The Extraordinarily Mundane Adventures of Earth Boy

By J. Hartwell, USA

Lights come up on Matt, wearing a helmet and a shiny space suit.  He stares up into the sky as if he were watching fireworks, but they happen to have been the same fireworks for weeks.  He clicks on a little tape recorder. 

MATT

Earth’s moon.  Dayyyy . . . seventy nine. 

               (Beat)

Had a walk.  Had a long walk today when I got up.  Did that for a while. 

               (Sniffs)

Played some tic-tac- toe in the moon dust . . . with myself.  I won.  So that was pretty cool. 

               (Beat)

Took a nap. 

               (Beat)

They say, I don’t know, they used to say that . . . when you sleep a lot, you’re probably . . . I don’t know . . . I don’t think I suffer from depression.  I mean, although, it’s not like I don’t have a pretty good . . . you know?          

               (Pause)

There’s . . . still no dimming to the glow of all the Earth’s fires.  Almost burns my eyes to watch it, but what else am I gonna do?  I don’t know, it’s kinda pretty as long as you don’t think about . . . I know they say you should live with the hand you’re dealt, or whatever, but come on!  I was remembering . . . just this morning, among many, many other things, the Great Pyramids.  And peaches, especially peaches.  But why were the Great Pyramids the great ones?  I mean, what was so mediocre about all of the other pyramids built by other countries?  They probably thought, at the time, that theirs were pretty great.  Having never seen “the great ones” in Egypt.  Yeah, but mostly peaches.  I’d take a big fat juicy peach over a pyramid right now. 

A gentle and elegant, essentially humanoid Being with a greenish hue has entered.

MATT

It’s true, I never actually saw any of those pyramids, from any civilization, up close.  But I don’t care.  I want a fucking peach—

BEING

Pardon me.

MATT

All fuzzy and swollen. 

BEING

Pardon me?

MATT

Whistling behind its quivering little fruit flesh.

BEING

Hello.  Um, hi.  I don’t mean to interrupt your flow. 

MATT

No.  No, it’s OK.

I didn’t even hear you coming.  I . . . I thought I was all alone here.

BEING

               (Chuckling)

Oh, you are.  Except for me, I mean.

MATT

How long were you standing there?

BEING

I just got here.  I wasn’t eavesdropping–

MATT

No, I didn’t mean to imply that you were–

BEING

I wasn’t.

MATT

I didn’t think so.  And why would I care even if you were, right?  Are there others?

BEING

Like me, you mean?  No, just me. 

MATT

Oh.

BEING

Down here.  There are plenty of others like me up—

MATT

On your home planet.

BEING

No.  Well, yeah, but also in our—

MATT

Mother ship?

BEING

Mmmm…right.  If that’s what you want to call it. 

MATT

That’s rad.

               (Beat)

BEING

So.  Your own . . . little moon, here, huh?

MATT

Yes.  Yep, looks that way. 

BEING

You seemed to have settled in OK.

MATT

Well, I have a lot of time on my hands.  I mean, I got here.  And what the hell?  No American flag.  No golf balls.  No nothing.  I knew that shit was done on a Hollywood film set.

BEING

Well, can you blame them?

MATT

I don’t know.

BEING

Given the way your world was at that time?

MATT

I guess.  Hey, thanks for coming.

BEING

               (Looking up at Earth)

It’s actually quite beautiful.

MATT

Yeah.  Yeah, at first. 

BEING

Not as beautiful as it used to be.

MATT

I didn’t know fire came in so many colors.

BEING

Oh, it does, believe me.  That’s nothing. 

               (Beat)

How did you do it?  How did you let it happen?

MATT

None of the” important” people thought it would really happen.

BEING

Important people?

MATT

Nobody who had enough power or money to get everyone else to do something about it ever actually did anything.  I tried, but I’m not important.

BEING

That’s ridiculous.  What a bunch of greedy little . . . If you’re not killing someone, eating someone, or fucking someone, you’re not happy.

MATT

I’m not killing or fucking anything over here.

BEING

And are you happy?

MATT

I’m bored out of my mind.  And lonely, but given the opportunity, I wouldn’t need to . . . and I certainly wouldn’t kill anyone.  It all comes down to us being one of the dumb ones, I guess.  We just weren’t as advanced as you.

BEING

Actually, as beings . . . we’re not all that much more intelligent than you.  In fact, some of us are quite plain and simple.

MATT

But you do have that oversized cranium.

