Lines of Vision by Glenn Beatty

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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must not be Performed, Copied or Sold without the Author’s prior consent


                          SCENE 1

                          (In the blackout we hear…)

      Tony
      (In Ancient Greek)
      My life! My life bleeds away and yet I cannot die!
      (In English)
      My crimes bleed my guilt and yet I do not die. It did not need to be!
      It did not need to be!
      (In Ancient Greek)
      I have no wish to be a God! Kill them! Kill them!
      (In English)
      Kill Them! Kill them! Oh, Xena, what have I done?

      (The lights come up on Tony, still in the midst of his nightmare. He
      has been sleeping on the living-room couch. He is naked to the waist
      and covered in sweat. He is still in the midst of his nightmare.)

      Tony
      What have I done? What have I done? Xena, Xena!

      (TONY wakes up just as he is saying these lines, recovers a moment,
      then quickly reaches for a notebook and pen and tries to write. As he
      does so, he gets a sudden violent pain which doubles him over. He
      falls off the couch onto the floor. He recovers slowly and sits again
      on the couch. He picks up the notebook and pen again and this time
      writes succeds in writing a few lines in the notebook.)

      Tony
      I remember so damned little….so damned little.
      (He slams down the notebook)

      (Phone rings, Tony locates it and answers.)

      Tony (cont’d)
      Hello. Ben? Hey, Ben, how are you? Hey, hey, slow down, I just, hey,
      just take a second to relax while I….I need some water, ok? Just a
      sec.

      (TONY puts the phone down, grabs a towel off the couch and wipes the
      sweat off his face and body as he crosses to the kitchen for water)

      Tony
      Why can’t I Remember?

      (Tony gets water, quickly checks food cooking in crock pot, crosses
      back and picks up phone)

      Tony
      (in Ancient Greek)
      My life is in your hands, Oh, prophet. Fulfill my fate, bless me with
      your wisdom.”

      (In English)

      What? I said, “ My life is in your hands, Oh, prophet. Fulfill my
      fate, bless me with your wisdom.” Thanks, but I memorized that. My
      Greek is still in its’ formative stages… So, what’s up? Please, Ben,
      slowly…I’m not…look, you…you could be speaking Hebrew for all
      I’m understanding. What friend? Ok, what friend of a friend? (listens)
      No. No, I’m sorry but is impossible.

      Tony
      No. No, sorry.  It’s impossible.  We just can’t. Look, we had guests
      almost continually for the last three months… we just can’t.  My
      friend, guests are sort of like children, they need minor taking care
      of. And… if Elisandra and I don’t start taking care of each other
      instead of our guests we will both be Bellevue bound.  Besides Els’
      been working like crazy on a project for work and ...damn it then we
      can’t and that’s it!  You did what? How?  How could you tell somebody
      that could….

      (Tony hangs up)

      Christ on a crutch! I don’t believe that guy!  That …that…

      (Tony has another attack. He speaks in Ancient Greek)
      Tony
      Oh, Aphrodite, please intercede for me!

      (He speaks in English)
      Please take this torment, take this pain away!

      (Phone rings he starts to answer it as Elisandre knocks at the door.)

      EL
      Tony, open up I can’t reach my keys…

      (He stalls for time, hoping the       attack will be over before El
          enters. Phone rings)

      TONY
      Oh no, not now.  Just a second. I have to get to the phone.

      EL
      Forget the phone. I have packages.  Hey, come on! My arms falling
      off.

      TONY
      I’m coming.

      (He cross to the phone and answers it).

      Ben?

      (He hangs up)

      EL
      Tony!

      TONY
      It was Ben. I’m coming! Hang on! Hang on!

      (during the following dialogue, Tony, still dealing with his pain:
      cleans himself, puts on a shirt, combs his hair, wipes his face with a
      towel and finally hides towel by throwing it under the couch.)

      EL
      Tony, please. What in heavens name is holding you up?

      TONY
      I’m here,lover! I’m here! What’s the password?

