White male inmate in his early 20s.  Alone in his cell.

There’s some crazy shit that goes down in this place man, let me tell you, some crazy shit. I don’t mean like the normal shit like knife fights and butt-fucking–naw man I mean like crazy shit.  See, see, I’m in my own cell most of the time cause I got issues with authority and I ain’t never been too good at makin’ friends, so I lay here, right? Right on this janky ass bed and I lay here and I think about all the pussy I’m not gettin’ and all the 99 cent tacos I’m not eatin’—Damn I love those things.  How they make ‘em so good for 99 cent?  Mm, mm, mm. Ok, ok, so, so, I’m layin’ there right?  And the walls start breathin’. Naw man I’m not shittin’ ya’. The walls start breathin, like all [he makes a gesture that demonstrates the walls pulsing in and out like a steady breath] And I ain’t high or nothin’ man—wish I was–wish I was higher than a mother fuckin’ kite tell you the truth. But I’m not see, and these walls are still movin’ and makin’ this wheezing sound—like Darth Vadar on crack man [makes the sound for us]. And when that starts happenin’ I can’t sleep, no way man, so then I just close my eyes and try to breathe with it [closes his eyes and makes the gesture and breathes deeply in sync with it] and breathe and breathe.

Blind male in his early-mid 20s alone in his home.

So I tell her: “You’re very pretty” and she does this giggly thing and says all embarrassed “How do you know?”  And all I can say is “Well, it’s more than just the way you look.” (beat) Lame.  But what am I supposed to say on a first date?

(leans in to us)            She smelled like orange flavored halls mixed with a whiff of the curry shop she must have just walked by. Then the door opened behind her and this rush of cold air swirled  around her and carried the scent of her baby-powdered-scented dryer sheets…and her soft spirit: the one that cries when she’s angry and laughs when she’s lonely and aches almost all of the time.  It carried that to me too.

But all I could say was “Well it’s more than that.”  (beat) Lame.

A very effeminate, very earnest, male high school senior talks to his private college counselor.

Ok, so just so you know, it’s not quite finished yet.  Well, of course, that’s why you’re here, duh. I think it’s pretty good, though, but I’m not sure. So I’m hoping you can make sure I’m on the right track, is that cool?  I mean I definitely want it to be about musical theater because my English teacher said that colleges want to hear our voice so we should write about what we’re most passionate about and I would just DIE if I couldn’t perform any more.  It’s my soul, you know?  O.M.G. Have you see Wicked?  Hello! That show totally changed my life. I mean I was like: “Elphaba: I get you!  I totally get you!  Where’s my Emerald City!” And I cried a lot through the whole thing, cause I was so happy you know?  I mean deep connections like that between human beings can only happen in the theater.  Only.

Young inmate:  So my baby brother, he got asthma and the only good thing ‘bout those walls breathin and shit is sometimes if I shut my eyes and just listen, it’s like he’s right here lyin’ in the top bunk. I’d totally let him have the top bunk. He’s my little man.  I wish you could meet him.  He’s most definitely the smartest kid I know—way, way smarter than me for sure.  I want to see him, but this place would totally trip him out so I told my grandma not to bring him here even though I miss him real bad cause this place….this place is fucked up. Oh yo, he made me this drawing [he pulls a tattered drawing out from under his shirt or perhaps tucked into his pants and shows it to us]  He’s mad good for 7 right?   I miss him man—more than them tacos or cheesefries or weed…well….Naw yeah yeah yeah man even more than weed.  Shit.  (Beat)

But he can’t come here man cause this place is fucked up. Real fucked up.  It would most definitely break him you know? [stares at picture]

I gotta write him and tell him to make me another picture cause this one’s all tore up and shit.

Young blind man:  If I could see for just one moment, like one really short, small moment, I think…. I think I would want to see someone, some woman’s eyes looking at me full of love. I know that’s kind of weird, but I have always wondered what that must be like. It’s got to be intense, because the way those poets and song writers talk about it makes me turn all around inside.  Thinking about how beautiful that must be to see eyes swimming with everything that love feels like. I can only imagine how amazing that must be. (beat)  Yeah, no for sure that’s what I’d choose to see.

Effeminate high school senior:  So I was thinking that maybe I could write the essay from the point of view of in the future when maybe I like lost my legs or suddenly went deaf or blind or something and like how I would struggle to overcome it because my love for theater and my need to perform would pull me out of it. So it would like show the colleges how strong I am and how adversity is never gonna kill my dream and so if they accept me they can be sure that they’ll be able to use my name in their brochure one day. I mean cause even if I’m not famous, famous, I’ll be like the only blind, deaf, parapalegic doing musical theater and I’d be like making theater history, you know?  And that would be amazing too.  So is that a good way to go with it?