John P. McWilliams
Date of Birth: 8/4/34
Location: Portland, OR
Lights are on two chairs facing each other a comfortable distance away. Stage goes dark, same lights, Prof. Adamov is sitting in one chair, looking toward the empty chair.
ADAMOV: (Sighs) (Faces audience) I first encountered June Winslow; I say encountered, even though she was a Philosophy student of mine; I had noticed her before in my classes of course, but the first time I actually came in personal contact with her as another human entity, was one day during office hours when I was grudgingly perusing the papers of an assignment which I had given concerning the philosophy of Buckminster Fuller. She interrupted my boring little task knocking politely at my door. Initially I never answer on the first knock, hoping that the individual, and I use the term quite loosely, hoping he or she will vanish back to whatever mental cave that they are more content with. But she was persistent . . .
JUNE Winslow is sitting opposite ADAMOV, her legs are crossed, she is tapping one foot impatiently in mid air. There is a book-bag lying nearby. ADAMOV looks horrified, writes a something on the paper, turns the paper over and places it on top of a pile of papers, pauses, takes off glasses, wipes them on shirt, places them back on, looks at JUNE.
ADAMOV: Now what may I do for you Miss . .?
JUNE: Winslow; June Winslow.
ADAMOV: Ah yes, Winslow, June Winslow, usually row 3, seat 10, is that correct?
JUNE: Usually - that's right.
ADAMOV: Have you noticed how one has a tendency to repeatedly sit in the same seat?
JUNE: No. (Beat) Well yes actually, I suppose you're right.
ADAMOV: Yes, I am. Now Miss Winslow - (looks at her distastefully) - what may I do for you?
JUNE: June. (Smiles, he eventually smiles back.)
ADAMOV: June. (smiles sourly) What may I do for you June?
JUNE: I think Buckminster Fuller is full of shit!
ADAMOV: I wasn't at his funeral, I couldn't answer that.
JUNE: You know what I mean Professor Adamov!
ADAMOV: Indeed I do; perhaps he was, so what?
JUNE: You agree with me then?
ADAMOV: Make your point Miss Winslow, June.
JUNE: (Uncrosses legs, show them to full advantage, stands, walks toward door, comes back, leans over his desk, ADAMOV looks at her breasts, she sits down, crosses legs.) I'll level with you Professor; I didn't write my paper on Fuller; I found him awfully boring.
ADAMOV: Do you know someone who isn't?
JUNE: (Smiles, then softly.) Yes, I do know someone who isn't a bore.
ADAMOV: I suggest that you compose a paper concerning that person and turn it in, and if I determine that Buckey Fuller is more boring, then I will give you an unqualified A in the class.
JUNE: Even if the paper is on June Winslow?
ADAMOV: (Pauses, smiles, looks her over again) I'll buy that.
JUNE: That's why I'm here Professor.
ADAMOV: To turn in a paper?
JUNE: (Looks at her legs, looks back at him) Do you enjoy the view Professor? (ADAMOV admires her legs) You stare at my legs frequently in class.
ADAMOV: Do I actually stare at them? I would have thought that I merely examined them briefly and then went on to other things. But stare! Never! I admit that I may have been distracted by them on occasion, in particular when you do not wear those damnable panty-hose. It's a mere diversion June; haven't you ever allowed yourself to indulge your libido in a brief, momentary, wandering fantasy?
JUNE: Of course I have. That's why I'm here. I have a proposition Professor Adamov; if you will give me that A you mentioned, I will spend thirty minutes here in your office every week until the semester is completed. No tests, no finals.
ADAMOV: How will you spend that thirty minutes in my office?
JUNE: (Spreads legs slightly) That depends on your ingenuity and your endurance.
ADAMOV: (Looks at his watch) My office hours are up Miss Winslow; I have a class in twenty minutes. (JUNE stands, smoothes her dress, watching ADAMOV.) Can you be here at two o'clock tomorrow?
