Isn't it a little silly to require permission for reproduction and then
post it to usenet where it gets reproduced ten thousand times,
archived, wais-indexed, gopherized, etc...? I mean, it would seem that
you have given *implicit* permission to reproduce it, but that obviously
isn't adequate under your notice.
I think (at least for me) it's more of something that if I ever
become rich and famous (unlikely, and if so, more likely for showing P=NP or
P != NP) and someone wishes to try and publish some of the stuff I write
(sort of along the lines of "boy was he a l00zer back then, see?") I could in
theory sue them easier. Although the odds of that are VERY VERY VERY VERY
slim and I detest lawyers immensely.
Nicholas C. Weaver nwe...@orodruin.cs.berkeley.edu
You know you are a techie when you use RCS on your writing.
I'm DUI on the Information Superhighway
ARC LIGHT DREAMS
Mist: 19 year old college sophomore.
Jonathan: Mist's best friend in high school. Jon died two weeks
before graduation when his car was struck by a drunk
driver. This occurred about one year ago.
Dust: Mist's x-girlfriend.
Father: Mist's somewhat overbearing father.
Mother: Mist's doting mother.
A dark stage. A single spot comes up on Jonathan Michaels.
LOOKING OUT OVER THE AUDIENCE.
You know, I can see every one of you.
PAUSES AND LOOKS AROUND THE AUDIENCE SOME MORE.
Yes, I really can see you. I can see you there in the stripped shirt,
and you in the red skirt. And of course you can see me.
Not impressed? Well, your probably not looking at it the same way I
am. You see it's all a matter of perspective. I can't see me. Of
all the people gathered here tonight I'm the only one who can't see
looks out at the audience expectantly then turns in disgust.
You don't get it do you? Then again you probably didn't spend your
life trying to live up to everyone's expectations. You see the real
problem with that is that you can never really be sure how others see
you. Hence no matter what you do, you always fall short.
Of course I realized this too late.
You see, I'm dead. Mist and I were driving home from a party. He was
a tad drunk so I was driving. Unfortunately everyone wasn't as aware
of their limits as Mist. All I saw was a flash of headlights. Mist
tells me the police report said the driver was doing over a hundred
miles an hour. Amazing he survived it. Course I was D.O.A..
PAUSES AND LOOK HARDER AT THE AUDIENCE FOR A SECOND
A few of you out there look puzzled.
Went into the basic philosophical topic of the evening.
Told them about the car crash.
Explained about Mist.
Almost forgot Mist.
LIGHT COMES UP ON MIST. MIST IS IN BED ASLEEP.
Meet Zebedia Hanson Smith. His fathered named him after the
illustrious Dr. Smith from Lost in Space. This should tell you
something about his father. His girlfriend hates the name. No she's
a strange one. Sort of the ultimate in earth tones. You know the type.
Thinks we should all go back to the trees and the forests. Anyway she
decided to call him Mist. It's stuck ever since. And this.
WAVES HANDS TO ENCOMPASS EVERYTHING.
me, you, everything we see, is all dream.
POINTING TOWARDS MIST.
LIGHT DIMS OUT ON MIST.
It's not such a bad place all things considered. After all dead men
can't be choosers. But of all the religious believes I've seen, none
of them, none of them suggested that the afterlife was to be stuck
haunting your best friend's night mares! Well, you know what the
Christians say, we all have our crosses to bear.
It could be worse I guess, after all the Christians could have been
right! In that case I'd be in hell.
THINKS A SECOND THEN MUCH QUIETER
Or maybe they were right....But then nothing lasts forever.
FADE TO BLACK
MOTHER AND FATHER ARE TOGETHER IN A BRIGHT WHITE COLUMN OF
LIGHT UPSTAGE LEFT. THEY MOVE AT ABOUT HALF SPEED AND SEEM
TO BE ARGUING. EVEN THOUGH THEIR MOUTHS ARE MOVING, NO SOUND
CAN BE HEARD FROM THEM. JONATHAN CROSSES FROM UPSTAGE RIGHT
TO CENTER STAGE FRAMED IN A PALE BLUE SPOT.
PARODYING ROD SERLING.
Presented for your inspection Mr and Mrs Smith. Parodies of patience
waiting for their eldest son to free them from the bonds of waiting....
