Of Self

by Angela Blum

CAST OF CHARACTERS

KODY MEYER----------------------18, a self-conscious female

PESSIMISM--------------------------------18, a form of Kody

     RICHARD---------------------50, Kody’s negative father

     MICHAEL-------------------------20, a pessimistic male

OPTIMISM---------------------------------18, a form of Kody

     MOLLY---------------------47, Kody’s supportive mother

     TARA--------------------------22, an optimistic female

MASCULINITY------------------------------18, a form of Kody

     ERIK-----------------25, Kody’s athletic older brother

     DEAN-----------------------------------18, a macho man

FEMININITY-------------------------------18, a form of Kody

     MELISSA------------------22, Kody’s pushy older sister

     EMILY---------------------------------18, a girly girl

ANGER------------------------------------18, a form of Kody

     GREGORY---------------------15, Twin brother of Sophie

     THOMAS------------------------------17, an angry youth

REASON-----------------------------------17, a form of Kody

     SOPHIE----------------------15, Twin sister of Gregory

     SAMANTHA---------------------------17, voice of reason

(NOTE: All characters, except for Kody, have three people per part)

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ACT 1

SCENE I

(Lights up. KODY is standing in front of a mirror in a spotlight. PESSIMISM ENTERS.)

KODY

     Today is going to be a good day. (She adjusts her outfit.)

PESSIMISM

    I wouldn’t be so sure. (PESSIMISM begins to slowly circle KODY.) You look absolutely horrible. I mean honestly, did you even try?

KODY

   I don’t look that bad.

PESSIMISM

   Hah! That’s funny.

KODY

   Please, I don’t have time for this. (She fiddles with her clothes some more.)

PESSIMISM

   Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t realize I was interrupting. Carry on.

(KODY continues getting ready, fixing her hair in the mirror.)

PESSIMISM

    Wow. You actually managed to make yourself look worse.

(OPTIMISM appears.)

OPTIMISM

   Pessimism! Would you knock it off already!

PESSIMISM

   Ah, come on Op, we were only joking around. (Throws a hand over KODY’s shoulder) Weren’t we Kody? Besides, Kody’s a big girl. She can handle a little constructive criticism. It’s good for her, builds character.

OPTIMISM

   There’s a difference between criticism and bullying, Pess.

PESSIMISM

   Don’t call me Pess! (PESSIMISM shoves OPTIMISM away from him as he storms back into the shadows, observing.)

KODY

   Thanks. (KODY whispers.)

OPTIMISM

   That’s what I’m here for. (OPTIMISM gestures to the sulking PESSIMISM.)

PESSIMISM

   Oh stop babying the poor girl. The world is a cruel place to be, and all your coddling is not going to prepare her for what’s out there.

OPTIMISM

   You’re worse than anything out there.

(FEMININITY ENTERS.)

FEMININITY

    Out of my way! Important person here!            

(Pushing OPTIMISM away.)

FEMININITY

   Thank you! Now Kody, I have hope that today you will wow me with, (She faces  KODY.) Ah! What do you think you are wearing? (She spins KODY around.)

KODY

   I just (KODY shrugs.)

FEMININITY

   No. This will definitely not do. Listen Kody, you’re not going to get a man by dressing like one.

PESSIMISM

   Told you. You look like a hot mess, minus the hot part.

OPTIMISM

   Oh stop it, both of you. I think Kody looks fine.

FEMININITY

   Fine. (FEMININE laughs.) Sure, you keep lying to her. You’re almost worse than Pess over there.

PESSIMISM

   Don’t call me Pess!

OPTIMISM

   I was just saying that in my opinion.

FEMININITY

   (Shoves her way between OPTIMISM and KODY.) No one cares, Optimism. Kody, darling, please, please, please tell me that you are not seriously considering going out wearing something like that.

OPTIMISM

   She looks perfectly fine.

FEMININITY

   What am I going to do with you? Kody, you are useless.

KODY

   But what’s wrong with what I’m wearing?

FEMININITY

    Everything. Kody, listen to me: if you ever want to find love, then you have to show off your assets. (FEMININITY unzips KODY’s jacket and gasps loudly.) Where is your cleavage?”

(MASCULINITY ENTERS.)

MASCULINITY

    Enough! Femininity, if she doesn’t want to dress like you, you shouldn’t make her.

 FEMININITY

     Why wouldn’t she want to dress like me?

MASCULINITY

    Maybe because she doesn’t want to be called a whore.

FEMININITY

   (FEMININITY rolls her eyes.) Please don’t start again Mas; we all know you’re going to lose.

MASCULINITY

    I think my track record would tell you otherwise.

