Dark Place

In this monologue, Jeffrey speaks with his friend under visitation hours.  He was an actor before he became institutionalized, for stabbing his director in the neck with a pair of scissors during rehearsing a new stage play.  Jeffrey does his best to talk to his friend while in a straight jacket.

JEFFREY: Does it matter to you that I am going mad?  Not sure I can go away and reflect on it.  Not sure I can get through my own madness.  If I can go to the top of a mountain, like a Buddhist Monk, perhaps I may have a chance.  Life, my DNA, it has fit perfectly together, hasn’t it?  What is it for?  For my art?  Is it fair for a man to sacrifice his sanity for his craft?  Is that what God wants?  If that is so, then why must I be sacrificed?  Why does great beauty come from great pain?

We are all mad, crazy, nuts, psycho.  It’s true.  Walk down the street and look into the eyes of the man or woman you walk past.  It’s hidden.  It’s hidden.  When you are someone like me, you connect with that dark place instantly and you identify with it.  I forget who said that we are all living lives of quiet desperation.  I believe we are.  The smiles, the charms, it’s all bullshit…all smokescreen.  We all suffer within, don’t we?

Sometimes, I will stare into the mirror and wait for the madness to creep from my eyes and leave me once and for all.  But all it ever does is reach the surface and smile gently at me, with a wise gleam.

Yeah, I am crazy.  I love that I am crazy but I also hate who I am.  I wouldn’t expect you to understand that.  They say genius and madness have a thin line between them.  I walk that fence everyday and lately it has been getting harder to stay balanced.  Haha, look where I am.  Haha.

Chemical imbalance.  Sure.  Life experience.  Sure.  Being an artist.  Sure.  It all adds up to a pair of scissors embedded in someone’s neck, doesn’t it?

You can ridicule me some more my friend, you can pity me, you can lead me to inspiring advice but the truth is, there is nothing you can do or say that can haunt me more than my own soul.  Do what you have to do, say what you have to say…it means nothing…nothing, my friend…nothing…

I will be waiting for you….I will be waiting….I am happy to entertain you my friend…I look forward to your next word…You can speak now, say something…

(smiles gently)

Can’t wait.

(laughs wildly)

(smiles gently once more)

Can’t, wait…

(sighs)

(he looks to his left as a tear leaves his eye)

I think I am ready to go back to my room now.  I’m starting to feel a little…yeah, I gotta go back now, please.

(he gets up and walks to the nursing staff)

(he begins screaming)

Joseph Arnone

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