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A Sunday Afternoon in Sedro-Woolley (A Two Act Play)

by Salah A. Kornas

“There are a few things in life people have to deal with:  Death is one of them.”

Author’s Note:  The characters and the events in this play are fictitious.  Any resemblance to real life is pure coincidence.



Characters

FHARAG: Tall, skinny with DARK complexion, bald at the top with long hair on the side and in the back and wears a mustache.  He is in his mid-sixties.  He is an Egyptian.
KAREN: Blonde, in her mid-thirties, wears a casual dress, slippers and occasionally there is a towel wrapped around her hair.
ADAM: Caucasian, in his mid-thirties, has black hair and a small beard.  Wears a white shirt with blue stripes, jeans and tennis shoes.  In the first act he wears sunglasses.  In the second act he wears Hamlet’s costume.

SCENE I & II

The garden of Karen and Fharag’s house.  Center of the stage is the house with the kitchen door used as an exit.  There are a few steps that lead from that door to the garden.  A small porch is in front of the door with a lot of clutter:  old flower pots, used boxes, etc.  In the garden there are three outdoor chairs, and in the middle, a table that is made of a tree trunk.  Flowers are everywhere.  A copy of “Hamlet” is on the floor.

Time: The middle of the afternoon
Place: Sedro-Woolley
Date: A Sunday afternoon in the end of September
Music: Paul Robeson.  Before the play:  “Deep River” and “On My Journey” while the audience is getting seated.  At the end of Act II:  “Four Rivers” and “John Brown’s Body.”  If time permits, some more of his music.  Under no circumstances should any other music be used except that of Paul Robeson.

ACT I

[Fharag and Karen are in the yard.  Karen is working and fussing over the flower beds while Fharag is standing, looking at the audience.]

