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Dandelion, and other plays Stewart , Cheryl Gretchen 1972

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D A N D E L I O N , AND OTHER PLAYS by CHERIE GRETGHEN STEWART B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Creative Writing We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1972  In presenting t h i s  thesis  an advanced degree at the Library I  further  in p a r t i a l  fulfilment  of  the  requirements  the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree  shall make it  1  freely  available  for  this  thesis  for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department  of  t h i s thesis f o r  It  financial  that  reference and study.  agree that permission for extensive copying of  by his representatives.  for  or  is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n gain shall not  be allowed without my  written permission.  Dr. Douglas Bankson Professor, Department of Creative Writing f o r CHERIE GRETCHEN STEWART  Department  of  CREATIVE WRITING  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 . Canada  Date  October 1 9 , 1 9 7 2  ii  ABSTRACT  This thesis consists of one full-length play, Dandelion, and two shorter plays. Dandelion i s a dark farce about a group of people who escape to the "last vacant l o t " from a world f i l l e d with buildings and pavement.  The  mad scientist who controls this l o t i s obsessed with the idea that he can make a brew from dandelions (virtually extinct) which w i l l render humans impotent and stop the growth which i s destroying the world.  His cohorts include a  wife given to burying things, a romantic poet who loves dandelions, a l i v e l y lady whose monomania i s procreation and a 10-year-old g i r l who seems to be a representative of the forces of destruction who wants to take over the vacant l o t .  The play was given a professional performance by the New Play  Centre i n the Vancouver Art Gallery i n 1972. "One Spring Morning" i s a l i g h t comedy about the chance meeting of a young woman and a middle-aged man at a bus stop.  Spring infects them causing  the man to become both l i g h t hearted and l i g h t headed much to his embarrassment, i f not sorrow, i n another version of the battle of the sexes.  The play was  presented by The New Play Centre i n the Vancouver Art Gallery i n June 1972. "The C l i f f " i s a somewhat blacker comedy about b e l i e f , doubt and especially s e l f doubt.  A young man marks his twenty-first birthday with  profound depression and throws himself o f f a suicide c l i f f .  Miraculously  he survives and i s named the new messiah by a group of religious fanatics who have been watching the c l i f f and hoping for a saviour.  Through their  worship and his playing the role of a saviour, the young man becomes convinced that he i s , indeed, immortal.  There i s one nagging doubt.  One of his  Ill  disciples i s more pragmatic about the need for a leader than about the young man's immortality.  To dispel his follower's doubt, the young man  leaps a second time from the c l i f f .  He doesn't survive.  f i r s t presented by the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre i n 1970.  The play was  DANDELION  a full-length play  CHARAC  TERS  GEORGE, middle-aged CINDY, about 11_ MICHAEL, middle-aged. GRACE, middle-aged.  A seedy poet one-time clerk.  George's wife.  Gone to seed.  MAPLE, very pregnant, middle thirties  THE TIME: The future.  1980's  THE PLACE: Lot i n the middle of the city.  - 1SETTINGS A bare stage representing the l a s t l o t . Size, about a cityblock....A crude shed constructed i n one corner. (A bare stage with a crude shed i n one corner. from within i t . Sound of birds chirping.) GEORGE.  (From within)  Ah-hah!  There are sounds  (Clinking o f glass)  (Cindy enters, sucking a huge l o l l i p o p . She hears George and goes over and t r i e s shed door. I t i s locked.) Who * s that!  (A s l o t i n the door i s pulled back and George looks out.)  CINDY.  Me.  GEORGE.  Go away from the door.  (Cindy waits, l i c k i n g l o l l i p o p ) (George p u l l s back s l o t , comes out cautiously, making c e r t a i n no-one can see i n . He_ looks shed door puts key i n h i s shoe.) Who are you? CINDY.  Cindy.  GEORGE.  What do you want?  CINDY.  You sent f o r me.  GEORGE.  What's the password?  CINDY.  Dandelion.  GEORGE.  Not so loudly!  CINDY.  (Softer)  GEORGE.  How did you know?  CINDY.  Because I'm the r i g h t one.  GEORGE.  You came alone?  CINDY.  Of course.  GEORGE.  How can I be certain?  CINDY.  (Licking sucker)  Because there's no-one else here.  GEORGE.  (Looking around)  Are you sure They didn't send you?  CINDY.  Who?  GEORGE.  Them.  CINDY.  Do you want a l i c k ?  Dandelion.  (Looking around) Out there. (Holding out sucker)  - 2 GEORGE.  You w e r e n ' t  CINDY.  I r e a d y o u r n o t i c e on the  GEORGE.  What n o t i c e ?  CINDY. must be  sent? fence.  Oh y e s . . . W h a t d i d i t  " W a n t e d . . . i n t e l l i g e n t c h i l d f o r a fevr h o u r s a dedicated."  GEORGE.  I c a n ' t remember what I w r o t e .  CINDY.  W h a t ' s the pay?  GEORGE.  Are you sure y o u ' r e d e d i c a t e d ?  CINDY.  I l o v e candy.  GEORGE.  Three l o l l i p o p s a d a y .  CINDY.  I n advance?  GEORGE.  Later.  CINDY.  I want the 8 " s t r i p e d o n e s .  GEORGE.  Are you sure I can t r u s t  CINDY.  T h i s i s a n e a t empty p l a c e .  GEORGE.  No p l a y i n g a l l o w e d .  CINDY.  I s t h i s what t h e y c a l l  GEORGE.  Yes.  CINDY. of the  say?  It's  day...  been so l o n g .  you? I t would be f u n to p l a y h e r e .  "nature?"  I n e v e r knew t h e r e was a p l a c e l i k e t h i s i n the m i d d l e city.  GEORGE.  When I bought i t , i t was 20 m i l e s o u t o f town.  CINDY.  What does " o u t o f town" mean?  GEORGE. I h a v e n ' t time f o r s o c i a l c o n v e r s a t i o n . the r u l e s . . . l i s t e n c l o s e l y . . . No-ones a l l o w e d i n my l a b o r a t o r y Keep o f f the f l o w e r s Walk l i g h t l y Keep y o u r mouth shut Keep y o u r eyes open You h e l p me and I ' l l h e l p y o u . CINDY.  ( L i c k i n g sucker)  GEORGE.  You agree?  CINDY.  I know what you want me to d o .  These are  Sure.  T h i s i s what I want you to d o .  - 3 GEORGE.  You do?  CINDY.  Yes.  GEORGE.  What?  CINDY.  You want someone to bring you news of the Outside.  GEORGE.  I have someone does that already.  But she's slower and less r e l i a b l e . CINDY. someone to bring your supplies.  Also you want  GEORGE.  She does that too.  CINDY.  But she's getting more and more f o r g e t f u l .  GEORGE.  How did you know?  CINDY.  And more and more scared to go out.  So long ago when I put up that notice...wish GEORGE. remember... CINDY.  I'm the perfect applicant.  GEORGE.  It w i l l be a t r i a l .  CINDY.  Okay.  for you? GEORGE. CINDY.  (Licking sucker)  I could  Give me my f i r s t job.  You want me to get some people  You can read my mind! It's  easy.  Not ordinary people...special ones.  GEORGE.  Like you? CINDY. We can't a f f o r d to be that s p e c i a l . GEORGE. people o f q u a l i t y and dedication.  A few high c l a s s  CINDY.  Okay.  GEORGE.  ...one other thing...  CINDY.  Yes...?  GEORGE.  Are you sure you don't work f o r them?  CINDY.  I work f o r you.  GEORGE.  You know too much.  CINDY.  Just what you want me to.  GEORGE.  Did they send you?  CINDY.  No.  GEORGE.  You can t e l l me.  CINDY.  I read your notice.  GEORGE.  No-one else ever read i t .  CINDY.  The right person d i d . And I knew the password.  GEORGE.  And you don't work f o r Grace?  CINDY.  I work f o r you only.  GEORGE.  A l l right.  CINDY.  (Licking sucker)  GEORGE.  You must bring me dandelions.  CINDY.  I should have asked f o r four suckers.  One other small thing... Yes??? A l l you canf i n d .  I know there's not many l e f t . . . b u t a c h i l d of your GEORGE. abilities... CINDY.  Okay, I ' l l f i n d you some.  GEORGE. Good. And don't take any chances. I f you see anything that looks l i k e a flower bring it...Take i t out by the roots... I want i t a l i v e . . . CINDY.  Okay...I'll be back soon.  (Kisses him and e x i t s)  GEORGE. A kisst A f t e r ten years. Ahh...well...back Soon my plan w i l l be underway...at l a s t I  to work.  (Starts to unlock the shed, then hears Grace offstage singing a dirge.) She's back at l a s t l  Watch i t , you're dropping my test tubes!  GRACE.  I'm back!  I'm back, George.  GEORGE.  Yes...yes...welcome home...  (Grace enters, loaded with parcels and bags.) Give them to me...careful! GRACE.  Look what I found!  GEORGE.  Watch that bag!  GRACE.  A dead f l y .  GEORGE.  Did you get everything?  GRACE.  Can I bury i t George?  GEORGE.  Where are my sterilized, gloves?  GRACE.  I forgot George.  GEORGE.  Darn you, you do i t on purpose.  GRACE.  Can I put these down, George?  GEORGE.  Put them behind the shed...  GRACE.  Then w i l l you give me my plot, George?  GEORGE.  Don't I always?  GRACE.  Yes, George.  GEORGE.  Careful!  You know my g l a d i o l a bulbs are planted there.  (Grace takes them back to shed) Hurry up. Come out from behind there, Watch my rose bushes! GRACE.  (Coming out from behind shed)  I put them down, George.  GEORGE.  That's better.  GRACE.  Can I have my grave now?  GEORGE.  Beside the l a s t one. Don't take an inch more.  GRACE.  Thank you, George.  GEORGE.  ...were you followed?  GRACE.  No.  GEORGE.  Anyone ask suspicious questions?  GRACE.  No.  GEORGE.  Anyone hanging around outside the fence?  GRACE.  No, George.  GEORGE.  Now then, d i d you find any dandelions?  GRACE.  There aren't any.  GEORGE.  But you found a f l y .  And f l i e s are just as rare.  GRACE. I found a f l y . But i t ' s dead. (Cradles f l y i n her hands and starts to sing a l u l l a b y to i t . ) GEORGE. I bet you never looked. I bet you never even t r i e d !  (Grace continues to sing.)  (Grace continues to sing) Year a f t e r year. W i l l you never forgive! (Grace continues to sing) Quiet. (Grace stops) GEORGE. You should help me, Grace. You should be on my side. What can you hope to get from Them? They won't l e t you keep your graveyards, you know. (Grace whimpers)  No, they won't.  GRACE.  I want to be buried.  GEORGE.  They won't l e t you.  GRACE.  You promised me my own grave!  GEORGE. Not i f they take i t away from me, Grace...If you help them take i t away from me... GRACE.  I won't...George...1 won't...  GEORGE. They might promise you a grave now...but when the time comes t h e y ' l l laugh a t you. You should have stuck with me. Grace. GRACE.  Yes, George...  GEORGE. The time i s r i p e . Soon I ' l l be ready...  My experiments are nearly through.  GRACE.  Can I have my grave, George?  GEORGE.  But I have to have more dandelions...  GRACE.  Can I have my grave, George?  GEORGE.  More dandelions!  GRACE.  My grave?  GEORGE.  More dandelions f i r s t .  GRACE.  No, George!  GEORGE.  I need dandelions.  GRACE.  There aren't any more George...  GEORGE.  There must be some!  I don't want to go back out there.  GRACE.  No!  GEORGE.  (Shuddering)  GRACE.  I want to bury my baby now...  A l l the d i r t ' s gone. Can i t have gotten that bad!  GEORGE. Eight years ago there were s t i l l places where a person could f i n d a few surviving dandelions... GRACE.  Come along, baby.  GEORGE.  Not yet.  GRACE.  Lower your voice.  GEORGE.  I'm a v i o l e n t man, Grace.  GRACE.  The funeral i s beginning.  GEORGE. •  You would do well to remember that.  GRACE.  (Starts to hum)  GEORGE.  It's only your fear o f me that keeps you i n l i n e .  I haven't given you permission to go. You're i n the presence o f the dead.  "This c h i l d i s not dead, he merely sleeps snug i n the GRACE. bosom of the earth..." (Exits) GEORGE. Lucky f o r her she does as she's t o l d . (Goes into h i s provisions, c a r r i e s a bag around to the shed.) Everything I need f o r my l a s t experiment...Ah...my new lab coat... (Pulls out a smock) Now I can do the job properly. (Puts on smock) (Grace i s heard singing off-stage) GEORGE. Ah...just r i g h t . Let's see. (Rummages through bags) Turpentine...ammonia...baking soda...good...