HOPE: (to the audience) I lose myself in this moment. His arms are holding me, and his touch is soft and gentle but also stern and protective. Like a teacher, guiding me somewhere I've never been before.
It scares the shit out of me. So I drift in my mind to a world of 'What If'.
When I was little and my dad would beat my mom - Yeah, he did that too. Plenty of times. Once he threw her down the stairs, a bunch of times he slapped her. Beat her with his belt. I think that was his favorite way. Sick fuck. One time I remember he swung a pan over her head in the kitchen, I saw the whole thing while I was eating cereal. Her head bled for hours. I put a Mickey Mouse band aid on it. She smiled at me. She loved Disney as much as I did. Anyhow, when he'd beat her, I would drift away and start wondering 'what if.' What if I was an actual Disney princess, And I'd have to live in Florida and hug hundreds of kids every day. Or 'what if' one day we'd wake up but the morning wouldn't come. And it will stay nighttime forever. Or 'what if' school was up in the sky on a cloud, and us children would slide on rainbows from cloud to cloud to get to class. Or 'what if' my dad went away and never hurt my mom again. What if.
So in this moment, with this unnamed man holding me like a fucking princess, I think to myself 'what if I had no fear? And I wasn't busy, and I could get into....a thing with this guy. What if? What then?' Well obviously I'd take him to Burning man on a flying carpet. We'd be high on life and love and dance in the desert and our bodies would gravitate towards each other like magnets. It'd be something like this:
SET CHANGE: We are now in Hope's fantasy. The bare desert now morphed into the 'Burning Man Universe'. Mickey and Hope, in costumes, are letting loose dancing, laughing, loving.
MICKEY: I am lost in a dust storm and her name is HOPE!
HOPE: Aw sweetie hold tight 'cause I'm gonna save ya. Save ya from the Burning Man!
They are falling into the ground, laughing, giggling, loving like there is no ego, and there is no tomorrow.
MICKEY: You are so beautiful. Thank you for taking me to this magical place.
HOPE: It wasn't me. it was GOD, remember?
MICKEY: How could I forget. An angel sent to me from the stars to show me how to love. Tell me, what star did you drop in from? Is it the one on the right? The bright one that twinkles near the milky way? Or did you travel through time and thousands of galaxies to meet me?
HOPE: A lady must never tell where she comes from.
MICKEY: Or else?
HOPE: Or you'd find out she's not a lady at all.
MICKEY: I doubt that.
HOPE: ...Because you're in love. And breathing in a lot of dust.
MICKEY: Yeah it tastes like... happiness. You could tell me anything and I'll adore you. Forever!
HOPE: Hmm what is IN this dust you've taken!?
MICKEY: Nothing but pure minerals that you, I, and the rest of humanity came from.
HOPE: 'From dust 'till dust.' You are more religious than I thought.
MICKEY: Does that scare you?
HOPE: No. Yes. I don't know.
MICKEY: Hey, without GOD I'd have no HOPE.
HOPE: You are sweet. And I wish I could tell you all about me. The fucked up place I'm from. The dark stuff I've seen. The mistakes I've made. The mistakes I probably will make.
MICKEY: What's stopping you? We are in your imagination. You can tell me whatever you'd like.
HOPE: Oh I don't want to talk about the past. There is no past! There is no future! There's only now. Let's breathe in some more of this magic dust and join the parade of unicorns on the playa!
A parade of burners in unicorn costumes passes by. Hope leaps to her feet to join, taking Mickey along with her.
They are hopping, dancing and following the festive parade that is circling across the stage.
MICKEY: So this is basically a giant rave!
MICKEY: I said THIS IS A RAVE!
HOPE: Oh NO! Not at all my friend. It's a society re-invented and you've just been incepted. Now quit thinking and get lost in the rabbit hole!
MICKEY: Does the rabbit hole have to include non-stop jumping?
HOPE: Oh yeah! As high as you possibly can!
MICKEY: Dear lord. Can we... can we chill for a second?
HOPE: Um... yeah, sure.
(to the paraders)
Bye! Love you all!
Mickey slurps to the ground, catching his breath.
MICKEY: Thank you... you seem to have a lot of fun doing that. I didn't mean to stop you.
HOPE: It's all good. I'll catch up with them later.
MICKEY: 'Cause all the hopping... the jumping... the weird arm movement you do... you're like the most adorable dance bunny I've ever seen. But I get what you're doing.
HOPE: Okay Sherlock, and what's that?
MICKEY: I know I'm just a figment of your imagination, so I'm not gonna object to any sort of escapism you wanna do.
But you know you can't escape your past right?
HOPE: Okay 'Yoda!'
MICKEY: Don't be mad at me now, I'm only saying what's on YOUR mind.
(to the audience)
Sometimes 'What if' doesn't work. I might as well just face reality.
SET CHANGE: Back at our bare desert location. And back at the moment of Hope & Mickey's glorious kiss.
MICKEY: Hmm... your lips taste like... heaven.
HOPE: And that's a good thing I hope?
MICKEY: You 'hope.'
Yes. Yes it is. A good thing.
Where were you... a minute ago?
MICKEY: When we kissed, it looked... like you were dreaming, or something.
HOPE: Um d'you open your eyes when you kiss!?
MICKEY: Nah. I mean.... Sometimes.
HOPE: Okay, that's not creepy at all....
MICKEY: I wanted to see you. See what you look like when you kiss someone.
HOPE: And what do I look like?
MICKEY: Beautiful. And...sad. I don't know why but you looked a little sad.
I'm sorry, I know it's not the most romantic thing to say. But I was.. just wondering. Why a beautiful goddess like you would ever be sad? It don't make sense to me y'know?
HOPE: Could we hold on a second and just... chill. All this personal talk... is making me dizzy. I, I need a second to think.
Hope moves away and THINKS.
MICKEY: (to the audience) Here I am with my big stupid mouth again. I don't know why I keep doin' this. Is this some sort of, what it's called... self-destruction? My buddy Jim says I do that a lot. He says that's why I drink. He says that, and then I say 'no fucking way dude' and then we argue about that for some time and by the end of it I tell him to shut the fuck up and give me another drink. He's a good friend.
I hope she's thinking about how much she likes me. I hope.
To be continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman