Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mark Blickley - Bed Bugs & Beyond

Mark Blickley is author of the story collection Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press) and his most recent play,The Milkman's Sister, was produced last Fall at NYC's 13th Street Repertory Theater Blickley is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center. He recently published the text based art book, 'Weathered Reports: Trump Surrogate Quotes From the Underground.' (Moria Books, Chicago)

***Bed Bugs & Beyond
A Play in One Act By Mark Blickley

  CRISPIN---Plump male human hotel exterminator dressed in a red jumpsuit with a large, threatening looking water gun filled with deadly insecticide. 

  CARIS ---- Plump red female bed bug, smart and saucy. 

  MACUL--- Plump red male bug very macho; the sharpest thing about him is his spear-like 

  CIMEX--- Plump red sexually confused and effeminate male bed bug intensely attracted to 


TIME: The Present PLACE: A Hotel Room
SCENE: CRISPIN spins around, drops to the floor and crouches into a prone firing position in front of a mattress, inhaling deep sniffs that combine terror and exhilaration, a combination not uncommon to hunters who track dangerous prey.
CRISPIN ( slowly rises, addresses audience)
They’re hard to see. By you can smell ‘em. (Sniffs) Yeah, they’re here alright. This is their most favorite room in the entire hotel..
(He runs off the stage and down the aisle, waving his water gun weapon threateningly at the audience, as if on a search and destroy mission. He peers up and down the various audience rows, literally trying to sniff out the enemy.)
(Sniffs) Smell that? (Sniffs) It’s like rotting raspberries wrapped in a stanky sheet. You can smell it, right?
It’s the odor of indecency. Thought I got ‘em all last week. Or most. At best. And no one comes better than Crispin Colvin, exterminator extraordinaire! Damn straight! Know what my motto is? (beat)) “My extermination clears a path to your liberation.” Yes. (points at audience) Your liberation, from fear and suffering and infection.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking why does that fool spray all that deadly chemical and not wear a mask? A mask? I don’t need no friggin’ mask. I ain’t got nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Purity protects me. Purity of essence!
You doubt me? You think I’ve sniffed too many fumes and delude myself that spirit is superior to body? My body of work speaks for itself. And I’m here to protect all of you (raises clinched fist above his head,) and that means you (points), and you (points), from the evil that goes by many names--- chintzes, mahogany flats, red coats, wall louse, crimson ramblers. Yes, I’m talkin’ bed bug. B—E—E—E--D B—U—U—U—G. And if they’re in this bed then they’re also right where you are, probably hiding in the chairs you’re sitting on. Bed bugs are never more than 100 feet away from where they feed, and they damn sure been feeding on this here mattress. Those little demons are masters of deception. (He removes a credit card from his pocket, reads it, shakes head) This one’s expired. (He pulls out another card) Anywhere you can slide a credit card a bed bug could fit. They can flatten themselves down to fit in any crack or crevice. (Laughs) Feeling itchy my friends?
(CRISPIN scratches his neck and leaps back on stage with a war yelp, brandishing his weapon)
I’m like a freakin’ suicide bomber, willing to die for a cause or a reason in any season in order to flush away all of their bloodsucking trauma and filth. Filth, you say? Don’t all the magazines and newspapers stories make a point of telling us that bed bugs aren’t attracted to dirty, unclean, grimy places? (Nods head) It’s true. They don’t even inject any dangerous diseases in the warm succulent flesh they feast on. Your flesh. That’s not their brand of torment. The filth I’m talking about is PERVERSION! A filthy perversion of body and soul! Your body and soul!
(CRISPIN sprays the mattress and in a crouching position, crawls across the stage, identifying and spraying potential bed bug nests.)
