1998 Dave Awl

Davy Jones in the Produce Department: A Piscean Parable

[Dave is on stage in a chair. Stephanie stands behind him with her back turned. She is wearing a long green wig and a plastic crown of bones. The go is called in darkness. Stephanie starts a metronome, on a small pedestal behind her, ticking rapidly (about 186). Spot comes up on Dave, who speaks at a rapid, breathless rate. Stephanie turns to face the audience the first time the words "elven princess" are spoken, and she speaks all italicized words in unison with Dave. At the end, she turns her back to the audience again on the words "he took a breath", and she stops the metronome on the very last word, "side." There is a beat of silence and then curtain is called.]

Dave: [Like a speeding train without brakes. When he does take a breath, it is a gasp.] He went to the supermarket to buy some melons he had a thing for melons lately you could say he was on a melon "kick" and it was there in the produce aisle of the Jewel that he saw her a sort of elven princess with long green hair and a crown of bones she was examining some kiwi he wanted to ask her a question but he wasn't sure what it was it was on the tip of his tongue but everytime he tried to get a fix on it it went away somewhere she was examining a bag of spinach but in her hands it looked like kelp nobody else seemed to notice her crown of bones or if they did they must have figured she was on her way to a costume party but he knew better she was an elven princess consort of the Sea King daughter of Leviathan sister to Triton hence the hair like seaweed and a headpiece clearly fashioned from the bones of drowned men and women he wanted to ask her a question but everytime he tried to look at her he became confused and turned back to the melons perhaps it was just as well he thought you know how the fairy folk play games with time I could wake up in the bread aisle fondling a bag of hotdog buns in the year 2284 then a voice spoke in his ear he was afraid to turn around it said I couldn't help noticing you staring at me he said I was trying to stare but I kept getting confused she said I'm here because you're drowning he said I'm only here to buy some cantaloupe she said if you touch them they'll turn to boulders that drag you down into the pitchdark crevices of the sea he said thanks for the bulletin what about some honeydew she said you have more time than you think but less than you want he said is that a wig it looks like a wig and the bones look plastic she said I have the ability to rescue you but I need you to concentrate he said if I could concentrate I suppose I wouldn't be drowning she replied with a complex mathematical formula and then he was falling into the pitchdark crevices and he heard her saying if you take a very deep breath he heard her saying a very deep breath she told him to take a very deep breath and it just might last you she said it just might last you until you see your way out and he took a breath and most of the breath was water and the water was everywhere and the question then was how much did he care and how long could he survive on the memory of air and how badly did he even want to come out on the other side?


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