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Revolt, Freedom, and Passion

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Published 8 years ago
(A one act play in two scenes. The action all takes place in Paris. The characters are sitting together. One is Albert. The other is Antoine. They have been dead decades.)

(A park bench with the Eiffel Tower behind it. It is full daylight. Each character is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. Each is wearing a trench coat, slacks, and brown shoes. When one speaks he always gestures somehow to indicate he is behind the mask.)
Albert: Antoine? Do you know that in 1969 the Stonewall uprising occurred? 

Antoine: Yes Albert. I was there. No, I was dead. I died in 1944. I forgot.

Albert: In 1973 the most gay men ever killed at one time in the United States died in a fire in New Orleans.

Antoine: Yes, you were there. No, you were dead. You died in 1960. I forgot.

Albert: No one cared. The mayor ignored it. The governor ignored it.

Antoine: Did you care? No. You were dead. How Absurd.

Albert: You are Absurd!

Antoine: No, you are. Remember?

Albert: Oh yes. I am. We all are. Clearly.

Antoine: Where were the churches? What did they do?

Albert: They ignored it. Only one church allowed a ceremony.

Antoine: Absurd.

Albert: Everyone had to leave out the back door. It is all Absurd.

Antoine: So you have said. I don't know if I believe it.

Albert: Belief has nothing to do with it. It is all Absurd.

Antoine: I found meaning in my P-38.

Albert: You created meaning. It was not there until you made it.

Antoine: Perhaps. But I lived my life.

Albert: Of course. That is the beauty of life. To live it for the beauty.

Antoine: Can you not die for beauty?

Albert: Suicide is not an option. It is a betrayal. Or an acquiescence.

Antoine: Do you never acquiesce?

Albert: No, I revolt. One must revolt against it.

Antoine: Against what?

Albert: Against suicide.

Antoine: Is it wrong to commit suicide?

Albert: Nothing is wrong unless you make it wrong. There is no morality.

Antoine: You never do anything right or wrong?

Albert: I accept that I am the one to make it right or wrong.

Antoine: So you are certain?

Albert: Nothing is perfectly certain.

Antoine: The war we fought was certain.

Albert: You died flying for France. But it was all Absurd.

Antoine: You were in it too. You were a prisoner.

Albert: I was never a true prisoner. My mind is always free.

Antoine: Yes, I flew free in the sky.

Albert: You crashed from the sky. The desert almost took you. Africa almost took you.

Antoine: Africa gave you to us. And a German fighter plane took me away.

Albert: It was a beautiful way to die. But it was all Absurd.

Antoine: My life was beautiful. Your life was beautiful.

Albert: This is my passion, of course. To live for the beauty of the world.

Antoine: The world is beautiful. And death can be beautiful too.

Albert: As was the death of your Prince. But it was not a good death.

Antoine: Why not?

Albert: Because he did not revolt. He gave in. He killed himself.

Antoine: He was not real. But he came to me after my crash.

Albert: Yes, and he was the perfect illustration of Absurdity.

Antoine: Is our world totally Absurd?

Albert: How can you ask? Do people accept that some are better than others? Are some people denied true freedom? Does the inequality of certain groups remain true and strong in most societies on the earth? Is this not all an illustration of Absurdity? The world is Absurd.



(It is night time. A strong streetlamp above the characters lights the scene. Both characters are now not wearing masks but are still sitting on the bench. They are both in their 40s and white men in trench coats, slacks, brown shoes, and fedoras. They are free to gesture or not in this scene.)
Albert: We are dead you know?

Antoine: Yes of course we are. But we do not exist you know?

Albert: Of course we don't. Nothing exists after death. We are just here for the play.

Antoine: But you are wrong about suicide.

Albert: How do you mean, Antoine?

Antoine: It is always a viable option in an Existential world. To end it is sometimes good.

Albert: This is not an Existential world. It is an Absurd world.

Antoine: I died first. I get to be right.

Albert: I was older when I died. I get to be right.

Antoine: In an Existential world no one is right or wrong. Let's not argue.

Albert: I never argue. It is like pushing a rock up a hill, only to have it roll down every time.

Antoine: Please, do not push your literary works on me. I have some of my own you know.

Albert: I won the Nobel Prize.

Antoine: So did Jean-Paul. He refused to accept his. Perhaps he was the Absurdist more than you?

Albert: Please. He was just trying to get into the papers. He was a Marxist. They are all attention seekers. And he claimed to be an Existentialist, but that kept changing. He was a changeable man.

Antoine: So winning the Nobel Prize means something to you?

Albert: Of course it did because it allowed me to have some pleasure with the money. I was making life pleasant by teasing you. That is what life is for. Pleasure in the beauty of the world and the company and interaction of friends.

Antoine. Yes, your passion, as you called it. My passion was the air. And my lovers, of course.

Albert: Of course.

Antoine: Are we friends?

Albert: We are nothing. We are dead.

Antoine: My Prince will never die. Even if he killed himself. The world will not allow it.

Albert: The world is Absurd. It will allow anything. When we slaughtered people in the Algerian conflict did the world care? When we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki did the world care? Reasons, always good reasons, and the hate and killing and torture continue. If the world is not Absurd it is psychotic.

Antoine: Only people are psychotic.

Albert: Sometimes animals are psychotic.

Antoine: Only when people make them that way.

Albert: True. But still we must live even if we are dead. How Absurd this is. Perhaps we can escape from this play and just not be.

Antoine: We can only try. Adieu.

Albert: Adieu mon ami.

(Blackout and end of play.)

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