A boy tells a girl he loves her.
This is dedicated to the one
Who inspired in me a feeling
That I had lost
But shall never forget.
Thank you Liz.
The play begins in darkness, either a loud speaker or a loud actor shall say: In policy debate there are two teams, an affirmative and a Negative. The affirmative offers a worldview and a policy. The Negative team offers a competing worldview and or policy to reject the Aff. The Judge must make the decision of whose worldview to accept by weighing the impacts of the Negative arguments and the harms of our present situation. All across this nation, children are tackling the problems of our modern world, with tools that they can apply to more than the rhetorical-laboratory or a debate round.
Lights up on JOHN and CHRISTINE entering the ‘room’ carrying tubs covered with ‘debate’ stickers, one marked “I Love DB8” visible. The desks are organized into 4 rows with a larger desk at the ‘top’ of the room. They immediately begin to organize desks (Four) at the front of the ‘room’ into two islands. CHRISTINE makes an island nearest the entrance and JOHN makes an island with the desks across the room. JOHN’s desks have tubs on them. (All names in capital letters, denotes no emphasis)
JOHN: (Forcing words) So… What do you expect from this tournament?
CHRISTINE: (Both put tubs down) I don’t know…
JOHN: Well… what do you want?
CHRISTINE: (moving desks) To go home!
JOHN: (Laughing) Really? Why did you come here then?
CHRISTINE: Why else would I come all the way out here? To win!
JOHN: (Skeptical) With TERRY?
CHRISTINE: I’m here for the practice. But why are you here? You’re not debating.
JOHN: I guess I walked into that question…
JOHN: I’m here to watch you and TERRY.
CHRISTINE: A likely story
JOHN: Who could pass up a chance to see TERRY in action?
CHRISTINE: I hate TERRY!
JOHN: (Laughing) You’re not alone. (Pause) Do you really…
CHRISTINE: (Interrupting) Hate TERRY?
CHRISTINE: Not really, but there is much…
JOHN: …to be desired.
CHRISTINE: I could kill him!
(Enter CHERYL, walks to CHRISTINE’s Island.)
CHERYL: How is everyone in here?
CHERYL: Where’s the other team? Where’s TERRY?
JOHN: I’d guess those tubs (Pointing across the room) belong to the other team, and TERRY, he’s probably spying on competition.
CHERYL: PUH-LEAZE, TERRY do something useful? I’m sorry, that’s not fair. TERRY do something useful without causing trouble?
(CHRISTINE and JOHN burst into laughter and CHERYL laughs casually.)
CHERYL: (Looking around) Wow you don’t even have a judge yet. We’re waiting for half of the other team to return… (Stepping toward the door) I just wanted to wish you and TERRY good luck!
CHRISTINE: Tell BILL the same.
JOHN: Good luck.
(Offstage- CHERYL: Hey TERRY! Good…)
Lights up on CHRISTINE sitting at her Island, a JUDGE is sitting in the middle of the first row of desks, while JOHN occupies the island he arranged.
JOHN: (Gets up and stands behind the center desk before the front of the room) Contention one: I am alone. The one who fed my soul and filled my head with a sense of worth moved on to the next flower, the next boy, discarding me on the side of the long path we traveled. Next. You and George are a thousand miles apart physically and at times emotionally. Contention two: we are not happy. I might be reading too much into the gestures on your face but your smile quickly fades into an expressionless abyss, searching the distance for an answer to the indescribable but familiar void. Next. I want you to smile like I do. I want to eliminate the expressionless gaze of worry, confusion, love, and depression that breaks your smile. Next. Personal relationships form the foundation of our self-knowledge. We like relationships are in a constant state of rebirth. Next. The pool of evolving self knowledge depends on the depth and frequency of our relationships. Next. We cannot know ourselves and ignore change, we are affected by different experiences and so our relationships must change to accommodate our ever-changing selves. Therefore I offer the following policy. Let me love you. Let me worship the beautiful being that hides behind your smiles and frowns. Let me hold your hand and weather the cold with you, let me orbit near and far as our attraction pulls us. Let me talk to your inner self and I will replace your expressionless gaze with an excitedly content smile. But most of all allow me to say, and accept that, I love you. Contention three: help is just around the corner of us. Platonic or otherwise, I am committed to making you happy. I stand open for cross examination.
