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To Breach Reality

A play by Muresan Florin Petru

Dramatis Personae

Narrator/Nathaniel Daniel Todds – main character

Detective – handles Nathan’s case

Jacob – best friend of Nathan and Rob

John – friend of Nathan and Jacob, also imaginary friend of Eddie (few lines)

Dorian – friend of Nathan and Rob, knows Jacob. Referred to as Junkie Kong, due to his vast expertise in the area of certain “ingredients”

Rob – best friend of Nathan and Jacob. Currently ignores Jacob, however. Spends much time with Dorian

April – friend of Rob. Falls in love with Nathan

Policeman – at a crime scene (few lines)

Act I

Scene 1

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and Detective]

NARRATOR: A dark interrogation room. The light is dim, but it manages to display the few things in the desolate room, namely a table and two chairs. Darkness engulfed the room and it seemed to hide terrible things. But were those things really hidden in the darkness or were they lurking deep within myself? The man in front of me was gazing into my eyes in a calm, but very intense manner. He tried to read me, he tried to look into my mind and into those dark things that lied in it. Suddenly a certain song came to me and it blocked out all my thoughts. It went like “The prophet stared at his crystal ball… There’s no vision there at all… The prophet looked and he laughed at me… he said you’re blind, too blind to see…”. My memory and my thoughts are somewhat fractured. They’ve been like this since summer. But just as all these passed through my mind, the man inclined his head and reached for his pocket.

DETECTIVE [reaches for his pocket and takes out a cigar]: You don’t mind, do you?

NATHAN [confused]: I’m sorry…aaa… what was that?

DETECTIVE [speaks as if to himself]: If only the attention you pay were equal to the price you’ll pay.

NATHAN: Oh, the cigar! Y-yes… light it.

DETECTIVE [lights the cigar]: look… don’t get me wrong. You seem like a really good kid. The only problem is that you’re losing your grip on reality.

NATHAN [first impulsive, then speaking kind of like a philosopher]: Reality?! Oh, please do tell me what real is and what is real. Reality you say? It is a mere concept of those who try to give shape to something abstract. It is but a simplification of things and it covers and defines little of all there is, just like a second-hand physical model. That is just how we humans are, it is in our very nature to build walls around ourselves, to actually limit and shackle ourselves and then to cry out loud for freedom and for the purpose of breaking all boundaries. Interesting, isn’t it? We have no purpose, so we struggle hard to give purpose to everything, only because we want our short lives not to have been in vain! The problem of the modern man.

DETECTIVE [smoking]: Todds, we’re kinda missing the point here.

NATHAN: The point?! What point is there to reality? Why such a thin line between normal and mad? And isn’t madness the natural state of things? Why try to advert the change of this state? Because that is your reality, something opposed to that which is natural, which is true!

DETECTIVE: So reality is something fake? It is an illusion?

NATHAN: It does contain little truth, but it is not The Truth. If reality were as perfect as you people are inclined to think we wouldn’t seek to escape it, now would we?

DETECTIVE: So you did or do have a grip on reality, you just try to escape it?

NATHAN: We ALL try to escape it. We’ve tried since we started to have a sense of this deadly concept. Oh, yes! We’ve struggled to escape scientific facts regarding that which is deemed real, through faith in destiny, gods, love and other such abstract things. We try to escape reality through art, even when it mimics reality. Thus, real becomes unreal and the unreal tries to become real. It is all but a spin, such as the roll of a joint. Think about it: almost everyone drinks, smokes, gets high only to be able to break free from this sick reality.

DETECTIVE [smokes]: The last ones seem to be the dangerous ones, however.

NATHAN: None of them ARE dangerous, except when there is excess. Excess in drugs might have indirectly generated serious gang wars, but excess in faith has generated World Wars. Hitler’s conviction brought genocide, something that still screams violently to our  consciousness. The excess in faith brought about the misery of the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages! And the excess in art brought about the incineration of Rome!

DETECTIVE: What you say is interesting, I’ll give you that…

NARRATOR: The man looked to the floor, then to the ceiling. He was thinking intensely. He glanced at me suddenly and then gazed at his detective badge. Finally, he turned his focus to me again.

DETECTIVE: You were there, but you did not shoot that man. No, you didn’t.

NATHAN [excited]: You truly believe!

DETECTIVE [amused]: It isn’t any sort of excess, I assure you! Tell me more about your friend, Jacob…

NARRATOR: It was more then peculiar. Bizarre was too weak a word. Someone considered Jacob at last. I did not want him imprisoned, even if he really did shoot that man. Yet, this detective definitely knew his way around, regardless of the fact that he didn’t really talk much.

Scene 2

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and Jacob]

NARRATOR: Flashes and incoherent memories. I race through them, not knowing what I want to reach. The mind of humans is the greatest mystery of all, for it holds all mysteries. That’s what some think. But isn’t it just a massive electric circuit that generates thoughts and feelings such as software on a computer? If only it could be fixed. Still roaming through the stream of fluid images, sounds and smells, all sorts of shadows occur and I delve into the unreal. Suddenly, I wake up in a memory of the 31st of December. The room in my house was diligent in providing me with intense claustration. Just as I sat on the couch tormenting myself with different thoughts, Jacob came in.


NATHAN [confused]: Y-yes… sure, sit.

JACOB: What’s up, man? You were so excited about this party and now you’re just sitting there brooding.

NATHAN: Why can’t you and Rob get along these days?

JACOB: We never did get along, really.

NATHAN: At the very least don’t lie to yourself like this. It does not become you.

JACOB [irritated]: Look, I don’t know what the bloody hell is the problem with him, OK? You know that he can’t stand me since summer. Whenever you say my name he just freaks out. I’m so tired of such stupid things.

NATHAN: So that’s why you bailed out at shopping today?

JACOB: Did you see the look on his face when you asked him where I was?

NATHAN: I remember it, yes. It was pretty bizarre how he was grinning as usual while entertaining those fair ladies and all of a sudden his expression turned darker. His voice wanted to appear friendly, but I felt it as sharp as Excalibur when he said “Jake isn’t with us anymore, man.”

