A Family In Decline (An Absurd Play In No Acts)

24 Mar

(Fade in: a well-lit ante-room looking into larger, Victorian chambers. A woman walks in and pours a drink from a crystal decanter. She swallows. And then she fans herself with her open palm. A drop of sherry rests on the corner of her lips, then starts down her chin. She catches it. And then she touches herself in between her legs with two fingers. Fade out.)

(Fade in: large, Victorian chambers. A young man is having a bath in the middle of the room. On the floor there is a tall bottle. Around the bath there are chairs and various divans inhabited by men and women watching, playing with pocket watches, drinking port out of crystal glasses. They’re bored. And making hushed small talk. Someone is playing an out of tune harpsichord off stage.)

—Oh for…for Chrissakes…
—Oh…oh stop it, will you?
—What? Stop what?
—Oh God, you are so…maculate. With your drinking.
—And straight out of the bottle…
—What? What the fuck is that mean? Maculate.
—Brute! I won’t have any of it. You are a vulgar, vile man.
—Fuck you.
—Sorry I forgot. I already have.
—God forgive me.
(laughter from the men and women in the room)
—God doesn’t forgive incest, don’t you know? Repent!
—Stop it!
—It really is quite all right to be kissing cousins.
—Stop it. I’m warning you.
—Fucking cousins.
—Stop. Murray. You’re awful.
—Royalty did it. They bred themselves into history. We’re royalty. Can you see it? Can you see it in your fucking, narrow head?
—Oh God.
—Fuck God.
—Oh, you’re so vile…heretic!
(laughter from the men and women in the room)
—In other respects, my darling, dear repressed morsel, it has been a fine day. Thank you for asking. Mimi is getting straight As, Balthazar has lost his first tooth, and the victrola has been repaired. I received a communiqué from the States.
—Oh, you are such a genius.
—Your breasts are like red cabbage.
—Oh God…you…
(laughter from the men and women in the room)
(to room)

—Shut the fuck up!
(and then to audience)
—…fucking royalty. They all ought to be shot like the Romanovs. Into the basement and shot.
—Stop it. Murray.
—Shut it, you fucking pretentious cunt. You fucking make-believe princess. You make me sick.
(to the rest)
—All of you do.
—What nationality are you?
—You heard me.
—English. I’m English. That is, I was born Czech, but my father was English.
(The man reaches for the empty bottle and chucks it at her hard. She avoids the nearly-deadly projectile.)
—Oh God…God help you…
—Fuck God. God is dead. He has died of pity for cunts like you and me.
—Oh for Chrissakes…
(The woman exits sobbing, distraught. The man in the bathtub shifts and reaches down for something. Only there is nothing. He reaches still, and searches for something, his hand moving urgently.)
(The lights begin to fade very slowly.)
(Still fading.)
—Francine! Come back here.
(Still fading, now almost out)
—Francine, you fucking cunt you! Come back here and set up the chairs!
(Lights out. Complete darkness. Only laughter. And an out-of-tune harpsichord).


6 Responses to “A Family In Decline (An Absurd Play In No Acts)”

  1. Matt 25/03/2009 at 8:31 PM #

    What a great play. When all lights fade out-of-tune harpsichords fill the ears as peanut butter fills celery.

  2. (S)wine 26/03/2009 at 5:59 AM #

    pretty much the line of philosophical reasoning, yes.

  3. pw 27/03/2009 at 2:33 AM #

    This is what you wrote on wordpress last year about Obama..so how proud are you of him now..you where told he was not experienced, but he is more then thathe is a traitor he is taken your country down the road to death and you where one of many hypnatized into it or you are just stupid ..when he makes us a socilist country and takes your salary what will you do them? you are a joke ..

    12. May 22, 2008
    12:47 pm

    While I wouldn’t call his mind “feeble” (#11), I also wouldn’t make a decision based solely on looks. I am an Obama supporter, let me disclose that, but I don’t care much either way for his physical demeanor

  4. (S)wine 27/03/2009 at 6:44 AM #

    For my friend up above: http://bit.ly/8pOjp

  5. momentofchoice 27/03/2009 at 7:10 AM #

    LOL aww PW cheer up. the world is going down the toilet because of our every day choices, regardless of who is in the white house.

  6. Slyboots 28/03/2009 at 12:52 PM #

    I love the non-sequitur above. I didn’t see a mention of Obama in the piece, and was a touch worried that I missed something. But not really- just pointing out that you appear to have drawn your share of M.o.r.o.n traffic to the site. Lucky guy!

    Actually, this really reminded me of the Dadaist stuff that a friend of ours was obsessed with back in the day. While I was in art school, even. She got her hands on a copy of “The Surrealist Cookbook” and went a little further into whackdom. It was …interesting watching her go there. Kind of what it must’ve been like for those witnessing Alice going down the rabbit hole.

    And now I am done being all chatty here, because I really could go on, but I’m late, you see. For a very important date.

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