JUDGE: Three minutes.
CHRISTINE: (Silence, mouth open)… How do you know you love me.
JOHN: When you awake/ what enters your mind/ As you forsake/ that pocket of warmth/ that took your last thought/ and
CHRISTINE: (Interrupting) Please answer the question.
JOHN: stretched it across your dreams/ What thought did you find?
CHRISTINE: What do you want?
JOHN: You (pause) I want you to be happy and whole.
CHRISTINE: Why are you here?
JOHN: Because you exist.
CHRISTINE: (Laughs) How do you know such truth?
JOHN: Because you exist.
CHRISTINE: How can you know that I exist because I exist, which is true because I exist? How can you also find it true that you are here with the same reasoning?
JOHN: (Touching CHRISTINE’s hand) I know it thus.
CHRISTINE: How can you know anything when your perception of my touch, and appearance, are part of an imagination entirely contained in your head?
CHRISTINE: I’ll take prep time. (JUDGE starts timer)
Lights up on CHRISTINE and JOHN where they were standing(sitting) at the end of scene 1. Lights come on as TERRY is entering the room making time move.
CHRISTINE: (to JOHN) Did you just say something?
JOHN: Yeah (Nodding), “What’s up TERRY?”
TERRY: What’s up, what’s up?
CHRISTINE: Nothing much just talking about why we are here.
TERRY: What is there to talk about? We’re going to go 5-0 in prelims and win finals!
JOHN/CHRISTINE: (Smile, laugh, and nod.)
JOHN: Did you find anything worth remembering?
TERRY: Yeah, that there is nothing new. Some teams are making slight changes to the generic cases, but we have answers for all of them.
JOHN: Wow TERRY, I’m impressed. How ‘strapped in’ are you two for your Affirmative rounds?
CHRISTINE: (Laughs) ‘Strapped’!? What case are we running anyway?
TERRY: Uhhh… (Looks from tubs to CHRISTINE and back again.)
JOHN: What cases are you ‘prepared’ to debate?
TERRY: What do you mean “prepared”?
TERRY: (Looking around) And Double Hull Tankers.
JOHN: Which one did you write answers for?
TERRY: Write answers?
JOHN: What case do you have any answers to?
CHRISTINE: I didn’t do any case work. Neg strategy is my job. (Sitting, looking through a tub on the floor)
TERRY: Makah. (Nods)
CHRISTINE: Makah sounds fine to me. It is not like it will matter much anyway.
TERRY: Did you find out what the other team is running? (Takes cover off of tub)
CHRISTINE: I haven’t seen them yet.
TERRY: So we’re Negative this round… (Going through tub)
CHRISTINE: I know.
TERRY: What Kritik will you run?
CHRISTINE: I don’t know yet.
Enter two young women, TRACY (JACKSON) and JEAN (Thompson).
TERRY: Alton JT?
TRACY: Yeah, I’m TRACY and this is…
TERRY: What case are you running?
JEAN: We’ll disclose when the judge arrives.
Lights up on JOHN and CHRISTINE at their Islands.
JUDGE: Two minutes of prep used.
CHRISTINE: (Writing… looks up) Alright… (Stands, walking with papers to the large desk) Two off then on to case. First off-case: Interpretation: Love is hard work, commitment, making it work when you love someone, even when it’s hard because you love them. Violation: The Aff(irmative) conflates immediate happiness with love, which is connected but different. The reasons to prefer the Negative interpretation are as follows, One: It is the way it feels. And two: It is the way I want it to feel. You must vote the Aff down because we have to follow the crazy tugs of our gut, the sweater caught in the door way of knowing what you really want. Second off-case: One, George is who I am with. My soul and the spherical energy of my being is tinted different colors by my interaction with him. Next. Two: This policy action changes the tint of my soul, altering how I and George express our love by rejecting what that love means. Next: Cross apply “vote the Aff down,” I have to follow the crazy tugs on my gut. George and I are part of each other. It needs to be that way now, because we mean too much to each other for it to be different. On-case: The energy of our relationship transcends distance. Next: There is no evidence that the Aff plan can offer me what I receive form my interaction with George. All the Aff offers is a promise, a fairytale where I’m a princess needing to be rescued, a gross perversion of reality. I stand open for Cross-ex
JUDGE: 3 minutes.
