Godel’s Guide to Breaking Everything

by Cleo Kraske, age 13
Godel’s Guide to Breaking Everything Cleo has been obsessing over Godel for some time now. She lives with her family in Bethesda, Maryland and has an obstinate cat who likes to poop everywhere. She likes to paint and likes life.

“C: Well. You said that you had to feed a patient; doctors wouldn’t do that, they would be doing surgeries, and stuff like that. Also, when you dropped your bag (and your phone clattered out), a box of surgical masks fell out of your bag. I’m also assuming you’re going to night school?
M: Wha? How…
C: Dark circles. Concealer can’t cover everything, honey.”

Introduction

Two people walk down the street in two opposite directions. They are going two separate ways, and will never see each other again. 

Enter C stage left, move centerstage, keep walking

Enter M stage right, move centerstage 

C “bumps,” M drops phone

M: Oh!

C: Sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going, I—

M: No, my phone!

C: Ooh, I can pay for that, it looks pretty broken. Here. I’ll go with you to get it fixed. 

M: Right now? 

C: Yeah. Why not? 

M: Well, I got a patient who I need to attend to before she gets hungry. 

C: Other nurses will take care of your patient. You can call in sick!

M: Well, I haven’t had a vacation for a while… you know, the earthquake?

M: Wait. How did you know I was a nurse? 

C: Well. You said that you had to feed a patient; doctors wouldn’t do that, they would be doing surgeries, and stuff like that. Also, when you dropped your bag (and your phone clattered out), a box of surgical masks fell out of your bag. I’m also assuming you’re going to night school? 

M: Wha? How…

C: Dark circles. Concealer can’t cover everything, honey. 

C: Now we got to go to get your screen fixed. 

Act 1

Waiting in the phone shop

C: So… do you want to talk about something? 

M: No. You’ve been super kind, but I think it would be best if we didn’t talk. 

C: So. You want to talk about nothing. 

M: Yes? 

C: Well, nothing is a thing.

M: No, nothing is black. Nothing is no-thing. 

C: Black is a thing, and no thing is the opposite of a thing, therefore, must be no-thing.

M: Oh my gosh, you’re right!

C: It’s called Godel’s Theorem. For example, take the statement, “This statement is a lie.” The liar’s paradox. The real statement behind this is, “This statement is unprovable.” How can you prove this statement? Or, really, ANY statement? For example, 1 plus 1 is just, 2. How do you know it is, though? 

M: Because, well… it’s just… well…

C: Yeah.

M: Can I have your number? 

C: Your phone’s done. 

M: How can we keep talking? 

C: I’ll call you.  

C exits stage right

M stays on set, curtain drops

Act 2

Soon after while lying on set, M receives a call… 

M: Blocked caller ID? That’s funny… hello? 

C: Hey.

M: Who are you? 

C: I’m just the CEO of a company. I just uncovered too much about Godel. It’s fine though. Sorry about the blocked caller. 

M: I was expecting you to call like, three weeks ago! It’s been a month since I broke my phone. 

C: Sorry, but I am a CEO. I have a job. 

M: Ugh. I don’t have time for this. I have to get to school. 

C: I’ll call you. 

M: (disconnects) Not if I call you first. 

C: (on the other end, M not hearing them) Dina? Look up where- wait. What’s their name? 

Act 3

One day later while M is at work, M calls C

C: Hello? 

M: No, no hello, I’m not wasting time having you or your pettiness stand in my way. You can hang up, but you won’t. Explain what’s happening. Right. Now. 

C: Look up Godel. 

C hangs up.

M: Hello? Hello? 

C calls back.

C: Dinner. Sandy’s. You’re free. 

M: No. Luigi’s. What’s your name again? 

C hangs up.

At dinner (at Sandy’s)

C: Wow. You dressed up!

M: And you didn’t? Anyway. I can’t even think about anything without going crazy, thinking  about the ways it’s wrong. I looked up Godel, but it only said that he commited a slow and painful suicide, and was a professor. 

C: Ok, I’ll explain it to you, and look up his theories. 

C: Now. Think of a rubber duck. How do you know it’s real?

M: Well… you can feel it, and you can see it. Sometimes you can smell it. 

C: Yes but you feel with your nerves, and you taste with your tastebuds, and you smell with tiny hairs in your nose, and all three of those are somewhat of a reaction from your brain. It could be your brain malfunctioning, and you’re actually eating dark matter.  

M: You’re saying everything could very well be a figment of our imagination? 

C: That’s up to you. 

C: I also ordered us a s’mores to go. I’ve found it’s best to cope with some soft, gooey marshmallow. 

M: How do you cope? 

C: I don’t. This is the first time I ever shared that with anybody. 

M: Well, glad you’re coping with me. 

C smiles. 

C: Goodnight. 

M: I’ve got to get to class.


Later 

: My mind is as sharp as an emerald, but as blunt as a dead body. 

: Wait how can you tell someone is even dead? 

: Don’t. I’ve thought about it… 

: All this time. I’ve never even thought about this before…

: Just once or twice. 

: To test. 

: I know how. 

: So do I

: Just twice. 

: Some idiot scum that no ones going to miss… 

Even later

News: “Twenty eight people have been suspected dead, over the past few weeks, no connection between them. Nobody knows where this person will strike next, but we do know this makes them the highest ranking american serial…”

:Why?

: Because. I had to, before you did. 

: we agreed on two. 

: …g

Goodbye, C. 

: Goodbye. 

Epilogue

Charlotte was driving to her second mansion. When she got there, somebody was standing where she was supposed to. 

Maya? I thought. We ran to each other and shared a familiar kiss. How… why… “They think it was me so I said I was going on vacation.” 

“They won’t look here because we have no connection, they would never suspect us of being friends, and they would never guess we’re more.”

fin


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