(Gets out key, looks around, opens shed door and goes i n with supplies. Shuts door.) (Harsh, mechanical noise offstage...sound of construction... Loud and frightening.) (Michael rushes i n , frightened. He i s carrying a briefcase very c a r e f u l l y and panting. He looks behind him i n terror, stops and notices suddenly where he is...looks around him with surprise and begins to relax.) MICHAEL. Ah...wonderful...incredible..."Little d i d I know when the outside I d i d leave...That I would stumble into t h i s garden of Eve...T'is strange how out of t e r r o r springs delight... And pleasant surprise out o f f e a r f u l f l i g h t . . . " (Slat opens on shed door and George peers out) (Cindy enters, carrying a FOR SALE sign and eating a chocolate bar.) CINDY.  Boy, d i d you run!  - 8 MICHAEL.  T h e y ' r e a f t e r me!  CINDY. Who? OVER I T . )  (Throwing down candy wrapper and p l a c i n g s i g n  MICHAEL.  You d i d n ' t see  them?  CINDY.  (Chewing)  MICHAEL.  W i l l I be s a f e h e r e ?  CINDY.  Sure.  No.  MICHAEL. Good, S a n c t u a r y a t l a s t . (Turns away) " I f I l i s t e n v e r y c l o s e l y who can t e l l . . . T h e r e might be a s m a l l movement i n the t r e e . . . A n d o u t w i l l pop a t i n y f e a t h e r e d h e a d . . . And c h i r p and w a r b l e s o f t l y j u s t f o r m e . . . " CINDY. (Goes o v e r t o shed and k n o c k s on d o o r , s o f t l y ) George, I brought you y o u r f i r s t r e c r u i t . Be sure to l o o k i n h i s briefcase. I ' m g o i n g to f i n d you a n o t h e r w i n n e r n o w . . . MICHAEL.  Wo whom a r e you t a l k i n g ?  CINDY.  Make y o u r s e l f a t home.  ( K i s s e s him and l e a v e s ,  skipping)  MICHAEL. A kiss! You a n g e l . . . " I t ' s been so l o n g s i n c e l a s t t h a t I was k i s s e d . . . A n d u n t i l now, I d i d n ' t know what I m i s s e d . . . H o w sweet t h a t p e r f e c t s t r a n g e r s s h o u l d so p a r t . . . I ' l l c a r r y you f o r e v e r i n my h e a r t . " (George has c r e p t o u t o f s h e d , shuts door What's t h i s ? [ P i c k s u £ FOR SALE sign")  softly)  (George approaches b e h i n d h i m . He i s c a r r y i n g an a x e . ) D o n ' t t e l l me t h i s l o v e l y p l a c e i s up f o r s a l e ! (Turns and sees G e o r g e . ) Oh n o ! Caught a l r e a d y ! I d i d n ' t mean to do i t . N o t h i n g e v e r goes r i g h t f o r me. P l e a s e . . . m a k e i t m e r c i f u l l y s w i f t . . . W h a t are you w a i t i n g f o r ? C l e v e r m a n . . . Y o u know the t e r r o r o f w a i t i n g i s worse t h a n the a c t . D o n ' t make me s u f f e r . . . ( K n e e l i n g ) Do i t now! (George snatches away s i g n . . . c h o p s i n amazement.)  i t up...)  ( M i c h a e l watches  GEORGE.  (Finally)  T h i s i s what I do to y o u r k i n d .  MICHAEL.  Without a t r i a l ?  GEORGE.  Grace p a i d you to put t h a t u p , d i d n ' t she?  MICHAEL.  What?  GEORGE.  You're working f o r h e r , i s that  MICHAEL.  I thought I was w o r k i n g f o r y o u !  Who? it?  GEORGE.  Who are you?  MICHAEL.  Oh d e a r , I ' m so c o n f u s e d .  GEORGE.  What do you want?  Quickly!  MICHAEL. The l i t t l e g i r l b r o u g h t me. for people. GEORGE.  Not people l i k e y o u !  MICHAEL.  W h a t ' s vrrong w i t h me?  GEORGE.  That s i g n .  MICHAEL.  I didn't bring i t .  GEORGE.  T h e y ' v e done i t a g a i n !  She d i d . It's  She s a i d you were l o o k i n g  I t was on y o u r l o t . the 4th t h i s week.  Are t h e y a f t e r y o u , too? I know how i t f e e l s to be down MICHAEL. and o u t . . . p r o s e c u t e d and t o r m e n t e d . . . GEORGE.  Why d i d she p i c k you?  MICHAEL. P e o p l e o f s e n s i t i v i t y have a l w a y s been p r o s e c u t e d by the masses. The e x t r a o r d i n a r y i n d i v i d u a l i s c u r s e d by the t i m e s . GEORGE.  L e t ' s see t h a t  briefcase.  MICHAEL.  No!  GEORGE.  ( B r a n d i s h i n g axe)  MICHAEL.  Never!  GEORGE.  You want to work f o r me o r n o t ?  MICHAEL.  You d o n ' t u n d e r s t a n d .  GEORGE.  I f you showed i t to C i n d y , you can show i t to me,  MICHAEL.  But I d i d n ' t .  GEORGE.  You d i d .  Hand i t o v e r .  Open i t o r g o .  MICHAEL. . . . O n l y an a r t i s t o r poet would c o m p r e h e n d . . . c a r e f u l ! D o n ' t j o l t them! GEORGE.  (Grabs c a s e )  W e ' l l see about t h a t . . . ( O p e n s c a s e ) A h - h a h !  MICHAEL.  G i v e them back - p l e a s e .  GEORGE. ( C a r e f u l l y t a k i n g o u t a pot o f d a n d e l i o n s ) s h a p e . . . She's worth 4 l o l l i p o p s !  In perfect  - 10 MICHAEL. Please...treat together.  them t e n d e r l y . . . w e ' v e s u f f e r e d so much  GEORGE.  You know about the d a n d e l i o n ?  MICHAEL. friends.  You mean - you know too?  GEORGE.  W e ' l l see about t h a t .  You and I a r e g o i n g to be good  T e l l me what you know.  MICHAEL. When n a t u r e s t a r t e d d i s a p p e a r i n g . . n o - o n e e v e r gave a thought t o the d a n d e l i o n . . . " S a v e the r o s e s t h e y a l l s a i d , Save the o r c h i d s b e f o r e t h e y ' r e d e a d " . . . A l l the o t h e r s p e c i e s . . . c a r e f u l l y tended i n the p l a n t r e s e r v e s . . . b u t the d a n d e l i o n . . . s t i l l c o n s i d e r e d a w e e d . . . s l o w l y d i e d o u t . . . h o r r i b l e mass s l a u g h t e r . . . W h a t happened to the cows was n o t h i n g compared to what happened to the d a n d e l i o n s . . . GEORGE.  But you have some d a n d e l i o n s .  MICHAEL. Y e s . I began to l o o k upon i t as my r o l e i n l i f e . . . t o save the d a n d e l i o n . . . 1 p r e s e r v e d a f e w . . . a s p o t t e d p l a n t s . . . B u t they're a free, w i l d , flower...They don't thrive i n c a p t i v i t y . . . GEORGE.  T h a t ' s been my p r o b l e m .  MICHAEL. I k e p t the s u r v i v o r s on my window a t w o r k . We c h e e r e d each o t h e r u p . A t f i r s t i t w a s n ' t so b a d . . . t h e sun s t i l l g o t to them once i n a w h i l e . . . A n d i f I s t o o d on my desk and h e l d them up o v e r my h e a d . . . t h e y c o u l d j u s t g l i m p s e a s i g h t o f the o c e a n . I t gave them a l i t t l e h a p p i n e s s . . . GEORGE. MICHAEL. ocean GEORGE.  