[ Traffic signals on each side of the stage, start on red – Cassandra returns, facing the stage like a conductor of an orchestra, five people are also present but the spotlight is on Cassandra, so the rest are shrouded for now. ]
Cassandra. Where do we go from here? Red and green, the colors Jimmy loves. While I was away, he got arrested. The movement was so strong, he knew it better than anyone. I movement without leaders, led by the ambitions of the young at heart. But it had to stop, without a figurehead to attract a following, the movement dispersed into self-interest. Ironic, Occupy Wall Street, in the fight against the self-interest that burned a hole through the fabric of this country, we couldn’t even agree how to mend it.
Jesus. [ walks on stage and stands by Cassandra ] Are you sad?
Cassandra. Oh, god no. We did our best.
Jesus. You did one better. Watch. [ the stage lights flash on, revealing the five standing figures at the crossroads: a young woman, a young man in military garb, a business man, and a mother with a stroller, Cassandra’s Grandma is at the rear ]
[ the lights go out again, and return to Cassandra and Jesus, a traffic signal lights red ]
Cassandra. There’s something wrong with the lights.
Jesus.Red and green, Cassandra. When you’re stopped at a red light, when do you know to accelerate?
Cassandra.When the light is green.
Jesus.You know better than that, most people will get going as soon as the red light turns off. They accelerate even without a signal. The movement was the same. The people used their senses, memories of their first ambitions inspired the conditions of the reforms they won even if it seemed like there was no more movement in the street or on tv.
Cassandra.But then its not a movement. It’s just business as usual.
Jesus. [ laughing ] Look, Cassandra. The movement is still strong. Just as it started without leaders, it carried on when the Squares and parks were emptied. The movement was never emptied in people’s hearts.
Cassandra. That’s sweet, Jesus, really. I just get the feeling the victory we announced was just like Bush’s Mission Accomplished banner at the mere infancy of the Iraq war. Premature ejaculation.
Jesus. [ the light moves to the young women ] Do you see that young woman? She’s off to vote. A group of Occupiers fought to End Corporate Money in Politics, making elections a more sincere and accessible. Now you can to to the local library during the month when elections take place, read the official platforms of the candidates if you’d like, participate in town-hall style public forums, and then vote.
Cassandra. So elections are now publicly funded, like in Europe? Making it completely unnecessary for the 4 year campaign nonsense? We always talked about that, I’m amazed they actually made it happen!
Jesus. This is how the movement works, you were able to go study in Europe, and a group of dedicated organizers were able to get meetings with local representatives, gather support for local resolutions, and then join with national groups to make this a national issue.
Cassandra. What else happened while I was away?
[ spotlight moves to the military man ]
Jesus. This young man might just be the proudest person in the city. He’s off to train with the National Guard. Ever since the reform to Tax the Deficit, Congress is much more careful about where and when they make massive expenditures like declaring war. Every year the tax rate is adjusted in order to balance out the budget deficit.
Cassandra. So if we choose to spend on defense, or on bail-outs, or on medicare, we have to pay for it. Makes sense. But why is he so proud?
Jesus. He’s just come home. Think about it, if you were on tour across the sea defending your country, and then you come home and find out your country kept the house in order, wouldn’t that make you proud of what you’ve done?
Cassandra. True. It’s the least we can do.
[ the lights move to the businessman ]
Cassandra. [ shrieks ] I thought we got rid of them!
Jesus. My child, you’ve never seen such a valuable man, and I don’t just mean the cost of his suit. The third reform the Occupiers pushed was a new tax.
Cassandra. But I hate taxes.
Jesus. Let me finish. It’s called a Keynes financial tax, a tax on trades, a tax on Wall Street. This may turn out to be the only necessary regulation needed on the financial industry. The whole industry. One of the great problems that caused the housing bubbles, the bad investments, the disguises, and cheats was the freedom to trade at will even if the traders knew the products were bad. Now, with every trade taxed, it doesn’t make sense to burn money on bets that you know will go sour. There’s no way to justify it.
Cassandra. You play with fire…
Jesus. …you get the idea.
Cassandra. So why is he so valuable again?
Jesus. This leads us to the last, and not the least important of the reforms. This one was really under the radar until most recently. It really wouldn’t be fair for the state, or the federal government to take the money from those financial taxes. New York always defends Wall Street as its own, but people invest in Wall Street from all over the country. So the money earned from those taxes goes right back to the economies it came from.
Cassandra. How so?
Jesus. Community investment portfolios are managed by every investment firm, and they are fed by their investors. The only mandate is that the money go back into the county that the money came from, into Community Investment Corporations. Libraries, schools, community resource centers, parks, all of these are now springing up instead of being torn down all across the country.
Cassandra. And nothing really changed. The way the economy works stays exactly the same.
Jesus. And that is why…
Cassandra. And that is why the movement really worked! The revolution happened completely under the radar!
Jesus. The revolution will not be televised.
Cassandra. I was thinking the same thing. Jesus, we really seem to be on the same page these days. It’s kind of funny.
Jesus. I told you.
Cassandra. It’s been a busy day. And to think all this has happened and I never wrote my play!
[ the traffic signals turn to green, the rest of the cast walk off stage, the stage lights turn back on ]
Jesus. You did well. Look to the point of the stage, who do you see?
[ as she and he walk further down stage, further apart, the spotlight shines on Grandma ]
Grandma. Cassandra. Lovely to see you. How are you? It’s been so long. You’ve grown more beautiful with every day. You know you look like my mother when I was young.
Cassandra. Grandma, thank you! What are you doing out on the street?!
Jesus. There is something you should know. Cassie, you can hear her, but she can’t hear you. Your Grandma’s in heaven.
Cassandra. But we were just talking. Grandma, we aren’t anywhere near the nursing home.
Grandma. The sky is such a nice color blue. And the sun shines today like a babe wrapped in a big blue blanket. The grass crunches a little under my slippers. It must be cold out! But I feel alright. Cassie, honey. I wish you well.
Cassandra. Grandma. Thank you for being there when I was young, you were always coming over and helping out, doing laundry, and you always stood up for mom when mom and dad argued. Jesus, are you sure she can’t hear me?
Jesus. That’s the magic of that next evolution I told you about. You can now see, and hear, that you’re essentially on the same wavelength. Each person occupies a unique space and frequency on the great chorus of life. It plays out much like a symphony. Now you’re much closer to experiencing life as I.
[ grandma walks slowly back-stage ]
Cassandra. Wait! What happened to her?
Jesus. Before these reforms went into law, the economy continued to cause much suffering. The nursing home she stayed at was closed when Congress cut funding for H.U.D. and other social programs in order to free up funding to open more prisons.
Cassandra. Sometimes she used to tell me how much she loved living downtown, she worked at the theater, and she said Main Street was so alive with shops and customers. She was always delighted to hear when I told her of those things still going on. But she didn’t seem to believe that the city still shined. She would act surprised that I was describing anything other than a ghost town. Now I see, her environment, surrounded by the bureaucracy and the instability of living from one social security check to the next just wasn’t healthy. She had no control over it in the end.
Jesus. In the end she lived with your divorced Uncle, who also struggled to pay the bills. He had the heat cut-off, and she got pneumonia.
Cassandra. Sorry grandma.
Jesus. She died warmly under a blanket you got her as a gift.
Cassandra. Everything was a gift.
Jesus. Everything is.
[ end scene, stage lights go on ]