(Fate or Destiny)
-a rock opera-
"Fate or Destiny" is a rock opera dealing with growing up in the 70's and 80's and having to survive in the 90's. Max (our main character) has been brought up by his mother, in a single parent household. We know very little about his father, except what Max has made up in his mind. Max believes his father is in the Air Force somewhere over seas. Perhaps that's what he's been told, though his mother never mentions any details about him. Throughout Max's life there has been a spirit that follows him and tries to watch out for him, but sometimes Max just doesn't listen. Max soon falls into the habit of not making good choices and being apathetic about what happens to him. This also reflects in the way he treats other people, his friends, his teachers, and even his wife. Max just doesn't seem to care about much. He is delusional and has a tendency to be paranoid in times of stress. He will resort to violence, or alcohol, or both. He also has the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, which brings us to the beginning of our story.
We open with Max walking down the street in a seedy part of town. Dark and eerie, very few street lights to be found. As a "Gang" type lowrider car drives past with loud Rap music coming from inside. Max slowly turns to watch them pass, almost daring them to challenge him for being in the wrong part of town, but they've got something else more important to do. They drive past and turn the corner screeching their tires, shortly after, Max hears yelling and gunshots ringing out in the quiet night air. Now moving much faster, the same car screeches around the corner and passes Max. For a moment Max forgets he's in a bad part of town and runs to where he heard the gunshots coming from. As he rounds the corner he sees someone lying on the ground. Max is mesmerized by the body and the blood oozing from it, he reaches out to touch the young man's face but instead he picks up a 9mm barretta the young victim had desperately trid to defend himself with. Max holds the gun like a long lost friend, cradling it in both hands, holding up to his head. Max starts to feel a particular power, he doesn't notice the fast approaching sirens of the police! Max just sits there on ground, gun in hand, totally oblivious to the fact that he is now in the gunsights of several heavily armed police officers. "Drop the Weapon" rings out, but Max is in another state of mind now, he doesn't respond. In his mind, he is his father after being shot down behind enemy lines somewhere. Defending himself from the enemy he gets up and turns, gun in hand, toward the officers. Several shots ring out.... The spirit stands before Max.
LEFT OF NORMAL
The Spirit, dressed in all black to symbolize Max's dark, self abusing side, is much like a guardian angel or conscience. Though Max is unaware of what is about to take place (seeing his memories, actions and fantasies take place before his very eyes). Max allows himself to be swept away, to watch some of his past play out right in front of him, he seems to be unimpressed. The Spirit is very aware that Max will have to shocked into believing that everything he is seeing is real, or was. Max has been in denial so long that he no longer knows what is the truth, and what is a fantasy. Max believes he has lived a very normal life up to this point, though he is aware that he has some odd quirks and frustrations. He has always blocked the reasons for his behavior. The Spirit has to convince Max to re-evaluate himself and his ideals and in turn, re-evaluate the way he makes the most important choice of his life and of his death. The Spirit can suspend time for a while but not indefinitely and having been with Max for all of his life, he knows what buttons to push to get Max's attention. He also knows how poorly Max responds.
(the introduction of Max to Max)
Knowing full well that Max could not have been fully affected by his first attempt, The Spirit must become even more direct in his quest to convince Max to do what is best for himself. The real Max must come face to face with the Max that has developed a wall of illusion and denial that he has kept around himself all these years. The Spirit must now try to make Max understand that all is not lost, he must however learn to take heed of the wisdom that he has ignored in the past. Max is a believer in fate, though he must be made aware that fate and destiny are not one and the same. In frustration, The Spirit lashes out at Max with the accusation of the crime of apathy. At the end of this episode Max seems to push all reality further away from himself, but there is a crack in the wall, and The Spirit must draw Max closer to it in order to regain his attention.
(The pollution problem)
The Spirit decides to show Max that not all the apathy is his. Too Many people in the world have become apathetic, and this too has had an effect not only on Max, but on everyone else in turn. There is much too much of this in the world. The Spirit chooses to show Max an example of his apathy. The way people seem to not only adapt to, but to relish in the pollution they create. To a point where some believe that pollution is a beautiful thing, it shows progress in civilization, and that mass industry is doing well. Sarcasm runs through the senses as The Spirit shows Max what effect apathy has on all people.
WHO PRAYS FOR YOU JESUS
The paranoia that Max suffers from is the next subject to be dealt with as Max is shown a scene from his childhood where he meets a street preacher who scares him badly, so badly that Max has had nightmares all throughout his life. Nightmares about the deluded persecution he believes he has suffered comparing into a dream state as Jesus Christ in an effort to make Max realize that his perception of what persecution is doesn't even come close to what Jesus went through. At the end of this dream, The Spirit places Max in one of his favorite places to go and escape reality, one in which Max never new he had been followed to.
