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Written by
Joseph Frost
written for the 2016 31 Plays in 31 Days project

Joseph Frost, 2016

4550 Normandy Dr
Jackson, MS 39206
* member, Dramatists Guild of America

A young woman, ALEXIS, sits in a chair.

One the scrim (or wall) behind her is a painted city-scape though the area directly around her is unpainted, like its
waiting to be finished.
Alexis wears long sleeves.
Ive been in this city for about 6 years now. Its not easy, sure. Expensive. Dirty. Noisy.
That all describes a place where things happen. Its crowded, and theres always some
dude who wants to give you crap on the street, whistling and making an idiot of himself.
All that. But Ive been where theres nothing, no one, nowhere. The dudes have all that
same garbage in their minds but it doesnt come out of there until its too late. Me? Im fine
where Im at.
Alexis stands. She takes a step up onto the chair.
I love this city. And Ive learned to keep it at arms length. To keep it from becoming too
much of who I am, letting it become me FOR me, to relieve me of the responsibility of
being me. I like to remember that I was me before I came here. That I was, before I was
Alexis rolls up her sleeves to reveal extensive tatoos.
This is my story. It was my story before the city. It reminds me of home. Of mama and my
brother. Of elementary school and the fire house down the street. My tree fort and the gully
behind my house. Jimmies Pizza and Covered Bridge. Working at the library on Saturday
mornings and when the ice would shut down the whole town for 4 days. The books I read,
movies at the Pix, and TV nights before you could binge watch. That was me. Thats me
underneath. I know her, and I am her. And I like to remember. When it all gets stirred up,
like the deep pot of stew on grandmas stove, that smelled like something just died, right
before it would smell delicious.
Alexis hops down from the chair. She goes up to the
And this is where I get to create me now. As a part of this city. As I create a part of the
city, with me.

Alexis picks up a paint brush.
She slaps paint into the bare spot in the mural.
And it looks like I dont fit. Not at all. Unless you look at the rest of the city, close up. And
recognize that its made up entirely of pieces that dont fit. Like room full of puzzle pieces
where someone threw out all the boxes. Dont fit? So dont everyone else. Thats the city
I paint.
She drops the paint brush, goes back to the chair and sits.
She starts to roll down her sleeves.
People come and go from here every day. Apartments emptied at the end of each month,
only to be filled twice over by the first of the next. People quitting, and working up the
gumption. Gearing up, and getting crushed. All by this little city.
Me? Im fine where Im at.
Alexis is still.
Lights down on Alexis.
Lights down on the mural.

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