The Sound of Silence (2016)
Maggie D’Amaro and Sarah
Boncore in Sydney Hendricks’
“The Sound of Silence”
The Sound of Silence
by Sydney Hendricks
Characters: Nadia and her Conscience
At lights up, Nadia is lying down on her bed
Nadia: I have endless conversations with myself, being that I haven’t spoken to anyone else in the two years since my dad died. Why am I like this? I can never seem to spit anything out, hoping I can dive into someone’s mind besides my own. Constantly trying to remind myself that nobody can hear me. Hear the screams in my head. (Sitting up, then standing up, shadowed by Conscience, who was hidden behind the bed) Peaceful thoughts cage my mind when I’m alone, yet there’s always my conscience creeping, eating away at my innocence.
(Conscience walks from behind bed and faces Nadia)
Conscience: You do realize I’m the only one who can hear you, right?. . .
(Nadia suddenly acknowledges that she can hear her conscience; it is not just a nagging voice in her head anymore but a physical presence)
N: Oh no! This can’t be real . . . I definitely don’t need this right now. (sighs in discontent) The least God could grant me is some sanity.
C: We are sane; you’re just lost right now. But I’m your conscience. I can fix you. I’m the sound mind you need, since for the last two years you’ve been deprived of that.
N: This isn’t happening . . . (moving around frantically)
C: It is. This is real … Just as real as the troubles you had finishing middle school. You never seem to finish anything. Just as real as you barely passing in high school all because you decided you didn’t want to speak. You know there are people with actual disabilities and you’re just someone who created one for herself….
N: It’s not like you were any help. We had to go through this journey together and it seems like I’m the only one who’s been grieving. You should know how hard it was for me to speak after my father died.
C: But it was easy enough for you to keep quiet when your mother’s boyfriend, this asshole replacement for your father, wanted to rip away your innocence. Your mouth stayed shut when he started to trace his fingertips against your arms, brush his lips against your face. And when he was forcing himself on you … You couldn’t even say STOP (at the same time as Nadia)
N: STOP! Get out of my head. This is sick. I didn’t ask for this. For all this trouble.
C: Oh pity you! You know people are tired of rape poems yet you write. The same way soldiers are tired of hearing their own guns go off but keep shooting.
We all wish the war was over
You need YOUR war to be over
But you’ve done nothing, let the days go by
Fear in your eyes. But Why?
N: Why? I ask the same question every day. (sighs) Seems like after Dad died it became much easier to replace anger with silence.
The words I write on paper I don’t dare speak
Who’s there to listen to the weak?
So my ultimate choice was not to speak.
C: You think surviving makes you weak?
C: All the things you’ve been through and you haven’t realized who you are yet?
C: I do blame you though, for not speaking up, because the hottest places in Hell are built for those who did nothing. (Sighs in discontentment while shaking head) Maybe you’re not as strong as I thought. (starts to speak in a sarcastic tone) I mean you’ve only lost a parent, lost your will to speak, and given up your right to say no . . . what more would you need to stand up for?
N: Whoah! Hold up! What the hell do you know about pain! N-n-n-nothing! (voice starts to quiver) This is a load of …
C: You fail to realize by shutting yourself out of the world you cease to exist.
N: Well! To the rest of the world, I don’t. I don’t hurt. I don’t feel. My own mother can’t even tell whether I’m having a good day or not, not that there are many. You don’t get it. It’s not like I don’t try . . .
C: Don’t try. Do!
N: You think it’s that fucking easy? I keep everything inside me and now all of a sudden it’s supposed to be fucking sunshine and rainbows?
C: That’s the spirit I love! That emotion! That attitude! Now we’re getting somewhere! (she says with enthusiasm)
N: I’m tired of being blamed for everything that happens to me. I’m not a doormat. I don’t have to let everyone walk all over me. I HAVE A VOICE!
C: No one but us will ever know that unless you USE IT! (deep silence)
(conscience lays down back in her original position)
(Nadia wakes up gasping for air. She gathers herself and begins to walk to the kitchen where her mom is)
N: (she speaks for the first time since her father died, tentative at first, unaccustomed to making any sound) Mom . . . Mom . . . Mom, I have to tell you something . . .
END OF PLAY