FHARAG: What was that all about last night?
KAREN: What are you talking about?
FHARAG: You and Adam kept me up all night.
KAREN: It was nothing.
FHARAG: I tell you, I heard you and you tell me it was nothing?
KAREN: It was Adam.  He had a fever and he was having a hard time trying to sleep.
FHARAG: Is there something I should know?
KAREN: You will know.  In due time.
FHARAG: Maybe it will be too late.
KAREN: Fharag!  Why do you insist?
FHARAG: I am not insisting.  I am not insisting on anything.  I’m just wondering.
KAREN: Snooping is the right word.
FHARAG: What is “snooping?”
KAREN: It’s…  [she smiles]  never mind.
FHARAG: But I want to know.  What is snoo…How do you say it?  Oh!  snooping.
KAREN: It’s what you are doing now.
FHARAG: Whatever it is, I’m not doing it.  I have a feeling that…  [Karen stops and looks at him.]  I have been having bad dreams lately.
KAREN: I don’t know when you get the chance to have bad dreams or good dreams.  You never sleep.
FHARAG: It doesn’t take much sleep for me to have dreams.  My dreams are in fast motion.
KAREN: God!  Even your dreams are different.
FHARAG: You ought to know by now.  You know they are different.  The same dreams happen over and over again.
KAREN: Sounds to me like hallucinations.  Side effect from the medicine you’re taking.
FHARAG: What do you mean, side effect?  This so-called medicine I’ve been taking doesn’t even give me a direct effect, how can it give me a side effect?
KAREN: Fharag, have you not been taking the medicine again?
FHARAG: Can’t you tell?  I’m still sick, so I must be taking the medicine.  I know if I stop I’ll be cured.
KAREN: Where are the new pills I gave you?
FHARAG: They are here in my pocket.
KAREN: Why didn’t you put them with the others in the box I gave you?  You are supposed to keep them with the others.  Why didn’t you put them in the medicine box?
FHARAG: Well, they are just in my pocket.  It’s easier.
KAREN: The medicine box is for that, Fharag.  I bet you never used it.
FHARAG: It’s just too complicated.  I get confused.
KAREN: Just do like Adam does with his.
FHARAG: The way Adam carries this box around all the time one thinks that his life depends on it.  I don’t believe it contains medicine.  He never uses it.  [He comes closer to her.]  What’s really in that box?
KAREN: Why don’t you ask him?
FHARAG: It’s none of my business.
KAREN: Good.  You said it.
FHARAG: Just a weird thing.  I worry about him.
KAREN: Don’t.  Everything is going to turn out all right.
FHARAG: Can’t you stop being a nurse for a second?  And stop injecting hopes?
KAREN: I’m not talking like a nurse now.  I’m talking as his friend.
FHARAG: You seem to forget that I am his friend too.
KAREN: I don’t doubt that.
FHARAG: I’m worried about him because he has changed.  I just don’t believe how much he had changed in the last two years.  He looks so weak and depressed.  Sometimes he sits for hours without a word.  I don’t believe how much he has aged.  When I look at him I feel like I am looking at a stranger.  This is not the Adam I used to know.  I feel I am looking at his ghost.
KAREN: Might just as well be.
FHARAG: Do you remember the first time I saw him?  It was my first visit to America.  It was in our apartment in Seattle.
KAREN: I remember you wanted to paint him because he had long hair and you said he looked like the ideal model for a portrait of Jesus.
FHARAG: I never got around to do it.  We could never get him to sit still for a few hours.  He was so busy.
KAREN: And when he got sick and had the time, you were in Egypt.
FHARAG: What a waste!  So young and so withered.  It’s unjust; it’s an unjust world.
KAREN: Stop being angry at the world.
FHARAG: [raising his voice]  I’m not angry.  I’m merely stating a fact.
KAREN: Well, stop being a judge.
FHARAG: What’s the matter with you?  Can’t I say a thing without you analyzing it?
KAREN: I’m sorry.  I’m kind of upset myself.  In fact, I am angry.  But I don’t know toward whom or what!  I know how you feel when you look at him.  I don’t know what to say to him.  Or how to ease his pain.  I have been trained to deal with that.  For God’s sake, it’s my profession.  I have dealt with thousands like him.  But they were just names and it was a job.  A hazard of the profession.  I saw them only when they were sick.  I didn’t know how they looked before.  I couldn’t imagine their lives before their illness.  I didn’t know how they looked.  It was easier.  I had nothing to compare and contrast with.  But with Adam, it’s different.  It’s too close for comfort.  It’s at home.
FHARAG: You have your hands full.  You have two of us.
KAREN: No Fharag, your case is different.
FHARAG: And his too.
KAREN: It’s not that simple.
FHARAG: Yes, it is.  Look how far I have come.  I have been improving every hour and every day.  And I will improve more if I don’t take that medicine.  Look how much better I feel since I got out of that damn hospital.  It’s all in your mind.  That’s what I have been trying to convince Adam.  You can cure yourself.
KAREN: You sound like a self-help book.
FHARAG: I tell you, people have to believe in their own will and their spirit.
KAREN: Have you been watching the 700 Club again?
FHARAG: Are you crazy?  I knew that before the birth of the 100 Club not the 700 Club.  I have believed in that since I was 15 years old.
KAREN: Well, now you’re 65 and still it doesn’t make sense.
FHARAG: There must be something we can do.
KAREN: The only thing we can do is to make it easier on him.
FHARAG: How?
KAREN: Well…  [She looks up, towards the kitchen door.]  I see him coming.  [Adam appears walking slowly, wearing sunglasses and carrying a small box in his hand.]  Good morning.
ADAM: [approaching]  Good morning.  [looks around] or rather, good noon.  God!  I slept in.
KAREN: I went by your room this morning but you were sound asleep and I didn’t want to wake you up.
FHARAG: Come and sit here.  It’s warmer.  [Karen and Fharag assist him to sit down.]
ADAM: It’s nice to be outside again.
FHARAG: Yes, it’s nice today.  First time in the whole week we got decent weather.
ADAM: Yeah, the rain kept us locked in the whole week.
KAREN: Are you hungry Adam?  Do you want me to fix you something to eat?
ADAM: No thanks.  I ate some cereal before I came out.
KAREN: Boy!  We were so busy working out here we didn’t hear you inside.
ADAM: [looks around]  The yard looks so beautiful, Karen.  Still needs a lot of work.  Don’t you agree, Fharag?
FHARAG: Don’t look at me.  I don’t need therapy.  You come from work and work for hours in the yard, turning everything upside down, saying “it relaxes me.”  “It’s good therapy.”  It doesn’t matter is the yard needs work or not.  You’re going to work on it anyway.  So, to answer your question, yes.  The yard needs lots of work and you need the therapy.
ADAM: [laughsI]  That sounds like something you’d say.
KAREN: Both of you, you just don’t understand.  You don’t like to get your hands dirty.
ADAM: It’s mother earth and nature I was never crazy about either.  People running everywhere screaming and pointing “look at the mountain!” and all these years here I can never figure which are the Cascades and which is Rainier.
KAREN: Yes, I remember how you complained and complained when the group took you hiking a few miles.
ADAM: That was one of the most miserable experiences I ever had.  I have never understood how people can get excited being miserable and dirty.
FHARAG: I can explain it.  It is the act of selfishness that promotes people to go to the empty and vast places of nature.  They are escaping from people and the world around them.  There they shut their eyes from the misery of the world.  No homeless, no ghettoes and no winos.  They make believe that the world is still beautifully primitive.
ADAM: I hadn’t thought about that.  My only objection is the boredom and the morbid silence that makes me feel like I am alone in a big cemetery.  Besides, I hate mosquitoes.