OPTIMISM

   Fem, Mas. Please don’t do this now. Not in front of Kody.

FEMININITY

   Kody’s fine. She knows we mean it in the nicest way possible.

PESSIMISM

    I told you. She can take care of herself.

MASCULINITY

   Well she looked better before Femininity got involved. (MASCULINITY approaches KODY. He zips the jacket back up.)

(ANGER ENTERS. He stands next to PESSIMISM.)

ANGER

    Yo, Pessimism!

PESSIMISM

    Anger! You’re missing a good one.

ANGER

   Why didn’t you tell me they were at it again?

PESSIMISM

   I figured you already knew. Aren’t you tuned in to fights?

FEMININITY

   Maybe she looked fine to you, but to the rest of the world, she looks like a bum. (Unzips KODY’s jacket.)

KODY

   Hey.

ANGER

   Ten bucks says Mas wins.

PESSIMISM

   Hah! I know better than to bet against you.

ANGER

   Took you long enough.

MASCULINITY

   At least she doesn’t look like a cheap skank. (Pulls up zipper.) Unlike you.

KODY

   Stop! Please.

FEMININITY

   What did you just call me?

ANGER

   Is she really going to just stand there and take it?

OPTIMISM

    Please stop fighting. You’re making Kody uncomfortable. (Puts arm over KODY’s  shoulder in a protective manner.)

FEMININITY

   You know what Mas, maybe if you stopped taking steroids, you’d have the brain function of a normal human being.

MASCULINITY

   At least I don’t strut around scantily dressed. Can somebody say desperate?

KODY

   Optimism, how can we get them to stop?

OPTIMISM

   We need Reason!

ANGER

    Come on Mas! Do you really want Kody parading around looking like Paris Hilton?

FEMININITY

    Please, even I’m not that cruel.

(REASON ENTERS.)

REASON

    Everybody shut up! (They all go silent.) Now somebody tell me what’s going on?

FEMININITY

    Masculinity called me a whore.

MASCULINITY

   (Imitating FEMININITY in a whiny voice) Masculinity called me a whore. No I didn’t. Quit whining and take it like a man. Oops. My bad. Carry on.

REASON

    Mas, is what Femininity saying true?

MASCULINITY

    Nope.

FEMININITY

   You’re lying, you dumb jock! You called me a whore and you know it! You’re just not man enough to admit it.

MASCULINITY

   I didn’t call you a whore! I called you a skank. Big difference. (PESSIMISM  approaches KODY.)

PESSIMISM

   Kody, look at this. It’s chaos in here.

KODY

What am I supposed to do about it? You are the ones who won’t stop fighting.

PESSIMISM

   It’s your head, organize it! Whip these babies into shape. March over there and take control!

KODY

   I don’t know if you were paying attention, but I tried to get them under control. They won’t listen to me.

PESSIMISM

   That was your attempt at getting things under control? HAH!

KODY

    Like you could do any better.

PESSIMISM

    I could if I were in charge.

KODY

    Well then how do I get them to stop?

PESSIMISM

    Best to let Reason handle it. She’ll straighten the whole thing out, hopefully.

KODY

    Hopefully?

PESSIMISM

    Yeah. She’s not in charge either. They have to listen to her as much as they have to listen to me.

KODY

    Then why do they listen to her?

PESSIMISM

    Because she makes them see sense. God! What is with all the questions? You should already know this by now! You are pathetic! All this potential is wasted on you.

(REASON has calmed everyone down. They turn to face KODY and PESSIMISM.)

PESSIMISM

    This is your mind! Why don’t you grow a pair and take control of it for once? Instead you just leave it up to the others to figure it out! Great job! Really, fan-fricken-tastic!

OPTIMISM

    Pess! Kody hasn’t done anything wrong.

PESSIMISM

    You can’t even stand up for yourself. You need Mrs. happy-go-lucky to do it for you.

OPTIMISM

    She doesn’t need me to stand up for her.

PESSIMISM

    I rest my case.

(PESSIMISM exits.)

OPTIMISM

    Just ignore him Kody. We all know you’re doing the best you can.

KODY

    But what if that’s not good enough?

PESSIMSIM

    (From off stage.) Can you do anything right?

END OF SCENE I

 

SCENE II

(RICHARD and MOLLY are sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast. KODY ENTERS.)

KODY

     Morning. (KODY yawns.)

MOLLY

    Good morning sweetheart, did you sleep okay?

KODY

    Not really.

MOLLY

    Aw, poor baby. Is everything alright?

RICHARD

    Molly, please, she is eighteen, stop treating her like a child.

MOLLY

    I’m not babying her.

RICHARD

    Then what would you call it?

MOLLY

   It’s called being supportive, Richard, you should try it sometime.