Yes? But the sun got w e a k e r . . . t h e b u i l d i n g s went u p . . . a n d t h e disappeared... P l e a s e . . . I was a c l e r k once t o o . . .  MICHAEL. We're each d o i n g what we c a n . Me, by s a v i n g a s p e c i e s . . . and y o u , by s a v i n g t h i s l a n d . . . W e s h o u l d have b o t h l i v e d i n the o l d days. GEORGE.  A r e you g o i n g to h e l p me?  MICHAEL.  Of c o u r s e .  My d a n d e l i o n s w i l l l i k e i t h e r e .  my f r i e n d s we've found a home.  "At last  Where you c a n grow and I c a n r o a m . "  GEORGE.  So you know a l o t about  MICHAEL.  Everything.  GEORGE.  I c a n use y o u .  MICHAEL.  You c a n t r u s t me.  dandelions...?  But f i r s t I have to be  sure.  GEORGE.  What's the password?  MICHAEL. Death and destruction to the enemy! No? Long l i v e nature! No? GEORGE.  I need someone I can t r u s t .  MICHAEL.  But no-body t o l d me the password!  GEORGE.  What good would a password be i f anyone knew i t ?  MICHAEL. out.  Give me another chance. They'll get me i f I go back "An acre a day keeps the bulldozers away..."?  GEORGE.  Out!  Out!  MICHAEL.  " A l l we r e a l l y need i s d i r t . " ?  GEORGE.  (Pushing him)  MICHAEL.  Don't...watch my dandelions...!  GEORGE.  What d i d you say?  MICHAEL.  My dandelions...  GEORGE.  Why didn't you say so i n the f i r s t place?  MICHAEL.  You mean I got i t ?  GEORGE.  You and me against the world!  MICHAEL.  We can do i t !  GEORGE.  You're game?  MICHAEL.  Yes, I ' l l do anything to help, I ' l l be your f r i e n d .  Traitor.  Is i t one word or more?  Off my land.  I can join?  GEORGE. I don't want a f r i e n d . They've t r i e d that before. Accomplice yes, friend...never. Grace put them up to i t . I chased them o f f . . . b u i l t up my fences...but they s t i l l sneak i n and put up FOR SALE signs on my l o t . . . t r y i n g to frighten me. MICHAEL.  You could sue them f o r trespassing.  GEORGE. I never see them. It's magic how the signs get there. I'm a f r a i d to go to the edges of my l o t any more. They have everyone on t h e i r side. MICHAEL. GEORGE. out MICHAEL.  Except me. I t must be Grace. And I can't send her away. They're to get me, so I have to get them f i r s t . How?  - 12 GEORGE. W o u l d n ' t you l i k e to know? get a l o n g . MICHAEL.  Ask no q u e s t i o n s and w e ' l l  As you s a y .  GEORGE. Now you must t a k e the o a t h and t h e n we can g e t down t o business. Speak a f t e r me. " I swear I ' l l keep my mouth shut and my b i g f e e t o f f the p l a n t s . . I swear n o t to s t e p on a n y t h i n g , l i t t e r , o r s p i t . . . b u t to keep my mind on the c a u s e . . . a n d my eyes on the g r o u n d . . . " A n d , f i n a l l y . . " I promise t h a t I ' m an enemy o f the System, and a f r i e n d to n a t u r e . . ' MICHAEL.  I c o u l d p u t t h a t i n rhyme b e a u t i f u l l y .  GEORGE.  Yes!  Now come o v e r to my l a b .  MICHAEL. A h . I t f e e l s so good to be s a f e . L e t us i n t r o d u c e o u r s e l v e s . . . I ' m M i c h a e l . And y o u ' r e George. GEORGE.  How d i d you know t h a t ?  MICHAEL.  The g i r l t o l d me.  GEORGE.  D o n ' t say t h a t . . . S h e ' s  MICHAEL.  Sorry...  GEORGE.  Y o u ' r e sure y o u ' r e r e a d y .  I s she y o u r daughter? my m e s s e n g e r . . .  MICHAEL. I ' m r e a d y . . . I ' v e been l i v i n g my whole e x i s t e n c e j u s t f o r t h i s . Wait a moment, w h i l e I shed my m i s e r a b l e o t h e r h a l f . . . (Takes o f f j a c k e t , t i e , shoes and s o c k s . ) GEORGE.  Grace w i l l b u r y them i f you l e a v e them t h e r e .  MICHAEL.  Who's Grace?  GEORGE.  Our enemy.  Come to my l a b .  MICHAEL. (As George u n l o c k s shed) A f i n e true f r i e n d i s v e r y hard to f i n d . might as w e l l have been b l i n d . . . GEORGE.  I looked f o r years but  Y o u ' r e the f i r s t person I ' v e a l l o w e d i n h e r e . . .  MICHAEL. " I gave up hope and thought my l i f e was t h r o u g h . . . And t h e n , George, j u s t i n t i m e , I have met y o u . . . GEORGE.  Get r e a d y f o r a s u r p r i s e .  (Opens door)  MICHAEL.  My l i m b s t r e m b l e w i t h a n t i c i p a t i o n . . .  GEORGE.  The c o a s t i s c l e a r .  MICHAEL.  It's  Have a peak.  Go i n , but take c a r e where you s t e p . .  so dark i n h e r e . . . ( E n t e r i n g )  - 13 GEORGE.  Watch i t !  MICHAEL. glass  I c a n ' t see a n y t h i n g .  GEORGE.  Careful!  MICHAEL.  Can i t be?  GEORGE.  Surprised,  (Bump_s a g a i n s t s h e l f ,  tinkle of  Is i t possible?? eh?  MICHAEL. Oh you b e a u t i e s . . . y o u a n g e l s o f j o y . . . r o w upon row o f . . L e t me touch y o u . . . L e t m e . . . O h h h . . . O h - o h l them. GEORGE.  Are t h e y a l l r i g h t ?  MICHAEL. No t h e y ' r e a i l i n g . "My l i t t l e g l o b e s o f s u n l i g h t d o n ' t g i v e u p . . . T h e r e ' s s t i l l hope y e t , o f n e c t a r f o r you t o s u p . . . " They' r e s u f f e r i n g from l a c k o f sunshine and a i r . . . l i k e mine w e r e . . . B u t we c a n f i x t h a t . . . ( C o m i n g o u t ) GEORGE.  How?  MICHAEL.  W i t h the same f e r t i l i z e r I u s e d on m i n e .  GEORGE.  What i s  MICHAEL.  I've never t o l d a s o u l .  GEORGE.  Amazing!  MICHAEL.  Absolutely.  GEORGE.  We can send C i n d y f o r soda pop.  MICHAEL.  Actually, they're disasterous  GEORGE.  What are  MICHAEL.  You s a i d you knew about The d a n d e l i o n .  GEORGE.  T e l l me anyway.  it? But y o u ' r e my f r i e n d .  Y o u ' r e sure? Except f o r one  side-effect.  side-effects.  they?  You h a v e n ' t asked why t h e y ' r e a f t e r me. MICHAEL. o f the power o f the p o t . GEORGE.  Soda p o p .  I t ' s because  The what?  MICHAEL. C i n d y knew. I d o n ' t know how, but she d i d . I t was an accident. She found me on the s t r e e t and brought me h e r e . GEORGE.  