Challenge

Write stream-of-conciousness, and let the words flow, including all the, uhms… and ooohs… and arghs… and anything else. Write a monologue that’s all coming straight from your head without any censorship.

Response

Recently, in an attempt combat writers block, my friend Shannon and I sent each other random words or phrases, then gave each other a set amount of time to write stream of conciousness springboarding from said phrase. These are always fun to do, as you find yourself somewhat un-constrained when writing as you are just writing whatever the hell comes into your head, breaking the barrier between brain and fingers and just letting the words in whatever random and non sensical order they do so. This challenge has been set by Sebastian the past two years, and before I usually only stuck to about 5 minutes each time. This time around Sebastian proposed a time of 15 minutes, so I figured “why not?” So I set the timer for 15 minutes and wrote, non-stop, whatever nonsense poured from my mind. After writing said passage, I went back to it and added stage directions and what not, in a vein attempt to make it somewhat theatrical.

Result

Only Monday

Lights up

Dave is sat at a table, an empty plate in front of him. He is rubbing his thumb on his right hand.

My thumb hurts; I managed to burn the cocking thing when trying to get a homemade Body Coach pizza out the over. This is what happens when you don’t have oven gloves. I lost the oven gloves in the divorce,

He gets up and clears the table.

There’s no divorce, but saying “I lost insert item here” in the divorce seems to make things a bit funnier, I guess – I don’t know. Anyway I burnt my thumb on a tray, trying to get a homemade pizza out because I failed to adult. I attempted cooking for myself and I failed .

He throws the plate and tray into a bowel in the sink. His laptop is on the side. He walks over the sofa and sits with it on his lap.

Well not necessarily failed, I’m not a failure in that respect. I am able to cook for myself, but considering the failure is the most recent thing to happen to me, my mind decides to dwell on that.

He starts to type.

It hurts to type even though I don’t think I really use my thumb, it just kind of stays recoiled or – whats the phrase is when you have a gun in a holster? It’s holstered – that sounds about right. Did I just refer to my thumb as a gun? Yeah that sounds about right. My thumb is a lethal weapon. Imagine if I typed with my thumb.

He stands to his feet, wielding a pen like a sword.

They say the pen is mightier than the sword; well my thumb is mightier than the gun.

He makes his hand into a gun, but tries to have the thumb as the barrel.

Pause

I think I am jumping the gun a bit here.

He gets to his feet. The sofa and table are moved, and replaced with a series of computer desks. Officer workers are wheeled in, typing furiously.

I feel I am losing my mind and its only Monday. Monday. Christ it’s only Monday.

A tie is thrown at him, which he puts on

That’s what everyone seems to think, that is what goes through everyone’s heads when it’s Monday, or at least at the end of Monday. Oh Christ it’s only Monday.

The workers unanimously put their heads in their hands.

Don’t worry guys, when it comes to Tuesday you’ll all be thinking, oh Christ it’s only Tuesday,” and then, “Jesus Christ it’s Wednesday, why is it not Thursday?” Then when Thursday does hit, you’ll think it’s Friday – “It feels like a Friday” – whatever that feels like – do days have feelings? And then when it is Friday, you wish the hours away until 4.30.

He stands up and the computer desks and workers are wheeled away. He grabs his jacket from the back of his chair, before that too is taken.

Cause I get to finish earlier on a Friday, wooo half hour! Makes all the difference let me tell you. The sun is out for longer. But then the weekend comes and BOOM, it’s back to Monday, and oh Christ it’s only Monday. Best thing is not to think about it being only Monday, otherwise you’ll realise that there are a still a hell of a lot of days left to go until the next weekend, which is not a hell of a lot of days, it is only 2 days, 2 and a quarter if you count the tail end of Friday night, which is party night.

Disco lights come on, and a load of clubbers rush on with drinks, dancing around Dave.

(Trying to be heard) Except you are too tired to do anything, because you are in your mid-twenties and the thought of going out on a Friday night is horrifying. Eugh…Out?

The sofa is wheeled on and the clubbers disappear. Dave falls on it and grabs the remote.

Outside? With people? But Graham Norton is on. Jesus what has become of my life?

He lays back on the sofa, undoing his tie and top button.

Monday wasn’t too bad… OH!

He jumps to his feet. The sofa is wheeled away. A set of traffic lights are wheeled on to form a crossing, along with a Father holding the hands of his two children.

Dave walks round, inspecting the three of them, who are stood in silence at the crossing.

Except I did see some dad at the traffic lights, at least I think he was a dad. Well he was filling in the role of a dad because he had two children attached to him, one on each arm. But he wasn’t acting like a Dad, you know why?

The Father opens his mouth and a comically large cigarette is shoved into his mouth.

Because he had a great big fuck off cigarette in his mouth, he was lit up like a Christmas Tree on fire. Now why the hell do people think it is acceptable to smoke in front of their Kids?

(To the Father) Did we learn nothing from all the second hand smoke warnings that were popular WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL? What the hell is wrong with you? You think its ok to blow cancerous smoke into your children’s mouths?  (To the Audience) He probably thought it was fine because he towers over his children, so it’s just a cancer cloud above their heads which they can’t yet reach. They are supposedly safe, because you have to stay low when there is a fire, right? But one day they will grow up and have their heads in the clouds. (To the Father) The fucking great big death clouds that you put there. Why do people smoke around Kids? Don’t do it I shouldn’t have to tell you that!

