Miasma (Script)

I found an old school assignment while clearing junk off of my computer, and decided that I liked it enough to put it here. It’s an old drama assignment that I did about myself (narcissist) and I both liked it at the time and still like it now. Unfortunately, it still fits me quite well. Fortunately though, I can look at this and see areas that I’ve definitely improved in over the years, especially in regards to my feelings towards others.

Miasma

Breakdown

Logan Ross, 5/11/2014

 

Character Description: Logan is the main character and focus of Miasma. He appears perfectly fine to the other characters, but often addresses the audience, showing his true feelings and internal struggles. He himself doesn’t understand these issues or feelings and often asks rhetorical questions to the audience and those few characters he decides to share with. He wears a smiling mask on the top right of his forehead when conversing with the other characters, which represents his alter ego “Socialite Logan”, a version of him that seems to manipulate all his social interactions.

Point of Intervention: Logan has decided to visit a psychiatrist to help him pinpoint the cause and, hopefully, cure for all the issues he faces daily. He has just arrived and the Doctor has asked him to tell her what he feels. He thinks he will struggle to find words, but decides to do what she asked regardless.

Scene Description: Logan and Doctor are both seated in a mostly empty room, with only a small space between them. Doctor is at a desk, facing towards the audience and Logan is sitting in an armless chair facing the doctor, but angled slightly to address the audience as well as Doctor. A light haze is beginning to form around the stage from smoke machines. As the scene progresses, the haze will become thicker and thicker. The only light on the stage is a spotlight focused on the two, illuminating them but darkening the area around them.

LOGAN: (tired) I guess the easiest thing to start with is: I feel tired. Not just physically, but mentally as well. Everything is just too hard because I’m so tired.

LOGAN shifts slightly in his seat and scans DOCTOR’s face. DOCTOR is facing her computer and quickly typing notes. LOGAN breathes in deeply before continuing.

LOGAN: (uncertainly) It’s not like a normal sort of tired. It’s lingering. It’s like a weight pressing on me; a yoke of iron around my neck. (Pauses) It’s hard to explain really. It isn’t like I can just sleep and be rid of it. It’s really, paradoxically, tiring to sleep. It’s easier to just do nothing than it is to sleep. (confused) How does that work? How is it too tiring to sleep?

He sighs and opens his mouth to speak, only to close it again. He searches for the words, his mouth twisting slightly in thought. His hands stop picking at each other and he begins using small hand gestures while talking.

LOGAN: (puzzled) I find it hard to focus on the feeling because it’s just a part of me now. It’s like an eye floater: always there, whether you see it or not, and impossible to pin down because it moves with you.

He scratches the side of his head and shifts forward, taking his back off of the chair and leaning forward slightly.

LOGAN: (tired) I care less and less about things that I used to love. I mean, all I really do with my life is watch anime or YouTube, play games and eat junk food. (sadly) But for some reason, I can’t even really care about that. I lie there, on my bed, vaguely listening to some playlist of science videos for the umpteenth time, occasionally bothering to turn on my WiiU or 3DS and play a game, sipping increasingly flat Coke.

His face contorts, almost as if in pain, his mouth shut and eyes looking at the ground. He pauses briefly before looking back at DOCTOR.

LOGAN: (angry) I mean, isn’t that kinda sad? I’m a lazy 17 year old loser at the best of times, but being too lazy to even play a video game while drinking Coke? That’s just beyond lazy!

LOGAN pauses and stares at the floor, contemplating. DOCTOR types a few more notes.

LOGAN: (dejectedly, towards ground) I mean, it’s just so- (Sighs) I just don’t get it.

BOTH sit silently for a moment. LOGAN lifts his head and breathes out heavily. He continues to direct his words mostly to the floor, never making direct eye contact with DOCTOR.

LOGAN: (depressed) I’ve tried to isolate what the issue could be, but I don’t have any idea. When I’m telling others about what I do all day, I joke when I say that “I’m kind of a lazy sonuva bitch”, but really there is more truth to that than I would like to admit. I’m a lazy, lazy kid, who doesn’t do anything productive. Nothing productive. Do you know how hard it is to finish assignments when you can’t be stuffed to get up and select a new video to not really watch?

He pauses and takes a deep breath before wiping his face with his hands.

LOGAN: (depressed) I tell everyone that I’m managing to do my school work, but that’s yet another lie. I do try. Honestly, I do. I sit down and try to work through my assignments, but I go blank after a minute or two. I sit there and stare at the empty Word documents, unable to grab any of the hundreds of ideas rushing through my head.

He stands up and closes his eyes and looks at invisible “thoughts” floating around him.

