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TAO

TAO By Ayesha Charles ayeshaGcharles@gmail.com 07985325339

2011


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

TAO Character List J

34

Tao

21

A plush modern living room of a young successful couple; a high back sofa sits centre stage, up stage left is a music system. The room is dotted with large tasteful nude art. A large painting of a woman’s genitalia is placed up stage on the back wall, slightly raised. ACT 1 SCENE 1 3 am J and Tao, who he knows as Waterfall, both settle down on the sofa.

J

What is it you always say…? Tonight, J, I am going to be your fantasy. That’s what you say, don’t you?

TAO

Yep, that’s exactly what I say.

J

Yes, I know, but how do you know, eh? How do you know you’re going to be my fantasy? Do you even know what my fantasy is?

TAO

To be quite frank, I should really say I am your fantasy. Particularly in your case, simply because the likelihood is that I am not going to be your fantasy, I am your fantasy…

J

Yes, but –

TAO

And I know because, if a man comes into my club two or three nights a week, the only two or three nights I happen to be working and pays me not only to dance for him, but to talk to him and has never been allowed to even so much as lay a finger on me - I’m pretty certain that if I’m not already his fantasy, I’m about to be.

J

Looks at TAO questioningly.

TAO

Well, everybody wants something they can’t have and when it’s there, dancing right in front of them, teasing them, fucking with their little heads, it’s bound to become a fantasy…It’s a fact.

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Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

J

Hmmm… D’you tell all the men that you’re going to be their fantasy?

TAO

Oh god, no! I can’t just go around assuming I’m every man’s fantasy – that would just be stupid. Just whoever chooses to be a member of my audience – man, woman – Trans– gender woman … But, don’t worry, J, I mean it every time I say it! She walks to the centre of the stage. Standing with her back to the audience, directly opposite J, she takes her clothes off. …Tonight, Joseph, I will be your fantasy. Do what you will with me.

J

Well…what do you want me to do to you?

TAO

Whatever makes you happy.

J

Anything?

TAO

Anything.

J

Seriously, anything? Is that what you girls are like?

TAO

(ignoring his ‘you girls’ comment) Getting bored over here.

J

Well, get over here then… Beat You filthy little girl.

TAO

(impressed) Oooh. She walks towards him, he stands up, grabs her face and kisses her hard and dirty. He walks around her, circling her, studying her naked body, stroking and licking her.

J

First, I want you to suck my dick. Then I want to taste you. Pause Then I’m going to fuck you like how the naughty little prick tease you are deserves to be fucked and – and – then (contemplatively) I want to piss all over you.

TAO

Mmm, make me your fantasy, Joseph.

He takes her hand and leads her behind the sofa, her back facing the audience, they kiss and then she gets on her knees disappearing from the

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Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

audiences view behind the back of the sofa, the top of her head may show, appearing as though she’s giving him a blow job.

FADE ACT 1 SCENE 2 TAO, still naked (or nude underwear), but looking dishevelled, lingers over the large picture of the female genitalia with her back to the audience. J enters. J

Can I get you some tea, Water - ….err?

TAO

What?

J

Well, what’s your name…?

TAO

Looks at him questioningly.

J

Your real name?

TAO

What’s wrong with Waterfall?

J

Considering we just - y’know - fucked, I just feel we’re passed – it’s just strange calling you that now, besides –

TAO

I’ve always been Waterfall to you, though.

J

You like being called Waterfall?

TAO

Or Destiny, Desire - Golden Shower (laughs). – (pointedly) Whatever makes it clear to you that I am an object from your fantasy. Not Claudia, not Genevieve. Nice names don’t get me wrong, but they’re just too (disgustedly) tangible.

J

What’s wrong with being tangible?

TAO

Well, the more real we present ourselves to be, the more we get associated with reality and people - ordinary people. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about us being the object of your desire, your fantasy. Once you start thinking of us as people – like what you’re starting to do right now, the

3


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

jig’s up! Once we appear tangible we’re no longer an object of your fantasy, but an object of your...(She thinks for a moment) Let’s call it prey. J

(impressed) Politics of the job, eh?

TAO

Yup. (Distracted by the art work) I can’t be prey – I just refuse. Besides, being a member of somebody’s fantasy pays a lot more money and has a much longer life span. Pause But what the hell! I’m a single with needs of my own, sometimes I slip – (She turns away from the picture) And I slipped. And when the jig is up the jig is up and this jig is most certainly up. / There’s no point me not telling you my real name - It’s Tao.

