Kneel and Bent: A Play About Pain

Scene:  Middle aged woman on the heavy side ordering fries at New York Fries Food Stand in a mall food court in the midafternoon.  She walks with a bit of a limp and lurch due to bad creaky knees.  She settles at a food court table.

Bent:     Un, unh. No. Don’t you dare!

Kneel:    No more French Fries!

Bent:    We thought we talked about this?

Woman looks around confused.

Bent:   Who’s talking?

Kneel:   Look down you ingrate!

Woman keeps head facing forward, pauses fry in opened mouth and  with raised eyebrows glances down.

Bent and Kneel:   Yes. It’s your trusty knees. Always there when you kneel on us. ( guffawing)

Woman chomps on fry and wags her head frowning.

Bent:     Nonsense. It’s you that’s the pain!

Kneel:     Go easy there Bent. You know stress isn’t good for us.

Bent:     Actually Kneel, you have to admit the regular physiotherapy has been quite

beneficial. And things have been lighter since Madam lost those last 11 pounds.

Woman smiles. Pushes fries away.

Kneel:     Latisha the physiotherapist is pretty hot too!

Bent:     Oooohhh doggy! Love the way she massages my cap.

Woman looks down in disgust.

Bent and Kneel:    Eeeww? You know knees can be sexy.

Woman gets up and right knee buckles a bit.

                Kneel:     Ouch! Did you take your Celebrex yet, sweetie pie? My meniscus is a little sore.

Bent:      Yeah the hamstrings are feeling a little tight. How about a few stretches?

Woman does a right side hamstring stretch balancing on the food court table for stability. Walks gingerly towards the stairs.

Kneel:   Whoa! Take the elevator for knees’ sake!

Woman sighs. She pushes the Up button on the mall elevator door.

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Pain Can Be Inspirational!

In my Haliburton School of Art, Creative Writing course, Catherine Graham presented the idea of creating characters, plots etc from inanimate objects.  At the time my knees were twinged with pain from the damp morning air.  My knees were speaking to me and as they spoke I thought of those two TD Bank  Commercial old guys sitting at a park bench kvetching about life in general. So my knees became two griping old men.  I then thought about writing this as a play.   I called it Kneel and Bent ; A Play .

Now I am thinking about creating vignette plays of many of my body parts.  I think this could be very humorous, perhaps sad, erotic, beautiful? and very challenging to get in the psyche of a body part.  Your nose for instance…two nostrils, septum, olfactory senses …nose with an allergy…smelling something pleasant, unpleasant, sneezes could be orgasms for the nose… What parts would the be involved in a sneeze…brain, lungs, vocal chords …challenging indeed.  There needs to be a bit of dissection a bit of cutting a body part away from its connective tissue and elements in order to have it take on a character.

A Good Beginning

I eat oatmeal for breakfast.  Not that I particularly love oatmeal.  It’s habit—and my Grandfather.

“First meal of the day should stick to your ribs,”  he’d say. “Sugar? No. It’s poison! Stay away from that stuff.”

Oatmeal is bland and good for me.  What was Mother Nature trying to achieve by giving me taste buds for not -good-for -me delicious foods like chocolate ice cream or sizzling steak dripping with fat? The outrage!  I just wished that bland, green and fishy appealed more to me than sweet, fat and salty.  Grandfather often said Mother Nature had her cruel side as a matter of necessity. I want to break free from necessity. One morning sans guilt, I will frivolously order a Sausage Egg McGriddle and Mango Chiller in the drive-thru.

One day; not today.  Necessity demands that today  I sit alone at my kitchen table swallowing the last bit of gruel that sticks not only to my ribs but cements me in a life of doing what is good for me.

 

 

Endurance

“In order to walk longer,  we must walk slower”. Words of wisdom from my massage therapist.  Like the idea of slowing things down so we can enjoy life longer. Also about how to endure things or make things last. Like savouring delicious food. Enduring love….two meanings really. Like experiencing time.

 

Watched a documentary “The End of Time” by Peter Metler. It was hard to watch because it was so slow.  Then I couldn’t stop watching as I was entranced.  But that was in part its message to alter our perception of time.  Watch this when you have a lot of time. It is worth it.

Experiencing Time

 

Gets me thinking about time as a writer/reader.  We have rules around time… deadlines, spare time, out of time, blank page time, inspiration time…objectively we could measure this but this indeed does not capture the experience of time. Time fading away when immersed in a good book.

How might a writer capture the experience of time for characters, for readers, etc.?