SISTER SARAH, a new age gypsy-priestess, is alone onstage with a crystal bowl, her instrument. She addresses the audience–friends and family gathered to celebrate her 30th birthday. Pillows line the floor.

Come on in, come in! Plenty of room for everyone—but don’t be afraid to scoot over to make room for another thirsty soul. Short, fat, stingy, and stinky: we’re all God’s favorite children! We’re about to get started but keep passing the pipe, yes. Pass it. I love the smell—and the way it fills the body with woozy happy-pappy-strappy vibes doesn’t hurt either, does it? (giddy) I confess I had a few hits, in celebration, before you all arrived. Thanks, Todd, for bringing it and for your willingness to share your stash. “Homey origato, Mr. Roboto,” to you, Sir.

She bows to him as she chants gibberish. Then she breathes and exhales, and does some arm wiggling. She breaks into song often, usually pop songs made to sound like Gregorian chants.

As the aroma of Mother Earth’s blessings and the psychedelic properties in her free gifts fills the air—well, free for us, not maybe so free for Todd. But thanks again, brother, for sharing the dubes. (singing Journey) “You make me weeeep. I’m gonna dieee. Just then, you said we’d try. Some LOVIN. Touchin. Squeeszin. Each oth-a-tha!” I am warming up my instrument—and I suggest you do the same. Although there is no pressure, Brothers and Sisters in love: you are free to participate on whatever level you feel so called. Like breaking out in spontaneous dance and grooving as Brothers Earl and Mayvin are doing. Or, you may just observe, soaking it all in like a mushroom in the murky darkness of your own inhibition. –Although I’d encourage us all to abandon our caves and to come out into the sunshine. Feel it! Bathe in it.

A sound disrupts her peace.

No (smiling to keep upbeat), I said, Come in—all the way in, please. Don’t stand in the doorway and let our warm glow seep into the street to grab the attention of an Officer of the Law—not our law, but of the Oppressor’s. Not that it would be his fault if he, a slave to the system, were to smell our celebration and—misunderstanding—to cart us all off to jail. Not on this! My 30th birthday. Today is a momentous occasion. Thirty isn’t a day I thought I’d live to see, Brothers and Sisters. My mother, who I never knew but whom I’ve channeled through Marilyn Monroe, never made it this far. But, I did. I did! And, it’s here. It’s here. Halleluiah? Halleluiah!

So sit—or lay on the floor as Phyllis is doing. She’s hurt her sphincter, the poor dear. But I love that you’ve disguised your pain in red sunglasses. VERY slimming! And, that you’re laughing in the face of physical limitations to say, “I’m throwing down some color to mar your mark on my days. You can’t stop me.” And, RED is the most powerful color of all. So, bless you, Phyllis, for the energy you’ve thrust into the room with your garb and gilded ornamentation. Halleluiah? Halleluiah! (Gregorian chanting) “Happy, happy, oh holy happy day of birth to me-eee-eee. Asalama Lake Mead!” There’s nothing like crystal bowl meditations to clear the sinus—and the chakras.

And, a heap of blessings on those who brought gifts—especially cash as Sister Sarah’s struggling to keep her lights on. Just go ahead and pile those in the corner there where Florence stands guard—and we’ll get started. And, a final thanks to my own, Love-Eye—formerly known as Levi, but we’ve both renamed ourselves—who has prepared a special batch of gluten-free vegan carob brownies for after! Now, deep breath. And, if you’d all bow your heads. . .
Lights out.

A Dramatists Guild member and an O’Neill alum, Rita Anderson has an MFA Creative Writing and an MA Playwriting. Rita is internationally published and her plays have been presented at ATHE, ASTR, PCA/ACA, and the CDC national conferences, and she is the 2013 recipient of the Ken Ludwig Playwriting Award and Scholarship from the Kennedy Center for best body of work, as well as the 2013 National Partners American Theatre (NAPAT) nominee. Her poetry has also won many awards and she is published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Words Work, Transcendence, PHIction, Persona (50th Anniversary Edition), The Artful Mind, Ellipsis, Di-Verse-ity: An Austin Poetry Anthology, and Explorations (University of Alaska Press).

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