My Gallery

By Manuel Reza

(Leo is seated at a small table facing the audience. Leo is alone on stage and is illuminated by a single spotlight. The table which Leo is seated at has several empty glasses on it, and Leo’s attention is focused on full glass of alcohol in front of him. Leo is drunk and begins to talk.)

Leo:

It took me a while to realize that I collect artists. No, you didn’t hear that wrong. Artists…I collect artists, not art. You know, the wannabe Warhols who wear those wack scarves and have wearhouse jobs during the day. The pretentious Picassos with puny pricks and penniless pockets.

Yup, I’ve had ‘em all.

Leo takes a sip of alcohol.

They all do the same thing, you know? Those artists. Those renegades.

When they meet you, they’ll tell you that you remind them of a painting or photograph or poem done by some obscure coke-addict that they just so happen to be a fan of.

“You’re a spitting image,” they’ll tell you. And you will believe them.

Leo takes another sip of alcohol.

You’ll believe them and you’ll want to talk to them more. You’ll fall for them…eventually.
You’ll fall because you’re young and the world of art is so fascinating.

So fucking alluring.

You’ll fall because you wanted to be an artist, too, but you couldn’t work up the courage to submit your portfolio to that art school you wanted to go to. So you’ll try to get close to art any way you can. You’re like a junkie. Soon, the museums won’t be enough for you, and you’ll date an artist. That’s when you know that you messed up.

You’ll date one. Or two. Or five. Or–

Leo, feeling ashamed, takes another sip of his drink

And they’ll fuck you. They’ll fuck you, mind, body, and soul. They’ll invite you over to their place—a cramped studio with floors covered in scrapped work and empty ramen containers piled high in the garbage can. They’ll pour you a glass of some off-brand wine and tell you that you inspire them.

And you will believe them. And they will fuck you.

And when you try to call them afterwards, you get nothing back. You’re confused because you’re the inspiration.

They’re nothing without you, right?

Wrong.

Leo stands up, drunk, and is holding his glass up, examining it. Leo takes a sip of his drink.

Here’s to the artists!

Leo takes another sip.

To the writers, the photographers!

Leo takes another sip

To the actors, the sculptors, the painters!

Leo looks at glass, nearly empty.

And to me, the fucking keystone of creativity! The unceasing inspiration!

Leo finishes his drink and breaks the glass on the floor. The lights go out.