December 8 & 9: FRESH WATER
Nathan Sars Barrett
Adams, a land agent
Santefe, a radish farmer
Lights up. There is a base, drum, and saxophone trio upstage. They wear the same suits as the land agent.
A man is illuminated in a singular stream of light. He is water, he is drilling, he is shale rock, he is a machine, he is himself. Blackout.
A young woman plants radishes on her land, sun is bright in her eyes, she is merry. Blackout.
A shot is fired. The man and the woman stand opposite each other, he lurches at a wound. Blackout.
The man, a young land agent for a natural gas company pulls up in his car. He cuts the engine, and walks slowly up to the dusty farmhouse belonging to the lady radish farmer. She, Annie, is in her farmhouse kitchen. There are three windows.
Adams: I am married to this moment. I walk across her fields along the aisles, between her crop and see the farm in the distance, I walk closer. I know she’s in there, waiting to be had, a woman should be easy to sell to.
To sell to. To come to an agreement. It’s not like I’m in a bulldozer with a militia as backup coming to blow up her home. This is Canada. I’m a Canadian. This is civil. We live in a global village. But who does one woman who’s sitting on 445 acres of what used to be crown land think she is? Is she so self obsessed to think that she can withhold this precious resource? We have met 7 billion in our population with an anticipated 9 billion by 2050. We need every drop or vapor in this case of energy that we can get our hands on. Who is she to withhold that energy? From the collective. Cause I am not exaggerating when I say there will be a boom of energy as well as an economic boom in this region.
She is standing in the way of a whole swath of employment for the neighboring reservations and villages. & as I understand it, all in the name of her relationship with the local organic farmers market, all good and fun. But at least 150 peoples future livelihoods are at stake here. Of course in broaching this venture i will not guilt her. That would be counter productive. But that she will not even shake hands with the corporation? It’s offensive. And that she is knowingly robbing the community of real wealth ($) inexcusable. But I”m only one man. Who am I to judge her, she’s MOST LIKELY A LITTLE DERANGED. Living out here, surrounded by all this emptiness, the fields of radishes and what have you. So mounting evidence, this client is deranged, 1) she’s a woman, 2)she’s solitary, 3) she’s probably a product of incest, like her father’s her grandfather, 4) she lives what appears to be a hermetic lifestyle, 5) probably a drinker. I can deduce all of this just by looking at her home. Tricks of the trade. In other words, trust your intuition. What would compel her to isolate herself from civil-ization. To play in the dirt all day, clearly she is deranged. She is a woman.
The chief is on board the ship, and the ship has sailed. His people will surely leap on board shortly, not that they can argue not to at this point. Once they are offered occupations, there will be no doubt that they will come around. This woman is an anomaly however. She is one of the strays. That’s what we call them at the firm. The stray whities that missed the memo.
Luckily I brought some incentive. Double doubles. Walk the tightrope and hang onto the banister. Double doubles. Coffee is coffee.
(knock knock) He has approached the door.
I see your radishes are in bloom.
Santefe: That’s kale.
Adams: Oh. I was under the impression, told, you ran a radish farm.
Santefe: It is a radish farm, but we rotate the crops to keep the soil enriched. Grow the same thing all the time, the soil gets sick.
Adams: Well you learn something everyday. You said ‘we’ rotate crops, who’s lending their hands?
Adams: Your children?
Santefe: Kids from around here.
Adams: Children from the reservation and children from the neighbouring village?
Adams: Do their parents know there is that kind of mixing of crops, the radishes and kale?
Adams: Disregard that. I am just really interested in your property, miss.
Santefe: I heard you.
Adams: Just what your name was? I was wondering.
Adams: Great. May I come in?
Santefe: Hmm. (letting him in)
Adams: So I’m just passing through. Wanted to get my bearings around here. I’m going to be doing some scientific research. I brought coffees. Double doubles. (he gives her a coffee, she stares at it) That’s, the uh, “king of coffees”.
Santefe: (to herself, shaking her head) …sons raping mothers….
Adams: Excuse me?
Santefe: That’s all I see when I look at that coffee.
Adams: Ok. That sounds like a bad dream. I won’t analyze it for you, I’m not a psychotherapist. (to himself) Lighten things up quickly. ***Um, I’ll take. You won’t be needing that. I’ll drink it. Or throw it away. I’ll.*** Well I’ve done some research and I came to know that the local football team is doing very well, third place in the provincial finals. That’s no bad at all.
