August 7, 2010
Salam everyone.. Thank God it doesnt take me as long as last time to post another post.. Haha.. All thanks to Miss Hanita and Drama class.. The Drama below is actually a Group work of me, Hatim, Sarah, Pqah, Anis, Fathin, Yana n Sharifah.. Its our verson of Jose Rivera's Tape.. We have to implement Islamic values so dat explains the whole Tingtong.. haha.. Bla3.. Enjoy..
A small dark room. No windows. One door. In the room is a simple wooden table and chair. On the table is a large reel-to-reel tape recorder. Two Attendants, dressed in black, await the arrival of the Person.
Attendant I: Acquaint me; with the knowledge of the time - we will have to spend waiting for him.
Attendant II: (looking at his tome) 0 hours, 3 minutes, and 12.3 seconds.
Attendant I: And what shades of transgressions accompany this one?
Attendant II: (smile)It is a riddle still - for both of us.
Attendant I: A smile? Have thou never felt thy heart overwhelmed with abhorrence towards these putrefied souls? – drenched in liquid sins, they acquaint me with anger!
Attendant II: But to where does that anger take thee?
Attendant I: (Firmly)It needs not take me anywhere. It serves as the catalyst for my sternness – the sternness needed to control these..these-
Attendant II: Sternness is but adequate to guide these lost souls. Thou need to be compassionate - for only compassion can guide them to nowhere but the right path.
Attendant I: Compassion? Too frail thou have been o His servant. These souls need not to be spoilt with superfluous patting. They need to be leashed – and sternness is the only leash fitting for these..these-
Attendant II: (Rolling his head)Dear..Dear.. Enlighten me then - on what assurance does sternness promises? Leashes can break my brother and once they break, the ones who were leashed will not be staying around to get leashed again. But compassion – compassion is like a shield – always bestowing unconditional protections for its master and for that, the master will always trust it and stay with it, whole-heartedly (smile).
Attendant I: A shield? A shield? (Laughs a little) Yes, I agree, the master will stay with his shield but then again, this master of it is nothing but merely, a lost soul - a lost soul which needs no protection. What it needs is guidance – guidance which it does not desire but require. Wants are not needs my brother – remember that. Thus, o His servant, what significance is a shield, if it is unneeded and hence, unused?
Attendant II: (Still smiling) Needs..Wants.. I will bear that in mind but thou see, thou art not putting the element of-
Suddenly, the door creaks open and the Person walks in.
Person: Hey, 2 scary-looking dudes (makes a weird face). Is this where I’m supposed to be? (Looks around the room)
Attendant II: (Smiles)Yes, this is your room, boy. Come in.
Person: Whoa. Kinda dark in here.
Attendant II: I am sorry.
Person: Chill man, I know it’s not your fault.
Attendant I: (Looking at the person) I wonder whose fault it is.
Attendant II: I am afraid that, the issue of these..not very brilliant lights
is..out of my authority- out of my..hands.
Person: I guess, what does it matter now?
Attendant II: Indeed, now it is not of any importance.
Person: Well, who cares, really? (silence)Right?
Attendant I: If only you know. (Smiles)
Person: Hmmm.. Quite comfy here eh?
Attendant II: (Doubtfully)Really? (Laughs) We don’t want to cause you any undue suffering.
Person: Any “undue suffering”?
Attendant I: That’s right (grins).
Attendant II: Thou ought to stop frightening the boy, o brother. He will be enduring
much horror later when he-
Attendant I: And I should be considering the consequences of his own actions because?
Attendant II: Thou thyself art already well informed on these souls’ unbearable sufferings – the torments, the guilt, the punishments. So I plead you, spare him the pre-sufferings of his mind.
Both Attendants realise the Person is attentively hearing their conversation.
Attendant I: How comforting.
Person: (Making weird faces)Weird lingo you got there. Anyway, is this where I’ll be
for the next-?
Attendant II: Yes, this is where you will be.
Person: So, what about you guys? Will you be here with me or- ?
Attendant II: Yes, we will be accompanying your stay here.
