Catherine Yu spent her time at MacDowell working on a draft of a museum play with Baroque opera interludes and a screenplay about Ludwig Wittgenstein. The play was created and developed in the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and received a reading with the Movement Theater Company in November 2016. She was a 2016 NYFA Playwright Fellow and has held fellowships at NYTW, Soho Rep and Ma-Yi.
Your Voicemail Which Destroyed Me
by Catherine Yu
You called me to tell me he broke up with you over “cultural differences” and not less than a minute later, he was on his knees begging the hostess to go on a date with him, promising her the world. “I’ll take you anywhere,” you said he said. This pandemic makes people shits, or maybe it’s that it makes people fucking nuts in their moral or financial dilemmas. Like the new philosophy of our democracy seems to be “fuck it.” Isn’t that what the looters were about? It’s like a disease, this unfavorable temperance, a trickle-down idiocy that implicates us all, us citizens in captivity, our passports useless since nearly every country in the world has barred our entry to haven. There’s nowhere to go. I’m stuck here, I say. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere outside of this 300 square feet cage, so yes, I have the time to listen to a five minute voicemail. We shouldn’t have left anyone behind but our government didn’t care and now here we are. What a breach of trust. I’m sorry to the elderly, those in the medical profession, the workers and the delivery boys. We need you, we need each other, these citizens are all this country has, because our institutions have failed us, these crumbling edifices of faded ideologies, I want to tell you. But you’re weeping now.
While you are thinking of ways to burn your former flame, I’m thinking, he’s not worth it. There’s a bigger fight surrounding the air, a fight for ideals near evaporated so you have to hang on to me, we’ll hang on to each other, before we get eviscerated by our hearts, starved by the global food chain and eaten up by acid rain. I’m telling you, the shape of your life is embedded in a revolution by the color of your skin. Don’t make your worth by another’s words. Except this: I love you.