RICHARD

   I’m plenty supportive. But that’s not what we are discussing. I bet if you asked her, she’d say you’re babying her.

MOLLY

    Dick, please.

RICHARD

    I thought I told you to never call me that.

MOLLY

    Why, I think it suits you.

(MELISSA ENTERS.)

MELISSA

    Morning Mom, Dad. (She sits down at the table. Eyes up her sister's outfit.) Kody. Weird, I could have sworn I only had two brothers, not three.

MOLLY

    Melissa.

MELISSA

    Mom, look at her. It’s embarrassing.

(ERIK ENTERS.)

ERIK

   Oh, it’s just Melissa, for a second I thought there wasn’t going to be any food left.

MELISSA

    There’s no shame about caring about your personal appearance.

MOLLY

    Erik. Melissa. You’re setting a bad example.

RICHARD

    What’s there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition between siblings?

MOLLY

    Now who’s babying.

RICHARD

    You admit it! You baby Kody.

(SOPHIE and GREGORY ENTER.)

GREGORY

    Arguing already? What did I miss?

 MOLLY

     We are not fighting. We are just having a discussion.

MELISSA

    Discussing, right, and Erik isn’t on steroids.

(KODY rises to leave.)

RICHARD

    And where do you think you’re going, missy.

KODY

    Back to my room.

MOLLY

    You hardly touched your food, is everything alright?

KODY

    I’m fine.

RICHARD

     Well in that case sit down and finish eating.

KODY

     I’m not hungry.

MELISSA

    She must be sick if she’s not eating.

ERIK

    Is that really necessary Lissa?

MELISSA

     What? I’m just stating a fact.

ERIK

     Oh, well then I’m just stating that you’re a bitch.

SOPHIE

    Please, some of us are trying to enjoy our breakfasts.

GREGORY

    And some of us are trying to enjoy the free entertainment. Killjoy.

MELISSA

    Wow, did nobody hear what he called me? Okay. Whatever. Too busy playing favorites with Kody.

ERIK

    Is that a hint of jealousy I detect? What? Somebody wishing she was still Mom’s favorite.

GREGORY

    Please, Melissa was never Mom’s favorite.

ERIK

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

MOLLY

    I don’t have favorites. I love you all equally.

(KODY starts to back of the stage.)

RICHARD

    Kody! I thought I told you to sit down.

MOLLY

   Richard! There is no need to shout. If she wants to be excused she can be.

RICHARD

   Well I want to win the lottery, but sadly we don’t always get what we want.

KODY

    Fine. (Sits back down.)

RICHARD

    That’s a good girl.

END OF SCENE II

 

SCENE III

(KODY is sitting on a bench alone. TARA ENTERS.)

TARA

   Hey Kody! (KODY waves.) Hey, are you okay?

KODY

    Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just having one of those days.

TARA

    Don’t worry; I’m sure it will get better.

KODY

    I doubt it.

TARA

    Well I’m sure of it.

(TARA sits down next to her.)

KODY

   So what are you doing out here anyway? Schools over. No point sticking around.

TARA

   Oh, I’m just waiting for the others. Dean’s going to drive us to the mall.

KODY

   Ah, well have fun.

TARA

   Didn’t he invite you?

KODY

    No, but I’ve got (she pauses.) homework and other stuff to do anyway.

TARA

   Are you sure you couldn’t come with us? It’s no fun without you there.

KODY

    I can’t just invite myself.

(MICHAEL ENTERS.)

MICHAEL

   Hey Tara, Kody.

TARA

    Hey Mike. I was just trying to persuade Kody to come to the mall with us.

MICHAEL

    Aw, Kody’s not coming. Rats. Hey Tara, can I speak to you for a moment. Alone.

TARA

   Fine, but this better be important.

MICHAEL

   Oh trust me. It is.

(MICHAEL and TARA go to the other side of the stage.)

MICHAEL

    You asked her to come! Why?

TARA

    Because it’s the nice thing to do. She’s our friend.

MICHAEL

   Yeah but, she’s become sort of a Debbie Downer.

TARA

   Michael! Kody is perfectly happy. She’s just going through a bit of a rough patch. Besides you’re one to talk, Mr. Sulks-a-lot.

MICHAEL

    I think you mean Sir Sulks-a-lot. If you’re going to insult me do it properly.

TARA

    Sir? The only throne you’ll ever get near is the one in the bathroom.

MICHAEL

    Oh hah hah. You think you’re so funny.

TARA

    Yes, actually, I do.

(DEAN and EMILY ENTER in deep conversation. They pause when they see KODY.  EMILY hurries over to where TARA and MICHAEL are.)