What a r e you t a l k i n g about?  MICHAEL. I thought you knew. p o t s I k e p t on the w i n d o w . . . GEORGE.  I t o l d you about my j o b . . . a n d  the  So?  MICHAEL. W e l l t h e y f i r e d me. They s a i d i t was e i t h e r the p o t s o r me. I c o u l d n ' t g i v e my p o t s u p . I had two t h e n . As I was l e a v i n g . . . o n e pot s l i p p e d . . . a n d f e l l . . . s h a t t e r e d i n t o a m i l l i o n p i e c e s . T h e y ' d n e v e r b e l i e v e i t was an a c c i d e n t . GEORGE.  You mean t h e y ' r e a f t e r you f o r l i t t e r i n g ?  MICHAEL. Nol I t e x p l o d e d when i t h i t the c e m e n t . . . t h e whole b u i l d i n g went u p . . . 2 5 s t o r i e s . . . I t was h o r r i b l e . . . GEORGE.  A potted dandelion?  MICHAEL.  A p o t t e d d a n d e l i o n f e r t i l i z e d w i t h soda pop.  GEORGE.  You blew up a 25 s t o r e y b u i l d i n g !  MICHAEL. My hands were sweaty. I t s l i p p e d . I w o u l d n ' t have s t o o d a c h a n c e . I r a n away. Then C i n d y found me. GEORGE.  What a p l a n !  MICHAEL. I know I d i d a t e r r i b l e t h i n g , b u t you must l e t me s t a y . I'm so happy h e r e . GEORGE. A man w i t h the g u t s and know how to blow up a whole skyscraper. Magnificent! MICHAEL.  I d i d n ' t do i t on p u r p o s e .  GEORGE. A l l those y e a r s you must have r e s e a r c h e d . . . l i k e waiting...dreaming... MICHAEL.  me...  I ' m i n n o c e n t . . . y o u must b e l i e v e me!  GEORGE. What a p e r f e c t team w e ' l l make. D o n ' t j u s t get r i d o f the b a b i e s . . . g e t r i d o f the b u i l d i n g s t o o . My p l a n would have t a k e n so much more t i m e . . . b u t the c o m b i n a t i o n o f y o u r s and m i n e . . It's invincible. ( K i s s i n g him) Y o u ' r e a g e n i u s ! MICHAEL.  I ' m g l a d you s t i l l l i k e me.  GEORGE.  Now l e t me t e l l you what I ' v e found o u t about the d a n d e l i o n . .  (Grace i s h e a r d o f f s t a g e ) B l a s t i t , Grace i s coming b a c k . MICHAEL.  I ' l l t e l l you l a t e r .  What a p e c u l i a r sound.  GEORGE. S h e ' s w i n d i n g i t up now. (Grace e n t e r s , s i n g i n g )  MICHAEL. How o d d l y s h e ' s d r e s s e d . earth...primitive...dirty... GEORGE.  Devious.  GRACE.  A l l i s over.  MICHAEL.  I'm a f r i e n d .  GRACE.  George d o e s n ' t have  S h e ' s a t r u e c h i l d o f the  (To M i c h a e l )  Have you come to mourn?  friends.  GEORGE. The time comes, G r a c e , when one needs h e l p to c a r r y o u t o n e ' s dreams o f a l i f e t i m e . GRACE.  (To M i c h a e l )  MICHAEL.  Good heavens!  GRACE.  My b a b y ' s .  MICHAEL.  No!  GEORGE.  She l i e s .  MICHAEL.  How t o u c h i n g .  It's  a shame you m i s s e d the f u n e r a l .  Whose?  A lot.  GEORGE. ( P o i n t i n g to chopped up s i g n ) bury, L i t t l e Mother.  More t h i n g s f o r you to  GRACE. Goodie. A shroud! ( P i c k s up M i c h a e l ' s .jacket and s h o e s , and p u t s p i e c e s o f the s i g n i n the . j a c k e t . ) MICHAEL.  What an i n c r e d i b l e woman.  GEORGE.  You d o n ' t mind l o s i n g y o u r j a c k e t and shoes?  MICHAEL.  No, b u t i s n ' t h e r hobby messy?  GEORGE.  I c o n f i n e h e r to a s m a l l  (Grace  The s t u f f o f n a t u r e .  area.  exits)  MICHAEL. (Watching h e r l e a v e . ) You c h i l d o f the e a r t h , I u n d e r s t a n d . . A l l you d e s i r e i s a l i t t l e l a n d . . . " S h e ' s y o u r w i f e ? GEORGE.  She was.  Now s h e ' s my enemy.  GRACE. ( O f f s t a g e ) Ashes to a s h e s . . . d u s t to Back i n t o the s o i l from whence we came... MICHAEL. I can't believe that. t e n d e r between y o u . . . GEORGE.  Ghosts are  dead.  dust...  I d e t e c t the ghost o f  something  -  16 -  GRACE. (Offstage) Now mommy w i l l wrap you warm and y o u ' l l have t o be c o l d a g a i n . . . GEORGE.  Nine y e a r s o f  never  this...  (Grace s t a r t s " s i n g i n g l u l l a b y ) MICHAEL.  Do you have any c h i l d r e n ?  GEORGE.  Why?  MICHAEL.  You c a l l e d h e r , " L i t t l e M o t h e r . "  GEORGE.  Never m i n d .  MICHAEL.  You must have l o v e d h e r o n c e .  GEORGE.  I t was a l o n g time ago.  MICHAEL.  Love i s b e a u t i f u l .  GEORGE.  Love i s  MICHAEL.  No!  GEORGE.  Love makes those h i g h - r i s e s ,  MICHAEL.  But does i t have  destruction.  GEORGE. C l e v e r man. My s p e c i a l b r e w . . . MICHAEL.  B e f o r e the G r e a t C r u s h .  remember.  to?  Now l e t me t e l l you about my p r o j e c t .  Brew?  GEORGE. Y e s . . . o n e s i p o f t h i s s t u f f and you are permanently sterile. I t took me y e a r s to d e v e l o p i t . B a b i e s w i l l become a nightmare o f the p a s t . The w o r l d w i l l s l o w l y d i e o f f . There w i l l be room a g a i n l i k e b e f o r e . They w i l l no l o n g e r need my l o t f o r low r e n t a l s . MICHAEL.  What a r e you t a l k i n g about?  GEORGE. I knew y o u ' d c a t c h on i n s t a n t l y . I know where a l l t h e p u b l i c w a t e r s u p p l i e s are l o c a t e d i n the c i t y . I n one n i g h t you and I c o u l d get t o a l l o f them. MICHAEL.  I love  babies...  GEORGE. T h i s brew n o t o n l y makes everyone permanently s t e r i l e b u t i t a l s o i n d u c e s m i s c a r r i a g e s i n women a l r e a d y i n t h a t u n f o r t unate c o n d i t i o n o f p r e g n a n c y . E v e n t u a l l y we can get t o the o t h e r cities. Our members w i l l g r o w . . . w e ' 1 1 w i n support from r e s p o n s i b l e c l e a r - t h i n k i n g members o f s o c i e t y . W e ' l l have teams w o r k i n g i n a l l p a r t s o f the w o r l d !  MICHAEL.  You're not s e r i o u s . . . ? ? ?  GEORGE.  I know i t works because Grace took i t o n c e . . .  MICHAEL.  No!  GEORGE.  I t ' s what s t a r t e d me on my p r o j e c t .  MICHAEL.  Poor Grace!  GEORGE.  I f you're for nature...you're against  MICHAEL.  It's  GEORGE.  Nonsense, i t ' s  MICHAEL.  I c a n ' t b e l i e v e y o u ' d do i t .  