The traffic lights and family of three are wheeled away.

Another thing that annoys me, about parents or people in general is phones.

He pulls his phone out of his pocket and waves it at the audience.

Oh shut up yes I am using a piece of technology now. Yes I will probably be on my phone later tonight, but I am allowed to. I’m on my own, I live alone, I’m not ignoring anyone. Least of all my own kid… cause I don’t have one to ignore.

Pause

Where was I? I’m getting off topic. Oh- That was it. I saw a mother pushing her baby in the pram the other day.

A Mother enters pushing a pram across the stage.

A baby, her own child, her own flesh and blood she was pushing along the miracle of life, and what was she doing? Was she marvelling at said miracle? Was she fuck!

The Mother holds out her arm and a comically large mobile phone is brought out and placed into her hand. She stares down at it, as she pushes the pram across the stage. Dave walks alongside her, addressing the audience.

She was looking down at her fucking phone, paying not one single iota of attention to her child, or to the pavement in front of her.

She exits

If there was a cliff in her path-  pffft if it ain’t on snapchat who gives a shit?

The Goofy Yell (AAAH HOO HOO HOOEY!) is heard off stage, followed by a crash of the Mother and pram having just fallen off a cliff.

Parents, can you not put your crippling addiction to death sticks and infuriating snapchat filters to one side for one second so you can pay attention to those little balls of life you call your children. Act like a parent. You know I really think that stupid snapchat of that dickhead you once knew from school, pretending to be a bee, or a dog with a big tongue, or a pretty fucking flower princess can wait just a few minutes whilst you’re supposed to be being a parent? Come on! What is wrong with some people?

Pause

Not that I am the best person to judge, as I am not a parent and I am without child. But for fucks sake people, have some respect and when out with your child, pay attention to them.

A group of parents walk across the stage, staring down at their phones, ignoring their children running around trying to get their attention.

Stop sucking on cigarettes and phones and relish the time where your child is young enough that they want to spend time with you. Because in a few years time you’ll be bitching and moaning that they want nothing to do with you.

The same group of children come out, staring down at their phones, ignoring the parents who are now running around trying to get their attention.

That seems to be the norm right? I mean I was a teenager once, a very very fucking long time ago – Lol I’m only in my mid 20s what the fuck am I talking about? Did I just say lol…Oh dear. Anyway – but I still enjoyed the company of my parents. I have a good relationship with my Mother, and in a shit 90’s sitcom that would make me a poorly written gay stereotype, would it not? But yes, as a teenager, and still now, I have good relationships with my parents.

Photos of Dave growing up, with his parents are projected onto the screen.

Because they did spend the last 25 years raising me and making sure I didn’t die, so the least I can do is ask how they are and engage in the art of conversation.

The last photo is a recent one of Dave with his family. It fades.

Conversation is an art. Now don’t worry, I am not about to get all preachy against technology. Technology is great. And the art of conversation is able to continue on with technology. It just means that the tools with which to create art have changed.

A blank canvas is brought on stage, and Dave starts painting as he talks.

It’s like moving from water colours to… (Unsure) some other form of painting…I don’t do art obviously.

He turns the canvas around, it’s a painting of a smiley face, and not a very good one at that.

Sorry to all my art friends out there. The point is, you are able to create long and meaningful forms of communication though social media.

He walks over to the edge of the stage where there is someone stood on their phone.

The clue is in the title, it is social media.

He pats the person on the shoulder, but they don’t acknowledge Dave, they stay glued to their phone. Dave notices this and tries to get the guys attention. He waves at him, jumps in front of him… Nothing. He looks to the audience and awkwardly laughs.

10 years we’ve been friends I mean… Oh he’s a… fun one. OK fuck off.

He pushes him off the stage.

Yeah, don’t use social media as a fall back when you are supposed to been engaging with someone in the real world – or whatever constitutes as the “real world” nowadays, because let me tell you the world is seeming less and less real every day, and yes that means I am about to start ranting about Trump.

A photo of Trump with his leering baby hands emerges on the screen, followed by the sound of booing.

Oh wait-wait, now hang on. Before you boo, hear me out. I tell you what, Trump has been pretty good for politics – Hear me out. Usually politics are boring, or seen as boring in the eyes of the younger generation. But ever since the total fuck ups of Trump and Brexit occurred – With one being a larger fuck up than the other – I’ll give you a clue… it’s Trump – It has inspired a lot more of the younger generation to get more actively involved in talking about and debating politics. Look at social media, it’s become like the House of Parliament, and this is a good thing, people should be engaging in this. Look at the Women’s March, a momentous day where people got up and took a stand, all united in the same correct opinion that this badly drawn cartoon character is somehow in charge, despite being a piss poor attempt at a decent human being, dangerously unqualified, dangerous in general and – Oh fuck what has he done now? What the hell is going on? Seriously what the fuck is happening? Literally nothing he has done can be seen iin any way as a positive, how thr fuck did we get here? Why the fuck is he President? Why are their fucktards that support him, that voted for him, that try and make excuses for him? Jesus Christ the world is broken! When will this madness end?!?!?

The sofa is wheeled out and Dave falls onto it.

(Tired) Christ it’s only Monday…. My thumb hurts.

 

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