FHARAG: I agree with you.  I lived all my life surrounded by mosquitoes and flies and I tell you, it was no fun.  You know what I think?  Hiking is just a very bourgeois thing.  It’s just a way for the white people to punish themselves.  I don’t think the poor minorities here participate in it.  Or the poor, in general.  Who can afford to buy all those expensive things to use and have the time and the gas to go and get himself dirty sitting alone surrounded by the silence?
KAREN: Oh, Fharag!  For God’s sake, come off it!  You can turn a simple thing into a political event.  Everything is a minority vs. white, white vs. minority.  What’s this got to do with hiking?
FHARAG: [sarcastically]  Am I the one turning everything into politics?  Am I the one who is [quotes with his hand] politically correct?  Who said over and over:  This is not politically correct, Fharag; this is politically correct,  Fharag.  And now I am the one who’s turning everything into politics?
ADAM: Please Fharag, I don’t want to hear about politically correct or politically incorrect.  I have had enough of it.  The sons of bitches sitting comfortably in the University offices and coffee shops telling everybody what they should say and do.  You never see them downtown after sundown.  When you are down and out, beaten by the godding system, they add to your misery by telling you how rotten the system is.  They talk to you like you live on another planet.  Big fucking deal.
FHARAG: I don’t believe what I’m hearing.  Didn’t you and Karen get on my case after we saw the movie “Out of Africa?”  Do you remember the argument we had?  You and those weirdos were telling me how marvelous the movie was!  How beautiful Africa is and when my turn came I said the only thing I like about the movie was the title “Out of Africa.”  Then everybody got on my case.
KAREN: Fharag, Adam found out the hard way.
ADAM: For me there is no difference between them, politically correct or right wing.
FHARAG: There is a difference.  The right wing, you can see, you can recognize and you can fight but the other one uses the third world for salvation.  They come with all their psychological and emotional diseases and dump it on us.  For them we are therapeutic creatures.  I remember Desmond Tuttu once said we had the land and the white man had the Bible.  And he came and asked us to join together, close our eyes and pray.  When we opened our eyes, we had the Bible and he had the land.By the same token, we came to this land with culture and tradition and some of these “wanna be’s” came pretending they liked us.  Hung around us, learned from us and when they were cured, left us still in our misery plus their damn psychological and mental disorders.
KAREN: Please Fharag, enough.  Stop preaching.
FHARAG: Well, I am so happy that you guys finally saw the light as an old Egyptian communist like me saw it a long time ago.  I just want to see one single, healthy person who is an ally with people who suffer enough of these sicknesses.  Anyway, would you like to have some coffee, Adam?
KAREN: He can’t have coffee.
FHARAG: Okay, I’ll fix some of my Egyptian tea.
KAREN: He can’t have that either.  He can’t have caffeine.  Would you like some juice, Adam?
ADAM: Water would be fine.
FHARAG: Okay.
[He exits.]
ADAM: Oh!  I forgot how beautiful and peaceful Sedro-Woolley is.
KAREN: It has been a while since you have been here.
ADAM: It seems like ages.
KAREN: Last time you were here, we had the big party after the last play.
ADAM: Now I remember.
karen: In fact, I still have some of the costumes in the attic.  What do you want me to do with them?
adam: Burn  them, I don’t care.  Last week John and I broke the stage down and used the wood in the fireplace.  Who would believe that our little theatre company would one day cease to exist?
karen: It was a good group.  It was like one big family.
adam: Don’t talk to me about family.  I have none.  Do you know that my stepmother burned the mattress that I used for a few days after I left?  My father visited me one time for fifteen minutes in all the time I was in and out of the hospital.  Fifteen minutes while that bitch waited outside for him.  Family?  I have non.
karen: Adam, there is a lot of hysteria about this disease.  Believe me, people have a lot of misconceptions.
adam: It doesn’t matter, I don’t need family.
karen: [comes closer]  You have me and Fharag, we are your family.
ADAM: You are more than family to me.  You have made these last days easy for me.  Now I can do it.
karen: I don’t know, Adam.  To tell you the truth, deep inside me I know that you have the right to go ahead with it, but I just can’t conceive of it.  Don’t misunderstand me.  You know how I feel about that.  But God, it is just hard to accept it.  It just…
ADAM: I know.  I don’t know what I would have done if I were you.  I might have refused even to talk about it.  I might have run away or disappeared.  I appreciate your situation.
karen: Whatever you decide, remember I am your friend.
ADAM: I have no illusion about this.  Fharag is the one whom I am worried about.
karen: You know how much he adores you.
ADAM: Will he understand and forgive me?
karen: I have a feeling that he suspects something.  I have a feeling he knows.  You know how hard it is to hide a thing from him.  You know, Adam, underneath it all Fharag is scared.  My God, he is dying himself.
ADAM: Come on, Karen.  He looks fine to me.
karen: Don’t be fooled by his talk.  His leukemia is pretty far gone.  It’s all pretension.
ADAM: [smiles]  He told me that he got sick from eating your soup with all that pepper in it.  He thinks the soup gave him the fever and sent him to the hospital.
karen: He told this nonsense to everybody — the doctors, the nurses, the other patients and everyone he saw and talked to.  He still believes that the doctor and I made a big deal about his illness.  He thinks if he were in Egypt, herbs and home remedies would have cured him.  That’s why he never saw a doctor before.  Now it’s too late.  I just hope that he is strong enough to make it back to Egypt.
[Fharag comes back carrying a cup of tea and a glass of water and sets them on the table.]
karen: I better go and take my bath.  Does anyone want to use the bathroom before I go in?
[Fharag and Adam shake their heads indicating “no.”  She exits.  Half pause while Fharag takes an old pocket watch from his pocket and examines it.  Adam is curious and he is trying to see it.]
ADAM: Is this a watch?
[Fharag nods his head indicating “yes.”  He continues to examine the watch…]
ADAM: How old is this watch?
fharag: Oh, I’d say 50, 60 years old.
ADAM: Where did you find it?
fharag: I bought it from a garage sale.
ADAM: It is working?
fharag: Not now but I’ll clean it, fix it and it will be like a brand new one.
ADAM: [Shakes his head in amusement.]  You must have tons of old watches.  Why bother?  Stick to your painting.
fharag: But they deal with the same thing.  Don’t you see the connection?
ADAM: It escapes me.
fharag: What are watches made for?
ADAM: It’s obvious, to tell time.
fharag: Right!  And painting is a suspension of time.  It freezes the moment that created it.  And watches keep measuring the precious thing that slips away from our hands.
ADAM: You make me think about Dorian Gray’s dilemma.
fharag: You mean Dorain Gray’s tragedy.  Well, every time I look at a painting, I am transferring back in time to the moment of the creation.  In fact, I relive that moment where the painting was created.  I seize time.
adam: But why old watches?
fharag: Don’t you see?  I revive the instrument of life.  I am the surgeon who revives the stopped heart.
adam: I bow to you, conqueror of time.
fharag: Time is a sword.  If you don’t break it, it will slay you.
adam: I wish I could set it back.
