ACT IIScene 2
(Stage is empty of props. FEY, dressed in business suit, sits at
typewriter typing, stops, reads what she's written out loud.
JONAH is seated crosslegged on the ground across stage, writing
on a pad. As other characters appear and disappear they're
spotlighted between JONAH and FEY briefly. FEY reads aloud.)
FEY: "I sit inside this box, hot and caffeinated and screaming to
get out into the fresh air. It's you, Jonah, you all the time
now. I can't think, sleep, eat, work -- like a magnet your words
pull me back again and again and again..."
JONAH: (Writes.) "You've begged me not to ask all I'd ever beg of
FEY: "...the morality of your existence a finger pointing at the
frivolity of my own ... but I'm afraid...."
(Groans, head on typewriter.)
"Dear God, what do you expect of me????"
JONAH: (Holds up sheaf of papers and reads.)
FEY: (Reads from identical sheaf of papers.)
"Dona Quixotess --
can she leave her cuddly nest
to lay the troubled world to rest?
Imprisoned in her frilly bed,
ideals of virtue fill her still silly head.
The idea of prison once made her quail --
now she SAYS she's willing to wear her tweeds to jail!
Lies ... suffering ... violence ... torture her tender heart.
SHE would blow them away with a strong baby's fart....
If you wantthe answer, Quixotess, you must pay the price --
salvation, my Lifeblood, demands sacrifice."
"...When you are prepared for some heavy-handed criticism, remove
the strip." (FEY peels up a strip as Jonah tapes one down on his paper.)
"You ... are ... a ... butterfly." (Looks up, frowns.) "BUTTERFLY!"
(Turns to JONAH who turns to her, they speak across the gulf of
"You say I'm a butterfly -- quixotic -- why? Because I want to
help you MY way ... because I haven't left my 'nest'? Because
the responsibility of motherhood means most to me? Because I
want to ease my daughter's way into responsibility? Because I
fear my son won't want to know me?"
JONAH: "What's more important -- your children's approval, or
their souls? How can you teach them if you don't set them an
example? Why is motherhood more important than sisterhood? If
YOU don't fight for their lives ... who will?"
FEY: "Maybe my values are still at larva stage -- maybe my
commitments have been of butterfly nature -- but God created
butterflies for a purpose."
JONAH: "God made you a butterfly for you to remake you. Are you
satisfied with who you are?"
JONAH: "Do you believe that you've become the best that you can
FEY: "God, no."
JONAH: "I believe the best you can be is just a breath away. I
believe you may well be that half of the Spirit I've always
sought. I believe that you MAY be the first honest woman I've
met ... my Ideal Woman..." (He looks down, pained.) "But if you ARE my Ideal Woman ... then WHY do you LIVE the WAY you LIVE? I feel threatened by you, for you may deceive me into losing sight of my cause...."
(Light rises on HESTER and AC, who holds copy of FEY's letter.)
HESTER: "She's very good with words. But this is fantasy. It's
not real. You're a good man, but you're caught in a trap."
AC: "But what about this part, here..." (Points to letter.)
FEY: (Quotes herself.) "What's between us as individuals is
unimportant. What IS important is the cause. Everything else is
irrelevant ... DELIGHTFUL, but irrelevant...."
HESTER: "Of course she would have to write that. They're very
clever. They know your weaknesses and what you want to hear."
[/ note / insert "Ruminations at 3 am"?}
AC: "Now, Hester...."
(Light down on HESTER/AC, up on MONK.)
MONK: "You've got to get Fey out of your heart and into your head, Jonah."
JONAH: "Thanks, Monk. That's good advice."
MONK: "Just what you told me ... I got it figured out."
MONK: "Fey. I know why she's here."
MONK: "Somebody sent her to motivate us."
JONAH: "How doyou know?"
MONK: "It's obvious. Yesterday she was out here organizing a
newspaper. 'You do this' - 'You do that.'"
