a short play for two actors on the theme:

"Near Sighted"


by K. Brian Neel

© 2007 all rights reserved











Lights up on two people sitting in the front seat of a stationary car. They are both dressed well, as if going out for a fancy night on the town. Both have incredibly thick glasses. They have been stopped in traffic for quite some time. It is unknown what's keeping things at a stand still. Maya is in the drivers seat.


MAYA: Explain it. 


HYRIE: It can't be explained. 


MAYA: Why not? 


HYRIE: To bracket it in explanation would take it only as far as our field of consciousness, and that's a limiting descriptive method. 


MAYA: I'm not afraid to hear it. I'm not afraid of the border. 


HYRIE: It's not fear. It's the reduction. The incompleteness. 


MAYA: It's valid. Reduce it. Right now. Reduce it. 


HYRIE: It would degrade it to mere experience. 


MAYA: Experience versus what? A philosophical absolute? I have the desire to hear it.


HYRIE: So do I. But it's impossible. There's no such thing as absolute explanation. 


MAYA: Then give me a reductive explanation. (pause.) All explanations, categories, encapsulations, classifications are conventions. We can either trust an incomplete limit, or let go of the desire for an absolute truth—an Eastern, Buddhist paradigm. (pause.) It'll enrich us to hear an explanation. 


HYRIE: The suspense is palpable. 


Hyrie gets out of the car and walks forward into the distance. 


HYRIE: If there's not control, there should at least be knowledge. 


Maya gets out and stands by her door. She watches him disappear in the distance. She looks around at the other cars and becomes self-conscious, adjusting her evening dress. The car behind her honks. 


MAYA: Hyrie is gaining proper evidence to evaluate the situation. A situation which isn't in his control in the first place. (pause.) Knowledge is, of itself, control. 


Hyrie returns, winded. He carries a beach ball. 


HYRIE: Maya. This is all a metasystem in a stagnant transition. 


MAYA: And by defining it as a metasystem, you're creating a further metasystem, by transitioning into the epistemological meta level of defining it. 


HYRIE: Yes. Is that a further meta: you're defining my definition? 




HYRIE: You're right.


Hyrie throws up the ball and playfully pitches it to her. Maya, completely still, doesn't react and the ball bounces off her head. With a delayed response, she corals the ball, and holds it for a second as if it's the first time she's held a beach ball. She then throws it poorly to Hyrie. It ends up way off mark. They continue playing ball pathetically like this for a bit, before giving up and returning to the interior of the car. The ball ends up between them for some reason.


MAYA: If you consider us organisms, added to the two previously defined systems, there are a total of three metalevels. 


HYRIE: And if you analyze our organisms into subsystems, such as movement, thinking and cultural interaction, we're inclusive of an infinitely complex system of metalevels, infinitely effecting all the other metalevels. 


MAYA: Thinking itself is a self-referential metasystem. 


HYRIE: All effecting...


MAYA: Affecting? 


HYRIE: Effecting. And affecting. That's a system too. 


MAYA: Oh, yes. 


HYRIE: Yes. 


They move in for a kiss. The ball halts them, awkwardly. 


HYRIE: The past is a metalevel.


MAYA: The present is a metalevel. 


HYRIE: And the future?


MAYA: It depends on how the future is defined. Cartesian or aformatic... 


HYRIE: ...Gnostic and fluid, a dynamic relational matrix... 


MAYA: ...Absent all together...


HYRIE: ...There are so many permutations of theories... 


Maya takes Hyrie's chin in her hand and turns it toward her. She takes off her glasses, squinting extremely. She leans over the ball, bringing her face very close to Hyrie's. (She's near-sided.) Once she can see him, she takes off his glasses. Hyrie squints at Maya and tries to push her away so he can see her. (He's far-sided.) They struggle at this pushing and pulling a bit, then they both make the choice to close their eyes, and throw caution to the wind, directing their lips blindly forward into a kiss. 


HYRIE: This incomplete biological entity evokes publicly the non-propositional, possibly implausible phenomenon uttered to a higher-valued individual. 


MAYA: I love you too. 


They kiss passionately. Blackout. 

Copyright © K. Brian Neel. All rights reserved. Except for brief passages quoted in newspaper, magazine, radio or television reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author.Professional and amateurs are hereby warned that this material, being fully protected under the Copyright Laws of the United States of America and of all other countries of the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions, is subject to a royalty. All rights including, but not limited to, professional, amateur, recording, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio and television broadcasting, and the rights of translation into foreign languages are expressly reserved. Particular emphasis is placed on the question of readings and all uses of this play by educational institutions, permission for which must be secured from the authorá║s representatives. For all rights, including amateur and stock performances, contact K. Brian Neel.