(the good mother revealed)
Here we find Max at one of his favorite hangouts, a place where he not only comes to drink, but to watch as women shed there scant clothing in a seductive attempt to coax men from there money. One woman in particular because she reminds Max of his mother. Though they look nothing alike, something draws him too her, and as often as he can, he goes there to watch her. He never talks to anyone, he just sits there, watches and fantasizes. Max has always looked up to his mother, and although he shows little regard for himself, he would never allow anyone to speak badly of her. The Spirit shows Max many memories that he has, over the years blocked out. He remembers Mama having lots of friends around, especially men. Max would ignore them, and shut them out when they were around. It's not until The Spirit shows Max that the stripper, who Max would occasionally visit, did allot of the same things to her little boy that Max now remembers being done to him. A large wound has been opened in Max's psyche.
TELL US WHERE YOU ARE
Max has only had to deal with natural disasters from a far, never bothering to lend a hand, or give a word of comfort. To Max, disaster was a spectator sport to be watched on television, and homeless people were just plain lazy. The Spirit shows Max that these are the people that others should take pity on, and become involved with. They are just people, few are lazy, and none are actors doing a movie without a script. Max, for all the disadvantages he thinks he's had in his life, doesn't know what this kind of suffering really is. The people cry out to whome ever will listen, for anyone who will help. Max now hears every call, every cry of a child, every sigh of a mother. He can even hear a heart break.
(the hidden fears and emotions)
The Spirit feels that now is the time to really try to break down Max's wall of illusion. Time is running out, for both he and Max. To begin with, The Spirit shows Max how he has used television news as more of a source of entertainment than a source of useful information about the world he lives in. Max has never involved himself, directly or indirectly with anything that would have an effect on the world around him. The Spirit then puts Max directly into those situations to show him that these are not just stories on the news, these are real things that are taking place right outside his doorstep. People are dying for no good reason. The news has now become what Max is living, rather than what Max is watching, and his reaction is one of panic and fear. Max may be starting to realize that there is more to the world than just himself, and that other peoples miseries are more than just his entertainment.
HELL CHORUS (Look In Your Eyes)
(drinking and insecurities)
Max has one more personal problem to be dealt with. Like most people Max is normally a social drinker, but when he has had one drink too many, he goes through some drastic changes. His wife has always put up with those few occasions but lately they have been more frequent and more violent. With a baby on the way, she has pleaded with Max to try to control his drinking or stop. They have begun to fight about that more often, and recently on many other things as well. On the night of their Christmas party, Max was already beyond his limit when the guests started to arrive. Max felt no need to be nice since they weren't really his friends anyway. Max had very few friends to begin with, and none that wanted to come to the party. The Spirit simply showed Max what took place, something Max could not, or would not remember on his own. The Spirit could tell that Max was now more receptive to seeing himself in memories of the past that he would have normally blocked out. The wall had opened wide and Max could see clearly through it. He watched the events of that evening unfold as he got more and more drunk and violent. He didn't even remember hitting his wife in front of all the guests. He now knows why she left him a the next day, then it dawns on him, that was today!
FATE OR DESTINY
The Spirit must now make Max understand why he has been shown all these memories and explain that we are all given choices in life. Choices that prepare us to make other more important choices. That is the nature of free will. Each time we make a choice, it has a great effect on everything else that occurs from that moment forward. Nothing is ever easy, especially life, it is, however, the greatest teacher. Max looks to The Spirit for help, but The Spirit has to explain that he is only a guide, not and angel or a genie that can grant him his wishes. Max is the only one with the ability to help himself. Max begins letting his imagination go a little crazy, seeing images of his own funeral, and the disregard he has shown coming back to haunt him. This scares Max, so The Spirit tries to calm him, and gently coaxes him to go with him and be in peace. Suddenly Max turns away and begins to go back to where his body is, he is very confused and frightened. The Spirit cries out to Max not to try and go back, but his time with Max is up, and he feels himself being pulled away. Max is once again back in his body, more confused than ever, he's there, but he's not there. He knows that he is surrounded by people in white and covered in a powerful white light, he wonders, "am I in heaven"? Then he realizes, these are no angels, these are surgeons and nurses, and he is in a hospital operating room, but something is not right. He sees himself, then he sees his wife, they are not together yet at that moment he is both places at once. He feels as if he were being pulled in two directions at once. He feels the battle to be in both places growing stronger, he is helpless, like a beach ball being thrown around in a hurricane. He is screaming and crying in pain but he hears nothing but his own heartbeat growing weaker and weaker. Suddenly the pulling stops, the pain lessens and very faintly Max hears someone say "we've lost him", then the room is brilliant white. Max feels a slap on the rear, his memories as Max suddenly and completely disappear. . ., a baby cries. . .