Opening of the One-Act Play “Trump’s Last Voice File”

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Just an opinion: Donald Trump is a vile and vulgar representatives of the human race. When the urge to write something  about his bid for the Oval Office, there is so much I want to spew about how he has taken a credible, legitimized seat at the adult’s table. Yet there are plenty of folks out there writing about the same notions and doing it better than I could. Yet the urge to write something still remains and the other evening my mind dredged up Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape” as having some potential.
Below is a reworking “Krapp’s Last Tape” as a personal outlet for my internal rage, disgust and dismay. I’ve done my best to adhere to his sentence and passage structures, reworking it with new words…but some of the original phrases just fit so perfectly, I kept them in. Click HERE for a script of “Krapp’s Last Tape.”
My apologies to Beckett.
*******

A rather late evening or very early morning (maybe 3 AM) in the not so distant future.

Trump’s office in his Manhattan tower.

Front center an ostentatious and too-large-for-the-room desk, the fifteen drawers face the audience, some of which are open and spilling over with magazines with Trump on the cover.

Sitting at the desk, facing front, i.e. across from the drawers, a lecherous old man: Trump

Gaudy gold pajama trousers too short for him. Tawdry gold sleeveless robe, four capaciou pockets. Heavy gold watch and chain. KFC-stained white shirt open down to the belly, no collar. Surprisingly small pair of dirty white boots, size six at most, very wide and floppy like a clown’s.

Orange face. Pinocchio nose. Scientifically-implemented comb-over hair. Unshaven. Very (very) near-sighted (but it has nothing to do with the eyes). Hears only himself.

Slobbering voice. Creepy intonation.

Stalker-like walk.

On the table a pristine golden Android phone and a pile of discarded smart phones.

Desk and immediately adjacent area in a strong golden light. Rest of the stage in murky darkness.

Trump remains a moment motionless, grunts a guttural grunt, looks at his watch, fumbles in his pockets, takes out a flash drive, puts it back, fumbles, takes out an exceptionally large set of gold keys, raises it to his eyes, gets up and moves to front of table. He lurches to a squat, unlocks the first drawer, peers into it, feels about inside of it, takes out a DVD, peers at it, puts it back, locks drawer, unlocks second drawer, peers into it, feels about inside it, takes out a plastic box of Tic Tacs, peers at it, locks drawer, puts keys back in his pocket. He abruptly pivots and lumbers to edge of stage, halts, strokes the plastic box of Tic Tacs, flips open its lid, pours in a mouthful, drops the plastic box and remains motionless, staring lecherously before him. Finally he chews the mints, pivots abruptly aside and begins lumbering to and fro at edge of stage, in the golden light, i.e. not more than four or five stomps either way, mindlessly chewing the mints. He stomps on the plastic box, awkwardly lurches, nearly falls, recovers himself (in his own mind), crouches and gawks at plastic box and finally pushes it, still crouching, with his small foot over the edge of the stage into (possibly burning) pit. He resumes his lurching, finishes mouthful of Tic Tacs, returns to desk, flops down, remains for a moment motionless, grunts a guttural grunt,  takes exceptionally large set of golden keys from his pocket, raises them to his eyes, chooses key, gets up and moves to front of desk, unlocks second drawer, takes out second plastic box of Tic Tacs, peers at it, locks drawer, puts back his key in his pocket, abruptly pivots, lurches to the the edge of stage, wavers, strokes plastic box of Tic Tacs, opens the lid, pours a mouthful, tosses the box into (possibly burning) pit, and remains jittery, staring lecherously before him. Finally he believes he has an actual idea, spits mints into his hand and puts them into his waistcoat pocket, the end emerging, and goes with all the self-delusion he can muster backstage into the murky darkness. Ten seconds. Loud pop of (luxuriously expensive) cork. Fifteen seconds. He comes back into golden light carrying an I-Pad and sits down at desk. He lays I-Pad on table, slowly wipes his mouth, wipes small hands on the front of his sleeveless golden robe, brings them mindlessly together and rubs them.

TRUMP

(Sputtering) Uh! (He bends over I-Pad, flips pages on screen, finds the note-to-self memo he wants, reads.) Phone…three…memo file…five. (he bobbles his head and glares at front. With smirk.) Memo file! (Pause.) Memo file(Creepy smile. Pause. He bends over desk, starts peering and poking at the pile of used smart phones.) Phone…three…three…four…two…(Dumbfounded) nine! good fucking God!…seven…uh! the little bitch! (He hastily scoops up the pile, peers at it.) Phone three. (He lays it on table, spreads it across table and peers at screen after screen.) Memo file… (he peers at I-Pad)…five…(he peers at phones)…five…five..uh! the little bitch (He takes out a phone, glares at it.) Memo file five. (He lays it on desk, pushes all the other phones aside, picks up the phone.) Phone three, memo file five. (He lurks over the phone, looks up, with smirk.) Memo file! (Creepy smile. He lurches, opens folder on phone, rubs his small hands.) Liberty at rest at last…Uh…The black people…(He bobbles his head, glares luridly front. Dumbfounded.) Black people?..(He peers again at the I-Pad, reads.) The white doctor…(He raises his head, stews, peers again at the I-Pad, reads.) The greatest improvement in bowel condition…Uh…Extra-ordinary…what? (He peers closer.) Solstice, extra-ordinary solstice. (He bobbles his head, leers blankly front. Dumbfounded.) Extra-ordinary solstice? (Pause. He shrugs his head shoulders, peers again at the I-Pad, reads.) Farewell to — (he flips page on I-Pad) — decency.

