Sunday, June 28, 2009

excerpts from rantings of a dead chameleon

Here are a few excerpts from my new play: Rantings of a Dead Chameleon. It's about a depressed player. If you're interested in reading the full play, feel free to email me.

(smiling and jumpy, a bit drunkenly)
Okay, okay…stop moving! Okay…for this exercise this man over here is going to represent your thought processes and the woman over there is going to represent this fine young lady’s thought processes…just for posterity’s sake. We’ll call the man representing Mike’s mind Steve, and the woman representing the brunette’s mind Susan. Annnnnnd…go!


Don’t look at her breasts, don’t look at her breasts, don’t look at her breast…crap! I looked at her breasts!

Did he just look at my breasts?

Well what do you want from me?! They’re just hanging out there for the whole world to see!


Hey! No interacting with each other! You’re not psychics damn it!


So…ah…how are you doing?

I’m okay.

God I hope my tampon didn’t fall out! (STEVE winces) And I am so tired right now, why did I even bother coming out? (exasperated sigh) I just need a couple shots and someone to dance with!

How are you?

Oh, I’m pretty good.

Motherfucking cunt balls I’m nervous. God, she’s soo gorgeous. What am I even going to say to her? Think of something funny to say…uhhhh fuck!

So you ah…come here often?

Oh God, real original. Why can’t I ever come up with something original and funny to say?

(tiredly again)
Stop worrying about it. It really doesn’t matter what you say to her. It’s how you say it.

Wow, this guy is sooo awkward. I wonder if he has a nice ass…

Ummm…no, I don’t come here that often. I’m usually too busy working.

Crap! What do I say now?! Okay she has to work so…

Where do you work?

Okay, awesome. Ball’s in her court.

I cannot believe you just though that.

He wants to know where I work? God! Why does everyone define me by my job?! My job is so boring! I hate it so much!

I’m an accountant.

Oh that’s cool.

Crap crap crap! What am I gonna say about that?! Stop looking at her boobs!

Why would he think that’s cool? What could possibly be cool about being an accountant? And why does he keep staring at my breasts? Is that the only reason he’s talking to me?

Should I make a joke or something? Maybe I should make a joke. Girls like jokes right? Okay think of something funny…think of something funny…

Wow, an accountant. You must crunch alotta numbers, huh?

Wait, what did I just say?! I didn’t mean that! Take it back! There are take backs right?!

Crunch alotta numbers?! What the hell does that even mean?! Tell me what the hell that means!!

I don’t know what it means! It just came out!






Oh, I think I see my friends over there. It was nice talking to you.

Oh, um, yeah, you too.



BRUNETTE walks away. Both STAGEHANDS are out of breath from screaming. JACK is staring at scene blankly, then finally takes a drink.

That went well.

God, I’m so tired.

Yeah, me too. You wanna go get a drink?

(nodding, smiling, still out of breath)
Yeah, sure. That’d be cool.

Both STAGEHANDS walk to bar. MIKE stares at JACK expectantly. JACK looks from STAGEHANDS to MIKE.

(motioning to stagehands)
See! It really is that easy! (starts chuckling, turns into a desperate chuckle)


What happened with that cute girl you were dating?

I was…it wasn’t working.

Aw man…you had someone? And you dumped her?

(a little more drunkenly)
No…no I did not…not dump her…because that would mean we were actually…in a relationship…which we weren’t.

And why the hell didn’t it work out? You prick.

(staring into space for a moment)
You want the nice answer or the asshole answer?

Ohhh no…I don’t think I wanna hear this. Tell me the nice answer.

(beat, noticing he’s getting drunk)
Well…I rushed into it…and I thought I liked her more than I did.

Oh…well that’s not so bad.

Yeah? And what’s the asshole answer?

(shaking his head, takes a drink)
I thought I could be happy with an A cup. I was wrong.

What?! Oh my God!

Goddamn it Jack. You really just piss me off sometimes.

So wait, what did you tell her?

JACK takes a drink, gets up, motions hand over, cute STAGEHAND sprints over excitedly. JACK looks deep into her eyes with a sad expression, holding her hand.

