a little fall of snow

(the GOTH and OPHELIA are sitting on the floor with an umbrella over them, relaxing. they are in a funeral parlor. there is a dead body nearby. mourners are passing through)

GOTH: (smug) That's when I told them it was all bullshit.
OPHELIA: Awesome!
GOTH: Yeah, well, they can't keep feeding us all those lies and not expect me to say anything. Screw the Latin Team.

(MARTY enters in a hurry)

MARTY: Okay, nobody...wait, that's not the right dead guy. Am I too late?
OPHELIA: We're all too late.
MARTY: You're a bunch of those goths, aren't you?
GOTH: Hnh.
MARTY: What are you doing in a funeral parlor?
GOTH: Getting tan from the futility of existence.
OPHELIA: We don't like beaches.
GOTH: They're too bright.
OPHELIA: Fucking sand.
MARTY: I knew you people were sick. (runs off)
GOTH: (calling after) Your god is dead!
OPHELIA: You're so cool, Andrew.
GOTH: I know.

(TAURUS, a tall muscular goth, enters)

TAURUS: (to OPHELIA) Hey, Ophelia. What are you doing hanging out with this loser?
OPHELIA: Ooh. Hi, Taurus. (to GOTH) Taurus tried to commit suicide eight times. Isn't that intense?
GOTH: (shrugs) It may take a little while, but practice does eventually make perfect.
TAURUS: (kicking dust in GOTH's face) Why don't you get lost, you scrawny little jerk?
GOTH: Hey! You can't kick dust in my face!
TAURUS: Oh yeah? What are you going to do about it, beanpole?
GOTH: Not let you do it.
TAURUS: My name is Taurus. That means I'm like a bull. Bulls are intense. You're not intense. You're just a wannabe who still uses his real name.
OPHELIA: That is pretty lame, Andrew.
GOTH: I'm going to change it, Ophelia. I haven't had time yet.
TAURUS: You're not a real goth. What have you got to be miserable about?
GOTH: My parents annoy me. I feel caged.
TAURUS: My brother got run over by a truck. I miss him.
GOTH: Nobody understands my poetry. I feel alienated.
TAURYS: I was driving the truck. I feel guilty.
GOTH: Shit.
OPHELIA: Sorry, Andrew. Taurus is more intense than you.
TAURUS: Want to go to an all-night diner and sneer at people?
OPHELIA: Ooh! Let's go!

(they exit, knocking over the umbrella as they leave)

GOTH: Damn it. He's right. I haven't got enough to be miserable about. My annoying mother's always bringing me lemon squares when I don't ask for them. Nobody understands how oppressive that is. Now Ophelia's ditched me for that big intense guy. Yeah, well, I'm gonna get more intense. Next time he shows up here, I'm gonna kick dust in his face. I'll be the hero of the funeral parlor. Just you wait. (pauses) First, I've got to make people angry. Then I can say the entire world hates me, and that gets big points for intensity. (looks around) Hey, you!
MAN: Yes?
GOTH: God is dead!
MAN: (thoughtful) Yes, he is, isn't he?
GOTH: Aren't you offended?
MAN: You didn't kill God, did you?
GOTH: Well, no.
MAN: Then don't feel bad about it. It's not your fault. (exits)
GOTH: (frustrated) I worship Satan!
OLD WOMAN: I do too, dear. Praise our dark lord. (exits)
GOTH: But...ah, hell. I just don't have the knack for pissing people off anymore. Nobody understands how controversial I am. If only more people knew about the really edgy things I do...(thinks) That's it!
NARRATOR: The next day...

(the GOTH crosses over to the other side of the stage, where a SECRETARY waits. he sits down without being asked)

GOTH: Is this the place where you sign up to make a Registered Student Organization?
SECRETARY: Yes. (writing) What is the name of your group?
GOTH: Students Against Me.
SECRETARY: Against you?
GOTH: Right. Me.
SECRETARY: (confused) I'm sorry?
GOTH: I don't need your pity. I'm the only real human being left.
SECRETARY: No, I mean...you're starting a group whose purpose is to protest you?
GOTH: Yeah.
SECRETARY: I don't know if you're allowed to do that...
GOTH: (exasperated) I knew I was going to get oppressed again.
SECRETARY: (checking papers) Wait, I was wrong. It's the "Students For Chief Illiniwek Clause". "Any group of students who fill out the proper forms are allowed to have a Registered Student Organization, no matter how bare-ass fucking stupid the cause." (shrugs) Sign here.
GOTH: (signing) And I want to reserve the space in front of the Union for a rally.
SECRETARY: Okay, I'll put you down for noon tomorrow. Good luck dealing with...uh, yourself.
NARRATOR: And so another day passes...

(the GOTH runs to the other side of the stage, protesting. students pass by)

GOTH: Join Students Against Me! Sign up to be on our mailing list! Help join the fight against me! No one should be tolerating my shit anymore! Tell your senator to pass laws banning me! I am the wrong message to be sending to our nation's youth! I scare babies! Mothers cross the street when they see me! I'm controversial! Protest me!
TOM: Excuse me.
GOTH: Yeah?
TOM: I'd like more information about how to make our streets safe from you.
GOTH: Do you want to join my group?
TOM: That sounds good.
GOTH: Okay. I have to be president so my evil activities are in full view of everyone. That way, they'll know how bad I am. What do you want to be?
TOM: Treasurer.
GOTH: Done. What's your name?
TOM: Tom Uhm. I have a lot of experience.
GOTH: Well, go ahead and treasure.
TOM: (stepping forward) We have free pizza at our meetings!

