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Dream EngineTranscript Part II

Baal And Emily

[Following the ballet, the TRIBE leaves the stage. EMILY appears.]

HISTORIAN: Baal is visited by an older woman. Emily becomes the local Draft Board. She comes with business to attend to, a matter of life and death. PHASE FOUR: THE INDUCTION!

EMILY: [Slithers around the table at which BAAL sits, in grotesque parody of seductiveness.] Hi! I need a drink, no doubt about that! ["Takes out a glass from her bag, throws it away, then takes out a bottle, sticks her finger into its neck, pulls it out, then licks her finger."] Cheers! ["Offers BAAL her finger."] Take some, you'll need it. Such a pudgy finger after all. Pudgy, that's all there is, pudgy. This whiskey's just the same. Stale, old, tired...

BAAL: Whiskey gets better as it ages.

EMILY: I'm not interested in whiskey, any more. I have no further need of whiskey. [Slams her bag down on the table.] Do you consider me old?

BAAL: No. I don't consider you at all.

EMILY: Oh? But you will.

BAAL: Maybe.

EMILY: My arms are still good, look! They're firm. You can see that, anyone can see that.

BAAL: All America can see that.

EMILY: I've always felt that youth was more a state of mind than a...a...

BAAL: Youth is a seizure. I'm foaming at the mouth.

EMILY: Old wives' tale. Nothing more. Forget it. [She caresses her arms.] Look at them. They're firm, but pliant.

BAAL: Tart but delicate. Light but not too light.

EMILY: Would you like your zipper polished? It must be a lovely zipper. Is it bright and shiny?

BAAL: It's rusty. It gets wet.

EMILY: Ah! It's cold.

BAAL: Well, it takes time to really get to know it.

EMILY: ["Starting to pull down the zipper."] Whatever goes up, must come down.

BAAL: ["Slaps her hand."] No! Don't help a good boy go bad! Lock your car! [Previous line was a slogan for a contemporary public service ad campaign.]

EMILY: Now we can get down to business. I have interesting news.

BAAL: I expected this.

EMILY: ["Forgetting business again."] You know, I've never lost my shape.

BAAL: Do you always shave the brown grit hair on your arms? Does it scare you?

EMILY: No, of course not. It was an accident. It won't happen again.

BAAL: I hope not.

EMILY: They were all long full hairs. I collected them. I'll show you.

BAAL: You're so clean. Like a corpse, washed for burial.

EMILY: That can be easily changed. ["She takes a clump of earth from her bag, rubs filth on her face."] I like earthy women, too.

BAAL: Is my hair dry?

EMILY: [Touching his hair.] Yes, perfectly dry.

BAAL: I want it wet. Change it!

EMILY: [She takes an orange from her bag.] I'm never without them!

BAAL: Bite it!

EMILY: I'm going to bite it!

BAAL: Good idea.

EMILY: There! It's going to burst! Just look at it drip!

["She stands above him, her legs pinning down his arms. She starts squeezing the orange over his face...a huge quantity of liquid pours out all over him."]

EMILY: I'm in the prime of my life! I have nothing to loose, no time to waste, the world is at my fingertips!

["She turns to one side as if answering someone's question."]


How do you like it? ["She turns to the other side, as if answering someone's question."] It's wonderful. Very satisfying.

BAAL: The perfect late afternoon pick-me-up.

EMILY: I feel so refreshed. Look at my face. My wrinkles are dying. I'm sure they are. It happens all the time. Look at my face! [She feels BAAL's forehead.] He's hot. No, he's freezing cold. Like touching an iceberg.

BAAL: Like being next to the sun?