ADAMOV: Don't wear panty hose.
JUNE: I won't. (Picks up bag, smiles at him, EXITS.)
ADAMOV: (Faces Audience, the light is now on only him.) What's so important about Buckey Fuller's Functional Gestalt anyway? (Looks toward exit, smiles) If one considers that the Planet Earth orbits around the sun at the speed of six thousand miles an hour, and at the same time the Earth revolves on its axis at a speed of more than a thousand miles per hour, and it has done so for over five billion years! What's one little, tiny, insignificant A!!!
At lights, BRIAN Thomas is sitting facing ADAMOV, there is a bag-pack lying near by.
ADAMOV: I shall be delighted to recommend you Brian; you will make an excellent graduate student.
BRIAN: Thank you Professor.
ADAMOV: It's a fact; no flattery intended. However, I would recommend that you seek some other career, such as carpentry, plumbing, or even operate your own business, or perhaps play a damn sport. Philosophy can become very annoying at times, it allows one more time to think than is healthy; it allows one time to plot, to dream, to conjure up all sorts of corrupting scenarios.
BRIAN: (Smiles) I've made up my mind Professor.
ADAMOV: (Sighs) Actually I have been seeking someone to grade my first term philosophy papers - to allow me more research time you understand - and I think I have now found that person. I believe that I may be able to arrange a slight stipend for you.
BRIAN: Boy! That would be great! (JUNE enters carrying her book bag over a shoulder.)
ADAMOV: Ah Miss Winslow! (Looks at his wrist watch) Punctual. I didn't hear you knock.
BRIAN: June! How are you?
JUNE: Fine Brian, how are you?
BRIAN: Well. Thank you.
ADAMOV: (Walks toward BRIAN, reaches out to shake his hand.) That will be all Mister Thomas.
BRIAN: (Stands, shakes ADAMOV'S hand.) Right. And thanks again Professor. See you at rehearsals June!
JUNE: You bet!
(JUNE places down book bag, smiles at ADAMOV, slowly lifts her skirt.)
ADAMOV: (Sighs) No panty hose; very lovely.
BRIAN: Forgot my books. (Sees JUNE with dress up, hesitates, she smiles, drops her dress. Brian picks up book bag, looks at her and the Professor.) Sorry.
Rest Room. At lights, ADAMOV is combing his hair in mirror. (Audience is mirror) BRIAN enters, sees ADAMOV combing hair, turns, simulates relieving himself, washing hands etc. Moves to stand a distance away from Professor, but is beside him, looks at audience as if looking at ADAMOV in mirror, they do not directly look at one another.
BRIAN: Hello Professor.
ADAMOV: Brian! (Continues to groom himself.) How pleasant to see you.
BRIAN: Nice to see you too Professor.
ADAMOV: (Still looking into mirror) So you and June are in the same play?
BRIAN: Yes, Mother Courage. I have a minor part.
ADAMOV: I didn't know you were a performer.
BRIAN: Yes, I've been acting for a long time now.
ADAMOV: It's a peculiar combination; I mean philosophy and acting.
BRIAN: (Shrugs) It never dawned on me that the two were not compatible.
ADAMOV: (Sternly, loses control briefly) Of course they not compatible! Where philosophy seeks out truth, acting prostitutes truth! (ADAMOV walks US, simulates urinating, with back to audience). (BRIAN turns, watches him, moves quietly toward exit.) Last week when Miss Winslow was in my office, I hope that you didn't receive the wrong impression. (BRIAN EXITS, ADAMOV does not notice.) She may model for the yearly student fashion show, I happen to be a member of that committee, and . . . (turns to empty stage returns to mirror, washes hands, looks at himself in mirror) (Very quietly) and I was just interviewing her for the cast. (sighs) (More quietly) You see Brian she has such lovely, lovely legs . . .
JUNE and ADAMOV are sitting in chairs.
JUNE: Close your eyes and tell me how you see me.