JACOB: I’m really sick of him ignoring me almost every time we go somewhere together.

NATHAN: What gets to me is the fact that none of you care to explain why you guys do these to yourselves! I mean… you were closer to Rob then I ever will be. I’d really like to know what transpired last summer.

JACOB: That just makes two of us, doesn’t it? Trust me when I say that I can’t make any more sense out of it then you can.

NATHAN: He said you should come to the party. I thought…

JACOB [impulsive]: Give it a rest, mate! I’m not gonna talk to him. I’ll drop a “hello!” if it’s the case, but I’ll just get some beer, girls and I think I’m gonna rap a little bit with MC Veyo.

NATHAN: Now that you mention it, you were supposed to record some songs with Veyo, weren’t you?

JACOB: Yep… but then summer kicked in.

NATHAN: That odd summer. Things went south ever since.

JACOB: They still are. You’ve changed a lot. You’ve become quite unreachable and you always seem consumed by various things.

NATHAN: Everything just seems to go wrong. Naught in this life brings happiness or stops the pain. I’m taking all that medication, but still I only get head-aches and depression.

JACOB: You used to be a jolly fellow. I always thought that you’ll never know depression. How wrong I was.

NATHAN: That just makes two of us again. It simply seems that life is constant suffering.

JACOB: You don’t mean that!

NATHAN: I don’t have to mean it. It’s not my idea and it never will be. Ideas just come and go, like the smoke of dro’.

JACOB: Oh, and you’re also incoherent at times.

NATHAN: Right, sorry about it. I have to get myself together.

JACOB: And you have to let go of all that stress.

NATHAN: How can I? When I woke up today and saw that Parker and you were gone again I got so pissed.

JACOB: Yes, John did tell me he’ll leave us for a while.

NATHAN: It’s not just about his disappearing acts, nor yours for that matter. There are just so many irrational thoughts that add up to my anxiety.

JACOB: “Human” thoughts as I call them, right?

NATHAN: Exactly… They just make me see how deeply flawed each of us is, mighty God’s creations!

JACOB: And there I thought you were a believer.

NATHAN: There’s too much confusion… no reason to get excited about religion. My parents taught me all about it, they spoke of love, of family and where are they now? They’ve gone away on one of their many endless business trips, that are making trip over the love and respect I have for them.

JACOB: Did they write to you?

NATHAN: They didn’t, the parents I knew. Only these new abominations who share their appearance, but not their souls. They wrote to enlighten me upon the progress that Jared, son of their friends, made in the last year and to tell me how Angelina, some 19 year old chick, struck a deal of I don’t know how many hundreds of dollars. Then they asked me how much was the minimum pay and what my salary was. And in the end of their warm-hearted letter they mentioned that their new friends, Mr. and Mrs.  Hell-knows-who have never been disappointed by their successful son.

JACOB: Nothing about me, I presume.

NATHAN: Only that I should let you go.

JACOB [amused]: Remind me never to say that again.

NATHAN: Frack it all, Jacob! I’m so sick and tired of this whole bloody world. Successful son, dollars, deals… sounds to me like they struck a deal with the Devil and he took their souls.

JACOB: If they try to destroy you, they are on the right path.

NATHAN: It’s horrible how parents always seem to get to their children in such a devastating manner that they bring havoc to their mood, their happiness and most importantly to their minds and to their lives. They have this strange and lustful desire to become puppet masters. They take great joys from causing all this angst, under the mask of wishing only the Greater Good to their children.

JACOB: Horrible excuses for role-models, if you ask me.

NATHAN: I wish it on no one to become like them, so obsessed with money. That’s what they think about all day. I remember sometimes how they used to care about art and how they had all sorts of interesting activities. Now they are but ghouls, enslaved to their jobs, living, but dead.

JACOB [amused]: ‘Tis no wonder then why people are so into zombie movies. They adore their reflection, just like a grotesque Narcissus.

NATHAN: Quite true… I always thought that I’d like working with people, but ever since I’ve started working at Wal-Mart I began hating them so much.

JACOB: You are always impulsive and irritated as of late.

NATHAN: There is so much anger aimed in no particular direction and sometimes I just seem to lose it.

JACOB [laughing]: Just like you ran after that fat guy’s car today. I had to drag, to literally drag you into the store.

NATHAN: I would have beaten him up very good. He really scorned the nest, that slimy bastard. It’s great you held me though. I don’t like getting into fights and I wish not to become such a horrible person.

JACOB: Then you’ve seriously gotta work on yourself. And you really have to let go of all this pain, this rage. Especially the stress. It’s eating you from the inside, devouring who you are.

NATHAN: Worry not. I shall not let it happen.

JACOB: What about that chick?

NATHAN: What chick, man?

JACOB: Don’t you act a fool, bro’! The blue-eyed brunette you so digged, of course.

NATHAN: Oh, you mean April!

JACOB: Oh, you knew who I was talking about.

NATHAN: Snap! Did it seem as if I were into her?

JACOB: It seemed to me, let’s just hope it didn’t seem to her.

NATHAN: Damn right! She is the loveliest I’ve seen in a while.

JACOB: So you’re bent on doing something about it? If so, you gotta gear up with those clothes you bought last week. Use my perfume if you must.

NATHAN: I see, so it’s yours now?

JACOB: That’s what you told me and I ain’t arguin’. Nates, be cool man! Cast all these thoughts aside, go there, rock the party and rock her as well.

NATHAN: Will do, mate! Hey, thanks for being there for me.

JACOB: I told you I’ll be there for you always when you need me. And a summer doesn’t change that.

Scene 3

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and Dorian]

NARRATOR: It twists and turns, it hurts, it burns. Trying to make sense out of things so dense, I wonder how it came to this, but mostly what it has come to. Thick clouds of the unknown cover the purple haze and induce a greater daze. So desperately I skim through the memories I can still gather, but not knowing what I search for makes it even harder.

DORIAN: Rise and shine, Daniel boy.