Person: The entire time?
Attendant II: Indeed, the entire time.
Person: Okay, cool. Is it boring?
Attendant II: I am sorry?
Person: Is it boring? You know, like, just waiting for me, like, all the time.
Attendant I: (sarcastically)No, not at all. It is not boring at all. We’ll just
stand here, do nothing and not be boring at all (fakes a smile).
Attendant II: Well, this is our job. It is what we have to do.
Person: Of course. Umm, will I get, like, anything to eat or drink here?
(Attendant I laughs.)
Attendant II: You would not really need to eat anything here but if...
Person: I understand, but not even on special occasions like, you know, my birthday?
(Attendant I laughs out louder.)
Attendant II: Dear..Dear.. I guess so. Since you insist, I ‘ll try to...
(Attendant I still laughs)
Attendant II: I’ll try to bring something for you on your birthday.
Person: Gee, thanks. (Hopeful)Beer?
(Attendant I stops laughing suddenly)
Attendant I: (Angrily) You drink beer?
Person: No, no. I was just kidding. Beer? Never heard of that old stuff.
Attendant I: Do you or do you not drink beer?
Person: I.. I was just.. I don’t really –
Attendant I: (Firmly) Do you or do you not drink beer?
Person: (Trembles) I..I.. (Gulps)Yes.. I..I drink beer (looks down on the floor).
(A long uncomfortable silence)
Attendant II: Do you have any more questions before we start? Because if you do,
that is affirmatively acceptable. It is acceptable to ask as many questions as you want. I am sure you are very curious. I am sure you would like to know as much as possible, so that you can figure out how it all fits together and what it all means. So, please do ask. That is why we are here anyway. Do not worry about the time. We have a lot of time.
Attendant I: A lot of time. (Grins.)
Person: Hmm, I don’t think I have any questions.
Attendant II: (Disappointed.) Dear..Dear.. Are you certain? (Both attendants look
sharply at the Person.)
Person: There’s not-
Attendant II: (Hopeful)You can enquire us on anything you want.
Attendant I: Anything at all. Come on.
Person: There’s not much I really have to, like, know is there? (Silent) Really?
Attendant II: No, I guess not then. I just thought-
Person: It’s okay. I appreciate it.
Attendant I: Fine.
Attendant II: But still, if you have-
Attendant I: (Firmly)The boy has uttered nothing but words of declination , o
brother. Let it go.
Attendant II: But his mind.. it is not of the finest condition at the present. We bear the accountability of offering him another chance – a chance to think of what he wishes to enquire us.
Attendant I: Thou art talking about offering chances? Chances? Chances ought not to be offered but earned o brother. If chances are intended to be offered, to be given gratis to whoever desires them, then, no one should be in rooms comparable to this one.
Attendant II: Dear..Dear.. (smiles)Of course o brother, I agree, chances are not intended to be given gratis to whoever desires it. But still, at times, people tend to erroneously execute what are on the basis of wrong judgements – due to the state of mind and the conditions of the surrounding. For those who have fallen victims of these unruly circumstances, they have the rights to be given another chance.
Attendant I: Circumstances? Thou art placing the culpability of one’s own wrong judgements on unruly circumstances? Heh.. Pitiful servant of Him, have thou not known that circumstances are the way they are because of one’s own pitiful actions and decisions. An undertaker does not have his back aching because he has been digging graves for hours, but because he has chosen to be an undertaker in the first place. An electrician does not wind up in the hospital because he was electrocuted but because he has chosen to risk himself with electrics.
Attendant II: But thou see, a little boy does not end up in a wheelchair because he has chosen for his legs to be crushed by a car, but because he-
(The Person suddenly interrupts the ongoing arguement)
Person: Ummm.. Hello? Earth to 2 scary-looking dudes? I’m still here and my legs are getting tired listening to your baloney, see. Can I like, sit, like, there, like, now? (Pointing the chair)
(Attendant II looks at Attendant I. Attendant I nods)
Attendant I & II: Sit. (The person sits on the chair and faces the tape recorder.)