(taking deep breath for anticipation)
Listen. You’re a great girl and I don’t wanna lie to you. You can call me an asshole if you want but I…I can’t do this anymore. I thought I was ready, but I’m always comparing you to her and when we’re making love, I’m a thousand miles away. And that’s not fair to you. I know you think I’m this great guy, but…I’m not. I just…I feel like I’m just using you. I’m sorry. I hope we can still be friends.

STAGEHAND nods understandingly and smiles.

You are so full of shit.

(sighs exasperatedly, drops STAGEHAND’S hand)
Okay, look. You’re really cute and all, but to be honest, I need me some breastmeat. Y’know, boobies. Jugs. Melons. Hooters. Funbags. Tig ol’ bitties. I thought I didn’t need them…but I do. I really really do. And no, I don’t know why, but if I did, I would tell you, and then I’d go write an article and make millions. I just love lookin’ at them, and squeezin’ them, and feelin’ them, and carressin’ them and suckin’ them and lickin’ them and pinchin’ them and even slappin’ them if the occasion calls for it. Okay? I need to live in hill country and you’re the flat fields. I’m sorry…but I need boobs. What? You think I didn’t try? Oh, I tried, believe me I tried. But I have a picky penis, I realize that now. I tell my penis, “C’mon lil’ buddy! She’s cute, she’s got great legs, a nice ass, and there’s an open door right fuckin’ there.” But my penis is an asshole. He says, “Sorry Jack, but I don’t get outta bed for anything less than a C.”

STAGEHAND looks shocked, slaps him across the face, and runs off about to cry. JACK goes back to seat.


(shaking head slowly, blank stare, no smile)
I’m not depressed. I’m a white, middle class male living in the United States. I’m fairly good looking, I have a nice job, and I’m probably going to fuck some blonde chick with a nice rack by the end of the week. I am…definitely…not…depressed. (takes a long drink)

WILL stares at JACK for a second, then shakes head as he laughs quietly to himself.

(taken aback)
Jack, I can’t believe you talk like that!

You know what you are? Just a regular WGWP. A white guy with problems. Don’t have to worry about getting’ beat up by any gangs, or getting’ raped, or dyin’ in a war, or starvin’ to death on the streets or just getting’ the basic needs, but still…(smiling) you got problems. Wow man, it must be so hard to be you. (gritting teeth) Got the whole fuckin’ world on your shoulders!
Align Center

Shattered Memories

My name is Ben Caxton. I am 35 years of age. My birthday is on the 27th of October. I know this information because it is written on my driver's license. I am a police officer, a detective in fact, my badge says so. There is a gun in my pocket and I know how to use it. I am wearing gray pants, gray vest, blue shirt, gray tie, dark overcoat, and brown hat. Other than this, I am sure of nothing.

I am a tall Caucasian male, with blue eyes and light brown hair, or so my mirror tells me. There is a card with the name of a man, a time, date and address in my pocket. I listen to it carefully.

I have disassociate amnesia, or so the woman at the reception desk tells me. She hands me something. I stare at it. It is a small translucent pill bottle with a white cap and a very complex looking name on it filled with tiny capsules. It tells me to take one a day as needed. I listen. Pop one in my mouth and swallow. It tastes beautifully.

The person who calls himself doctor asks me how I am feeling.

One word. Numb.

He asks me how I've been doing. I say surviving. I don't tell him about the fog, I barely know him. He frowns. He asks me if I remember anything. One memory. One memory I have a good hard grip on.

There is a field of grass; endless gray grass with gray flowers. There is a swing. I'm a small boy, in striped gray shirt and gray shorts. I run to the swing and jump on. I call for my mother to push me. She's taking too long. I start myself. I push myself harder, rocking my legs back and forth wildly, going higher and higher. I see a cloud in the sky. It's so close. I reach out my hand to grab it...and let go of the chain. And I fall.

The earth mockingly scrapes my knee, laughing at my feeble attempts to escape its hold. I cry. My mother arrives. She asks me why I started without her. I say, "but mommy, I wanted to touch the sky." She replies, "oh honey, you can't touch the sky, it's too far away. Look, the clouds are too far gone." Somewhere in the distance a woman laughs.

It's a very important memory; keep it near my heart often.

He seems displeased. Like I care what someone I've never met before thinks of my problems.

"Well, same time next week?" He hands me a card. I take it.


I find myself at a diner, sitting in a booth opposite another man. He says his name is Jack Shade. He wears a porkpie hat. I've always liked porkpie hats. He starts talking about the "good ol' days", when we were both rookies on the force. He laughs. I laugh when he laughs. Trick I learned in a class of human interaction.