fharag: But you did.  You did on the stage.  You transferred times and kingdoms.  You relived Lear and Hamlet.
adam: I did Lear, but never dared to be Hamlet.
fharag: I remember you directed Hamlet.
adam: That’s different.  I was the creator but not the creature.  I did not have the nerve to be Hamlet.  The role is too sacred for me.
fharag: I’m sure you would have done it well.
adam: Maybe too well.  I might even die.
fharag: This reminds me about a story in my village.  They say that a man was walking by a cemetery and saw a new grave freshly dug.  He decided to go down, lie in it and see how it felt.  Lying in it, he said, “God, I am so comfortable here.”  They say he never woke up again.  It became his own grave.
adam: I wish I knew where that cemetery was.
[Karen comes back.]
karen: Fharag, aren’t you going to feed the doves?
fharag: While we have been talking about death, I almost starved them to death!  [He exits.]
karen: Do you remember the dove you bought for him in Seattle?
adam: Oh yes, I remember how happy he was.  He said it reminded him of his childhood in the village.
karen: Well, he has two now.  He named the one you gave him Adam [laughing.]  He said it reminds him of you.
adam: How’s that?
karen: He said that the dove walks and acts like you.  Do you believe it, he takes them back and forth with him?
adam: To Egypt?
karen: Yes. He is crazy about them.
[Fharag comes back.]
fharag: They want some sun too.  I just let them bask in it for awhile.
adam: When did you get the second one?
fharag: [smiling]  When Adam complained about his loneliness, we brought him Eve.
adam: Another one of your miracles, God?
fharag: No, it was one Egyptian dollar.
karen: Fharag, show Adam how they talk.
fharag: You mean at night?
adam: What do they say?
fharag: Adam, I mean the male, says [imitating the sound of the dove] Sedro Woooolley…Sedrooo Wooolley…Sedrooo Woooolley.
karen: [laughing]  And what Eve says, Cooooll…Cooooll…Cooooll.
[They all laugh.]
karen: I’d better go take my bath.  [She exits.]
adam: Do they have any little ones?
fharag: Not here.  This is paradise my friend.  If they want them, they must leave Eden.
adam: Or be kicked out.  It’s funny how you are able to understand them.
fharag: My mother taught me that.  When I was growing up we had, like, 50.  My mother used to say that she could hear the doves praying.  Allaaah…Allaaah…Alaaah.
adam: [jokingly]  I thought you were raised a Christian.
fharag: I was.  But the doves were smart and knew they were in a Muslim country, so they prayed to Allah.
[In this moment a church bell rings.  Fharag looks across the street.]
fharag: I had never imagined that I would live in a house facing a church and have God as a neighbor.  [He walks towards the right of the stage looking outside.]  I see many people going in.
adam: Must be a good show today, full house.  Have you been inside that church?
fharag: No, but one time I was standing here alone watching people going in.  One of them walked towards the house and started talking to me.  [He walks back closer to Adam, starts laughing.]  After the man said good morning and how are you and all these things, he asked me where I was from.  I answered him.  Then he asked me if I believed in Christ.  Well, I didn’t want to argue with him so I said yes.Then he asked if there were many Christians in Egypt.  I told him there were about 15 million.  Then, get this Adam, he asked me when did they convert to Christianity!  Calmly, I told him they never had.  And then I asked him “when did you convert to Christianity?”  You should have seen the look on his face.  He thought I was crazy or something.
adam: [sarcastically] Don’t you know that Jesus is a European man, blond, blue eyes, the works?
fharag: Let us assume that he was blond, blue eyed but don’t you think living in the Middle East, walking all over the place, wouldn’t he be permanently tanned?  Permanently looked at least brown?  The seven years hiding in Egypt would do that to anybody.
adam: Maybe they think we are sinners, sitting here, a few steps from the church, on a Sunday and talking.
fharag: Let the one who has no sin cast the first stone.
adam: Don’t give them any ideas now.  They would.
fharag: Do you know that some of the Christian art set the standard for today’s business world?
adam: What do you mean?
fharag: For example, come look at the Last Supper, Michelangelo’s masterpiece.  What do you see?  A board meeting.  The big table and the chairman of the board sitting in the middle.  Half of his executives sitting on his right, the other half on his left.  That was one of the most important board meetings in history.  In the meeting the decision was made and the strategy implemented.  Since that day, every board meeting has to have the big table.
adam: I remember you told me you are going to make a copy of the Last Supper.
fharag: I always wanted to make one and make everybody wear a three-piece suit and a tie.
adam: What are you going to call it?  “Wall Street?”
fharag: Not a bad idea.  Maybe, “Before the Crash.”
adam: You better keep this painting in Egypt with the others.  Nobody is going to buy it here.
fharag: What others?  I haven’t kept a single painting since I got out of prison.  In fact, they burned all my paintings after they arrested me.  I paint, and if nobody takes it, I burn it.  If somebody is going to burn my paintings, it better be me.
adam: I can understand why they took you to prison.  But I don’t understand why they burned your paintings.
fharag: When you are imprisoned for being a communist, everything you say, create or even read turns communist.  You become a plague that supposedly contaminates everything you come in contact with.  Even in prison you have to be isolated.
adam: They can be at ease now, communism is dead.
fharag: That’s what you think, comrade.  Sorry, I mean my friend.  Communism, like every other historical experience, is going through a new phase.  How can something be dead if it had never existed in the first place?
adam: Look around you.  Look to what is happening in Russia, Poland and all the rest.
fharag: Rotten regimes, thieves.  If Lenin were alive, he himself would have fought against them.  The question should be, does socialism still have a chance or not?  The answer, of course, is yes.  Socialism is alive and well.
adam: You are just an optimist.  In fact, you are out of touch.
fharag: Then tell me how do you explain the election of the first socialist, in 40 years, to the U.S. Congress?  That guy
from Vermont.
adam: Just goes to show you what we are.  Always at odds with the world.  Fharag, it is the American way.
fharag: Or maybe you are catching up with the world.  Who knows!  Maybe one day you guys might break some of the Berlin walls you have here.  It seems like America and Russia are now trading places.  You’re going to have more freedom there than here.  The difference between people in Russia and people here is that the Russians know they were exploited.  Here they don’t even know the meaning of the word.  Maybe we’ll be lucky and the Russians will export their revolution and their Glasnost to the rest of the world.  You sure can use some of it here.  Why don’t you do Brecht?  The time is right.
adam: Here we go again.  You and Brecht.
fharag: And is there anybody else in the theatre?
adam: I am done with the theatre.
fharag: Nonsense.  You still have many things to give.
adam: I want to leave something for death to feed on.
fharag: [Comes closer.]  Don’t talk about that.  Otherwise we will not be able to live.  If we had known the day we would die, we would stop doing anything except counting every moment that passes.
adam: I know the day.
fharag: You think you do.  That’s why you don’t do anything.
adam: I am done with taking risks.
