A Sleeping Hound to Wake a play by Daria Tavana • • • The People: Candace Wilson 78; her mental state’s been sinking in postpartum psychosis for decades Richard Fuchsia 69 and stuck in a dissociative fugue; former hard drug chef, now a private eye Tony Fuchsia 35, a bit bipolar, and money’s biggest fan Ruth Fuchsia 35, sort of sociopathic, and a self-proclaimed sex therapist Doctor Miles Diamonds semi-schizophrenic pimp; trades sex for money and money for meds Dayna Lou Nailer the histrionic ex-girlfriend; unemployed, uninsured, and unbelievable Leo Dontez the coworker; a prostitute outside Bourbon Street’s biggest gay bar Derek Copecheck the co-dependent semi-boyfriend; occasionally waits tables at an ugly Kentucky diner Hunter Mesmer the recipe
The Places: Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Western North Carolina. Propane, Kentucky. The time is now. There is no sunlight, only night. The Play: Scene One. Darkness. Richard’s Voice I’m the man. Candy’s the first lady, the friendly liaison between the customer and the substance-supplying man of motherfucking mystery. I make the drugs while my girlfriend sticks to punching numbers and public relations. Lights up on North Carolina. Candace listens to Richard’s little radio. She’s miserable and unwilling to move. A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 1
Postcards from New Orleans lay across the floor. Candace I loved someone who loved me, too. Suddenly, he blooms into a loner- he leaves me. How long has it been since I’ve moved? I’m not me anymore. I’m tired nowThe following reenactment has a life of its own: Candace (cont’d) Candy’s twenty-seven when her dreams come truea boy emerges out of the bluest nowhere wearing very little. He slips out of the baby pool’s deep end with uncomplicated ease in his upper body. The sun smiles, stabs out the clouds, and grabs the best seat in the house. The sky is tractor-yellow. Candace’s stomach grows hands and carves his profile into her heart. It sounds like a saxophone, because falling in love is unavoidably suddenReality resurfaces when Richard’s voice walks out of the radio. Richard’s Voice Our stock is sky high. Great deals all day. If you’re looking for the fluffiest LSD, tastiest ecstasy tablets, purest prescription poppers, and the cleanest uncut cocaine ever! then step inside the Carolina wilderness and find the blue trailer with the red door. Serious users should buy in bulk and remember everyone: When liars leave you high and dry, the truth will set you Fuchsia. Candace A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 2
I don’t need him. Right? I don’t need him. Or do I? No, I don’t. Not anymore. He’s been gone for too long. He doesn’t want to come home. Hopefully, he’s rotting in hell. Right next to A-shine. Candace recalls the Richard she once knew. His voice is a memory. Richard’s Voice A-shine. It’s colorless, odorless, and elite. It feels like every drug all gooped into one. Your toe hairs begin to freeze. Your ass feels like fruit and your stomach bubbles. Your throat hurts for a split second- then, there’s this! bliss. There are no colors, no dance numbersbut, it’s not subtle. It’s the most amazing, vacation package money can buy. Candace When he began making A-shine all the time, other drugs were cut from his to cook list. He stopped speaking to me. It was always, Do I look younger yet? I never answered. Richard’s Voice I’m no trappable animal. Wolves raised me, baby. Hold me back, and I’ll break free. I finally feel alive- like I’m twenty-five, like I’ll live forever. Candace But only on the inside. His body got older on the outside. Just like mine. We were supposed to live forever, together. Candace rips the radio out of the wall. Candace (cont’d) What about me? A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 3
I look like I’m melting. My organs and bones are in their twenties, but my skin is dusty, and I can’t let him get away with killing me. She lights a match. Candace (cont’d) I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to jump off some office building and hug hard concrete. I’m going to sip on some bottle of pills then swallow some shotgun bullet. I’m going to kick some stool aside and hang from some rope for a while, smiling. I’m going to contract some disease so it can consume me. I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to like it. But first, I’m going to find my boyfriend. Richard’s Voice Coming from the unplugged radio: Why would you write these things about me? You think I’m going to hurt you? And the kids- you’re afraid of them. She drops the match. Candace I’m not afraid of anything anymore. I found god in fire. Candace backs out of the trailer, excited.
Scene Two. A small Propane, Kentucky apartment. Dayna Lou waits for Derek with a whipped cream can. Dayna Lou Apparently people do this. And I’m a person. So I can do this.