EMILY

    What’s she doing here?

MICHAEL

    Tara invited her.

TARA

   She can’t go anyway, so what does it matter.

DEAN

     Hey, I didn’t know you were coming.

KODY

   I’m not. I’ve got stuff to do. I’m just waiting for Melissa to pick me up after her shift.

DEAN

   Oh. Well good luck with your stuff.

(MICHAEL heads back over to DEAN and KODY.)

MICHAEL

    So! When are Sam and Tommy getting here?

DEAN

   Tom texted me that he was on his way like five minutes ago.

MICHAEL

    Good, the sooner they get here, the sooner we can    leave.

(SAMANTHA AND THOMAS ENTER.)

EMILY

   Oh good Samantha’s here!

THOMAS

   So Mikey. I see things didn’t go according to plan.

MICHAEL

   Shut up, Tom! (Shoves THOMAS away from the group.) Think before you speak! You idiot! One of these day’s I’m going to wring your neck.

THOMAS

   And supposedly I’m the one with anger issues. So, what’s Kody doing here?

MICHAEL

    Luckily she’s waiting for a ride.

DEAN

    I’m parked in the student lot. You guys ready to go?

(DEAN, SAMANTHA, EMILY, and TARA EXIT)

MICHAEL

    See you later Kody, I’m really going to miss you.

THOMAS

    Quit lying to her, and get in the car.

(THOMAS AND MICHAEL EXIT.)

(LIGHTS OUT)

END OF SCENE III

 

SCENE IV

(KODY is walking down the street. PESSIMISM is following her.)

PESSIMSIM

    Kody, Kody, Kody. What is wrong with you? Well I mean besides the fact that you’re a pathetic loser.

KODY

    Just leave me alone. Please.

PESSIMISM

   How about, I stick around, and criticize your friends some more. All in favor. (He raises his hand.) All opposed. Ah! Looks like it’s unanimous, I’m staying.

KODY

    Whatever.

(PESSIMISM stands in front of Kody, blocking her path.)

PESSIMISM

   Kody. Look at you. You’re a total mess, and I’m not responsible. I’m starting to feel threatened. I thought we had something special. I make you feel shitty, you cry. I insult you, you cry. We had a nice rhythm going.

(KODY tries to get past PESSIMISM.)

KODY

    Pessimism, please.

PESSIMISM

   Ah! There it is! That harmonious quiver in your voice that sends chills down my spine. It’s my own personal symphony. I’ve still got it! Take that pretty boy!

KODY

   Pessimism.

PESSIMISM

   I mean, come on. We both know you’re better off alone. I’m the only friend you need. Drop those losers. Especially the cheery one. I don’t see why the hell do you put up with them? Honestly.

KODY

   I put up with a lot of unpleasant things, including you.

PESSIMISM

   Oh, feisty. But let’s be realistic, Kody. Can you really imagine life without me? How boring it would be. Nah, you better with ole Pessy around.

(PESSIMISM wraps his arm around KODY’s shoulder and leads her off stage.)

END OF SCENE IV


SCENE V

(Spotlight on KODY. She is standing next to the mirror, crying.)

KODY

   So much for a good day. God! Why am I so pathetic? I’m worthless! A waste of space! I hate you!

(PESSIMISM ENTERS.)

PESSIMISM

   Well, well, well. Look what we have here. You really hit rock bottom.

KODY

    Leave me alone.

PESSIMISM

   Oh, wasn’t I invited to your pity party? I could have sworn I just had the invitation. Well either way I just came to give you some words of encouragement. (He circles KODY.) You forgot how nobody likes you. I almost actually feel sorry for you. Me feeling sorry for you! HAH! It would be hilarious if it wasn’t the truth. You are so pathetic! You don’t even realize how annoying you really are. You are just this worthless, feeble, pitiful excuse for a human being! But it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to feel like this.

KODY

    What do you mean?

PESSIMISM

   Let me help you. (Reaches out a hand to her.) I can make sure you never feel like this again.

(KODY reaches out towards his hand.)

KODY

   How can you help me?

PESSIMISM

   I will take care of everything. Trust me. I’m the only one who can help.

(KODY makes a fist and pulls her arm back as if she is going to punch PESSIMISM.)

PESSIMISM

   I know you, Kody. I know you better than you know yourself. And I know that you are too weak to accomplish anything on your own. That’s where I come in. You don’t just need me Kody, you want me. You were waiting for this opportunity since the day you were born. So why don’t you put down the remote control and give Pessy a turn.

(KODY punches the mirror. The mirror shatters. PESSIMISM falls to the ground.)

KODY

   Today is going to be a good day.

END OF PLAY

 

 

Last Updated: 4/8/13