Do I hear snickering? Go ahead, laugh. Laugh and show your ignorance. There’s a national epidemic of bed bugs in these United States of America and not because of physical filth. It’s because of moral filth. Within the fabric of American life are the crevices where these gluttons skulk and hide, waiting for the opportunity to siphon your blood to fuel the most despicable acts of sexual depravity.
 You ever hear the label scientists put on bed bug mating rituals? They call it TRAUMATIC COPULATION! (nods head) That’s right. And do you know why they call it traumatic? It’s because the male ignores the female’s genitalia. Rejects her pathway to creation. He refuses to gently place his sperm into a female opening. Oh no. If they did that it would mean the males would have to court the females and show them respect by trying to please or appease them. (He does a mock bow, blows a kiss) The pen may be mightier than the sword, but not in the wicked world of bed buggery!
A male bed bug's sex organ is a weapon greater than my own. (He strokes his water gun) It’s a long sharp spear with a hypodermic hook attached at the end. The male pounces on the female (he demonstrates), holds her firmly while she struggles, and then rapes her by stabbing his razor sharp hook over and over into her back, her stomach, any exposed area on her body. He stabs and squirts these huge doses of sperm directly into her mutilated flesh. If she’s lucky enough that this mating wound doesn't develop a serious infection and kill her, then his seed swims to her ovaries. Every time he gores her flesh it leaves a scar. I ask you, can a society that treats its females like this be less deserving of extinction? I am a warrior for righteousness.
Brace yourself, my friends. There are even more shocking perversions male bed bugs commit against all that is decent and true in nature. They indulge in bestiality. (Nods head) You heard right. Bestiality. Twenty percent of their sexual encounters are with foreign animals. The little hopheads will bang anything that even looks like a bed bug. These perverts have sex up to 200 times a day and they don’t give a damn who it’s with. These gangsta bugs spend their whole lives just stabbing and shooting, (he mimics them) stabbing and shooting. They stab anything that moves with their pointed pricks and shoot a disgusting amount of splooge into whomever or whatever they gash (mimics) and slash. If a male bed bug were human in size, he’d be shooting seven gallons of man milk with each ejaculation. (Shutters, as if being drenched in liquid) It ain’t human and it ain’t decent. Killing them is a sacred privilege.
(CRISPIN raises his gun and dervishes while sing song chanting
Domination! Abomination! Proliferation! Irritation! Aggravation! Defecation! Fornication! (Stops chanting)
And Homo-gen-iz-ation of an entire generation of male miscreants!
Yes! Yes! Yes! (Shouts Orgasmically) These bloodsucking fiends engage in homosexuality more than any other depraved sexual activitiy. Fifty percent of their illicit intercourse are the rape of other males who have just sucked—your---blood. And when the sperm of the rapist enters the male victim the jism searches for ovaries. When none are found it mixes with the raped male’s man gravy and is passed on in his next encounter with a female. Sick. Sick. Sick.
You wanna scratch? You feel them chewing on your tender skin? Where’s the itch? The itch is in their lust for your blood. They cannot indulge their dirtbag dicks without feeding on your juicy red plasma. They must feed on your flesh and steal your lifeblood energy in order to satisfy their corrupt desires. It’s the warmth of your bodies and the sweetness of your breath that draws them to your vibrant flesh.
I smell them! I watch them! I listen to them! (softly) And wait...
CRISPIN walks to a chair on stage and sits. He crosses his legs and folds his arms across his chest. Lights go to dark.
SCENE: The darkened hotel room.. We hear the moans and groans of passion between a male and female human upon the mattress.
WOMAN (moans)
Yes, I love when you touch me like that. You’re so gentle. You’re so beautiful. I love to give your pleasure. Don’t speak....those lips...those lips...
MAN (moans)
My lovely, a lick or a kiss?
WOMAN (moans)
Must I choose? Can’t I have my lick and my kiss?
(We hear a sharp SLAP, and then another SLAP)
 Ow! Ouch! What the fuck!?
(Sounds of vigorous SLAPPING)
MAN (slapping)
Ow! Holy Shit!
WOMAN (slapping)

