A/N: Experimental work, written during non-stop listens of Macklemore's DOWNTOWN. Have fun. Any comments also talking about the odd space between lines, blame Mac.
ACT 1: This Is Not A Play
"Why the hell are you calling this 'Musical' yet it's a play?" Joseph asks me. I sit there in silence, looking at my Barnes and Noble coffee.
"I thought it would be funny." I reply.
"It's dumb and misleading! People go into a play to see a play. They go into a musical to see a musical. You are completely corrupting that idea! People who want a play get a musical and people who want to get a musical get a play." He then takes a drink of my coffee, though his iced tea is right in front of him.
"Well, Joe, the people who will be wanting a play will be getting a play."
"Don't you be arguing with me," he looks over to the table next to him, "hey, look at this newspaper. Twenty Third Street Will Be Shut Down For Protest. Oh my, that's the street we're on now." He gets out of his chair, wraps his arm around me, and points out the window as many walk in unison towards the capital.
"So?" I look down at the table.
"So? So? So? So! Okay, what is the point of this whole play?"
"To show that life means nothing, be self aware, and that it's pointless. Small decisions don't matter."
"You sound like such a little kid, dang! Life isn't pointless. You just have to do something with it."
"Okay. Wait. What are the odds of you running nude through the crowd? You won't back down, I know it. I want to show you how dumb this is. " My voice gets strong, yet a smile appears on his face.
We both count down. I say twelve, he says seven, followed by a cheer.
"How about you?" Happiness is evident in his voice.
"Thirty." We count down.
I say twenty three, he says twenty three.
My heart sinks in a quick second.
Our narrator Ryan
is very dumb.
He's about to run naked
and feel numb
as many protesters
will beat him to death.
Thinking he'll survive it?
Don't hold your breath.
ACT 2: This Isn't A Musical Either
I stand in line to buy this collection of Hemingway shorts for Joe, because I had already agreed to buy a book for him. He stands behind me, snickering, considering after this I will be fully nude and dashing through a bunch of people in a little bit. He actually keeps on cracking erection jokes and it's making me quite uncomfortable.
The cash register rings.
"Next!" The cashier yells. I walk up to see a familiar face.
"Ryan! Oh my Gosh! It's been so long!" She reaches over the counter and hugs me.
"Alyssa! I never expected to see you here! How's college going? Are you still studying Math?" I ask. For some reason, I feel rather giddy inside.
"Yeah, final year. I'm actually pretty excited. Are you still working on that really confusing play?" She replies.
"I have quite a few." I laugh.
"You know, that one where you randomly bring up characters to push the plot along and pretend it's a juicy musical but it's really just a confusing meta extravaganza?"
"Yes. Still working on it. Are you busy? I mean, I would love to have drinks with you again. I'm sorry for basically blowing you off at the end of our relationship." She sits in silence after this. Fear shrinks my heart, and my brain.
"Um, I'm actually going to the protest right now, if you want to tag along."
"Dang, same here!" After I said this, she grabs her stuff, smiles, and says she's going to wait outside. Joe sneaks up on me.
"I guess she gets to enjoy your package once more." He tries to be clever.
"No. There was a reason she cheated on me."
"That's really depressing."
Do you understand
the point he's trying to make?
Do you? Do you? Do you?
Do you? Do you? Do you?
neither do we.
We're just underpaid
INTERMISSION: a five year old beat-boxing Shimmy Shimmy Ya.
ACT 3: This Isn't A Love Story, Either.
Alyssa, Joe, and I walk down the street, following the crowd. I'm clenching my fists, my bladder, and every muscle that I have in my body. Alyssa is giving me weird stares, but I just let her know that everything is fine. Joe keeps telling me that I have five minutes, considering this was a "record breaking" attendance for any protest in our state. My stomach feels empty and I feel hollow.
"So, Joe," Alyssa starts, "how are you?"
"Three minutes!" He yells.
"Sorry. I have a condition. I'm doing good. I know that Ryan here is doing just fine, he's just a bit scared because his dumb way of thinking is about to be proved wrong." He screams in my ear. I push him off, stress flowing through my veins.
"He always got nervous when we were together. My new boyfriend doesn't get worried, thankfully." She laughs. Joe questions her more about her boyfriend, and she goes on about he's one of the best people ever. I would be sad if I could access any emotion right now. Instead, I sit in silence.
"I never got people who have a pretentious mindset and act like they know everything. In one minute, the biggest one I know will be proven wrong." He laughs. Alyssa agrees, then laughs. Soon my self esteem diminishes and I feel like nothing. Except, one thing.
"It isn't one minute. It is now." I mutter.
"What?" Joe asks.
"I'm pretty misleading, I'm sorry. I am going to prove you wrong."
Before they could say anything, my pants, shirt, underwear, shoes, and socks were off as I dash head first into the crowd.
Oh, we thought
the play was over.
I just forgot my phone.
ACT 4: This Wasn't A Failure Story
"I feel alive!" I scream at the top of my lungs as my long legs take gigantic strides through the busy street. Someone tries to tackle me, but I take one spin and kick him in the face. I continue running through and receiving high fives from fellow protesters. I do this for a long time, until people started cheering.
"Fountain! Fountain!" They point at the fountain that's right in front of the capital. I don't take time to think. I run over the fence and onto the ground. Police officers try to corner me, but my sweaty quickness tricks them. My feet slap the pavement as I jump right on top of the fountain. My legs brush the water, but this doesn't stop me. In a few seconds, I see a crowd cheering "streaker" as I open my arms, smile, and say one last thing.
"I was a worried wimp."
What takes me down is three tazers and two huge bodyguards.
Ryan was a pretty cool guy.
I get my shirt on, fix my collar, and look at my phone. Five minutes before I leave for my date with Alyssa, and one minute until I finish the final sentence of my story. I stare at it, and realize how confusing it was. I want to make one thing certain, though. The tab opens, so I click bold, and add one last thing.
MORAL: This Was A Coming of Age Story.