J

You’re right, let’s keep the fantasy - I can keep calling you Waterfall - / Huh?

TAO

My name - it’s Tao.

J

I thought you weren’t going to tell me, all the politics, fantasies and shit.

TAO

We fucked those politics and fantasies right out the window. Pause (Looking at him sexily)Didn’t we?

J

(Disappointed) So, what’s the name, then?

TAO

Tao.

J

Tao? (Looks at her questioningly)

TAO

Tao. She turns back to the painting she was studying.

J

Is that your real name? J smiles, believing that she’s still lying in order to keep the fantasy.

TAO

It’s my name. Beat Nice cunt.

4


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

J

You like it?

TAO

I do. In fact I love it. Whose cunt is this?

J

What makes you think it’s not just a painting from memory?

TAO

It’s not. I know it’s not.

J

How do you know?

TAO

Ok, well, no man would actually paint a cunt like this from memory. Beat Unless, of course, they’d seen that same cunt year in year out, like if it was their wife or their girlfriend’s or something. They’d never create a cunt with so much skin over the clit. They’d never create a cunt that has one lip so slightly bigger than the other and look at that- shaving bumps! No way! A man from memory would create the most perfect cunt. Beat I like the imperfections, it makes it (laughs to herself) …. - perfect. Silence

J

(Impressed) My wife.

TAO

Thought so. So was it done by memory, or did she sit with her legs open while you painted her cunt?

J

Legs open.

TAO

That is sexy. J watches her both amused and fascinated.

J

So, tea?

TAO

Hmm, are we going to fuck again…after we finish our tea? He laughs …I just hate hanging around unnecessarily.

J

(Taken aback) I’m sure we can fuck again.

5


Ayesha Charles

TAO

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

Milk, three sugars, thank you.

FADE

ACT 1 SCENE 3 They’re both sprawled out on the sofa. An empty bottle of wine and a half filled bottle on the floor. They each have full wine glasses. J’s words can slightly slur. A slight flirtatious undertone, lots of laughing. J

You know I’ll still fantasise about you.

TAO

No you won’t. You’ll replay memories.

J

Isn’t that still fantasising?

TAO

Depends on how accessible I plan on being.

J

OK, Tao.

TAO

So, where’s your wife?

J

Barcelona. Do you mind that I have a wife?

TAO

(Laughing) Why should I mind?

J

I don’t know. Women –

TAO

I’m not a woman. (Pointedly) I’m an object, remember? A body, a cunt – there’s a difference.

J

I thought we messed all that shit up.

TAO

We messed up the whole stripper, customer relationship – yes. However, I have no emotional ties with you, just like you have none with me. (Seductively) It’s all egotistical and sexual. Beat (Pointedly)You -a dick, a body, an object. Me – a stripper, a cunt. A fuck!

J

I think of you as more than just a –

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Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

TAO

Besides, it’s you who should mind that you have a wife.

J

I know, I know. But I couldn’t not, y’know –

TAO

What?

J

Y’know. I couldn’t not fuck you - given the chance an’ all. I had to get this out of my system. I’ve been dreaming about you, falling asleep with you in my mind and waking up touching myself.

TAO

In that case it’s a relief that you’re married, otherwise I’d be scared you were one of those crazy, obsessive types. Beat It’s nice to know you get off on me, though. Thank you.

J

Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. I must sound pervy.

TAO

No, I’m serious. I get off on people - (flirty) getting off on me.

J

You should know – I’m a good guy. I’m not really like this. I just couldn’t help myself – I just couldn’t – y’know – I just – I don’t want you to think...I mean I don’t do this with my wife. I’m totally different with my wife –

TAO

Why?

J

She’s my wife. Beat You know how it is. It’s just different. We respect each other.

TAO

So you act out your fantasises on a complete stranger at the cost of your marriage and your children. (Sarcastically) Now that is respectable.

J

Well, actually – I don’t have any kids.

TAO

Whatever - If I was your wife I’d like to be a part of you fulfilling your fantasy. I’d like to be your fantasy.

J

How old are you?

TAO

Twenty one, nearly twenty two.

J

(Smirking, proudly) Shit, twenty one years old.

7


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

TAO

Sexy for now, I’m nearly fucking twenty two. That takes me out of the catchment age for older men who love young girls. There’s nothing taboo about a twenty two year old.

J

Why are you so obsessed with being an object?

