Scott Langdon is an actor and writer living just outside of Philadelphia in Bristol, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sarah, and their dog, Watson. Before the Time of Covid, he could be seen on stages throughout the professional Philadelphia theater community or writing in a local Starbucks, where the only way they could get rid of him was to tell him there was a pandemic. He has a hard time knowing when he's not wanted.
WATSON: So, when I’m dead and gone, and you get another dog. I— ME: Whoa! Come on!! You don’t just say something like that! What’s wrong with you?! WATSON: No, no…just listen a second, okay? Just hear me out. (Pause) ME: Okay…go on. WATSON: When you get another dog, you should name it Achilles. ME: Really? Why? WATSON: So that way, when you’re out for a walk, you can say, “Achilles, heel!” ME: …seriously? WATSON: Hehehe! ME: Go lie down! WATSON: Hahahahaha!! ————————
(Boy, did I have fun taking him for a test drive! What an interesting life!)
This is from a series called, “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment”
The episode is titled, “The World Stage: 1872-1899” and I’m not going to give you a time-stamp because I’m kind of in this one a bit.
PRODUCER: We need someone who looks constipated all the time. MY AGENT: Hold my beer… ME:
(BTW, my lovely wife, Sarah Lynn Dewey, can be seen at the 18:49 mark in the July 4, 1876 scene. We were in the scene together but were shot in completely different locations and not on the same day! Ah, FILM!! 😂)
ME: Well, hello there, Steve. Good morning! (Pause) STEVE: Can you see me? ME: Of course I can see you, sweet girl. I’m looking right at you. STEVE: But you didn’t hear me sneaking up, though, right? ME: Actually, Watson heard you back there, behind the fence. WATSON: Please, don’t bring me into this. STEVE: Hi, Watson!! WATSON: oh, boy.
ME: Watson, say hello to Steve. WATSON: Hello, Steve. STEVE: You said hello! I can’t wait to tell the girls! They’ll be so jealous!! WATSON: Listen— STEVE: We all think you’re just super great and so that’s why I told the other girls I was going to sneak up and steal a kiss because you never see me sneaking around and they all said they were all going to be so jealous. WATSON: Actually, I always see— STEVE: I’m sorry about your car. I saw on Instagram it got smashed by a tree limb. ME: Thank you. It’s being fixed right now. Looks like it’s going to take a couple of weeks, though. STEVE: I told the girls that it would be a shame if a tree branch fell on your car and you wouldn’t be able to go on your trip. Now, you can come over Watson! Since you’re going to be around, and all! WATSON: Wait, what? STEVE: I’m going to sneak away now and tell the girls! They’ll be so excited!! You won’t be able to see me, so I’ll say goodbye for now! Bye! WATSON: Hold on…did you— STEVE: I know you can’t see or hear me, now, but I love you!! WATSON: I absolutely can see— STEVE: Bye, Watson!! (Pause) WATSON: Can we go, please? ME: The girls? WATSON: There are no other girls. It’s just her. ME: Well, she’s definitely into you, that’s for sure. (Pause) WATSON: I don’t understand the kittens, man. One minute they want to kiss you, the next minute they want to scratch your eyes out. I don’t get it. ME: That is one of life’s great mysteries, for sure, buddy. I don’t know what to tell you. WATSON: How do you handle Sarah? ME: Ha! I don’t “handle” Sarah. I just try my best to love her better today than I did yesterday, and that’s pretty easy to do, to be honest. WATSON: Yeah, she’s pretty great. I hope I can find—
STEVE: I wish you could see me and hear me, Watson. But I know you can’t. WATSON: You haven’t moved, Steve. You’re still in the middle of the road! In the same spot! I can SEE YOU!! (Pause) STEVE: I think Watson loves me! Wait til I tell the girls!! WATSON: I can also HEAR…You know what? I just…I need to lie down for a minute. ME: You poor guy. Love does hurt. WATSON: Shut up, Dude. ME: Hahaha!
That’s what the yard sign said. (A little aggressive with the all caps, I thought, but point made.)
So, I had a few questions:
“Where does Hate live, exactly? I mean, if it doesn’t live with these folks, here—and I’m sure it mustn’t—where does it rest it’s weary head at night?”
“If Hate is around—I mean, when it comes around, you know—what’s Love doin? Sleepin or somethin?”
“Wait…Is Hate a noun or a verb? If it’s a noun, how come I can’t actually pin it down to something—to some *thing*?”
“Doesn’t it always seem like Hate is doing something? Something stupid?”
“What’s the opposite of Hate? Is it Love?”
Okay, hold on. First of all…
Hate is not the opposite of Love. Hate is Fear, trying to pass itself off as something it’s not.