babies...remember?  monstrous... necessary.  GEORGE. I knew I c o u l d count on y o u . Now a l l we have to do i s f i n d someone to t r y i t o u t on once m o r e . . . MICHAEL.  "Rockabye baby on the t r e e t o p . . .  GEORGE.  I t ' s a b e a u t i f u l a c t . . . w e ' r e s a v i n g mankind from i t s e l f . .  MICHAEL.  "When t h e wind blows the c r a d l e w i l l  GEORGE.  P i o n e e r s o f a new s c i e n c e . . .  MICHAEL.  "When the wind blows the c r a d l e w i l l  GEORGE.  C a l l i t , i f you l i k e , D a n d e l i o n o l o g y . . .  MICHAEL.  "And down w i l l  f a l l baby, c r a d l e and  rock..."  fall...  all..."  I knew y o u ' d a p p r o v e . . . a n d now, i f C i n d y would o n l y GEORGE. come back w i t h my o t h e r r e c r u i t . . . W e can s t r i k e t o n i g h t . F i r s t the s t e r i l i z a t i o n , Second the b o m b s . . . (The n o i s e a g a i n , Oh n o ! MICHAEL.  louder...)  T h e y ' l l do a n y t h i n g to s c a r e me! T h e y ' r e a f t e r me.  D o n ' t g i v e me u p !  (Grace r u n s o u t and h u d d l e s c l o s e to George) GRACE.  Help!  D o n ' t l e t them get my g r a v e s !  GEORGE.  The whole e a r t h i s s h a k i n g !  (Noise stops) MICHAEL.  It's  stopped.  GEORGE.  For a w h i l e .  GRACE.  I hope my g r a v e ' s a l l r i g h t .  MICHAEL.  What i s  it?  GEORGE. The sound o f d e s t r u c t i o n . t h e y get t h i s t o o . MICHAEL.  (Exits)  And t h e y w o n ' t s t o p  till  Horrible!  (Cindy skips o n , e a t i n g potatoe c h i p s ) CINDY.  Hi!  What's wrong w i t h you?  GEORGE.  D i d n ' t you h e a r  CINDY.  (Dropping c h i p s )  MICHAEL.  That n o i s e .  CINDY.  Want a c h i p ?  MICHAEL.  Amazing.  it? Hear what?  CINDY. I came to t e l l you t h a t I found a n o t h e r p e r s o n . be h e r e any m i n u t e . Goodbye, I ' l l be back soon. GEORGE.  Wait!  (Cindy e x i t s .  MICHAEL.  I don't understand.  She'll  Drops bag on way o u t . ) Where's she gone now?  (Maple r u s h e s i n , d r o p p i n g t h i n g s from the enormous l o a d she carrying. Easel, paints, etc.) MAPLE. My God what a h i d e o u s n o i s e . d e l i g h t . ) Men! MICHAEL. MAPLE. Maple. GEORGE.  is  (Sees them w i t h g r e a t  Hello. Two men. W o n d e r f u l . T h i s w i l l do v e r y n i c e l y . My f r i e n d s c a l l me Maple the M a g n i f i c e n t .  I8m  What do you want?  MAPLE. I ' m g o i n g to g e t l o t s o f p a i n t i n g done h e r e . You'd n e v e r m i s t r e a t a l a d y . Oh d e a r , I ' v e dropped so many t h i n g s . My c o n d i t i o n makes i t v e r y d i f f i c u l t to s t o o p . MICHAEL.  Allow me...  MAPLE.  Thank y o u , d a r l i n g .  GEORGE.  I said,  Such a w o n d e r f u l s p o t !  (Sitting)  "What do you want"?  MICHAEL. You s h o u l d n ' t h a r r e s s the poor L a d y , George. have some c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r h e r s t a t e .  You s h o u l d  GEORGE.  State?  MICHAEL.  Of p r e g n a n c y .  GEORGE.  Pregnancy!  Surely i t ' s obvious.  MAPLE. You d e a r . P r e t e n d i n g you d i d n ' t n o t i c e . Men o f such t a c t f u l n e s s and charm a r e e x t r e m e l y r a r e these d a y s . I am q u i t e s m a l l w i t h t h i s one a c t u a l l y . U s u a l l y I ' m l i k e a tank on t h e s e happy o c c a s i o n s . S m a l l b a b i e s a r e so c u d d l y a r e n ' t they? Easier to d e l i v e r , t o o , which must take q u i t e a l o a d o f f y o u r minds as y o u ' l l be h e l p i n g . MICHAEL.  Helping?  MAPLE.  It's  GEORGE.  D i d C i n d y send you?  MAPLE.  Yes.  GEORGE.  How d i d she know?  MAPLE.  Very e n t e r p r i s i n g c h i l d .  MICHAEL.  Your  an e x p e r i e n c e you w o u l d n ' t want to m i s s .  She s a i d you were l o o k i n g f o r an eminent m o t h e r . I d i d n ' t t e l l her that. My e l d e s t , you knovr.  eldest?  MAPLE. I h a v e n ' t seen h e r i n y e a r s . L i k e h e r mother. GEORGE. MAPLE. doors. GEORGE.  She's gotten v e r y c u t e .  When are you due? ( S e t t i n g up h e r e a s e l ) I t ' s such a n o v e l t y .  Any moment.  I l o v e the o u t -  C o u l d you accommodate me by t e l l i n g me the p a s s w o r d .  MAPLE. I l o v e h a v i n g my b a b i e s i n s p o t s l i k e t h i s . The f i r s t few weeks a r e h e a v e n . . . A n d t h e n , o f c o u r s e , t h e y take them a w a y . . . as soon as t h e y ' r e o f f t h e i r dear m o t h e r ' s m i l k . GEORGE.  The password, i f you d o n ' t m i n d . . .  MAPLE. . . . T h o s e d a r l i n g l i t t l e mouths a t my b r e a s t s . I have orgasms t h r e e t i m e s a day when I ' m b r e a s t f e e d i n g . . . p u t my t h i n g s down there. (To M i c h a e l ) GEORGE.  I ' m w a i t i n g f o r the p a s s w o r d .  MAPLE. I t ' s sad, t h a t ' s progress. What good can you e x p e c t from the O r g a n i z a t i o n ? They have no p a s s i o n . . . GEORGE.  You know i t , o f  course?  MAPLE. S t a b l e , u n e m o t i o n a l young a d u l t s a r e the end p r o d u c t . . . They a r e r e p u t e d to have no hangups, no i n c e s t u o u s p h a s e s . . . s u c h a pity. (Grace c r a w l s o u t . ) W h a t ' s t h a t !  - 20 MICHAEL.  T h a t ' s George's w i f e , Grace.  MAPLE.  How u n f o r t u n a t e f o r b o t h o f u s .  GEORGE. E v a s i o n s \ * i l l g e t you no-where. I t ' s t r u e I was h o p i n g f o r a pregnant r e c r u i t . . . b u t she must know the password. MICHAEL. Ahhh. E t e r n a l m o t h e r . . . W h e r e would we be w i t h o u t y o u . . . c a p a b l e , b u t w i t h such t e n d e r s e n t i m e n t s . . . Strong, GEORGE.  The password o r e v i c t i o n . . .  MAPLE.  Do you know what I have a c r a v i n g f o r r i g h t now, d a r l i n g ?  MICHAEL.  Babies...ah...motherhood...  MAPLE.  Dandelion wine.  GEORGE.  What was the f i r s t word?  MAPLE.  Dandelion.  GEORGE.  About t i m e .  Do you have any?  