“Dinner after Europe”: My play for the 2nd Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Theatre Initiative

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“Ours is a problem of not building African Blood Siblings Community Centers (ABSCC), communal spots of restorative consciousness to raise us into loving, knowledgeable and wise Africans.” — Onitaset Kumat

This play was shown yesterday at 2nd Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Theatre Initiative; the actors were Shannon Harris (Kem) and Mike Flood (Roger).  They brought me near tears.  Read.  And think on what it would be like if your Community gathered to watch it’s own productions of high calibur, promoting our African nature with high-esteem.  This is the African Blood Siblings Community Center which you can rally for today.  Write the ABS.  Subscribe, share, love.

Dinner After Europe
by Onitaset Kumat

KEM
Dearest love.  This dinner disappoints me.
Despite my deliberate will to have
A wondrous rejoice for your return from sea
You are silent, seeming in no way glad.

ROGER
(Cutting her off.)
I am as the tall pillars destroyed, sad.

KEM
Dearest!  Whatever can make your brows sad?
Honestly, has this pretty woman had
A flaw in her love?  I’d hate to be bad

ROGER

You harm!  Stop this conversation at once!

KEM
Husband Roger, you curse!  What’s with this mood?

ROGER
O Kem!  The truth had disturbed me for months.
I will to lie!  To say I hate the food.
To slight this restaurant.  Curse the waiter.
To throw aside my plate.  Claim food tainted!
But alas to truth I am no traitor.
And it breaks my heart that you who waited
Who saw me to Europe and saw me back
Has to see my new poverty: broken!

KEM
I should not speak now.  You have yet to crack.

ROGER
It’s not easy, dearest, wonderful Kem.
Love,  Should I speak the pace of a leopards feet?
So in haste my wording will reach you quick?
Should I just slide in the word: “H. I. V.”

KEM
(Cutting him off.)
I beg, no I plead that this is a trick!

ROGER
In Europe, far from our native land
Farther still from our most pure culture
Where horrid trade visited our land
I slept from faithful to adulterer

(ROGER and KEM sit in silence.)

KEM
I can cry for myself.  This meal does end.

(SHE holds up her hand for the waiter.)

ROGER
Kem! . . . I know this disease is a death wish.

(KEM stands up to leave.)
What can I say to not further offend?
I fear that this morning’s, was my last kiss

KEM
Roger I love you.  I shall leave bereft.
I do not foresee another smile
Europe has changed you toward early death
We must end this great run like the Nile
Roger.  Say good-bye to me.  You hurt me.

ROGER
Good-bye, Kem.  I am the sorriest man.
For Europe I lost my sweetly honey
Never self-loving enough for her hand
Good-bye, Kem.  Toss me away.  Forget me!
Good-bye.  I shall cry ’til I die.  Good-bye.

KEM
Our tears shall meet before we do.  Bye.
In our next life.  Be faithful to me.

End of Scene

A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.

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