Westwind

To All the Ideas I’ve Loved Before, Pt. 1

Roxie Perkins

CHARACTERS

LILITH: 19 to early 20’s. Hates shopping. Wishes she were good at chess. Doesn’t wash off her mascara at night. Loves top ramen. Moves like a child made of glass bones. Watched the sunrise, once.

SANSENOY: Middle aged.  Loves sushi. Wishes he wore glasses. Childhood dream: tap dancer. Wears deodorant to bed. Laughs like a slinky falling down stairs. Finished the “New York Times” crossword puzzle, once.

SEMANGELOT: Mid to late 30’s. Carries gel in his back pocket. Afraid of needles. Speaks with his kneecaps, listens with his hands. Loves ranch flavored Doritos. Wishes he were a bird. Fell in love, once.

LOCATION

We are inside of LILITH’s body. Specifically, we are in her cranium, spinal cord, and chest cavity. The set has two levels. SANSENOY and SEMANGELOT live on the bottom, LILITH lives on top. The bottom level looks like a mix between a college dorm room and a homeless shack. They have accumulated an odd assortment of things: a hot plate, travel brochures, garbage, a bean bag, a half played chess game. SANSENOY sits in a worn out, lazy boy chair for almost the entirety of the play. Empty crates and books litter the floor. It is dim and damp. Center stage there is a wide ladder leading up to an empty platform large enough for three people to comfortably sit on. It is very clean and bright.

TIME

Modern day.

BACKGROUND HISTORY

According to the Middrash, a conference of Rabbis who in 500 A.D. gathered to try and make sense out of some of the inconsistencies in the Torah, not Eve but a woman named Lilith was Adam’s first wife,  God created Lilith and Adam from the same dirt, making them equals. However, during intercourse Adam demanded that Lilith lay beneath him yet she refused. Unsatisfied, Lilith left Adam and fled to the Red Sea. God sent three angels after her to persuade Lilith to return to Adam, their names were Sansenoy, Semangelot, and Senoy. The angels were unable to convince Lilith to return to Adam and as punishment for the unfulfilled relationship Lilith swore to kill one hundred children everyday. The angels made a compromise with her, granting her freedom from Adam if she spared children who bore an amulet with the angel’s names. Lilith then went on to become the mistress of the devil and be deemed a “night demon”, goddess of lust, the cause of abortions, wet dreams, and infant death. To pacify Adam, God then created Eve out of his rib, making her less powerful than he. Lilith, long associated with snakes, then disguised herself as a serpent and snuck onto the Tree of Knowledge where she persuaded Eve to eat the apple. In this way she is seen to some as the cause for the downfall of humanity, and as the first  feminist figure to others.

NOTE

‘Gourde’ is pronounced ‘gwar-day’. Gourdeing is ‘gwar-day-ing’. ‘Sansenoy’ is pronounced ‘san-sa-noye’. ‘Semangelot’ is pronounced ‘sa-man-ga-low’. ‘Lamia’ is pronounced ‘la-may-a’. ‘Lamashtu’ is pronounced ‘la-mass-two’. Lamia and Lamashtu are other demonized women in variations of the story of Lilith which is found in creation myths in Native American, Babylonian, and Assyrian cultures.

Perhaps SEMANGELOT and SANSENOY  are wearing white collar office work clothes that have been stained and rumpled from lounging for two years.

Projection work is encouraged upon the platform. Perhaps some anatomical drawings of a heart are the default background only to be interrupted by bright flashes of white whenever Seeing occurs. During gourdeing all projections should be off.

The stage is in darkness,  a series of projections shine against the back wall. They read:

“After God created Adam he created a woman for him and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith began to fight: she said, ‘I will not lie below’ and he said, ‘I will not lie beneath you, but only on top.’ Lilith responded, ‘We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.’ But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air. The Holy One then sent three angels Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelot, to bring her back.”

