copyright © 2002 Lee Moyer

Hard to Conceive

By Lee Moyer

Written 3/2/02 Performed 3/8/02

Performed by Trent Westbrook, Jane Jones, and Lee Moyer

[Spotlight shines dimly on Trent- sitting in the window]

Lee from backstage: You may think your life is boring.

But you don’t know boring until you find yourself in solitary.

You can’t imagine how boring it is.

You want out. You’d give anything to get out… but you don’t have anything to give…

Doesn’t good behavior count for anything anymore? Doesn’t the presumption of innocence apply to you? Doesn’t anybody care?

You have no recourse to the law- not in here. Not in solitary…

You really don’t know what you did to deserve this- It’s not like you’re a bad guy or anything. Maybe you sinned, but who doesn’t? You’re only human after all…

You try to break out. You try to dig. You try to tunnel. You try to crack the walls, but you can’t. Not with your fingers, not with your nails. Not with your fists. Not with your feet. Not with your head.

You sometimes hear muffled conversation from outside. You hear sounds, but you never hear any words. Sounds, but no substance. You are so tortured by these vague sounds- sounds that are always just beyond the threshold of hearing- that you put your hands over your ears. Then all you hear is your heartbeat… Some conversationalist.

There’s no one you can talk to.

There’s nothing you can do.

There’s no music.

There’s no television

There’s no theatre.

Sometimes, when you are feeling philosophical, you feel bad for the other inmates. Did they get a bum rap too?

You wonder what they did.

You wonder if they are in solitary.

You wonder if their sentence is any shorter than yours.

You wonder if they’ve thought of something you haven’t.

You wonder if they’ve found some way to escape.

Sometimes you try to communicate with them. You try to use the codes you’ve been developing in your head. The knocking codes. The kicking codes. The shouting codes.

But there’s never a response.

The food never changes, and you’d stop eating it in protest, but a lingering Death would be worse than your malingering life.

You can only count off the days in your head, on your fingers, with your toes. And that’s no easy task, because there’s no windows here.

The days never end.

Or maybe they end with every breath.

You just don’t know anymore.

You’ve got no markers to show you the way. Any way. All sense of perspective, all sense of self, all stimuli, all that you want, all that you crave. All gone. Maybe never to come back…

You imagine what you’ll do when you get out… When you get out!

It all seems so hard to conceive- to imagine a day when you’ll be free.

But you can’t help thinking about it.

You call it Liberation Day and start to plan...

There will be a party. A big party.

Everyone you love will be there.

Great drinks.

And dancing.

A little T & A.

Maybe a photographer.

Or a Video rig- record the whole thing so you can enjoy the party over and over. That’d be sweet. After all, you’ve waited a long time…



Sometimes you hear a noise that’s just a little different.

You imagine the footsteps and sense a chance.

You think your time is finally up.

But you’re wrong.

You’ve always been wrong…


Until today… [Trent falls out of the window]


Dr. Jane (loudly from offstage): Congratulations Mrs. Westbrook. It’s a boy.

Trent: >>Wailing<<



"Hard to Conceive" debuted March 8, 2002, performed by Trent Westbrook, Jane Jones, and Lee Moyer.

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