NARRATOR: A long distance call strikes me in the cloudy sky and makes me fall. I stumble upon the image of Rob’s big living room. Dorian was on a chair across the table and opposed to the couch I was lying on.

DORIAN [amused]: I really do believe that you are going to star in the next Transformers movie, Nathan, my boy.

NATHAN [confused]: Let me guess… I-i transformed again.

DORIAN: You’re starting to see the greater picture… good!

NATHAN: Just like Christmas, I think…

DORIAN [laughing, then amused]: Nothing like Christmas, mate! You totally rocked the night… and that pretty face. Rocked her real good from the sound of it, if you comprehend my words.

NATHAN: W-wow… it got out of hand then…

DORIAN [laughing]: Mostly out of clothes, really!

NATHAN: Still a crazy fraker!

DORIAN: Still the best. Please, it has a nicer ring to it.

NATHAN: Snap! I’m so dehydrated… and the head-ache…

DORIAN: Alcohol will do that to a man, other then help him transform, of course. Vodka, whisky, beer, tequila, wine, rum were quite not meant to be together, my friend.

NATHAN: Hell, I’ve always been into experimental. Be right back!

DORIAN: Take your time. Don’t get too shocked when you see Rob nailing the blond in the hall.

NATHAN: People really do need some classes on Ethics.

[exit Nathan]

DORIAN: It seems that my magic ingredients do the trick all the time. This night was wild. Oh, the looks on their faces when they saw me like this, the jocks in high school. They’d so love to be in my place now. It’s funny… the huge respect you get when you know how to exploit the earthly pleasures. The pleasures of the senses beat the pleasures of the soul and intellect for most people these days. They never get any pleasure for their souls and intellect, only pain and degradation, so they do the easy thing, the only thing that ever crosses their minds: trying to cure the soul by means of the senses. In my opinion they all exaggerate this idea and start losing all sense of the ethics, thus plunging their souls deeper into sorrow and decay. They all believe that exaggeration is the only thing that can bring something exquisite into their ordinary, monotonous lives. Poor worker bees…

[enter Nathan]

NATHAN: It was a red-head.

DORIAN: Well you know what they say: “the key in life is to move on”.

NATHAN [laughing]: You guys are hopeless!

DORIAN: To have hope is to try to cope with the lack of options and purpose in the night so restless.

NATHAN [amused]: Getting poetic now, aren’t we?

DORIAN: Poetry is just an expression of the soul and to get poetic is only a desperate attempt to reach it. I do have a soul, Nathaniel.

NATHAN: Yes, but you’ve always been into physics.

DORIAN: Just like I’ve told you, the key in life is to move on. Now I’m studying the metaphysics.

NATHAN: You’ve always enjoyed breaching reality.

DORIAN: It’s the only natural thing to do, really.

[enter Rob]

ROB [laughing]: Daniel, my brother!

DORIAN: And there you have him folks, Sir Elton John!

NATHAN [irritated]: Don’t call me that! What the shell?! I’ve never told you my middle name.

ROB: Oh, so it’s truly your name. Haha! I thought you just made it up.

DORIAN: You’ve called yourself that at the Christmas party as well.

ROB: Nathaniel Daniel Todds. The mystery revealed. I believed you used it only to name the mode you’re in when transformed.

DORIAN: Oh, yeah! Daniel mode! Transform!

[Dorian and Rob laugh out loud]

NATHAN: Remind me to program Daniel to buy a gun when I’m in that mode again and shoot you.

ROB: Whatever man. It’s so cool to see you like that. You made quite the sensation, I’ll give you that.

DORIAN: It was peculiar though. It’s either you’ve changed profoundly or that wasn’t really you.

NATHAN: It’s sure great to be friends with you guys. You’re always so sweet when you say it like that: “I can’t believe you can be awesome, Nathan. It simply can’t be!”

ROB: How was April, bro’?

DORIAN: Thus, the subject changes.

NATHAN: I hate to say it, but I think it wise to change the subject. Otherwise, Daniel will buy a gun and shoot.

DORIAN: All I can do is hope that you are only joking actually.

ROB: Now seriously, bro’, how did you find April?

NATHAN: She’s awesome. I haven’t seen such a lovely girl in quite some time now.

DORIAN: That good in bed, huh?

ROB: Dear Dorian, you mistake my bro’ for someone resembling yourself. Nate is the type that finds more in women then just sensual pleasure.

DORIAN: Now you made me look like a Middle Age man.

NATHAN: Sometimes you are, dear Junkie Kong.

ROB [laughs]: Yep, royalty in the kingdom of weeds. The merch was exquisite, as you’d say.

DORIAN: Great, now let us talk costs.

ROB: Shall I call a subject change again?

NATHAN [laughing]: I think it mandatory this time. Let us send the starved beast on a wrong path.

DORIAN: I should buy a gun myself, it seems.

NATHAN: You wouldn’t shoot, hippie!

DORIAN: Neither would you, I presume.

Scene 4

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and April]

NARRATOR: Have you ever tried to get to a memory, but it’s just out of reach? Psychology teaches us that no memory is ever lost, we just can’t remember it and that it might simply come out of nowhere when you least expect. I am still flying through the ruthless mist, which doesn’t want to let me see past it. I’m trying hard to find answers by looking into all my memories. I don’t care about the case, nor about the trial. I only wish to know more. Every now and then I reach some clearings in the great mist. I’m very glad when I find them. This one brought me great joy and great sorrow at the same time. Me and April were sitting close at a table in an ancient and enigmatic looking café. The music was awesome, very nice blues, oldies and rock n’ roll. I still remember how it felt.

APRIL: Why did you just check your watch again? Sometimes this habbit of yours makes me wonder if I really bore the life out of you.

NATHAN: It’s nothing like that. I’ve told you that it’s so great with you. I have to get home to take my medication, at least today.

APRIL: I know, I know, but it’s just like we can never be together for more then two or three hours.

[Nathan kisses her]

NATHAN: We’re just busy people, that’s all.

APRIL: It’s like you never try to see me more then the usual allocated time.

