The Chat Room was inspired several weeks ago by a visit to a chat room at Writing.com where a question was being bandied about as to the difference between prose and poetry. It was so unsual to see a serious conversation taking place that I perked up my ears and listened attentively. I wondered what I would say if asked the question and was glad it was not put to me in that type of forum. I am not well socialized to chat rooms and find it difficult to listen, think, formulate an answer and type in a response all at the same time. One of those present, with a handle like Kodacolor.chrome.... something like that did quite well in providing a credible response. That night I put the question into my processor and it churned away until morning. When I woke up my machine spit out the response that is contained in the narration. At first I tried to taper off the ending but in the end took the advice of one of the reviewers and chopped it off short and sweet.
"The opportunity," was conceived as one of several sketchs exploring the possibility of writing erotica that enters the brain through the ear rather than the eye. Even though we read dialogue, it is designed to be spoken and while there is a compromise in inputting something thats supposed to be heard, through the eyeballs, there's no avoiding it. All play writers have to record their plays in a written format. The genesis for examining this possibility was reading a copy of Filthy Shakespeare, by Pauline Kiernan. She holds a Doctorate from the University of Oxford. Her scholarship makes her a well know expert on Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama. Two things jumped out at me from reading her book.
First that Shakespeare was a master of the double entendre and wrote not just words with double meanings but entire passages of double entrendres. This material could be interpreted simultaneously at a surface and subsurface level. On the surface the words could be taken at proper face value but underneath the words carried double meanings that were often lewd, filthy and ridded with sexual pun and innuendo. The human brain trying to process these two trains of thought, would connect the dual meaning perhaps a millisecond apart inducing the mild state of hysteria from which all humor seems to emanate..
Second the theater of the day did not have the elaborate sets and visual effects to which we are now accustomed. To be sure some of the more affluent theater goers were close enough to the stage to receive both visual and audio ques but many more were unable to see very much and indeed the cheapest “seats” were outside with no visibility of the stage what so ever. Still Shakespeare’s plays were often packed both inside and out.
Now if you put these together there is an undercurrent of erotica in his works where the ear was a more important sensor for cognitive input than the eye. This led me to ponder the question... can erotica be created in a dark room when all you can hear is the dialogue. I don’t presume to be the first to consider this possibility nor a writer with the literary skills to pull it off but I’ve never been shy at pushing my skills to the limit. So for the benefit of my "sufferers " at Writing.com this tale is a test of your hearing skills, patience and sense of drama and comedy.
The first of thses sketches, "The Opportunity." is more of a drama. There are some light moments but what is taking place is serious for both Jonas and Marcie. Jonas is lonely after the death of his wife Karen and is ready to find a replacement. Marcie is lonely as well but has been burned by married men who pretended to be unattached. Both are skeptical as a consequence of their professions. Once their bona-fides are established the play moves into the dark room of dialoge. Wether or not their words are compelling to the seasoned erotica readers is a matter for them to decide. My initial feedback is that they find it so different from familiar expectations, that it sound clinical and devoide of feeling. Naturally as the author I find it compellingly real, with a poingnancy often lacking in expository froms of expression.
The second of these sketches, "The Thin Wall," is more of a comedy. There are some moments when the erotical acquires an edge but the rule is a disconnect between Phillis's role playing as a therapist, and Ralphs more serious playing of his part. However, even Ralph knows it is only role playing and as it goes on begins to warm up to it in the same manner as his therapist. In this play it is important that the humor component is present because what Ralph's wife has done to emasculate him is almost unthinkable to the average woman. The manner in which she gets even is something most female theater goers would have never considered doing. Thus there is a disconnect between how most females would deal with husbandly shortcomings and what Phyllis resorts to. In that there are the elements of humor, albiet gallows. Then there is the disconnect between Phyllis's multitasking while Ralph is giveing her oral sex. She is doing several things at once while he is giving her pleasure. Then the role playing switches and Ralph becomes the dominent partner. As a therapist Phyllis cannot take seriously the Bondage and Sadomachonistic role playing and her responces are half hearted and Sarah Barnhardt like. Ralph at first plays it straight but as it goes on he begins to feed off her perfomamce and there is an undercurrent of humor that goes along with their love making. It isn't a spoof or a satire but it makes a sex scene that could be over the top into something that is attention getting but not overwhelming.
The Hat Trick: Uses the same dark room and dialoge form. It is about society redefining the role of men in the future. Now that bearing arms is anethma to many, as is hunting, and artificial insemination is coming into its own. Seems like only a matter of time before world government decides to significantly reduce the number of men on this planet. Think of the prison space that would free up, not to mention the crime, crazy conservatives and fiscal tightwads that ruin this country by living within their means, seeking employment and refusing to spend more than they make. Men! they're disgusting, dirty and have a one track mind. Don't you think its time something'was done about it? :)