Soul of a Whore and Purvis

BOOK: Soul of a Whore and Purvis
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In Memory of Luís Saguar

Soul of a Whore
 

Soul of a Whore
was developed by Campo Santo, the resident
theater company for San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts
(executive director Deborah Cullinan; founders Margo Hall,
Luís Saguar, Sean San José, Michael Torres), and premiered at
Intersection in February 2003, with the following cast:

Donald E. Lacy, Jr.

HT; Dr. Nasum

Delia MacDougall

Masha

Liam Vincent

Clerk

Catherine Castellanos

Granny Black; Nurse Vandermere;
Bess Cassandra

Brian Keith Russell

Bill Jenks

Michael Torres

John Cassandra

Marcie Prohofsky

Bus Driver 1; Stacy

Alexis Lezin

Bus Driver 2; Jan; Stevie

Cully Fredrickson

Sylvester; Will Blaine

Danny Wolohan

Simon; Jerry

Design Team: Suzanne Castillo (costumes), James Faerron (sets),
Jim Cave (lighting), Drew Yerys (sound), Dan Hamaguchi (graphics),
Jim Roll (original music: “If I Had a Nickel”).

 

Production Team: Jeff Fohl (photography), Melyssa Jo Kelly
(assistant lead), Michaela King (assistant), Lena Monje (sound operator),
Adam Palafox (research), Honey Roberts (assistant), Elizabeth
Rodriguez (costumes assistant), Elizabeth Scott (properties).

 

Directed by Nancy Benjamin

Characters

Masha

HT

Bill Jenks

John Cassandra

Clerk

Granny Black

Sylvester

Simon Blaine

Nurse Vandermere

Will Blaine

Jan Blaine

Stacy Blaine

Dr. Nasum

Jerry Cavenaugh

Stevie

Bess Cassandra

2 Bus Drivers

O.S. Female and Male Voices

O.S. Voice of Jimmy Boggs

O.S. Voice on Radio

 

Texas in the years 2000–2002.

Scenes might be set through the use of props and a few backdrops.

An ellipsis […] beginning a line is meant to suggest a pause.

Part I

Dark stage.

 

HT
'
s voice
[
sings
]:
Let the Midnight Special

Shine a light on you

Pinpoint spot lights a sign, overhead left: “SURPLUS STORE.”

WOMAN
[
O.S
.]: Guys, I need your papers of parole

And state ID to cash that check, OK?

MAN
[
O.S
.]: Dump your whites up there on the second level.

The second level is where you dump your whites.

Use the changing room, sir, will you please?

WOMAN
[
O.S
.]: Your middle name is printed on that check,

Then go ahead and spell your whole name out.

Sign the
back
side: first name, middle name

If middle name is printed on your check,

And then your last name;
and
I want your writ

Of discharge
or
parole certificate

And
your official Texas state ID;

Or else your check will
not
be honored here.

HT
'
s voice
[
sings
]:
Let the Midnight Special

Shine a ever-lovin' light on you

Lights up: Greyhound station in Huntsville, Texas. Plastic
pews; standing ashtrays; Coke machine; door to Surplus Store;
ticket counter; pay phone.

CLERK
behind the counter, silent. On the counter a handbell.
He bangs it when the mood strikes. Sometimes furtively he nips
clear liquid from a screw-top canning jar. He's got a little radio.

MASHA
talks on the phone. Very brief shiny blue sleeveless
dress and big blue platform sandals with white straps. White
sunglasses; great big blue-and-white purse.

HT
,
a black man: wants the phone; needs change.

HT
[
sings
]:
Shine a mothaluving light on you…

MASHA
[
on phone
]: I
won't
come
back
till
you
stop
mak
ing me—

OK! Come on!—you just come zooming up

To Huntsville like some crazed, spawning salmon:

I'm on my bus before you hit the highway.