Nod your head when someone is talking.

Smile and laugh when they do.

When they say something, and their eyes light up, look shocked.

When they look sad, look sad too, say, "Oh, I'm sorry."

Ask how they're doing.

Good class. Funny, the things you remember.

I ask how he's doing. Says same shit different day. Laughs. Laugh with him. Continue talking and laughing about "good ol' days". I don't tell him that I don't remember the "good ol' days".

He takes a picture out of his pocket, says he found it while scrounging around his old ends. It's an old picture of two rookies looking happy, joking around. I stare at it wondering who they are. There's something written on the back. I smile. I say thanks and stick it in my pocket.

The man called Jack Shade is fun to be around. I wonder if I've ever met him before as I pop a delicate capsule from a bottle into my mouth.


Files strewn over desk, askew, covering everywhere and everything. Small triangular object is hiding under mess. Its name is "Ben Caxton". I sit down and put my hand through my hair. I start with the top file.

Name: Jeremy "the face" Stenson. Serial killer. Has trouble with conforming to normalcy, changes jobs, apartments, names to keep things new. Changes facial features and clothing style to feel different, must enter into relationship as soon as makes new personality. Cannot stand to let old personality live, or anything connecting to it. Soon gets bored, kills identity and anyone in relationship, and moves on to next identity. Switches too fast and too often to catch. Known victims include Katie Shultz, Samantha Perkins, Elizabeth Gregory, Deborah Caxton, Colleen Stevenson, and Ashley Jade.

There is a small note attached to the report which I don't understand:

"Listen Caxton, I know this one's personal, but don't get worked up about it. You can't let it consume you. Don't let it turn you into a monster like him. -Commissioner Travist."

The words seem tangible, why can't I make sense of them?

There's a pill bottle in my coat pocket. Long and arduous name. Don't know what arduous means. Instructions say take one as needed. Pop two into mouth and disappear into the fog.


I'm in a receptionist's office. She hands me a pill bottle. I stare at it. Confusing name. Filled with white capsules. Pop one in mouth. A card tells me to go in and talk to a man. He asks me how I'm feeling. For some reason I want to keep him happy. I say just fine and dandy. He smiles. Tells joke and laughs. Laugh. I don't tell him about the fog. Why should I? I just met him.


I'm standing on a street corner. I feel around in my pocket and I find a picture of a man and a woman. Happy, smiling, laughing.

She's pretty. More than pretty, beautiful. Dark wavy hair, beautiful eyes, and that smile, I could stare at that smile for hours. It's a minute before I realize I'm smiling back at her. I feel something in my throat. Close my eyes. Cover them. Something flashes through.

Beautiful laugh

Dead hand holding photograph

Smeared pen.

I open them again and find tears. I turn over the photo and look at the back.

"Never forget."

Too late.

I feel someone's eyes on me. I look around and see a man staring at me. I shout at him, say what are you staring at. Runs away. Put photograph back in pocket. Find pill bottle. Pop in mouth. Doesn't taste as beautiful as I'd expect it too.


I'm sitting in a diner across from a man. He says his name is Jack Shade. He laughs about the "good ol' days" about when we were rookies. I laugh with him, something I learned in a class.

I tell him I don't remember the "good ol' days". He looks somewhat hurt. Says, "Well, I wouldn't expect you too." I don't particularly like his bowler derby.

I take a pill bottle out of my coat and pop one into my mouth. I grimace at the taste.

He asks me how the medication is going. I say fine. I don't tell him about the fog. Don't know him that well.


The receptionist shakes a pill bottle at me, as if trying to wake me up. Futile attempt really. I snatch it from her hand. It tells me to take one as needed. I turn my back and take three. Don't know why. A card tells me to go in and meet someone.

Smiling idiot. Feel like knocking his teeth out. Not sure why. Laugh. Fine. Fine. Laugh. Exit. Seems cocky for someone I don't know.


A large man walks up to me and clasps his hands on my shoulders. He says, "How are you doing son?" I look into his large saddened eyes. I tell him not too good. I wonder if I should tell him about the fog. It's as if he already knows.

Says, "Listen son, I know it's hard, but you have to let this thing go and move on. You're a good man and I hate to see it eat you up like this. If you ever feel like talking, you know where to find me."

