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Friday, April 30, 2010

Paywright Portrait, Shawn Hirabayashi, Excerpt from Floating

The playwright Shawn Hirabayashi 2007
copyright Peter Bellamy 2010
Excerpt from "Floating.

(AT RISE: The sounds of seagulls. The lights are hot. ACHILLE, dressed formally, stands on a large piece of deep blue silk.)


Hail, tugboats. What do they call you? Hm? Hm? You probably know what they call me. One of the ships that has been here for the past four days must have told you what they call me. One of the ships holding the men watching me burn, waiting for me to sink. Perhaps the one holding my captain. My ex-captain. Tell me, what do you think you know? Have you heard the talk of the men? Hm? What do you think you know?
I am an ocean liner. 23,479 tons.

They used to call me something different. Before Achille Lauro. Something Dutch. I only remember the meaning: “floating bell.” Isn’t that lovely? Yes? No?

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