Sunday, November 1, 2009

And So It Goes

I am afraid. I am afraid I am dying. I am afraid my heart might explode. I am afraid I am not living life to it's fullest. I am afraid I am not working hard enough. I am afraid I have chosen the wrong path. I am afraid of being stuck. I am afraid that I am not a good person. I am afraid of not being a good father. I am afraid my fantasies are only fantasies. I am afraid of my limitations. I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of being a success. I am afraid that it won't work out. I am afraid that it will. I am afraid of love. I am afraid of black market kidnappers. I am afraid of changes. I am afraid that nothing will change. I am afraid of letting people down. I am afraid of letting myself down. I am afraid of being poor. I am afraid of Big Banks. I am afraid that my teachers were right. I am afraid it might be too late. I am afraid of being alone. I am afraid of people I don't know. I am afraid I may be losing my mind. I am afraid of the end. I am afraid of starting something new. I am afraid of commitment. I am afraid I am wasting my time. I am afraid I am wasting your time. I am afraid of making BIG mistakes. I am afraid I can't help it. I am afraid I am not setting a good example. I am afraid of being forgotten. I am afraid it is too late. I am afraid of missed opportunities. I am afraid of moments of thruth. I am afraid I have let myself go. I am afraid there is no turning back. I am afraid of being average. I am afraid of things getting worse. I am afraid of not knowing what to do. I am afraid of doing nothing. I am afraid of losing touch. I am afraid that what is done is done. I am afraid I may be wrong. I am afraid I may be right. I am afraid that you don't trust me. I am afraid I don't trust myself. I am afraid of not having options. I am afraid of making the wrong choice. I am afraid it is too late.

OK, phew, I feel better. Thanks for listening. I wanted to write without it being a bitchfest whine-athon, but I couldn't. I am glad I got that out of my system. I should be good for a couple of weeks.

And now to add to my fears, I am including a scene from a short play I submitted to a play write contest. Nothing like putting your work up to public scrutiny to get the nerves active.

The play is called Unnatural Selection. It takes place in a waiting room where people wait to see if they will be selected to sacrifice themselves in order to preserve the future of the human race.

I hope you enjoy.

The room is again silent. LEON sits down next to DARRYL a middle aged, working class black man reading a newspaper.

LEON- Thank god for the silence, huh?

DARRYL- Impending doom!

LEON- Huh?

DARRYL- Impending doom. It’s what drives people like them to chatter so much. (He points at GORDON) That man wants to connect to someone before his time comes today. She wants to as well but she is too paralyzed with fear to realize it. Your little girlfriend wants to be remembered, hence her outburst at the old woman. I think the same goes for you too. If you meet your end today you want us all to remember you and your ideals and how you went out with a fight. (LEON laughs.) There’s a woman in front of us who hasn’t stopped praying since she got here. (Pointing to CATHERINE.) It’s all just another way people deal with impending doom.

LEON- What about you?

DARRYL- I observe the human condition. Distracts me from my own fears, from my own emotions.

LEON- What about the bag lady?

DARRYL- She just fucking crazy. (They both laugh.) What’s your name soldier?


DARRYL- Like Leon Spinks. Names Darryl, like Strawberry.

LEON- I never really followed sports.

DARRYL- Well, fuck you then. (He laughs.)

LEON pulls out his flask and takes a swig. He offers it to DARRYL.

DARRYL- Oh, no! Haven’t touched the stuff in quite some time. My wife made me quit.
You a married man, Leon?

LEON- (Laughs) Yeah, right. That’s what I’ve been thinking about as this whole thing crumbles apart around us. How can I create a family and bring more people into this hellhole? No offense.

DARRYL- None taken. My wife and I have been together long before things started falling apart. No kids. Just her and I surviving together. It makes it easier, you know? Having someone to live for, to fight for, survive for. I wouldn’t have made it this far on my own.

LEON- Well, you’re a better man than myself. I feel like I would destroy anyone I got close to with my anger and disappointment. This shit isn’t getting better.

DARRYL- You’re right. I will take a swig off that. (He takes the flask.) It ain’t getting any better. (He drinks) But we are. Human beings are programmed to rise above their natural operating potential in times of crisis. Our physical strength increases, our tolerance for pain increases and so does our compassion. We are built to survive no matter how hard we try to destroy ourselves.

LEON- I guess. Like the mother lifting the car and that kind of shit.

DARRYL- Exactly, that kind of shit.

He takes another drink and hands the flask back to LEON who takes a long drink. ANGIE exits the restroom and crosses back to her magazine. She doesn’t even look toward LEON.

DARRYL- I think she likes you. (He busts up laughing again. LEON chuckles with him.)

The BUZZER sounds as the main door is unlocked. The PROCTOR enters with MR. NORFOLK. NORFOLK walks quietly to his seat and sits down. PROCTOR looks down at his clipboard.

PROCTOR- Mr. Robison. Darryl Robison, would you please come with me.

DARRYL stands up.

DARRYL- Wish me luck Leon Spinx.

LEON- Good luck in there. Hope they like sports.

DARRYL takes a deep breath. He walks toward the door. He kneels by CATHERINE.

DARRYL- Include me in one of them.
She nods and touches his face. He walks over to the PROCTOR who escorts him out.

PROCTOR- Right this way please.

The door shuts and is locked.


  1. Keep it up, JB. The fear, the writing, the courage. I'm behind you.

  2. The first part of this post is what I feel every day. Sometimes I think I'm crazy - it's so nice to know I'm not alone. Thank you for putting yourself out there. As for the play, kudos. Sharing a project with the world is so, so hard and you've stepped up to the challenge. Keep on writing, creating, feeling, sharing - it's all fantastic.

  3. The title of your blog reminds me of a line from the writer Hanif Kureishi (Oscar nom, screenplay, for My Beautiful Laundrette in the 80s).

    "But finally, after years of application, he had made a success, indeed, a triumph, of failure."

  4. I love you, Brother Bear. You are pushing your boundaries and I am proud.