Memoirs of a Suicide Rooftop (A Musical)by Author / Persephone Litchfield
For MiDori Budd, Mariel Williams, Megha Patri, GSA, and for all the families who've lost a loved one to suicide.
Quinn Handlen: A high school graduate, cynical and hard to the earth, with a hidden compassion in his heart. (19)
Sid Parks- A loving and naive teenager, who cares too much about being the hero everyone needs. (17)
Young Quinn- About 9
Teenage Quinn- About 14
Young Sid - About 9
Tween Sid- About 12
Mary- Sid’s past friend
Ensemble- People in memories/etc
Memoirs of a Suicide Rooftop
QUINN stands on the edge of the second level of a set. It looks over a small town in Westport, Connecticut. Looming over the edge, ready to jump. A clock above them ticks. SID enters out of a window on to the roof. They do not see each other at first.
To the top of the rooftop
Where I’ll take my last step
To the top of my apartment
I’ll take my last breath
Highest building in Westport
But I will not be afraid
I will stay strong
My choice has been made
I have made my decision
It’s time to die
Jump from the
Tallest building in Westport
The world is a mess
It doesn’t deserve me
They don’t deserve me
I don’t deserve this
I am a failure and I need to die
Jump from the roof and end my life
End my life
I am nothing
I will jump
I will jump
From the highest point
In all of Westport
In all of Wesport
From the highest point in all of Westport
SID sees QUINN, though she is going to jump, she is compassionate and doesn’t want anyone else to die. She talks in a concerned manner.
Sid: Are you about to jump?
Quinn: Go away.
Sid: Are you about to friggin' jump, dude?
Quinn: Go away.
SID sneaks up behind QUINN and pulls him away from the ledge. His backpack swings off of him to the side of the platform.
Quinn: What the hell. Get off of me, leave me alone.
Sid: Why were you gonna jump off of my roof?
Quinn: That's absolutely none of your business.
Sid: Correction. Yes it is. My roof.
Quinn: Nobody would miss me anyway.
Sid: You don't have any family? Friends? Anyone?
Quinn: My family doesn't listen, my girlfriend doesn't-
Sid: You have a girlfriend and you think nobody will miss you? Dang, kid. You've got some serious delusions.
Quinn: She won't be my girlfriend much longer.
Sid: Because you were about to throw yourself off my roof?
Quinn: It's not even your roof.
Sid: I live here.
Quinn: Yeah, so do I. The thing about apartments is lots of people live there.
Sid: Stop avoiding my question.
Quinn: You can't just pull random guys off ledges and then expect them to tell you why they're about to...uh...
Sid: Kill themselves.
Sid: Well, I'm assuming you think nobody cares, and nobody would listen, or understand. SO consider it your last chance.
Quinn: You're a stranger.
Sid: (Extending her hand to QUINN) Hi, I'm Sid.
Sid: Now I'm not a stranger.
Quinn: But I don't even know you, you're just some random chick who's stalling a suicide.
Sid: Exactly. And I know you aren't deadset on it because you haven't tried to jump. You've stayed and talked for a minute. So you can be swayed.
Quinn: I don't know you.
Sid: My name is Sid. I'm 17 years old, my parents hate me, so do my siblings. No friends, no boyfriend. Alone. Miserable. And I, too, have come up here to jump. And now I'm standing here with you.
Quinn: You came up here to kill yourself?
Sid: Indeed. But I figured I might as well save you while I'm at it.
Quinn: Excuse me?
Sid: Did I say something?
Quinn: Save me? Who do you think you are?
Sid: I don't know. All I know is, I want to jump, and it's my night for people to think about me, and sorry bud, but I don't want people thinking that we were in love and in some sort of suicide pact, or we were part of a cult or something. So I don't feel like sharing my death date with some random boy.
Quinn: So I'm supposed to go back inside and leave you to kill yourself.
Quinn: You make no sense.
Sid: You make no sense.
SID tries to push QUINN into the window she entered from, he pushes her off of him and accidentally slams the window shut.
Sid: (Angrily, almost screaming) YOU SHUT THE WINDOW?
Quinn: It was an accident!
Sid: It locks from the inside! You just locked yourself out!
Quinn: You mean it locked you out.
Sid: I'm not going in.
Quinn: Well, you're not jumping.
Sid: You aren't then.
Quinn: Welcome to suicide watch.
Quinn: Suicide Watch on a Suicide Rooftop.
SID and QUINN are scene on the top, staring out. Below them, 2 children, TWEEN SID and MARY are scene, on a bed, talking. The clock is ticking backwards.
Mary: I'm really sorry about your parents.
Tween Sid: I really don't care, honestly.
Mary: If it helps, my parents are divorced too. It's pretty fun. Two Christmases and all.
Tween Sid: I don't want two Christmases, I want two parents, together.
MARY exits. As the scene shifts, TWEEN SID looks through her mother's diary. SID speaks as the scene changes.
Sid: I couldn't believe they were getting divorced. They were so happy together, at least, that's what everyone thought.
Quinn: Then why did they get divorced if they were so happy?