(the previously disinterested students mob TOM and the GOTH)

NARRATOR: The boys' cunning plan to increase membership met with success.

(TOM and the GOTH step down into the audience)

GOTH: Well, I don't know if you heard, but word from Malaysia is that I'm running sweatshops now! (boos) How can I be so heartless? That's not the real question...the question is, what are we going to do about me? Are we going to let me continue to rape and pillage innocent lands? Have I no respect for native cultures? Let's put an end to my greed right now! (cheers) And here's Tom Uhm with the treasury report.
TOM: Our requisition for more university funds was approved. We can now afford to get a second topping on our pizzas. (wild cheers all around)
GOTH: Alright, everyone, we're marching on the Board of Trustees meeting tomorrow to protest this University's continued sanctioning of my bullshit. Noon, on the Quad. Be there! (silence) There'll be soda. (cheers)
NARRATOR: But fate had a twist up its sleeve for the goth.

(the GOTH and TOM walk back onstage)

GOTH: What time is it?
TOM: 11:45.
GOTH: Good. We've still got fifteen minutes before the march.

(a group of students begin to gather on the other side of the stage)

GOTH: Are you here for the Students Against Me rally?
SANDRA: No, we're having our own rally.
GOTH: Hey, you can't do that. I was here first.
SANDRA: We're having a counterprotest.
GOTH: Who the hell are you?
SANDRA: Students For You. (cheers)
GOTH: Students for me?
SANDRA: Yes! We're tired of all the misinformation and lies going around about you and we're here to right two weeks' worth of injustice!
GOTH: But...I'm the one doing it! I don't want you to help me!
SANDRA: Of course you don't...oppressor! (cheers)
GOTH: This is ridiculous!
TOM: It's Newton's Third Law of Campus Activism. For every cause, there must be an opposition. A protest implies resistance.
GOTH: (furious) This isn't over yet!
SANDRA: (joined by the crowd) Hey hey! Ho ho! These lies about you have got to go! Hey hey! Ho ho! These lies about you have got to go!
GOTH: Haven't you people heard? I'm terrible! I'm evil! I need to be stopped!
SANDRA: More corporate propaganda!
GOTH: It is not!
SANDRA: The financial institution of this country clearly wants you to believe that he's a bad guy, but he's not! He's okay! How long are we going to stand for these lies? Not one minute more! (cheers)
GOTH: I'm a jerk!
SANDRA: You're alright!
GOTH: I harass old women!
SANDRA: Their time is past!
GOTH: I kick puppies!
SANDRA: Only ones that deserve it!
GOTH: You may have won this battle, but you haven't won the war. I'll be back.
SANDRA: I'll be ready.
GOTH: (walking away) I need to do something that will really piss off my group. Something to make them so furious...that's it! I'll strike at the heart of their commitment...pizza!
NARRATOR: At the meeting later that day...
GOTH: You're never going to believe what I've done now. I've attacked this very group by embezzling funds from our treasury! Can you believe that? (boos) I know! Apparently I don't believe in free speech either! Is there no end to my evil? That's why we need to protest louder tomorrow! We need to protest harder! We need to stand up and make our voices heard against me! (cheers) Noon tomorrow, everyone!
NARRATOR: Did you notice that Tom Uhm was conspiciously missing from the meeting? That's a detail that becomes important in a minute. Just so you know. Good show if you did notice. (pauses) Hey, I haven't taken a moment for myself through this entire narration. I deserve one. (pauses) Fine. I'm renegotiating my contract after I'm done. (clears throat) But at the rally...

(everyone is gathered onstage - students for and against the GOTH alike)

GOTH: Ask yourselves! How can you defend me when I continue to be this evil? Let's forget about me spitting in the syrup at Denny's. Let's not even talk about my consistent failure to rewind the movies I rent...really long movies, too! No, let's talk about the damage I've done to free speech itself! (gasps) That's right, everyone. I've illegally stolen funds from the treasury of Students Against Me. Now how much more of my shit...
SANDRA: (stepping forward) Wait!
GOTH: What?
SANDRA: I have here in my hands a treasury report from your student group.
GOTH: You do?
SANDRA: He's right, the group's funds are gone. But he didn't steal them. I have here a signed confession from Tom Uhm, the group's former treasurer, stating that he stole the group's funds and ran off to Seattle.
GOTH: Our money is gone? But...it can't be! I need to steal our money so people will be angry! Damn you Tom Uhm...you stabbed me in the back by stabbing me in the back!
SANDRA: What we have here is a clear case of a man who is trying to absorb the guilt from something that wasn't his fault so other people won't feel bad. How nice is that? (murmurs of assent from the crowd) Really nice! Everyone, rally behind us! March on the administration building! Students For You! Students For You!

(the entire crowd joins her marching off the stage. only a LITTLE GIRL and the GOTH are left. the GOTH sits down and mopes)

GOTH: Oh, hell. It's hopeless. My poetry sucks. I'm never going to piss anybody off. What's the point of my life if I'm not controversial? (sighs) Damn it.
LITTLE GIRL: What's the matter?
GOTH: I don't know what to do with my life. I'm just not very good at being dark.
LITTLE GIRL: Don't be sad, Mr. Goth. It's snowing.

(the LITTLE GIRL kisses the GOTH on the cheek and exits. the GOTH is surprised. "Snowflake Music" from the Rushmore soundtrack begins to play. the GOTH takes off his sunglasses. his expression, initially one of confusion, gives way to a smile. he stands up, laughs, spins around slowly, and walks offstage smiling)

a little fall of snow by marc heiden december 1999