• The Box 69: MIDNIGHT BLUE


    #23
    Color: Midnight Blue
    August 30, 1996
    Song: "How Come, How Long" Babyface and Stevie Wonder

    Excerpt from my stage play, "Paper or Plastic: A Homeless Round-up."

    The Water Shortage.

    There is a water shortage.
    Three minutes is all I get.
    Get it
    And go.
    Ready, set, go.

    The water is too cold.
    Grab the soap
    And clothe
    And scrub.
    The hands first.
    There are things under your nails.
    Red,
    White,
    Pink,
    Brown,
    Flesh,
    Blood...
    Enough.
    Scrub.
    1 minute.

    Don’t cry
    Because there’s a water shortage.
    You don’t have time.
    Wash your mouth out.
    Wash it out with soap.
    This you think is nasty.
    That he said was nastier.
    Then, you didn’t have time to think…
    You still don’t…
    1 minute 30 seconds.

    Scrub your breast.
    Get the smudges off.
    Scrub your skin
    To clean him off...
    But you can’t.
    The smudge is in the skin.
    A scratch,
    A scar,
    A bruise,
    A bite.
    Don’t have time to figure it out.
    Make every attempt still to get it out.
    Move on lady.
    Move on.
    Get there.
    Get there now
    because you don’t have time…
    1 minute 48 seconds.
    Take the soap and move on down.
    Scrub,
    Rub,
    Make it sting
    With salty tears
    That flow in the cuts.
    Make it burn
    Your whole body’s fire.
    2 minutes.

    Get it out!
    It hurts.
    It hurts too bad!
    2:15.
    You’re hurting me! Why?
    2:25.
    You’re tearing me apart!
    2:35
    Get it out! I claw it out.
    2:45.
    Dig my fingers and teeth to get it out.
    2:50.
    I can’t see but screaming
    2:51
    Don’t hit me again!
    2:52
    Don’t hit with that!
    2:52:30
    Get off!
    2:53
    I can’t move anymore! Don’t…
    2:53:30
    ...Please...
    2:53:45
    Two
    2:54
    Three
    2:54:25
    Four
    2:54:30
    Please.
    Quiet...
    And count it over.
    2:54:45
    It’s too
    2:54:46
    Big
    2:54:59
    For that...
    2:55
    Please...
    2:56
    Get...
    2:57
    Off...
    2:58
    Me...
    2:59
    Please!

    3 minutes.

    Times up.

    There is a water shortage
    And there are
    Three
    New
    Women
    Standing
    In line
    To take
    A shower.

    Time’s up.


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