Person: Okay, I’m sitting. (Pause)Don’t you have, like, chairs that can spin like those giant swirling lollipops? Now that would be cool man, way cool.
(Both attendants stare weirdly at the Person)
Person: What? Why are you guys looking at me like that? Is there something on my face? (Touches his face here and there)
Attendant I: (Sarcastically) Now that is undeniably one good question.
Person: Is there a zit on my face?
Attendant II: No boy. Nothing is wrong with your face. You look as handsome as ever (smiles).
Person: Gee, thanks. I get that a lot though.
Attendant I: (Sarcastically)Sure you do.
Attendant II: So, the chair.. Is it comfortable?
(Attendant I looks at Attendant II.)
Person: It’s –
Attendant I: (Sighs heavily)Does it even matter?
Attendant II: Dear..Dear.. No.. I suppose not. I was just.. (Attendant II looks sad)
Person: Hey, I’m sorry. The other dude was just trying to –
Attendant II: It is all right.
Person: What’s your name anyway, other dude? Do you have a name?
Attendant II: Name? Not really. It’s not allowed.
Person: Really? Not allowed? Who says? This dude?
Attendant I: The rules say!
Person: Pheh.. Rules..Have you actually seen these rules? Are they in writing?
Attendant II: Oh yes, all the rules are written in books like this one (holding his tome up so that the Person can see)
Person: (Surprised)So, there really are rules?
Attendant I: (Sarcastically) No, there are no rules. None! Nothing at all! He was just lying about the whole rules.
Person: Whoa. Who’s telling the truth here? Total brain freeze dudes..and I’m not even eating ice-creams, man.
Attendant I: Never mind.
Person: Okay then. So, what do you guys do around here? I mean, like, not literally do as in do, but you know.
Attendant II: Well, we have to be a little bit of everything. Guide, confidant, confessor, friend, stern taskmaster.
Attendant I: Yes, stern taskmaster.
Attendant II: (looking at Attendant I)For thy information, one can be stern and soft at the very same time.
Attendant I: (sarcastically)Oh yes, sorry. And for thy information, one can also be uttering words of deceit and truth at the same time.
Attendant II: Dear..Dear.. Have thy not known the-
Person: (suddenly interrupts)Oh wow.. That seems like a lotta work you dudes gotta do. I guess that would take some time, eh?
Attendant II: Well, time has never been among our concerns. We are grateful. We know we have been chosen for something of great significance. Don’t really mind the hard work and sleepless nights.
Person: (Surprised) Oh? You sleep?
Attendant II: (Smiles) We..do not sleep.
Person: So, do you guys, like, dream?
Attendant I: (sarcastically)Yes, of course we dream, genius. We do not sleep at all but we dream every time we sleep. (Fakes a smile)
Person: Whoa. You must be, like, the millionth person who’ve said I’m genius! (Trying to be chummy)Well, I dunno if you dudes know anything about this, but there’s a story why people calls me a genius. You see, it was when I was, like, seven and I was in class at that time and the teacher was teaching ,like, these weird high-stuff Geography and then she-
Attendant I: (Firmly)I know.
Person: Huh? What?
Attendant I: I said I know that story.
Person: Even the details?
Attendant I: (Firmly)Every lying details.
Person: (Gulps)Oh yeah.. I guess..you would know everything, right? Every story.
Attendant I: It is part of our job.
Person: I figured.
(A long uncomfortable silence)
Attendant II: (Softly) Have you ever operated a reel-to-reel tape recorder before?
Person: A reel-to what?
Attendant I: (Firmly) A reel-to-reel tape recorder.
Person: Are you guys talking about this boxie thingy? What’s with it?
Attendant I: (Firmly)Have you ever operated it before?
Person: (Laughs) This thing is so lame dude.
Attendant I: (Firmly)Have you ever operated it before?
Person: Say what?
Attendant I: (Firmly)Have you ever operated it before?!
Person: Chill, chill. these things were, like, already so lame by the time I was old
enough to wet my first diaper you know, so, I was kinda more into CD’s, and later, MP3’s, but never one of these things from disco land.