MAPLE. W i l l you g e t me some? I see y o u ' r e s t u d y i n g my p i c t u r e . Do you l i k e i t ? F l a t t e r me, you d e v i l . I t ' s very a r t i s t i c , d o n ' t you t h i n k ? I s p e c i a l i z e i n p a i n t i n g s o f nude men. I a l s o p a i n t b a b i e s as a s i d e l i n e . Male b a b i e s o n l y o f c o u r s e . MICHAEL. " W i t h s w o l l e n b e l l y , how l i k e a r o s e i s s h e . Containing t h e r e w i t h i n a s l e e p i n g b e a u t y . And s u c k l i n g t i n y c h i l d a t h e r b r e a s t . . . S a c r e d i s she and by a l l mankind b l e s t . . . " MAPLE. " S w o l l e n " . . . W h a t an u g l y w o r d . So many n i c e r words to d e s c r i b e my happy c o n d i t i o n . "Swelling" for instance...there's something sensuous about " S w e l l i n g " . "Belly"...ugh1 Sounds so much l i k e a brood mare d o e s n ' t i t ? I have i t . . . " S w e l l i n g r o u n d n e s s " ...much better. I love ambiguity. "With s w e l l i n g r o u n d n e s s . . . " What was t h e r e s t , l o v e y poo? MICHAEL.  (Hurt)  Nothing at a l l .  MAPLE. I t ' s n i c e t o be i m m o r t a l i z e d i n p o e t r y . I f , on the o t h e r h a n d , one f o r g e t s o n e ' s own p o e t r y t h a t q u i c k l y . . . GEORGE. Now t h a t I have my r e c r u i t s , I am r e a d y to undergo the f i n a l phase i n my p l a n to save my l o t and the w o r l d . MAPLE. B a b i e s , o f c o u r s e , a r e d i f f i c u l t m o d e l s . . . b u t such d a r l i n g s . . . s o p r i m i t i v e . Do you have any b a b i e s ? No, I guess n o t . . . n o t with that, ( i n d i c a t i n g Grace) GEORGE. I t w i l l take t i m e , o f c o u r s e , but e v e n t u a l l y we w i l l be a b l e t o r e t u r n the w o r l d to the happy s t a t e i t once was.  -  21 -  MAPLE. I ' v e had s e v e r a l . I love bearing c h i l d r e n . so i n harmony w i t h the w o r l d . GEORGE.  One f e e l s  I would a p p r e c i a t e y o u r u n d i v i d e d a t t e n t i o n .  MAPLE. I can t e l l t h a t my p a i n t i n g has n o t i m p r e s s e d y o u , George. I t does l o o k f r i g h t f u l l y l i m p . . . b u t men f i n d i t so h a r d to manage an e r e c t i o n when I ' m p a i n t i n g them. Even i f t h e y d o , i t almost always g i v e s way a f t e r an h o u r o r two. Do you know d a r l i n g , I can t e l l a l l about a man j u s t by l o o k i n g a t h i s g e n i t a l s ? I s h o u l d have gone i n t o b u s i n e s s . . . t h e r e ' s good money i n s p e c u l a t i o n . Now y o u . . . f o r i n s t a n c e . . . h m m m m . . . w o u l d you c o n s i d e r m o d e l l i n g f o r me? GEORGE. T h i s i s my s u p e r - p l a n I ' m t r y i n g to t e l l you a b o u t ! My whole l i f e has been d i r e c t e d toward t h i s p r o j e c t . MICHAEL. A h . . . a t r u e w o m a n . . . p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h the l i t t l e t h i n g s i n l i f e . . . " T h e i s s u e s o f s t a t e may pass h e r b y . . . B u t she can t e l l you how t o make a p i e . . . " MAPLE.  Does the s i g h t o f my stomach e x c i t e you?  MICHAEL.  I...ah...  GEORGE.  I f you work f o r me y o u ' v e got t o l i s t e n to me!  MAPLE. I used t o make l o v e i n a p l a c e l i k e Georgie...take o f f your c l o t h e s . . . . GEORGE. here.  Stop t h a t !  MICHAEL.  We m u s t n ' t l e t them.  GEORGE.  Not i f we get them f i r s t .  MAPLE.  L e t i t a l l hang o u t ,  MICHAEL.  What must we do?  GEORGE. It's your b a b y . . .  It's  o n l y a m a t t e r o f time u n t i l t h e y get T h e y ' l l get me! But we must a c t now!  Georgie...  about time you l i s t e n e d !  GRACE.  Baby?  MICHAEL.  What about m e d i c a l a t t e n t i o n ?  GEORGE.  S h e ' l l have i t h e r e .  GRACE.  I want a b a b y . . .  MAPLE. Of c o u r s e . h e l p o f my f r i e n d s .  this...Please...  F i r s t , you must have  I ' v e d e l i v e r e d a l l my own b a b i e s w i t h t h e  - 22 MICHAEL. There might be c o m p l i c a t i o n s . A f t e r a l l . . . " T o have a baby might be a common t h i n g . . . B u t one n e v e r knows what dangers i t can b r i n g . . . " GEORGE.  Shut u p !  MAPLE. I l o v e r u d e , f o r c e f u l men. I hope my c h i l d t a k e s a f t e r you, Georgie. I f i r m l y b e l i e v e t h a t a c h i l d i s i n f l u e n c e d by the f i r s t t h i n g s he sees i n l i f e . . . GRACE.  Oh l o o k !  MAPLE. I h a t e p e o p l e who hog the c o n v e r s a t i o n . I knew a f r i e n d who had t h i s p e r f e c t l y m a r v e l l o u s baby on h e r b a l c o n y . . . W e l l , when t h i s c h i l d grew u p . . . h e moved o u t . . . g o t h i s s l e e p i n g b a g , t e n t , camp s t o v e and u t e n s i l s and went out to seek h i s f o r t u n e on the b a l c o n y . MICHAEL.  Where i s she g o i n g ?  GEORGE.  I h a t e to  (Grace has  left)  think.  MAPLE. He even had a l i t t l e t r e e i n a p o t . I t was m a r v e l l o u s to go o v e r t h e r e to v i s i t and to watch h i m , s t o o p i n g o v e r the campstove brewing c o f f e e . . . MICHAEL.  Why d i d she go o u t  there?  GEORGE.  I d o n ' t want to k n o w . . . b u t I  MAPLE.  I n the e n d , o f c o u r s e ,  make room f o r a n o t h e r a p a r t m e n t , MICHAEL.  do...  t h e y t o r e down the b a l c o n y to and he went c r a z y .  Lovely c h i l d . . .  George, are you a l l r i g h t ?  GEORGE. T h e y ' v e done i t a g a i n . MAPLE. Would you l i k e a snack? I have a l l manner o f g o o d i e s with m e . . . p r e t z e l s , dates, a p p l e s . . . s y n t h e t i c o f course, but quite natural tasting. A l s o I have l o v e l y f l o w e r e d t o i l e t paper and room d e o d e r i z e r , I always b r i n g the n e c e s s i t i e s . One n e v e r k n o w s . . . MICHAEL.  Such f e m i n i t y . . . s u c h c h a r m . . .  (Grace b e g i n s h e r s e r v i c e ,  offstage)  MAPLE.  What i s t h a t a w f u l n o i s e ?  MICHAEL.  Is i t another  GEORGE.  At t h i s r a t e ,  MAPLE.  I hope s h e ' s n o t coming b a c k .  MICHAEL.  She i s . . . a n d s h e ' s c a r r y i n g s o m e t h i n g ,  service? it'll  soon be m i n e . . .  