Staci: friend, that was SO good. Ag, friend it was so good I could pee on you.
[The scene pauses]
[Follow-spot hits me]
Ole: this is Staci. She always used to say things like that. She’d always be talking about peeing on people; missing peoples’ face; sitting on their faces… in hindsight; I can’t help but wonder whether or not there was some kind of sexual connotation to these catch phrases of hers. That’s beside the point right now. She isn’t relevant to the story as of yet. So I’ll go ahead and skip this too.
[Lights go back to pink]
[The scene restarts as I put my hands back in hers]
Staci: okay, I’ll see you later then, friend. And then I’ll sit on your face okay?
Ole: sounds like a plan.
Staci: Okay, goodbye then friend.
[The whole stage turns a dim white as I turn back to get my bag]
[I take it and move to centre]
Ole: in 2009, I was in a private school, living the kind of life most black boys can only dream of. Then the reception hit and by the beginning of the year 2012, my parents could no longer afford to take out loans in order to pay my university fees, that job fell to my older brother. Maybe the world as we know it didn’t end that year, but mine sure as hell did. Not only had my family lost the remainder of its assets, but in the same year I lost my to cousin and her unborn baby to a seizure; and my oldest friend to… old age I guess.
My brother slowly started to lose his faith in God and started retreating further into himself. My brother and I were raised in a very Christian home, so you can imagine the effect this was having on my parents. Every time I went home to see my family, I noticed that my parents always looked a little bit older and my brother seemed a little bit angrier. So, in an attempt to save my family, I underwent what some absurdists may call “Philosophical suicide”.
[I place my bag in centre stage and walk to the first wing]
[Lights turn purple- fade in over ten seconds]
[Song: Wise words of wisdom plays as Preacher Man walks into the scene and finds the letter]
Dear Preacher Man. By the time you read this, I’ll be dead, for the darkness of this depression, I have made my bed. The world cursed my name when I was born and I aim the blame at the horny dame that came and left me on my knees in shame, torn- between this world and the next both perplexed and vexed by the dread tomorrow brings!
Hey, Preacher Man. This time tomorrow, I’ll be dead, but don’t hurry to worry cause you aided and abetted this. I only leave you this letter cause through everything, you were there. When my demons became too much for me to bear, you were there; when I found out my friends had ceased to care, you were there; and when I took my last breath, Preacher Man, you were there.
Dear Preacher Man. If you’re reading this, I’m already dead. I died in a watery grave and with your hands around my head I was raised, you said “you’re dead to the world, but alive to God instead”. Now I’m the living ghost who boasts the Holy Ghost; as- from coast every coast- a heavenly host says, “be no more perplexed or vexed, but share the hope the Father brings”.
[Preacher Man walks off and the stage turns back to white]
[I reach into my bag and pull out a hat]
Ole: most of my friends didn’t seem to notice the changes at first. But soon enough, they started to come away, like wax melting off a glass statue. It’s not that the love just disappeared; it’s just that we started finding more and more reasons to be with other people. I knew that if I kept walking the same path as them, I’d never find a way to lighten the load on my older brother’s shoulders. My greedy nature was now screaming at me to make them all stay.
Dance solo: ‘Stay with me’ – Sam Smith (Lyrical Hip-hop chory)
Ole: For the longest time, my brother’s decisions had found a way to impact me. Whether he meant for them to or not, they did. Like when he decided to go to a wedding that my uncles, on my mother’s side, had invited him to on the same weekend as my friend Staci’s birthday. It was no secret that my uncles were out to get my mom and we all knew that ruining her sons to get to her was not beneath them. Well, all of us except my dear older brother that is. So when my parents heard about this wedding, they were like, “Hell to the no!” Since it was clear that my brother wasn’t going to get his way, it only seemed fair that I- by extension- didn’t get my way. Were I missing anyone else’s birthday, I wouldn’t have minded much, but this wasn’t just anyone’s birthday, it was Staci’s. I had been mad about her since my first year at tech and this weekend was going to be a pretty ideal time to do something about it. But this was my older brother we’re talking about. And, as much as I hated it, there was no way that I was going to let anyone- let alone my uncles- put him in harm’s way. So, in order to strengthen my parents’ case, I told her what I needed to and stayed home, but I hardly slept that weekend. All I could think of was how I could make it up to her. I replayed what I considered to be the right combination of words in my head more times than I can count. Words that I hoped could make things right again.
[Stage turns pink again- fade in over 3 seconds]
Words like:I’d write 100 poems:
poems to rule your heart with the might of 100 thrones;
thrones with enough priests and mages to turn a prodigious throng of elves to an army of garden gnomes.
For you, I’d easily write 100 poems.
I’ll spend my life to write these poems on a hundred ivory pages and send out everyone by the sweat of a hundred
blue-eyed pages, on the word of a hundred sages,
For what is, a hundred poems to me, but a hundred different ways to express how I miss your face?
And how I hope you’ll save me space at your table to hear you tell a hundred tales, each carrying a hundred fables of
heroes who hold their babes with the warmth of a hundred cradles.
For you, my friend, I’d write 100 poems.
And I’d write them, in effect, in the form of a hundred verses;
Verses laced with curses for those who’ve tried to by your love with the gold of a hundred purses;
Though I stay away, for the sight of my own purse is as grave as the sight of a hundred hearses.
Nevertheless, I’d write you 100 poems,
cause the depth of my love for you is as great as a hundred sonnets;
hundred year old sonnets that are drenched in the mirth of a hundred blushing virgins donning pious bonnets.
I’ll write you 100 poems, my love,
then plant their words in your heart and watch them grow, in beauty, like a hundred cherry blossoms so we’d dance
in their demise for the next 100 autumns.
I think I’ll write you 100 poems.
And the first words of the first poem will be ‘I love you’.
[Poem needs to end with me on stage left]
[White spot light on me (down stage- stage left) fades in for 1 second]
Ole: Maybe my older brother hasn’t always been the perfect human being, but that has never stopped me from loving who he is and appreciating the man he’s become. Most people his age don’t care a lot about the loved ones they leave behind on the way to the top. My older brother however provides for a family of four, despite having no kids of his own; he’s managed to put his obnoxious little brother through college; and because of him, my parents have a car with which they were able to rebuild their businesses. He’s a good man and to me, he’s good enough just the way he is. So what if he’s full of crap sometimes. At the end of the day, he’s my older brother and no matter how badly he hurts me, I’ll always put in more energy into forgiving him, than he ever could ever put into doing wrong by me. I choose not to carry around the baggage of all the crap that people have put me through anymore. Sure, the memories may always be there, but the pain that goes with them can only follow me around as long as I decide to lug it around everywhere. I wonder what happens if I decide to just let the baggage go and walk away. I guess there’s only one way to find out.
[Spot light fades out- for three seconds- after I step out of it]