Santefe: The people who picked these coffee beans were probably being whipped as they picked them. (speaking to the coffee, still staring at it)
Adams: How did you come to that. Talking about football here.
Santefe: The company that sells it won’t disclose where they got their beans from. \(to him)
Adams: How do you know? Are you clairvoyant?
Santefe: No. A real farmer knows where everything comes from. You can smell it. (sniffing the coffee in distain)
Adams: So what does your nose tell ya?
Santefe: I work for the company. I had to sign a confidentiality agreement. I couldn’t tell ya.
Adams: You work for them??
Santefe: Just Kidding.
Adams: Hahahah! (small pause) It’s a beautiful plot you have here miss Santefe… what acreage is it? Just out of curiosity?
Santefe: Over three hundred.
Adams: Over that?
Adams: You have land as far as the eye can see, that must be a comfort, and a privilege, as you well know. I’m sure… you’re in a position of power and in a position to give back, to put out, the abundance of wealth, there’s just abundance, as far as the eye can see. And beyond that even, below that even, definitely.
Santefe: Abundance below and beyond.
Adams: Yes. Abundance.
Santefe: You sure enjoy my land mister.
Adams: Mr. Adams.
Santefe. I wasn’t asking.
Adams: Oh I thought you meant “Mr…???”
Santefe: Nope. Jest called you Mister.
Adams: Well I’m Mr. Adams. Sean Adams.
Adams: Potential for growth is the name I see on that street sign out there Miss. Not main street. Nope, I see “potential for growth” on that sign. Is that silly Miss Santefe? What was your first name anyway, I shared mine, so I thought you might share your first name with me…You know who you remind me of, Miss Santefe. You. Bear. A striking resemblance…to a woman I’ve come to know of, Miss Delilah Sutherland. She was a proud landowner just like yourself. But she lived during the depression, the 1930s, she “discovered progress” on her land, and she went with it! She became a little oil tycoon, and as you might have guessed, became quite wealthy. As you might imagine. She owned an immense acreage she inherited from her father and exploited it for what it was worth. The oil. The oil on the land. She did some trading, provincial trading: all good and fun: even some trades with the united states, kept things friendly there. She did a lot of good for her neighbours and did very well for herself as you’re imagining. She had a plot a lot alike with yours. Just about the same proportions of pastoral to agriculturally developed, well you actually have quite a bit more developed for agriculture. But just the same I can’t help but draw a comparison between the two ladies, here, and in my mind, and in history before us. She and her generation suffered and paved the way, and prospered, so our generation and future generations could prosper. History repeats itself miss Santefe. It’s like a record skipping, skipping, but skipping forward in tiny increments, forward. Do you see miss? We are making history, right now, right here, this is the present, and we are it’s lucky passengers. But who’s driving?
Santefe: (who has quietly pulled her rifle off the window sill) Time for you to go.
Adams: Now she pipes up. But I’ve only just arrive- (realizes)
Santefe: I’ve heard enough.
Adams: I don’t know what this is about-
Santefe: Get outta my house!
Adams: I came here with the best intentions Miss Santefe, have I offended you? If I have-
Santefe: Enough talking! Get off my property!
Adams: Can I just finish this coffee with you?
Santefe: What? No-Out!
Adams: Look, why don’t we just start again?
Adams: Why don’t you put down that hopefully not loaded weapon-
Santefe: I said get out /what is your problem?!
Adams: I have pamphlets (reaching into his briefcase), I’ll just leave them for you-You could do really well for yourself if you’d just-
Santefe: Ahhh! Shut up!!!!! (She shoots him in the leg.)
Blackout. Pause. Lights flare up.
Adams: Ahhhhhh!! Fuck!!!!!!!!!!!!! My fucking leg!!!!
Santefe: Hey watch your mouth!
Adams: I need a doctor… Help!!!!
Santefe: Shut up would you! I’m trying to think.
(Looks to man)
Adams: You fucking Cunt you’ve shot me,. you cunt you fucking bag of cuntssssOOOWWw! It hurts it burns HELP! I WANT A DOCTOR! HELP!!!!!!!!
Santefe: What your mouth! I told you to leave-… You don’t listen. (moves towards him with a towel to stop the blood) Ok, ok,take it easy-it’s not that bad.
Adams: I’m I’m I’m bleeding from my fucking leg you whore! I want some Fucking Codeine and an MD you cunt!!!!!!
Santefe: Watch your mouth I said unless you want another one round! You shouldn’t have come uninvited.