EMILY: Oh, brilliant full light! Shine on forever. Give me an hour and my face is reborn! Like a sudden miracle, and my wrinkles are lost in a vision. There's nothing wrong with that, is there? Having your wrinkles disappear? There's nothing wrong with that, is there? There's nothing wrong with killing wrinkles - alien wrinkles. Here and now in this land, in America, in this beautiful country - and it is beautiful...filled to the brim with magnificent specimens like Baal. Filled with promise. Just waiting for the rest of us to make use of them, to make use of all this youth, to make it ours. It belongs to us. It belongs to me. We're all still young. The wrinkles are captured and tortured and finally exterminated for good. The wrinkles are dead. The battle is won. The war will soon be over. Big money! Cheeseburgers! Quality products! Cheeseburgers! Big profit margins and cheeseburgers! Fringe benefits, unlimited prospects, a thrilling young army that's constantly wounded! Rifles and tanks and Cinerama attacks! Plush carpeting! Skim milk skin that never curdles! Wall to wall luxury! More and more cheeseburgers! The latest in comfort! The glitter of chrome on every coffin. Purple mountain majesties! Our flag is still there! Yes! Yes! It's all waiting for you Baal! It's all waiting for all of us! A feast of riches! The last supper is back! Eat my child, eat! Enjoy! Enjoy! The breakfast of Champions awaits you in Asia! Fill your mouth with star spangled turds! Enjoy! Enjoy! Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow your deferment is ended! ["She smiles, pauses, looks at him." She starts eating another orange. She then starts packing her handbag.] I'm sorry, but we do get hungry, Baal, you know that. We've got to keep finding new things to eat. You understand, don't you? You've been classified 1-A, Baal. That's my little surprise. The board orders you to report for induction in seven days. Just to make sure, Dr. Rosenbloom will be here tomorrow to give you a preliminary physical.

Now, wasn't this more interesting than an impersonal note in the mail?

I hope you're not resentful. We were just worried that you were getting a bit out of control, moving out of our grasp. We have a big stake in your young life, Baal, and we simply decided to drive that stake home. To your heart. Where your love is. Poor little boy-chick. ["She squeezes the last orange on him."] Don't you have anything left to say?

BAAL: Yeah. Save the pits, I'm hungry too. Save the pits.

EMILY: Can I watch you eat them? Please?

[Blackout. Scene shift.]

HISTORIAN: Baal sings the INSPIRATIONAL HYMN, THE GOD GAME, or 'You, too, can walk on water."

INSPIRATIONAL HYMN: GOD GAME

BAAL:
In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the some time just to soak up the light?
In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the chance just for one more fight?
We can't wait till the morning
Cause we're sinking fast into a piece of the night.

In the morning, in the morning
Will they say they're all sorry and take us back home?
In the morning, in the morning
Will they put out their hands and give us a bone
Well we can't wait till the morning
Cause by then our bodies will have turned into stone.

And I can hear the sun
And all the planets just calling me home
And I can hear the sun
I can hear the planets just calling me home
We have no need of a God
Cause each of us is his own.

In the morning, in the morning,
Will you kiss all those snipers, don't their guns all look fine?
In the morning, in the morning
Will you kick out the pigs, and give us a sign?
We can't wait till the morning
Cause we're too busy drinking, turning blood into wine.

In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the chance just for one more fight?
In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the chance just to soak up the light?
For we can't wait till the morning
Cause we're sinking fast into a piece of the night.

And I can walk on the river,
I'll stand on the waves and I'll rise all alone.
And I can walk on the river,
I'll stand on the waves and I'll rise all alone.
We have no need of a God,
For each of us is his own.
We have no need of a God,
For each of us is his own.

HISTORIAN: Max becomes Dr. Rosenbloom. We have heard his name before. He is a noted psychiatrist and he comes in the name of reason.

PHASE FIVE: THE ANALYSIS!

["Max walks to the front of stage right. He speaks to the audience. He's in a tweedy suit, with a pipe. Speaks smoothly, self-confidently, and with a hint of unctuousness and condescension."]