A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 4
I’ll have to expand past the supermarket if this doesn’t cut it. She takes a deep breath, then a big hit. She laughs and laughs. Derek enters with meth. Derek Scored some! Holy shit. You’re kidding. Are you sixteenDayna Lou I’m self medicating, You have your ways. And I have mine. Derek Isn’t that nice. Dayna Lou Give me something stronger. Derek No can do. This meth is all mine. I was born ready to relapse. Dayna Lou, I feel like royalty already. Derek bangs a rock over the meth. Dayna Lou Did you miss me? Derek Inspecting his dinner: I’ve missed swimming under clear skies. Little Miss Crystal, I don’t see a single cloud. Derek stretches his arms and neck then does a line. Dayna Lou She said she’d be back in an hour or less. A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 5
Derek That was six weeks ago. She’s not coming back. And another. Dayna Lou You’re so negative- the energy you send out into the world is just so negative. Pretend to be positive. Maybe one day you’ll be happy. Like me. Ruth will call. She used to call every ten minutes. Derek That was then. This is now. Some people aren’t human. Ruth is not a person. She can’t care. Dayna Lou She cares about Tony. Derek No she doesn’t. She’s just bored. Dayna Lou I will die if I don’t see Ruth soon. Derek Stuffing the last line up his nose: I miss her tits. Dayna Lou This is your fault, Derek. You brought her into our bedroom. You brought her into your life and introduced her to me. There is no us without her. And when she calls tonight, I’m going to tell her to come home. The phone rings. Dayna Lou runs to answer it. A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 6
Derek gets it first. Derek HelloThis is Derek Copecheck. What happenedI’ll come right now. He hangs up and puts his hand over his head. Dayna Lou What happened? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me exactly what happened. Derek North Carolina Police Department- they say Ruth asked me to post her bail. Stay here. Dayna Lou No. Derek Relax. Get ready. Make yourself look pretty. For Ruth. Dayna Lou You don’t think I’m pretty? Derek No one’s pretty enough for Ruth. Dayna Lou Just go. Derek Throw that away. Ruth hates whipped cream, remember? A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 7
Dayna Lou I forgot. Derek exits. Dayna Lou hides the evidence.
Scene Three. Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Inside the Twi-Lite Lounge. Tony and Leo sit on opposite sides of the bar. Doctor Miles Diamonds pulls Leo in by the ear. He whispers over the loud music and into Leo’s ear. They look like they might be in love. They kiss quickly and Doctor exits. Some silence. Tony Yo. Leo I go where the wind blows. I appreciate passion laced with pain. I bet you’d find peace in my company. I go with the flow- we do what you want. Tony I don’t have any money. Leo Oh, honey. Tony I want to make what you’re makingI want to work for that man. Leo Which man? Tony Your man. He’s on top. You looking for A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 8
some kind of fucking bodyguard? Leo You’re a cop. But, I don’t care. A customer is a customer. Tony Fuck you. Fuck the cops. I just want a job. That’s the problem. I’m ambitious and brilliant when I feel like it. I’m the strongest, smartest man on the planet. Leo You’re so sexy. Tony I’m leaving. Leo Leo Dontez. I work for Doctor Miles Diamonds. With Doctor, there are two types of rooms: one filled with women, the other filled with men. Each gender fends for itself. Those are the rules. Doctor says sexes are meant to be experienced separately. He’s cornered the market with a money-back guarantee. He only hires people like me- understand? Tony I’m not fucking gay. Leo So pretend. Loosen up. Let it surprise you. Buy yourself a new life. I’m talking thousands a night. Cold, hard cash with no strings attached. You’ve got a better option? Tony Here’s a plan: why don’t you work for me? Leo I make too much money. A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 9
You want to make as much as me, you’ve got to start at the bottom. Tony I don’t have that kind of time. Leo I’ll pay you to follow me. Just for the night. Whipping out a fat wad of Jacksons. Tony Fine. But first, you’re buying me beer. Leo Not meth instead? Tony No, thanks. Leo Good for you.
Scene Four. Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Across from the Twi-Lite Lounge, Doctor Miles Diamonds sits with his back against his front door. His face is an ugly collage made from covers of beauty magazines. The only furniture he owns is a hill of stolen pillows. Hunter sits by his side. He died after running in front of a car. Doctor Hunter. You were right. Another lazy drug dealer. One more sober fucking moment and I swear to god I’ll kill myself. A Sleeping Hound to Wake © 2013 Daria Tavana | 10