ADAMOV: I see you as a garden, blooming with every breath that you take, you appear to bud, rather than to bloom fully. In your garden are a variety of offerings; there are blossoms in your sighs of pleasure. When I try to recall what you look like, when I am unable to see you, you fade in and out of my mental process like a mirage. I have never encountered such exquisite flesh. Your sex is a honeyed-oasis, it has a scent that is sharp, but pleasantly redolent. Your pubic hair is like a web of corn silk, darkened by ebullience. Your legs are curved by a designer of considerable artistic merit. When your thighs embrace me I feel as though I am floating on a cloud of warm down. Your stomach is so supple, I'm sometimes fearful that when I caress it, it will dissolve under my touch. Your breasts are like cones of fruit, tipped with large dark nipples, the color of an avocado seed. Your buttocks demand to be noticed, taut, geometrically perfect. In many ways they resemble your exquisite breasts - noble, haughty, delicious. When I cup those globes of pleasure I am in direct contact with nirvana. Your eyes reflect your soul, you seem to see out quite clearly, but they are on guard against anyone looking in too closely. Your mouth is slightly over-developed, lush and moist, like your marvelous sex. When your lips on me I watch your face; it's relaxed then, but there is a hint of tension, as if the pleasure you feel will go away all too quickly. Ah! The entire body! It is so fragile, so soft, so satisfying. The memory of your body covers me like the cloak of existence.
(ADAMOV opens his eyes, stands, walk to JUNE, drops to his knees, places his head on her lap.)
JUNE: (Stroking his head) "I'm giving nothing, I have myself to think of." (Quoting from "Mother Courage.")
ADAMOV is sitting in a chair. JUNE is standing in front of him dangling a pair of panties on one finger in front of his face. He slowly takes the panties off her finger and smells them, then buries his face in them. JUNE sits.
JUNE: (Simultaneously) I can't come to see you anymore!
ADAMOV: (Simultaneously through the panties.) Couldn't you possibly come to me twice a week June?
(ADAMOV drops panties, stares at her.)
ADAMOV: What did you say?
JUNE: I'm running out of funds; I have to find work.
ADAMOV: (Angrily) But we had a bargain.
JUNE: It's only six weeks until the end of the semester.
ADAMOV: I don't care how long it is! We had a bargain!
JUNE: I'm sorry; I have to find work. I need the money!
ADAMOV: How much do you need?
JUNE: A couple of hundred a week.
ADAMOV: Two hundred!
JUNE: (Crosses legs, strokes one slowly.) Yes, two hundred.
ADAMOV: (Pauses, looks at panties.) I'll get it for you if you come to me twice a week.
JUNE: (Smiles, goes to him, kisses his forehead.) Thank you. Now I won't have to drop out of the play.
ADAMOV: (Pulls her down on his lap.) I couldn't bear to go on without you!
Movie house. Dim lights, two chairs facing audience, JUNE and BRIAN are sitting eating popcorn. There is another chair placed behind them off to one side. They talk silently, laugh, eat popcorn, seem genuinely close. Movie starts, audio sound of a French film is heard at normal background level, and will continue until scene is over. ADAMOV enters, can't see very well, then sits in empty chair, watches movie. Looks around, sees couple, looks at film, looks around. Looks at JUNE and BRIAN, strains to see them better. Recognizes both, stares at them. BRIAN takes off one of JUNE'S shoes, pours popcorn into it, begins to eat from shoe. JUNE silently laughs, snuggles closer to him. Places her head on his shoulder. ADAMOV fleas from seat. (EXITS)
JUNE is sitting facing audience, placing on simulated make-up in audience mirror. She is wearing something over her clothes to protect her from the make-up. BRIAN enters, their eyes meet in the mirror, she smiles. He bends down, kisses the back of her neck, smells her hair. They exchange words looking directly into the mirror. He is standing behind her chair.
BRIAN: Break a leg tonight honey buns.
JUNE: You bet Bri; I'll knock them dead.