Damn it! ! I told you these sleazy hotels aren’t worth it, you cheap bastard!
MAN (slapping)
The clerk said there’s been no outbreaks reported on any floor.
WOMAN (slapping)
We can’t stay here! They’re eating me alive. C’mon let’s get out of here.
MAN (slapping)
I’m so sorry, Sweetie. Please forgive me.

WOMAN (slapping)
If one of these lousy bloodsuckers end up in my apartment, you’ll never touch me again. You hear me?
MAN (slapping)

Yes, Snookums. They have a jacuzzi on the second floor by the pool. The heat will kill them. It’ll kill them. Don’t’ worry.
Door Slams. Red Lights slowly come up until we see two bedbugs, CARIS and MACUL, standing by the mattress, beaming at each other with their blood stained smiles. CARIS takes a tissue and sensuously dabs at the blood dripping down MACUL’s lips. After cleaning off all the blood she slowly removes her hand from his mouth. MACUL suddenly grabs her retreating wrist and squeezes it so hard CARIS cries out in pain. He snatches the tissue out of her hand and dangles it above his mouth, lasciviously chewing on the bloodied tissue.

CARIS steps back, massaging her wounded wrist. She looks over at MACUL with terror and slowly backs away from him. He finishes
consuming the tissue and notices CARIS has moved away from him.
MACUL removes a tissue from his pocket and advances towards CARIS She tries to avoid him by crouching by the mattress, cowering.
MACUL stabs her in the back with his spear-like penis; CARIS screams and stands, rubbing her back. MACUL tries to wipe the blood off her mouth with his tissue, but she fends him off. “Bad Bed Bug” song ends.
CRISPIN remains seated onstage where he intently watches and listens to the bed bugs, a silent spy. Via squirms and facial contortions he physically, but not verbally, reacts to their behavior and conversation.
What the hell’s the matter with you, Caris? I want that blood on your lips. Don’t you dare deny me! (He threateningly grabs his penis) This feast has gotten me so aroused, and the blood on your mouth is still warm.
MACUL once again tries to wipe the blood from CARIS’ lips as she slaps his hand away; his tissue falls to the floor.
Don’t touch this blood, Macul. You’ve already had more than you deserve. You don’t need to swallow this too. It’s that man’s blood, that wonderfully caring man’s blood, and the warmth that’s smeared across my face is the warmth and affection he showed that female he was making love to. I was feeding on love and I don’t want you to take it away. It’s still warm on my face. I want to feel its sweetness.
Feel its sweetness? Are you fuckin’ nuts? If it’s that goddamned sweet I wanna taste it. Don’t raise your hand to me, bitch! My god, you’re so bloated with blood and sexy. That blood, that blood. I can smell your desire!
MACUL grabs CARIS’ face with both hands and despite her protests, aggressively licks the blood off her face. CIMEX runs on stage and repeatedly stabs MACUL in his back with his penis.

Ow! Ow! (releases Caris, turns around) What the... Dude, I ain’t a lady. Get off me you freak!
Oh thank you, Cimex.
CIMEX (annoyed)

Thank you? For what? (to Macul) I’m so sorry, Macul. Forgive me. I didn’t mean to stab you.
Like hell you didn’t. (rubbing his wound)
You see what if feels like, Macul? Rape. Did you enjoy those pricks with his spear? Is it a wonder humans label our lovemaking traumatic copulation?
What’s traumatic is being back ended by this fool.
CIMEX (to Macul)
It was an accident, I swear. All those red hot swollen bodies...everyone looks like they’re wearing lipstick after they feed, males and females. It’s just so confusing, what?
CARIS (smirking)
Yeah, right. A happy accident
Don’t listen to her, Macul. I’m all man. You obviously just sucked some primo blood. All I saw was your gorgeously engorged back, so crimson and plump and juicy, bursting forth with scarlet...
CIMEX’s words rekindles his desire for MACUL as he strokes the bug’s shoulder.
MACUL (pushes Cimex’s hand away)
Control yourself, Cimex! Go find yourself a well nourished female and stop being such a prick.
A female? Are you kidding? He already injected you with his sperm, Macul. So the next time you bayonet some female the sperm you eject will be a mixture of yours and his. Cimex stabs you and makes you spread his genes. How manly!
CIMEX (nervously to Macul)

Whoa! I’m not responsible for this sperm transfer by proxy. I’m a victim (caresses, waves penis, draws out the words) of Sir--Cum’s--stance.
MACUL (laughing)
You go that right, brother. ((turns to Caris, begins stroking his phallus) Especially when the circumstance is a voluptuous freshly fed female engorged with sweet ruby juice.
CIMEX looks at MACUL the way he is looking at CARIS. MACUL turns to CIMEX, who quickly shifts is gaze to CIMEX and nods in approval .They begin to threateningly make their way towards her.
CARIS (backs away)
We....we don’t have to be victims of circumstance. We can fight this brutal evolution by a revolution of courage and force of will. You don’t need to just slam your spears into everything and anything that looks plump and full of blood. It’s just a compulsion. You can learn to stop thinking with your pricks.
MACUL & CIMEX  (look at each other)
But it’s fun!!!
Fun? Did it feel funny to be have your flesh impaled by Cimex’s organ?
MACUL (rubs back)
Well...thank God he’s not as massive as he should be.
I beg your pardon? (grabs his phallus)
You want another piece of me?
Piece? You mean fragment, you freak!
CARIS runs between them to fend off a fight.
Stop it! Stop it and think! You guys are ready to slam your spears into each other out of angry. Is that sex I’ll be witnessing?
CIMEX smiles broadly
It’ll be his suicide you’ll witness if he waves that trifling piddle of his at me one more time. I won’t be humiliated again.
Humiliated? He loves it.
How can you feel humiliated? It happens all the time. You guys won’t control yourselves. I’ve seen you stab and shoot into plenty of males, Macul.
That’s a damned lie, Caris!
CIMEX (jealous)