(She slowly approaches him and wraps a towel tightly around his knee, pulls some pills out of her pocket and shoves a few in his mouth.)
Here. Swallow. Modern Medicine.
Adams: (he looks down and blurts) are you going to kill me or what?
Santefe: I don’t think so, I mean I don’t want to, but it’s hard to say because I never though I would have killed the others buried in the back either…
(Man on floor starts to cry)
You asked didn’t you? Oh come on. Just Kidding. This is so depressing. You’re just another one they’ve thrown under the bus, you know that?
Adams: I’m here for the signing of the papers miss Santafe, your land is going to be absorbed, your land is either being signed away by you the soul proprietor – you – or it is being seized by the giant corporation I work for.
Adams: We’re not amused with your resistance.
Santefe: I bet you ain’t.
Adams: You may not know this but you only own the top six inches of your land, not whats underneath it, not the water that flows through it, that all that belongs to the government, and we my company have the proper permits provided by the government required to start working here now, i’m here to ‘get your permission…’ you can’t stop us. But we’re supposed to ask for permission. So I’m here to ask permission! Politely!
Santefe: You call this polite?
Adams: THE LAWS YOU PAY FOR WILL BEND AROUND YOU AND SUFFOCATE YOU OUT OF HERE, YOU’RE LESS THEN NOTHING TO A CORPORATION LIKE US, LESS THAN NOTHING.
Santefe: IS THIS HOW you get all of your clients to sign Mister Adams?
Adams: No I’m usually a lot nicer, but I’m usually not bleeding from the fucking leg like this!!!!
Santefe: I think you usually sugar coat your sales pitch but I’d say it amounts to exactly what you spewed out at me like a demon hyena just now!
Adams: arrrrrrrgggaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Do you know how many lawyers I have? You are going to jail you fucking psycho bitch!
Santefe: We live by a different set of rules out here. A ways back beyond conceivable memory really I had a storyteller in my family who was a native to this land. The land we’re on. She told stories… Stories that trickled all the way down the generations, to me, they made it this far down/
Adams: What is this fuckkin story time, now… I’m bleeding, you are crazy/crazy, this is crazy
Santefe: LANGUAGE don’t make me remind you again! As I was saying, she told a story about the people that hunted here when this was all forest. They wouldn’t let a leaf get freyed…. without going back and delicately placing it back to the way it was before they crinkled it, did you know that?
Adams: Oh boy, fucking great… arrr… my leg… I feel sick… (panting)
Santefe: Hmm. Ok. (gags him) I’ll put on some tea can’t help but putter. (she puts on some tea)
Santefe: My mother was in Hungary when she was six cause she’s hungarian…
Santefe: My ma was six she was in Hungary like I was saying and she walked past a man working with stone next to a church just working away sweating under the sun, muscles shimmering, my ma asked this man ‘why don’t you take a rest?’ he turned to her immediately and answered “ Because we’re building this building BIGGER and BIGGER! For the lord jesus christ little lady one day it’ll reach the sky and we’ll all have free admittance into heaven! You’ll be able to shake gods hand’
Adams: nahmmsah?!pffucingg aaa!
Santefe: The ever expanding houses of god, All for what ? To get closer to him? To touch his hand? You boys forgot about god but you’re still expanding, up in your condos trying to touch martha stewart’s hand, expanding your drilling ever expanding exponentially so you can heat your big empty churches.
Santefe: Hm? Maybe I’m talking wrong… is this all to convoluted for you?
Santefe: No your gonna have to behave if you ever want to speak again. You live in disney land you know that? You know that? You really want to run all of us farmers out of here? For what? So one day all of your city meals can be grown in a lab? Is that you ideal. Cause that’s what you’re asking for. Poisoning it all. Coming out here, idling in you car for twenty minutes, before you grow the balls to come in here and try and force my hand to sign away my land? Wake up skinny boy! If you ‘Frac’ here they’ll be no more harvesting anything, It’ll all be good as pig feed. Cancerous pig feed. Thats the truth. You have any Idea how this place’ll look when your people are done with it? They’ll come in, all the strong men dumb and desperate enough to take your money, they’ll come tear up the earth, fill it with those fluids, and those fluids will drip into my stream, you may have not noticed it on your way in here-that little stream that leads off of my here property- it’ll keep running now poisoned by you and your men, it’ll keep running through – and those beaver’s they’ll be swimming in it – that newly flavoured water – and the salmon they’ll be breathing it – that special water you’re looking to marinate my land with – and a little deer will be lapping it up near a brook – and get a little buzz off that ‘harmless’ kool aid you’ll be adding to my stream.