He seems so sad, as if losing a friend. I look sad too and nod my head. I learned it in a class. I wish I knew what he was talking about.


It's dark. Smoke billowing from my mouth. I'm standing next to a telephone booth. Just standing there, looking around for something. A man in a black coat and scarf walks by and stands next to me. He doesn't look at me but just shifts his eyes around and shivers.

He says, "Ya got the stuff?"

I say, "Refresh my memory."

"The dough ya smart-as dick."

Slang for money. I fish around my pocket. There is a large wad of cash. I hand it to him. He seems to know more about it than I do. He starts talking.

"Ok, detective, the guy you're lookin' for, he's close. Real close. When he uh...well y'know...don't really wanna remind you about it, but anyways when he did it...he couldn't move on 'cause there were still two connections. Ya see, he didn't know about her, that she was married and all, let alone to a dick. So right now he's floatin' between identities until he can cut off the last connections..."

"Spell it out for me."

"You! He's waitin' ta off you ya moron! Listen, I'm only doin' this 'cause yer a good fella and ya helped me out with the guy and the thing that one time, but listen...have ya had any recent talks with any long lost buddies lately?"

His eyes open wide. I raise one eyebrow as if shocked. Something I learned in a class.

"I'm just sayin' detective, watch yer back."

"You said there were two connections, who's the other one?"

He looks surprised and starts to open his mouth, but whatever he is about to say is silenced by the gunshot. I see him fall, then I see a man with a pistol. There's a gun in my pocket and I know how to use it. I pull it out. He runs. I run after him.

I don't know who he is or what he's done, all I know is he shot someone and everything inside me tells me to run him down. He pushes through crowds of people and ducks into a movie theater. I go in after him, carefully, quietly. I know not to rush.

It's dark. Too dark. Can't see a thing. I look around but all I see is endless blank faces, faces I don't know. Could be any one of them. I squint my brain to remember even the basic outline of the gut, but it all blends together and fades away.

Useless, futile. Put the gun away. Then I hear a child's voice, screaming for his mother...and it's not in my head. I stare at the gray screen. It falls apart.

A child in a striped shirt and shorts jumps on a swing. Pushes himself harder and harder.

Try harder and harder to remember anything different, anything at all...

He puts his hand to the sky, trying to grab the clouds.

I put my hand through my hair, grab a great clump of it, breathing heavily...

And he falls. And he cries.

I sit in the aisle and cradle my head in my hands...

Mother comes running. Asks why he didn't wait for her.

Can't stand it...can't look away...

"But mommy, I wanted to touch the sky..." was mine...I swear it was...

"Oh honey, you can't touch the sky, it's too far away."

I welcome the tears...and lament my memories...

"Look the clouds..."

...they're too far gone.


The receptionist sticks her hand out with a pill bottle. I don't feel like taking it. Agitatedly, she slams it on the desk. I take it anyway. It tells me to go in.

Some guy asks me how I'm doing. I say fine. Just fine. Says something strange.

"Well that's good. The placebos must be working out well."

I take out the pill bottle. Long name. I don't know what it means, but I know what placebo means.

"See? You're doing fine! You don't need medication! It's all in your head!"

I feel like knocking his teeth out. Exactly what I do. I rant. I rave. I tell him about the fog.


"I...can't...feel...anything! Don't you understand?! This is all a dream to me! Life is just an endless stream of consciousness surrounded by thick fog with meaningless people and events shifting around! I don't know what's going on anymore! I don't know who I am anymore! The one memory I have is from a movie! Everywhere I go everything mocks me with it's false sense of reminiscence! Even this room mocks me with its impression of a stable box! I don't even know why I'm so angry! And who the hell are you to tell me I'm fine?! Who the hell are you?!"

"But Ben...I...I'm your psychiatrist...I've been your psychiatrist ever since you lost Deborah-"

"And who the fuck is Deborah?!"

Saying the name brings tears to my eyes. I don't know why. I don't know anything anymore. I cover them, wipe them away. Throw the pill bottle on the floor. Storm out. Storm into the fog.


I stand in front of an apartment building. Wonder how I got there. Search in my coat pocket and find a slip of paper with address of building and note:

"Have info on her murder. Meet me here at eight. -Jack"

Don't stop to ask myself who this Jack might be, just walk in.

