Professor Theodore Goetz
Small Korean Woman
Young Theodore Goetz
Young Theodore’s Papa
Professor Goetz’s office – Dawn.
Goetz is still slumped in his seat. The Korean woman is still sitting like a statue. The conductor comes onto the stage and conducts the invisible orchestra. Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony, 4th movement begins. It is loud and bombastic – contradicting the image of our two players sitting still and unmoving. After 3-4 minutes, the music abruptly stops and the conductor walks off.
Just then there is a projection of a young boy eating food at a small table. It slowly fades in as Goetz sits motionless in his chair. The boy is eating rather quickly, and after some furious chewing, he pushes the plate away.
BOY: I’m done!
Just then the man from earlier comes into view. Although now he wearing a face mask and a fedora hat.
MAN: Good boy. You ate it all up. Poppa is so proud of you.
MAN: Yes, son?
BOY: I know I’m not supposed to ask, but when are you going to take your mask off?
The man’s body language changes slightly.
MAN: I’ve told you. Papa can’t take his mask off. The sight of my face would disturb you.
BOY: I’m older now, papa. I’m not scared.
MAN: It doesn’t matter how old you are. The fear will always be with you. You are a fearful child.
BOY: Papa. Show me.
The man actually contemplates this.
MAN: Son. If I take it off, will you promise not to be afraid?
BOY: I promise.
The man takes off his hat. He is missing clumps of hair from his head. Then he slowly removes his mask. His face looks grotesque – like a skull covered in melting wax. The boy is frozen, and is trying not to show fear.
MAN: You are afraid. I can smell you.
BOY: No I am not Papa!
MAN: Yes you are. Give me your arm.
BOY: Why papa?
MAN: Give me your arm, boy.
The boy tentatively extends his arm toward the man. The man lowers his head down and without warning bites a huge chunk of skin off the boy’s arm. The man chews on the skin and the boy screams, running away. The projection fades out.
Goetz rises from his seat and walks towards the Korean woman.
GOETZ: Excuse me.
He moves behind her and tears the garbage bag off the window, exposing the window and allowing the early morning light to enter the room.
GOETZ: (to the woman – snickering to himself) Sleep well?
Just then there’s a knock on the door. It is Matthew again.
GOETZ: Come in, Matthew.
Matthew enters and closes the door behind him. He stands at the door though, as if he does not want to cross a threshold.
MATTHEW: Professor. I wanted to apologize for the things I said last night.
Goetz hands him a cup of coffee.
MATTHEW: So I’m here. And I apologize.
GOETZ: Matthew, come closer. I promise I won’t hurt you.
MATTHEW: I’d prefer to stay over here if you don’t mind.
GOETZ: Matthew. Please. You know me. I-I may not always act like myself these days, but I’m still me. I’m not a violent person, you know that.
MATTHEW: You never were.
GOETZ: And I’m still not. Come on.
Matthew takes a few steps into the room. He suddenly notices the Korean woman.
MATTHEW: Um, Professor?
GOETZ: Yes, Matthew.
MATTHEW: Who’s that?
GOETZ: (snickering) Huh? Oh her! That’s my Korean woman.
MATTHEW: Your Korean woman?
GOETZ: Yes! Isn’t she wonderful?
MATTHEW: (to the woman) Pardon me, ma’am.
GOETZ: Oh don’t do that.
MATTHEW: Don’t do what?
GOETZ: She can’t hear you. Or, she can hear you and chooses not to. She’s a miserable cunt. Starting to remind me of Elizabeth.
MATTHEW: (not taking eyes of the woman) Why won’t she respond?
GOETZ: (laughing maniacally) Fuck if I know! Women, right?!
MATTHEW: Would you like me to leave you two alone?
GOETZ: Matthew. She’s a fucking statue.
MATTHEW: Wait, she is? She looks so real.
GOETZ: No no no, she is real. But…she’s frozen. Or something. I don’t know.
MATTHEW: This is very odd.
GOETZ: Fuck yes, it is.
Matthew walks over to the woman tentatively.
MATTHEW: Ma’am? Can you hear me?