In every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.’ it’s an Iroquois proverb. You aren’t deliberating nothing Mister.
Santefe: Yeah? Alright. Alright. Speak thing who wants to speak.(rips gag off gag)
Adams: Ow! That is incorrect. That isn’t how fracking works.
Santefe: Oh it isn’t?
Adams: It’s actually quite impressive.
Santefe: OH, well I’m all ears… Impress. You better impress me.
Adams: Well, it’s a combination of fracturing and drilling, with today’s incredible technologies we focus on penetrating deep into the earths crust, and then with horizontal drilling we can bore tunnels up to a mile in any direction.
Santefe: Whoa whoa whoa-drilling horizontally?
Adams: Horizontally. These techniques were developed in the sixties and seventies.
Santefe: Like free love?
Santefe: Oh. Continue.
Adams: As i was saying we use the new technology to drill horizontally, like horizontally, like lying flat on a bed, like the sun on the horizon, flat like a table/
Santefe: I know what it means.
Adams: Then why are you looking at me like/
Santefe: Like what?
Adams: I’ll continue?
Santefe: I guess.
Adams: So we drill horizontally along the shale. Once we’ve established the subterranean pipeline with millions of pounds of pressure we begin fracturing the shale with a combination of 3 to 5 million gallons of fresh water and a cocktail of fluids that corrodes the shale, (helped along by the 9000 lbs of pressure). This absolutely fractures the shale until deposits of Natural Gas are found. How do we extract the Natural Gas you ask? It bubbles up to us ! All the way up to the surface! We then engage the necessary hydraulic pumps to foset it into a truck to drive off to gas stations to serve up the Natural gas. Yum yum! Serve it up! Natural gas produces less carbon dioxide per joule delivered than either coal or oil. it is the cleanest most clean energy of the future. The natural gas that lies beneath this country will provide power for it’s citizens for up to the next hundred years.
Santefe: This is pure brainwash R US material. Who told you this garbage?
Adams: I-I work for a company that-
Santefe: And what about the next six generations? How will they live?
Adams: What- ?
Santefe: Once the farm land is useless and there’s no clean water left.
Adams: Miss it’s a safe process. There’s very little risk… I might need some more of that Advil. (examining his leg)
Santefe: A safe process? Like having bareback anal against a church during a lightning storm.
Adams: Excuse me-?
Santefe: And isn’t that a waste of water?
Santefe: Adding chemicals and pumping it into the core of the earth?
Adams: Well no, it basically goes back where it came from.
Santefe: Fresh water comes from shale deposits?
Adams: No, it comes from aquifers and springs.
Santefe: And isn’t it not drinkable any more once you’ve added your corrosive acid?
Adams: No. Well, no. But, in a thousand or so years it will have cleaned itself in the uhh rocks, you know this is really still bleeding…pretty uh/steadily
Sanefe: Out of curiosity am I the first female client you’ve ever had?
Adams: Umm… what has that got to do with anything?
Santefe: All this Pig talk… It’s designed for talking to Pigs. (Snorting like a pig) I can just see the wives sitting disgruntled in the background listening over their husbands shoulders to this bacon speak, while you mesmerize your little Piglet friends with your piglet pamphlets while their wives sit in the back silently ready to rip your throat open.
Adams: I think you’re a special case bearing that particularly unique sentiment Miss Santafe-
Santefe: Well maybe I’m wrong to assume all women feel this put down.
Adams: You have something out for men? You get screwed over by an ex or something, he turn you into this crazy gun wielding barberella-
Santefe: You know something? Something I find very disconcerting about all of you that’ve come through here…I can’t for the life of me imagine you as a little boy. What happened? I feel like you just cancelled the little boy in you.
Adams: What are you talking about??? (to self) I gotta get out of here…
Santefe: Look at that suit! You are just so used to being the one with all the power!
Adams: You did get screwed over an ex didn’t you. He have sex with your sister /or what?
Santefe: Used to being able to waltz in, do what you want, take what you want, talk your way into anything!
Adams: Your dad cheat on your mom? Is that it?
Santefe: Sweet talker-eyech. Your mother probably told you there was nothing you couldn’t do. Idiot.
Adams: Listen you leave my mother out of this!
Santefe: Leave your mother out? You’re the one fucking mother nature! You don’t get it! (shoots out one of the windows)
(Turns to man on floor. Looks at his leg. Looks at her gun. Clears throat.)
