DIRGES AT SUNSET

A university dropout Laic tries desperatly to fit into society after being diagnosed as suffering from depression due to continued use of alcohol and marijuana. He seeks solace among his drinking companions in a rundown pub in umoja estate only for him come face to face with the reality of his sickness. The setting is in Nairobi's slum area.

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2. DIRGE TO THE GODS OF LOST INNOCENCE

SETTING: A DIRTY PUB SELLING BOOTLEG SOMEWHERE IN UMOJA ESTATE. A BARELY AUDIBLE COUTDOWN CAN BE           OVERHEARD . LAIC, THE HAG AND BARMAN ARE SEATED AT THE COUNTER. THE REST ARE SEATED ON WOODEN  BENCHES.

                                                               HEADS BUT NO TAIL  

BARMAN:     Carefull Laic, this is not tea you are taking. Twenty whole mugs! I would prefer you dint take the next one.

THE HAG:     Come off it Niko, let Laic be. Great intelect thrives not in that parsimonious circle of yours, but on the silt hills of excess and unrestrained indulgence.

BARMAN:      Some soup or tea for once will keep the devils legion away if you ask me.

THE HAG:     Come on Laic, describe the estate of degeneracy again.

LAIC:              Its all but bizzare imagery, a sublime background to nightmares, a vast diabolical labyrinth whose perspectives are profound, edges blurred. Its clashing colours mismatched on the illhang canvass of sanity, headlocked under the pungent armpits of an indiffrent neophyte. It lacerates my conscience whenever i think of it.

THE HAG:     But your words give life and colour to this surbubian shithole where the elements merge in uncyncronised clarity. All poets are outdone when your lambert candle illuminates past the forbiding shadows. The flickering flame bestows life to the dancing shadows. Its a.....like a perfectly chereographed dance.

BARMAN:      (CYNICALY) His razor sharp infalliable sabre whose mortal blow miracolously heals and avenges on the same thrust. Cant you see it will always be the same whenever he indulges in rhetoric. Reality will be distorted by alarming heresy. Reason always comes to a screeching halt, and the distorted egos of his subjects will catapult themselves into his vast metallic labyrinth of paranoia and that only men who believe in shifting the obscurites of life will listen to the collisions.

THE HAG:       Yours are at best drunken afflictions of your indolent mind versus a versatile imagination. Just listen to this. (STANDS UP AND MIMICS LAICS POSTURE AND VOICE AS SHE ADRESSES THE PUB).

                                       Dawn reveals Umoja

                                       Under its tattered blankets of  medicancy

                                       Acrid vapours of its fat snorers farts

                                       Drift omniously from its confines

                                       A retrogresive image

                                       imprisoned at the guilt ridden canvass

                                       Of its inhabitants collective sanity

                                       Mystery of the original image

                                        Oozes in suffocating undertones

                                       Only to be lost somewhere

                                        In the obliterated smudges and streaks

                                        Each look

                                        Convincing the new tenant would be neophyte

                                         No evil has walked before the unevenly lit streets

                                         Potholed avenues to boundless imagination

                                         While the clarity of the boundless revelation

                                         Dissolves into an undefinable elastic mass of

                                         Diabolic patterns.

LAIC:         Give me another mug Niko. I might as well drink to a stopour and knock the gates of oblivion, the only solitude i know of. Praise i can take dear sister like a pat on my back, its the change in relatinship and the price to be paid that gnaws my conscience.

THE HAG:  Dont you just love it when he talks like that. Such modesty, a true philosopher, the drink is on me. 

BARMAN:   Come on, shit is shit no matter which end spurts it. Its essence lies in the futility of trying to judge or label it. Mmmh, philosopher indeed. (REFILS LAICS MUG). Thats the last one.

   (SILENCE AS THEY ARE PRE-OCCUPIED WITH THEIR OWN THOUGTS)

LAIC:           Protocal has demanded i exercise subtle persuasion, engage in vague talk and use flowery words. For two hours we have done nothing else, i now need answers, continence cripples me.

BARMAN:    How does one explain what another sees?

LAIC:           Start by telling me where i'am.

BARMAN:   Were i to find you calling the moon the sun and the sun the moon that would prompt correction.

LAIC:           Blame my eccentricities on past conditioning and lets get on. Give me my poison straight and neat.

BARMAN:    How old are you Laic.

LAIC:           Twentyseven.

BARMAN:    I wonder how you have lived for so long and ended up being so naive and stupid.

LAIC:            Watchout lest you insult me Niko.

BARMAN:    Because everyone can see. You dont want to go brave bravely. You want to play the coward so as to make us look like bullies.

