A Map in Four Parts is a little screenplay I wrote late one night, many years ago, when the chatter in my head would not let me rest. Bear in mind that I've never written a screenplay, nor was that my plan. There was just no other way for me to give voice to the cast of characters in my mind. This oddity has been quietly resting in my journal until now, and is finally ready to join the other loud characters on e2.

Cast of Characters (in order of appearance):
Sensitive One
The old Algerian Man
The Writer
The Head
The Evil One
Cynical Bitch

A Map in Four Parts

Scene 1: False Starts

Narrator reads out cast of characters as they each step forward into the light.
Sensitive One
The old Algerian Man
The Writer
The Head
The Evil One

The Cynical Bitch enters stage left and walks all the way to the other side. The voices start to talk out loud just as the Narrator finishes saying their names. They are addressing each other and the audience.

Sensitive One (to Me and The Head): This was a really lame idea. I feel really stupid now.

Persephone: Ooh! An audience. I’ve always loved an audience.

The old Algerian man: Throw away all your maps. You’ll never find anything in them. I hold what every man spends his lifetime looking for.

The Writer (to the old Algerian man): Yes, yes. That’s very good. Let me write that down.(begins to scribble in his notebook)

Me (to audience): Hi! This is me, and this (pointing to next person) is my head. You will notice that I had to choose someone else to play my head. At the risk of psychoanalyzing myself, I have to say that when you need someone else to be your head, you’ve got serious problems.

The Head (to no one in particular, but speaks while therapist is talking): This is so f**king narcissistic.

Therapist: No that was not your authentic voice. You need to find the real you.

Evil one: She doesn’t have one.

Me: And that’s what she’s really scared of.

Therapist: But this is part of the corrective experience. You’re naming all your ghosts.

Writer: Is this scene strong enough? What if I’m completely deluding myself about my artistic talents. Or maybe I can be a misunderstood genius.

Persephone (clapping her hands): Ooh! I love the sound of that. I'm a misunderstood genius.

Narrator (shaking his head gently): Yes, you have just met the voices in my head -all of them except for the old Algerian man. He is one of the characters in the novel that I will write some day. I just like to keep him around because he is a symbol of my creativity, just as Persephone is a symbol of my drama queen side. But she is the liveliest character in my head and we have spent a lot of time together over the last few years.

Sensitive one: I’m scared. I feel like I’m losing my mind. F**k! I really shouldn’t smoke this shit.

Evil one: Miss Goody Two-Shoes. Aw relax!

Writer: Your dialogue sounds awfully contrived. I think I’ll rework this scene. Oh! And BTW,(leaning into the sensitive one) all the great artists were doing all kinds of crazy drugs and shit. So we’re in good company.

Cynical Bitch: Right. The drugs should make it easier to f**k up some more.

The Head: Oh! Please let’s not go there again. You should never cheat on your partner. I’m a terrible person.

Evil one: Yes, quite terrible, really. (Pretending to smack zir own gender neutral ass)

The old Algerian man: Throw away all your maps. You’ll never find anything in them. I hold what every mans spends his lifetime looking for.

At this point, they all start talking over each other.

Therapist(to Narrator): Did you notice this irregular cast of men and women playing different parts of your personality? The sensitive one had to be female, but why did the writer have to be male? And I’m so f**king disappointed in you, could you have been more predictable with the gender choices for Persephone and the evil one?

The evil one: And what kind of therapist are you, encouraging so many of us to share these crowded living quarters.

Therapist: So how does that make you feel?

Me (standing in a corner repeating to herself): But I’m an artist. Julia Cameron said so.

The Head: Fechner's paradox: After viewing an object binocularly, the same object increases in brightness when viewed again monocularly.

Offstage: You have an infinite capacity for perfectly useless information.

Narrator: (offhandedly gesturing offstage) Sorry, I forgot to introduce the voices from the past.

Cynical bitch
: Helloooooo losers! How long are you going to pretend that you don’t see me. I am f**king here to stay.

The evil one: Whoa! She’s really hot when she gets mad like that!

Writer: Okay, could you quit clowning around and get back to the explaining the gender choices?

Persephone: Me, me, me. I want to tell my story and why I'm female.

They start fighting.

Me: No, I’ll tell the story.

Writer: But I’m the writer.

Therapist: But I came up with the idea of naming her.

They leave the stage fighting.


Scene 2: Along the way

The old Algerian Man: Yes, I found a map of the human mind, but along the way I lost my mind.

Dead Silence.


Scene 3: And then...

The sensitive one
: I have bad taste in music. I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that I’ve never met a person who said they didn’t like music. But what’s equally, if not more fascinating to me is that no one ever introduces themselves as having particularly bad taste in music. WHAT THE F**K IS THAT ABOUT?

Persephone: The only thing that keeps me sane these days is dancing, and bad music can be really fun to dance to. I’m addicted to getting stoned and dancing actually. It would have been sex if it weren’t for the fact that I’m a prude.

Cynical Bitch: Do you think anyone really cares about this node? You're only going to get down-voted anyway.

The old Algerian man
: Throw away all your maps. You’ll never find anything in them. I hold what every mans spends his lifetime looking for. A map of the human mind.

With trembling hands, the old man begins to search his pockets.

Writer: I’ve been married and divorced, lived on two continents, trained as a dancer for over 15 years, speak 5 languages, nearly died and living ain’t that easy either. But I’m a fascinating person.

I’m also not currently dating anyone. I just can't find the right person for me, but I keep putting myself out there. He's got to be out there looking for me.

The old Algerian man begins to pull a withered old piece of paper from his pockets.

The Head: You really don't get it, do you? I like being single and I want to keep it that way.

Me: But I get lonely sometimes and I want to be in a relationship with a caring man.

The Head: But monogamy is all about social control, being tied down. And marriage as a social contract, an economic arrangement. No contracts, we need freedom! (slowly starts chanting) Freedom! Freedom!

Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!(The other voices slowly join in.)

The old Algerian Man, tries to hand over the withered map in his hands. It slips out of his trembling fingers landing far from his reach.

All characters:(marching and chanting.)
Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!

The Sensitive One(to the Writer): Please don't push me.

The Evil One
(to the Writer): You self-righteous prick, I'm sure you were trying to cop a feel.
The Cynical Bitch (to no one in particular): Men- they're all just the same! And you, (to the Sensitive One), stop being such a baby. Stand up for yourself - punch him in the nose!
Persephone: I'll do it, I'll do it. I've always wanted to punch someone.

Mayhem ensues as the old Algerian's map is trampled on and lost during the marching.


Scene 4. Back to where we began

Narrator (in a dramatic voice):

I found a map of the human mind.

It had only four little lines on it.

False Start

Along the way

And then...

Back to where we began.

* Curtains*


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