fharag: We can’t have a day without taking risks.  Every time you cross the street you take a risk that a big truck or a bus might lose its brakes and run you over.  How do you know that this person sitting behind the wheel will not, for some reason or other, kill you.  Maybe in that moment he has gone crazy, maybe he had a bad day or maybe he is just plain angry and you remind him of someone he hates.  We take a chance everyday; we do.
adam: I took many risks and I was hit, run over time and time again.
fharag: Well…but… [He is interrupted by Karen’s appearance.  She has a towel wrapped around her head.]
karen: Anybody want to use the bathroom before I take my bath?
fharag: Not again.  What were you doing all that time?
karen: I was on the phone.
fharag: Figures.  [He exits.]
karen: That was John on the phone.  He wanted to come and be here with you.
adam: No.  It’s better this way.  I don’t want him to witness this.
karen: That’s what I thought.
adam: I can handle it better than him.
karen: It’s going to be hard on him.
adam: I don’t want him to lose this job too.  He just got it.  It would be the third job that he loses on my account.
karen: He told me that Claetemnestra misses you also.  She is not eating.  He has taken her to the vet.
adam: She needs to lose some weight anyway.  Why don’t you keep her?  John may be busy with his work.  I know he
will not have the time.
karen: Don’t worry about that.  Things will work out.
adam: After…whenI am…I mean later…give the pictures to John.  He would appreciate them.
karen: Do you have the box with you?  Do you have everything you need?
adam: It never leaves my sight.  It’s a constant reminder.
karen: You are going to tell me when?  Aren’t you?
[They are interrupted by Fharag’s return.]
karen: I better go and take my bath this time.
fharag: I highly encourage you.
adam: Me too.
[Karen exits.]
fharag: Are you cold?
adam: No. I’m fine.
fharag: Maybe you’d like to move a little bit under the sun?
adam: No.  Really, I’m fine.
fharag: I just don’t want you to catch cold.
adam: Fharag, stop fussing over me.
fharag: I just remembered the last time you caught a cold, you scared everybody.  I thought you were going to die.
adam: I was not ready then.
fharag: That’s one thing I don’t like about here, it gets very cold.
adam: Second thing.  The first thing you don’t like is the immigration.
fharag: That is not dislike, that is hate.
adam: You still don’t want to consider it?
fharag: You mean beg a senator to help me with my green card?
adam: I see nothing wrong with letting some of us write letters on your behalf.
fharag: No thanks.  I’m not going to sign or answer any of their questions by lying.  They say, “Dear Alien, have you ever been a member of the communist party?”  The answer is yes with a capital “Y.”  Have you ever associated with a group that wanted to overthrow the government by means of violence?  The answer is “I did and I will.”
adam: When one is in Rome, one does as the Romans do.  Lie Fharag.  Lie.
fharag: This is the problem.  When one goes to prison for wheat he believes, that person is not willing to compromise on the outside.  People did not understand why Nelson Mandela, when he came here, they wined him and dined him and then they expected him to say the things they wanted to hear.  When they put him on national TV and asked him about Castro and the others, he said what he thinks. Some people got offended.  They did not understand that a man who spent over 25 years in prison refusing to denounce his beliefs will not do it now.  Some people were shocked by Mandela’s frankness; they were hurt.  Mandela hurt their feelings.  That shows you the silliness of some of those people in the establishment.  They are just silly.
adam: I don’t know why they make a big deal out of your case.  We have some communist parties here.
fharag: [smiling]  These are not parties, they are social clubs.  All in all, I don’t care.
Pause
adam: Fharag, tell me one of your stories.
fharag: Haven’t you had enough?  I run out.
adam: Not you Fharag.  Tell me an old one.
fharag: All mine are old ones.
adam: Maybe you are getting old and you no longer remember.
fharag: No, you are challenging me.
adam: No, I think you have run out.
fharag: You always know how to push my buttons.
adam: [laughing]  Or crank the old engine.
fharag: [smiling]  I am the only one who can refer to my antiquity.
adam: Okay, please tell me.
FHARAG: Did I tell you about the one when we were in prison?  The one about the guards?
adam: I don’t think so.
FHARAG: They put us in cells, solitary confinement.  We did not know if some of us were still alive or not.  Especially after the nights of torture.  So when they came and took me for interrogation, I stopped in front of every cell and said, “Hi, so and so.”  The guard slapped me and told me that I was held incommunicado.  I was not supposed to talk to anybody.So, the second time while I was being taken for interrogation, I stopped in front of every cell and said loudly, “How are you Fharag?  Are you okay?”  The other prisoners got the message and responded by asking themselves the same question and answering loudly.  We were just talking to ourselves loudly.  And there was no rule in incommunicado that prohibits you from talking to yourself.  I was able to find out who was dead and who was still alive.
adam: You did know how to survive.
FHARAG: I was lucky.  I lost only the hearing in one ear and two broken ribs.
adam: What luck.
FHARAG: I’m still alive, aren’t I?
Half Pause
adam: Were you afraid of death?
FHARAG: Oh no.  But I don’t want to die.  I love life.  Look around you.  See all these things — the sun, the flowers and the friends.  I don’t want to leave all of these.  Maybe I am a coward.
adam: Hard to believe.
FHARAG: No, you will surprised if I tell you the truth.  There are a lot of things I am scared of.
adam: You fought, you went to prison.
FHARAG: We were young and believed that the workers of the world will be united.  They did not, nor did we.
adam: Are you saying good-bye to the class struggle?
FHARAG: No, I’m saying people of the earth unite to save the planet.
adam: You are becoming a saint.
FHARAG: Why?  Because I believe now that the class struggle must be guided with love, not hate?
adam: All you need is love.  That’s John Lennon.
FHARAG: Give me a Lenin anytime [both laugh.]
Half Pause
adam: Sunday is a slow day.
FHARAG: It’s supposed to be slow.  It is the day which God rested.  Besides, it is the only day we are able to get outside and sit in the yard.
adam: I have never seen it rain like this before.  Six days straight.
FHARAG: [looks around]  It’s good for the yard.  That’s what Karen says.
adam: That’s what everybody says in Sedro-Woolley.
FHARAG: They have to say something, otherwise they will die of boredom.  That’s Sedro-Wolley.
adam: What do you want them to do here?  Paint like you, Fharag?
FHARAG: God forbid.  I haven’t touched the brush for weeks.
adam: You better start and finish your copies of Michelangelo.
FHARAG: It’s not a copy, it is what is unseen by Michelangelo.
adam: Go ahead and offend people.
FHARAG: You have got to be as rude and offensive as you can to be heard.  And no apology for it.  This politeness is killing me over here.
adam: You have the fire of youth.
FHARAG: Just a few sparks under the ashes.
adam: I wish I had a chance to put you on stage.
FHARAG: And I to frame you in a painting.
Half Pause
adam: Soon winter will be here.
FHARAG: [Stands up, walks to the far side of the stage and looks outside.]  There are some grape leaves left on the vine arbor.  I wonder if I can use some of them [looks at Adam.]  Come here and see.  [Adam walks and stands beside him.]  I’ll get them tomorrow.  We can have stuffed grape leaves.
adam: You mean dolmathes, the Italian or the Greek dish?
FHARAG: It’s Egyptian.  Cleopatra, that bitch, gave the recipe with the country to Antonio.  What a way to die.
adam: God!  Give me her courage.

