Repost of the play Chapter Five

Cast of Characters:

Wallace

Adam

(Both dressed similar in baseball caps, white T-shirt over gray thermal, jeans, and boots)

Setting/ The Place:

A park bench.

Wallace:

(He is sitting on the bench. Adam walks up smoking a cigarette.)

Adam:

(He sits on the bench) What’s wrong with you?

Wallace:

(Shakes his head)

Adam:

There is something wrong. It’s always something wrong when you’re quiet.

Wallace:

(To the audience) He’s right there is something wrong. But its not what he thinks. I stumbled onto some shit. Knowledge, very important knowledge that answered all the questions that many of your great thinkers through out time thought and wrote about. Shit like, what’s the meaning of life? Why are we born? Is there a God? , Along with a bunch of other questions that seek answers about our strange ass existence. But I got the answers. They’re in my head dancing and shit bumping and crashing into what I had known before. And what I had known is all worthless now.

Adam:

I know what’s bothering you. It’s Norm isn’t it? You didn’t really want to kill him.

Wallace:

(He looks over at Adam) Why won’t I want to kill Norm?

That’s our job right? We got paid for it. We kill for money, or have you forgot?

Adam:

No I haven’t forgot.

Wallace:

(He gave a weak smile before returning to his stare into the sky.)

Adam:

I’m just saying, I know you and Norm was cool. He was your celly, and, what; y’all were locked in a box for the majority of a day for what 3, 4 years. Plus you told me before he was your homie. I know if I was you I’d be a little fucked up about killing him. (He paused with a smile)  A little. (He laughed)

Wallace:

Why?

Adam:

Why not?

Wallace:

Why would that fuck you up? (He abandons his stare into the sky) It’s in our nature to do what we do. We have no control over this shit. We do what he wants’ us to do. Shit, the damn book is called ‘Hit men’

Adam:

(He shook his head) I should of known that was coming. Listen pimp we already know we’re just characters in a novel. The readers know that too. So stay in character and don’t think so deep because now the author will have to start the whole chapter over.

Wallace:

You already know?

Adam:

(He nodded)

Wallace:

(Looked up into the sky) Well I didn’t know.

Adam: What you mean you didn’t know. Everybody knows. Every single character in every book knows that they are only characters, created out of the imagination of a writer. So my advice to you is to suck it up and let the author finish the book. (He leaned back into the bench, interlocking his fingers, resting his hands on his lap) Besides, I would like to live out my life even though brief and pointless except for the entertainment of the readers. You never know maybe when the book is over you and Jessica might get married or something.

Wallace:

I already know what’s going to happen.

Adam:

(Adam studied Wallace’s profile to see if he was being serious.) How do you know what’s going to happen?

Wallace:

(Smiled weakly) Cause I’m the protagonist.

Adam:

(He laughed)

Wallace:

Yup, I’m the protagonist. The book is about my coming of age. The book is a comedy and tragedy, I think.

Adam:

Your acting like you read the book or something.

Wallace:

Right after we kill Norm I start wondering about life and shit. That’s what this chapter here, chapter five, is about. While you’re asking me what’s wrong I’m suppose to be in deep thought about my life.

Adam:

It’s no way you could of read the book. It’s impossible for a character of a book to have read it. It’s not logical. (He paused) Okay, let’s say you did read the book, which I don’t believe you did, wouldn’t that make life more meaningless? If everyone knew how his or her life turned out and knew all the mysteries of it wouldn’t it take away a lot from living life?

Wallace:

I’m going to have what they call an existential crisis or situation, which is some philosophy shit. There’s supposed to be three stages in life: aesthetic, ethical, and religious. The crisis is when you’re stuck between two of the three stages. Right now I’m stuck between the aesthetic stage; where you live for the moment and for every opportunity of enjoyment, a slave to desires, and the ethical stage; where you become serious and make moral choices. I’m not sure what the religious stage is about cause that’s never explained in the book. (He paused and turned with a weak smile to Adam) I bet you can’t guess who tells me that philosophy shit, a few chapters away?

Adam:

(He shrugged)

Wallace:

Old man Mackie from the bar, he’s supposed to have studied philosophy when he was young. How lame is that. He’s an old dirty drunk from the worst hood in the city and he so happened to have studied philosophy.

Adam:

I don’t believe you.

Wallace:

What that Mackie knows philosophy.

Adam:

That you read the book and the shit you talking; you’re making it up. Old man Mackie is about as smart as a jelly donut and you’re telling me he explains philosophy to you. You’re right, that is lame. And you’re acting lame. So, relax and let the author finish the book.

Wallace:

I read the book. (he made another weak smile before looking up to the sky)

Adam:

How the hell could you have done that?

Wallace:

Easy I went to the bookstore.

Adam:

(Shaking his head) I know what it is>

Wallace:

What is it?

Adam:

The author must have writer’s block when he sat down to write this chapter. And, I guess since he had work done on this novel already so he figured he could reread whatever he wrote, and then just started writing. And this is what came out.

Wallace:

What came out?

Adam:

This. You claiming you read the book.

Wallace:

How did you get to that conclusion?

Adam:

I don’t know, but it has to be right.

Wallace:

(He chuckled lightly) Why?

Adam:

Because I wouldn’t have said it then. The author is the one who creates our words, right? So by the simple fact that I even said what I said, makes it right.

(For a moment the two stared quietly at each other until Wallace stood and pulled a book out of his back pocket and tossed it onto Adam’s lap.)

Adam:

(He let another cigarette) What’s this? (He picked up the paperback) Well that doesn’t mean anything.