Tween Sid: "November 28, 2008. John cheated on me. I saw him come home with lipstick on the corner of his mouth and I knew I hired a personal investigator. He told me that-"
Sid: He was seeing a prostitute. Saw her 4 times in the month my mom had someone investigate.
Quinn: Oh my god!
Tween Sid: (on the phone) You're never gonna believe this my dad was cheating on my mom!
Sid: They got divorced not long after that. I fell into a depression. Stopped talking to people, my dad was verbally abusive. I hated being with him. But I never told anyone, until now. What about you? When did you hit your point?
Quinn: I was 15.
Sid: Wait, how old are you?
Quinn: Are you going to let me talk, or?
Sid: Sorry! Go on.
Quinn: I was 15.
TEEN QUINN enters, along with a group of boys.
Teen Quinn: I'm sorry guys, I didn't mean to mess up!
Quinn: I had messed up a super important game. Basketball. It was when the boys were teasing me that I realized I was-
Sid: Don't use that word. And I thought you had a girlfriend.
Quinn: I was telling the story like it happened, and I do, but it's mostly a cover up.
Sid: You're using a girl to prove-
I'm not gay! I like girls.
What about girls? Their sense of style?
They boys laugh.
Teen Quinn: Hey cutie, nice tits!
Sid: YOU DID WHAT?!
I thought it was the only way to seem straight.
And I’ll admit, for a minute I felt great
Then the guilt set in and I felt gross
And the principal heard so I was toast
I kept pretending to be straight
Never stopped to celebrate myself
Would’ve been fine
Had I stopped
Sid: Jeez, Quinn...
BOY 1 high fives QUINN and they walk off.
It put me in the clear, but I realized I was gay. I didn't want to be.
I started to cut.
I started to keep my mind closed shut
I hid in my room day after day
And swiped the blade and felt the pain
Never thought that that would be my life
Never wondered, never gave it a thought
So I’m stuck in this neverending cycle on this earth
Feeling the pain
Feeling the hurt
Blade after blade
But it never worked
Never thought I’d end like this
In Westport, on the top of my home
But here I am
And here you are
And soon to be gone
Sid: I'm sorry, Q.
Sid: It's a nickname. Might as while be friends while I'm still alive.
The clock ticks faster until SID speaks.
They sit awkwardly
Sid: Why now?
Quinn: What do you mean?
Sid: Why are you here now? Why- you know, do this now?
Quinn: Why are you afraid to say suicide?
Sid: Stop deflecting. Why now?
Quinn: Why is anything now? We're all a bunchy of little ants that do whatever they want when the circumstances of life allow them to.
Sid: You're still deflecting, Q.
Quinn: My mom kicked me out.
Sid: She what?
Quinn: She looked through my phone and she saw me come out to a friend. She got livid and she-
Sid: Oh Quinn.
Sid: Don't what?
Quinn: Give me fake pity.
Sid: It's not fake-
Quinn: Oh c'mon Sid. We both know you don't care. You just say that to be nice, or convince yourself that you care. That you are truly a good person. But that's BS, Sid. It really is. Nobody cares, nobody will ever care. We're all mindless drones, dragging ourselves across the earth, pretending to be good people. But nobody is a good person, Sid. Nobody.
Sid: That's not true. There are great people in the world!
Quinn: You don't know they're darkest secrets. What they've done, who they've been. Rapists, murderers, thieves. Nobody is pure.
Sid: You don't have to be a saint to be a good person. You just have to have good intentions for the world.
Quinn: And what if I think human extinction is the best way to help the world.
Sid: Nobody thinks that!
Quinn: And what if I do?!
Sid: Do you?
SID eyes the bag QUINN has with him on the roof platform and runs to it.
Quinn: Sid! Don't!
A beeping sound is heard. A large bomb is in QUINN'S backpack.
Sid: Holy cow.
Quinn: It's not what it looks like.
Sid: Really?! What else could it possibly be?
Sid: Don't toy with me, Quinn. What is this for?
Quinn: I'm taking this building with me when I go.
Sid: You were suicide bombing?
Quinn: That's not what suicide bombing is. That has to do with planes. I'm just bombing a building and committing suicide.
Sid: So suicide bombing?
Quinn: They deserve to pay, Sid.
Sid: No they don't! They deserve to live their own lives. You want to take them away! What kind of sick-
Quinn: You're here to die too, Sid. Just think about it. Think about all the people here that have hurt you, think of how they'd pay. You'd live, and they'd die.
Sid: I want to die, Quinn. I want them to live.
Quinn: They deserve to die.
Quinn: I've made up my mind, Sid.
Quinn: You die, they die. You live, I'll think about it.
Sid: Quinn, please.
Quinn: If you stay here until morning, I'll tell you how to disarm it.
Quinn: Like I said. I've made up my mind.