NATHAN: Don’t say that.

APRIL: I’m sorry. I forgot you hated to hear the truth being stated.

NATHAN: What can I do? I can’t change over night. I’ll need some time for the change to take place.

APRIL: Right, whatever. Do you really need to take that medication all the time?

NATHAN: Yes, it’s mandatory for me, you know. I have to take it to kill the stress.

APRIL: You talk about stress so much, but you’re always so fine when we hang out.

NATHAN: When I’m with you, all the bad things scatter, they seem to leave me forever, dear April.

[Nathan kisses her again]

APRIL: Then stay! Or lets just walk again, the streets at night, head towards the river and lie on its banks.

NATHAN: This would be the 4th day in a row that I skip the medication for you.

APRIL: Yes, but I love walking with you.

NATHAN: I love you.

APRIL [emotional]: I love you too.

[they kiss again, longer this time]

APRIL: I wondered when you’d tell me.

NATHAN: Just waited to be sure.

APRIL: I’m glad you did, Nathaniel. I love you.

NATHAN: Love you too, dear April.

Act II

Scene 1

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and Detective]

DETECTIVE: But you and I, we’ve been through that and this is not our fate.

NARRATOR: It is not our fate. Simple worms. They are hideous. Slimy. It’s grotesque how they crawl. Birds eat them. Men eat them. Men kill them. Colorful birds. They’re beautiful. They grace us with their singing. Cats eat them. Men eat them. Mean kill them. Domestic cats. Proud, majestic, funny, hypocrites. They saw that men help them. Men eat them. Men kill them. Men. Many things. Top of the food chain. The biggest predator. Men eat them. Men kill them. Is that our fate? Self-destruction? The idea seems horrible, exaggerated, false, but we feel it true, most of us know it is true. Inferior animals don’t concern themselves with such thoughts. They know naught about faith, reality, love, chemistry, ethics, physics and others. We know about them, but to what ends? We lead ourselves to degradation because we have a sense of all these concepts and because we try to escape them. I’m in the great maze, with many dead-ends and broken paths that is my mind. I seek to break free… The interrogation room. Dark as ever. What if me and her shared the same destiny? To lie in darkness until the end of time. The detective sat on the chair in front of me. To my surprise, he didn’t grow tired. He just watched me, still trying to look into my inner self.

DETECTIVE: So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.

NATHAN: Well, I have to say that I agree with what you say. But just with half of it. It may not be your fate, but what if it’s mine?

DETECTIVE: There are many things in life which we should be afraid of, which we should never seek to know, but that would be another one of those limits you say we impose on ourselves. Some things we avoid because we deem them to be too poisonous, too vial. But they are only as poisonous as we permit them be. While the thought that your fate is self-destruction may send you on a deadly path, you must not let it do so, you must concentrate upon the other beliefs you have regarding your fate. Thus, you might find the light you so desperately struggle to find.

NATHAN: Are you sure you are a detective?

DETECTIVE: Are you sure you are a low pay Wal-Mart employee? Please do bear in mind that stereo-types are other dangerous limitations of our perspective… Many things from childhood can strongly influence the paths we choose, the ideals we have. They have the latent power to shape our destiny in ways horribly peculiar.

NATHAN: It’s interesting what you say. I’ve also seen this thing many times and it never fails to amaze me.

DETECTIVE: So tell me something from you childhood, then.

NATHAN: Eddie. Yes, Eddie. When I was a little kid, this best friend of mine used to be some sort of role-model for me. I’ve been fascinated by everything he did. I always followed his example, even though I never admitted it and always claimed to be very original myself. One day, I found out that Edie had an imaginary friend he called John. I’ve been very disappointed with myself. I didn’t have any imaginary friends. Nor could I have. I tried very hard to generate one, but my mind simply denied me such a wish. I thought that it would be so helpful, so great to have someone always there for you, maybe even help you see things about yourself that you couldn’t naturally see.

DETECTIVE: Yet another try to break free the shackles of reality. Even in childhood. Tell me more about John. Tell me more about the time you spend with Dorian. It may seem odd, but I think that knowing one’s friends helps very much in knowing one’s self.

Scene 2

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds, Jacob and Policeman]

NARRATOR: How heavy my wings are. I feel the weight of the world upon them. But I know that I have to fly on through the purple haze. I have to know. What are sins, actually? Is the fear of sins but another way to strangle our ego? Is it destructive to embrace them? Does committing them bring more pleasure or more pain? Do we commit them only to show our frustrations to a higher power, a god who left us here so lonely and hopeless? Is it a serious problem to consider sins beautiful? My wings are heavy, but I must fly on. I have to know. Did I kill that man? Deadliest of sins this is. The blood in my veins starts pumping rapidly and I feel like losing it. Finally, I reach another memory, one other piece of this horrid puzzle that became my mind. A crime scene. Sirens sound wild all around. Jacob, John and I stand near the body. A policeman comes near. He gazed upon me, as if I were the only one there.

POLICEMAN: Seven months ago, in summer there was a crime around here, resembling this one, yes.

JACOB: I told you, Nate! That odd summer.

NATHAN: How did you know?

POLICEMAN [a little confused]: I-I’ve asked someone, just like you told me to. I shall be there if you need to know more.

NATHAN: Right, sir! Thank you!

[exit Policeman]

JACOB: John, you’ve turned to stone!

NATHAN: I think it shook him real good, seeing this.

JACOB: Just imagine it. You go out one night, have fun and when you return home, some bastard assaults you and stabs your body from head to toes, then runs away, gone into the night.

NATHAN: It must be horrible.

JACOB: Trust me, mate, it is! Think about it. Everything he was, all the aspirations, all the dreams he had, gone in one moment of excruciating pain. Yes, all that he was went down the drain.

NATHAN: Frightening thought.

JACOB: Frightening? Nate, dreadful is such a weak word for that experience. There are so many connections to this world, promises, feelings, ideas, dreams, desires, hopes, that if one died, these connections might prove impossible to be severed, rendering the soul of oneself unable to move on. Then that great person would become a simple memory that brings great joys, but mostly great sorrows, or it would become a mindless ghost seeking revenge in many various ways.