Mr. Adams are you familiar with beavers? Seems to me we have got more in common with beavers than most people think. Seems to me you spend your whole life building a good strong damn, and than someone punctures it. And out of nowhere you’ve got this gaping hole… What’s a beaver to do? Beavers are peaceful animals.
This is all been very stressful for me.
Adams: Yes I can see that. (pause) I really think I need to clean this…
Santefe: Right. Ya. Here. (she pulls a flask out of her pocket and passes it to him, he is shaking and cannot do anything tactile)
Oh gimme that. Here.
(She kneels down, pours some whiskey into his mouth and examines his leg)
Santefe: Take off your pants.
Santefe: Hey don’t get any ideas.
Santefe: (producing a small first aid/sewing kit) So this gonna hurt. Tell me about your first time.
Santefe: Your first time, in the sack? Gettin’ jiggly with it? Saucy? Fresh? Making whopee?
Adams: Oh? yah that. OW! (she is pulling his pants off over the wound)
Santefe: What don’t you wanna share? (she spits on the needle)
Adams: No it’s. (grits teeth) Not that.I just don’t-aarraaaa is that needle clean??!!!
Santefe: What are you a virgin.
Adams: Nooooooo-oh god- I’ve done it i’ve just never talked about it.
Santefe: Really? You city livers don’t talk about this kind of thing.
Adams: No it’s the uh, company policy not to talk about anything but the company, it’s mandate and the intent of the project- (grits teeth again)
Santefe: Looks as if someones blew a whole in your mandate Sean. (she pours whiskey on his bullet wound)
Adams: Oh-OH MY- …..AHHRRR! THE FIRST TIME I DID IT WAS IN CANMORE.
Santefe: (she has finished pouring whiskey on his wound) Is that all you got?…
You oughta elaborate cause I’m just getting started. (threading a needle)
Adams: K, uh, her name was Jean, We met on a campsite outside of Canmore.
Santefe: Here take these. (pulls some more advil out of her overalls)
Adams: We were all swimming out into the lake and she just kept on swimming out and out, farther and farther -ahhhhh-… all the guys wanted her, they all followed her out. But she just kept on swimming and the-uh- other guys gave up trickleing off one at a time. But I swam so hard, so blindly, I just kept swimming out into the dark. Something slippery grazed my leg, it was her. She looked at me. her shimmering face. And She kissed me. There floating in the fresh water, drinking it while we kissed, wriggling, our legs akimble to stay afloat still out of breath from swimming so hard, to get to her, and she took my breath away, clear skies twinkling on us. The black green woods around us in the lake, the air was so so good. So so fresh.
Santefe: You work for an oil company.
Santefe: Oh you’re back in reality now lover boy.
Adams: Fucking god damnit. I mean. Gosh darn.. it. is that surgical thread?
Santefe: Yup. Close enuf.
Santefe: You’re an oil prospector, you who speaks with such adoration about nature, who enjoys nature.
Adams: It’s my job.
Santefe: You said that before I still don’t buy it.
Adams: This is, I think, the worst day of my life.
Adams: Well you shot me.
Santefe: Shush, we’re fated. Don’t you know. We’re meant to have this exchange.
Santefe: We’ll find out later, that’s how fate works you realize in retrospect.
Adams: Then what makes you so sure, NOW?
Santefe: What makes you so Unsure. I just sewed up your wound. If I’d wanted to get you for real I could have. I’m giving you a chance.
Adams: A chance? You call this a fighting chance? You raised by wolves? Inbreds? You are insane…
Santefe: Don’t be a baby!
Adams:Don’t be a trigger happy crazy hermit woman!
Santefe: Don’t be a greedy spineless corporate shmuck!
Adams: Nobody uses the word shuck anymore you trailer trash crazy skank!
Santefe: Skank? I’m wearing overalls!
Adams: Skank overall wearing shiteater.
Santefe: Ouch! Lazer Hawk emerges from the background Poochpumper!
Santefe: Pooface!?????- You you-you- you big fat carpet muncher!
Adams: (gasps) Fudge packer!
Adams: Wha- snail licker.
Santefe: Brontosaruus neck
Adams: Ok-lion head.
Santefe: Okay enough with the name calling.
Santefe/Adams: Whoa. What is that noise ?
Adams: It’s probably the machines… coming to start the work.
Santefe: No. Already? No. I didn’t sign!!!
Adams: They work incredibly fast. I forgot to tell you… our company has seized your land already I doubt they can be stopped… they are monolithic and wily.