BRIAN: Good! It adds an edge to the performance; sharpens it.
JUNE: We'll see.
BRIAN: He's out there.
JUNE: I saw him earlier.
BRIAN: Will he come to the cast party?
JUNE: No; he better not anyway.
BRIAN: (Smiles at her) God! You are beautiful! (Buries his head in her hair.)
JUNE: (Tolerant Smile) Don't mess me up.
BRIAN: (Recovers, fixes her hair somewhat.) Sorry. When are you going to increase your fee?
JUNE: Aren't we getting a little too pushy? Just a little greedy?
BRIAN: Of course. (Smiles) He can afford it. He still hasn't cashed in his Blue Chip stocks yet. And he can always borrow on his 401K; I've seen his portfolio last week.
JUNE: I think we should wait a little more, hell I just hit him up for the two hundred a month ago. We only have a couple weeks until the semester is over. Why don't we wait until then?
BRIAN: Not a chance; we get him before he cools off. Threaten not to take his class next semester; tell him you need to take a bunch of other classes instead.
JUNE: Give me a little more time - please.
BRIAN: Certainly... (Kisses her head blows a kiss in the mirror, waves, walks coolly away US.)
JUNE: (In Mirror) Brian!
BRIAN: (Turns) Yes June?
JUNE: He wants me to go away with him next weekend.
BRIAN: Why not!
JUNE: Indeed! Why not!
BRIAN: It's an opportune time. Take advantage of it.
JUNE: I suppose. (Sighs, eyes seek out BRIAN in the mirror, they stare, she smiles, he smiles, they grin broadly.)
JUNE is facing audience, no chairs.
JUNE: He was there - at the performance - he was the only one to stand after the final curtain. He was the only one to yell "Bravo!" Jesus, I was embarrassed. He then brought flowers to my dressing room and stayed until I changed clothes. (beat) Brian came in to escort me to the cast party, he saw the Professor, but left before the Professor saw him. I finally got rid of the Professor; I told him I'd see him later. (Brightens) The party was fun; I felt good about my performance, good about Brian's performance, good about us. It's been said that there are two kinds of people; those who dream and those who are dreamt. I dream; Brian dreams. The Professor is dreamt; he doesn't, or cannot control his actions. He's bored with life, frightened by it. I'm not! Why should I be! I live in a beautiful body. That makes me different; special. I don't feel that way, but other people make me feel that way. Oh, I know men get a sexual rush from all attractive women, even gay men sometimes look at me with a certain amount of envy. Or is it wishful thinking? I'm aware of the chemistry involved; it works like magic, beauty casts its spell, like a thick fog. We are treated differently - even in high school I got better grades than some of the plainer girls - better grades than I actually deserved. And wherever I go, I'm treated as though I'm still getting better grades. Brian says it's because the human race worships beauty, idolizes it. He said we should take advantage of it, they don't mind if we do, they expect us to! I do! I take advantage of it. I work at it. With Brian's assistance, without him, I don't know if I could do it on my own. I'm not much on my own; I need the other ego to feed into and off, and yes, to exercise mental seniority over on occasion. (Smiles) Sometimes I really don't mind the Professor; he worships me, treats me as though I am immortal, as though I'm a goddess, as though I am his personal savior. (Pause) Mother Courage ran for the usual two weekends, then I went away with the Professor for the weekend. It was dull. He kept trying to impress me, entertain me, as if I am not capable of entertaining myself, as if my mind is a complete void. He reminded me of that stupid music that is played over the telephone when you're waiting to talk to a human. It's there, you hate it, but you can't do a damn thing about it. The nights were the worst; I hated sleeping with him. I'm only used to spending my nights with Brian. I won't do it again! I mean I won't go away with the Professor again! He asked me about Brian; I told him Brian was gay. What the hell Brian doesn't give a damn what the Professor thinks of him anyway. The Professor laughed when I told him that. "Gay!" He said. "No, shit! The poor bastard!" Later he almost proposed to me. Jesus! I saw it coming and headed him off by telling him that I needed more money, that I would need money to last me through the summer months. Boy! He got real pissed. Didn't say a thing for a while, then he asked me how much. Four hundred a week I said, in my smallest voice. Four hundred or I would have to find a job. I could see the marriage idea fade from his persona while he calculated his mental portfolio. I waited until the wrinkles faded, then I kissed him. So Brian bought a car, now we drive to classes, drive to the beach, drive everywhere. It's a blast! I suppose it will eventually end with the Professor. Everything has a beginning and an end, like the Dinosaurs, the Spotted Owls, and the Human Race. Oh, he, the Professor that is, is beginning to come apart at the seams; he's getting a little kinky. But what the hell! He's paying me four hundred bucks an hour! He now directs our little performances in his office, has me act out different scenes, even writes them down for me to study. I don't mind; it's takes the boredom out of it sometimes. And sometimes it doesn't. I have stopped going to his classes. He gave his lectures directly at me, as if I give a good shit about somebody's else's ideas, screw philosophy. Anyone who uses half their brain knows it's a subjective world. (Looks at watch) Shit! It's time to go to work!