JOHN: (rising) In Love Our Voices Express Yearning Often Unfulfilled.
JOHN: I’m sorry, could you please explain my fairytale to me?
CHRISTINE: Sure, you have created a myth, where you perceive demons attacking my soul. You then declare that you can save me from them. I may be a princess but you do not need to rescue me.
JOHN: Thank you. Does love make you happy?
CHRISTINE: Most of the time.
JOHN: Most of the time?
CHRISTINE: Generally love makes me happy, yes.
JOHN: How do you know when you are in love?
CHRISTINE: It’s a feeling you can’t rid yourself of, it is something you feel in the botton of your stomach, it’s in the back of your mind, it is a burden you are ecstatic to carry.
JOHN: You don’t love me?
CHRISTINE: We are not in love.
JOHN: Please explain how the policy option harms your interaction with george.
JUDGE: Time! (pause) Would you like any prep?
JOHN: Let it run please.
Light up on CHRISTINE and JOHN sitting together at her Island.
CHRISTINE: But why are you here?
JOHN: I love you.
CHRISTINE: Why are you saying this now?
JOHN: Because you are here.
CHRISTINE: How do you know you love me?
JOHN: Because I wake up thinking about you. (touches her hand) I can’t go a day without wishing that I knew you were smiling at every moment.
CHRISTINE: Why are you doing this now?
JOHN: I have a need to say what I feel. I hid from the implications of my thoughts and I ran from the truth of my feelings, and for what? If I love you I should be able to say how I feel. Even if this love is all in my head it does not diminish the value of my feelings?
CHRISTINE: I want someone to hold me, to read my mind, and to be there with everything I need. I still love that boy I fell in love with. But, I also want someone to show they care about me. I want someone who understands me.
JOHN: I want to understand. I can give everything you need, just say what it is you want.
CHRISTINE: How can I be true to my feelings if I don’t know what to do?
JOHN: You know what feels right, love feels right, and happiness feels right. What would make you happy?
CHRISTINE: (Shakes head… throws arms around JOHN)
JOHN: (Kisses CHRISTINE… passionate embrace)
Lights up. JOHN laying asleep on a desk in a row, TERRY and CHRISTINE and JEAN AND TRACY at their respective islands. CHRISTINE is quickly writing. Judge is watching timer.)
JUDGE: All time has been sued.
CHRISTINE: Okay. (Gets up, collects papers from desk and walks to the ‘top’ of the room.) Judge (Timer sounds) you do not need to look than further than Topicality in this round. The Affirmative has poorly answered our arguments throughout the entire round. They did not offer a counter definition or interpretation, they say that we over-limit the topic by interpreting Marine Natural Resources as non-living but they can only offer one case beside theirs that we disallow. We believe that case as well as theirs is non-topical. They offer no reasons to prefer their interpretation, an interpretation that they leave you and us to piece together from their various speeches. Please extend our voters, or fairness, jurisdiction, and education. We cannot be expected to debate topics that do not meet the resolution. Topics that do not affirm the resolution do not educate us about the year’s topic. You cannot vote a team up when they run a non-topical plan. The Aff has clearly not met the burden of Topicality and you cannot allow them to manufacture answers in their 2AR because we do not get a 3NR to rebut them. You can only vote Neg. (sits down.)
JUDGE: (To JEAN and TRACY) Do you need prep?
TRACY: Yeah… (going through files and notes on island)
CHRISTINE and TERRY look at each other, TERRY is smiling and CHRISTINE looks hopeful.)
JOHN: (moving around in seat, eyes closed, mumbles) CHRTISTINE… I… Laaa… (CHRISTINE looks over, JOHN falls our of his sear)
CHRISTINE: Are you lright?
JOHN: Huh? Was I sleeping?
JUDGE: We only have on speech left, if you could please keep the distractions to a minimum.
JOHN: I’m sorry… I must have been dreaming. (Smiles)
JUDGE: Two minutes remaining.
(CHRISTINE and TERRY start to organize files on the Island and pack them away in the tubs)
(JOHN drinks the rest of a more than half empty bottle of water. Gets heading towards the garbage can.) (to CHRISTINE) Sorry I missed your speech.