LAIC:           What going do you mean and what has cowards and bullies got to do with it?

BARMAN:    If i were you i would react the same way. Truth be told, i have a pub, a wife back home and four mouths to feed. You have family i do believe and your brother.

LAIC:           And millions of insecurities which haunt me daily just like everyone else. Also this blubbering is getting into my nerves. Tell me whats going on.

BARMAN:    (WIPING GLASSES THOUGHTFULLY). In your dreams insosuance has been the ultimate emperion, obsesive craving of that ellusive freedom that lacks in the putrid constrains and dynamics of suffocating relationships. You have it now.

LAIC:           Make sense, i dont understand a word you've spoken.

BARMAN:   (GESTURES EXPANSIVELY TO THE PUB). Here, among reticient humanity lies the door to your destiny. Here your surefeit fantasies will acquire permanence. Here you will get mementos  to furnish your ego shrine, which you will occasionaly revisit when the uncertainity of dreams sets in. When all you have dreamt dissapears into the voids of reality and all you have left is the bitter black residue of doubt. A sublime truth and freedom Laic which neither constrains of time nor space obliterates and designates to limbo.

LAIC:            And like some brainwashed fanatic drunk i should unquestionably buy that.

BARMAN:     Thats upto you.

LAIC:            As if i had a choice. To me a loaded gun will always be that. Its to be obeyed without question and its owners bidding done reflexivly. The dynamics of my choices whether for or against i leave to your lot. Only you have that unparalled ability to struggle with the contigencies.

BARMAN:     (MORE PATIENTLY). Think back. You used a lift to come in here. A majordomo urshered you in. There was a guard of honour mounted by our bribetaking policemen. Cultural dances all in your honor. Honestly tell me which bootleg pub has all this fine trimmings.

LAIC:             I'am in an alcoholic daze, all looks alike, funny and indiffrent. Familiarity has been replaced with hazy likeness.

BARMAN:     Look over there, the lady in the green dress, seated next to the cobblers son. Your first love.

LAIC:            (TURNS UNFOCUSINLY). It cant be. She is a minister at her own church. She never drunk a drop of this brew.

BARMAN:     Does it matter? Indeed what matters is that she is here now rather than later. Again you never take more than two glasses of beer, today you have downed twentyone.(GESTURES TO WALLS AND FLOOR) Look at the floor sticky and smlling of vomit and shit. The ceiling and walls sagging with the oily soots of unfullfilled dreams and frustrations. The air heavy with drunken wisdom. Go to the urinal and you will find it gobbling up disperate sperm and urine in one noisy gulp. Your usual drinking place is it? But how come its somewhere else.

LAIC:            Is this real?

BARMAN:    It depends.

LAIC:            (SHOUTING). ON WHAT?

BARMAN:    (EVENLY) How drunk you are.

LAIC:            Do i need drunken sods to enact dreams i give no damn about?(TO THE HAG). Do i?

THE HAG:   You do remember your confession the other night that you always craved for that infalliable world where colours seemed brighter. Where landscapes assumed a clarity akin to the sublime. Where the stars shone and twinkled like scattered diamonds on my nympomaniac body. Where the only songs were nursery rhymes. A plateau only accesible when drunk.

LAIC:           (ALMOST WHISPERING). All this cant be an intoxicated nightmare. Look, even inanimate objects have a life of their own. What is real? And since when did we get all that intimate for you to enumurate my cravings one after the otherfrom your fingertips.

THE HAG:   Dont make it sound like i can explain what insanity is to the insane. The truth is that we shared more than sex yesterday. You are here now, thats the only truth i can tell you and all this henceforth will be theatre. You will have to choose roles and costume to wear. Colours will be provided to paint the landscapes and scenaries. We will become actors in this journey you undertake, as long as you dont forget; you are the director and all this is drama.

LAIC:          And what role do you play in this macabre thing you call such fancy names.

THE HAG:  (MIMICS LAIC) What i crave for is in that inner salubrious sanctuary made of hard granite that remains unscratchble despite moralist indoctrination. A wordless world within where all chaos and conflict are reconciled in primitive dialogue thats devoid of words.Where pleasurepain is at its crispiest and etched on the walls. (GRABS LAICS COLLAR) Remember blockhead.

LAIC:           PAMELA!!!

THE HAG:   Yes dear only i could push you to drink that amount of beer. Now you are past the feeling of well being, past tranquility and erosion of guilt; past a blackout- wellcome to our world.

LAIC:           (CONFUSED) It cant be.

BARMAN:    The sound of a passing dove you've already heard. What awaits you is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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