[Adam looks at him while the lights fade out.]


END OF ACT I

ACT II

[Same  as the first act except that Adam wears Hamlet’s costume.  He comes out of the kitchen door.  Fharag, in the middle of the garden, looks up and sees him.]

FHARAG: Allah!  Allah!  Where did you find Hamlet’s garment?
adam: In the attic.  What do you think?
FHARAG: A prince…yes [smiling] you are him, the prince.
adam: It’s my favorite character.
FHARAG: In what way?  In his doubt or his lack of action?
adam: Neither.  It’s the death in “Hamlet” that fascinates me.
FHARAG: You mean the end?
adam: Everything, from the beginning to the end.
FHARAG: It is the story of betrayal.
adam: Oh yes…betrayal.  [short pause]  Betrayal and lust.
FHARAG: No, that is not lust, that’s love.
adam: [pacing the stage]  It’s the same four letter word; the result is the same — DEATH.
FHARAG: Who betrayed you?
adam: No one; I betrayed me.  [Adam walks with an air of Hamlet, examining his costume.]  Yes, I betrayed me.  I cheated my own self.
FHARAG: How?
adam: I have drunk and drunk and drunk from the well of joy and I was never satisfied.  The more I drink, the more I want.
FHARAG: Ah!  The appetite of youth.
AdAm: Or the greed of the young.
FHARAG: Love, you were in love.
AdAm: [slowly shaking his head]  I was loved.
FHARAG: Then be thankful..
AdAm: For what?  It’s a curse.
FHARAG: For you could not give back the love?
AdAm: Or refuse it.
FHARAG: Then there was one way left to deal with it…
AdAm: Betrayal.
[Fharag looks at Adam, examining him.]
FHARAG: You are not a prince, you are a god.
AdAm: That is the curse.
FHARAG: The curse that led to distraction.
AdAm: No one else could bring it about.
FHARAG: It had to be you.  [half pause]  Let me take your picture.
AdAm: You want a god’s picture?  I thought you were an atheist.
FHARAG: What’s that got to do with art and beauty?
AdAm: Or ugliness.
FHARAG: It’s a question of relativity.
AdAm: To see a god in the fall.
FHARAG: Then let me paint you.
AdAm: Now you are a follower.
FHARAG: No, I am merely a witness.
AdAm: [with a majestical air]  As you wish.
[Fharag goes inside to get his tools.  Adam walks the stage, looking and admiring his costume and his Hamlet’s robe.  Little by little, he is transforming into Hamlet.  He starts to mumble a few lines to himself until he becomes audible and starts from Hamlet’s soliloquy.]
AdAm: O vengeance! Why, what an ass am I.  This is most brave.
That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must like a whore unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing like a very drab,
A scullion!
[He walks slowly toward the audience, continuing his speech.]
Fie upon’t foh!  About, my brains; hum, I have heard
[Now he reaches the edge of the stage facing the audience and looking at them…]
That guilty creatures sitting at play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul, that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions
[Now Fharag appears silently standing by the kitchen door watching Hamlet.]
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ.
FHARAG: [applauding]  Bravo, bravo, encore!
[Adam turns to face him, embarrassed.]
Boy that was great.
[Fharag sets his canvas facing the audience in preparation to paint Adam/Hamlet.]
It’s a tragedy you never played the role.
ADAM: I told you it’s a sacred role.  I was saving it for when the day comes.  Fharag…there is something I want to tell you.  [Fharag doesn’t hear him, he is busy mixing colors.]
FHARAG: Did I ever tell you that I was kicked out of the university and barred from teaching?
ADAM: I want to tell you…
FHARAG: I just told the student a simple thing.
ADAM: It’s important for me to tell you…
FHARAG: I just told the student that the caveman and his art was up there [he raises one of his hands up above his head] and…
ADAM: Fharag…
FHARAG: …and since then art went downhill.
ADAM: Fharag, I came here to die.
FHARAG: [slowly]  The caveman had nothing between him and his art; between him and his…NO.
ADAM: Yes, Fharag.  I came here to die.  That’s why I came here.
FHARAG: No…no.
ADAM: Try to understand.
FHARAG: I can’t.
ADAM: I have nobody left.  You are the only ones.  You are my friend.
FHARAG: I can’t accept that.
ADAM: It is my right.
FHARAG: And ours too.
ADAM: She knows.
FHARAG: And she agrees to it?
ADAM: She understands.
FHARAG: No, she doesn’t.  She couldn’t have.
ADAM: Believe me, she understands.  She sees people like me every day in her job; she sees what that monster does to them, she knows what would happen to me if I continue.  She wants to save me the humiliation and the suffering.  Oh yes, she knows.  Believe me, Fharag, she understands.
Short Pause
FHARAG: Well, if she does, I don’t.
ADAM: But why?
FHARAG: I refuse to be an accomplice.
ADAM: You are not.
FHARAG: A witness to murder.
ADAM: [Smiling to ease the tension.]  You, yourself said you were a witness.
FHARAG: I did not mean that…that kind of witness.  This is different.  This is murder.
ADAM: Fharag, that’s the only way left for me; there is no other way.
FHARAG: No. There is another way, fight and keep on fighting.
ADAM: There is nothing left to fight for or to fight against.
FHARAG: Yes there is; there is HOPE.
ADAM: Not in my case.
FHARAG: In every case.  Yes there is.  Yes.
ADAM: There is nothing left except pain and humiliation.
FHARAG: Even that you can survive.  I lived in pain and humiliation for ten years in prison.  Ten years and look at me; it made me stronger.
ADAM: That was different.
FHARAG: By God, yes.  That was different.  It was worse than anything you can ever imagine.  The torture, the beatings day after day, hour after hour.  When you don’t know if it is day or night, summer or winter.  When you hear the cries of your friends through the walls of the cells near you.  When you hear people you know, people you love, people you admire and respect, beg for mercy.  And you know that you will not be able to look to their faces, to look in their eyes again.Humiliation?  You talk to me about humiliation?  They train dogs to fuck you in the ass.  The prisoners who have been sedated and drugged and later they show the victims tapes of that act.  Samir Abd El Bagy, one of the most gifted poets in Egypt, was seen after he was freed on the corners of the streets of Cairo trying to sell his own children.  You talk to me about pain and humiliation?  I still hear some of those cries sometimes, when I am alone.
Short Pause
And there are hundreds who suffer the same and more who still continue to work and struggle.  I’m sixty-four now, and if I had to do it all over again, I would not have it any other way.  No sir.
ADAM: You suffer all that and you survived it because you had hope.  You had a hope and a dream that all that would be over one day; it is a matter of time and you hang on.  It was a matter of time and now it is over.  But for me, time is the enemy.  Time is against me.  There is nothing I can do.  I am a prisoner locked inside a deteriorating body.  Even that cell is caving and collapsing on itself.
FHARAG: Try Adam.
ADAM: And how?
FHARAG: You are young, 36.  You still have many years ahead of you, many years to live.
ADAM: Live!  In what condition?
FHARAG: In any condition.  In your condition…you eat, you drink, you think.  You are alive.  Anything is better than death.
ADAM: Not the way I live.  This is not a life.
FHARAG: Look at me.  I took an oath that I will live until I go back to Egypt.  I swore when I was lying in the hospital bed that I will not die until I go back and see with my own eyes the school they are building in the place of that awful prison.  I will go back to paint that school.  I refuse to die until I see the Nile and walk in the shadow of the pyramids once again.  And if I decide that one more time is not enough, I will not die before I do that for the second time.
ADAM: You just don’t hear me.   I can not, and I will not, be able to do the simplest things in life.  It is already starting.  I just don’t have control over this fucking body.  I cannot stop anything that attacks this body and I cannot control things that come out of this body.  All the time I am in and out of the hospital.  I leave it to return again, sometimes in the same week.I can not go to the dentist without every goddamn person in the office getting scared.  Fharag, I have the beast living inside me and everybody is scared to touch you, to come close to you, to use the goddamn bathroom after you.  And it’s going to get worse.  I want to leave now, I want to make my way out, I want to walk out — not dragged, not shoved — but walk.  Quit and leave the ring while I can see the steps, see the sign that reads EXIT.
Half Pause
My eyes cannot handle the dimmest light, it hurts them.  I, the one who lived most of his life surrounded by light, light for me was like air, this damned disease has made light an enemy.  I can’t act.  I am too weak to remember my lines.  No room left for people like me on the stage.  And no one, the moment they know, wants to be with you.  Not only on the same stage, what’s more, in the same theatre.  Fharag, would you live if you were not able to paint anymore , or you could no longer hold the brush?
FHARAG: I did in prison and I lived.  As long as there is one drop of life left in me, I will continue to fight and keep on living.
