charles mee

the (re)making project

The Plays

Paradise Park [sample]

by Charles L. Mee

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You think
when you start out
all you want to do is get a job
support your family
you think you're doing the best you can taking care of them
the next thing you know
you've been sucked into a whole world
that seems entirely alien to you
this was never what you had in mind at all
but it's too late
you made your choice
it was inevitable from the first step you took
you were going to end up here
inside the belly of the beast
and no way out
this is how your life will end
the only life you had on earth
you're lost

Or you think
you'll have children
you'll make a home
you'll give up all those things you thought you might do with your life
or, maybe not
at first you think
I can do both
because everything is possible these days
and then you find out everything isn't possible
because the family just sucks you in
your first child is born
you never sleep
you become delirious
sleepwalking from day to day
as though you live underwater
and just as you think you see a glimmer of the surface
you have another baby
and you go under again
as though you yourself were suspended in the amniotic fluid
and from then on forever your life has no direction and no shape
no boundaries and no light
suspended forever in the present moment
always two days behind or more
you can't drown and you can't get back up to the surface
and you're hurtling forward toward the end of your life
with no control of anything any more
and you think: how did I let this happen to me?

Or you grow up thinking
how can I ever get out of here?
I am suffocating with this family!
I am gagging and choking
and I say to them
I am gagging and choking
and then they try to help
which is like pushing your head farther under water
it's not that teenagers commit suicide so much
as that they are murdered by their own hands
and this is if they have ideal parents
whereas most parents let's face it are not even a little bit ideal
they are hopeless
consumed with their own lives
their precious fucking mistakes
their awesome misgivings
their regrets for what they did to you when you were three
so that they are killing you now out of remorse
and you are thinking yes, yes, kill me
I wish I were dead
I can't go on living with you
you make me crazy

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