JUNE is kneeling facing audience. ADAMOV is standing off to one side watching her. She crosses herself with her right hand and folds her hands as if in prayer, opens mouth, sticks out her tongue. ADAMOV moves directly in front of her with back to audience, unzips his pants . . .
ADAMOV is lying on floor, feet pointed toward JUNE who is on other side of room. She raises her skirt, approaches him very slowly, when she reaches his feet . . .
JUNE is leaning over chair with her back arched. She supports her body with her hands on the back of the chair. ADAMOV approaches with small whip in his hand. He bends down to raise her skirt . . .
JUNE is sitting in chair facing audience. Adamov slowly unbuttons her blouse from behind her.
JUNE: (Childish Voice) What are you doing to me daddy?
ADAMOV: (Fatherly) Oh nothing that you need to worry about baby, daddy will take care of you.
JUNE (As her bra is exposed) Would Daddy like to kiss them?
ADAMOV: (Approaching) Yes, Daddy would like to kiss baby's little budding melons.
JUNE and ADAMOV are sitting in chairs facing audience, they are typing on a simulated computer - they type, look into monitor, then speak
ADAMOV: What's your name?
JUNE: Honey. What's yours?
JUNE: I'll call you Dick.
ADAMOV: Would you like to enter a private room with me Honey?
JUNE: Yes, I would like to go private with you Dick.
ADAMOV: There. Now we have privacy.
JUNE: Why did you want to get me alone Dick?
ADAMOV: I want to know what your are wearing.
JUNE: Very little at the moment.
ADAMOV: Tell me exactly.
JUNE: Well, I've got on this pink bathrobe, that is untied, and underneath I'm wearing . . .
ADAMOV and BRIAN are sitting back to back, one facing S.R., the other facing S.L. JUNE is standing, facing audience, with one hand on each of their shoulders. (Rapid retort)
ADAMOV: Existence precedes essence.
BRIAN: Existence predicates essence.
ADAMOV: The two most beautiful sounding words in the English language are: Cellar Door.
BRIAN: The two most beautiful sounding words in the English language are: Cash Flow
ADAMOV: Politics is the art of compromise.
BRIAN: Politics is the art of deceit.
ADAMOV: War is the inability to compromise.
BRIAN: War is an extension of competition.
ADAMOV: Violence is the inability to control one's mood swings.
BRIAN: Violence is the original form of entertainment.
ADAMOV: The two primary factors that shape human behavior are: Sex and Aggression.
BRIAN: The two primary factors that shape human behavior are: Necessity and Greed.
ADAMOV: The New World Order is Planetary Collaboration.
BRIAN: The New World Order is Planetary Fascism.
ADAMOV: The purity of race is essential to maintain genetic integrity.
BRIAN: The purity of race is the winning time of the runner.