JONAH: "Scared she'll turn you into a capitalist, Monk? Or a
MONK: "Na-a-aw. You know," (MONK scratches his chin
thoughtfully.) "...it might be okay if she moves out here. We might have a
JONAH: "Just what I'm hoping for, Monk. One big happy family."
(Light down on Monk. FEY walks back over to the typewriter and
sits down, begins to type a moment, slumps forward, forehead on
typewriter, looks up, face drawn.)
FEY: "I'm exhausted. I can't talk, can't think any more about
what's happening. It's out of my hands. I know all the
arguments, I've lived their lives, I've tried their 'shoulds' and
'shouldn'ts' on for thirty-seven years. And they're wrong...."
(Lights up on MOTHER and FATHER.)
MOTHER: "Why are you DOING this to me?"
FEY: "What, Mamma?"
MOTHER: "You'll get killed! How do you expect me to deal with
FEY: "You'd be surprised how safe the streets can be."
FATHER: "You're a pair of gnats taking on Goliath -- they'll
squash you in an instant! And what about winter? And what if I
should die? How will you come to my funeral?"
FEY: "Time will tell about winter, Dad. And my protesting
nuclear weapons won't affect your lifespan except, perhaps, to
prolong it. If it affects mine, that's okay. If there's the
slightest chance of making a difference, I must try ... don't you
FATHER: "But you had such a good JOB! You might be Senator or
Congressman someday, if you play your cards right! Why, you
could be IN the White House, instead of OUTSIDE it!"
FEY: (Laughs appreciatively, then demurs sardonically.)
"Hardly, sitting behind a typewriter, shuffling other people's
papers, writing other people's thoughts, answering other people's
mail, and serving as a hollow symbol to another's ambitions. I'm
tired of wiping the noses of executives."
MOTHER: "So you choose to sleep on a GRATE instead?"
FEY: "No, Mother, on a sidewalk beside a sign."
FATHER: "What's the difference?"
FEY: "Semantics. And ideals.... Lafayette Park is probably the
only free place I've ever encountered. People come and go,
everyone with a private life nobody asks about. No one CARES
about your pedigree, your credentials, where you work, live, went
to school. It's the only place where you can BE who you ARE.
And so people keep coming back, learning how to speak their
minds, to share their knowledge and opinions. It's inspiring,
exhilarating, alive! When I'm inside the corporate world, I feel
the walls closing in. 'Who are YOU?' is a question I never
heard. Only 'What do you do?' 'Where are you from?' 'How
important are you?' If your answers aren't satisfactory they
ignore you -- or try to mold you into their own perceptions of
reality and twist your conscience and consciousness into parodies
of truth. Except in Lafayette Park." (Looks over at JONAH.)
"Do you know how GOOD that feels, how LIBERATING? How can I
FATHER: "Well, I don't want to hear about it. I don't understand, don't want to understand, won't ever understand." (Voice turns pleading.)
"Do you remember what good buddies we were? ... you were my
MOTHER: "Let her go."
FEY: "Jonah." (Lights go down on parents.)
FEY: (Walks over to him.)
"I said those words so bravely. But behind them lies the unknown
-- hunger, cold, craziness...."
JONAH: "Of course. And you'll experience them all. But they
won't defeat you. You've just begun to tap your potential."
FEY: (Sits down, takes JONAH's hands.)
"I feel I've been led, blind and stupid, to this place, this
time, to something I hardly deserve. Purpose ... and you. I
suggested I be your student, and you insisted I teach you.
You're a rock, the perfect friend I'd given up on finding."
JONAH: "God is good."
(JONAH leans forward to kiss FEY's nose gently. FEY touches his
beard. JONAH raises his head and arms toward the sky and shout
three times, turning with each shout to face the wings and then
JONAH: "Allah Ho-akh-bah!* Allah Ho-akh-bah! Allah Ho-akh-bah!"
* [Spelled phonetically. Translation: "God is great."]
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