It’s Fear, having a hissy fit, thinking it’s really something special and important.
It’s Fear, disguised as that feeling of lack that moved in one weekend years back and squatted in what started out as a one-room flat in the basement of someone’s heart, before beginning to annex rooms and then floors, as it got fatter and more comfortable bossing someone around.
It’s Fear in a big, puffy-shirt costume, showing up and saying, “Please refer to me as Hate, from now on. Oh, and I’m the boss of you.”
It’s Fear, dressed up to look like Hate walking around. But the puffy-shirt costume is really the Emperor’s clothes, and Fear is thinking no one can see the truth of it all, what its costume is really made of.
“WE CAN SEE YOU, FEAR! Hello! You’re not fooling anyone! We can see right through you! All day!”
Fear is like an actor who becomes this amazing character on stage. The audience loves the character and totally gets caught up in the drama. As a result, the actor gets the great feeling of being somebody during the two-hour performance.
But when the play is over and this actor goes out into regular life, he still stays in character, still plays the part.
On stage, when the actor lives as the character, that’s amazing. In real life, it just becomes weird and pretty sad, honestly.
“I mean, who do you think you are?”
Fear thinks it’s the most important character of all time, and everyone should experience the inevitability of having to play it.
But, Fear is wrong. Fear is nothing. It is no thing.
Hate is not the opposite of Love. There is no opposite of Love, because Love is never NOT present. (that’s right—a double negative! Fearless!)
Love never fails.
Not because of a “promise;” Promises get broken. Love isn’t a promise; Love is what is.
A great poet once said, “Love is love is love is love is love…”
He went on to say more, but it’s those words that get stuck playing over and over in my mind, like a skipping record that keeps playing the best bar of your favorite song again and again.
Love is, love is, love is, love is, love…
(The commas do something to it. The pauses…time for contemplation.)
Love is what is. Hate is not what is not. There is no not.
Hate is just Fear, acting out and performing badly.
It’s time to stop giving Fear the stage time. It’s never a good show.
WATSON: YOU GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE I KNOCK YOU OUT! I WILL SLAP YOU INTO A PAST LIFE!! I WILL TAKE YOUR LUNCH MONEY AND BUY YOUR GIRLFRIEND A HEALTHY SNACK!!! ME: WATSON!! WATSON: what? ME: What the hell are you yelling about? WATSON: I’m protecting the house. ME: From what? WATSON: From the dogs in the neighborhood and any intruder who comes along. But, specifically, this one dog—who isn’t here anymore, but he was just here a minute ago—who came walking right up to the glass! I was like, “DUDE!” Then, I showed him what’s what, when I gave him what for. ME: You told him off, did you? WATSON: We had words, you could say, yeah. (Pause) ME: You were talking to yourself. WATSON: Sometimes it feels like that, doesn’t it? ME: No, I mean, you were literally talking to yourself. Your reflection. The glass door is closed; no one was listening. WATSON: Closed, you say?? ME: Yes, and you know it was. Would you like me to open it so you can repeat your warning to the other dogs and would-be intruders out there? WATSON: No, I’m good. I’m due on the end of the couch in, like, five minutes, anyway. (Pause) ME: Did you say, “I’ll buy your girlfriend a healthy snack”? WATSON: I think I must have blacked out right before that. ME: Ahh ———————— Sign up for free to receive posts straight to your email inbox! (Look to the right, on this page.)
ME: Hey, buddy! What’s up? WATSON: Just wanted to say thanks for the gift. ME: You’re very welcome, my friend. I know you love the bull penis. (Pause) WATSON: Did you just say “bull penis” to me? ME: Yes, you love them. What do you think you’ve got in your mouth right now? WATSON: Uhhh…rawhide? ME: Ha! No, that thing’s made out of— WATSON: Yes, I get it! Thank you! ME: What? You don’t like it now? WATSON: Well, you could have let me keep thinking it was rawhide. What is it you say? “I don’t need to know how the sausage is made?” Don’t you say that all the time? ME: Well, not all— WATSON: Now I have to go bury this in the couch and pretend it’s rawhide when I find it again at Thanksgiving. ME: Sorry, Dude. (Pause) ME: Boy, you’re really not going to like the cow patty I got you, then. WATSON: Oh, come on!!
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WATSON: Come on, man! ME: No, dude. No means no. Now, stop asking or you’ll be going to your mat until I’m finished eating. WATSON: Why won’t you give me some of your meatloaf? ME: Because it’s MY dinner. You have your own food.
(Pause) WATSON: Okay, I’ve got an idea. How about you eat my food, and I’ll eat yours? ME: Why would I eat your food when I have this meatloaf? WATSON: That’s what I’M saying!! ME: Go lie down. WATSON: Aww man…
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