THE LIGHT AROUND FATHER AND MOTHER DIMS TO NORMAL AND
THEY BEGIN TO SPEAK NORMALLY
There he is. Late as usual.
Don't be harsh dear he has allot on his mind.
Mind? Dear the kid has no mind. He barely made it into State. Now
that Jonathan kid. There's a mind.
ADDRESSING MIST FOR THE FIRST TIME
Why can't you be more like him son?
Jon's dead dad.
Such a waste. Track star, class president, honor student. A loss to
to the world. Dead and gone to heaven. Good kid. Mother, why is it
the good ones are always the ones to go?
TURNING TO GO
They're the ones God wants I suppose. Good looking souls I guess.
ALSO TURNING AND WALKING OFF INTO THE DARK AND FOG
Doubt ours even has a soul. The good ones go and we're left to deal
with that one.
We all have our crosses to bear dear.
MIST IS LEFT ALONE ON THE STAGE WITH JONATHAN WHO
HE STILL CAN'T SEE.
They're right you know...
NONE OF JONATHAN'S INTERRUPTIONS ARE HEARD BY MIST
Now you know that's not true.
Why can't I be more like Jon.
Because I was always living a lie. And you knew it.
Everyone was happy with Jon.
Except me! Damn it Mist I thought you knew me.
'Course Jon was never happy. So there's the choice. Make others
happy or please yourself.
It's an easy choice Mist...
But then I'm not happy either.
That's it! I give up.
JONATHAN TURNS AND WALKS DOWNSTAGE UNTIL HE ENCOUNTERS
A LARGE BLACK CURTAIN WHICH HE CAN NOT CROSS. HEY THEN
TURNS AND ADDRESSES MIST
Dammit Mist, why drag me here if you won't listen to me. You control
the direction of your life. If you want something to happen then make
Make it happen....
So now I stand here and wait I guess. Funny, I can still remember
what Jon used to say about waiting. You're either waiting for Santa
Claus or waiting for rigor mortis.
We're a long way from Santa's route.
SPINNING AROUND IN SHOCK
Jon! But your dead. How can you...
You brought me here.
I did....that means you're just another fantasy.
No, I'm real enough.
Then you really are a ghost.
I don't' know. All I know is since the accident I've been here.
Here? In my dreams?
Yeah, trying to get out. Wondering why you've trapped me here.
Yeah trapped, as in can't get out, stuck, unfree, without
OK, enough, I get the picture.
Anyway, I've spent the last month or so roaming arway, I've spent the last month or so roaming around in here...
Month, Jon I hate to break this to you but, you've been dead for
almost a year.
SMILES SHEEPISHLY HOLDING HIS WATCH TO HIS EAR
Sorta thought this thing got banged up a bit in the accident.
MIST SEEMS CONFUSED THEN SMILES AND STARTS TO LAUGH ALMOST
So all this time I've been depressed and beating myself for killing
you you were right here.
Killing me? If I recall correctly I was driving and the guy that hit
us was drunk off his ass.
True, but the only reason you were driving was that I was too drunk to
see straight. If I'd have been sober you'd still be alive...
And you'd be dead.
Well, yeah, and everyone'd be happier.
Is that what you think?
Sometimes.... I never realized how much I needed you 'till you were
gone. The last years been pretty hard. My dad finally made good on
his threat to throw me out. Dust left me. For the first time in my
life I've been really alone. Now suddenly here you are.
Dust left you?
Yeah, she says that since the accident I've become too self
involved....You didn't even ask about my father.
Well, I've sorta been expecting it. I'm surprised you lasted so long
with the idiot. Dust leaving comes as a surprise. I did think it was
strange that you never dreamt about her but hadn't expected that she'd
left. Somehow I always pictured the two of you getting married and
living happily ever after.
Well, nothing lasts forever.
THEY BOTH TURN IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS AND WALK OFF STAGE
SAME BLANK STAGE. IT IS LIT TO SUGGEST A SUMMERS DAY
IN A WARM SUNNY GLADE. MIST AND JONATHAN WALK ONTO STAGE
FROM OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS. MIST IS MOVING SLOWLY IN
A BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT.
I hate those violent transitions. One of the problems of this medium.
Dreams have a nasty habit of shifting location and mood suddenly.
Take this place for example....
