Setting: The small drab auditorium of an old elementary school or church. Our hero stands at the podium addressing a sorry-looking bunch hunched in their metal folding chairs.
Hi, my name is Jim and I’m a recovering animal.
Chorus of Hello’s and Welcomes.
As most of you know, trying to function in a civilized society has always been a challenge. I can’t help it…but…I’d still like to shove a box of donuts down my pie hole or drink beer with gusto, like I could when I was young, and chase after…well, what can I say…slowly, painstakingly, I’ve learned how to behave in what, as far as I can tell, is a relatively acceptable manner to those around me, even without the help of any stimulating substances, reducing me, frankly, to something as well-behaved and exciting as a toadstool, on most days. But, I don’t think I bother anyone anymore, at least….To be honest, though, there’s hardly a day goes by I don’t want to chuck my clothes and run wildly through the streets yelling – I am nature, I am nature – until some willing female gets my gist and we spend our remaining days on an unhindered romp of uncontrollable wildness and bliss…(long pause)…I mean why on earth are we here if not to…sorry, sorry, one day at a time, I tell myself, one day at a time.
I hear ya, a man yells from the back of the crowd.
Tell it like it is, comes another voice.
I guess we all have our limits, I continue. No one can run wild forever without consequences, though it sure was fun while it lasted. I mean, there’s nothing like the feeling of absolute freedom, is there? My god, when you’re running wild and unchecked you feel as if you’ll live forever and heaven exists on earth and…
That’s a fantasy, man…someone yells.
You’re right, you’re right, of course. I mean we’re limited, whether we like it or not. Our ultimate mother, the planet earth, gives us an abundance of food and sunshine and water, and yet we know that our supplies have limits, that we’re all on the same ship and must check our behavior accordingly. I understand that. If I ran wild continuously I wouldn’t last long, I know, I’d use myself up, I’d burn out, if I didn’t have a modicum of discipline to keep me under control. Thanks to Mother Nature and her limits, and, well, that voice in the back of my head…
Go ahead, you can say it, someone says.
I know, I know, that voice in the back of my head, the one that keeps me relatively functional in a civilized society, that acts unknowingly as the natural servant of the earth and all of the cosmos, that brought me into this world and threatened to take me out if I didn’t behave, that has probably kept me alive to this point and out of jail or serious disease or from living in a brothel more than anything else, that voice, that voice of my mother.
Share it, man, share it.
I know, I have to acknowledge it, I have to accept it and be thankful for it, I owe my existence and everything else I have and…she encourages creativity and restrained freedom (gesticulating awkwardly, like a prisoner almost free of its chains)…as long as its socially acceptable behavior and…oh hell (knocking skull frantically with fists), you all know it! You must feel the same frustration! The same pain and anguish! Because it’s like an annoying interminable song playing repeatedly and incessantly in the back of your minds and you want it to stop, then, maybe, we could find a way to go at least a little wildly animalistic – like for a few years, perhaps, stopping just short of death, accepting a quiet peaceful period down the final stretch…
I’m with you, someone yells, standing up and tearing at his clothes.
Me, too, comes another.
The crowd starts to stir and get restless as the desire for wild abandonment starts to overcome them and the old excitement arises within me and I’m about to shove my fist in the air and yell let’s go wild when…a woman’s voice rises from the back, above and beyond the rest.
Sit down and shut the hell up and behave yourselves.