Santefe: Oh god! my poor… Creek!
(Dance. He has a limp, but dances well, like a preying mantis michael jackson, she is wild, lots of clapping, the dance intensifies, grinding maybe etc)
(Music cuts out, we hear a wolf howl, light changes drastically, it is night now)
Santefe: (she is hopping around in pain, holding her leg) Oww… ow ow ow gosh darn ow!
Adams: What’s wrong with you? What’d you do?
Santefe: rrrrrr…..charleyhorse…aaaaaaa…cramping foot aaaa….danced too hard…..!!
Adams: Whoa ok easy now, just, look you gotta stretch it out, I get those all the time playing lacrosse. Look. Come here. I’ll help you.
Santefe: aaaaaa (she is lying on the ground now)
Adams: (approaching her, stops suddenly) Jest-don’t shoot me in the leg again ok? (pause) Ok? Promise?
Santefe: Yeah-Scouts honour.
Adams: Ok. (He kneels down and beings to vigourously but tenderly/expertly massage her calf/foot. Silence.) You were a scout?
Santefe: Ya. Ow. I tagged along with my brother. Beat him in badges. Resents me to this day. (silence)
Santefe: Ahh..ya right there, that is the ticket. Anyway. He became a physicist.
Adams: I’m a geochemist.
Adams: Ya. It’s really good. And complicated.
Sanfefe: Ya. It’s really good. ooo. And complicated. Gotcha.
Adams: What did you wanna be when you were little? A farmer?
Santefe: Mmm. No.
Adams: What then?
Santefe: I think I remember wanting to be a garbage man. But I hate garbage. And I’m not a man.
Adams: Do you have any beer?
Santefe: No. I don’t drink.
Adams: You don’t wanna be a man. That should do it.
(they both stand up, she tests out her leg, they test out their legs…)
Santefe: Good as new.
Santefe: You want some tea?
Adams: Mmm, yeah!
Santefe: Bees are dying but so far still makin honey. Do you take honey in your tea?
Santefe: Okey doke. (large dollop of honey) There you go. Make sure you stir it good. It’s chamomile.
Santefe: Chamomile. It’s a flower. You never heard of chamomile? I grow them it on the property here. It’s very calming. Mr. Adams. Isn’t it delicious.
Adams: Mm yeah.
Santefe: I know. Grows like a weed. The bees love it.
Adams: … you’re … Hm… ya. Good ‘chamomile’. (clock ticks) So radishes make up most of your business?
Santefe: They are a special vegetable.
Adams: How so?
Santefe: Well they’re super friendly. I mean they are called companion plants. They’re like a protective team for other vegetables, they’re used as a trap-crop against pests.
Santefe: You don’t know anything do you? It mean the pests attack the leaves, and leave the root, and leave the other plants alone. They keep the other plants around them safe.
Adams: You really love grass and trees don’t you?
Santefe: Of course, what do you love? Have you ever been in love? Your girlfriend, do you love her?
Adams: What? That’s besides the point. How do you know I have a girlfriend?
Santefe: I hacked your identity online. Just kidding.
Adams: (sighs) My girlfriend. I mean-
Santefe: Yes or no?
Adams: No. No I guess not. I’m not in love with her.
Santefe: Wow. Ok well there must have been one time you were in love.
Adams: Ok, yeah, once, I’ve been… once.
Santefe: Ok so you know that feeling, when you love someone, that you’ll do anything for them, you know what I’m talking about?
Adams: Uh… yes?
Santefe: So that’s how I feel about this land. About my little creek, and those fields out
there, even if it is only the first six inches I have claim to. I’d do anything to keep them…Safe. You see? Anything.
Adams: I guess, but I’ve never really protected anything… I mean, I’m lucky I guess I’ve never really had to.
Santefe: I know these acres better than I know most people.
Adams: I mean… I don’t know how you can love a tree, or some creek. They aren’t people. It’s different.
Santefe: How? They’re just as alive? Just quieter, easier to get along with/
Adams: But –
Santefe: What? Like animals too, they don’t lie
Adams: I don’t know-
Santefe: You do so! I know you do! I know you have that small boy in there who gets it, I know you must.
Adams: I don’t under/stand
Santefe: Where is he anyway?! Where did you put him?!
Adams: You’re so crazy still.
Santefe: Take off that suit.
