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" Falling Sideways off the Edgeof the Earth " - an excerpt

BELOW: Annie a 20 year old Redwood Grrl and Marnie (most likely her Mom ) Robert  a young ghost and the rest I believe explains itself .........

                                                                                   ANNIE

I was downstairs with non custodial Dad on the grass, he throwing safely soft hard balls to his imaginary son via his semi every other Sunday non-athletic daughter . It was nice (pause) It was fun. Really. Fun.

                                                                                   MARNIE

I died and chose to scream myself back like they did in her supernatural TV flesh emporiums with those perfect bodied teenage spirit fighters howling themselves back from down below.

                                                                                   ANNIE

                                Till I got upstairs and her blood was here, there everywhere after one of her typical great clean ups.

                                                                                  MARNIE

                               The ambulance refused to move until an IV had been jabbed into my disappeared veins.

                                                                 EMS DRIVER /ANNOUNCER

                                It has to be done before transport.

                                                                                    MARNIE

                               My veins flat empty of the blood that would have kept them open left upstairs on the bathroom floor, the bedroom   wastebasket, a trail between rooms -

                                                                                     ANNIE 

                               So I traced Mom breaking my Aunt Bobby’s vow of silence so quickly I’m ashamed. She broke so easy -

                                                                                     MARNIE

                               I flailed my free arm and the huge black EMS guy knew to grab hold of my hand with his own - sandpaper solid, square and hard enough to squeeze from the bottom of my waning soul -

                                                                                    ANNIE

                                  Forced her to play back Mom’s message over and over till I heard what ER she’d landed in this time -

                                                                                MARNIE

                                    I threw up blood all over the cloud covered PJ’s she’d brought for me you know the ones that skinny anorexic TV star wore when she danced herself crazy to sleep.

                                                                                VIRGIN BRIDE

                                   Same old.  Same old...The bottom of my heart has fallen and the rest is dripping red out to the sea.

                                                                                  GYPSY HEALER

                                    They believed in nothing they couldn’t see though they called themselves religious...ah even “spiritual;”.  Skeptics of their own inherited absolutes. Uninspired, unheralded ordinariness.

                                                                                    ANNIE

                                Outside the ICU we were waiting not for death but honoring the life...Together we waited.  Him, Man of La Moment. who never watched ESPN or anything at all like it rapt at attention during a game of Portuguese soccer. Not even a World Cup game…if he had known the difference. Just not looking at me sitting there covered in that awful brown that fresh blood turns into.  

                                                                                  ROBERT      

                              Goal. Yeah. Beep!  Beep!  Beep!  FLASH. SCREAM. Crash cart.  Half-time !!!

                                                                                    ANNIE                                                

                              Ahh...its only some old really old not like my mother old - but spotted, smelly and bald old…No, not like Mom with her second string of young warm glazed over honey boys...There is nothing after this...Nothing.

                                                                                    MARNIE

                                Well, I’ve been to nothing and it was beautiful and beyond.

                                                                                     ROBERT

                                Aye, it seems ye sinners aye but crushed romantics.

                                                                                      MARNIE

                                       Do you know why I’ve been sent to Earth?

                                                                              PUPPET ANNIE

                                      To bug me?

                                                                              MARNIE

                                        Seriously, why I’m here on earth?

                                                                              ROBERT

                                        Because they threw you off the moon.

                                                                            MARNIE    

                                       For me to learn to play the theremin. 

                                                                           ANNIE  

                                    Wedged into the tiny bathroom she insisted on being wheeled to in lieu of a bedpan she pulls herself up by the sink (scornfully) looking in the mirror checking on the old Barbie Doll charm…UGH. Like she’s translucent already..fading there in front of me against the dirty sink -

                                                                          MARNIE               

                                     Oh, it’s my tripping face -

                                                                        ANNIE  

                                    Transparent.You can see her veins. 

                                                                      MARNIE 

                                     Magenta, shades of purplefuschiapink - outlining the map of my soul. 

                                                                      ANNIE       

                                     I’d like to knock her back down smack into that chair.They’re gonna throw her out onto the street unable to stand ‘cause her mascara’s running?

                                                                     MARNIE                                

                                      Ahhh to lean my head against her chest and feel that strength and softness all wrapped up round me -

                                                                     ANNIE    

                                   Them rolling her into the ambulance asking if she’d been down to the pile.. and of course, she doesn’t tell them how she’s snuck past the perimeter down past14th and then down and down some more .. Somehow it was still important to keep it under wraps ..to be able to report back from the front …coming back with stories of dust covered briefcases Daddies standing stunned watching children playing - no work to go to offices blasted – non-existent and firemen on line at the pharmacy everyone shattered by the grief rising from rubber boots and jackets, faces sweating tears. No one with anything to comfort these -the unfallen who’d lost three hundred brothers in one instant -

                                                                    MARNIE 

                                     No. No, I wasn’t near the pile – just breathing death like anyone else in New York City. A civilian.

                                                                     ANNIE                                           

                                     My mother sucking up the pain of the world and passing it on to me. Can’t we just be stupid ? Selfish and normal? Just pretend for awhile to not be blessed and burdened with a mission? Stuff our faces with junk food…not have MacDonald’s be so exotic? Com’on, I was a kid - give me a Happy Meal – the whole thing. Let me eat the plastic toy. Feed me some benzene. Look at her with all her hippy grains and still she’s the one in a wheelchair puking out life. 

Posted by Pamela Enz on 8/16/13







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