Friday, June 29, 2007

what do you want on your tombstone?

Rosehill Cemetery is one of my favorite places in Chicago. I like to visit any time I need to clear my head and remember that I'm on the green side of the grass. This land in Chicago was originally called Roe's Hill, named after nearby tavern owner Hiram Roe, but a mapmaker fucked up. Mapmakers are always doing lazy shit like that.

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The historical plaque on the entrance:
Rosehill Cemetery Entrance
William W. Boyington, architect
1864

Designed by the architect of the Old Chicago Water Tower and predating it by five years, the Rosehill Cemetery Entrance is a rare Midwestern example of castellated Gothic architecture. Many prominent Chicagoans are buried here in plots marked by distinctive memorial sculpture.

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Rows of Civil War graves in the back

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The dog on the left perks up when he smells Snausages

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This here's Zombie Country

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Such a dapper child

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"Darling?"
"What?"
"Darling?"
"I said 'what'."
"Nothing. I love you."
"Mm."

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I found a buck!

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"Ohh dear," said the buck. "You can take my picture, but you can't make me smile. Somebody broke off my antlers. Harumph!"

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This gravestone was free. So I took it.

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This statue is said to be haunted. A white mist fills the glass on the anniversary of her death. I'll believe it when I see it.

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We all shuffle off this blasted rock. Some sooner than others.

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Uncle Leo loves the camera and the camera loves Uncle Leo

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The part of the afternoon when I couldn't remember which way my car was

Monday, June 25, 2007

the invisible guitar (a short play)

The Invisible Guitar
by Marisa Wegrzyn

SHELLY
"eBay Item number: 44448888: Invisible Guitar. Like new. Plays beautifully. Will be shipped in visible case. Bidding currently at $15.00." I must have this. Bid!

(A guitar case is thrown on stage. She opens the guitar case. She lifts the invisible guitar out of the case and straps it over her shoulder. The guitar is invisible, the music audible)

When I was a little girl.
(Strums)
I learned to play a guitar.
(Strums)
A visible guitar.
Anyone can play a visible guitar.
Can you guess the first song I learned on my visible guitar?
Can you guess?
Seriously, I’m not going home until someone guesses.
(She waits for someone to guess)
Nope. How bout this.
(sings and strums “Yellow Submarine”)
In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the…
(She can’t finish. She’s a little sad)
You see… or perhaps you don’t see… Anyone can play a visible guitar.
But to learn the invisible guitar, one needs an invisible guitar instructor.
Where does one find an invisible guitar instructor?
Well.
Craigslist.
I’ve been playing the invisible guitar for six years. I’m pretty good now. But back then…
(*buzz*)
Who is it?

INVISIBLE MAN (always in Voice Over)
It’s James. Your invisible guitar instructor.

SHELLY
(opens door)
Where are you?

INVISIBLE MAN
Right here.

SHELLY
Oh. Okay. Well, here it is. My invisible guitar.

INVISIBLE MAN
My my my, she is a beauty.

SHELLY
She is? I can’t tell.

INVISIBLE MAN
But you must be able to feel how beautiful she is. Where did you find her?

SHELLY
eBay.

INVISIBLE MAN
How much, if you don’t mind my asking?

SHELLY
Fifteen dollars. Plus shipping.

INVISIBLE MAN
What a steal! This guitar is simply complex. Or complexly simple. A feast for the fingertips.

SHELLY
(repeating, entranced, in love)
A feast for the fingertips…

INVISIBLE MAN
I’m over here.

SHELLY
Oh.
(SHELLY begins playing her invisible guitar)
It was love at first… um… you know, whatever. Over the next few weeks, he taught me this. (plays) And this. (plays) Even this (plays) I had had only 5 lessons when he said:

INVISIBLE MAN
You’re remarkable.

SHELLY
Thank you. I used to play the visible guitar until one of the strings snapped leaving a horrible welt across my face when I was nine. Maybe you noticed the scar. Most people do. Sometimes they’re polite and say nothing. Some say what happened to you face? They scrunch their nose like this when they ask: what happened to your face? I wish so much that I could see you, James. What do you look like? Are you tall? Or short? Or fat? Or skinny? Or sad? Are you still here?

INVISIBLE MAN
I’m here, Shelly. Always.

SHELLY
And he kissed me with his invisible lips on my visible mouth, and we made love on the floor and he touched me all over, his fingertips feasting on my body, and for the first time in our lives, we were both visible.
Then next Tuesday, I waited for James to buzz the apartment for my lesson. He didn’t buzz. Not the next Tuesday. Not the Tuesday after. Part of me thought he was there and not saying anything. But then I realized the only man I ever loved was gone. Forever.
First I was sad. But then…
Visible veins popped visibly in neck.
I wanted to set cars on fire.
I wanted to throw sledgehammers through giant panes of glass.
I wanted to smash entire cities with the palms of my hands.
My fury was apocalyptic brilliance.
I wrote angry girl music. Mid 90s Alanis Morissette would’ve shit her pants.
The rage of a jilted lover spewed out my soul like crude oil containing the crushed bones of two thousand Velociraptors.
I calmed down.
Moved on.
But, also, I was late.
You know?
Late.
Girls, if a fella ever claims “invisible sperm”…

(SHELLY strums her invisible guitar)

She’s six now. My little girl. Invisible, too, like her daddy. I’m teaching her how to play. She’s a natural. Some days she asks, “What do I look like? Am I pretty?” Yes, I say. The prettiest. And I imagine she is. I do my best to make her feel visible. I can only do my best. I hope it’s good enough.
(Calling out into the theatre)
Susie? Susie? Where are you?
(no response)
She’s here somewhere.
Um.
Before you leave tonight? Check, make sure you have all your valuables. Cell phones, keys, wallets. Susie is going through a phase. She likes to, you know, take things that don’t belong to her. Because she can.

(SHELLY rocks out on her invisible guitar as the lights fade)

the end


© 2007 Marisa Wegrzyn

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

what?

My sister Carly called me. We had some sort of argument. I'm going to try to provide an accurate transcript.

(Undeclared is a TV series we both have on DVD).

Carly: Do you have Undeclared?

Me: I have a copy of Undeclared, but it's mine.

Carly: It's not.

Me: I'm pretty sure it is.

Carly: No, it's not, you took mine.

Me: I don't think I did. Don't you have a copy?

Carly: There's a copy here.

Me: Okay.... then what's the problem?

Carly: This is a newer copy, it was more recently in cellophane.

Me: Okay. But you have a copy of Undeclared.

Carly: You have mine.

Me: Okay. But I don't think I do.

Carly: Yeah, you do.

Me: I don't understand what we're arguing about. You have a copy of Undeclared, right?

Carly: It's a newer copy.

Me: But you have a copy of it.

Carly: It's the principle of the thing.

Me: I have no idea what we're arguing about.

Carly: Fine, nevermind. You're wrong. Goodbye.

My sister is awesome.