(she is straddling him, undoing his tie, unbuttoning his shirt, trying to strip him, messing up his hair, she takes off his glasses, shakes him)
Adams: HELP HELP! WHAT ARE YOU-AHHHH! HOLY-WHOA-hang on -aaaaaaaaaa-
Santefe: Be reaaaaaaaaal! Tell me something! Where is he?
Adams: Ok! Uhhhh..like? -Ah, No! (struggling,wrestling)
Santefe: Tell me about the little boy inside of you.
Adams: (gasping) I -I can’t, I i’m, i don’t know, i don’t know- lemme go lemme go, this isn’t professional, I’M A MAN, my leg, HELP!!!!!!!!!
(she is fiercely hugging him, perhaps rocking and shaking, mostly straddling and violently hugging)
Santefe: SAY something!
Adams: Ahhhhhhhhh!!! I STILL-uhrrraa- like climbing trees!
Adams: I still like to climb trees ok!? I love climbing. Trees. I love climbing them… (he gasps for breath)
Adams: (gasps) Can’t breathe.
Santefe: Oh. (she releases him slightly) Sorry bout that. Strong arms. Lifting bails and birthing calfs and such.
Adams: I used to believe I was going to marry a tree one day. Or something like it. Would run tear wild thru the back door swing on to the first tree off the porch with my kitten in my arms, clamber up, then off a branch into the bushes below, breaking the fall, tumbling, catching on to what i could, me and my kitten in a race, her tiny black body leading me, or following, both of us racing ourselves and each other, a mighty dance of love through the cypress bushes round the yard, into the dirt and back up another tree the air always windier high up, covered in burs, me and my cat. We’d lie back in a big branch and I’d feel the breath of the tree just seep into my skin, free high up, alive, like an animal. no thoughts. no anger. no desire.
(she is still holding him, perhaps near arms length, they both realize this)
Santefe: This is the direction we are headed. Do you see?
Adams: I think so yeah. I feel dizzy. I dunno what I want, what I’m doing. I don’t know if I want anything at all.
Santefe: You’re in a relationship.
Santefe: Me too. With my husband. But..
Adams: But what?
Santefe: He was always my Husband. But he was never really. Nothing else. He never revealed himself to me.
Adams: Oh closed in. I’m like that too. I dwell in my cave often.
Santefe: I wouldn’t have pegged you as a cave dweller. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Adams: Um, whichever, really, I don’t know, why?
Santefe: Really? You don’t know?
Adams: Well maybe/
Santefe: You don’t you sleep on the side closest to the door?
Adams: Is that where your husband sleeps?
Santefe: I thought all men slept on the closest to the door side.
Santefe: Well better off dead I suppose.
Adams: You’re very beautiful. You are. I don’t see why any man would want a way out. Wait. Your Husbands dead?
Santefe: He was murdered.
Adams: Did you kill him?
(she bites her lip)
Santefe: No the John Deere did.
Adams: Oh – Kay?
Santafe: You know I’m not usually like this.
Adams: Like what?
Santefe: Well, this. I’m a cancer. And a pacifist.
Santefe: Ya, my birthday’s in June. I’m actually quite shy. You know… hide in my shell a lot… cave dweller like you said.
Adams: I really like your overalls.
Santefe: Oh… thank you. What I mean is… I’m not usually “behind the gun”. I just-
Adams: Right. Well… I’m not usually like this… I’ll confirm that.
Santefe: But I am glad I shot you. I mean if only to have had shared this time.
Adams: Yeah, I’ve actually been meaning to ask you for your number-
Santefe: I have no phone.
Adams: Wow. (he stares into her eyes)
Santefe: What are you doing?
Adams: I feel kinda dizzy. I’m pretty tired. I feel I need to lie down.
Santefe: Mmmm… Lie down? I dunno bout that…
Adams: … (drooping in her arms, pain re-manifests in his leg) So tired… All the years as a land agent surviving on coffee and donuts are catching up with me. I just need a little nap… or a double double! gimme a double double and boston creme… breakfast of champions. Dinner of combatants!
Santefe: Holy creme cheese you are talking straight non sense! (shakes him) You diabetic or somethin’?
Adams: I can’t believe you don’t want the money. so much money. If I owned this land… I dunno what I’d do. Land filled with natural gas liquid cash… seriously i want a bosom creme. Wow my head feels funny.
If i could go back in time I’d-I don’t know, I’m gonna die or I’m gonna get fired.
Either way my life as I know it is over… you are insane, totally insane, it’s amazing, you…
(he slumps a bit)
Santefe: Hey! (she slaps him) Hey stay with me! You are not gonna die! (gives him a glass of water) Drink this!