MAX: I find, ladies and gentlemen, that these kids are really fascinating people to meet and mingle with. I like freaks. No, let me change that. I dig freaks. They stimulate me on a very high level. Try to talk to them as I do. I think these young folk truly do want to build a better world for all, in their own peculiarly charming, naive, idealistic way. I find contact with their fresh new minds bracing, invigorating. Get to the heart of the matter. A lot of these weird, offensive customs are simply put-ons, only exhibitionist ways of getting our attention - it's not much, really. Don't let it bother you. Underneath it all, they're so scrawny...so young, so confused, and at the base of it, so weak. But we can understand this phase of growing up. We've seen it before. We were kids once, weren't we? And though the hair may have gotten longer in the interim, underneath it all, boys and girls growing up have always been pretty much the same. And I've got a strong feeling inside that they'll continue to be. Now there's nothing here that we can't manage. Let's try to communicate. That's the beginning. That's where it all starts.  Now I've never had any trouble in the least in that area. After all, we have ways of making people communicate.

[He goes over to BAAL, already sitting at a desk.]

MAX: It's nothing, Baal. Nothing at all. All we want, all any of us want, all I want is a little peace of mind.

BAAL: Whose mind?

MAX: Only yours Baal. Just a little piece.

BAAL: Which piece?

MAX: Only the piece that threatens us.

BAAL: Is that all?

MAX: You see, Baal, I find that you're quite unable to cope with human beings on a mature, realistic level. As an example, your relationship with young girls such as the one we saw a little bit earlier. Now you couldn't get through to her on a personal basis, so you protected yourself behind sadistic games and rituals, systems whose rules envelop you like a womb. You built a barrier between you so you wouldn't have to make real contact with the girl as a person equal to yourself. This is all very common. We can deal with this easily in treatment.

BAAL: I'm sure you could.

MAX: We first have to get you to redefine your distorted outlook. A girl is a young woman, Baal, and a woman is more than a piece of merchandise to be bought or sold, more than a stanza in a poem to be studied or collected, more than a prop for narcissistic ceremonies. What is a woman, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked that. A woman is a proud, passionate, boiling river about to burst its banks.

BAAL: What time do the banks open?

MAX: Let me tell you something - we danced to Guy Lombardo after the last war and we'll dance to Guy Lombardo after the next war. [This was originally said by former U.S. president Nixon.] This is what eternally separates man from the animals. You can't withdraw from reality. Sooner or later, you have to succumb to it, sooner or later you have to negotiate with it, you have to work out some sort of peaceful settlement.

BAAL: For hundreds of years they've been butchering up my reality - chopping it up into sick bloody pieces. Amputating and amputating and amputating until there's almost nothing left of it but the infection. Until you can barely hear yourself breathe above the noise of the infection! Reality's in agony. Listen to it, Doctor! Open your ears! Reality's in agony and it's about time it stopped. It's about time we put reality out of its misery. And there are only a few of us left with the grace to try euthanasia.

[Long pause. MAX chuckles a little.]

BAAL: Show me your numbers.

MAX: I could buy you...

BAAL: Show me your numbers! SHOW ME YOUR NUMBERS!

MAX: All right! ["Suddenly he has a German-Jewish accent and seems much older." He rolls up his sleeve.] There! Look, a feast for the eyes. 1-5-7-3-8-9-6. My precious souvenir. Four years at Auschwitz. So don't tell me about your suffering or your mercy. There is more to that subject than the whinings of a self-indulgent adolescent! There is more to that subject than the endless droolings and abstractions of a spoiled onanist. There is more to both suffering and mercy than your flamboyant fantasies! There is more. There is also truth. 1-5-7-3-8-9-6. A feast for the eyes! 1-5-7-3-8-9-6.

BAAL: Bingo!

MAX: I despise you!

BAAL: I'm sorry

MAX: I have only scorn for your pain.

BAAL: And my pleasure?

MAX: A fraud, a pose. You won't know pleasure till you really feel pain.

BAAL: Is that an offer?

MAX: I'd like, just once, to see your pain close up, to really feel it. I would like to make you feel a fraction of the pain I was made to feel.

BAAL: Do you want to send all your children to camp?

MAX: It might do you some good.

BAAL: I have nothing to prove to you!