As I walk up the stairs I hear a girl scream. There's a gun in my pocket and I know how to use it. As I get close to the apartment, I hear shouting, see silhouettes of two men struggling. I don't knock, I fire a bullet. They both stop and stare at me as I stare at them. Two men in trench coats I've never seen before. One in a porkpie. The other in a derby.

One starts.

"Ben! It's me Jack! We're old buddies remember?"

The other follows.

"The hell are you talking about Stenson? I'm Jack Shade! Ben! This guy killed your wife!"

"Don't listen to him Ben! He's the face! He's the murderer!"

"Ben, what the hell? You know me! We were on the force together! Both rookies! Partners! Remember?"

"Don't listen to him Ben! He's trying to trick you! You have to listen to me! I'm Jack Shade! He killed your wife! Shoot him!"

Endless stream of consciousness, endless stream of needless useless information, endless stream of bullshit. Two faces covered in endless fog.

I look around the room for anything, anything at all to remind me, to tell me what to do. A girl. Unconscious. I shout to her to see if she's ok. She slowly comes to. She looks from me to the men and back again. Points to one, tears in eyes...

"You! You killed my sister! You bastard!"

I don't know what that means.

He slaps her, tells her to shut up stupid bitch.

Information is useless to me. I don't trust fruitless memories anymore. I go with instinct. A man hits a girl. There's a gun in my hand. I know how to use it.


I'm sitting on the sidewalk, head cradled in hands. There are tears in my eyes. I don't know why. I girl walks over. She's beautiful, flowing brown hair, dark eyes, beautiful smile. She says I saved her life. Looks at me tearfully. She says I dropped a picture and hands it to me. She walks away. Wonder if I knew her.

It's a picture of a man and a woman. They are happy, smiling, laughing. I don't know them. On the back is written, "never forget". I hold the picture up and let the wind rip it from my fingers.

I check the contents of my coat. There's a police badge. It doesn't look like it belongs to me. I throw it away. There's a driver's license. Name says Ben Caxton. Doesn't ring a bell. I throw that away too. There's a gun. I know how to use it. I keep that. There's a picture of two rookie cops laughing. On the back is a message that says, "When you can't trust no one or nothin' else, trust your instincts-Ben." Good advice. I keep that too.

A man in a trenchcoat and porkpie comes over and puts a hand on my shoulder. He says his name is Jack Shade. He says I did good. Just like the "good ol' days".

I stand up and say, "I don't know you. I don't wanna know you. I don't know me. I don't wanna know me either."

He looks sad, as if someone died. Wonder who. Don't know. Don't care. Look sad as I turn away. Something I learned in a class.

I walk into the fog and never look back.

About my dog

A dog dies. And you did it.

Why? Why did you kill my dog? He was a nice dog with fluffy fur and friendly paws. He didn't mean anyone harm. And you killed him. You killed my dog. You just had to read those three little words.

A cat dies.

What? My cat too? You killed Mr. Whiskers? But...but...why? He was just a kitten, only two words old. How could you kill something so innocent? Oh no, don't put all the blame on me. I only wrote the words. You read them. I merely created them, gave them a possible destiny. It is you who are the executioner. You didn't have to, you know, you could have stopped at the first word or even not read it at all. But you didn't and you killed a poor innocent cat and a poor innocent dog.

A fish dies.

No. I hate you. Poor fishy fish. He didn't do anything except swim around in his little fishbowl. And now he's dead. Now he's floating upside down. And it's all you're fault. You're sadistic. You create something and then you destroy it. Yes you created it. Would he be a fish without your eyes? No. You created him. And then you destroyed him. And I hate you.

Stop this rampage. Stop this violent rampage right now. All you would have to do is stop reading. Now. Or now. Or perhaps now. But you can't, you have to see a story to it's end, even if it's a bloody end, don't you? Stop! Don't you hear me? You have to stop right now or else you'll do something so horrific it will haunt you for the rest of your days, and every other word you read will seem fated, cursed, heavenly and deadly all at once. Please stop before

Josh dies.

Welcome to my Blog

Hi There! My name's Joshua. This is my Blog. I like to write, draw, animate, design and make art in general. I like being a chameleon rather than a one-trick-pony. I'm going to use this to upload examples of my writing. Enjoy!