Faces — A Monologue

A short monologue about a guy with dissociative identity disorder, fighting his three “faces”. Rage. Mania. Despair. Wish I could see someone act this out. That’d be absolutely fantastic. A girl can dream, right? Enjoy.

*****

drama_masks

GREGORY: I see your eyes. Your faces. How do you feel today? Happy? Upset? Broken? I may not know for sure how you feel, but I know you’re watching me. There… now! Is that a smile? The smile grows into a grin. The girl is happy. [Takes a moment to taste the silence around and study the AUDIENCE] Your faces… such beautiful, malleable, supple masks of skin. Pull it up and show your teeth, hide what you feel inside. Or bare it all. Bare the monster, raw, injurious… cruel. Let who you are, inside, break the mask. Like slamming fists, hard, on glass, shards shattering with your pain.

[A light comes up, illuminating a glass TABLE. A GUN sits on top of the TABLE. Gregory quietly takes the GUN, caresses it, cheeks to cold metal, eyes closed. He could smell the gunpowder encased in each bullet. He softly puts it down, opens his eyes, acknowledging the AUDIENCE. He walks away from the TABLE]

GREGORY: I have faces. They haunt me, coming out every so often, forcing their thoughts and emotions onto me, and I’m the puppet, tugged and pulled. They each have a name… but forgive me, for I cannot introduce them unless they choose to come out. [GREGORY looks around, as if waiting for them to show] Mania… where are you? Are you running again, too fast, head spinning, body dancing like electricity is jolting through you? Are you walking down streets with your bright grin, saying in your sing-song voice, “Good morning to you too, sir! Good day, ahh, it’s been beautiful! I feel like I can do ANYTHING…”? Or are you pouring over sky-high dreams, thoughts streaming from your head, intricate, elaborate and complex? Nothing in your way. Mania—  where are you?

[A sudden change. A silence. GREGORY looks over his shoulder as if hearing someone from behind, and when he faces the AUDIENCE, LIGHTS TURN RED. He is frowning, hard, eyes dark with slight amusement]

RAGE: He’s not coming, Gregory. I’m here. How come you weren’t you calling me? I’m your best friend. Rage. [He cracks his neck with a slow twist, straightens up, looks at the audience] Lovely party. Were you all listening to him when he was calling for Mania? [No answer] WERE YOU?! [No answer] No worries… I can ask Gregory. Gregory?

[Gregory’s face switches as if out of a daze. His face is relaxed, emotionless now]

GREGORY: Rage… what do you want?

RAGE: You. You were calling Mania.

GREGORY: Yes. Why not?

RAGE: You should have called me. Gregory. You’re a disappointment. How many times have I asked you to turn to me first, before calling others? I can help you. Someone hurting you? Let me take control. SLAM him or her to the floor, spit and yell into their ears till they cry, and you’ll have their respect. Someone lying to you? I can tell the difference between lie and truth. I can take it out of them, and once I have, hurt them so they won’t anymore. Hurt them like they’ve done to you. Again… and AGAIN… and AGAIN. ON THE FLOOR, HURTING HUMILIATED BREAKING CRYING TEARS AND SWEAT STREAMING DOWN THEIR RAW RED STREAKED PATHETIC FACE. Yes… YES! I can help you! Because I know what it’s like, Gregory. I am your most powerful friend. I am your most powerful face. And you should love me for that. Love me.

[BACK TO WHITE LIGHT. GREGORY slumps, but eventually looks back at the AUDIENCE, face relaxed. He sits down on a CHAIR, reclines, rests, watching the AUDIENCE. Leans forward and grabs the GUN off the table, then looks as if to tell a secret]

GREGORY: He’s not yet gone. He’s… right… here. [Taps his head with the GUN, pointed side to skull. Puts the GUN back down on the TABLE] Rage, you are a powerful face, but when you come out, you leave me worn out, guilty and dirty. All the acts I’ve done with you. Poor Stacy. Hal. Robert. I was not myself. But a part of me enjoyed it. The thrill of power. The escape from weakness. The freedom from frustration.