Next slide reads:

“Three days earlier”

The projection disappears as we hear the sound of a baby crying in crescendo, a volcano exploding, birds singing, cars racing, tv’s changing channels, pans sizzling, dogs barking. We are fast forwarding through time. The noise abruptly stops and lights come up on stage. LILITH stands on the platform, reaching. SANSENOY sits in the lazy boy chair reading comics hidden in a bible. SEMANGELOT sits on a crate on the other side of the stage playing chess with himself. They do not look at LILITH, even when they speak to her.)

LILITH

Adam. You are important to me. Seriously, it’s true. I care about you. Deeply. Wildly. Madly, dahling. In fact, I care about you caring about me. No. No, that’s all terribly wrong. Okay. Let me start over: am I important to you? No, that’s wrong. Are you important to

me? Ah, there we go.

SEMANGELOT

Him?

SANSENOY

Yes, of course him.

SEMANGELOT

But what could he possibly say back to that?

SANSENOY

Who cares? It’s not like he’d listen anyway.

SEMANGELOT

That’s because she’s not speaking out loud, turd.

SANSENOY

Cretin.

SEMANGELOT

Butt face.

SANSENOY

Imbecile-

LILITH

Shut up. Both of you. I’m questioning. Now, where was I?

SEMANGELOT

Nowhere in particular.

SANSENOY

Yes, absolutely out in space.

LILITH

I remember.

SANSENOY

Congratulations.

SEMANGELOT

Yes, brava.

SANSENOY

We should get her a medal.

SEMANGELOT

And a parade. Parades are always nice.

LILITH

The question. I was at the beginning looking for the question.

SANSENOY

Ahh. The beginning. What a place.

LILITH

It’s where I am. I am at the beginning.

SEMANGELOT

As beginners usually are.

SANSENOY

Semangelot, I’m  really not sure she counts as a beginner anymore. Why just last week she and Adam fucked over three-

SEMANGELOT

WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?

SANSENOY

Semangelot…Oh. Oh, shit. Crap. I’m terribly sorry. I really didn’t mean to.

SEMANGELOT

Well, good job, Sansenoy. It’s ruined now. The allusion is completely disturbed.

LILITH

Guys, it’s not a big deal. I kinda assumed you had names other than Idea In Waiting  #11 and Idea In Waiting #12.

SANSENOY

But it’s against protocol. It is widely considered extremely unprofessional to call one’s Ideas In Waiting by their first names.

LILITH

Well, I could pretend I didn’t hear. Really. It’s no big deal if you wanna just-

SEMANGELOT

No, Eve. We might as well be friendly now.

SANSENOY

Yes, friendliness is always best.

LILITH

Umm, Semangelot? My name’s not Eve, it’s Lilith.

SEMANGELOT

My, my.  Well, aren’t we picky today.

SANSENOY

Yes. Why I should say at the speed of which you’re questioning you should consider yourself very lucky to have any name at all.

LILITH

Well, does it have to be Eve? I mean if we’re being perfectly honest, I don’t like that name at all.

SEMANGELOT

I’ll have you know that Eve is a perfectly good name!

SANSENOY

Lilith, please. It’s his favorite.

LILITH

Oh. I’m sorry. I had no idea.

SEMANGELOT

No, you wouldn’t have any idea would you.

(He sighs)

It’s all right, Eve. It’s not your fault you’re a screech owl.

LILITH

Well what’s wrong with the name Lilith?

SEMANGELOT

Oh nothing, sweetie. Absolutely nothing at all. That is if your goal is to be shunned by society as an on bringer of penis envy.

LILITH

What-

SANSENOY

Shh, Eve, please. Semangelot needs a break. You know, you really must learn how to think without having your Ideas In Waiting do all the work for you.

LILITH

Oh. I didn’t mean to make… Well, what should I think about, then?

SEMANGELOT

Why don’t you think about how good of friends we are, huh? Oh, wait a moment: you can’t because you don’t even like my favorite name!

SANSENOY

Semangelot, please… The beginning, Eve. Why don’t you start at the beginning? How about that?

