Clip: Theoretical Isolation Monologue

Written by Seth on June 22nd, 2009

Here’s a piece of playtext that I wrote for the LDSM‘s Theoretical Isolation, inspired by stories of Richard Feynman’s scrapes with censors at Los Alamos.

A moment from Theoretical Isolation

A moment from Theoretical Isolation

I have sufficient belongings.  My wife made a checklist. She packed up all my things in four large steamer trunks.  In each steamer trunk she has left a note to me.  We like to write each other notes, in code. In the first trunk, surrounded by my clothes, towels and linens, there is a copy of the book “Breaking the Code” and a sheet of instructions.  I follow the instructions and cut holes in a sheet of paper.  I turn to the page indicated and overlay my template, and the words that appear form sentences.  In my second steamer trunk, between the cans of beans and the tins of sardines, there is a schematic diagram.  At first I think it is an electrical circuit.  Then I realize each node on the diagram instructs me on how many tins of what sort I should stack where at what time.

The title of the schematic is 4:15 PM.  It is 4:15 PM. The light from the sun casts a shadow of words on the ground. In the third steamer trunk there are three reel-to-reel tape recorders.  I play them, each one repeats the fragments of a phrase.  After several repetitions, the recordings synchronize, the words coalesce and I hear my wife reciting Dante.

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

The last trunk is locked. I cannot find the key.  The message it contains is hidden inside. I break it open on the platform and inside is nothing but sand.  I pour the sand out on the platform.  But, no words come through.  I have arrived.

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