Writings / Drama

Excerpt from 5 Ĺ: Montreal Suite

Lara Szabo Greisman

Mike and Marion are in an apartment shared by four people. Attempting to ask Marion out, Mike has just revealed the fact that her father is Aboriginal, which she didnít know. The characters are in their late 20ís.

MIKE : Marion, please. I didnít mean toóoh shit, please donító

Marion crumples on the floor and starts to sob. Mike awkwardly sits down as well. He reaches a hand out and pats her on the shoulder.

Ahmed enters.

AHMED : Iím home! (Beat) What the hell did you do?!

MIKE : Nothing!

AHMED : Girlís crying! Donít give me that crap!

MIKE : I didnít do it! I mightíve said something but...Ió

AHMED : You mightíve! Look at that!

Ahmed takes Marion in his arms, she clings to him. She is crying, more softly now but when he hugs her she starts to sob again.

AHMED : Comeíre, Comeíre. What happened?

MARION : Why didnít she tell me? Never, she never told me!

AHMED : What a bitch! (to Mike) Whatís she talking about?

MIKE : Well...

AHMED : Hold on girl. Breathe for me.

MARION : (gets herself together). You know whatís funny?

AHMED : No, you tell me baby.

MARION : Itís not funny.

AHMED : Tell me anyway.

MARION : Tomorrow...you know what tomorrow is?

AHMED : Is this more activist shit?

MARION : Itís against occupied land. Aboriginal peoplesí land, his laóholy fuck, its so fucking ironic.

MIKE : Her Dad is native, I think. I heard that from her Mom butóapparently Marion didnító

AHMED : Oh! No way!

MARION: I donít know...I mean, now what...

AHMED : So thatís why youíre cute.

MIKE : Ahmed, now is not the time toó

MARION : IóIím not sure how to put this all together.

AHMED : So youíre fighting your own fight now, hey? Congratulations.

MARION : How do you know, how is it that easy? Is it my fight? Who am I to protest... I was, no, I still am the problem.

AHMED : How is it not your fight? Youíre in this city, in this messed culture just like the rest of us. You looking for settlers? You found Ďem.

MARION : But I feelóI donít belong!

AHMED : No one fucking belongs! Even white boy Mike doesnít belong! Donít you get it?!

MARION : You donít get it, (she pushes him away) Iím a fraud! A fucking fraud! A liar, a fake. Now itís all different to me. Know why? ĎCause itís real. The human face on this shit, itís mine. Oh my god, I was all bullshit before: self-righteous, save the fucking world bullshit. Like little blonde smiling voluntourism: I was the same. Better than it. Above it. It was allóalló

She gets up and throws a fit. Her sadness turns to anger and she yells Ďliesí, Ďbullshití, Ďfakeí while kicking the couch as hard as she can. Ahmed watches her for a second then joins her in kicking the shit out of the couch. Mike joins too, but cautiously. The couch breaks. The screams turn into laughter at the situation.

MARION : Oh my god, we killed the couch.

AHMED : Letís colonize that shit.

They sit on the broken pieces of the couch together.

MIKE : That felt good.

MARION : Yeah.

MIKE : (To Marion) Hey, Iím sorry

MARION : Oh Mike, donít worry. Thanks, I guess. A lot to think about. I gotta talk to my Mom.

AHMED : Yeah, now youíre legit.

MARION : Oh fuck off, I was for real before. Sincere, you know.

AHMED : Yes...and?

MIKE : Itís the same then, isnít it? I mean, it doesnít really change that much does it? Knowing your background.

AHMED : Listen Mike-O, hereís a secret: Yes it does.

MIKE : What do you mean?

AHMED : You might not get it. You ever been the only white guy in the room?

MIKE : Uh...no. Well once...

AHMED : Hey, why donít we all do the action-activist-get your ass deported thing tomorrow.

MARION : You want to?

AHMED : Why not.

MIKE : Since when are you into this? Like, land issues stuff. You donít seem like the type...

AHMED : Check it: Iíve been on this one longer than youíve been around Mike-O.

MIKE : Hold old are you? 27-28?

AHMED : Sure.

MIKE : So whyís this Ďyourí thing?

MARION : Some people just have an issue, like one particularly.

MIKE : But this is Ahmed! I canít see him rallying people to protest unless the internet was down on his Blackberry or something.

AHMED : (to Mike) Is there something I should know, or are you just being a dick?

