charles mee

the (re)making project

The Plays

A Happy Life [sample]

by Charles L. Mee

To Full Text


Maybe I should be a poet?

You see a woman when she is grown up
you see how she has turned out
and you think then you could say, oh, right
this was inevitable
the way she grew up
you could tell how she would turn out
this is the person she would be
because Freud bla bla bla
and the social dynamics
her background bla bla

But really
how a human will turn out
they just turn out how they do
and then, later on, maybe they change their minds
and they turn out another way
and then they turn out another way yet again

This guy said to me one time
I can’t pin you down
like a butterfly, you mean?
I don’t know he said
well, I said,
I don’t think I want to be pinned down.

[She ends,
looks around at everyone.

OK, here.
I have something for you.

[he hands her a few pieces of paper]

What’s this?

This is the sheet music for a Broadway song.



She sings.

And, while she sings,
lots more patients enter—
as many patients as the production budget allows:

for example:
a solo dancer in a red dress enters;
she holds a portable computer in one hand,
with ear pieces in her ears;
and we hear the music she hears

a headless accordion player enters,
and plays along with the music
[that is, his jacket and shirt and tie cover his head]

a man dances in with a woman
and throws himself repeatedly to the floor
and finally she does, too
until they are both exhausted
and just lying there

an old guy slumped in a wheelchair
accompanied by an old woman in a wonder woman costume with a walker

a guy walks through with a lamb at the end of a rope

Niki de Saint Phalle monsters
with big plaster heads
with open mouths and big round eyes
painted bright blue and crimson red

A guy brings in a big wooden box.
He sets it carefully in the center of the room,
turns, opens the bag he has taken out of the box,
reaches into the bag and takes out a bottle he has decorated.
He throws the decorated bottle into the wooden box,
and we hear it shatter.
He smiles,
takes another decorated bottle, throws it into the box,
and we hear it shatter,
takes another decorated bottle, throws it into the box,
and we hear it shatter,
takes another decorated bottle, throws it into the box,
and we hear it shatter,
Then, smiling,
he climbs up on the box,
and stands on his head,
with his head down in the box
as the music plays.
And after a while,
he slowly
stands on his feet next to the box,
and we see his head is covered in blood.

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