Father Mapple Moab Adzu III presents
the intake nurse
A Short Play, in segments
Setting: Sometime in the distant future or past.
Characters: I and Ø. In the vicinity of present-day earth.
I: I got the feeling that it wasn’t going to happen.
Ø: Let it go.
I: No, because you were saying that it wasn’t the money, it wasn’t the glamorous lifestyle. . . .
I: No, you’re seeking the truth.
Ø: Let it go, you two-faced—
I: —I know what you’re thinking.
Ø: How could you know?
I: I’m just saying that it’s not entirely impossible that you are mistaken in your enthusiasm for your cause.
Ø: What do you think my cause is, selling crap to people on the street?
I: What are you saying?
Ø: I am saying that beings are predisposed to know themselves first, above all other things.
I: Exactly, and don’t you think that is easier when it is coupled with a dichotomy of some sort? You can’t have one without the other, and so forth. . .
Ø: Yes, but if you have the power to just make up what the other is like, what information can you cull about your own development?
I: You don’t determine what the outcomes are; you just create the conditions in which the results will eventually follow.
Ø: Right, but you create the conditions in which this new thing will define itself.
I: That’s right. And you thereby put something other than yourself out there.
Ø: Right, but where does understanding occur?
I: What do you mean?
Ø: Awareness of the other. Compassion for the other. Empathy maybe.
I: That happens when it becomes more like me, or you. When it becomes more like us.
Ø: And until then?
I: We wait.
Ø: For what?
Ø: How will they know us?
I: Maybe they never will. I take that back. Can I take it back?
Ø: I think you are still eligible for redemption, yes.
I: Very funny. As I said, I got the sense that this wasn’t going to happen. The truth is lonely. . . and so forth. . . . What I mean to say is that they will probably perceive us. But they won’t know what we are.
Ø: How could that be good?
I: At the very least, it will be interesting to see how they progress.
Ø: What will they think of us?
I: Who knows?
Ø: How can we trust their perceptions of themselves when we are dancing around in the past, distracting them?
I: Well, if they are anything like us, they will be so caught up in defining who they are, that we’ll remain hidden. Sort of an invisible but omnipresent guide.
Ø: A trickster in their lives.
I: A question to be asked.
Ø: And never answered.
I: Not never.
Ø: When do they get to know?
I: Whenever we say so. Christ, you’re starting to sound like a doubter.
Ø: Whenever they become like us.
Ø: Crazy and insecure.
I: Interested and interesting.
Ø: self-absorbed to the point of making up things to get excited about. For the sake of amusement.
I: Well. . .
Ø: Can’t argue with progress.
I: F— off.