Two friends discuss their response to Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the Wars (one in regular font, one in italics):
I can’t bare to stay in one place for very long, it makes me nervous, fidgety and I get easily annoyed by my surroundings. Me on the other hand, I am able to stay in a place if I’m comfortable or If I’m interested in what is going on. If someone moves, yawns or breathes (who isn’t me) I get pissed off. I only get agitated if it is completely unnecessary or rude. If someone in my row has to use the bathroom during the show I make them fall down ( …in my imagination of course ). I agree with that. When hearing that the play was going to be over two hours, I immediately hated everyone. I think her emotions escalated quite quickly if that’s the case. I was ticked off before the play even started, I rolled my eyes (when no one looked), I cursed furiously (in my head) AND I didn’t laugh at any of my friend’s jokes. She laughed at mine, because I’m hilarious.
When the lights came up I was annoyed at how slowly they did; I saw an old man at the end of the stage just sitting there, delaying my life… I insulted him (in my mind). I enjoyed his voice and the beginning’s musical elements. It wasn’t until later, when I saw the relationship between the characters that the play grew on me. I was brought in right away. The set up was interesting. I liked how they were almost talking into the sunset and the metaphor of sunrise. I personally dread the sight of sunrise in the morning, not that I’m a vampire or anything. I meant in the context of the play. Of course you did. I got more into it as the characters were introduced, I got to see their personality and soon felt as if I had a relationship with them. I felt upset at the characters for being so human. I mean, that’s the whole point sweetie. Continue. Anyway, I watched their emotions lead them astray. There wasn’t luck that made the problem go away, or some new person with all the answers who fixed everything, there were just decisions that caused turning points in the story, causing the story to end on a realistic note. Good art people. Good art. Yes, yes, ’tis true. I loved seeing how one person’s life decision affected a group… which eventually included a dog (and even people who the decision maker wasn’t very connected to). Yeah, I completely agree. It liked seeing the effects on everyone by just one person’s decision. Hero, the protagonist, I wanted to follow him. I mean, after his decision these characters lives got really complicated, really quickly. People messing around outside of marriage… the relationships were complex.
I was an emotional roller coaster throughout the play. I was sitting right next to you and you seemed to have a blank look on your face the whole time. SO now you’re telling me how I feel. Dictating the experience I had? Yes. I spent the whole show staring at you. Creepy. First, I was upset at how many times I’d been interrupted by my neighbor. It wasn’t me. You were my neighbor snukums. Ew- don’t say that. Get back on topic. Why else were you emotional? I was saddened with the reality and humanness shown in the play, yet very appreciative of it. I found myself being reminded of all the human decisions we make and how greatly it sets the tone for relationships with others. Well, we are all human.
I just want to take a minute to recognize the Dog character in this piece. My favorite character in the piece by far, and for me the most interesting. He was just so clever and his entrance caught me completely off-guard, the wit and unnatural wisdom within this character was great. I always love when wisdom is mixed with humor, and that was one wise dog. Also the whole thought of a dog having conversations with humans, and it being the norm-yet not. I don’t know how to explain it. It just was my favorite part of the show.
The story had such an effect on me that I cried (very shortly) in the third and last act of the play. I did not expect any of the surprises that happened to happen. I felt as if I had a personal relationship with them, one character waited for years to be reunited with her lover who went to war. She wrestled with her emoticons wondering whether or not he was dead or alive, then when he returned, he announced that he developed a relationship with another woman with whom he has a new child with and will marry very soon, then he kills his friend after realizing that his friend has strong feelings for the woman he no longer loves. Yeah that really really upset me. It was just the hypocrisy of the whole situation. I can be with another woman, yet you can’t be with another man. It’s sad because some people do feel the need to think and act that way though, and I think that’s what sickened me the most. I just wanted to go on stage and say to him “Why are you such an ass wipe?! What is your deal?! First you disappoint the only woman who truly loves you, then you kill her only other chance of love and happiness?!” Then I realized that doing so would make me seem a bit crazy. I ended up saddened by the outcome of the decisions made. I absolutely loved and adored the play and appreciated the effect it had on me. Us.
-Viani & Imani