Think of all the good in the world
Think of all the people here in Westport
Look at me and tell me that you’re joking
Please tell me you’re joking
My mom and friends they live here in this building
Now you’re just a liar and a fraud
You said you didn’t have any friends
Please don’t kill them ‘cause you’re angry
Please don’t kill them ‘cause you’re hurt
This world is not the monster you say it can be
Listen to me
The people here, they’ve lied and hurt and cheated
They’ve hurt me and now they’ve got to pay
I’m lighting this town ablaze
To show them the monster they’ve made
You stay with me
Unless you keep seeing what I see
I’ll disarm in in you stay right here
Instead of jumping off to disappear
Stay right here
And they live
Sid is pacing on the rooftop, panicking. Quinn sits, relaxed against the window
Quinn: Sid, being a nervous wreck isn't gonna solve your problems.
Sid: And blowing up a friggin' apartment building isn't gonna solve yours!
Quinn: Agree to disagree.
Sid: No! No agree to disagree! You can't just blow my home up! You can't just kill everyone!
Quinn: I see.
Sid: Stop being so calm, you're about to commit mass friggin' murder! Disarm the bomb, Quinn.
Quinn: I made you a deal, live, and I'll disarm it.
Sid: How do I know it won't go off by morning?
Quinn: Guess you'll have to trust me.
Sid: Trust you?! I tried to trust you, I am saving your damn life, Quinn. And you don't already disarm the bomb. You were sweet to me and now you're going to kill hundreds of people!
Quinn: People are deceiving, Sid.
Sid: Screw you and your bomb and your-
Quinn: Woah, look, the little girl almost swore.
Sid: You think because I'm younger than you I can't swear? Well-
Quinn: I wasn't asking you to prove it.
Sid: Well- I can. And I can convince you that-
Quinn: Sorry, but I made up my mind. You live, they all live. You die-
Quinn: I believe we just discussed this, Sid.
Quinn: I'm helping the world, Sid. I'm stopping all the hate, and evil people in this building.
Sid: What about the good people, and the kids.
Quinn: Kids who'll grow up to be murderers and thieves.
Sid: You don't know that!
Quinn: And what if I did. Would that change your mind?
Sid: No, and you don't know that!
Quinn: I know that mankind is evil.
Sid: Not all of it. Mankind can do bad things but that doesn't make them evil. We are complicated. We are a series of people who aren't perfect. We make mistakes. We do bad things. But we do good things too.
QUINN is visibly upset by SIDs comment
Sid: Please don't bomb my home.
Quinn: (Angrily) You'll be dead anyway. If I choose to bomb this building, it's on you.
They are both uncomfortable
Sid: I deserve to die, I've done wrong.
Quinn: So do they.
Sid: I will die to save them, Quinn. Let me take their place.
Quinn: There you go again.
Quinn: Trying to be a good person, thinking you'll be everyone's hero. You're so selfish, Sid. All you care about is yourself. You aren't going to die to save them. You want to die for you.
Sid: That’s not true!
Quinn: Then tell me why you want to die, Sid.
Sid: I just- I feel like I’m drowning and I’m just-
Quinn: Did you catch that?
Sid: Catch what?
Quinn: How you feel like you’re drowning.
Quinn: You have to give something up to save those people. You want to die, so you have to live.
Quinn: No exceptions.
Lights fade into below the tower, where YOUNG SID and YOUNG QUINN stand together. Looking up at the two of them, crossing fingers and holding hands. The clock pauses.
It is morning. SID is waiting for the sun to rise for QUINN to deactivate the bomb.
Sid: It’s morning.
Quinn: So what?
Sid: You said you’d deactivate the bomb.
Quinn: I said you had to not want to die.
Sid: No, I had to stay here, alive.
Quinn: Are you going to kill yourself?
Sid: Not if you deactivate the bomb. Are you?
Quinn: This isn’t about me.
Sid: (Not wanting to fight) Fine, whatever. Just deactivate the friggin’ bomb.
Quinn: I...You have to swear.
Sid: Swear? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Quinn, just…(realizing in the moment) You don’t know how, do you?
The bomb begins to beep. SID stares at it.
Sid: How could you, you promised!
Quinn: Sid, I know how I just-
Sid: How were you going to talk me out of suicide and then kill me?
Quinn: I was just trying to help. I-
Sid: You’re a monster, killing all these people.
Quinn: Sid, they deserve to-
The bomb beats quicker. YOUNG SID and TEEN SID enter, speaking over SID and QUINN. Repeating their lines over and over.
Young Sid: I met a boy today. He lives in my building. We never spoke but he’s really sweet. Maybe we’ll get married someday.
Sid: No! They don’t deserve to die! They did nothing wrong!
Teen Sid: There’s a boy in my geometry class. He’s a senior, and I’m only a freshman. He’s cute. But there’s something going on. He’s dark and mysterious. Maybe I like him. I wonder if I’ll ever meet him.
Quinn: Sid! Listen to me!
SID realizes the bomb will destroy the apartment building, and grabs the bomb and leaps off of the building. Falling.
Teen Sid and Young Sid: I met a boy today. He was-
There is a thud. Everything is silent. The clock begins to rewind. It ticks faster and faster backwards
Sid is in her bed, in the first floor.
Sid’s Mom: SID! Wake up! It’s time to get up!
Sid: What the hell?
End of act I