LILITH

Well, all right. If it’ll make him feel better. Ahem:

(She is searching)

Adam. I loveyouIloveyouIloveyou. I love you the way I used to love you before the love was really love yet just love starting to think of itself as love and before it realized that there really isn’t anything lovely about the way you want to love me, below; love? Love I thought I loved?  Way back at the beginning when we were just beginners waiting to begin, and you didn’t see me as some soiled sinner looking to finally win. Oh, be still the dirty laundry of your eyes, whose T-shirts have lasted through ketchup and fries. Whose soiled panties still singing their soliloquies of salt, wait rapping their waistbands like Roger Dupalt-

SEMANGELOT

Who the hell is ‘Roger Dupalt’?

(SEMANGELOT exits)

SANSENOY

Shh! Continue.

LILITH

I can’t. I’ve completely lost my train of thought. Shit. It was such a lovely train too, wasn’t it?

SANSENOY

Definitely not a questioning train, but then again that’s not really your thing, is it? A real jewel, though. Yes, definitely not a freight line. Maybe a passenger car, or-ooh! Oh, I know. A dining car! One of the one’s with the fake crystal and burgundy colored napkins.

LILITH

Hmm, maybe. Semangelot? Semangelot, what do you think? Is it a passenger car or is it a dining car with crystal-

SANSENOY

-fake crystal.

LILITH

-and burgundy colored napkins?

(No response)

Hmm? Semangelot?

(No response)

Semangelot?!

(No response)

Sansenoy, where’s Semangelot?

SANSENOY

Oh, didn’t I say? He left.

LILITH

(LILITH peers down from the platform for the first time, makes eye contact with SANSENOY)

He left?!

SANSENOY

Yes. Semangelot left a few moments ago.

LILITH

He can’t leave!.. Can he?

SANSENOY

Why yes, in fact, he does it quite frequently. Usually after lunch.

LILITH

Well, is he going to come back?

SANSENOY

Oh, yes, yes. He always comes back.

(SANSENOY laughs)

Although, there was this one time… Do you remember what happened on the 23rd of last May?

LILITH

Of course, that was the first time I slept with Adam.

SANSENOY

Yeah, he was gone for all of that.

LILITH

I feel so abandoned.

SANSENOY

I wouldn’t read that much into it. In all truth, it really has very little to do with you. Semangelot is lactose intolerant.

LILITH

Oh. I’m so sorry. I had no idea.

SANSENOY

It’s all right.  He doesn’t like people to know.

(SEMANGELOT enters drinking a Jamba Juice)

SEMANGELOT

Know what?

SANSENOY

What?

LILITH

Would you like some soy?

SEMANGELOT

What?

SANSENOY

Nothing. Eve here was just discussing the weather.

LILITH

Yeah. It’s really beautiful out now.

SEMANGELOT

I’m sure.

LILITH

The sky is perennial blue, the clouds are fluffy, ivory bunnies. There’s ocean waves for miles-

SEMANGELOT

(Gibberish)

Kzhnzdkvghz dsgzldfghzl.

LILITH

Excuse me?

SEMANGELOT

Oh, I’m sorry. Could you not understand that?

LILITH

No, I couldn’t.

SEMANGELOT

Ha! Good. Now you know how I feel.

LILITH

I don’t understand.  Sansenoy, what is he-

SANSENOY

Eve, Eve. Not everyone in the world was born at such a fortunate elevation as you were.

LILITH

I don’t understand.

SEMANGELOT

We can’t See, Eve. Unlike you, we listen and feel.  Obviously. I mean, have you ever Gouorded?

LILITH

No…

SEMANGELOT

Well, I’ve never Seen.

LILITH

Oh. Well, would you like to? Really, it’s no trouble. It’s quite spacious up here, actually.

SEMANGELOT

(to SANSENOY)

May I? I mean, is there… Do you think it’d be all right?

SANSENOY

As far as I am aware there is no rule against it.

