Fusion

(a short play) At curtain, dimly lit, we see a man and woman standing on opposite sides of CS, separated and bathed in individual small pools of light. They begin as if addressing a seminar or conference, but they are both dressed in black and all we see are their faces and hands, oddly pale. SANDRA: I remember I was looking out of the plane’s window. My seat belt was fastened even though the ride was as smooth as floating on glass. The empty, cloudless sky above appeared as blue as the vast ocean below. GORDON: I remember I was glaring out the window of the office building. I was as unsteady as if my legs were made of rubber. The ominous shadows of buildings up and down the street darkened my view, looking like staggered rows of mirthless, concrete soldiers. SANDRA: The thought of my lover’s reaction to my news stirred my loins. I couldn’t help myself and the smile on my face became a mile wide. A thrill exploded within me. GORDON: The hard-set line of my jaw formed a grimace. The thought of delivering bad news to an employee made my testicles shrivel. The tension imploded in me. SANDRA: A cheerful ding announced the freedom to move about the plane’s cabin. But I couldn’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else. I glanced out the window and up to see thin fog cut by the sweeping wings. GORDON: I hated being there. I wanted to get out. But the angry ringing of my phone imprisoned me in the office. I answered and gazed down to watch the foul fumes of vehicles rise between the buildings. SANDRA: The sweetness of a soda erupted along my taste buds. It was like a toast to the new life that was beginning inside me. My heart was so full of wonder imagining what the future held for the three of us, it was like a wreath of happiness wrapped itself around my soul. GORDON: The bitterness of black coffee burned through my mouth. It was a testament to my guilt for terminating an employee. My head pounded, imagining the awful fate I imposed. It was like a legion of dread dropped down and smothered me. SANDRA: My long daydreaming came to an abrupt end. My sight was drawn down by structures that were rushing too closely past the plane. GORDON: Time seemed to drag as I mentally whipped myself, until my vision was suddenly drawn upward by the nose of a jet charging directly toward my office. SANDRA: I thought: are we going to crash? (spoken simultaneously) GORDON: I thought: Is it going to crash? (spoken simultaneously) BOTH: What is happening?! SANDRA: My heart dropped in panic and I gripped the armrests of my seat. GORDON: My stomach lurched in fear and I staggered back against my desk. (They pause to look at one another.) SANDRA: Then, there was a deafening explosion. GORDON: And a blinding flash. (There is the sound of impact followed by the breaking of glass and huge metal beams being twisted. There is a brilliant flash of light a split second after the sound.) SANDRA: The sudden jolt ripped my seat from its place, catapulting my body forward. GORDON: The office wall tore from its rebar-anchored mooring and thrust my body backward. (The two are now standing together CS and there is red flickering light, as if flames engulf them.) BOTH: We splintered with the collision. GORDON: The twisted metal, shattered glass, and crushed concrete, SANDRA: incinerated and ran together, GORDON: along with our bodies, BOTH: in the intense heat of the impact. (There is a stunned, awkward moment of silence.) SANDRA: Such a beautiful day (spoken simultaneously) GORDON: A horrible day made worse (spoken simultaneously) SANDRA: Jettisoned — GORDON: Thrust BOTH: into one of national darkness and mourning. (In their need to seek understanding of their opposing feelings, they address one another.) SANDRA: A deep guilt enveloped me because of the death I caused the tiny life inside of me. Though our future was unknown, I found it impossible to be nervous. My pregnancy hadn’t been planned, nor the trip. I know it was impetuous, but I was so excited to tell my fiancée! In my happiness I couldn’t wait for our life together and there was no other thought in my head but to board the first plane that would take me to him. I regret it. I really do. How do I apologize? GORDON: A great joy and relief washed over me because I had saved a life. The call hadn’t been totally unforeseen, nor the firing. Everyone knew it was coming. But, in my trepidation, I wanted to put it off, to find another day to tell her. I tried. I wanted to spare an employee the fear of an uncertain future. Thank goodness, the timing couldn’t have been better. How do I tell her? (They turn out to the audience as the lights begin to fade into a singular pool of light surrounding them.) SANDRA: Our names have been etched in the granite wall of a memorial which commemorates the devastation of that once tall, proud and shining tower, and all the lives that were altered forever in that instant. GORDON: Though the letters are separated by many panels, we are nevertheless joined. Just as the pieces of our bodies and the parts of the structures were fused together in molten ash and piles of rubble BOTH: our lives became entwined for eternity. (She turns to him and the pool of light begins to fade.) SANDRA: Was it a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time that took my life? That took my baby’s life? Did I do something wrong to deserve such punishment? GORDON: I don’t know … Was it a simple case of being in the right place at the right time that I fired her when I did? That she wasn’t there when this happened? Did she do something right that she was spared? SANDRA: I don’t know … GORDON: Why did this happen? SANDRA: What did we do? BOTH: I don’t know … (They look out to the audience) BOTH: Do you? (The stage fades to black.)
License: 
All Rights Reserved
Description : 
"Fusion" was written as a performance piece for the stage. During a memorial service, commemorating the September 11, 2001 attack, two victims speak in counterpoint and then come together in a final question. (A filmed version will be available on this website in Spring 2014.)