A monologue from the play by Duncan Pflaster
Alonso is a young painter with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. He is speaking to his art school friend Paul, on whom he’s had a huge crush.
Paul has come to stay for the summer with Alonso and his sister Blanca, who has enlisted Paul to keep Alonso taking his medication.
Alonso (Twenty, Latino)
Look, taking the pills dampens everything down for me. It’s like wearing a blindfold made of a black and white movie.
I can’t do it. There’s that Leonard Cohen line: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
”The broken part is where the art comes from. I can’t paint, I can’t do it, I can’t do anything right when I’m on these f***ing pills.
People didn’t have these pills in olden times. Like they didn’t have dentists. And they were fine.
All my life I’ve been told I had a special gift. That my art was something magical. I liked it, I wanted to be special.
A brilliant tortured artist. Right? We all fall for that image. But then I went to college and met you and bunch of other tortured artists, and we were all special.
I mean, you remember Lenny, with his fauvist style? All those bright colors just exploding everywhere.
And Sarah’s intricate line work, so tight and controlled. How could I compete with Monti, who made me cry once with a painting of Dominick’s elbow? And god: and you.
We were all the gifted children wherever we came from, and I had no idea how to cope once I got in with everyone who was just as talented and special and stressed just like me.
I had to up my game. And then I realized that this talent, this weirdness I have of seeing things a different way, that’s what really makes me special.
I don’t see things like anyone else, so I don’t paint like anyone else. I am unique. Without my f***ed up brain, what am I?
We’re shooting stars, that’s all we are. Burn brightly, then fade away. Wouldn’t you give your life up if it meant that you could be the genius you always knew you were?
And you are a genius, my friend; don’t be bashful, you know that. If someone was going to take that away, but let you live forever, would you take that bargain?