      EL
      Are you kidding?  Baby, I’m in pain!

      TONY
      We agreed to use a password and..

      EL
      This is absurd.

      TONY
      That’s not it.

      EL
      Uggggh! Alright, alright! Humanity’s just around the corner.

      TONY
      That was last weeks’.

      EL
      Damnit! Ok,ok… Make one small aim your God.

      TONY
      Old. Old one. Very old.

      el
      Damnation! Well… I will think… despite the fact that I carry
      immeasurable weight.  Oh, I’ve got it! There is no gain without pain!

      TONY
      You can say that again.

      (Tony pretty much recovered, opens the door and El enters. She
      gently puts down half the packages and then drops the other half.)

      El
      Sometimes I so wish we could just be so run-of-the mill.

      (Tony trying to cover his physical weakness with exuberence)

      TONY
      Impossible! Especially for you, my tigress! Raaaarrrr! How was
      businessworld today?  Mongrels snapping or sheep sleeping?

      (He picks up a package to move it into the living room)

      Holy Aknaton! Gees, Elisandre, I’m sorry. This thing weighs a ton!
      What did you buy, pyramid stones?

      El
    (as she takes off her coat and begins settling in.)

      Patience.  All will be revealed. Tony, do you think this password
      thing is a bit much?

      TONY
      Nope.  Whats’ the package mystery, my Oenone?

      El
      Ah..ha-ha! Wait. What’s for dinner, mein chef?

      TONY
      A casserole of… mystery packages.

      El
      Husband, I be hungry.

      TONY
      Ok,Ok. Patience it is, for now. The menu for the eve is bean and
      vegetable stew, homemade bread and… salad… yet to be made. All
      fresh as usual.

      El
      Sounds divine.

      TONY
      It is. Come help me with the greenery.

      El
      In a sec. What time do you start work tonight?

      TONY
      I’m off.

      El
      You’re off?

      TONY
      Is there an echo in here?

      El
      Oh, Tony how’d ja do it?

      TONY
      Noah visited Le Chateau De Chateau in the form of a burst pipe. I
      return with the rest of the animals two days hence.

      El
      Wonderful! A wish fulfilled!

      TONY
      Wishing for poverty?  El, I used all my cash to pay for my acting
      class and…

      El
      Have no fear, Businessworld is here!

      TONY
      Speaking of which, what’s in the packages? Has to relate to work.
      Can’t be clothes unless we’re going back to that “carry a stone for
      each sin” period.

      El
      Patience. Patience. Patience.

      TONY
      Come on El. Your bursting with something. Spill it!
      (She crosses to the couch, teasing him.)

      El
      Big boy, this one… this one is going to test… all of the growth
      stuff we’ve worked on and our progress as human beings. Ok. Tony, I
      can’t wait to…

      (she sees towel under the couch and picks it up.)

      What’s the story, Tony? You you never leave stuff around.

      TONY
      I get it you’re testing my perceptions. That’s a towel.

      El
      Damn you, Tony!

      TONY
      Ok, its’ not a towel.

      El
      Don’t joke about this! Why didn’t you tell me?

      TONY
      Oh, come on El.

      El
      You, come on! You lied to me.

      TONY
      I didn’t lie.

      El
      You sure as hell did!

      TONY
      What do you want me to do? Greet you after a hard days work sweating
      like a pig, saying, “Oh, hi wife! Want to hear the latest three
      words I remember from my nightmare?

      El
      Yes.

      TONY
      Well, I can’t do that to you. I was trying to give you a break.

      El
      We share everything, remember?  And there’s more isn’t there? You had
      another of those damned attacks! Oh, Tony!

      TONY
      Its’ alright.

      El
      How bad was it?

      TONY
      I’m alright.

      El
      Why did you lie to me?

      TONY
      I would have told you.

      El
      When, next week?

      TONY
      El, I didn’t mean to hurt you by hiding this from you. El, you work so
      hard…

      El
      So do you, that’s not the point.

      TONY
      I didn’t want to worry you. Look, you worry about me too much already.
      I would have told you. We’ve only been here together for a few minutes.