CHRISTINE: It’s alright.
(JOHN throws the bottle out, and notices CHERYL outside the door, he exits)
(Offstage you can hear the conversation)
CHERY: How is it going?
JOHN: I just woke up.
CHERYL: (Laughs) What speech are they on?
CHERYL: Do you think they picked up?
JOHN: (Gives her a look of amazement)
CHERYL: I mean how do they look like they did?
JOHN: I think they are going to pick up, TERRY looks really excited.
CHERYL: We got dropped…
JOHN: I’m sorry, that sucks.
CHERYL: It’s okay. It was just the first round.
JOHN: I can’t believe I slept through the whole round… had a weird dream too.
CHERYL: What about?
JOHN: Yeah, we were taking in this room, and it was just like the last tournament we went to, but it was here.
CHERYL: Sometimes if you meditate or think deeply about something before you go to sleep you guide your dreams.
JOHN: That’s interesting… they look they are going to start. It’ll be over in ten minutes.
CHERY: See you then.
JOHN: Peace. (Re-enters room)
Lights up John is working at the far Island CHRISTINE is at hers, the JUDGE is sitting in a row of desks.
JUDGE: You have used a minute thirty so far.
JOHN: Okay. (Gathers notes and papers and stands up.) You can stop prep.
JUDGE: A minute forty used.
JOHN: (Walks to the ‘top’ of the room.) I will go ‘T’ then the Disadvantage. One: I meet your interpretation for the following reason. It is hard work to love someone and have them not believe you, harder still when they love someone else, and perhaps the hardest part is believing in your feelings. Two: I offer the following counter-interpretation, Love is accepting that you only know so much about yourself and the world, that everyone you meet has something to teach you, something that you can apply to every aspect of your life. Love is waking up in the morning and wishing that that one person in all the world could be there, that you could see their smile as they are resting peacefully. Love is waiting, and it is also knowing when to let go. Love is a happiness that puts your soul in a state of eternal peace. Three: I meet this as well because the love I feel is a terminal desire to get to know you, a continuous interest in your feelings, and a complete surrender to the wave of peace I feel when I see you smile. It is the resolve to feel this and accept what comes of it. Four: You should prefer this interpretation because it acknowledges a larger range of human emotion. My interpretation does not ignore the negative teams feelings, but instead questions the feelings that the negative herself silences or ignores. Please cross-apply the Neg’s number 2, “That’s the way I want it to feel.” Also cross apply the Negatives voter, “I have to follow the crazy tugs of my gut…” Like the tug that my gut felt when you touched my hand and let me feel the sacred warmth of your body. I would like to make a general comment on the DA before I proceed. Of course the Negative is with someone, but the link story is lacking. The Neg does not say how or why this policy option changes their relationship, at best only makes it different. On to the DA proper... One: I concede the Aff’s number one. Two: What color was your spherical energy tinted when you couldn’t be alone together? How was your soul when you cried for no reason? Inarguably its color was opaque, maybe even black, and soul was pained. Three: The policy option changes our relationship, how it affects you and George is dependant on how much you love each other. Cross apply the number two from topicality, “Love is waiting, and it is also knowing when to let go…” Letting go does not mean you stop loving someone, but that you stop denying them a basic happiness you cannot or will not offer. Four: On the Neg’s number three, how many relationships reinforce your feelings and knowledge of love? You can also cross apply the above argument here. Finally, I do not contend that the Neg is a princess in need of a shining knight to rescue her. I do however contend that she is a princess and that I am a lonely frog in need of lifted spirits. I stand open for cross-examination.
(Judge starts timer [it beeps])
CHRISTINE: You know exactly what will happen when our relationship changes.
JOHN: As you descended those steps/ leaving me in the cold/ With only thoughts if warmth like psss/ Remember when you took my hand/ and made a man whole, a happy boy/ Stripping away shrink wrap/ from
CHRISTINE: (interrupting) How often will you recite poems?
JOHN: His number one Christmas toy/ More than a possession a sacred gift/ fell into my hand and ran/ Imagination run wild/
JOHN: In that instant/ I held happiness awhile/ Hoped the feeling was mutual/ and stand before you now, a man, a boy, a child. I’ll recite my poems till the day I die.