(lights up on an old man, dressed in rags, seated amid a load of trash on the stage.)
This heres the dump. Dump. Brings a load of pretty images to yer mind right away, dont it? Its a dump. Take a dump. Dump that. Dump this. Just let it go. Throw it away, it aint no good to me no more, haul it out to the dump. Well, I live here. This dump is my dump, my home, my chunk of the world. Years ago, back when there didnt seem like there was so much stuff to throw away, my pap took me out here almost every Sunday and wed walk us around for hours looking for stuff that shouldnt be out here yet. Lamp that wasnt broken, flashlight still worked. Bags of clothes, too. My old man, he found him a hell of a lot of good stuff back them days. Hungs of brass this or that, wood stuff hardly even been cracked hed fix up sharp and refinish. Monday or Tuesday head us off with the fixed up junk we didnt want ourselves and and sell it at the community auction. Sometimes Ol Bob and his sister would spit on me, or call me a dump rat fer prowlin out in the junkyard with my old man, but I wouldnt even look at em. Hell, why give em the satisfaction. My old man would say, "Yer god damned right, dont pay no attention to the sons of bitches." Pap and me, we knew the straight of her. It was people like them two and their family that did the throwin out. What are they interested in savin a something for? Always a new something just around the corner, right? Well, folks like me and pap say that a sad old thing aint always done for it if aint pushing up yer toast as fast as when you first got it, or maybe aint shinin so bright as it used to. Sometimes a think needs a polishin or maybe a new piece there or to clean out a this here...well...peoples are people.
Pap died years back. No money, county buried him. I remember bein real alone in the world then, couldnt make up my mind what it was I felt like. I guess it was sorta like being dumped, but not for real. It was Pap got dumped. County dumped him and aint even a marker to show fer it. Took the house and the station wagon for what they call restitution or something like that. Pap didnt have no insurance, so the county took what he did have to pay fer dumpin him. I took to roamin some. I knew there was gonna be a dump in every town, and in that dump I was always gonna find something not quite ready to be tossed out. I became a travelling collector of what people didnt want or need any more. People throw away all knds of things. Toss em out there some place. Forget about em. Litter the places they dont look at much with what they get tired of or dont want to be bothered with no more.
Dont like the color? Throw it away. Dont like the style? Throw it away. Dont like the noise it makes? Throw it away. Dont like him? Throw him away. Dont like her? Throw her away.
(one by one small dirty dump urchins, grimy old women, and ragged old tramps walk woodenly into the light. They for a semi-circle around the the old man, like from "Village of the Damned". Each one holds an item of trash.)
But, like I say, roamin around I took to collecting what aint quite ready to be tossed out. Like Pap always said, maybe just a turn of a screw, wipe of a cloth, or just a pretty word or two can make a thing jump right out of the dump and be real useful again....yessir, this dump is my home....but I aint about to live here forever.
(It is now clear that each item of trash could easily be used as a weapon. Beat. Lights down on the old man, then slowly on the group of dump people, who stare into the audience with malice.)"Dump" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR
Read at playwrights festival 4-29-89, but otherwise unperformed, I think...although now Im having a vague recollection of Brad Schnurr doing it.....)
Gosh, looking at this now, and knowing I wrote it when I was about to be tossed out of the playwrights workshop and read it at playwrights festival, its a pretty clear attack on Old Bob Hedley and his Sister Shelley Berc....and a pretty obvious request to one of the festival guests to give me an internship. I really had brass ones in those days, but didnt have much to lose since I was told two weeks before the end of the semester that if I didnt have an internship lined up by the end of the festival, I was out of the workshop. Hats off to Randy Rollison who decided HOME could use a no shame of its own and so he offered me an internship immediately after the reading to set one up for him. Also to the guy from LA whose first comment after the reading was. "Why did we have to wait all week to finally see some decent theatre?"
All in all it was a succesful presentation and I remained a thorn in everyones side until Dec of 1991.
Performed by Todd Ristau.
Performed by Todd Ristau, Jane Jones, Trent Westbrook and two or three other people.
Performed by Todd Ristau and a company of dump dwellers including: Joan Ruelle, Connie Sellers, Mike Allen, Dwayne Yancey, Kieth Yancey, and Matthew Reames.