VOICE FILE

(guttural voice, rather pompous, clearly Trump’s at a much earlier time.)  Sixty-one today, sound as a — (Settling himself more comfortable he knocks a part of the pile of phones off the table, curses like a sailor, switches off, sweeps remaining phones violently to the ground, restarts the voice file, resumes posture.) Sixty-one today, sound as the healthiest man ever, apart from my old weakness, and intellectually I have every reason to suspect at the…(hesitates)…crest of my greatness — or thereabouts. Celebrated the awful occasion, as in recent years, quietly at the Manhattan tower. Not a soul. Sat before the portrait of myself with closed eyes, separation the winners from the losers, dabbed a few notes on the back of coasters. Good to be back in my office in a dark suit. Have just eaten, I do not in the least regret to say, three mouthfuls of Tic Tacs and only with difficulty restrained a fourth. Great things for a man with my condition (Zealously.) Kick ’em out! (Pause.) The golden light from above my desk is a great improvement. With all this murky darkness around me I feel less insignificant. (Pause.) In a way. (Pause.) I love to get up and grope about in it, then back here to (hesitates) …me. (Pause.) Trump.

*******

27 Comments

  1. Wow. That’s some impressive stuff! Very well done. I’m sure Beckett would not mind. (Disclaimer: I never knew Beckett, 😉 but I do know and love his work enough to feel I know he would not mind, and that he would laugh at my pretending to know his mind. lol.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would have probably never started had i known how long it was going be, but it was one of things that took on a life of its own and i felt compelled to see it through to the end. But it did server its purpose for the time being of providing a safety valve for what was being penned up inside. Maybe it can be sustained for the next four weeks. Trump’s fall in the polls helps. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • I hear you. I had to stop reading the news on the internet. I was starting to be a basket case and my blood sugar shot sky high! I understand the docs are now saying this is a new syndrome. I don’t think it WILL go away when he loses. I think he has changed the rhetoric in this country so much that it has altered the terrain forever. And that scares me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scared for the same reasons, but there are some signs the GOP leadership understands what kind of fire they’ve been playing with and maybe we can get some bipartisan successes in the near future, tamping down the hatred and rhetoric.

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    • perfectly said…i was surprised the play popped into my head because it was not one of his plays i was most aware of…unfortunately 100 years from now Krapp will still be crap and the play will be relevant for those folks, too.

      your comment jogged my memory and now i am remembering the essay on hope by Absurdist playwright and former head of state of Czechoslavakia and then the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel that began with the story of falling into a sewer well in the countryside two months before he would become head of state: “Who could have known I was to leave this unfortunate sewer only to end up in the president’s office two months later? I was not, after all, to have the distinction of becoming the first playwright to drown in shit at Okrouhlice.” At least that’s what i take up memory space with. 😉

      Great essay…appeared in Esquire magazine of all places. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a12135/vaclav-havel-hope-6619552/

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just try to remember where I parked my car. Impressive memory and generally overall impressive meanderings your mind takes. I’ll read that essay on my commute tomorrow. You can take the Trump out of the sewer, but if he makes it to the white house, that’ll be a tower of shit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That was a good (and surprisingly short) read. This bit could be wrotten today about Crap’s cognitive dissonance ‘… this is a man for whom everything is coming apart, whose world is collapsing, who senses he has irrevocably lost something but is unable to admit this to himself and therefore hides from it.’

        Liked by 1 person

        • nice to hear the post seemed short…one of those kind of pieces that one can get immersed in writing that it is difficult to see the trees from the forest on such matters…the cognitive dissonance quote could equally describe the supporters of Trump, especially the “moral majority” folks…Trump is Krapp but with followers.

          Liked by 1 person

    • one would think we Americans would have more sense, but we seem to be always in a state of fear and loathing guarded by an anti-intellectualism that no one can really pick…the possibility of massive low voter turn out is possible, and that is when things really can get turned on their head because it is people who are in a frenzy with fear and loathing that are motivated to go to the polls.

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  2. You’ve said it all, most eloquently! And Trump wants to be best pals with my country (the UK). The mind boggles. If we hold hands with him, I dread where it will lead us. On the other hand, Hilary C. wants to put us at the back of the trading queue. Either way, we’re doomed D:

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