      El
      The point is, we don’t hide our problems from each other. I want to
      help. Can’t I be part of this? Damn it, Tony, I can do something!

      TONY
      Can you climb inside my head? Can you?

      El
      No, I can’t but…

      TONY
      Stop worrying. I have to do this myself.

      El
      Great. Do you know how much weight you’ve lost in last..

      TONY
      Looks good on me though.

      El
      Stop it. You’re sick. You don’t sleep.

      TONY
      I don’t sleep a lot. But I do make progress. I do remember little
      pieces of the dream. I can… I will… put it all together.

      El
      I’m sure you will… with or without my help.

      TONY
      El.

      El
      Will you at least go back to the doctor?

      TONY
      For more pills?

      El
      How about seeing a psychiatrist?

      TONY
      Nobody knows what’s inside my head better than me. Besides, it’s not
      that kind of a problem.

      El
      Maybe something in your past… something you’re not aware of, that
      you blocked out is causing the dream.

      TONY
      It’s all tied up in the damn dream! I know it.. I can feel it!  Just
      as I know that, somehow, I’m supposed to, I have to handle it myself.

      El
      Or die trying.

      TONY
      Don’t be ridiculous, El.

      El
      You’re being ridiculous! You expect me to just sit around while you
      wither away?

      TONY
      Nothing’s going to happen to me.

      El
      You’re right there.  You’re going to a doctor whether you want to or
      not.

      TONY
      I don’t need a doctor.

      El
      I say you do. You’re already trying to hide it from me. You’re lying
      to me.

      TONY
      Will you stop it with the guilt trip.

      El
      You’re going to a doctor and that’s it!

      TONY
      With what? How the hell are we going to pay for it, huh?

      El
      With money! Our money!

      TONY
      Oh, are we suddenly rich? Are all of these packages full of money?

      El
      Yes! Yes, they are!

      TONY
      Fantastic! Which President do we have the most of? May I see a sample,
      please?

      El
      You’ll have to settle for a check, smart ass.

      (She crosses to her purse and takes out an envelope and gives it to
      Tony).

      Here! Oh, this is great. we haven’t had a fight in over a year. We get
      the greatest news of our lives and boom! Now, Go to the doctor!

      (Tony opens envelope)

      El (continued)
      I imagined a candlelight dinner.

      TONY
      El.

      El
      Griegs Peer Gynt gently playing in the background…

      TONY
      This is a check for $50,000.00!!!

      (El starts to gently dance by herself…)

      El
      Some good wine. Later the two of us dancing….

      TONY
      It’s made out to you!

      El
      Then as I snuggle up to bite your ear, I would whisper “Tony, the
      company bought my project. We’re rich… my Strength, my Italian
      macho… kiss me…

      TONY
      They bought the system designed?

      El
      (As she dances with herself)

      Don’t spoil it…I’m enjoying a moment that should have existed…

      TONY
      El, please tell me…

      El
      But it didn’t exist because you are so stupid and stubborn, you,
      Yahoo!

      TONY
      Oh, El. El, I’m so sorry. I’m so proud! I’m so stupid! I’m… oh, I
      don’t know what I am! I was trying not to make you worry and all I did
      was… El, I’m sorry. I was wrong. What a feat for you huh?!!! Whew!
      Oh, Aphrodite’s drawers! I’m so proud of you! Can you forgive me for
      being such a Neanderthal?

      El
      (She starts to break down)

      I ought to give the $50,000 back!

      TONY
      I don’t care. I don’t give two hoots about the money. I only care that
      you created something out of nothing; that you believed in something
      and it works! And somebody is willing to pay my Elisandre all that
      dough…
      El
      I only care that my Tony will be around to spend it with

      (pause)

      TONY
      Ok, El. I’ll go. I’ll go because you want it. One one condition.

      El
      Oh, God.

      TONY
      That you tell me what’s in the packages! You never…

      El
      Oh, hug me, you dope.

[end of extract]

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