MARION : (to Ahmed) It would be great to have you there tomorrow.

AHMED : Donít expect me to be there everytime, okay. Mike-oís right on that.

MARION : Why this time?

MIKE : Yeah, why now?

AHMED : Iíll tell you another secret. (beat) I have three faces.

MIKE : Is he messing with me? I hate it when people think Iím gullible.

AHMED : No, this is for real. Listen. So you got your man in sweet threads, heís going places. Heís got a business, he gets the girl, Heís hot shit. Itís true.

MIKE : Unbelievable.

AHMED : Then youíve got the family man. I go to my parentsí place on the weekend. I bring money, desserts, whatever. My mother yells at me so I know she loves me. My father tells me to go to law school and I try to get my little brother to move the fuck out and stop being such a pothead. But hereís the truth. Under that face Iíve got another one. And all of us, my family, we pretend. We say itís not there. We say that camp where they put us in Jordan: it never happened. The shit we had to go through to get here: nothing. The town my parents are from: gone. Never existed. You know the Larousse Illustrť?

MARION : Ouais, jí le connais.

AHMED : It was this dictionary we had in school, Mike-O. They have flags in the inside cover, right.

AHMED : I would go through it every day. I dunno, I was an obsessive kid. I would go through it and look for our flag. Really look. Itís not there.


How am I supposed to mourn a town I donít remember? I was just a kid. But I disappoint them, you know. My parents, they ask me if I remember and I lie. And they see it. I donít remember Palestine, not one bit. So I guess thatís my third face. I donít even know what it looks like.


Iíll be at your thing tomorrow Marion.

MARION : Do you wanna talk about this?

AHMED : Not much to say.

MIKE : Welcome to Canada, I guess.


MIKE : We should get a beer.

MARION : Get it yourself.

AHMED : Iíd love one.


About The Author


Lara Szabo Greisman is a Masters student at Queen's University and a member of the Artel Art collective in Kingston, Ontario. Her first play, Psycle, has been performed as part of the Vogt Series of new plays at Queen's as well as at the Artel Arts Accommodation and Venue. She is currently finishing her thesis about Canadian national identity and will begin a international art curating program in the fall.

/ Essays

Andrew Suknaski, Poet of the Prairies

Rob Mclennan

Esiaba Irobi: The Tragedy of Exile

Olu Oguibe

/ Reviews

Film Reviews

Lequanne Collins-Bacchus

Poetry & Graphic Book Reviews

George Elliott Clarke

Fiction Review

Julia Cooper

Poetry & Fiction Reviews

Candace Fertile

Fiction Review

Michael Hingston

Fiction Review

Rosel Kim

Fiction & Poetry Reviews

Rena Klisouris

Fiction Review

Julie Leroux

Poetry Review

Andrew MacDonald

Fiction Review

Justin Pfefferle

Poetry Review

Stephen Potts

Essay & Fiction Reviews

Amanda Tripp

Fiction Reviews

Tom Ue

/ Fiction

The Hunt for the Big Bluestem

Mary Baxter

The Oak Tree

Claudia Del Balso

Another Way of Putting It

Maurice Gotlieb


Kyle Greenwood

The Lunch on Good Friday

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

An African Attends St. Georges Day

Austin Kaluba

Pounding Peppers

Ifesinachi Okoli

Back When We Were Superheroes

Taryn Pearcey

Ramki and the New Christmas Tree

Pratap Reddy

Allspice Dreams

Sonia Saikaley

Opening Eyes

Chika Unigwe

/ Creative Non-Fiction

Wine Dark Sea

Ross Laird

Under the Overgrowth

Kyle Stewart

/ Poetry

Ankur Betageri

Salim Gold

Ogaga Ifowodo

Ian Malczewski

Angela Nwosu

Adebiyi Olusolape

Changming Yuan

/ Drama

Euripidesís Iphigenia at Aulis

Nicolas Billon

Excerpt from 5 Ĺ: Montreal Suite

Lara Szabo Greisman

Fresh Paint

Celeste Parr

Letís talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included [..;] Something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. Itís a Gigantic project.

– Joseph Beuys
Featured Artist


–Brendan Fernandes

Volunteers for Issue 7

For sub-editing this issue MTLS thanks:

- Lequanne Collins-Bacchus
- Amanda Tripp
- Bianca Spence
- Rosel Kim


MTLS is grateful to Ian Loiselle for his hard work on web management.