Preview: Scene 8 – Miseries, Memory, and Miranda

Miranda is surrounded by a parade of the world’s Miseries: the victims of famine, torture, crime, and disease.  In the wake of the Miseries, the figure of Simon, in some version or simulacrum of his human body, emerges from the shadows.  Miranda and Simon have a final confrontation, in which Simon explains why he chose to live in The System: “Now there’s no help but evolving, out of the meat and into The System.  It isn’t the many and the few—it’s yourself, it’s you!”  He beckons to Miranda: “Come into the world of light.”  Miranda is unsure whether she should  follow Simon into The System.  She has lingering doubts: “The body of this death is who I am, it is my mind … Who will I be?  And what will I see when my body is gone?”  Simon enters back into The System.  Miranda hesitates.  She turns towards the audience, repeating a soaring high note as sound swirls around her: “Who? What? When? How? Light. Death. Alone. Alive. Live.”  Light grows to a blinding level.  Music emanates in all directions from Miranda’s voice, filling the space and extending well beyond.


Video production by Paula Aguilera and Jonathan Williams

Libretto

Scene Eight – Miseries, Memory, and Miranda

 

 

A parade of the World’s MISERIES — the victims of famine, torture, crime, disease. MIRANDA is caught up in it. Cacophony of noise, building in numbers and intensity. In the wake of the parade of MISERIES, the figure of SIMON – in his human body – emerges from the shadows.

 

MIRANDA and SIMON have final confrontation.

 

SIMON
I appear to you one last time,
Dear Miranda, to explain

That I tried to help the world.
I saw the miseries, and I’ve

Tried to heal the world, too.
But the animal is defective.

It’s not the poor or the starving
That hold you back. It’s yourself—I know:

I tried to heal the world too,
But it’s in us, the problem’s in us, it’s in us.

We evolved as meat, to want fat and sugar;
Once that was good, but now it is fatal.

We evolved as flesh, to want sex all the time;
Once that was good, but now it’s only trouble.

We evolved as muscle, to want to make war;
Once that was good, but now it is lethal.

Our fat and sugar are killing us,
Our sweetness and abundance
Kill us, and lead us to famine
Bigger McMuck, Thicker Sweet Shake.

Sexier Shaking the Sweetness,
Smarter Weapons for Meat.

Meat wants Meat, Sweet wants Sweet,
Sweats for the Sweets and the Meets—

Now there’s no help but evolving
Out of the flesh, and into the system.
It isn’t the many and the few—
It’s yourself, it’s you!

Come! Into the world of light!

 

MIRANDA
The misery’s part of our being,
We don’t need to amputate it.

And me, my own misery is part of me.
I don’t want to amputate it
Painful as it is.

Yes, what about me?
With nothing like another
Person’s body
To touch, no body to feel,
I still can feel the misery
Of what I lack.

No body to have or be had by,
No way to make love.
No lover, no other.

Nothing of the body.
With nothing like a mother
Of flesh and blood, nothing
Like a father,
Either alive or dead.

Can all the earth be disembodied?
Neither alive nor dead?

Can we all fall and rise forever?

Together?

Are we few rising into the light,
While the others sink down into pain?

Can we help them up
When we’re free of meat?

Who will we touch?

I want my sugar, my touch,
I want my sweet milk
My meat and my misery
My touch, my milk–
I want my mother!

 

SIMON
What you feel is phantom pain
In the amputated limb. Leave it,
Away from this body of meat!
Away from the wars and the sweat!

 

MIRANDA
I don’t want to,
I want to stay in my body,
In this body of sugar and fat,

This bondage of sex and violence—

But my body of sugar and fat,
My body of sex and violence,
My body of death and sweat,
Is in my mind—it makes me need

To be with my pack, my tribe.
There in the world of light.

SIMON
Come to the light

MIRANDA
There in the world of light.

SIMON
Come to the light from the meat!

MIRANDA
No I won’t amputate
My body away from the light.

The body of this death
Is who I am, it is my mind.
I am this body of death.

SIMON
No, you are not meat, you are light!
Come with us, leave the meat.
Leave the wars and the sweat.

MIRANDA
Yes I crave to go with my pack
Because I am this body,
Body of death and sweat,
Is where I want to stay.
Body of death and sweat
That I leave behind
Because I am this body.

 

Because I am this body of
Death, and sweat I’m
Afraid to be alone.

Who will I be?
What will I see,
When this body is gone?

Without my forgetting
How will I remember?
Without my death
Who will I be?

 

SIMON [joining MIRANDA]
Away from this body of death.

 

MIRANDA
How will I remember

With no forgetting?

 

SIMON
Away from this body of meat!

 

MIRANDA
How will I feel,
Who will I be?

 

SIMON
Away from the wars and the sweat!

 

SIMON enters back into The System, MIRANDA hesitates. She turns towards the audience. Light grows to a blinding level. Sound grows quieter, but is everywhere.

 

MIRANDA
Who? What? When? How?
Light. Death.
Alone.
Alive.
Live.

To be continued…

Death and the Powers Preview Series
Series intro and prologue
Memory Download
Scene 1: Simon and the System 
Scene 2: System Soliloquy

Scene 3: Getting to Know You
Scene 4: Evvy’s Touch

Scene 5: Nicholas and the Robots
Scene 6: The World Reacts
Scene 7: Into the System
Scene 8: Miseries, Memory and Miranda


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