BEING

Thank you.

MATT

No, I assumed that was a characteristic of your advanced intelligence.

BEING

I have a big head.

MATT

Oh, but isn’t that an indication of—

BEING

No, it isn’t.  In fact, I’ve spent my whole life being picked on, because . . . Let’s talk about something else.

MATT

Sorry.  Hey, I wish I had something to offer you.

BEING

It’s OK.  I won’t be here much longer.  We have so much more to see, to learn.

MATT

I just wish I could show you my appreciation.  I have Tang.  Seventy-nine days probably seems like nothing to you, but it feels like it’s been seventy-nine years up here.  I mean, I’m kind of a social butterfly by design.  And I’ve done what I can to keep a positive attitude, but . . . I mean after a while it, it, it does start to get to you.  I’m not gonna lie.

BEING

I was surprised to see you holding it together so well.

MATT

I know, right? 

BEING

Would you care for a game of tic-tac-toe?

MATT

No, I’m about tic-tac-toed out.  I’d be more than jazzed to just gather up my stuff, and “piewww!” head on out, you know?

               Beat

BEING

Ummmmm.

MATT

What?

BEING

Wow.  This is awkward.

MATT

What do you mean, what’s awkward?

BEING

We, um.  We, I mean they and I . . . um.

MATT

What?

BEING

We don’t want you.

MATT

You don’t want me?  Then, then, then what are you doing here?

BEING

You’re a bad influence.

MATT

No I’m not.  I’m pleasant.  I’m fun at parties.  I give good neck rubs.

BEING

It’s not personal.  We just can’t trust you.

MATT

Look, I know we fucked up.  I know we must look like total crap to an outside eye.  But there was some nobility in between all the genocide and rape.  We danced and laughed.  Did art, painted and sculpted.

BEING

Every inhabitable planet has art.

MATT

Are you telling me that we were the only ones who killed each other on a regular basis?

BEING

Of course not.  Billions of others kill like you did, but . . . we wouldn’t have those come join us, either.

MATT

Aw, man!  What the hell was the purpose then?  Coming down here to say hello, you get my hopes up.  Give me another taste of what it’s like to have an actual conversation, and then you slap me in the back and zoom back up to your cushy, peaceful digs without me? 

BEING

Well . . .

MATT

That’s worse than cruel, buddy.

BEING

That isn’t quite why they sent me here.

MATT

What are you talking about?  Why did they?

BEING

Ahem.

MATT

Oh my god.  They sent you here to . . .

BEING

I know.

MATT

How could you?  After all that talk about how violent we are?

BEING

Well I’m not gonna do it, am I?  Not now that I know you as an individual.

MATT

Just take me with you. 

BEING

Not gonna happen.

MATT

I could be the perfect example of what not to be like.

BEING

               (Pointing to the Earth)

Look at what you all’ve done!  You know how many other races have annihilated their home planet? 

MATT

Half a dozen?

BEING

None.  You’re the first.

MATT

But after me there’s nobody.  Nada.  Not . . . not even a memory.

BEING

I mean, yeah, but . . .

MATT

No, there’s no but.

BEING

//Maybe the universe is better off without you?

MATT

Hmm.

BEING

I don’t mean you.  I mean you. You as a—

MATT

I know what you mean!  Let’s talk about something else.

BEING

I have to get going.  Hey, there are billions of others out there, alright?  I’ll put in a decent word for you, and maybe someone will . . . I don’t know.

MATT

Before you go, I have a weird request.

BEING

Yeah?

MATT

Will you . . . hold my hand?

BEING

That is a weird request.

MATT

Come on, I don’t have cooties.  I haven’t touched anyone for two and a half months.  And obviously never will again.

Matt reaches out his hand.  Being reaches his out.  Gets almost close enough to touch, and then retracts it.

BEING

I actually really have to go. 

MATT

Not right this second . . .

BEING

There’s nothing left to say. 

MATT

One game of tic-tac-toe?

BEING

No.  I am sorry. 

               Matt sinks to his knees.  Silently weeping.

BEING

Hey.  Hey, come on? It’s not the end of the . . .

               (He looks up at the glowing Earth.)

So long.  Earth Boy.

Being leaves.  Matt sits on the ground by himself, pulls out his recorder. 

MATT

Earth’s moon. 

               (His voice has lost any trace of hope.)

Still day seventy-nine . . .

               Lights fade.


For enquiries about performing this work, please contact the author at jbhartwell@aol.com

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