The Monkey-Man begins secluded in his dim stone room with only a voice to teach him the laws of nature and a single eye to watch over him. One day, while roaming round his domain, he discovers a staircase that he had never seen before. He takes a suitcase with him and travels down the stairs. When he gets to the bottom, he sees other people; many busy people, pushing and shoving each other around, going toward a certain place. The Monkey-Man spots a large vehicle (the subway). He is taken into the flow of people and enters the subway. Some people stare at him, but most just go on their way. There’s a man sitting on the bench next to him talking on his cell phone. He’s really angry at one of his employees and is using hurtful language that’s very alien to the Monkey-Man. The man on his phone fires his employee and hangs up as the subway comes to a stop. He glares at the Monkey-Man and exits. The Monkey-Man picks up some trash on the floor of the subway and puts it in his suitcase. Then he also exits, coming to another room which is less populated, then enters into another door. He comes into a bathroom where he sees a man in rags (hobo) sitting on the filthy floor with an empty liquor bottle in his hand. The man looks pale and moans, rubbing his eyes and picking at a scab on his arm as his bottle rolls out of his hand. He looks at the Monkey-Man, who stoops to pick up the bottle and put it in his suitcase. The bathroom heeds no more; the Monkey-Man exits, taking one last look at the hobo, and goes into the previous room, now empty. He finds another staircase and walks up into the sunlight. It hurts his eyes and he cowers, but soon gets used to the brightness. The sidewalk he came up to is busy. People shoot angry, questioning looks at him, and he is confused. But he goes on his way, and comes to a little girl holding a teddy bear about to cross the road with her mother. Her mother beckons her to go on, but she stares at the Monkey-Man in fear. He goes forward, not knowing her feelings, and she screams, drops her bear, and runs across the street. The Monkey-Man picks up the teddy bear to put it in his suitcase; it’s almost overflowing now, so he decides to return to his room. He finds his way back through the underground, and sits down, thinking about his experiences. His eyes hurt from the light and his brain hurts from the thought. He is scarred forever in sorrow, his innocence a broken, dark box of lies. The pressure and the hostility of society toward a stranger hurt him beyond healing.
(lights are dim) NARRATOR 1: (both narrators enter from the right) The Monkey-Man began knowing only his dim room, the friendly eye that watched over him, and the voice that taught him the laws of nature. (MM enters from backstage on the left carrying the eye, then sets it down next to him) He lived for his own existence, marvelling at his own simplicity and perfection.
VOICE: (backstage) With each new day comes new discovery.
MONKEY-MAN: What more could there be to such a wonderful life?
V: You will see.
NARRATOR 2: The Monkey-Man, intrigued by the foretold discoveries, began to pace and think. He knew this room – every corner, every crevice, and it didn’t seem as if there could be any more to be found.
MM: (walking in circles for a couple seconds, then stops) I think I’ll look around. (searches the perimeter of the room)
N1: To his surprise, the Monkey-Man found that there was more to the room than he had remembered. There were patterns on the wall, the ceiling. There was a suitcase in the corner, which he picked up and held. (MM picks up suitcase) But, strangest of all, there was a staircase.
MM: (standing at staircase, appalled) How could this be? In all my years, I had never noticed this!
N2: And indeed he had never seen it before.
V: Is this not any more wonderful, friend?
MM: O mentor, I do feel I have grown wiser.
N1: The Monkey-Man, determined to increase his knowledge of the new, slowly descended the stairs. (MM walking, taking his suitcase) The staircase went on for a while before he came into another room.
MM: (stops walking, exclaims) My goodness! What could this be?
(lights get a little brighter) N2: Speechless, the Monkey-Man began to look around in the unfamiliar space. It was, as was his room, made of stone, but what occupied it surprised him the most. There were many, many people that looked just like him, walking and running so fast and in their hurry, pushing and shoving each other out of their paths. (some people walk out from backstage on the right, hurrying around) He was quickly taken into the flow and soon he came to another strange sight. (MM walks in the direction of the people) A large, lengthy vehicle sat on shining metal rods. He entered through some doors – they seemed to open by magic – and sat down on a bench, as did the others near him. (MM and others sit on benches) Some stared at him with a very alien look that the Monkey-Man had never seen before; their foreheads wrinkled and the corners of their mouths turned down. He didn’t know what to think, so he sat in silence.
PHONE MAN: (holding cell phone, yelling) Yeah, well you know what? I didn’t have it. That sale was critical. You can’t just let that kind of thing go.
