4 a.m. – a short play by David Mamet

4 a.m. – a short play by David Mamet

An announcer seated at a radio console desk. He wears earphones and speaks into a microphone. We hear the voice of the caller over a loudspeaker.

Interviewer: Hello, you’re on the air.

Caller: Hello, Greg, how are you?

Int: I’m fine

Caller: Good. Greg, it’s a pleasure to talk with you. I had the pleasure of talking to you three-and-one-half years ago, and I’ve been a continual listener of yours since you started out with the twenty-two stations, and I admire you very much.

Int: Thank You.

: Thank you Greg.

: What’s your problem?

: Greg, we need your help to publicize our plan. We’ve been trying to get our organization together to raise money to be able to hire a public relations firm like Wells and Jacoby to publicize our organization. (Pause.) Where are we going to get the money…? I don’t know…


Int: To publicize your…

: In the movie 2001, based on the writings of Arnold Toynbee, they speak of the plan…

: Excuse me, excuse me, but the movie 2001 was based on the writings…

: …all human life is made of molecules…

: …based on the writings of Arthur C. Clarke…


Caller: All human…no, Greg, if you examine…

: …it was based on the writings of Arthur C. Clarke…

: Oh, Greg, No. We have the…

: Well, go on.

: Greg: In the writings of Arnold Toynbee he discusses a plan whereby all human life could be easily reconstituted on the planet Jupiter.

: Uh-huh…(Pause.)

: Greg?

: Yes? (Pause.) I’m listening.

: Greg…

: Yes?

: In the wr…

: Yeah. I got it. Go on.

: In the…

: No, no. No. Go on. I got it. Arnold Toynbee, human life on…

: As we’re made of molecules, Greg, and the atoms of all human life that ever lived are still in all of us…

: Okay, I got it. They exist, they’ve just been rearranged. (Pause.)

: Yes. (Pause.)

: So?


Caller: We’d like to publicize our organization, Greg. We’re very young. We’ve just been existence over a year and we want to publicize our theory. And, Greg, we don’t know how.

: You…how do you publicize your plan to bring dead people back to life on Jupiter.


Caller: Yes.


Int: Why? (Pause.) Why would you want to do this? (Pause.) Hello?


Caller: Yes.


Int: Why would you want to do this? (Pause.) You see what I’m saying to you? (Pause.) What is the aim of your group?


Caller: Greg

: What are your plans? (Pause.)


Caller: I…(Pause.)


Int: What?


Caller: I…Greg I told you.


Int: You said that you want to bring dead people back to life.


Caller: Yes.


Int: On the planet Jupiter.


Caller: Just as they showed us in the mo…


Int: Well, I’m not sure that’s what the movie was about, but be that as it may, why would you want to do that?


Caller: Oh, Greg, you can’t mean it…


Int: Well, yes, I mean it. Why would you…what’s the idea…? You’re walking down the street, there’s Abraham Lincoln…is that the idea?


Caller: Yes.


Int: …so anybody that you want to talk to, so forth, there they are. Is that the idea? (Pause.)


Caller: Yes.


Int: Who do you pick? Who picks ’em? You? Your organization?…or do you just bring ’em all back? (Pause.) What is your…I mean, do you have a program for this? Or…what are the goals…? (Pause.)


Caller: To bring…


Int: Naah…it’s to broad. It’s too broad. Don’t you see what I’m talking about? You can’t bring ’em all back. (Pause.) Can you?


Caller: I don’t know.


Int: Well, think about it. (Pause.) Think about it. You’re talking about billions of people. Eh? They’ve lived at different times. They speak different languages-the ones that speak our language, it’s changed over the years. The dialects are different. Customs change. Their lives are different. Some of them died violent deaths…some are disfigured…they’ve been decomposing…Now: listen to this: At what point do you bring them back? (Pause.) Right before they died? What if they were ill? What if they were infirm? And so you don’t do it then, when do you do it? At what point? You see what I’m telling you? Someone wants to come back at age twenty, so you bring him back at fifty-five…is he allowed to change? And who’s to say if he can or can’t? What if he never wanted to come back?


Caller: …Greg…?