Wallace:

Read the back.

Adam:

(He flipped the book over and begun reading out loud) Is the #1 bestseller that captivated millions . . .(He smiled.) Remarkable . . .A crime novel for the ages. USA Today. Terrifically entertaining . . . I’ll read it again . . . Wallace Jones . . . one of the finest and well-constructed literary characters in the modern novel. Philadelphia Daily News. (He looked up at Wallace)

Wallace:

(Smiling) Keep reading.

Adam:

(He looked back down to the book) We follow Wallace Jones, a hired gun, and his partner Adam Green into a whirlwind of sex, murder, and betrayal . . . (stopped abruptly and tossed the book onto the bench) that doesn’t mean anything. I’m sticking to my writer’s block theory.

Wallace:

Did you read what it said about me? (He sat back onto the bench)

Adam:

(He nodded)

Wallace:

One of the finest and well-constructed literary characters in the modern novel. Good shit, right? (He looked up into the sky.) See, I told you I was the protagonist. I know you’re upset about being my sidekick.

Adam:

It doesn’t say anything about me being a sidekick. It said partner. (He shrugged.) But I wouldn’t have any reason to be upset if I were a sidekick. There are some legendary second fiddles out there like . . .um . . . Robin from Batman and . . . um . . . oh, Condoleezza Rice from . . .

Wallace:

You know I die right?

Adam:

Really?

Wallace:

(He nodded)

Adam:

I’m sticking to my theory. The author has writer’s block and is writing anything and will stop sooner or later and read it and laugh at it. Then he will get rid of it and start over. ‘Cause let’s get real about this, no one knows how their life turns out.

(Silence sat between them before Adam begun to address the audience directly) I really can’t believe that this is a chapter, a normal chapter of the book. It doesn’t follow the logic of a plotline. It’s absurd. But I do want to know one thing out of pure curiosity. (He turned back to Wallace) Do I die?

Wallace:

(He shook his head before a quick silence) I don’t want to die. (He then spoke directly to the audience) I really want to cry right now. But let’s get serious about this shit; it’s worthless to cry, and a little funny. Now I want to laugh.

Adam:

Death is inevitable. It’s no way to stop it.

Wallace:

(A tear rolled down his face as he laughed lightly)

Adam:

(He stared at Wallace)

Wallace:

(He stood) Well, I think I could stop the inevitable.

Adam:

And, how’s that?

Wallace:

By making the novel into a short story.

Adam:

How and better yet, why? Don’t you like what the critics said about you?

Wallace:

Sure but I don’t want to go out the way I do at the end. So, I figured since you’re the one who murders me and runs off with Jessica and the money that we steal from a big time drug dealer, that I should kill you. I already killed Jessica. She’s in the trunk with a hole in her face, right now.

Adam:

What the fuck are you talking ‘bout? I’ve been with you since we left Jessica at your house a few days ago. It’s no way you could have shot her and put her in the trunk without me knowing. You’re not making any sense at all. The author has to be sleep now.

Wallace:

I killed her, I’m sure.

Adam:

When?

Wallace:

(He shrugged and pulled out a gun) I don’t know when. But I must had to if I said it, right? Isn’t that like something you said a couple or so pages back?

Adam:

Don’t get crazy now. I would never kill you. We go back to childhood. I love you like a brother. That’s how I know this chapter is some writer’s block bullshit that the author is allowing to come out of his mind for the hell of it, before he deletes it.

Wallace:

How do you know?

Adam:

Like I said the author is making me say what I’m saying, so it has to be true.

Wallace:

Okay I hear you but (He smiled weakly as he stood and extended the gun. The barrel sat less than an inch away from touching Adam’s face.) The author is making me say what I’m saying too, so what I’m saying has to be true as well right?

Adam:

(He shrugged.)

Wallace:

It’s a paradox. (He and Adam caught eye contact) Listen Adam, don’t take this personal, I’m not going to kill you because of your betrayal, shit, to be honest the book said you never liked me and you have been fucking Jessica since I met her. I can’t even call that betrayal, because you were never loyal to me to  begin with. The author made me blind to your shit but none of that matters. I just want to be a great character that lives at the end. That’s all I want. So my plan is to make this into a short story. To be honest with you, the book isn’t shit. This little chapter here, Chapter 5, that we just, I’d say with a bit of irony, improvised, is better than the whole novel.

Adam:

Nobody remembers short stories or their characters.

Wallace:

Sure they do. Walter Mitty is the prime example.

Adam:

(His eyes dropped off of Wallace’s face to the audience) I want to jump up and push this nut ass gun out of my face, put out my gun and shoot this nut ass nigga between the eyes. It’s true that I never liked him. He thinks he knows everything. Shit, you can actually say that I hate his ass. I hate everybody, well, except Jessica. I love her, I love everything ‘bout her from her personality to the way she took it in the ass and cooked meatloaf. At first I hung around with Wallace because he always knew how to make a fast dollar. But for the last few years it’s been all ‘cause of Jessica. That’s my bitch. Now I hope that the book he read is the novel that the author will write. Everything would be cool sailing, only if the author would trash this bullshit and start this chapter over and finish the novel.

Wallace:

Well, Adam, It’s been fun but it’s time to end this. No one likes a drawn out story. Besides, It’s not like you can do anything about it. It’s inevitable. (He pulled the trigger once. Adam’s head jerked back then forward, his chin dropping onto his chest. Wallace tucked his gun and sat onto the bench. He looked at Adam’s bloody face) See A now I just sit here until the end of the story. (He laughed then looked into the sky.)

The End

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