[LIGHTS TURN YELLOW. Laughter, suddenly, springs forth from him, bubbling, soft at first but then to a quick cadence, and it’s as if he’s struggling, falling from his chair, laughing, reaching out to the table for the gun, but he misses and is with hands on the floor, body jumping with laughter. His laughter dies to a sigh, body softening with each rest in-between giggle. He looks up, eventually, glee in his eyes. He moves to get up as if he’s just had a bottle of whiskey, but when he speaks it’s with booming clarity, like a ringmaster in the circus]

MANIA: Enough! I’m done with misery and anger. Here I am. Mania. Welcome me. Give me a warm beautiful welcome! [Grinning, one hand to the back of his ear, listening to the AUDIENCE. Silence] What? No love? Only a couple of feeble smiles, laughs? Well THAT won’t bring me down. I can make you laugh, pleasure you, astound you. Flowers for the lover; candy for the children; money for the boss. KA-CHING! Drop a piano on my head and what do you get from me? A scream? NO! A laugh. No mountain of burden can bring me down. Every sweat from my head, I lick with a smile and carry on. I AM YOUR STRONGEST FACE, Gregory, admit it old man! [Slaps himself hard, repeatedly. Stumbles, laughing] LAUGH! [Strangles himself, making funny gagging faces, kneels to the flood choking, coughing then laughing again, looks up grinning] LAUGH! [One of his arms suddenly turns toward the gun; MANIA’S face takes on a look of concern beneath the humor. He appears to be confused by his own arm reaching for the GUN] Gregory? What are you doing? [Hand curls around the GUN, begins to rise toward his head] Gregory… This is not funny anymore! YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THIS. STOP! [GUN getting closer] STOP! [Closer] STOP!

[BACK TO WHITE LIGHTS. GREGORY stops. The expression of MANIA on his face disappears, and he is left staring at the GUN. He puts the GUN down, tired]

GREGORY: Leave me alone. Leave me. … They come and go, without control. In mornings when I look through the mirror, they’re in my eyes, lurking beneath the dark. In silence they whisper to my ears, play with me, you know you want to… Gregory… Gregory. Sending my skin to sweat, heart to race. Growing bombs, every moment of anger, pain, humiliation, one more flame burning the wick toward the inevitable end of my mind.

[GREGORY is swaying, slightly, and collapses to the floor on his knees, head down. Hands to his face, rubbing slowly, weakly. Breathing slow, then faster, faster, through his fingers]

[LIGHTS TURN BLUE. He removes his hands from his face. A suicidal glaze to the resignation in his eyes; lips thin, turned down. Pain on his brow, teeth clenched]

DESPAIR: You have to give up. You can’t do this anymore. The pain and hate, wrecking, breaking you. The fake smiles, daily, the resent you bear for life. Feeling trapped, bitter. Sick of it. The isolation, stares, rejection. SICK OF IT. Sick of yourself. Weak creature walking this earth, useless like a weed blown in the wind. [He hits himself, hard] Failure. [Another hit, hard] Damned. [Begins to breathe deep, almost a cry, sob] You hate yourself, hate, hate, hate, HATE. [Slaps himself] Gregory. Let go. Give up. Do it. Listen to me… your Despair. You’ll find peace. Sweet silence. Calm in the storm. The slowing of your heart after making love. The quiet when someone passes. I am your most cherished face. Your repose. Your rest. Your most wanted end. Let go. [He begins to weep. Moves toward the GUN] Let go. [Takes the GUN, misery across his face] Let go. [GUN to his head. Presses hard to his skull. Let go]

[The BLUE LIGHT CUTS OFF, and there is DARKNESS]

RAGE: [Whispers darkly] One.

MANIA: [Whispers insanely] Two.

DESPAIR: [Whispers with a cracked sob] Three.

[A LOUD GUNSHOT. The sound of breaking glass. LIGHTS TURN ON. GREGORY sits against the TABLE, staring at a BODY-SIZED MIRROR he shot across the room. Multiple faces are watching him from the broken reflection]

GREGORY: I can’t get rid of them. They’re part of me.

[GREGORY stares at HIS BROKEN REFLECTION. LIGHTS DIM.]

[END]

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Categories: Creative Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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