ADAMOV: Love is the ability to care for someone more than one's self.
BRIAN: Love is the loss of one's self to the other.
ADAMOV: Religion is the opiate of the masses.
BRIAN: Religion is absolute proof of the sub-conscious death wish.
ADAMOV: Truth is beauty, beauty is truth.
BRIAN: Truth is found only in science, and beauty is found only in nature.
ADAMOV: Happiness is the lessening of tension.
BRIAN: Happiness is a religious myth.
ADAMOV: Enlightenment is pure rational thought.
BRIAN: Enlightenment is self-study.
ADAMOV: The senses must be appeased.
BRIAN: Self-gratification is the only rule.
ADAMOV: I love her. (JUNE looks down at ADAMOV)
BRIAN You love her beauty, her youth.
ADAMOV: That is her essence.
BRIAN: Her essence is unknown to you. She is a character in your reveries.
ADAMOV: I will not give her up!CE="Arial,Helvetica">
BRIAN: She is not yours to decide; she is not a possession!
ADAMOV: I'll make her love me.
BRIAN: You have purchased her body, not her mind.
ADAMOV: The price is too high!
BRIAN: That depends on the quality of the product.
ADAMOV: (JUNE looks down at BRIAN, smiles) Life is agony.
BRIAN: Life is experience - nothing more, nothing less.
ADAMOV: I need more than that to go on.
BRIAN You invent it, conjure up as much as you may handle.
JUNE: (Walks a short distance, stops, turns toward them.) You've settled nothing. You Professor are a victim of the past and you Brian are a victim of the future. It's only we women who can stir the soul. It's only the present moment that counts; neither of you can or will understand that! You're both inferior to woman!
JUNE Winslow is sitting opposite ADAMOV, her legs are crossed, she is tapping one foot impatiently in mid air. There is a book-bag lying nearby. ADAMOV is sitting at a desk, reading silently from a paper. He looks horrified, writes a something on the paper, turns the paper over and places it on top of a pile of papers, pauses, takes off glasses, wipes them on shirt, places them back on, looks at JUNE.
ADAMOV: Now what may I do for you Miss Winslow?
JUNE: I wanted to speak with you about my paper on Buckminster Fuller.
ADAMOV: Yes? I'm in the process of grading them now.
JUNE: Would you mind if I had mine back?
ADAMOV: Whatever for?
JUNE: I know that you gave half of them to your graduate assistant to grade.
ADAMOV: Brian Thomas? Yes, I did.
JUNE: Well . . . He and I know each other very well, and I don't know whether or not you gave him my paper to grade, but if you did it would place him in an awkward position. (Takes a deep breath - nervous) I also copied from one of his old papers; he doesn't know about it though.
ADAMOV: It's too late; I gave your paper to Brian a few days ago. (Pause, smiles) However, he returned it to me this morning for me to grade personally.
JUNE: (Smiles) May I have it back then?
ADAMOV: No, there's no need to; I 'm still undecided what grade to assign that particular paper. It was a rather unfair test actually. (Pause, smiles) I saw you two in the cinema some time ago. I believe he was eating popcorn from one of your shoes. . .
JUNE: (Holds head in embarrassment) Oh God!
ADAMOV: The next phase of the class will be dealing with ethics. I intend to discuss this incident with the class, although I will leave out the popcorn and the plagiarism.
JUNE: (Stands) Thank you. I won't take up any more of your time Professor. (Picks up book bag, walks toward exit.)
ADAMOV: Miss Winslow!
JUNE: (Turns, smiles) Yes Professor?
ADAMOV: Actually that paper looked very familiar to me, in fact it resembles one that I submitted many years ago, with a few modest changes, to the better I might add. With all these computer data bases now I suppose one can acquire just about any paper on any topic for a stipulated price. (Pause) (Looks her over) Would you at all be interested in earning an A?
JUNE: I'm listening . . .
Tableau. Lights slowly fade.