Mark Blickley is a widely published and produced writer and proud member of PEN American Center and the Dramatists Guild. He is currently writing a one-woman show for Zoe about the life of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven titled Mama Dada.
Zoe Anastassiou is an actress, writer and Associate Artistic Director of Helluva Theatre Company. She has performed onstage in England at Shakespeare's Globe and the Old Vic Theater and is currently performing at the Dublin International Gay Theater Festival.
Joe Battista (director of the video) is artistic director at NYC's 13th Street Repertory Theater and founder of Screaming Mime Theater Productions.
Mark's poetic perspective: "When you travel in a circle you view life at every possible angle."
I was born full of shit. It’s called meconium aspiration. You see, I had what was the equivalent of a bowel movement when my mother went into labor because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck and that made me very, very nervous. This pre-natal stress caused me to fall victim to rapid heartbeats that threw me into rapid breathing.
Technically speaking, meconium isn’t shit because I didn’t eat any food, but it would be shit if it could be because it’s the waste that collects around an embryo. When my heart starting pounding and I begin gasping for breath, I accidentally swallowed this crap so the moment I popped out of the birth canal they slapped me into the Intensive Care Unit and pinched me full of antibiotics. I’m not certain why they did this to me because meconium, unlike true shit, is sterile and offers no risk of infection.
Yet here I lie, taped and punctured, in a no frills basinet where I’m poked and prodded by mostly dark skinned, white masked intruders. It’s not the most exciting of times, what with my unrequited cravings for the maternal tit, but it does give me time to think.
When you’re born full of shit you can go one of two ways. You can either become a natural liar or turn into an inspired storyteller. I’ll let you decide into which category I fit.
My mother is a very natural person. When her mucus plug came out—this block of black, bloody goop—and she knew my birth was imminent, she asked for the car keys from my father and drove to the woods surrounding a nearby park to squat and have gravity, not a team of doctors, assist in my birth. But the shithead found her and insisted on taking her to the hospital, where I now lie in a chilly room with a bunch of other tiny looking freaks who may or may not be swallowing their own shit.
I know, I know, you’re thinking how the hell can a newborn be offering up journalistic observations, historical veracities and judgmental insights? I can’t answer that question, but I am leaning towards a belief in some sort of reincarnation. Maybe I’m the next Dali Lama.
Sometimes I feel like I have all the damn answers, but truth is I don’t even know what century this is or why the hell I’m being put here. I think I’ve born into the past, but I’m not sure whose past and that makes me kind of nervous. I get a feeling I might be here to hurt somebody. I wish you could tell me if I’m a boy or a girl because I’m not sure. I do know that I was spit out of that warm slime and into the freezing room, and right away I knew my crying would get me what I wanted. Was that out of respect for who I’m going to be, or is it because they just see me as some sort of pathetic little bastard?
I can’t seem to communicate with any of these obnoxious puffs of flesh in here, lying in their streaked stained diapers, sleeping and crying like a bunch of old fools. The grown up sons of a bitches in here gave me a spinal tap when I was less than an hour old. You believe that? Do they have any idea how painful that is? Sticking needles in you and draining stuff until your back feels like it’s exploding? It still hurts. I’d like to shove a needle up their asses to see if I’d enjoy hearing them scream as much as they must’ve enjoyed hearing me. It’s hard to figure out who to trust around here. I’m almost blind and naked and they won’t let me have any secrets.
I think I’m going to need teeth to be able to tear into words, but right now I feel kind of sleepy. It’s tiring trying to figure out if you’re supposed to be an asshole or a genius. Why does the hatred of the world burn away at me while I sleep? All I can do is dream about being loved while drool drips down my chin. I shit my diaper and they rob me of my filth.
Do you want to adopt me?