Attendant II: Well, its function is quite similar with an MP3. (Demonstrates.) On here. Off here. Play. Pause. Rewind.
Person: Whoa dudes, no fast forward?
(Both attendants laugh)
Attendant I: (Suddenly stops laughing) No.
Person: Okay, okay, I’m groovy with that.
Attendant II: Do you know of what use is this reel-to-reel tape? Do you..have a clue on why is it placed here?
Person: So that you guys can play some nauseating disco jingles? (starts humming a disco song)
Attendant I: (Sarcastically) What an ingenious guess.
Person: That’s what they say about me.
Attendant I: (Firmly)Enough fooling around!
Person: Chill, chill. Okay, you tell me what it does.
Attendant II: They play the things of which you do not want anyone to know.
Person: For real? Hmmm.. They seem strong and sturdy but kinda worked out.
Attendant II: Well, they get-
Attendant I: A lot of use (grins).
Person: Is this the only tape?
(Both attendants laugh out loud again –then suddenly stops)
Attendant I&II: No.
Attendant II: There are-
Attendant I: Many more. (Grins)
Person: Seriously? How many more? A lot?
Attendant I: Nine hundred, thirty four thousands, seven hundred and seventy nine boxes.
Person: (surprised) Nine hundred, thirty four thousands, seven hundred and seventy nine boxes?
Attendant II: I’m afraid so.
Person: Are all those mine? All?
Attendant II: I’m afraid so.
Person: And it plays the things that I don’t want anyone to know?
Attendant II: I’m afraid so.
Person: So it’ll play all my-
Attendant II: Yes, we know.
Person: Don’t play with me guys. Seriously, it’ll really play-
Attendant I: Yes, we know
Person: (Gulps)So... Everyone goes into a room like this?
Attendant II: (Smiles)Yes, eventually. Exactly like this. There’s no differentiation. Everyone’s equal.
Person: For once.
Attendant II: What isn’t equal of course, is-
Attendant I: (Hammers the table)The amount of time you spent here listening!
Person: Oh God!
Attendant I: Listening, just to yourself. To your voice, word by word of every lie you ever told while you were alive.
Person: Oh God! Oh God! Oh God Almighty!
(The Person tries to find a way out of the room while the Attendants are right
behind his back).
Attendant I: Every ugly lie to every person!
Attendant II: Every single time!
Attendant I: Every betrayal!
Attendant II: Every lying thoughts!
Attendant I: Every time you lied to yourself!
Attendant II: Deep in your mind, we were listening.
Attendant I: We were recording.
Attendant II: And it’s all in these tapes.
Attendant I: Nine hundred, thirty four thousands, seven hundred and seventy nine
boxes of them.
Attendant II: In your own words.
Attendant I: One lie after another.
Attendant II: Over and over.
Attendant I: Until your life was finished.
(The Person realising that there is no escape, falls down on his knees)
Person: I’m sorry. (Breaks down)
Attendant I: So the amount of time each person spends here varies.
Attendant II: And it all depends on how many lies you have told.
Person: (In tears) I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
Attendant II: I’m afraid you are too late, boy.
Attendant I: Beyond any doubts, too late.
Person: I said I’m sorry dudes! I said I’m sorry! I said it a million times! What
happened to forgiveness huh? I don’t want to be here! I don’t want this! I don’t want to listen! I don’t want to hear myself! I didn’t mean to say the things that I said. I don’t want to listen! I don’!!
Attendant II: Yes, well neither did we. Neither did we.(Both Attendants look sadly at the Person and lead him back to his seat. The Person continues sobbing. Attendant I hits the Play button, the reels spin slowly, and the tapes start snaking its way through the machine).
(The Attendants disappear into darkness and haunting illusions appear. The Melody of Melancholy starts to play)
Person: (Gulps) Mom? Sis? Teacher? What’re you guys doing here? Forgive me, please.
(Continues to cry)
Illusion I: You said you found the money near the black hearse-
Illusion II: But I know you took it from your mother’s purse.
Person: I’m sorry..I’m sorry..
