Saturday, 26 February 2011

West Coast Easy - Monologue for Performance

CYRUS is in his 40s, medium build and humble looking. He is looking slightly uncomfortable and stands looking straight on, with a slight twitch. When he speaks, we hear he has a deep southern USA accent.

                                I used to think there was no rain I couldn't handle.
                                Drizzle didn't bother me; sluicin' dredges washin' away
                                loose sediment on the sides of roads and drivin' women
                                and children inside was my kind of weather. I'd stand
                                stock still in it, hands wide apart welcome it down. I used
                                to fantasise about what other folk thought of me.
                                You seen that Cyrus? He's a brave man huh? Standin'
                                stock still in the centre of the street, rain whippin' his
                                strong features, not movin' a muscle. That Cyrus is a
                                man. I saw him the other day standin' alone looking like
                                the mighty prophet Moses. Usherin' down the rain.
                                Welcomin' the rain. Drinkin' it in like he was sunbathin'
                                in San Fran.
                                            (stops imagining)
                                Old San Fran seems like an awful long way away from
                                my town. And I ain't just talkin' geographically. I'm talkin'
                                of fortune. They call it the Golden State, California. The
                                San Francisco 49ers, named after the gold rush of 1849
                                no less. It sure seems like that gold rush never stopped.
                                All sort of loose, excitin' characters treadin' the streets in
                                San Fran, talkin' excitedly about how one day a tremor's
                                gonna come so big its gonna split the city in two. Well
                                they can dream about that day. That Armageddon. They
                                can dream the dreams that sustain their west-coast-easy
                                livin' lifestyle because I've seen it. I've seen the rains.
                                I've seen nature's rough sickle swingin' through my
                                town and I don't like it.
                                            (he grits his teeth)
                                I used to think there was no rain I couldn't handle. But
                                this was a rain so fierce it made me think I hadn't never
                                even been rained on before. And you knew. You knew
                                as soon as it started that it wasn't gonna stop. Folk, they
                                could feel it in the air. A new precipitation. Like no-one's
                                never seen in their lifetime round here. Like no-one's
                                never talked about, or heard about.
                                            (he breathes a deep breath)
                                One second we were lookin' at each other holding each
                                other, each man woman and child comin' to their own
                                realisation about what was about to occur and the next
                                second we were all gone. Gone from each other, gone
                                from our damn selves. When it hits you, you don't know
                                what to do.
                                If only I had a bucket, maybe I could rescue old John
                                Treasy from his shop.
                                            (he laughs)
                                Fool! Ain't no bucket big enough to tackle what came
                                that day! Ain't nothin' big enough to tackle those waters.
                                Waters in our familiar streets, washin' away our sins,
                                changin' everythin'! It felt like being punched in the
                                stomach by God himself. If that's not a blasphemy. Heck
                                if it is. I've served my punishment for all my sins and
                                all my children's sins on this here earth. I've nothing left
                                to pay.
                                            (he stops and wipes his nose)
                                I used to think there was no rain I couldn't handle. Now
                                I wouldn't mind if I was buried alive in death valley.
                                Happen it would have the effect of spinnin' a dizzy chick
                                the other way. Redress the balance. I've seen my share
                                of rain. I've seen mine.

He grits his teeth and breathes heavily. As the lights fade he starts to sob.

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