N1: There was a man sitting next to him that was talking into a device for communication, it seemed, from farther away than one could speak. The voice had told the Monkey-Man about these. But the man with the device was not happy; he had that strange look on his face, and his tone of voice was like a cruel wave that crashed down every time he spoke.
PM: (still yelling) Just one, eh? You’ve screwed up plenty of business. Neither I nor your co-workers or our clients will stand this any longer. You’re fired! (hangs up phone angrily)
N2: The Monkey-Man watched and became cold. Whoever that the man was talking to probably wasn’t very happy either. He sat in utter confusion and stared.
PM: (gives MM an angry glare) Hmph.
N1: The vehicle, which had been moving for a while, halted once more and the Monkey-Man watched some people exit. (people stand up, walk away) The man who had been sitting next to him got off the vehicle, but some crumpled-up papers fell out of his pocket, and the Monkey-Man eyed these in curiosity. (papers drop; MM picks them up and puts them in his suitcase) He picked them up and put them in his suitcase. Maybe he would be able to learn more about them later.
MM: (exits the subway, lights brighten) Well, it looks like I have come to another place.
N2: The space was smaller and emptier than the previous one, but the same colours and the same designs were present. There was light coming from another door in the room, so the Monkey-Man headed toward it. (MM walks toward the bathroom and pushes open the door) He pushed open the door and found another person. He jumped in surprise, as he didn’t know the man was there, but soon was studying him closely.
HOBO: (crawls from backstage on the right, moaning; carrying empty bottle) Uhhhhh... (begins coughing)
N1: The man seemed to be making a lot of noise – maybe he was sick? He didn’t look very well; he was wearing torn-up, dirty clothes and his body was covered in sludge. But his expression was the worse. Confused, bewildered... sorrowful. It made the Monkey-Man slightly sick to watch this creature, not knowing if this was all right.
H: (leans against wall, picks at arm lazily; drops empty bottle)
N2: The Monkey-Man saw that the dirty man had fallen asleep. He picked up the bottle, studied it – what was Colt 45? – and put it inside of his suitcase for future reference. (MM picks up bottle and puts it in suitcase) Maybe he would be able to learn more about it later. (MM begins to walk away) But he didn’t want to stay in this place. His forehead was getting wet and he felt tense inside. What was it? (HOBO crawls away)
MM: (walking around, looking around everywhere) I see, another staircase. Maybe walking will make me feel a little better. I want to discover something wonderful. (walks up the staircase)
N1: Finding another staircase, the Monkey-Man ascended as quickly as his feet could allow him, and arrived in another landing, screaming aloud.
(lights get a lot brighter) MM: (screams, shields his eyes) Ah... What is it? This bright light?
N2: The light of day was too much for the Monkey-Man to bear, but finding the shade of a nearby tree, he began to adjust to it and search his surroundings. (backs against wall) There were more people walking, and some vehicles moving around on the ground near them. There were tall buildings, many, many feet high. It was a lot to take in at once.
MOTHER: (enters from the left, front stage; LITTLE GIRL follows) Come on! It’s all right; we’re just crossing the street.
N1: The Monkey-Man looked in the direction of the woman’s voice. (MM turns his head) She seemed to be trying to coax her child – who was holding a stuffed bear – in the other direction. The Monkey-Man approached them so he could see a little better. This interaction, this socialisation – maybe it could help him learn about these people.
LITTLE GIRL: (starts walking with MOTHER; nervous voice) Okay... (looks around to face MM)
N2: The Monkey-Man noticed that the little girl was looking at him with a different kind of expression. It wasn’t angry – it wasn’t lost – but she gasped and her eyes grew wide and alert. The Monkey-Man didn’t know what to think of this. (MM approaches LG)
M: (waves to LG) Come on! (begins walking across street)
LG: (screams, drops teddy bear) Mummy! (runs over to M)
N1: This behaviour was new to the Monkey-Man. Why had the girl run away from him? He felt strange inside. It was like part of him had gone away – run away like the cell phone guy from his problems, like the hobo from his consciousness, like the little girl from him. And as he stooped to pick up the teddy bear, he realised that he was feeling fear. (MM picks up teddy bear, puts it in his suitcase)
MM: My suitcase is full.
N2: He found his way back through the underground to his room. (MM walks back to the corner on the left, almost backstage)
V: I see you have made new discoveries. (MM sets suitcase down, curls up in a ball)