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Creepin' (Cool Pleasures)
Theatre from the streets

A series of mini-dramas based on public conversations, as overheard and rewritten by local playwright/director Aurora Stewart de Peña.

Overheard at the Tibet Café and Bar on Kensington Ave.

Anton and Leo, in their mid-40s, are wearing loose t-shirts. They have Android phones on the table next to their empty plates. They lean back and smoke while their food digests.

Anton: I’ve been to India, to China, to Uruguay, to Africa, where they don’t have a dime in the world, and it’s all the same.

Leo: It’s money, man, it’s cash flow.

Anton: No, it isn’t, take that away, like take it completely away. You’re in India. You don’t have anything, you don’t even dream that it’s possible to have anything. You live in a puddle, it’s all you’ve ever known.

Leo: Slumdog Millionaire.

Anton: Exactly.

So you take that situation, and money’s not even a concern. It doesn’t exist for you, you don’t even have access to the idea of it.

Leo: You’ve never seen it before, you’ve never even held a coin. Never felt its cool pleasures.

Anton: Don’t be fucking smart.

It’s not a concern, you think in terms of goods and services, of keeping your kids alive, and you’d think that would be what’s dragging you down, but it’s not.

Leo: If you don’t have any money, you don’t have any power, and if you don’t have any power, any control of your situation, you get depressed.

Anton: No, that’s not it, money’s the filter through which we view our depression. It’s the lens, but it’s not the causation.

Pause. Anton takes a long drag of his cigarette. He exhales smoke around his face.

Anton: In places where money isn’t a factor, they still feel it. They still get down, it’s something else.

A man who doesn’t have money, who’s never heard of it, who doesn’t even think in those terms, who doesn’t want the things that money can buy, he still wakes up under a dark cloud.

Leo: But I think–

Anton: There’s a great sadness in the world, and we’re all just running for shelter.

Anton takes a drag of his cigarette.

It’s black. It’s all-consuming, and–

Anton points at Leo with his cigarette, exhaling in his general direction.

It’s coming for all of us.


Aurora Stewart de Peña is half of the theatre company Birdtown & Swanville (the other half is Nika Mistruzzi). You can follow her on Twitter at @Aurorahhh.

For more, follow us on Twitter at @torontostandard, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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