NATHAN: I would avenge you if such tragedy befell you, dear friend!

JACOB: I seriously doubt it, bro’! You don’t have it in you to kill a man. Your mind would have to go through a drastic change to permit you do such a thing.

NATHAN [speaks strangely]: Unexpected changes do occur, mate. That, I am quite sure of.

JACOB: You couldn’t transform like that. Not you, Nathan.

Scene 3

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and Dorian]

DORIAN: Daniel boy, again you amaze me with your skills.

NARRATOR: Dorian’s voice cut through the fog and dragged me back in time. We just woke up after yet another night of evasion from the real world. We were in the kitchen, eating and drinking coffee.

DORIAN: Still, I can’t figure out whether or not they are simple fiction-writing skills.

NATHAN [confused, speaks harshly]: Bloody h… my head… w-what are you talking about?

DORIAN: I wonder how come you didn’t get used to these harsh mornings, yet. We’ve been wasting ourselves and our lives for quite some time now.

NATHAN: I’d do anything to kill off some feelings and thoughts.

DORIAN: Didn’t you take medication for that?

NATHAN: I did. But not taking it made me feel very unusual, very bizarre, really. It’s something that might as well destroy me, but it’s too interesting for me to let go. And when it gets out of hand I do prefer the Junkie Kong cannabis methods.

DORIAN: I’m glad you came to appreciate my work, but I must state that you’ve transformed quite often lately. Rob seems really worried.

NATHAN: Maybe he should be. Let us get back to what you said about skills. What did you mean?

DORIAN [amused]: It’s funny how you forget everything we speak about, when you get back to Nathaniel mode.

NATHAN: Then please do enlighten my current mode.

DORIAN: You tell me all sorts of crime stories when we start saying our fare-wells to reality, if you know what I mean. I’ve been asking myself if you really conducted all those investigations, or if you simply imagined them. I wondered if your skills were of artistic nature, or if they were really detective skills.

NATHAN [speaks as if to himself]: I’m guessing they started after I’ve seen that crime scene.

DORIAN: What is the point to living if one can’t remember the most extraordinary moments of one’s life? Nathan, my boy, you are missing out on the most intriguing things I have ever learnt about yourself, because of your transformations. Rob might really be right to worry about your well-fare so much. Anyway, when we start kicking it seriously you begin to expose the many chases and serious investigations you make. There are always crimes in that area of the city and always the criminal moves towards the center of it. You told me how you witnessed two of those crimes and how you ran after that guy wearing a black hoody. The first time he got you lost through the many narrow streets. The second time you’ve followed him to a street in the center of the area and then through the sewers. You lost him underground, but you did manage to take a picture of that guy. I’ve managed to edit it so that you can see his face quite clear.

NATHAN: Thank you. It sounds I’m more of a vigilante then a detective.

DORIAN: Yes, I made it sound like it. I apologize for that. The interesting part is how you found out when and where the criminal strikes. The area you drew on your map is huge and it’s in the most dangerous parts of the city. Police think it’s some strange gang that appeared only recently. You’ve told me that there is indeed a new gang there and that you are always careful not to run into them. They also use bladed weapons for their kills. You also said that the guy you’re after only stabs dark-haired, blue-eyed, handsome people of about 18-22 years. They also wear goatees and have long hair. You said that all victims shared these distinctive features. Two months and three kills already.

NATHAN: Jacob looks like that, just like that.

DORIAN [confused]: J-Jacob?

NATHAN: Yes, Jake. You know him, Dorian.

DORIAN: Y-yes, of course I do. I’m just curious what you will do when you find the killer. Maybe you should tell Rob about all this. Last summer he spent much time in those places, until he got beaten up one day. Some thugs took him by surprise in one of those alleys. Nearly killed him. He was lucky some guy passed by and tipped off the cops.

NATHAN: Is that w-why scars, face, hands, god my, I mean, tell?

DORIAN: Nathaniel, I do prefer my salads be made out of vegetables or fruits, not words.

NATHAN [impulsive]: Frack! I h-have to do something!

DORIAN: You really haven’t been yourself since you quit taking your medication. Maybe that’s what you have to do.

NATHAN: I-I think you’re right. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I can’t believe Rob didn’t tell me about that.

DORIAN: I only got it out of him one night when he was too wasted to realize that he was unveiling his great secret. How marvelous my ingredients are!

NATHAN: I’ve always wanted to know where he got those scars from.

DORIAN: What they did to him was inhumane, but then again, humans are but animals.

NATHAN: Dorian, please give me the picture of that killer.

DORIAN: Sure thing, dear Nathaniel. Be careful, though. You might end up alone on the streets with that killer near by.

NATHAN [unnatural voice]: I’m counting on that. It is time the wind began to howl.

DORIAN: Promise you’ll never show me that horrid look, ever again, Daniel boy.

Scene 4

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and April]

NARRATOR: Nothing in the room is strange, now tell me it’s the same boy. The labyrinth showed me many things, none of which I like. Apart from the love me and April shared, my lovely Eve… But my old engine of self-destruction, that is embedded somewhere in my brain, managed to annihilate all that as well. I think I remember how it all started, with a call. The ring resounds devastating through my inner self as I once again answer my phone. I put it on loudspeaker to hear her voice better. I knew she was going to yell. In what things I had started to take pleasure. I lied on the bed and waited for her to scream.

APRIL: How could you?! You blame me for not letting you take your stupid medication and then you end the conversation just like that?

NATHAN [irritated, sarcastic tone]: Yes, and I do it quite easily, shall I show you again?

APRIL [cries]: W-what’s happened with you, Nathaniel? I don’t want this for us.

NATHAN [serious, cold tone]: You don’t want this for yourself.

APRIL: How can you be so blind? You’re too blind to see.

NATHAN: See what? Your jealousy? How you look at me these days, with such huge pity? I don’t need your pity.