GOETZ: That doesn’t work, Matthew.
MATTHEW: Sir I think she may have had a stroke.
MATTHEW: I’ve heard about this. They’re rare cases but I’ve heard of people stroking out and going into a kind of locked position. Almost like a statue.
GOETZ: Should I – Should we call a doctor?
MATTHEW: I think we should.
Goetz reaches for his phone.
MATTHEW: No need to call anyone. The police are right outside.
Matthew starts towards the door, and opens it. Goetz races over the door himself and slams it shut, standing in Matthew’s path.
GOETZ: (maniacal grin) You almost got me there Matthew. That was pretty fucking smart.
MATTHEW: Almost got what? This woman needs medical attention. Stand aside, Professor.
GOETZ: You had me all the way up to that last moment. I almost forgot about this whole thing. I even went to pick up my phone.
MATTHEW: Professor this is no trick, please get out of the way.
GOETZ: I will do no such thing, Matthew. You think you can just nonchalantly call the police in here? They’re not coming in here, and I am not going out there.
MATTHEW: But, Professor…
GOETZ: The note, Matthew.
MATTHEW: Excuse me?
GOETZ: Where is the note. I would like you to give me back the note.
MATTHEW: I don’t have the note anymore. The police have it.
GOETZ: Fuck right, they do. I don’t believe you.
Goetz begins to pace slowly, but confidently. He keeps his eye on Matthew.
GOETZ: Matthew you said last night…that you are not a liar.
MATTHEW: Yes. I did say that.
GOETZ: And that is true.
GOETZ: You are not a liar.
GOETZ: Because, when you DO lie, I can spot it ten thousand miles away.
Matthew starts to look nervous.
GOETZ: The police don’t have my note. You have my note. I can see it spray painted and neon-signed all over your fucking face.
GOETZ: The fucking note, Matthew.
Matthew looks defeated. He takes a small slip of yellow paper out of his jacket pocket and hands it back to the Professor. Goetz rips it up into many pieces, and throws them up into the air like confetti.
GOETZ: (to no one in particular) Mardi Gras!
MATTHEW: I made a copy of it.
GOETZ: I don’t care, Matthew.
MATTHEW: I want to go there. I want to see if the answer is there.
Goetz begins to laugh. Then he cuts his laughter abruptly short.
GOETZ: It’s not.
MATTHEW: So why did you write about it in the first place?
GOETZ: Why did I write about it in the first place? You’re asking why I wrote that Taco Bueno holds the secret to the universe?
MATTHEW: Not the universe. The resurrections.
GOETZ: You’re asking me why I wrote that the mexican fast food chain Taco Bueno holds the secret to the resurrections?
Goetz approaches Matthew.
GOETZ: You wanna know why I wrote you that note?! Because I’m a fucking looney tune, Matthew!
Goetz briskly walks over to the object in the corner of the room. He tears away the towel to reveal a plastic cactus wearing sunglasses and holding a guitar.
GOETZ: Because I’ve spent the last three months of my life communicating with a plastic fucking cactus!
GOETZ: You know they always say you’re only crazy if you don’t realize you’re the craziest one in the room?!
GOETZ: Well I’m so crazy, I KNOW I’m the craziest one in the room! I wake up every day and say to myself ‘hmm, what fucked up, batshit thing am I gonna do today?’ It’s like being trapped in a fucking cage! It’s a nightmare!
Goetz is half laughing at this.
GOETZ: So pardon me, Matthew, if I find the notion that you’re taking me just the least bit seriously…a fucking riot.
Matthew turns and exits the room, slamming the door behind him.
Goetz turns back to the cactus.
GOETZ: There. You happy now?!
Just then the Korean woman rises and exits the room as well. Goetz is left speechless for a moment because he was not expecting this. He is alone in the room once again. He meanders over to the coffeemaker and pours himself a cup. He sips it slowly.
The conductor enters and begins to conduct the invisible orchestra again. Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony is coming to a close. We hear the remaining two-three minutes of bombastic music. When the final note is played, the conductor walks off stage. Goetz is left alone.