PLAY #346: MONTREUIL (6.DEC.2015)

Montreuil, Paris, 2015.

The Global Village of Alternatives.

MAYA (17; mixed race, black & white parents; American; female) sits beside LEILANI (18; Samoan; female) on two very large chairs, which look like they belong in a bank lobby.

They drink tea from jars.

 

MAYA

Half-way point.

 

LEILANI

Hard to believe.

 

MAYA

And still so much in brackets.

 

LEILANI

That’s their way: keep things in brackets for as long as possible so it looks like they care about climate justice, then squeeze everything out in the last day when everybody’s exhausted.

 

MAYA

Everybody’s happy just to have a deal.

 

LEILANI

People just want it to go away. Everybody wants to applaud Paris.

 

MAYA

Well…

 

Pause.

 

MAYA

Nice not to be there today.

 

LEILANI

No business cards.

 

MAYA

Or lanyards.

 

LEILANI

Or lies.

 

MAYA

Where did these chairs come from?

 

LEILANI

Bank lobbies. A group are liberating them from banks that support tax havens.

 

MAYA

They’re not even that comfortable.

 

LEILANI

The sad part: we’re wrecking the world for a pile of shit.

(beat.)

The People’s Summit this morning had a list of demands – stop tax evasion, cancel the global South’s debt, introduce a global financial transaction tax, end fossil fuel subsidies, get banks to stop financing fossil fuels. And I’m listening to them and thinking about how they all sound amazing and also fantastical but then who wouldn’t want this to happen?

 

MAYA

Just the mega-rich and powerful, that’s all.

 

LEILANI

Exactly.

 

MAYA

I went to the Solutions exhibit yesterday.

 

LEILANI

Why?

 

MAYA

I’m a masochist?

 

LEILANI

How was the Coca-Cola stand?

 

MAYA

Inspiring. I think the best part was the Evian movie about how bottled water was pure and natural and basically saving the world.

 

LEILANI

Sounds about right. This is your first COP?

 

MAYA

Yeah.

 

LEILANI

Regretting coming?

 

MAYA

No. It’s good to see these things, even if they’re stark.

 

LEILANI

And it’s even better to take a break from them.

 

MAYA

Exactly. How many COPS have you been to?

 

LEILANI

Too many for a teenager.

 

Pause.

 

MAYA

You think it is possible, a different world? All those demands.

 

LEILANI

Of course.

(beat.)

Even if it doesn’t happen next week. Even if the Paris Accord is a joke. We still fight to keep a 1.5 degree limit in the text, even if we know it probably won’t make it, even if the pledges that governments have made wont’ even keep us below two degrees. But still we come, still we fight, because the other world won’t ever happen if we don’t believe in it.

 

MAYA

Cheers to that.

 

They do cheers, and drink, and sit, quiet spooling around them, as another world rises all around them in their imagination and dreams and futures and presents, there on the streets of Montreuil.

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