ADAM: You are afraid of death.
FHARAG: I told you I am not.  Look around you.  Every moment is a painting, a magnificent tableau.
ADAM: Then this is a legitimate reason for dying now.  To leave while I still remember and appreciate things around me; while I am still capable of smelling, touching, seeing and feeling.
Short Pause
I don’t want to be left on the stage in the dark.  I want to leave with dignity.
FHARAG: Quitting has nothing to do with dignity.  It is a cowardly act.  It is fear that makes one choose death over life.
ADAM: Achilles was no coward.  He chose a short life with glory over the old age in disgrace.
FHARAG: Achilles was a myth.
ADAM: Socrates chose the hemlock.
FHARAG: Oh Socrates…Ahmed Shawkey, the great Egyptian poet, says:  “Socrates was given the glass which was death, as a lover longing for kisses.”  They offered him life with ignorance.  He rejected it, preferring death with dignity.
ADAM: [repeats]  He rejected it, preferring death with dignity.
FHARAG: The hemlock…Socrates condemned the court that sentenced him.
ADAM: And I sentence the society that condemned me.
FHARAG: My friend, please don’t compare yourself with Socrates.  To tell you the truth, you never give a damn about that society.  I know you.
ADAM: This is not true.
FHARAG: In all the years I have known you, I never heard or saw you doing anything except taking care of number one.
ADAM: Everybody knows what I did for the theatre.  I worked hard, I gave up many a chance.  I created a group that was faithful to the stage.
FHARAG: Listen to me.  I am too old to lie to you; I am twice your age.  I saw and watched you, you were a dictator.  That was not a theatre group, that was a cult.  Absolute power and followers.  Some lost all of their savings, so you can recreate your fantasies.  I remember how every show had to be a grandiose one. Nothing but Elizabethan theatre.
ADAM: What’s wrong with preserving the theatre?  There was enough masterpieces to be staged and there was always the need to educate people.  Nothing wrong with nobility theatre.
FHARAG: But that was not a noble theatre, that was an elitist one.  You did not descend to the people, you demanded that people climb up to you.  There was no place in your theatre for the underdog.
ADAM: Apparently you do not know that much about the theatre.  [irritated]  You have been misinformed.
FHARAG: You see what I mean?  The old Adam is back.  Maybe I don’t know as much as you do about the theatre, in fact, I do not know as much as you do.  However, I was one of your audience.  Don’t dismiss my opinion as invalid or accuse me of ignorance.
ADAM: I did not accuse you of ignorance.  I said you have been mis-in-formed.
FHARAG: Same thing.
ADAM: It is not.
FHARAG: I am not arguing with you.  I am just being frank.
Hear me because maybe this is the first time that someone dares to tell it to you the way it is.
ADAM: And the last time, I hope.
FHARAG: I have never intended to hurt you or to act as a judge. But you have to take the responsibility for the failure of the group.  You brought the temple down with you.
ADAM: You make me sound like Sampson.
FHARAG: Oh no!  Samson had his Delilah… [looking at Adam straight]  What was yours?
ADAM: [looking back]  What do you mean?
FHARAG: I mean that…I just don’t understand.
ADAM: What is there to understand?
FHARAG: You and your…
ADAM: My what?
FHARAG: Tell me, you are a good looking, handsome man.
ADAM: Yes?
FHARAG: I saw you with the most intelligent and attractive women I have ever seen.  They must like you.
ADAM: Yes and they did.  What is your point?
FHARAG: I mean, why?
ADAM: Why what?
FHARAG: You chose a different path…different way…  I always wanted to ask about things that puzzled me about you.
ADAM: Et tu, Brutus!  Even you want me to explain and justify my life to you.
FHARAG: No, I don’t.  I just don’t understand why.
ADAM: And I don’t understand why not.
FHARAG: You could have married, had children and a family. Children, oh children.
ADAM: Why didn’t you?
FHARAG: I do have a wife.
ADAM: You married ten years ago.  You waited until you were over 50.  Why didn’t you have all that a long time ago?
FHARAG: I spent the best years of my life in hiding and most of the rest in and out of prison.  When they finally left me alone, it was too late.  In fact, when I was young I was so much in love and the bastards killed her.
Short Pause
ADAM: I was engaged once.  [Karen comes out slowly, intrigued by their conversation.  She is approaching to hear what they say.]  No, twice.  I almost got married.
FHARAG: Did they know?
ADAM: I’m not sure.  I thought there was something wrong with me.  I thought I was just curious.
FHARAG: Just curious?  And how many years were you not sure and thought you were only curious?
ADAM: Many, many years.
FHARAG: This is not curiosity.  This is greed.  You wanted to have everything.
ADAM: Fharag, you just don’t understand.
KAREN: Fharag, what are you doing?  Why are you asking all these questions?
FHARAG: I’m just concerned about those women.
KAREN: It’s none of your business.
FHARAG: And nobody is going to tell them that they better know what he has.
KAREN: I just don’t believe you’re saying that.
FHARAG: You, yourself, were talking to me about that. Besides, I am expressing my opinion.
KAREN: Opinion? You don’t express opinions, you are just rude!
FHARAG: Why he didn’t just stick with one or another.  [Adam is letting them argue and walks slowly away from them and gets his box.]
KAREN: Fharag, you are sexist.
FHARAG: Sexist? I fought to change society.  I believed in communism.
KAREN: It was just a bunch of macho men.
FHARAG: We had comrades, women in our political party.
KAREN: And I bet you had them for sex and making coffee.  [Now Adam opens the box and takes its contents.]
FHARAG: They could not even make good coffee.  I am the one who made the coffee.  Besides, we fought for women’s liberation.
KAREN: You should have fought for liberating yourself and the men around you.  Let the goddamn women liberate themselves.
FHARAG: I don’t know why you are getting so upset.
KAREN: I am just sick and tired of your hypocrisy.
FHARAG: You call speaking my mind hypocrisy?  Punishing and betraying the people who loved you, hypocrisy?
KAREN: Things are too complicated for you to understand.  [Adam is walking toward her.]  I am leaving for a drive.  I’m too upset to say here.  [She exits.]
ADAM: Fharag, I told you before.  I was loved and I never loved.
FHARAG: So you let them be punished for loving you?
ADAM: I did not ask them to.
FHARAG: And you did not stop them.
ADAM: I had to keep the group going, keep the dream alive.
FHARAG: That turned out for some to be a nightmare [speaking to himself] and slowly killing them.
ADAM: [shrugging his shoulders]  The theatre world is a cruel one.
FHARAG: The stage is merely a life.
ADAM: That’s an interesting paraphrase.
FHARAG: The problem is not the stage, but the people who walk on it.
ADAM: You said it.  Do you know what I had to go through to keep the group going?  To recruit people, to get them to donate a few pennies?
FHARAG: [thoughtfully] I can only imagine.
ADAM: They keep on taking piece after piece, little by little.  I was burned up, used.
FHARAG: Somehow I believe it was the opposite.
ADAM: How? I was the leader, the one who had the drive.  If it were not for me, the whole group would not exist.  I was sacrificed.
FHARAG: And along the way you sacrificed others.
ADAM: It was a mutual sacrifice.
FHARAG: There is no such thing.  On the altar, someone holds the knife and the other sheds the blood.
ADAM: We were worshipers of the same god, in the same temple.
FHARAG: Will Samson die with a clear conscience?
ADAM: Death is death, clear conscience or blurred one.
FHARAG: But there is a difference.
ADAM: Not to me.  I don’t believe in heaven or hell.
FHARAG: Neither do I but I believe in justice.
AdAm: [looking tired, walking not at ease.]  You can be assured that justice will be served.
FHARAG: Adam, are you okay?  [He walks toward him.]
AdAm: I am just fine.  Just a spell.
FHARAG: Let me get you something to drink.  [He exits.]
AdAm: [Walks slowly on the stage, feeling the pain.]  And so that is … the illusion … the disillusion … death.  What I did or did not do?  I did. Oh, the big director.  Was I?  Welfare check, food stamps.  What do you know, Fharag, about America? The land of milk and honey.  Where is the audience?  Where is the light, the applause … silence?  Where are the friends and admirers?  My God!  Where are the critics … hell!  I had more even in rehearsal.Lovers and foes.  Damn you, John.  Even my dog, Claetemnestra found a home. Well, it’s better.  I am on Odysseus for her to remember me. Was he right when he talked about what I did?  What did I do?  I wanted to live.  And live I did.  Yes.  I never asked them about their lives and I never told them about mine.  Live and let live.  That simple.  To be or not to be.  I wanted to be and they never minded…  This is not the way I thought I would end up.  No theatre is going to turn off the lights for me.  No stage will dim the lights for a second in my memory.  I must die today, now.  End in this stinking small town.  [laughs]

