photo by Joe Mazza and Brave Lux

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Remembering My Suicides

Remembering My Suicides
by Jacob Juntunen


for Da'Veon Burtin


A: An African American man
B: A white man
C: A white man
D: A white  man

Setting:
A stage with a white rug.

(A stands center stage, a pitcher of red liquid beside him. B, C, and D stand on a white rug.)

                                                            A
It all started with my suicide note. (he reads) “I’m going to make this all stop forever.” No, wait. That’s not right. You need to know what made me write the note.

                                                            B
Nigger.

                                                            C
Faggot.

                                                            D
Fairy.

                                                            B
Hey! Don’t walk away from us, pussy! You think you just come into our bar dressed like that? Are you wearing make-up? You fucking freak.

                                                            A
I got outside, right on the main drag, across the street from my college campus. I thought there’d be enough people that they’d just leave it at that, or at most shove me around a little while yelling. There was a crowd watching. But no one helped me.

                                                            B
You’re lucky we don’t kill you.

(A takes the pitcher of red liquid and puts it on the ground in front of him.)

                                                            A
There was so much blood. So. My note. (he reads) “No one should have to go through this.” Maybe I wouldn’t have written the note if it was the first time, but I can’t even count how many times something like this has happened. Or how many times I’ve been called—

                                                            B
Nigger.

                                                            A
When I was in high school, guys used to pass my best friend in the hall and say—

                                                            C
Faggot.

                                                            A
He wasn’t even gay. Just small. And he hung out with me. That was enough for these assholes to push him into a locker yelling—
                                                            D
Fairy!

                                                            A
And when they beat us up, they'd spit—

                                                            B
You're lucky we don't kill you.

                                                            A
So he hung himself out in the barn. He wrote notes to me and his Mom. So the one I was writing wasn’t the first one I’d seen. That’s how I knew what to write. When the night came, I brought the note, nicely typed up and printed from a public computer in the library. Untraceable. Anyone could have written it. (he reads) “If I wasn’t so insecure about it, I wouldn’t have to do this. I wouldn’t have to lash out.” It was easy enough to get them to meet me in the woods out behind campus.

                                                            B
You’re really gonna give us blowjobs after we beat the shit out of you?

                                                            A
I like it rough.

                                                            B
Nice.

                                                            C
I don’t know, man. He’s a dude.

                                                            B
Not really. He’s wearing earrings.

                                                            A
I’m going to give you the best head you ever had. Girls don’t know what to do because they don’t have dicks. I know exactly what feels good. So get your pants around your ankles.

                                                            D
You gonna do us all at once?

                                                            A
Get your pants down for the best orgasm of your life.

(B, C, and D look at each other, then drop their pants to their ankles.)

                                                            A (cont)
That’s when I took out my gun.

                                                            B, C, D
(together, panic) No! Wait! Stop! Don’t! Please!

(A takes the pitcher of red liquid and pours it on the white rug.)

                                                            A
They couldn’t run with their pants around their ankles. I tossed the note into their blood. I only typed the name of the ringleader at the end, like it was his note, and after I wiped off my prints, I put the gun in his hand. I ended the note with, “But there’s always been something in me that was curious, and I can’t take keeping it secret anymore.” I got questioned, but not arrested. The police knew the angle of the shots wasn’t a suicide, but they couldn’t prove anything. And the note and story got believed by enough people. I remember my suicides, and I wish I could say I feel guilty. But I don’t.

Blackout.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Sea, I Sea, I Sea

I Sea, I Sea, I Sea
by Jacob Juntunen

Characters
PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN

Setting:
One block onstage

PERSON WITH BUCKET OF SAND and PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN onstage.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
But you’ve been here four years. Can’t you put down that bucket and move in with me?

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
I can’t ever put the bucket down.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
But how many times have we heard the chimes of midnight together? How many times have we walked the empty streets, night sky reflected in the asphalt puddles?

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
How can I stay if you can’t hear it?

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
I could lie and say I hear it.

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND OF SAND
It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been here with you, I’m always going to carry the bucket, and I’m always going to hear it.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
After four years of wine and whiskey, of fantasies and facts, we finally have a chance to make a home, if you’ll move in with me.

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND OF SAND
If you can’t hear it, how can you really know me? It’s a part of me. It will always be with me.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
Just like all the fields around us, from Mr. Bushel’s little plot to Monsanto’s seas, I can’t ever put that down, but you understand me, don’t you?

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
Do you think so?

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
I took you out into the mazes of maize; we rode the carts sitting on hay during the orange and black fiery evenings; caught snowflakes on our tongues during the fallow season. Don’t you know me?

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
So why can’t you hear what I hear?

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
Let me try again.

PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND holds up his bucket and PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN puts his ear into it. PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND looks anxiously at PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN. Nothing.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN (cont)
Maybe a little echo of something?

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
This is hopeless.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
No, let’s try something else. Show me, like I showed you the rows and rows of ears and silks.

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
But it’s hundreds of miles from here.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
Is this just an excuse not to move in with me?

PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND thinks for a moment, then pours sand in a circle around the block.

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
There. Try now.

PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN closes eyes, listens. Nothing.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
You got sand everywhere.

PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND puts the bucket down in front of the block, then gets up on the block and conducts unheard noise, a symphony of silence. PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN closes eyes, listens.

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND
Nothing?

PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN shrugs.

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND (cont)
Listen:

PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND conducts the silent symphony described.

                                                            PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND (cont)
The waves crash against the rocks! Then suck their way back towards the horizon. They carefully caress the sand, shushing up almost to where you’re lying supine. Underneath your back, the ground is warm, grains shifting slightly under your weight, conforming to your distinctiveness—a little indentation sighing as the salt hits your nose and the water sucks itself back towards the horizon. Up above, the high pitch call of a flock in flight, hanging on the wind until they dip down and slap against the waves that suck their way back towards the horizon. Again. And again. And again. For the hours that you lie in the sun.

As PERSON WITH A BUCKET OF SAND conducts and describes, PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN slowly enters the circle of sand, sits, back against the bock, bucket in lap, and puts the corn in the bucket.

                                                            PERSON WITH STALKS OF CORN
I sea, I sea, I sea.


Blackout.