…I just don't
want
to. Things like that, they aren't—

Huh-uh, not de
mean
ing, just, it's more—

Unnatural. I mean, for me. Or, well,

For anyone. And I'm not even sure

I really do it, even when it happens,

I mean in any verif
i
able…“Uh!”

“Uh uh uh uh uh!”

Can't you get that worked on, ugly man?

Can't they drill your head and fix that stutter?

…Your bank account is real. I realize that.

I truly just don't have the
gift.
I don't.

There's such a thing as
luck
, you know—like isn't

Luck what everybody's betting on?

Wait a minute, got to feed the baby,

Baby's hungry—[
to
HT
] Sir, it's gonna be

A little while—OK?—'cause I'm addressing

Certain urgent business—so, could you—?

HT
: Man get crazy when his bus don't come.

MASHA
[
on phone
]: If you can hear me, I'm depositing—

HT
: I just live in Willard, but the bus

Won't go there. Got to go see Houston first.

MASHA
: “You ever get to Houston,

Boy, you better walk right.”

HT
: I will. I do. I got no sheet in Houston.

MASHA
: It's just a song.

HT
:                              I never been arrested

Any way or shape or form in Houston.

MASHA
: It's just a song. It's just a song.

HT
:                                                     Lead Belly.

Sure. I know the song. But I'm just saying.

—The guys get outa prison yet today?

CLERK
: At noon, like always. Bus already left.

HT
: Uh-oh. The Houston bus?

CLERK
:                               The Dallas bus.

MASHA
[
on phone
]:—No, no! I didn't say the Greyhound station!

My
cous
in—good ol' Cousin
Gus
is coming,

Not the
bus
. I wouldn't go by Greyhound

Ever except in abject desperation!

Meanwhile, an old woman in black enters from street door.

GRANNY BLACK:
Hot! Hot! And while I fry in my own fat

I hear my dead relations singing in Heaven.

I ain't a-gonna drive on that highway!

You don't get
me
behind no chariot wheel!

Ninety miles of carburetors steaming

Like cauldrons in a line from here to Dallas.

Is it carburetors, now? Or radios?

Or what's the things that steams, where you put water?

CLERK
: That'd be the radiator.

GRANNY BLACK:
                    Radiator!

Well!—unless you like that funny music,

I guess you'd best not wet your radio.

This is eighteen twenty-five for one

To Dallas. I won't give a penny more.

They like to raise the rates with every breath

They drag, and someone's got to hold the line.

MASHA
:…No! It ain't the money! Money stinks!

I haven't got the gift! I haven't got the power!

Just a minute, let me feed this thing—

[
Deals with coins, etc.
]

Hello? Hello? Hello?
Hello?
HELLO!

My call is what? Well! You sound sweet as pie!

You sound just like my mother, operator—

I want my dollar ten, or you can kiss

My Rebel ass.—Hung up on by a robot!

This
is how the vandalism starts!

CLERK
: Now, honey, don't molest my telephone.

[
To
HT
] No. Don't ring the bell. The bell's for me.

HT
: Lemme have it all in quarters, please.

CLERK
: Try the change machine.

HT
:                                         It doesn't work.

MASHA
[
offering coins
]: Two bucks for a fistful. Gamble.

HT
:                                                                      Thanks.

You didn't see a guy…

CLERK
:                                       A dozen guys.

A couple dozen guys. The usual—

You know. The Dallas took the most of 'em.

The usual recidivists in transit.

HT
: You see a guy, a white guy, maybe looked

A little not so much a criminal?

CLERK
: All human beings look like criminals.

HT
goes to the phone.

GRANNY BLACK:
Hot! Hot! Hear how this poor old woman

sizzles!

I pity the crappies and crawdads on account

I feel now what it hurts like to be cooked.

CLERK
: It's twenty dollars fifty cents to Dallas.

GRANNY BLACK
: Eighteen twenty-five. No more, no less.

CLERK
: It doesn't work that way.