TAO

I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with it, but the easiest answer for you to understand is, it’s my job and I love my job.

J

You don’t mind being a man’s object?

TAO

Should I? You seem quite OK with being my – well, a woman’s object probably any other strippers object for that fact. If you don’t mind, why would I?

J

I don’t think it works like that.

TAO

Why not?

J

(Uncomfortably) I wouldn’t say exactly that I was your object. You work at a strip club, you’re a stripper. You are the main attraction – you are the object.

TAO

Oh of course – but life is not all through the male gaze, you know that don’t you? You fulfil my needs just as I yours. Without you being my object to express myself through dance –

J

I wouldn’t necessarily call stripping dancing.

TAO

Of course you wouldn’t. Beat If a tree falls in a forest and there’s no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

J

I don’t think that question’s relevant in this case.

TAO

Answer the question.

J

Of course it still makes a sound.

TAO

But how do you know?

J

Because it does. If there was a tape recorder in the forest it would pick up the sound of the tree falling.

8


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

TAO

But there’s nobody around to hear it, no means to record it.

J

You’re being ridiculous. What’s the relevance of this little philosophy debate?

TAO

Ah-ha, well, like you said, nothing can be objectified without another object.

J

Hold up, I never said that.

TAO

You agree that without anything or anyone being able to verify the sound of the tree’s fall, the sound is non-existent, don’t you?

J

I suppose that’s fair – OK.

TAO

You have to – I mean I’ve never even heard a tree fall before, have you?

J

Ok, I’ll give you that.

TAO

Exactly!

J

Exactly, what? What’s the point?

TAO

Without an audience would I be a stripper? Could I be a stripper? My job would be non-existent, you – Joseph, are my audience, my tape recorder to prove my existence. Beat Therefore, from where I stand you are my object.

J

I beg to differ…

TAO

You can’t.

J

Why the hell not?

TAO

Because you’re not thinking beyond the fact that you’re a man. You’re not really listening or trying to understand. As far as you’re concerned, not only am I a woman – or a twenty one year old girl, but I’m a stripper who let you piss all over her...

J

...But you’re different – honestly I -

9


Ayesha Charles

TAO

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

I surround myself with men to make money, Joseph. It was polite of you to say I’m different, but I don’t need that. I’m not offended by me or you. I understand the men that I dance for before they even speak to me. I knew who you were the night I danced to Maxwell’s Pretty Wings. You know that night I brought the house down? All the Men were literally beside themselves, the other girls speechless. You watched me mesmerised, till you had tears in your eyes and felt the need to slip your wedding ring into your jacket pocket.

J

(taken aback) What else did you notice about me...?

TAO

(she smiles, but ignores the question) Unfortunately, today your begging to differ doesn’t qualify... (exhaling) because I don’t care what you think. Beat And this is why I shouldn’t have stayed for tea. You don’t need to understand me

J

Watches TAO bewildered and fascinated by her.

TAO

(In a lighter tone) It’s not so bad, we have a beautiful exchange in power and what’s even more beautiful about it is that we’re on equal footing.

J

Do you really believe that?

TAO

I must do, eh? I would have stopped years ago if I felt subordinate – to you, to men in general or even to the other girls I work the floor with. Beat My parents say I have a huge ego problem.

J

He shoots her a questioning glance. She ignores it.

TAO

So, can I dance for you?

J

Would you?

TAO

(Enthusiastically) I’d love to… (She jumps up off the sofa and stands centre stage)…What music you got?

J

Everything.

10


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

TAO

Ok. She walks to the stereo and looks over the music. You know one thing I never understood?

J

(Sarcastically) Are you sure that that exists?

TAO

(Ignoring him) Of course!

J

What?

TAO

Breaded ham.

J

Huh?

TAO

Prince! She walks centre stage, stretching and pointing her feet. Breaded-ham.

J

Those feet look like they belong to high art.

TAO

High art, eh? Like your paintings?

J

Yes and ballet. Do you do ballet?

TAO

And contemporary and tap and jazz. How do you know a dancers foot?

J

They’re beautiful. I paint them. I like to recreate beauty.

TAO

So do I.

J

So, I don’t understand, you dance professionally?

TAO

Yes. So, what do you think about breaded ham?

J

Why the hell are you asking me about breaded ham?

TAO

Cos, I just don’t get it. You put ham in bread, right? Like a sandwich, maybe on pizza - which is bread again, so why do you even need breaded ham?

