Martin Dockery asks, what is this story about? Is it about working as a temp for years in New York City? Or is it about his journey across the Sahara in a Toyota 4x4 with a couple from Brussels? Or is it about sleeping with goats, throwing up on a train, swimming with stingrays, or being caressed by a female orangutan? And where will his story end? Will it end with love? Or is there no ending at all? In a subtly insightful monologue, Dockery attempts to answer these questions.
A skinny, scruffy white guy, Dockery is comfortable on stage in ripped blue jeans and white T-shirt, and sometimes he speaks in a halting, staccato rhythm while other times like Cosmo Kramer on caffeine.
Leaving his temp job in the Big Apple, Dockery travels to West Africa for five months. As the story unfolds, he continually goes off-track, diverging into laugh-out-loud moments of his time in Africa. Each vividly, self-depreciating story ends with a moment of quiet insight.
Moments of complete vulnerability are offered with unabashed humor. As Dockery crawls across the stage, he describes a day of projectile vomiting: his arms and legs weakened and sick; his mouth drooping, he wipes the hair from his hangdog eyes. In another, he's approached by a prostitute, and with his arm raised seductively, Dockery mimics her lounging at his door. Dockery bares his bones, making the audience laugh at his failures, weaknesses, and fears, but what we see all along is his humanity.
This one-hour comic monologue is full of vivid, funny scenes. Dockery reveals his secret talent of playing the beat box and performing a gig in a grandmother's living room, and how at 35 years of age he doesn't want to grow up. The audience laughs at the absurdity of it all.
Meeting his girlfriend in a hotel in Ghana at the end of his journey, Dockery is filled with dread and not sure she is the one. He wonders why they decided to meet in Africa, and the sensible girlfriend tells him "maybe there are no endings, maybe there is just this time in Africa" At a trip to a local zoo, they sit with a female orangutan, and Dockery realizes that "we need no words to speak." The orangutan caresses his arms and face and then reaches to touch his girlfriend's hair, and the man who has filled our last hour with his words says, "There are no words to describe this moment. The proof that we are here and none of us is making this journey alone."
Dockery's search may inspire to venture out when he says, "If life gives you indications of a trail, you must follow. You have to go."