GRANNY BLACK:
                        It used to do!

It used to was a twenty-dollar bill

Counted!
—once upon a memory.

I'll sit down here and let you ponder that…

I'll let you ponder where the whole world went…

MASHA
: I'm not worried if he's after me.

By now he's probly halfway out of Texas,

Blazing a trail for Huntsville, Alabama.

CLERK
: Huntsville was named after Huntsville. You knew

that.

MASHA
: Uh—no. I didn't. But it stands to reason.

CLERK
: After the one in Alabama. That's

The explanation for all the confusion, see?

HT
[
on phone
]: Hello? It's all—It's jammed. Hello?

Completely.

Fine. You busted it. Are you content?

MASHA
: I'm just as happy as a clam in shit.

HT
: O yeah? I think you got that saying wrong.

MASHA
: I think you never saw a clam in shit.

HT
: When's the Houston come?

CLERK
:                                    It comes as scheduled.

HT
: Scheduled when?

CLERK
:                     It's not that type of schedule.

It's theoretical. Four a day.

HT
:                                              In theory.

CLERK
: No, the vehicles themselves are real,

But all the rest is veiled in mystery

Because from here to goodness idiots

Are tearing up the road and moving it

West eleven inches. Traffic's stuck

For hours at a time in all directions:

Miles and miles of stationary drivers

Contemplating this minute adjustment.

HT
: Sound like the joint.

CLERK
:                        It kinda does, at that.

HT
: You been inside?

HT
gets himself a Coke.

MASHA
:                     …He'll hop the barricades.

He'll ride the back roads and the shoulder, then

He'll drive on top of all the other cars.

He will. He's on his way. I get no rest.

HT
: Gah-dam, gah-dam, gah-
dam
!

CLERK
:                                        Excuse me, sir.

HT
: I think it might be eating me
alive
.

CLERK
: Crazy folks are not allowed in here.

HT
: Crazy folks are
too
allowed in here.

Is this the Greyhound stop in Huntsville, Texas?—

Crazy folks get born and
die
in here.

CLERK
: I know you, sir. They call you Hostage Taker.

HT
: Yeah, yeah, it's good to see you, good to see you.

Man, the bus don't come and the bus don't
come.

Man, I got to get on down the
road.

Man, this whole block used to jump with gypsy

Hot-shot cabs'll take you there right
now
—

For twenty bucks they're gonna fly to Houston,

Dallas, anyplace on earth—and they

Got
reefer
, they got
beer
, they got te
qui
la—

CLERK
: I thought they sprung you couple months ago.

HT
: Sooner or later all God's chillun be free.

[
Raises his Coke
]

“Wardens, jailers, presidents and kings—

They all must bow to calendars and clocks.”

CLERK
: Then what puts you in Huntsville not a block

From where you did hard time? Guilt? Or nostalgia.

Or some concoction of the two.

HT
:                                                     Touché!

CLERK
: Touché?

HT
:                    Touché! That's what you say! You say

“Touché!” when someone jabs you with a word.

CLERK
: I jabbed you what? I jabbed—

HT
:                                                        You see…

You dig…You don't begin your day with things

Like taking hostages on the agenda.

“Things to Do: Do NOT take hostages.”

You march inside, extend your weapon towards

The various faces, and receive the money.

PO-lice DO not COME sahROUND-ing you!

Megaphones and telephones and shit!

And no one's hurt! And NO ONE GOES TO PRISON.

…I'm waiting on a guy. But I can't wait.

CLERK
: If you can't wait, I guess you're better off

To don't. So see you later, Hostage Taker.

MASHA
: I thought you said the bus—you live in—where?

HT
: I never tell the truth. It's too confusing.

You wanna get a drink? Or take a walk?

Something? Maybe feel the feelings of

The outside world? Fresh air?

MASHA
:                                           No thanks, I'm good.

BOOK: Soul of a Whore and Purvis
5.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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