Banksy Tags Me


(Dondi (Don’-dee)-- Played by Julie Hoverson.  She’s a governmental resolution caseworker newly assigned to handle Andrew Zephyr’s (Zef’-fer) conflict with the city)

(It’s about 2pm on a Thursday afternoon. Andrew is sleeping soundly on the couch, mid-dream.
He’s awakened by an unexpected visitor knocking on the side door.)

(We hear sounds of him rising and clumsily making it to the door. A cat is meowing)
(The knocking gets louder and more urgent the closer he gets to the door)

Andrew Zephyr (AZ) -- “I’m coming!”

(We hear the door open and sounds of the neighborhood arise)

AZ -- “Yes?!”

Dondi (D)-- “Hello, is Mr. Andrew Zephyr (Zef’-fer) available?

AZ -- “That’s me, who are you?”

D -- “My name is Dondi (Don’-dee), a caseworker for the city. I’m here to discuss your mounting property code violations.

AZ -- “Yes, I’d say 32 is mounting.”

D -- “35 Mr. Zephyr, I just added three

AZ -- “God Dammit... what the fuck did... you found 3 more fucking violations in the 30 feet to my door... How is that even f’ing possible Dondi!!?”

D -- “The graffiti

AZ -- “Where?!!”

(We hear Andrew storm out onto the porch and down the stairs to the driveway)

AZ -- (just off mic) “Will you please come and show me where it is? Did you do it?”

D -- “Of course not, Mr Zephyr...

(We hear Dondi descend the steps, and then the footsteps of both walking together)

D -- “... on the front of the house... I don’t know how you could be oblivious to this...

(We hear the footsteps stop)

AZ -- “WHAT THE FUCK!!!”

Narration: There, covering the facade, is a huge mass of grey spray paint, outlined and detailed in black. It’s a cartoonish 50ft tall rat extending from foundation to attic peak and side to side. The artist was ballsy enough to tag his name to it... in big bold black lettering... B-A-N-K-S-Y... Banksy.

AZ -- (muttering under his breath) “... but... how?”

Narration: I stand there limp, gazing up, slack-jawed in disbelief. That familiar buzzing rises in my head, and I feel nauseous.

D -- “You have 5 business days to cover that up, or another $378 will be added to your grand fine total.

AZ -- “Jesus!”

D -- “You know, Mr. Zephyr, you may want to invest in your neighborhood like some others around here

Narration: She’s obviously referring to the home several doors down, the one having a new roof put on.... She hands me her business card and I take it. It states her name as merely Dondi.

AZ -- “Is that your first or last name, Dondi?”

D -- “That’s the whole name... Dondi

AZ -- (with sarcasm) “Oh, so you’re a celebrity or an artist, like Beyonce’ or Christo”

D -- (the sarcasm is lost on her)In fact I am sort of an artist, this is my day job. Are you really familiar with Christo?

AZ -- “Just take a flying leap off my property...” (shooing her off into the street)

D -- (The sound of footsteps crossing the street)Your property, for now, Mr. Zephyr. We’ll be in touch(fading away)

(We hear a car door open and shut...)

Narration: Dondi drives off in the crown vic with a city logo on the door reading “serving our citizens”. I watch as she drives to the end of the street and pulls into the parking lot behind the corner laundromat. She sits in a spot there, idling. I turn and look back up at the rat. The buzzing in my brain seems to finely vibrate my skull. I turn again and scan the neighborhood. Down a few houses and across the street are two large men sitting on their front porch. They’re both wearing sunglasses, silent, looking this way. I assume they witnessed the exchange with Dondi. I shrug and smile at them as in “whaddya gonna do... the bureaucrats”. But neither respond, even with the slightest of facial movements. My expression goes slack again. I watch as one of the men takes a long drag off a cigarette. A few beats later, he blows the smoke straight up then faces me again. I shake my head, walk to the side porch and back up into the house.

I walk to the front window and open the shade. I pull up a chair and look out onto the neighborhood. The sunglassed men from the porch are now in their car. They pass on their way up the street, slowing down and taking a good look at the front of my home. They can’t see me here, the front windows are tinted with a reflective film. The driver flicks his cigarette, and it lands smoldering on my lawn. As they drive off, the Crown Vic returns. Dondi stops dead in front of the house, lifts her phone at arm’s length out her window, and balances it there... She’s getting some pics of the rat. A glint in my periphery catches my eye and I glance over at the shiny new object standing in the dark corner of the room, and think opportunity and revenge. But those thoughts are never that strong. In fact, they just nauseate me.

I think instead of buying paint to cover the graffiti. I turn attention back on Dondi just in time to see her jerk the phone back into the car and put it to her ear. While in phone conversation, she attempts a u-turn, but she can’t make it in one swing, so she backs up, bounces over my curb, and hits my mailbox. It uproots and falls over onto my black-eyed susans. She seems oblivious, distracted in her conversation. She shifts into drive and heads off. Wish I had that on camera.

I look at that poor box... at those poor flowers, and I soften my gaze. I’m sad... I’m numb... I’m not sure what I am. The glint reenters my consciousness... that shiny new friend standing stealthily in that dark corner, signaling its presence from my periphery as I gaze out the window, catching... reflecting just enough light to communicate its presence, its willingness to help quiet the world...

AZ -- (mumbling) “I put you off again...”

Narration: I look up and watch as a storm front rolls in. I watch as the first few drops of rain dot the window.

(We hear the sound of rain and thunder increase slowly)

Narration: I close my eyes and meditate on the sounds of nature. A bright memory suddenly blossoms into my minds eye. This one, lost until now, is more real than present life. It meant nothing to me then, but I feel it with a keen heart now. It was a moment in drama class several years ago, I was watching a classmate’s performance...

(The sound of thunder and rain wells up as does the Hamlet monologue...)
BFT retro TV
Name

Banksy Blind Fly Theater Dark Signals Dondi glow-in-the-dark Graffiti Hamlet hypnotic I hear your signals Julie Hoverson Mark Mosher NEW TEST rat spooky Tagging TEST Theo Trouver's Static Theremin Zephyr
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