clearing and rising, their weight suspended, others circling above, diving down one upon one upon one toward the murky surface, seeking the depth of the world we'd left behind.  And I thought of barnacles on the sides of whales, if they must think the same thoughts.  Then I remembered that they die if they stay out of the water too long.

He exits.