Gray Matter
By Josh Weckesser

Paul has died, but he appears to his best friend Seth in a dream.


Hey Seth, how have you been? Long time; no see. I guess it hasn't been too long for you, has it? A lot has happened to me. You're going to find something out tomorrow that I'm hoping will upset you. I didn't mean to upset you but - I hope you care enough to be upset. As much as I don't really want to say it, I want you to be upset. I know it's selfish, so, while I'm being selfish, I want you to understand, too. You know how I usually go for a drive when I'm upset. So I went driving well into the night. The road opened up before me, strait and narrow and black. It was raining. No, it was more than raining, it was storming. The road looked so lonely and - defiant. It shouted silently that it wanted a test, it was challenging someone to brave its loneliness so that it could prove its ability to withstand not only the storm but the vehicle that was thundering over it as well. Somewhere, in my heart of hearts [pause; beat] Heart of hearts. I've never really taken the time to think about it before. It kinda says that there's a heart inside your heart that you might not know. And what if...?

[beat] Like I was saying, I knew that I could tame it. I, Paul Deters, for once in my life, I was going to do something that no one else had done. Even if no one else knew; even if no one else saw, I'd be able to wake up everyday and remember I had done it. If I was going to wake up everyday, or even another day. You might think I'm crazy, Seth. That's okay, I kinda think I'm crazy myself. [beat] I'm scared of my own heart. Remember what you were always saying about passion and how it's the truest of emotions? I was afraid that I didn't believe in anything like that. I was afraid because my heart trembled at the thought of anything daring. I refused to be afraid anymore, so I turned down this lonely road and stepped on the gas. I never knew anything could move so fast. I felt as if I was standing still and the world was spinning beneath me. This undefeatable road was moving for me, the whole universe was moving for me. It was daring and my heart did not tremble. Then it all stopped. And you know what it was? You're going to laugh, I know you are, but there was this rabbit. Yeah, a little white bunny. It was just sitting there on the road, in the rain. It looked so pitiful, it was all wet and one ear was dropping and it couldn't have eaten in days. I couldn't stay in control of the car without hitting it. It was at this moment that I felt the hand of God, or maybe an angel, or maybe it was just a flight of fancy, asking me which one I was going to choose, him or me. I chose him. Just looking at him, so lost and alone, he reminded me of... me. I didn't have the heart [pause] the heart to hit him. I suppose that's it. That's all I really remember and all I'm going to tell you anyhow. I don't know what happens now and I don't really care. Give Cindy my regards, okay? And tell her I ruled the universe, if only for a short while, for her. I want you to keep my hat, I know you found it. I don't really need it where I'm going, besides. [motions to the hat on his head; pause] You're a good man, Seth Lyons, don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. Don't miss me too much; I won't be far.

This monologues is from the full-length play Gray Matter by Josh Weckesser. If you would like to read the entire play, you can purchase and download an electronic (PDF) copy of the script for $7.00.

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