APRIL: You need me… and I need you, can’t you see?

NATHAN [touched]: Maybe, I don’t know what to say…

APRIL: I care for you so much. You’ve changed, profoundly. I can’t even begin to understand how deep this change is. Just take a look in the mirror. You’ll see that even your physical aspect has changed.

NATHAN [impulsive]: I’ve grown to hate mirrors. Pieces, walls… someone… not I  know.

APRIL: Don’t do this Nathaniel. I wish to help you. Just speak to me. You never told me why you quit your job, nor why you spend so much time in those horrible places in this town.

NATHAN [lost]: Tell you, want… Do I.

APRIL [cries]: Please, take your medication again. I’ve begged you do so again many times after I’ve made the selfish mistake of keeping you with me. I told you I’m sorry. I want to help, I love you. I can’t bear seeing you like this.

NATHAN [stone-cold]: That’s why we’ve only been talking over the phone lately. See you soon.

NARRATOR: I closed the conversation, just like I shut this memory down right now. The pain… it’s overwhelming.


Scene 1

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and Detective]

NARRATOR: There are strange things in this world. It is all a matter of perspective, really. Everything is and everything isn’t. We make the choice between what is and what is not. We make a choice as a people to accept some things as being true or as being real. This usually doesn’t have horrible consequences. But what happens when only one man makes his choice of what is and what isn’t? There are many examples. Right now, I am inclined to dramatize everything and say that my whole life is such an example. Am I a martyr of the belief that we must create our own standards, our own personal religions and that it is only natural to try and breach reality? Or is it all a mental dysfunction, a glitch in the huge maze circuit that is the human brain? And is it possible to repair it, or should it just be shut down?
Shutting it down would be so easy, yet so hard. I have thought very seriously and thoroughly to commit suicide. Commit suicide. It has such a dreadful ring to it. Sometimes I think that this is the reason I didn’t do it. I don’t believe this was it however and only two other reasons are left.
The first is the fact that I’ve always wanted to experience in life as many things as possible. I practiced all sorts of sports, especially those related to martial arts. I sang, I began to make music. I drew, I painted. I’ve written, I’ve acted. I’ve been good, I’ve been evil. One day I remembered Eddie. I wanted to play with madness. I wanted to know what it felt like to have a mental disorder. I came to feel two of them. But I wasn’t ready to face what it really meant. I didn’t envision the raging tempest that came along with it. I am tempted to say that I came to regret the effects of my wishful thinking. But that would be a lie.
I lost so much in this madness. Almost everything. I even lost myself at one point. Maybe if I lost everything I would have completed the seemingly natural process of self-destruction. I would have shot myself. But then again, I did not. I had no family, but I did have my friends. That is the second reason why I decided to live on. I was shocked when I figured this one out. My friends stayed with me, they still do. I’ve lost so much, only to gain the most important thing in our world: faith in others. It may seem cheap, childish, stupid. You see this kind of idea being written about in books, being depicted in movies, but it is truly remarkable and unique when you get to feel it in the real life, in what is generally accepted as being real life, of course.
I hated life, I hated people. Hated them so much that I actually tortured them and even killed one of them. I didn’t do it consciously. Isn’t it wondrous? The hate was so great that it spread its horrid tentacles deep into my very brain. The most extraordinary thing, however is how any firm belief and any feeling can be changed by an experience. So you see? I sought something that might prove interesting, but I found the most exquisite of all things. As I’ve said, it is all a matter of perspective.
Suddenly, the dark interrogation room didn’t seem as scary as before. The detective was writing something, but then he felt that I’ve ceased being focused on those strange inner thoughts.

DETECTIVE [lights a cigar]: Back to the real world? Ready to accept objective reality?

NATHAN: Yes, I am. I made peace with myself.

DETECTIVE: Good, because I’ve just finished my investigation. With what I’ve got here I can convince anyone that you, Nathaniel Todds did not shoot that man.

NATHAN: But who did?

DETECTIVE: You know the answer to that question already. Rob is a great friend to you, even if he doesn’t like to show it. He is afraid to display his emotions. Can’t blame him. I can only tell you that he has done very much for you. With the strings he pulled, none of what we talked or talk here leaves this room. Only what I’ve written here. Maybe you’ll provide me with a hint as to why he does all these for you. I’ll leave you to your thoughts for a couple of hours, Mr. Todds. If you’ll excuse me.

NATHAN: Sure, thank you!

Scene 2

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds, Jacob, John]

NARRATOR: Isn’t it interesting how we sometimes have a strong, bizarre desire to do something stupid that can have grave consequences? We’re masochists by birth, I believe at times. I refused to take the medication, no matter what April, Rob or Dorian said. I always deceived them when it came to this topic. I made it a habit to look into their eyes and lie to them. I was afraid that I had no conscience. The results are horrible for me to remember, but we are masochists after all. It was in my room. John sat on the couch, Jacob in my office chair.

JOHN: He beat that guy up real good.

JACOB: He didn’t beat him! He nearly killed him! Blood was flowing from all over. He cut the man with that small knife of his. Nathan is becoming a monster, John! Can’t you see?

JOHN: Why is he so consumed by all this? He acts as if he were on a quest for vengeance.

JACOB: He has no one to avenge! He doesn’t have to do anything like it!

JOHN: Is that so, Jacob?

JACOB: It blasted is! I know that if I were killed, I wouldn’t ask him to start such an insane vendetta. He is going too far with this one. He can’t let this case go. Ever since we’ve been to the scene of that crime he is hell-bent on killing that criminal, of making what he delusionally thinks is justice. Blood calls for more blood in his sick mind. We must do something to stop all of this, John. There might be serious bloodshed soon enough. He nearly killed this man, for crying out loud! He was a thug! That’s how he justified his act. I guess that’s what he has to say about that time when he tortured the other shady character from his favorite area. I really believe that he would have killed that one, if he didn’t get the information he wanted. It must be the Daniel guy that Dorian talks about. It is simply not in Nathaniel’s nature to take such sadistic pleasures in this inquisition of his. And he bought that gun! My gods, he is crazy. I was glad to help him get passwords to his parent’s bank accounts, but I’ve come to regret it greatly. He spends so much money on these clothes he wears when he conducts his investigations. I understand he doesn’t wish to be recognized, but the drawers are full! And now he bought a gun? What the frack is this? He is deeply paranoid, I’m telling you. All of this seems so unreal. What is all this?

