[A podium on a stage, brightly lit with a full glass of water next to a microphone. The voice at the beginning of each script comes from an invisible speaker positioned above and behind the podium. The reader/auditor is asked to project his or her own image behind the podium. The podium scene fades as soon as camera instructions/video presentations begin, and the voice carries over the new scene(s). The podium does not return.]
Talking to the self about the self is one way to establish a connection. Faster still is wringing the self from the self [focus on wet towel held by strong veiny hands] until the self is so dry it hurts [cracked desert landscape, lizard, tongue divining the air as if for water: follow the lizard from the top of its rock to the crack beneath, jagged sight line due to shade]. This feeling of alienation is bound to cause distress in thinking beings [lizard seems to hiccup where it stands, stationary but jerking on a vertical axis], a distress arising from the fact of one's aloneness in the world [tongue flicks out; freeze]. But what if we could reverse this feeling, return to a center as connected creatures rather than the isolatoes we've become? [reverse tongue flick in slow motion] Might we be onto something instead of outside everything? Maybe we will become what we thought was impossible, what we then scorned as unacceptable [tongue arrives in mouth, lizard's mouth smacks, eyes roll sideways, i.e., to opposite sides] : happy. Yes, it's a silly wish, possibly a vain one, but how else can we navigate ourselves, our selves' selves? [begin lizard tiling, 1 melting into 2x2 into 3x3 into 4x4 etc., each multiplication faster than the one before] We multiply within ourselves and cannot remember which version is the true one. Where is authenticity to be found in the mosaic of personalities and experiences we generate every day? [freeze; target one lizard with white cursor; magnify] What if the one we choose is the wrong one? [as the lizard becomes larger, it is clearly not a lizard but a garden snake] Who will help us stagger beneath the weight we've created but cannot lift? Who can relieve us of the burden of ourselves? The answer is obvious and resounding: the lord Jesus Christ [lizard melts into human figure, bearded, gentle, robed, gliding along the desert]. Only through Him may we arrive at our true selves, for we have no self that he does not know and love [pan out from figure until figure becomes nearly indistinguishable in featureless desert landscape]. He will show you the way to the real you [freeze; magnify 250x/second, so figure's face fills the screen]. Now who could resist that calling? [figure chastely licks lower lip] Who could say No when Christ comes calling?