EDDIE. Losing battle.
ANNA. Alright Eddie, you're the defiant rebel. You pump yourself up on this fantasy you have of Emerson. You turn to Allah. And like a billion other sorry bastards with Muhammad, as your saviour, and you turn your back on the best career you're probably ever going to have.
EDDIE. You think what you want to think. I need to invest, for a change, in a little independent judgement. You hear that, I'm stressing the word independent.
ANNA. What's that smell Eddie?
EDDIE. Drop dead.
ANNA. I have a right to know what happened to you. You've never done anything close to this before. It's obviously very important to you. So it might be useful Eddie, for me.
EDDIE. It was a moment of clarity Anna, nothing very bizarre, sorry to disappoint. How about if I said to you that all of history, all the time that we as human beings have spent on this planet, all that accumulated memory is... it's active in all of us. Just for a minute, all the sights, the visions, and the sensations, all the stories that have ever been seen or told are expressed in what we do. Do you think that's worth thinking about?
ANNA. Eddie, it's common sense that we learn from history. That's how we're responsible people.
EDDIE. Not responsible, we're not indebted to it, christ, there's a big difference, this is the history! We are the history Anna! Emerson is only one of a number of people who found this out. "Think that what was done in an older age, by men whose names have resounded far, has no deeper sense than what he is doing today".
ANNA. And Muhammad takes your hand and walks you through all this. Look, I'm trying, but it's not enough to make you walk out of that room, not in the middle of it.
EDDIE. Muhammad was a humble man, he made no claims. He was ever only one step ahead, and he'd reach back to give you a hand. All you had to do was ask for it.
ANNA. Eddie, he had a God telling him personally how to conduct his affairs. What does that tell you? And anybody who even casually stumbled out of the dogma that Emerson had to contend with was probably seen as visionary. He had the sense to take his hyperbole to the pulpit.
EDDIE. I can't personally give a shit if it doesn't add up for you. It's more than just language Anna. It so typifies you and your cynical community of spies.
ANNA. You Eddie, are a member of the psychasthenia community since you're all pathologically incapable of deciding on any agenda, with any amount of determination. Of course, unfortunately, you can't hold meetings, no one can decide where to have them.
EDDIE. Is that a joke?
ANNA. Well it could have been, if I would have thought about it for two seconds. (Pause.) Wa wa wa wa wa...you should have a kid Eddie. Daddy could learn a lot from his kid. You're not making it as a single adult.
EDDIE. That kind of logic is the very reason why you should never have children.
ANNA tosses food on his clean shirt.
EDDIE. God damn it, why did you do that?
ANNA. (With laughter.) I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. It just flew off my fork.
EDDIE. Shit, I don't think I have another clean shirt.
EDDIE goes to change his shirt. He pulls another from his bag, it is a YouthCorp shirt, he's pissed off.
This is the only fucking shirt I have. Thank you very much.
ANNA. (With humor.) I'm really sorry. I didn't realize. Don't call me a lousy mother you son-of-a-bitch.
EDDIE. Now I have to wear this fucking YouthCorp shirt.
ANNA. Oh come on, don't you think it's funny?
EDDIE. No, I don't think it's funny.
ANNA. You're getting dressed to go back to the office. Don't you think it's funny.
EDDIE. I know in your mind you think you have this all worked out. Everything proceeding according to your plan. Better check the time Anna. (Pause.) We've had our moment of reverie, this shit is over.
ANNA. What a tragedy. You know, this morality crap, Eddie, let me tell you what you can't see... it's fucking dull, it's a fucking dead horse.
EDDIE completes the procedure with the remote.
EDDIE. I doubt that you are going to accomplish too much more here tonight. Why don't you head back down the i-state, stop and get some caffeine, get back inside the grid, and tomorrow this will all be behind you cause I'm not going back on my decision.
ANNA. Alright. I think I've got that.
EDDIE. Uh huh.
ANNA. If that thing is ready. If you've finished the down tracking just stop for a minute. It's better for both of us if you don't do anything this minute.
EDDIE. I know what I have to do.
ANNA. Then it doesn't matter if you take a couple more minutes. Get a clear head. For christ's sake Eddie lay down on the bed for five minutes.
EDDIE. I don't need to relax.
ANNA. Then lay down on the bed and stay wired and pissed off. I'm going to take a quick shower. And for christ's sake don't relax for even a minute. What's going to happen if you do that. Hum? Nothing.
EDDIE. I don't want you to take a lot of time.
ANNA. I'll just take a quick shower. I'll be out in a minute.
EDDIE. A quick one.
EDDIE lays down on the bed as ANNA exits to the bathroom. There is the sound of the shower running as the lights fade. The light from the bathroom door which she leaves slightly open is thrown across Eddie as he lays down on the bed.
Fade to black.
EMERSON OUTSIDE ISLAM was first performed at the One Dream Theater in New York on November 29, 1995 with the following cast:
EDDIE CAUTION Gerard J. Schneider
ANNA Anna Mastroianni
LEROY Tony Davis
VIOLET Cynthia A. Calley
©Dennis Balk 3/96