GESTURES AT THE ABSOLUTE LACK OF SCENERY
The hills overlooking the city. Quiet, peaceful. Mist and I used to
come here to talk....
THE LIGHT ON MIST DIMS OUT
Remember this place?
I'm dead, not senile. Of course I remember this place. This is the
place where I came out to you.
Not quiet what I expected from the evening. I was more hoping to cry
on your shoulder over some argument I'd had with Dust.
I'd been wanting to tell you for a long time, but was scared you'd
react badly. Run away screaming or something. Then suddenly you
I still feel so stupid about that. And the way I phrased it, ugh,
"hey, your the big sports hero, how come I never see the babes dripping
off you, you gay?"
You should'a seen the look on your face when I just quietly said,
I'm not sure what I thought. Mainly I guess I just didn't believe it.
Then you started to cry. I think that's what convinced me. I'd never
seen you that emotional about anything and suddenly there you were
crying in front of me.
Honestly I don't know what happened...
I do. You'd been storing up all that fear and self hatred and
suddenly it had an outlet. I can't imagine what it'd be like to store
up that much pain and never let it out.
That's all my life was. Lies, deceit, fear. Fear that someone would
find out. Always having to be better then everyone else just to prove
I was a man. I was so sure that when you found out you'd kill me. I
can't believe you just held me all night while I cried.
Hey, I'm your best friend. What else could I do.
Well, if you weren't so straight....
Yeah, tiss a curse I guess. I've never cared for a woman as much as I
loved you but I just can't seem to think of you that wayloved you but I just can't seem to think of you that way....
I understand. I could never image being in bed with Dust. Bleah.
Actually that's probably why we broke up.
Huh, 'cause I wouldn't sleep with her?
No, cause I was never really that close to her. Oh we were close but I
never really LOVED her. She said she just didn't believe me when I
said I loved her. She was right....Nothing ever lasts for ever.
SLOW FADE TO BLACK
MIST APPEARS ALONE IN A PALE BLUE SPOT.
It's true you know. What I said in the last dream. I loved him. Not
sexually, but.... I don't know, something more.
STARTS TO PACE SLOWLY ABOUT THE STAGE
When I was real little, I used to believe that I had a mirror twin.
someone who was just like me but different. Hmmm, guess that made
very little sense. What I mean is, someone who wasn't afraid of the
things I was afraid of. Someone who could stand up to my father.
Someone who was all the things I wasn't yet somehow still just like
me. In allot of ways that describes Jon real well. Sort of a
combination dream come true slash big brother. That night floored me.
Here was the person who I most looked up to in the world, whose life I
envied showing me his own personal private hell.
STOPS AND LOOKS OUT AT THE AUDIENCE
Not a pretty site. I think that's what shocked me more than anything.
Not his being gay, but the fact that he was vulnerable and human. I
was use to anything Jon wanted coming easily for him.
STARTING TO PACE AGAIN
Course that forced me to think about sex in general. I'd known about
homosexuals before of course. I'd just never met one. I'd just
assumed that everyone was like me. Gays were....elsewhere, you know,
a small group of drag queens and marchers in California. Now suddenly
my best friend is one.
I don't mean to suggest that I was thinking of becoming one, just that
the world wasn't quiet so cut and dried as I'd thought it was.
Then of course there was Dust.
THE BRIGHT SPOT REAPPEARS WITH DUST IN IT SHE IS MOVING IN
THE NOW FAMILIAR SLOW MOTION DREAM STATE
What the hell was I doing with a S&M radical back to earther? I don't
like whips, chains or bondage yet engaged in all of these to please
her. Why? Not really a very important question now I guess since
ON THE WORD GONE THE BRIGHT LIGHT SNAPS OFF AND DUST IS
GONE AS IF NEVER THERE
And I'm alone.
THE LIGHT ON HIM SEEMS TO PALE A LITTLE
But then nothing lasts forever....
FADE TO BLACK
DUST AND MIST ARE ALONE ON STAGE
I just don't understand you sometimes.
You don't understand me?!? I'm not the one who wants to be chained to
You act like there's something wrong with that.
Not wrong, I'm just not very comfortable with it.
Oh, but you are comfortable with your friend Jon.
And what's that supposed to mean?
Exactly what it sounds like. You spend more time with him then me and
never seem interested in sex.
Sex yes, this....this is a bloody dungeon revival!
