This is an original
an original song
As much as anything can be original at least
What am I but a copy of my parents
who are copies of their parents
of their parents
of their parents
and perhaps this song is a copy of us
as we are copies of them
or maybe not
there are painters
who spend their lives copying great masters
making reproductions of their work
and sometimes their copies are put on display
while paintings in museums are on loan or removed for cleaning
and no one’s the wiser, no one knows
at that point you have to ask
does it really matter if no one can tell the difference?
There was a woman
you know this story I promise you’ve heard it
a woman in Spain who attempted to restore a detailed painting of Jesus,
covering the original in thick, eager brushstrokes.
And maybe that ruined the painting
or maybe she simply created an original and a copy.
Because this is art and this is life, isn’t it.
Our lovers are copies of the first,
our clothes copies of a pattern,
our work a copy of the one who taught us
whether it was a mentor or the ever-present weight of life,
and maybe this is wrong or maybe it’s okay
And this is an original song.
As much as it can be, at least.
CONTEXT: From the play ID, by Charles Mee and Brittany Alyse Willis, adapted by Tashina Richardson. This monologue is solely written by Willis. As we navigate the world together, we constantly have to juggle and struggle with how we identify ourselves versus how others identify us. In ID, identity, privilege, and more are explored at a dive bar through music, drinks, lively discussion and, hell why not, dancing.
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