Int: What about people who killed themselves? Because they didn’t want to live? Some of them we know. We could leave out. What about ones that we don’t know? Who’s going to pass on this? You and your group? Well, then you’re talking about something very much like fascism. Is that what you want? Because I’ll tell you what you get very quickly is a State where only the Pure can come back. Or the good looking…or whatever the people in charge that day seem to feel is the ultimate good…and tickles their fancy. Or do you just press a button and everyone comes back? And what do you have then? I’ll tell you what you have: wars. You’ve got wars. Unless you think that being dead improved them. You see what I’m saying? You’ve got the same jealousies and…misunderstandings you had the first time. And how do you explain the technology to some guy who’s just come back from 1565 and all of a sudden he’s in some space suit and he’s alive again…


Caller: He wouldn’t be in a space suit.


Int: …whatever. And who governs this august group? Or do they just “get along”? Not in this lifetime, friend. What do you think? Because they’re on a foreign planet that it’s going to be cooperation and good will? They’re going to forget about their human nature and just live in joy? You’re talking about heaven, my friend. Heaven doesn’t exist. You think the fact that they’ve come back is going to make them all philosophers? I don’t think so. Far a day, yes. Maybe. A week, a month later, and I’m going to tell you something: It’s going to be worse than it was before, and you know what you’ve got? Chaos. And any tine you get a State like that you have a populace that thinks the world owes it a living. And you’ve got a tragedy. It doesn’t hold up. Even as a dream. It’s not thought out. And what do they eat?
Caller: Toynbee says that we can bombard the atmosphere with oxygen and reclaim the soil.


Int: Does he? And what if he’s wrong…? (Pause.) You see what I’m saying? (Pause.)


Caller: I…


Int: Listen to me: The world is full of histories of people trying to live in Utopias. It doesn’t work. We wish it did, it doesn’t. (Pause.) Alright? (Pause.) Alright?


Caller: Um…yes.


Int: Alright. Thank you for calling. (Loudspeaker goes dead.) Let’s move along:


Book of Mysteries #1: Four Dooms Today


Book of Mysteries is the story of a world much like our own Earth, where Wild Talents, Forteana and various hidden races- including those postulated by Charles Fort, “X” and “Y”- are active and where superheroes and supervillains exist more prominently than on our own world.

The Book of Mysteries is an ongoing series, 42 pages of real content per issue, sold at the minimum price possible on Amazon to guarantee the best value I can manage.

It is collecting a lot of prose, gamebook, art, poetry and miscellany from both my serious studies and my creative hobbies over the last 30 years.


The Minority Society

The Minority Society is the current comicbook / GN on which I am working.

It distills past efforts, including passing dry commentary on them in a wry way. But that isn’t the point.

When I wrote novels I wrote them extremely quickly, finishing a 180-250 page book usually in two to three weeks tops. This was possible because the need to put a thought or burning opinion down on paper was so strong. Once I’d scratched the itch I was near comatose for a few days, unless a followup urge hit and that would manifest as a sequel.

The Minority Society is the first comicbook in years to move me to be so active. Currently, comicbook creation is meant to be a hobby, but as I wait interminably for new clearance and paperwork for my day job, the comicbook activity has taken over my daylight hours and my nights. Like PKD, I have an unusual view of the world, and like him I also work extremely productively when able to go through the night. All the normal dream power and hypnogogic imagery that might otherwise be flushed out of the body along with the toxins that build up each day instead make their way into the notes for the comic, or straight into the artwork.

The Minority Society is the story of disparate people and near-people who find themselves in worlds separated only by the merest vibrational differences. Circumscribed in each world in the manner of a computer game or ancient labyrinth, the protagonists negotiate, figuratively and literally, through various events and challenges. Survival is not guaranteed for any of them.

I don’t want to give anything away in terms of plot because the intended pleasure of this book will be in reading it and re-reading it. Suffice to say, it’s taken over considerable “free” time and I am quite proud of it. My art still lags badly behind my writing but despite that I am not ashamed to look at the pages completed so far.


The Smell Of Lime (TSOL)

The Smell Of Lime

Lost on an alien planet (or is it?) a group of people from Earth wake up dressed only in their underwear and with no tools, cell phones, food or drink…

Who sent them there?

And what does the mystery have to do with Toynbee Tiles?

The Smell Of Lime