J

(Looking at her questioning) I must say, although never really thinking about it and probably never will again, it is a strange thing… isn’t it? J presses play with the remote for the stereo and Prince’s Kiss starts to play. She starts to dance.

11


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

TAO

It is – Beat Dancing is beautiful, it’s like creating beauty.

J

(Mesmerised) Uh- huh – completely. Beat (To himself) How did I not notice your feet before?

TAO

Watch me dance with words. I imagine being free, I pretend to be free, I imagine beauty, I create beauty, I exuberate beauty, I pretend to tumble, to fall, to entangle, I pretend to run against hard winds, I imagine being light and free falling, I pretend to be careless…

J

You’re beautiful.

TAO

(She smiles genuinely happy, taken with the music and her movement) When a woman can mimic beauty, love, happiness and life through movement of her body, how can we blame men for being the object of their downfall? Women are beautiful, powerful, amazing. What’s more beautiful than a beautiful woman, dancing beautifully? Being beautiful, arousing all the senses in a man.

J

(Turned on) You are amazing.

TAO

Look at how I almost give my hips a life of their own. Look at the tiny dimples in my lower back, deepening as I arch my spine and...

J

I want to make love to you, Tao. She stops dancing.

TAO

You mean fuck me.

J

Huh?

TAO

Fuck me. You mean fuck me.

J

No, no I don’t. He turns the music off. This all makes sense now.

TAO

Well not to me it doesn’t. What makes sense?

J

Me and you – and why I’m here - with you. Why you’re here.

12


Ayesha Charles

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

TAO

I’m here to fuck, remember? To fuck!

J

You’re beautiful - you’re a dancer and I’m an artist – wow. I want to paint you, make love to you, admire you, kiss the arch of your foot and listen to your poetry. That was poetry, do you know that? It was beautiful. I want to fall in love with you.

TAO

Stop! Shut-up! What are you talking about? You’re married.

J

I know. I know I’m not making much sense. I’m sorry.

TAO

I should get going.

J

But we were just really getting to know each other.

TAO

That’s the problem. It’s gone too far.

J

We fucked already.

TAO

Exactly! (A smile tugs at her lips) Like we were porn stars.

J

I’m sorry about that.

TAO

Huh?

J

About being that way with you.

TAO

I liked it. (pointedly) It’s what I wanted.

J

Wouldn’t you like me to stroke your hair, kiss your collar bone and –

TAO

(Incredulously) No! What for? Silence

J

What’s a girl like you, a professional dancer doing, being a stripper?

TAO

I told you, I enjoy it.

J

You out of work - you need money?

TAO

How can I be out of work? I strip for a living!

J

Why are you stripping then?

13


Ayesha Charles

TAO

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

OK, OK! I’m a student, completing my diploma in dance. There’s no sob story – so don’t expect one. Both of my parents are in my life, I’m not financially challenged and I wasn’t raped as a child. My parents are more than comfortable - they pay for my place, my food shopping, my extra dance classes, text books, ballet shoes – whatever. I pay for my sports car, I pay to drink four hundred pound bottles of champagne and I pay to wear a thousand pound designer dresses. I buy whatever I want - whatever my parents believe to be extravagant. The truth is, I suppose I’m stripping because I’m materialistic, I’m a little bit egotistical – as all artists are (she implies to J) and I am now trying to come to terms with the fact that my chosen profession, as a ballet dancer, won’t fund the lifestyle I have now.

Silence J

I’m sorry, but I want you – I mean I really want you. FADE

ACT 2 SCENE 1 11am TAO

You know you can’t come back to the club again.

J

What?

TAO

Nope. It wouldn’t be right.

J

You just spent the night in my arms.

TAO

Sorry. Maybe I’ll send you tickets for my next ballet - maybe.

J

So, that’s it?

TAO

Yes, it was fun. You had fun, didn’t you?

J

I – I don’t understand.

TAO

Good-bye, J.

J

One thing…Tao? Is that your really your real name?

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Ayesha Charles

TAO

07985325339

AyeshaGcharles@gmail.com

Tao, from Taoism, the basic, eternal principle of the universe that transcends reality and is the source of being, non-being, and change. My grandfather studied Taoism, he named me. They both exit, we hear a door close J enters, sits on the sofa, a silence lingers

J

(Exhales) Fuck.

FADE The End

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Tao 2011  

TAO 07985325339 ayeshaGcharles@gmail.com 2011 0

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