MAX: You have everything in the world to prove. Everything. I have made a life of civilization, intellectual rigor and perfect order out of starvation, barbarism, anarchy, and hatred. I've earned everything I have. This is my city. I am the city and I am proud of it. I'm not going to relinquish my humanity to the mindless hallucinations of some pseudo-savage in search of the perfect orgasm. I've come too far for that. And I could buy you...

BAAL: FUCK YOU! FUCK THE JEWS!

MAX: I was in a concentration camp for four rancid years.

BAAL: You seem very proud of that fact!

MAX: I SURVIVED!

BAAL: Why?!

MAX: I survived.

BAAL: All of you? Or maybe just a piece...Maybe just the piece that threatens us.

MAX: I have a right to control you. This is my right, this is my proof! [Points to his numbers.] All the proof I need, You be a victim for once in your life, and then you can talk to me about revolution!

BAAL: I am a victim.

MAX: Prove it!

BAAL: We're all victims.

MAX: Prove it!

BAAL: I have nothing to prove to you!

MAX: Show me your scars!

BAAL: Some marks aren't that visible.

MAX: You're not even Black.

BAAL: Give us time!

MAX: Show me your scars!

BAAL: Some marks aren't that easy to find.

MAX: Find them!

BAAL: I have nothing to prove to you!

MAX: Even for you, even for you there are limits. My limits!

BAAL: THERE ARE NO LIMITS!

MAX: Prove it! Show me your numbers! Show me your scars!

[BAAL breaks away from MAX]

BAAL: ALL RIGHT! [Pause.] All right. You've shown us your numbers. Now it's our turn. Tonight we'll bring some scars to the surface where you can really see them. Tonight we'll show you our numbers. Tonight is the time for release.

MAX: Release? Of what?

BAAL: Of everything that's been held back. Of everything that's been hiding underneath. Release of everything.

Tonight we'll show you our numbers. Tonight we're entering the city, Max.

MAX: No.

BAAL: Yes. All of us. We'll pick up thousands, a full scale invasion. Tonight we'll show you our numbers.

[The TRIBE has reappeared on stage during this, slowly taking up positions around the disc.]

MAX: You will be destroyed.

BAAL: Will we? Max, when was the last time you really listened to your city? It might do you some good. We're going back, Max. And nothing can keep us from swelling.

HISTORIAN: Presenting THE VOICES OF CIVILIZATION!

["MAX goes to his chair in the center of the disc. The TRIBE lines up along the rim of the disc. Lights present them with large shadows as vague black outlines, giving them an awesome large stature. They begin to "declaim" personal ads from underground newspapers. These should begin cool, unemotional, gradually building in intensity, until the last few ads are read with feverish desperation. After each one finishes his ad, he repeats the telephone number over and over like a chant. Above all of this, at regular intervals, MAX holds up his wrist and yells out his Auschwitz numbers above everyone...I'm just giving examples of typical ads here to begin with. Much should be done with improvisation."]

TRIBE MEMBER: Young muscular male will pose in the nude. Post Office Box 1922, Costa Mesa, 01394...

TRIBE MEMBER: Some like 'em hot, I said hot, not pot; some like 'em gay, for me that's the way; some like 'em young and very well hung; some like 'em athletic, not short fat and pathetic. I am what I seek? You too? Then let's meet. Bob Bennett, P.O. 254345...

TRIBE MEMBER: Black guy, 32, seeks gay Caucasian male, 26...

TRIBE MEMBER: Determined tall woman seeks friendship with nice gay girl. No men, please. Sherry...

TRIBE MEMBER: Childless executive seeks to adopt young man who can offer affection and security and an innocent hard body. 765-9326...

TRIBE MEMBER: Husband sucks and takes up the ass. Wife loves couples with big cocks and hairy pussies. Will suck them dry. Detailed letter, revealing photo only. Act fast...

TRIBE MEMBER: Amputee girls wanted. Swinging guy, 50, hemophiliac, civilized and daring, seeks attractive, limb-deficient girl to explore mutual interests...

