be seeing you! [V-Day! V-Day! V-Day!]
[14 february 2010]

“If we stood by the river
Or by the sea
If we stood by the river
Or there by the sea
If I couldnt swim
Would you laugh at me?

If the ocean was wine
Or full of gin
If the ocean was whiskey
Or filled with gin
Would you leave there
Or would you push me in?
Would you push me in?”

—Latin Playboys, “If”


“Be seeing you!”

—Patrick McGoohan, The Prisoner (1967/68)


CHARACTERS, in Order of Appearance:

1st Street Bridge
LA River
Octopus Tagger


[Midnight on Valentine’s Day; 1st Street bridge connecting downtown LA to Boyle Heights/East LA. MAN and WOMAN stand midway across bridge, looking down at train tracks and LA River underneath bridge. MAN is flipping desperately through old, battered copy of most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV).]


Ummm … oh, here, look! Agoraphobia. Mild, but most definitely … sometimes it takes me several hours just to get out of bed, and then a few more to get out of the house—I mean, sometimes, I never even make it out at all. Paranoia, yes, for sure … Anxiety, check … Schizoid tendencies, check … Mild histrionics, yup … oh, and I hear the new DSM will have a diagnosis for hypersexuality, which, you know, I’m not totally sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got it, I mean, just the other day I was reading the Marquis de Sade on the train to East LA …


Yeah …


… of course, the new DSM doesn’t come out until 2013, but that’s okay … I mean, we probably won’t even make it to 2013, with 2012 and all, and plus—


… thanks, but no thanks?


What do you mean? Look: Tendencies toward depression … Insomnia … I’ve definitely got both of those … usually at the same time …


Yeah, no, sorry dude. I mean, you’re good company and all, but, you know … I need somebody with the serious crazy eye, homie. No offense.


Crazy eye? Oh, I got the crazy eye, girl, look, you should just see my crazy eye, spinning all over the place. Especially after a few hours of reading Western philosophy and theory. See?


[Makes eyes huge and rolls them around dramatically, blinking furiously, trying best to look “crazy”; think Brad Pitt in Twelve Monkeys]


Yeah … no. Come on, guy. I mean, really … “Mild”? … ”Tendencies toward”? And … really … agoraphobia? Really? I mean, thanks, I appreciate the effort and all, but I need me some serious crazy—I’m talking schi—


(quietly, almost to self) —like how seriously crazy I am about you? …


(doesn’t hear, continues speaking over MAN) … izophrenia, bipolar manic depressive disorder, psychosis, violent sociopathic behavior…you know, something totally sexy, like Tourette’s syndrome. God, I’m getting all hot and bothered just talking about it …




What the fu—?


Toure … ah, never mind.


[Sighs, closes DSM IV and absently thumbs page edges repeatedly, making loud fanning noise with them, while looking out over bridge railing; suddenly, MAN looks inspired and hopeful.]


Hey! Look—I’m obsessive compulsive, too!


[Holds up DSM IV and exaggerates obsessively thumbing pages over and over. WOMAN rolls eyes, shakes head, makes impatient, pitying face; MAN visibly deflates, sighs, shrugs, and tosses manual over bridge. Sound of a thud from below.]


Ow! Fuck! What the fuck!


[MAN and WOMAN look over bridge railing and see OCTOPUS TAGGER on slant of concrete riverbank surrounded by several spraypaint cans and a small coconut backpack; OCTOPUS TAGGER is the color of the concrete with swirls of the same blood red tint as the tag it has been painting, which says T-A-K-O in big bomb lettering; OCTOPUS TAGGER seems to blend into the concrete as another part of the tag as it rubs its head with several arms; DSM IV book lies several feet away.]


Oh, shit—sorry! My bad!


Jesus, watch where you throw things away! You know, some of us learn how to use those abilities to be like sharks, always moving to keep up the hunt in the pursuit of death. Others learn how to use them to be like me, always playfully shifting shape/color/position in order to stay alive in shifting surroundings. Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things that you did. So, dive in, sink or swim, set sail, dream, dream, explore and dream!!! …


[MAN and WOMAN look at each other in total confusion; OCTOPUS TAGGER picks up DSM IV, opens to a random page, and begins reading out loud.]


“… winds fail, or turn into deadly hurricane gale. Boats sink. Think I’ma stick to land for a while. I’m a city boy anyway, it’s enough to limit my exploring to swirling concrete and asphalt and my dreaming/drowning to the shadowscape of late civilization urban nightmare. There is only this. No: Escape …”


[OCTOPUS TAGGER tosses DSM IV into the river; sound of splash and then acidic hissing and glowing green smoke as manual dissolves and bubbles in polluted, toxic water.]


What a load of shit. Look: My eyes are on opposite sides. I see both worlds at once. My pupils stay in place horizontally regardless of my body position. You are looking at each other but are you seeing each other? Are you really seeing each other? I see you both at once, I am a perfectly bilateral symmetry, I am a swirling of each side into the other, a seamless symmetry. Symmetry! Symmetry! Sy … mme … try !….


[Suddenly, the sound of an LAPD helicopter overhead, a floodlight on OCTOPUS TAGGER, but it has blended completely into the concrete and slides down the bank and into the river undetected.]


[MAN and WOMAN start walking opposite directions quickly to avoid the light, notice they aren’t going the same direction, turn around and walk back toward each other at the same time, each following the other’s original direction. Both abruptly stop in the middle and laugh, stare at each other a few moments, then climb up on the railing together, hold hands, and jump. Sound of splash and acidic hissing and bubbling from below; glowing green smoke.]


- FIN -








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