[enter Rob]

ROB: Madness! I’m telling you, Nathaniel!

[snaps Nathan’s face]

ROB [angry]: Pull yourself together, man! Nathan, wake the hell up! Unbelievable… you lied about taking the medication. I pay that, all of it! And for what? To what ends? To see you waste your entire life in such a distasteful manner?

JACOB: Rob, you must do something!

ROB: Your eyes, man! I see no life in them. Wake up, already!

[snaps his face again, louder]

NATHAN: Back off, mor… off… kill.. me…you.

[they throw some punches to one another]

[there is a sound of something heavy hitting a head]

ROB: How did we come to this? It’s not what I wanted for you, little brother. I don’t want to lose you! Jacob’s gone, but I can still save you! I must…

Scene 3

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds and Rob]

NARRATOR: I stumbled upon a memory which I find interesting, because it’s built partially of what I can personally recall and partially of what Dorian and Rob told me. Rob took me to his house so that he could keep an eye on me and make sure that I start taking my medication again. Rob and I were sitting at a table in his house.

ROB: Nate, you gotta stop this foolish quest of yours.

NATHAN: Can’t!

ROB: You have to do better then that.

NATHAN: Desire! It’s a burning… pay he must… bastard, crimes committed!

ROB [impulsive]: Shut it and listen, Nate! This is not you. You don’t want to become this. You said it yourself.

NATHAN [laughing insane]: Not lie first time! Hahe!

ROB: Look, I’ve also tried to find that killer after the incident in summer. I know Dorian told you.

NATHAN: You don’t know me! Only Jacob and John do.

ROB: I want to help you, Nathan. I know you better then Jacob and John do. Trust me on that.

NATHAN: Why do you try so hard to help me?

ROB: You’ve always been like a little brother to me, Nate. Besides, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

NATHAN: What do you mean?

ROB: I know it was you who tipped off the cops in summer when I got those scars. You or Daniel, of course.

[enter Dorian]

DORIAN: Hello, Nathaniel! Rob, I found more interesting things, but we might need Daniel to confirm.

ROB: Nate, look bro’. I’m sorry for keeping this from you, but I think now is the time to know the truth. You are so consumed by your investigation because that killer is the one who murdered Jacob in summer. The thought that Jake was dead hit us both very hard. I wanted to find the one responsible. I wished to end his life. I failed in doing so. I only lived to consider what I’ve done, because of you. The death of Jacob nearly lead me to death as well. But you, it sent your mind along a path leading to self-destruction. I saw this happening, that’s why I bought all that medication for you. However, this death and losing Jacob was simply too much for your brain to handle.

NATHAN: Jacob is not dead! Such nonsense you speak.

[when it is written “NATHAN [Daniel]”, it means that the actor must modify his voice to make it sound more unnatural and frightening]

NATHAN [Daniel]: Is that so? Don’t you see that’s why people never seem to acknowledge Jake’s presence? He is dead!

NATHAN: He can’t be! I see him, I talk to him and I touch him every day.

NATHAN [Daniel]: It is just your imagination! You have schizophrenia.

NATHAN: No, I obviously have dissociative identity disorder.

NATHAN [Daniel]: Or maybe both. Just think about it. The policeman only spoke to you and didn’t listen to Jacob because he was only in your head. Remember shopping for presents, remember when you got to the New Year’s party. Just remember how everyone looked at you. They didn’t say anything because Rob told them not to.

NATHAN: Naught of what thou speak be true! Rob, tell me he is lying.

ROB: It’s no lie. I wanted to protect you, Nate! I thought that given time, you would recover.

NATHAN [impulsive]: That really did work out, ha? Animal!

NATHAN [Daniel]: How foolish you are. He gave us the possibility to avenge Jake! Remember the oath?

NATHAN: No! This is not happening!

NATHAN [Daniel]: Good-bye, Nathaniel!

ROB: What have I done?

NATHAN [Daniel]: Only what you have thought was best for us. I shall always be grateful for that.

DORIAN: Daniel boy, I might need your help on some details.

NATHAN [Daniel]: Let us see them then.

DORIAN: There was another incident last night. I know it was you again, Daniel.

NATHAN [Daniel]: Got any proof to go along with that?

DORIAN: If I had, so would the police. It seems they are taking great interest in those parts of the city these days. I have my own connections and Rob is known to be resourceful. When the last stab-crime happened, there was someone with the killer. It looks like last night you paid that guy a little visit. Now he is in the hospital, barely breathing. In other incidents that are starting to take place there, simple passers-by are victims. Each of the victims were people that no one from the hoods knew of. Daniel, the gangs are on a lookout and eventually they will find you. If they don’t, the police surely will. You’ve just made your game harder.

NATHAN [Daniel]: Yes, I believe you’re right, dear Dorian.

DORIAN: What are you going to do? You need to end the game right now.

NATHAN [Daniel]: There now game… end own gang will! Believe change kill crime… does seen police all break!

ROB: Wait here! I’ll go get his medication.

DORIAN: Alright. Be quick.

[exit Rob]

DORIAN: So many things happened to you in just one year. How much you’ve changed. The things you did…

NATHAN [Daniel]: The things I’ll do!

[Nathan throws a chair at Dorian, gets up, pushes him and runs out of the house]

[enter Rob]

ROB: My god, Dorian! He’ll do it!

DORIAN: Undoubtedly… poor soul!

ROB: So you still wish to lose contact with reality?