TRIBE MEMBER: Animal trainers wanted fast; swinging blonde in need of help. 666-5876

TRIBE MEMBER: Elegant lady on the edge of death cries out for young blond Adonis to explore new pathways of pain. Should be under 18 and over 8 inches. Give me one more pleasure to die with!...

TRIBE MEMBER: Alberto, my Mexican friend from Fire Island, please contact me. Please. I am on the verge of falling off! WA 8-5548...

TRIBE MEMBER: Help me! Near the end! Almost over! One more chance! Will take anything! Will touch anyone! Will do everything! Help me! Near the end! Almost over! Last chance! Help me!

[Keeps repeating. The phone numbers are repeated now louder and louder by all. Suddenly the GIRL bursts forward and stands right behind MAX...She begins her long ad, slowly and intensely. It builds till she's almost exploding with bitterness and fury. After this ad begins, MAX's hands go under his pants and as the rhythmic pulse of the ad builds, we realize he is masturbating to it. He convulses grotesquely and with appropriate noises. He is, then, a complete 'prisoner' of the ad."]

GIRL: This is addressed to all the people who answered or are thinking of answering the personal ad I placed in Volume 2, Number 15 of this newspaper, two weeks ago Friday. First, my apologies to the huge bartender with the voice and the lighthearted dark-skinned advertising man. If either of you had called me back, I might not be writing this retraction of my ad (although I will soon be too busy to date much). But why didn't you call back?!

But to the others - which include the two lesbians; the under-25's and over-40's, the numerous ones who called my number and hung up as soon as I said hello; the 35 or 40 of you who made dates with me and never showed up (including the one who complained that his penis was so large that he couldn't get it into anybody)...

The wife-seekers, the already married; the one who was so one-sided that he could think of nothing but sex, and then had the gall to ask me if his nationality was the reason I wouldn't sleep with him; the two who couldn't raise their cocks when I was agreeable and the many who could (and did) when I was not; the pleasant young foreigner who turned out to be the private property of his gigantic girlfriend; the ones who were so grotesque in their appearance that I couldn't possibly get past their faces to even consider a relationship with them (especially sexual); the jerk-off artists and the 69ers (the latter category which I had specifically stated I didn't want) and the ones who wanted hand jobs; the ones who wanted to be spanked; the ones who could only boast about the size of their bankrolls and/or their penises, and this definitely includes the teacher who said, "All the girls want my cock"; the businessman who had an adjective for every letter of his last name ("R" is for Rich)...

The ones, and they were many, who said: "My name is so-and-so. When can we get together and fuck?"; the faggot who wanted me to support him; the diminutive actor and the other short ones; the racists, including the one at whose pad I left my white sweater (and I'd rather cut off my right thumb than go back for it); the drunks, junkies, and acid-heads; the multitude of liars; and especially the nice ones who never called back -

To all of you I say: Just forget my phone number!! I don't need all the hassles!! I'll be starting school next month and I just don't want to be bothered!! I'll be leaving home next month and I just don't feel like looking back. Don't hold your breath, any of you!!

Sincerely, the Overweight Brunette

["MAX is sweating, drained in every way. He breathes heavily, looks around paranoid. He begins to clean himself up, recompose himself, get back his dignity as if nothing had happened."]


MAX: Stop it. Stop looking at me! STOP IT! I can't stand it. Stop! Baal - Baal, it's nothing, Baal, nothing at all. All we want, all any of us want, all I want is a little peace of mind.

BAAL: Whose mind?

MAX: Only yours, Baal. Just a little piece.

BAAL: Which piece?

MAX: Only the piece that threatens us.

BAAL: Is that all? You disgust me.

MAX: Is that all?

BAAL: Yes, that's all.

MAX: Don't look.

BAAL: I don't have to.

MAX: What are you going to do to us? What do you want in our city?

BAAL: Max, the greatest gift we could give you is fire!

[** Break on CD recording, scene continues...]

HISTORIAN: Baal and his followers sing a joyous HYMN TO FIRE, the one element of Nature that illuminates as it destroys.