Illusion III: You said you were on horror movie marathon-
Illusion IV: But I know you were watching porn.
Person: Please stop.. please..
Illusion II: You said you were tying noose at the drama club-
Illusion I: But I know you were hitting the pub.
Person: No! Please stop! Please!
Illusion IV: You said over and over the coffin is your mother’s bed-
Illusion III: But now you know that..
All Illusion: ..you’re the one who’s dead!
(All illusions start laughing wickedly)
Person: (Over and over)Stop! Please stop! Please stop!
(The person, in tears, tries to break the tape recorder while the illusions endlessly taunt him)
All Illusions: (Over and over, mixed with evil laughs) Liar! Liar! Liar!
(The Person hits the ‘off’ button and the illusions start fading away, along with the Melody of Melancholy)
Person: O mistress of hollow words,
a disciple of yours I was,
a follower of yours I had fallen to be..
The nectar of lugubrious euphoria you endowed me with was nothing;
but an elixir which eternalised my perfect mortal flaws.
I was fooled, I was a fool..
As nightfall came, I suffocated myself in your fulminating darkness
– overflowing with satisfaction in every empty verses..
And cheating thoughts told me the lying truth of my life..
While confessing words told me the truthful lies of life..
Now, my eyes are open,
only to see that they have closed..
And I am living death..
Hence, I plead to you Allah Almighty,
not for my life, but for forgiveness..
Forgive this sinful servant of yours..
Who is not worthy to live,
Yet could not bear to face your eternal damnation.
(The Person, heart-broken, collapses with his face onto the table and continues to sob. The setting gradually brightens up and resembles more of a teenage bedroom. A woman comes through the door)
Woman: Son, dear son. Wake up! Wake up!
(The person uplifts his face from the table)
Person: What? My chair? My table? I’m in my room? I’m not dead? Ain’t I supposed to
be dead? I’m supposed to be dead! (Tears run down his cheeks)
Woman: Dead? What are you talking about son? Oh, you must’ve had a nightmare (Patting his back). There, there.
Person: A nightmare? That’s..kinda impossible coz.. it seemed so real.. It can’t be a dream - it wasn’t a dream!
Woman: Try telling me about it son. Maybe you’ll feel better.
Person: I.. I.. I’m a liar.. I’ve lied to you, I’ve cheated you, a lot!
Woman: (Looks curiously) What’re saying son?
Person: Well, last night itself, remember when I say I found that RM50? Well, I
didn’t. I took it from your purse and I’ve already spent every cent partying with my buds. I’m really, really sorry..mom. (almost in tears)
Woman: (Patting his back) And what makes you think I haven’t already known this? (smile blissfully)
Person: (Surprised)You knew..already? And you..didn’t say a word about it?
Woman: Well, there are a lot of things I know which you thought I don’t. I just, never showed it to you.
Person:(speechless, tears roll down his cheeks)...
Woman: Being lied to face by her own son is a painful thing to endure for a mother but seeing her son unhappy is a pain much, much greater than her own.
Person: Please don’t say that! You don’t know half of what I’ve lied to you. You don’t know that I always said that you were..you were-
Woman: Dead? I know (smiles). I’ve cooked you your favourite today – chicken lasagne. Let’s go down and eat, okay?
(The Woman leads the Person and they exit through the door. The two Attendants reappear)
Attendant II: Dear..Dear.. Would thou look upon that sight..
Attendant I: Hmmmhhh.. The boy will be nothing but his old self. He is going to waste the chance conferred upon him.
Attendant II: On what basis do thou put thy speculations on? I truly believe that the boy is equipped with the capability of changing for the better. Remorse is a powerful instrument for change and the fact that he experienced death put him on the platform of repentance.
Attendant I: Man? Change? It is the nature of man to blindfully live in plastic ignorance. Death only acts to trigger the change but it can never maintain the change. A man can only change but there are no guarantees that he will not revert to his old sinful habits.
Attendant II: Still, there are no guarantees that he will revert.
(The light fades slowly and the Attendants disappear into darkness)