Can't you understand? To be totally helpless. It's the ultimate
expression of trust. Of love.
Can't you just believe me when I tell you I love you?
No, I can't. It just seems your hiding something from me.
THE BRIGHT LIGHT ENGULFS DUST AND SHE SLOWS
This is senseless.
WALKING ONTO STAGE
Then why do it?
Somehow I still have hope. I always thought I could change her
Why change her if you love her?
Because she makes you uncomfortable, right?
Yes....But she's trying to do the same thing to me.
Perhaps you weren't meant to be together. Not all things work out.
And if you try to force yourself into someone else's mold you'll never
Yeah, I know. I want her back, I want you back. How come I never get
what I want?
are you sure that's what you want? If it's not then as soon as you
get it you don't want it and say you never get what you want.
Maybe I need to change what I want. Silly thing to say. Now I want
Well, that fixes that problem. Anything else?
Yeah, just why are you here?
I don't know. You were the only person I ever loved. The only person
I cared about. Where else would I go when I died, Cleveland?
I spent a week there one day. Seriously though. Are you real?
I thought we covered this already.
I'm sorry, I still have my doubts though.
Well, nothing ever lasts...
Don't say it...
FADE TO BLACK
MIST AND JONATHAN ARE ALONE ON THE STAGE each in a pale blue spot.
Damn it Jon I hate these changes.
It's your dream, stop pulling them.
I'm not doing it.
Poor Mist bouncing like a ping pong ball around the insides of his own
It's not my fault!
That's the story of your life isn't it? Nothing is your fault,
everything just happens around you. Damn it take charge of your life
and if you can't take charge at least take responsibility.
Jon, I don't understand, please....help me.
I can't help you any more Mist, I'm dead. I'm really dead.
JONATHAN'S SPOT DIMS OUT.
DUST WALKS IN
In the beginning there was the dream
and the dream was in motion
like light upon water
the water became the dream
a single puddle upon the side walk
lit only by a single street lamp
but it was the beginning
and beginnings are forever
Why are you here?
Just to delight you with my poetry.
Thanks, I needed that.
DUST TURNS TO LEAVE
Wait, where are you going?
I don't know. I'll go find out.
STARTS WALKING OFF STAGE
Will you be back?
OVER HER SHOULDER
If you want. It's always up to you.
WALKING BACK ONTO STAGE
The Chinese had it all wrong. A journey doesn't begin with one step,
it begins when you first imagine it.
I don't understand.
The poem didn't begin when she started to recite, or when she first
put pen to paper. It began when she saw the reflection of an arc
light in a puddle and started to dream.
LOOKS AT WATCH
It's almost morning, time for me to go.
But I don't want this to end.
Haven't you listened to anything I've said tonight? Dreams are
beginnings, and if you have beginnings and desire anything is possible.
Will you be here tomorrow night?
If you like. It's up to you.
JONATHAN WALKS OFF STAGE RIGHT
FADE TO BLACK
MIST IS BACK IN HIS BED AN ALARM CLOCK STANDS NEXT TO THE BED
WIRES TRAIL FROM IT TO A CASSETTE PLAYER JONATHAN STAND CENTER
STAGE BATHED IN A PALE BLUE SPOT AS IF WAITING. SUDDENLY
THE SOUND OF A 747 LANDING IS PLAYED AT HIGH VOLUME MIST
JUMPS UP AND PUNCHES A BUTTON ON THE TAPE PLAYER THERE IS
the dream is over
I can almost remember it. Jon was there, and Dust. God I want them
back. But Jon's dead. Dust is alive though. Maybe she still cares.
I want her to care. What did they say. Something about water and
THE LIGHT ON MIST DIMS
WANDERING AROUND THE STAGE
Some mornings I feel it was all in vain. He hardly remembers the
dreams from night to night. Each night is a blank slate. Ah what a
perfect private hell, to have the answer to life and be unable to tell
TURNS TO AUDIENCE
Or were you expecting a sweet happy ending. Mist wakes up and
suddenly life is rosy due to one dream? Yeah, right. You've all
been watching too much TV. When was the last time any of you followed
your dreams? Oh, come on, I can see everyone of you. But how many of
you can actually see yourselves?
Tonight look in the mirror. Nothing eve last forever.
FADE TO BLACK, DROP CURTAIN