He has? Who are the little bitches? I bet I know which prancing, blood swollen queens he sticks it to!
Shut up, Cimex! Sometimes I get mixed up in the heat of the moment, but I always pull back when I find I’ve mounted a male. It’s just that everyone looks so red and juicy after a good meal I get so excited I just have to impregnate them. It’s such a rush.
I saw you stab and shoot into Solaris twice this morning right after he fed off that sweet human male. And it wasn’t the first time. Why do you feel the need to lie, Macul?
Who the hell are you to call me a liar, female!
Solaris? Pleeeeeaaasssseeee. He’s such a tart, always waving that bloated red belly of his like some sort of exotic dancer. (Cimex demonstrates with an interpretative belly dance)
MACUL studies CIMEX’S dance, not without prurient interest, but catches himself and quickly looks away, feigning disgust.
It’s not your fault you don’t discriminate between the sexes, Macul. And you don’t have to be ashamed of being attracted to other males, Cimex.
Bitch! Don’t tell me what I do or do not have the right to be ashamed of just because nature gave you females the shaft!
MACUL and CIMEX look over at each other, stroke their sex organs, laugh and high five each other.
Nature made all male bed bugs bi-sexual. But you men don’t have to be so violent and undiscriminating with your pecker, especially towards us females.
But Sweetie, it’s nature that propels us to thrust and injure you. It’s not our fault we’re all Bi and we don’t have to court you females in order to relieve ourselves. You don’t have any choice, we do! It is what it is.
Damn straight!
He and Cimex high five each other by clicking their phalluses and move threateningly towards CARIS.
If it bleeds we can kill it...
If it’s blind we can lead it!

Do not attack me! I demand your respect!
Demand our respect?
Why the hell should we respect you, you bloodsucker!?
The Two Males hold hands and encircle CARIS; she drops to the floor in a fetal position.
CARIS (cowering)
You must respect me because I’m a virgin!
The Two Males look at each other, shrug and shake their heads.
A virgin? You got almost as many scars on your body as on Keith Richards’ face.
I once sucked that Rolling Stone’s blood, back in the day. (Shivers) I’m still prone to flashbacks.
Jeez! How many hundreds of eggs have you dropped, Virgin?
I’ve birthed 358 children.
358 virgin births? Are you nuts? Look at your stomach and back. They’re covered with more man holes than the city’s sewer system.
According to humans, I’ve maintained my purity of essence. The babies I’ve birthed come from an untainted and pristine opening in my body. You and your kind attack my exoskeleton (she rubs her stomach and back), not my birth canal.
Purity of essence? Who cares about that? Why should we give a damn about humans except for their tasty hemoglobin?
We should all care. Why can’t we take away more than just their nutrients when we suck on their blood? They are things they can teach us.
What about the things we’ve taught them?
That you’ve taught humans? Like what?
Like their DDT doesn’t kill us, but makes us stronger and more horny.
We taught them their deadly chemical have made us more virile, more manly. Right, bro?
MACUL (to Cimex)
Well, for some of us. (Cimex frowns) And we taught them them that spraying that DDT shit everywhere kills cockroaches, not us. Our cocks are doing just fine, right Cimex? (Cimex waves his phallus in salute) Those human idiots you’re so in awe of, Caris, don’t even realize roaches like eating us even more than we like sucking on human blood.
CIMEX (laughs)
So the two legged fools destroy our worst predators with their luscious DDT, wipe out those roach bastards and give birth to a bed bug renaissance that’s spread throughout this city and across every town in their bloody country.
MACUL (he and Cimex do a bump and grind to the rhymes)
Yeah, baby, we’re back and we shack in every crevice and crack until we attack for a snack more filling than a six-pack, and that’s a fact, Jack.
You ain’t lying, Mac. We’re bloody and buggy and quite crudely we flail our nail into any plump red tail that inspires us to impale a well fed female or a well fed male...
Upon hearing CIMEX’s ending rhyme, MACUL grimaces, stops dancing, and pushes CIMEX to the ground. CIMEX jumps up and brandishes his penis like a spear and thrusts it at MACUL. A loop of the first 43 seconds of Blue Swede’s version of the song, “Hooked on a Feeling,” is played as an intense thrust and parry stabbing attack is played out among these two male bed bugs. CARIS throws herself into the mix to try and stop the violence. When Caris speaks the music stops.
Stop it! Stop trying to harm each other! This is what I’m talking about! You’re confusing sexuality with aggression!