Died in Sedro-Woolley.  Karen tries to contact Martha, or was it Barbara?  I don’t care.  One … two … three … ten.  I acted the role on the stage and off the stage between my arms, or was it in their arms? Die Adam, die alone, die now before you lie there rotting in your bed.  My bed, I don’t even own a bed.  I don’t own anything except memories.  Two shoe boxes filled with pictures.  Some old posters.  Even my records.  I sold my records.  Oh my great music library.

[He looks to the empty box.]

I saved every single morphine pill for today.  I saved them and suffered.  Thank you, Fharag.  Thank you for telling me every son-of-a-bitch thought about me.  Let them remember me as I was.

[Fharag comes back, hands him some water.]

FHARAG: Let me paint you.
AdAm: Do it fast, otherwise you’ll paint a ghost.  Maybe you will paint the dust.
FHARAG: [Behind the canvas.]  Here we go again.
AdAm: You don’t take me seriously.
FHARAG: Help me to understand.
AdAm: I’m hoping for that.
FHARAG: You had planned it all along.  Didn’t you?
AdAm: No. I staged it.  Remember, I am the director.
FHARAG: And an actor too.
AdAm: Let it be a one man show.
FHARAG: I’ll paint you.  [Adam almost stumbles down.]  What’s wrong?
AdAm: Please let me sit down.
FHARAG: What did you do?  [Looks around and sees the box open and empty.]  Goddamn you…
AdAm: Help me to sit.  [He helps him slowly to sit down on the lawn chair and runs to examine the box.]  Soon…
FHARAG: [Comes back toward him.]  Why?  Why didn’t you wait …[Fharag runs around the stage.]  I got to call somebody.  I got to do something.  Where are you, Karen?
AdAm: [in a weak voice]  Fharag, read to me … read to me from “Hamlet.”
FHARAG: I can’t … I can’t … there is no time for that.
AdAm: Read to me.  [Fharag sits on the chair beside him, opens “Hamlet” and fingers through it back and forth.]From the fifth act, scene II.

[Fharag turns some pages and suddenly acts like he found what he wanted. He reads without looking to Adam, like he is reading to himself.]

FHARAG: He is justly served,
It is a poison tempered by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me noble Hamlet.
AdAm: [interrupting]
Heaven make thee free of it.  I follow thee.
I am dead Horatio [whispering to himself]
Wretched Queen, adieu.
[Turning his head toward the audience.]
You that look pale and tremble at chance,
That are but mutes, or audience to this act,
Had I but time, at this fell sergeant Death
Is strict in his arrest, I could tell you,
[Turning his slowly from the audience looking into space.]
But let it be.
Half Pause
[Looks slowly toward Fharag.]
Horatio, I am dead,
Thou livest, report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.
FHARAG: [Continues emotionally reading and choking.]Never [choking] never believe it
I am more than an antique Roman than a Dane
ADAM: [interrupts with pain and difficulty]
O God, Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me.
[Short pause while Adam is trying to remember.]
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw they breath in pain,
To tell my story.
[Adam tries to sit up but he falls back.  Fharag drops his book and kneels down, taking Adam’s head in his arms.]
FHARAG: [holding Adam]  Prince.
ADAM: [Slowly opens his eyes, looks at Fharag, murmurs in silence, then we hear him]O I die Horatio
The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit
I can not live to hear the news from England,
But I do prophesy th’elections lights
On Fortinbras 

[closes his eyes]  
He has my dying voice
So tell…Oh, Fharag … the rest .. the rest is silence … is silence.

[Dies.]

FHARAG: [sobbing]  Now cracks a noble heart.
Good night sweet Prince.  [repeats]
Good night sweet Prince.
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
[Leans over him, hugs him … while the voice of Paul Robeson sings “Four Rivers” and “John Brown’s Body.”]
END
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