(SEMANGELOT climbs up)

LILITH

Sansenoy, would you like to See too?

SANSENOY

No thank you, Eve.  Movement annoys me.

LILITH

Suit yourself.

(Beat. A moment of silence then SEMANGELOT comes down)

SANSENOY

Well, how was it?

SEMANGELOT

What?

SANSENOY

The Seeing. How was the Seeing?

SEMANGELOT

Oh. All right, I guess. I see what Senoy meant about colors, though.

LILITH

Who’s Senoy?

SEMANGELOT

You disrespectful little twit-

SANSENOY

Senoy was your first Concrete Idea.

LILITH

What?

SANSENOY

When you were eight and decided to punch Adam in the stomach because he tickled you; that was Senoy.

SEMANGELOT

Great. Classic. A legend.

SANSENOY

Yes, but you sped through Ideas pretty fast in those days. I mean Zachary, Henry, Eli, Mark, Phil-

LILITH

Why are they all guys?

SEMANGELOT

My dear, Eve.  Men waste their lives producing ideas for women’s questions. It’s their God given duty.

LILITH

But that’s so sexist.

SANSENOY

In all honesty, there are some exceptions. A few really great female Concrete Ideas out there.  Lamia. Anna.

SEMANGELOT

Yeah. Ava, Lamashtu –

SANSENOY

But some female Concrete Ideas, ehhh.

SEMANGELOT

Remember Lena…

SANSENOY

Lena. Ehh. I’m not sure Lena qualifies as a Concrete Idea..

SEMANGELOT

Yes, I’d say she was definitely more of a mushy-

SANSENOY

slimy-

SEMANGELOT

gooey-

SANSENOY

-water based idea.

LILITH

Why? What did Lena do?

SANSENOY

Remember algebra?

LILITH

Oh, god.

SANSENOY

Yeah, that was Lena.

SEMANGELOT

Classic. A true failure.

SANSENOY

She just couldn’t keep those formulas straight…

LILITH

I don’t get it. I don’t remember any of those people. You two are the only Ideas I can remember ever having.

SEMANGELOT

That’s quite understandable. We have been your cough, under developed, un-appreciated, un-used, Ideas In Waiting for quite some time now. No offense, darling, but the normal occupancy period of Ideas In Waiting For A Question is a maximum of two months, and we’ve been waiting for you to make a concrete question for, what? Oh, two years now?

SANSENOY

Yes, it really is a sad state of affairs. Not that we don’t love it down here, sweet’ums.

LILITH

What do you mean you’ve been waiting-

SANSENOY

Now don’t you worry your pretty little head. I mean, it really is a blessing in disguise. If you were to come up with a concrete question than Semangelot and I would have to leave after answering you. And I know we would all just miss each other terribly.

LILITH

Why would you have to leave?

SEMANGELOT

Well, Eve. You see Ideas are recyclable.

SANSENOY

When Concrete Ideas succeed in answering a Concrete Question they move on, to another entity, shopping mall, where ever.

SEMANGELOT

So you’ve really been like a vacation to us.

SANSENOY

Yes, Kitten, an absolute oasis of relaxation.  Why Semangelot has even learned to knit!

LILITH

I’m sorry, but you two must be mistaken. Maybe you read your guide book wrong or something but you’ve already answered tons of my concrete questions and you’re still here. And yes, I admit, maybe they haven’t been the most rigorous of sorts but still,  I mean, two years? You guys have answered tons of my concrete questions over the past two years.

(No response)

I mean, right? You have… Haven’t you?

(Pause, silence)

I knew it! I knew none of this was my fault. I knew there was something inside me holding me back, keeping me from being happy, stopping me from my reaching my full poten- oh god, I have to tell my therapist. Won’t she be happy-I’m not depressed after all! And my high school French teacher- I knew there was a reason I couldn’t learn those conjugations. Oh and you have no idea what this will mean to Adam. I mean, how am I supposed to reach my sexual peak with no concrete idea supporting my orgasm? Not that it’s your fault I’ve never… I mean…I’ve just been stuck in a rut and- you’ve been great. Really. But, change is a good thing and-

SANSENOY

Oh you poor, deluded child. Semangelot, please. It’s too easy, I can’t bear.

SEMANGELOT

Eve, dear, I’m afraid it’s not our fault at all. Rather, it’s yours. Actually. Completely. 100%. This way to fuck up central. Dry cunt galore. Ms. Never Gonna Cream-

SANSENOY

Eve, you see-we can only generate Concrete Ideas once you’ve asked a  Concrete Question. And your questions are just um…not up to par.

SEMANGELOT

I mean, it’s not our fault you’re not a skilled questioner. Don’t you think we’re sick of staying with the same person for so long? I mean, if Sansenoy here wasn’t so annoyed by movement I’d never get to leave.

LILITH

Wait, what do you mean I’m not skilled questioner? I question lots of things. I’m questioning things right now!

SANSENOY

That was an exclamatory statement, dear.

SEMANGELOT

Don’t worry about it, Eve. Some are born skilled questioners and some just aren’t. It’s an art, which you, simply, have not perfected.

LILITH

This is absurd. This is absolutely, completely, fucking absurd. I mean hey, I’m a vegetarian! Huh! How’s that for questioning?

SEMANGELOT

Ehh, not so much.

LILITH

Democrat?

SANSENOY

Oh, definitely not.

LILITH

Agnostic?

SEMANGELOT

Is she joking?

LILITH

I’m a woman!

SANSENOY

Oh, dear. I think we’ve upset her.

SEMANGELOT

Yes, I think we have. Shit. Lilith, please. There’s nothing to get upset about. It’s not completely your fault. True Concrete Questions just come to people. Or, in your case, they just… don’t.

LILITH

Well, what can I do?

SEMANGELOT

Look! A new question already! I told you, Sansenoy, we should have done this months ago.

LILITH

Don’t mock me. I’m serious… about questioning. Really. What can I do?

SANSENOY

Evaluate your life. Honestly. Is there anything which needs changing? Any unpleasant aspect which you can interrogate?

LILITH

I don’t know.

SANSENOY

Well, what do you think?

LILITH

I don’t know.

SEMANGELOT

Well, what do you know?

LILITH

I know… I know… I know that it isn’t right.  It, itself, is not correct. Something is not correct. That’s something I know. I know that.

SANSENOY

You’re hopeless.

LILITH

I’m trying, okay! Isn’t that worth anything?  I want to know.  I want to know myself completely.  Like he does.  Adam knows me completely. Adam knows himself completely. He knows us.  I have never met us. I want to know myself as well as Adam knows me.

(Beat. SEMANGELOT busts out laughing. SANSENOY tries to  hush him)

What? What? Why are you laughing?

(SEMANGELOT continues to laugh, SANSENOY is trying to hold himself back but he is chuckling also. He throws chess pieces at SEMANGELOT to try and shut him up.)

Stop it! I’m serious! This, this is just mean! Stop it! You’re, you’re mean Ideas! Mean, mean, mean!

(LILITH retreats to the back of the platform, cowers and faces her back to the audience. Their laughter dies down)

SEMANGELOT

Lilith. Lilith, you can’t be angry.

(LILITH doesn’t respond.)

SANSENOY

Yes, Lilith, we weren’t laughing at you, it’s just…what you said, I mean-

SEMANGELOT

Lilith! Lilith you can’t ignore us.

SANSENOY

Yes, we know you’re up there.

(Beat.)

SEMANGELOT

Lilith?

SANSENOY

Great job, you’ve upset her again.

SEMANGELOT

You were laughing too!

SANSENOY

Fix this.

SEMANGELOT

But you were-

SANSENOY

Fix it.

SEMANGELOT

Fine.

(SEMANGELOT picks himself up off the floor and carefully makes his way up the ladder and crawls towards LILITH on the platform.)

Lilith, I wasn’t making fun of you.

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