I’m not confused! I’m Bi because of freak accidents of nature! Cimex is Bi because he’s a freak!
Yeah? But I’m not freakin’ confused about slicing up your midgut, you delusional dick!
Listen, fellas, we are what we eat and we just nourished ourselves on a male and female who care about and respect each other’s feelings. We can digest that kind of sweet blood and use it to alter our violent behavior towards each other. Your penis doesn’t have to be used for drill rape.
That so called sweet, caring blood will turn Cimex into even more of a prancing slut. He’ll just feed and feed to make himself more bloated and red to attract horny males.
CIMEX lunges at a laughing MACUL but CARIS restrains him.
Horny males? Angry males! Stop it! Stop it! I’m sick of you flailing your fag sticks at the least provocation!
Fag sticks!
MACUL and CIMEX turn their anger towards CARIS. They begin stabbing at her with their penises. She deftly rolls away and the two male bed bugs end up impaling each other. They cry out in pain and fall to the floor, groaning.
Look at you two! We don’t need to attack each other with scarring sex, (She helps each one to his feet). We can try caring sex no matter what the gender, just like our meals in this hotel room do. We can try for romance. That way it can and will hurt so good. (MACUL and CIMEX rub their injured bellies, eye each other nervously.)
What’s the point of all this sexual violence? Macul, Cimex, you both just stabbed each other and delivered sperm transfer by proxy to each other.
What are you talking about? Sperm transfer by proxy? Never heard of it?
Don’t you ever listen to what that vile human who is always trying to kill us rants about?
Why would I? I hate that bastard!
He’s so repulsive I wouldn’t stab him with your dick, Macul.
Will you guys cut it out! Whenever you puncture each other and deposit your sperm, that sperm travels into each of your bloodstreams to your sperm ducts. When either of you does have sex with a female the sperm you eject is a mixture of your own and the sperm of whatever male who injected you. You never know if you’re impregnating a female with your sperm or the sperm of your male rapist.
MACUL (laughs, bumps and grinds)

So, it’s who’s your Daddy? Who’s your Daddy? Who’s your Daddy?
My God, Caris, that’s And mysterious!
MACUL (frowns at Cimex)

You’re saying we’re nourishing each other with our semen? Ugh!
Exactly! It’s such a beautiful synthesis of brotherhood. Why can’t you extend that type of fellowship (MACUL and CIMEX giggle and lift up their penises) and nourishing concept to us females? Your vicious traumatic copulation means there’s a good chance it’s not your genes being delivered into the female, but some other male’s. So why act so macho and full of angry spite? Why be so hurtful? You want to scare and scar we females in service to another male?
It’s like we’re being pimped out, what?
You nailed it, Cimex.
That’s disgusting.
Yes, but it doesn’t have to be. Just because someone’s eaten recently and looks swollen and juicy red doesn’t mean you have to gash them and see if babies result. Do you have any idea how many of us females die of serious infection because of your vicious and aggressive mating wounds? The more sex we females have the shorter our lives. It may be fun for you guys, but it’s downright dangerous for us!
I never thought about it, Caris. In fact, I never think about it.
CIMEX (somewhat getting off on the idea)

You make me feel like a brute. A real brute. A true brute. A brutal brute.
Is that who you are, Cimex? Is that who you want to be?
No. I want to be loved. (shakes head, looks over at Macul)
I’m sorry, Cimex. I never realized what An incredible dick I’ve been.
CIMEX (whispers)
I have.
CARIS (smiles, they group hug)
Yes! Yes! You see, we can make this a kinder, better world. We can! And we will!
As the three bed bugs share a communal hug as CRISPIN leaps off the chair and runs towards them, brandishing his weapon.
Whores! Vampires! Sodomites!
Just as the bedbugs are finally  achieving harmony. he squirts them into oblivion. They scream and drop to the floor, squirming, as CRISPIN laughs insanely. Lights go to black.