LOGAN: (methodically, increasingly stressed) Drama? Shakespeare? English? Zelda? Hamlet? Assignment? Essay? Sadness? Anime? Gregorian chant? Script? Split-personality? Civilisations? Multiple time periods? Film noir? Music? Japanese? Anger? Pokemon? Math? School? (tiredly) I don’t- I’m just- I’m just so…

He collapses into his chair, exhausted. He catches his breath for a few moments before continuing.

LOGAN: (eyes still closed) I’m so tired. All these ideas, whizzing through my head and I can’t focus on any of them. I can’t do assignments, I can’t study, (laughs pathetically) there’s no friggin’ way I can do the QCS test. Just half a year left before I finish school. Will it all just go to waste? (Angrily, pulling his hair) Thirteen years of work, down the drain because of this f**king fog in my head?!

He opens his eyes and calms down, his hands dropping to his sides. He breathes in deeply and sits up in his chair.

LOGAN: (sadly) I just don’t know what to do. I want to tell everyone how I actually feel, but I just can’t seem to.

LOGAN stops, his face now permanently contorted into one of disgust mingled with pain. He sits and stares at the ground. He looks up and makes eye contact with DOCTOR.

LOGAN: It doesn’t seem fair. I have so many things to be thankful for, yet I feel so terrible, so sad for myself. (rising anger) I need to tell others how I feel but I barely ever do. Every time I go into a social situation, I put on a mask, a new face.

LOGAN puts on his mask, smiles cockily and leans back in his chair. He folds one leg up onto the other and clasps his hands behind his head, using them as a makeshift head rest.

LOGAN: (condescendingly, cockily) Everyone else sees Socialite Logan, not Real Logan. Real Logan only pokes his head out when he thinks he is alone.

LOGAN removes the mask and his face becomes sullen. His leg drops and his hands meet again on his lap. He begins twirling his thumbs absently and directing his speech towards them.

LOGAN: (softly, sadly) Socialite Logan is always happy. Sometimes tired, and a bit slow, but always happy. Everyone thinks he can do everything, even if he can be a bit lazy. He’s always smiling too. (yells) But that’s the mask!

He hangs his head in his hands for a few moments.

LOGAN: (slowly, sadly) I envy that part of myself. Because deep down-

He immediately leaps to his feet and knocks his chair backwards.

LOGAN: (yells) I’m not okay! (sad anger) I’m always in pain, always sick, and almost exclusively depressed!

He retrieves his mask from his hip and faces the audience, his speech directed at the mask.

LOGAN: But just like a mask, Socialite Logan never loses his smile! He can’t. It’s a part of him. Every time I talk to another person, with few exceptions-

LOGAN dons his mask. His demeanour changes and he becomes confident, saying all his lines with a cocky smile in his voice. He pulls the chair up and sits down in it with confidence.

LOGAN: (relaxed) Socialite Logan pops up, without my permission. He takes control and deals with the situation his way. Sometimes, all I want to do is beat the ever loving sh*t out of the first person that walks near me. (laughs)

He removes the mask, places it back at his hip and slumps in the chair.

LOGAN: (lethargically) But no one would ever know that. People only see what my unconscious mind wants them to see. That isn’t a good way to live. It puts an unseen pressure on my relationships with other people. I may be angry or upset with the person I am talking to, but I don’t tell them, so they can’t change. It colours my view of everything they do, which only further fuels my anger.

He sits up, his hands folded in his lap. He has a sad and pained expression.

LOGAN: (sadly) I can barely stand to be in the same room as my sister and my cousin. In fact, I could quite honestly say I hate them. (angrily) They are just so rude to the people around them! The way they treat others disgusts me! I wish they would just go away! (sadly) But, I can’t seem to tell them that. They don’t know how I feel, so they can’t change, even if they should anyway. Because of this, I just start seeing everything they do as an attempt to anger me. (hurt) I can’t go on like that! It isn’t fair to them, and it isn’t healthy for me to bottle my feelings up like that!

He falls to his hands and knees and begins to cry.

LOGAN: (sobbing) I’m tired of hurting! I’m tired of feeling sick! I’m so, so, tired! I keep drowning in this f**cking swamp in my head, and I’m sick of it! Sometimes I think it would be easier to just kill myself and be done with it, but I’m too afraid! I’m too f**cking scared to kill myself because I think of all the things I will miss! All the things that I’ve yet to experience!

He calms a bit but is still crying. He moves into a kneeling position, his arms drooping by his side.

LOGAN: (crying gently) It’s too hard to keep moving but it’s too hard to stop. I don’t know what to do. I want to curl up, be swallowed by the earth and disappear. I want to sleep, to rest, to just forget everything. I have nothing to give to anyone else anyway. No drive to change things. No energy to make other people happy. I’m the one that’s a burden to others. (quietly) I need other people to get me by.

He stares vacantly towards the ceiling.

LOGAN: (softly, all energy gone) Nothing makes sense anymore, and I need help. Please. (slowly) I need help…

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