["This number is a wild, tribal, African-oriented dance, centered around the themes of fire and storm. MAX is in the center of the maelstrom, attacked from all sides."]


HYMN TO FIRE

BAAL:
When your city's burning
Where you gonna run to?
When your city's burning
Where you gonna run to?

The smell of kerosene is at your door
And your lungs can't seem to take it anymore
Do you ever feel like asking yourself what for?
Got any doubts? Get out in the streets
Check it out!
When your city's burning
Where you gonna run to?

When the sky is hungry
Where you gonna run to?
When the sky is hungry
Where you gonna run to?

The smell of kerosene is at your door
And your lungs can't seem to take it anymore
Do you ever feel like asking yourself what for?
Got any doubts? Get out in the streets
Check it out!
When your city's burning
Where you gonna run to?

{The following lines were not sung at the stage production:}

When the land is thirsty
Where you gonna run to?
When the land is thirsty
Where you gonna run to?
And you clean your guilty skin with gasoline
Is the fire really there or is it just a dream?
And the color of your world is sweet gangrene
Got any doubts? Get out in the storm, check it out!
When the land is thirsty, where you gonna run to?

When the drums are weeping
Where are we gonna run to?
When the drums are weeping
Where are we gonna run to?
Ooooh, I can feel my leg, it's getting wetter
Ooooh, I can see your lips are getting redder
Brothers and sisters we all are come together
Got any doubts? Get out in the storm, check it out...
Where are we gonna run to?

Take a trip on a star ship
We've got demon wings to fly
Take a trip on a star ship
And you'll never have to die

Take a trip on a star ship
Give salvation one more try
Take a trip on a star ship
You go higher! You wanna go higher!
You're gonna go higher!
What do you see now?

When your city's burning
Where you gonna run to?
When your city's burning
Where you gonna run to?


["At this point, the TRIBE kills MAX. They literally butcher him...When they kill MAX the realize that there is no turning back. They see the blood on their hands. They touch each other with it...kiss, smear it on their bodies. Each one says, 'I'm sorry,' very gently to another tribe member, who answers with 'I forgive you.' This continues and builds slowly: 'I'm sorry,' 'I forgive you,' 'I'm sorry,' 'I forgive you,' etc. until it is virtually being howled. Then we hear the beginning of a hymn in the background. The music gets louder and the TRIBE all sings the final chorale, 'Pyro.'"]

[In the original production, MAX was yelled off the stage by the anger and hatred of the TRIBE. As they moved down the stage in a semi-circle, he cowered at the front of the stage, and then jumped off into the audience, disappearing into the back of the hall. As the TRIBE watched him go, the members formed one line on the front of the stage; then they broke into the 'Chorale' section of the song, below.]

BAAL AND THE TRIBE:
Pyro, O Pyro, burning cities in the sun!
Make us feel alive again and make your holy heat ray come!
[In Steinman's draft script, the line above reads, "holy cruelty."]

Country bright, my country fair
Can I touch you everywhere?
Hold you close and squeeze you tight
Caress your guns all through the night!

Country black, my country blue
Will you hurt me if I hurt you?
Can I sleep inside your park
And will you still glow in the dark?

Pyro, O Pyro, burning cities in the sun!
Make us feel alive again and make your holy heat ray come!

Give us some fire
Give us some fire! (repeat)

Give us some fire!
Give us some fire!
Take these dreams away,
And give us some fire! (repeat)

REPRISE:

Down on your knees, now. What do you see now?
Down on your knees, now. What do you see now?

How do you bury the skull of your country?
How do you bury a nation of fears?
Where do you put all the long years of dying?
Give me a tombstone and a wreath of all your tears.

Come, in the night, come in the day
Anytime, and play our game
It's all right
Special flight
You'll fly home into our game
See the light
Shining bright
Shining down upon our game
In the night
Come in the day
Play our game, come away!

HISTORIAN: INTERMISSION!

END OF ACT ONE


Continue to Transcript Part III

 

The Dream Engine