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George Brant

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eBook - ePub


George Brant

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Winner of a Scotsman Fringe First Award 2013. Shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2013 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2013. Seamlessly blending the personal and the political, Grounded tells the story of a hot-rod F16 fighter pilot whose unexpected pregnancy ends her career in the sky. Repurposed to flying remote-controlled drones in the Middle East from an air-conditioned trailer near Vegas, the Pilot struggles through surreal twelve-hour shifts far from the battlefield, hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night. A tour de force play for one actress, Grounded flies from the heights of lyricism to the shallows of workaday existence, targeting our assumptions about war, family, and the power of storytelling. Grounded was the winner of the 2012 Smith Prize.

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Oberon Books
Lights rise on THE PILOT, a woman dressed in an Air Force flight suit.
I never wanted to take it off
Staring at myself in the mirror
Myself in this
I had earned this
This was me now
This was who I was now who I’d become through sweat and brains and guts
This is me
It’s more than a suit
It’s the speed
It’s the G-Force pressing you back as you tear the sky
It’s the ride
My Tiger
My gal who cradles me lifts me up
It’s more
It’s the respect
It’s the danger
It’s more
You are the blue
You are alone in the vastness and you are the blue
They have eternity
But I have color
I have blue
I’m in the blue for a reason
I have missiles to launch
I have Sidewinders
I have Mavericks
I rain them down on the minarets and concrete below me
The structures that break up the sand
I break them back down
Return them to desert
To particles
At least I think I do
I’m long gone by the time the boom happens
Tiger and I are on to another piece of sky
Boom goes Saddam’s dipshit army and then I’m home on leave
Leave is fine but it’s slow
Slow and the blue is there everywhere but far away
So I go to a bar
Pilot bar
I drink with my boys and we tell stories about flying
We try to make it into words
You can get close
But you never can
A guy comes up to me
A guy always comes up
No not always
It takes balls
Hard to casually sidle up to a bunch of drunk Air Force on leave
Maneuver yourself through all the boys to get to me
That takes some offensive flying of its own
But the guy makes it through
Gets up from a card game and runs the gauntlet to get to me He’s kinda cute
I tell him straight off who I am what I am
I’ve learned not to wait
Once they find out
They tend to run away
Most guys don’t like what I do
Feel they’re less of a guy around me
I take the guy spot and they don’t know where they belong
But not this one
This one’s eyes light up
This one thinks it’s cool
This one kisses me in the parking lot like I’m the rock star I am
He’s not afraid to kiss me
He’s Eric
I take him home
We fuck
First time’s okay
Then he asks me to put my suit on
He says please
I tell him just once
Just telling him is enough
He’s hard as a Sidewinder
It’s a good three days
A very good three days
He tells me he can feel the sky in me
I tell him he’s crazy
But something shifts
Something’s breached
I’m back downrange
First time I’m sad leave is over
For Eric who works in a hardware store the family store
Like some 50’s movie
I’ve got my little woman at home know who I’m fighting for
All that true corn
True cheese
Lucky I got shit to distract me
I got tracer fire
I got RPGs
And I’ve got the blue
It’s good to be back in the blue
Alone in the blue
Back at base I got webcams
I got Eric with a little delay
He misses me
I miss him too
I gain weight
Does love make you heavy?
I feel the harness tight against my waist
Try to watch the burgers in the caf
Hold the burgers
It’s not the burgers
I’m up in the blue and I almost hurl in my mask
Make it down just in time to puke on the tarmac
Tell the boys I drank too much last night
Do a test
I’m pink

Table of contents

Citation styles for Grounded
APA 6 Citation
Brant, G. (2017). Grounded (1st ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved from (Original work published 2017)
Chicago Citation
Brant, George. (2017) 2017. Grounded. 1st ed. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Harvard Citation
Brant, G. (2017) Grounded. 1st edn. Bloomsbury Publishing. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Brant, George. Grounded. 1st ed. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.