Santefe: Ya. Fresh water’ll do that for ya.
Adams: Thanks Annie.
Santefe: You’re welc-wait. How do you know my name? I never told you my name?
Santefe: Sorry for what…?
Adams: I should have-I should have told you earlier, but-
Santefe: NO-how do you know my first name I never told you that?
Adams: I memorized the specs. Before I came. I know everything about you. About your land…
Adams: Like I know…the proportions. You don’t just have three hundred acres, you have four hundred and forty five, two hundred developed for agriculture, one hundred and fifty of pastoral grazing, nine five of straight wilderness. You dropped out of St. Mary’s Secondary when you were fifteen-
Santefe: You pretended like you knew nothing about me.
Adams: You came to the land through your father’s family, who immigrated from Ireland in 1842, and I know your husband’s dead.
Santefe: You lied to me!
Adams: I -with held information.
Adams: Your father signed for seismicity surveys in the early 70s. Eighty percent of your land is undercoated with an ocean of shale. You’re rich!
Santefe: Oh no.
Santefe: Please don’t, don’t go backwards we were doing so good.
Adams: We have the permits. You only own the top six inches … We’ve got to ask for permission so why don’t you just take the money? You won’t need to grow radishes here anymore.
Santefe: But I’ve grown radishes here for eleven years!
Adams: I’m here to ask Permission.
Santefe: Right! I can’t stop you, but you’re here to ask me politely.
Adams: Yes. You’re just a farmer Miss.
Santefe: Your a lot better looking when your face is relaxed YOU SPINELESS COWARD.
Adams: If I don’t do it somebody else will.
Santefe: I guess you don’t know what other people think of you … your friend in the back yard, Mr. Estevan? I think I may have actually liked him more … he at least saw both sides … Doesn’t it bother you? Guess that part of you died with the little boy in you, when you strangled him to death with that neck tie.
Adams: Annie! What do you think is heating your home? Get out of here-come on! You really want the world to go tits up? No more roads, rolling blackouts, everyone planting radishes! No one is gonna make that switch, the systems are in place.
Santefe: Cliches.You people live off/ cliches! you just need to shake off all the slogans Adams. They’ve been burnt into you with the flashing lights.
Adams: 8000 high volume hydraulic fracing operations have been performed / with success-
Santefe: / That’s far too many!
Adams: / in this province alone. /
Santefe: / We’re running out of time. You monster. You’re a monster! You know what this reminds me of? Gang rape. One guy rapes this helpless girl, and if there was any hint of remorse from the guys watching, in their heads there’s this little contradictory voice saying, “Hey she’s already fucked, why not just fuck her some more”…
Adams: You are insane! Where is your husband- and what about the other agents- did you feed ‘em to the pigs? you’re the real monster! Let me go! Let me out of here! Or kill me if that’s what you really want to do! Just-
Santefe: Never thought you’d ask.
(She shoots him in the head. Blood splatters everywhere)
Santefe: Oh no.
Adams: The systems are in place. The systems can work if we let them.
(The musicians rise as agents)
Musicians: The systems are in place, The systems can work if we let them.
(they encircle her, the men freeze, everything suspends)
Santefe: We learn from our mistakes don’t we? I don’t know. Forget about history. It’s in the past.
This is the present and we are it’s lucky passengers, we are making history right now! This is true: It’s all in your approach. It’s not what you say but how you say it.
Any good agent know this. We are approaching it, But how will you approach the apocalypse?
This is the present and we are it’s lucky passengers, we are making history right now!
This is true: It’s all in your approach. It’s not what you say but how you say it. We are approaching it, But how will you approach the apocalypse?
But if the ground itself is poisoned, even the strongest radish…
LOT you want me to sign away… is a dying horse. Our way of life, my way… Radishes those are my business. The root, it can suck almost any sickness right out of you. But if the ground itself is poisoned even the strongest radish?
Forget about history. It’s in the past. Iceland they say they took Iceland by the hair and dragged it into an alley to be face fucked and shot.
We learn from our mistakes don’t we? I don’t know.
This spring every morning I’d look out to the fields of radishes sprouting. I’d fix myself a strong pot of coffee and just stare out the window into the rows, willing their tiny shoots to grow taller, out reaching with my eyes to see a glimmer.
But that’s not how it works.
Then today your black car driving up my way, in the distance, turning down my road, leading you to my doorstep.
(She is overwhelmed hugging her shotgun… slow blackout.)