Scene 4

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds]

NARRATOR: I thought very much about what Dorian said to Daniel. I had indeed changed profoundly in one year. I found the love of my life, the one girl who understood me, who cared about me, who loved me. How horrible I’ve been to her. Will she ever forget me? A river of tears so savage raced from her sorrowful eyes and down those little hand she held to cover her face. I still hear her cry. This scene plays itself in my mind every night, every time I sleep. It dreads me, the cruelty in my eyes and the raging hate in my voice when I told her she doesn’t exist for me anymore if she doesn’t want to accept my friends. What friends? I was so childish, so stupid and the friend I was referring to was so only in my head. Rob told her at one point about my condition. She didn’t care. She loved me. She tried hard to help me. The things she did for me. I can’t think anymore about her sacrifices, nor about this. Pain stabs me, tears flood my view and my face. Screams escape all over the room. Luckily, I am alone.

Scene 5

[enter Narrator/Nathaniel Todds]

NARRATOR: There isn’t much darkness left in the interrogation room. I have just eaten my meal. I’m waiting for this strange detective to return. I still have to know more things and he can help me. Why does he want so much to understand how I felt and what I thought of throughout this whole period? Does he study psychology or is there more to it? I am sitting in my chair. The door opens and he comes in.

[enter Detective]

DETECTIVE: Daniel Todds killed that man. I’ve made this case special. They will learn about the seriousness of your disorder and put you in a hospital, where you will undergo special treatment. Rob saw to it that you’ll go to a very good hospital. You are expected to recover soon and then you may resume your life.

NATHAN: Thank you, sir! Thank you for believing me and for caring so much about this case.

DETECTIVE: Mr. Todds, you are most welcome. I bet you are wondering why I took this case so seriously. To be honest with you, I could have just sent you to prison, because you’ve been in a much better shape after that killer was killed. Daniel left you alone because he had reached his purpose, so to say, and Jacob seems to visit you much less then he used to, right? It would have been very simple to finish this case quick, but I have my own experience in life. Small things which you might wish to omit can lead you to great rewards. I’ve learnt much just by talking to you, Mr. Todds. Very much indeed. There were many blank points in some of my other cases and you helped me fill them. I became a detective mostly because of my burning desire to know more. I wanted to find out as many things as possible. I want to have a better understanding of the human nature. Such as you, I always sought many exquisite things in life. They are the only things that can make me feel a whole. So many I could tell you. We must meet after you recover, Mr. Todds.

NATHAN: I think we must, yes. I see that you want to understand the criminal just as much as you seek to understand the criminal mind. It seems interesting to me that all of the crimes committed by the man I killed shared something distinctive. Did you find out why that was so?

DETECTIVE: Carl Emerson, the one you killed was yet another victim of our human desire to breach reality and to exaggerate in doing so. His girlfriend, the one he was supposed to marry one day, was raped brutally many times in some abandoned warehouse. She was driven insane by the rapist. When Carl saw what happened to her he tried to help, but failed in doing so, for her brain and soul were too deeply wounded. She committed suicide. All of this was too much for Carl, a medic and a very good one at it, nevertheless. He stopped caring about his patients. They died and finally he lost his job. He attempted a murder on the rapist, while this one was in prison. Emerson couldn’t find anything to live for in this sick reality, lest the desire to wait until the rapist was freed and to torture him in manners inhumane. He turned to horrid drugs. He was more high then awake. He saw the face of the rapist on any man sharing his characteristics, Jacob included. Blood calls for blood, revenge for revenge. If this circle were allowed to continue, the world would become hell.

NATHAN: How did you find out all these?

DETECTIVE: I am quite resourceful, Mr. Todds. I must say, though, that you helped me very much in getting all these together. Thus, I resolved many big dead-end cases just by looking into two small ones. Isn’t it all worth it? You need to know how to value every seemingly small thing you come across. They might always conceal vast treasure. Keep that one in mind.

NATHAN: It seems that we truly must meet. Other then this passion you have for knowledge, why did you help me?

DETECTIVE: It’s remarkable how you sense that there is always a more personal reason for anything. Let’s just say you remind me of someone I knew. Oh, speaking of which, I have this letter for you.

NARRATOR: I took the letter. My heart nearly stopped when I read who it was from. It was April. A tear broke free and began winding down my cheek. I closed my eyes.
made for the BBC radioplay competition...

Synopsis of the play

“To Breach Reality” is a radio play written by Muresan Florin Petru. It is mostly a play of ideas, the type of play you want to hear when you seek unexpected thoughts.

To breach reality is something that we all feel the need to do. This desire of delving into the abstract is quite abstract itself and it can be found in people, expressed in many different ways.

While there are many ways of escaping reality, the play offers us the particular case of Nathaniel Daniel Todds, a 20 year old to whom reality has shown its bitter parts mostly, and who takes great pleasure in knowing the unknown. He realizes that to do so, one must seek to know things outside that which is deemed real.

As any man struggling to find the exquisite in life, he tries out many things ranging from sports to arts. A memory from childhood makes him wish to try something obviously dangerous, but too interesting not to consider. His wishful thinking proves to work and he gets what he asked for, Pandora’s Box, all wrapped in a cloth of madness. Is he ready for that?

One of his best friends, Jacob, is brutally killed and the loss is too much for Nathaniel. Todds gets what he asked for, friends that will always be by his side. But do they really help or do they complicate his social life?

His friends, Rob and Dorian, try to make him feel good and have the best interests at heart, but how do these all project into the real world? Do they bring greater joys or greater sorrows?

Girlfriend April gives into her Eve nature and makes Nathan taste the apple by not tasting it. The regret comes too late.
Not taking his medication anymore brings out a second personality, one quite opposed to the original, one who remembers a sworn oath and sees to fulfilling it.

All things lead to a dark interrogation room and a detective who appears to believe him, but is that so?

The play makes us join Nathan in a quest for trying to remember the things that happened and try to make sense out of them.

Reality is breached, but to what costs? Hearing the play makes us wonder, it makes us fear or embrace the desire of doing so. The choice depends upon one’s perspective. That’s life. It is all a matter of perspective.
AYMalik Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2009   Writer
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Zyraxtarenor Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
thank you very much for the fav and I trully am glad you enjoyed it...
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