George.  - 23 MAPLE.  I d e t e s t o t h e r women.  GEORGE.  I knew i t .  MAPLE. I t ' s a c r i m e the way baby g i r l s have to grow up and become c o m p e t i t i o n . MICHAEL.  It's  GEORGE.  (Shaking)  MICHAEL.  But you h a v e n ' t l o o k e d .  MAPLE.  I hate s h a r i n g .  GEORGE.  I t ' s always the same.  MAPLE.  Or b e t t e r s t i l l . . . t e n to o n e . . .  MICHAEL.  She's b r i n g i n g i t h e r e .  GEORGE.  Don't l e t h e r .  MAPLE.  Or b e s t y e t . . . t h o u s a n d to o n e . . .  MICHAEL.  She's coming.  (Grace e n t e r s , SALE on i t . )  a n o t h e r s i g n , George. Y e s . . . I know.  still  The r a t i o should, be t h r e e t o o n e .  s i n g i n g , h a l f d r a g g i n g l a r g e s i g n w i t h FOR  GRACE.  C l e a r the p a t h p l e a s e , t h i s i s a f u n e r a l p r o c e s s i o n .  GEORGE.  Take i t b a c k , G r a c e .  MAPLE.  A funeral  MICHAEL.  Easy...George.  GEORGE.  Get me the a x e ,  MICHAEL.  Never.  GRACE.  Ashes to a s h e s . . . d u s t u n t o  GEORGE.  The a x e !  MAPLE.  Where?  GEORGE.  By the  MICHAEL.  Y o u ' r e n o t g o i n g to h u r t h e r !  GEORGE.  Let go, Grace.  GRACE.  N o , l e t go!  procession?  Michael.  dust...  shed...  ( S t r u g g l i n g w i t h h e r to t e a r away s i g n )  - 24 MAPLE.  (Handing h i m axe)  MICHAEL.  Careful...  GRACE.  ( L e t t i n g go o f s i g n )  GEORGE.  ( S t a r t i n g t o chop s i g n )  MICHAEL. It's  Here...Tarzan...  G i v e my c o f f i n h a c k ! Hold her, Michael.  ( H o l d i n g G r a c e , who i s s o b b i n g and t r y i n g to get a l l right, Grace...  GRACE.  H e ' s smashing i t l  MAPLE.  How e x c i t i n g .  MICHAEL.  It's  free)  o n l y a p i e c e o f wood, G r a c e .  MAPLE. T h a t ' s i t . Chop, c h o p , chop! Oh, do i t a g a i n . . . d o i t a g a i n .  Up and down, up and d o w n . . .  GEORGE.  Finally...one more...destroyed...  GRACE.  My c o f f i n . . .  (George s t a g g e r s away from s i g n ) GEORGE.  You can l e t h e r go now.  (Grace runs o v e r to s i g n , weeps o v e r the p i e c e s ) MICHAEL.  How s a d .  MAPLE. I l o v e v i o l e n t men. T h e r e ' s a s t r o n g c o r r e l a t i o n between a man's v i o l e n t t e n d e n c i e s and the s i z e o f h i s o r g a n . GEORGE. I t ' s time t o g e t down to b u s i n e s s . i n t e r r u p t i n g me w i l l have t h e i r head chopped MAPLE.  How e x h i l l e r a t i n g . . .  MICHAEL.  Shhh.  Quiet,  The n e x t p e r s o n off.  Grace...  (Silence) GEORGE. T h a t ' s more l i k e i t . Now, you were p r o b a b l y w o n d e r i n g why you were brought h e r e . . . W h y you were c h o s e n . . . MAPLE.  I ' v e always been p o p u l a r w i t h men.  GEORGE.  Silence!  MAPLE.  Brute.  GEORGE. I'll  You are p r o b a b l y a l s o w o n d e r i n g what the password means. t e l l you. I t ' s our l a s t h o p e . . . t h e Dandelion!  - 25 MICHAEL.  Ah...ray  babies...  GEORGE. M i c h a e l was chosen because o f h i s knowledge o f the d a n d e l i o n . He i s my a s s i s t a n t . M a p l e , because she i s p r e g n a n t . . . she i s my s u b j e c t . . . MAPLE.  Of c o u r s e . . . t h e  c h i l d r e n are our f u t u r e .  GEORGE. And b o t h o f you share a common l o v e o f n a t u r e and d i s l i k e f o r the O u t s i d e , which i s n e c e s s a r y as we are g o i n g to change i t . MICHAEL. I l o v e you d a n d e l i o n , I r e a l l y d o , W i t h o u t you l i f e i s n o t h i n g and s k i e s a r e n ' t b l u e . . . ( G e o r g e r a i s e s axe) Oops... s o r r y . . . I got c a r r i e d a w a y . . . GEORGE. I t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g t h a t I am the l e a d e r and t h a t you w i l l obey me w i t h o u t q u e s t i o n . MAPLE.  I ' v e always been  subservient.  GEORGE. Anyone n o t d o i n g t h e i r j o b w i l l be thrown o u t to the m e r c i e s o f the e s t a b l i s h m e n t . MICHAEL.  Not t h a t !  GEORGE.  Any q u e s t i o n s ?  GRACE.  Can I b u r y now?  GEORGE. other GRACE.  Not u n t i l I ' m f i n i s h e d . questions? When can we make l o v e ,  Y o u ' r e my p r i s o n e r .  Any  Georgie?  GEORGE. Any o t h e r Questions? I t ' s important that t h i s i s n ' t o v e r h e a r d by enemy e a r s . (Drops v o i c e ) Ovef the y e a r s , I ' v e been e x p e r i m e n t i n g i n my l a b and I have d i s c o v e r e d t h i n g s . . . because o f the d a n d e l i o n soon t h e r e ' s g o i n g to be r i v e r s and f o r e s t s a g a i n , and y o u ' l l a l l p l a y a v i t a l p a r t i n h e l p i n g i t happen v e r y soon... MAPLE.  What does the d a n d e l i o n d o ,  GEORGE.  (Whispering)  MICHAEL.  No, G e o r g i e . . . !  MAPLE.  Yummy.  GEORGE.  And i t ' s n o t o r d i n a r y w i n e .  MAPLE.  With great  GEORGE.  I t t u r n s you o n .  MAPLE.  An a p h r o d i a s i a c !  Georgie?  I t makes t h a t wine you were c r a v i n g . . .  pleasure.  Come c l o s e r . . .  - 26 GEORGE.  Among o t h e r t h i n g s ,  MAPLE.  Wheel  MICHAEL. awaits MAPLE.  yes.  Can I have some now?  I won't permit i t ! you... What do you mean,  Dear M a p l e , you know n o t what sweetie?  GEORGE. You can t r y some v e r y s o o n . But now I must speak t o my a s s i s t a n t . A l o n e . Go and p a i n t u n t i l I ' m r e a d y f o r y o u . MAPLE. Y o u ' v e become so m a s t e r f u l . I'm b e s i d e m y s e l f w i t h p a s s i o n f o r y o u . I ' l l a t t a c k my p a i n t i n g w i t h g r e a t a r d o r b u t I warn you i t w o n ' t d r a i n my e n e r g i e s . S u b l i m a t i o n has n e v e r worked f o r me. (Goes back t o h e r e a s e l ) GEORGE.  Now, G r a c e , you can go and b u r y .  GRACE.  Thank y o u , G e o r g e .  GEORGE.  D o n ' t t r y to e s c a p e , I warn y o u .  GRACE.  D o n ' t send me back o u t t h e r e a g a i n , George!  GEORGE.  You're a great a c t r e s s , Grace.  GRACE.  Yes,  George...(Exits)  MICHAEL. I t h i n k y o u ' r e wrong about Gracet " H e r s o u l i s innocence and g r i m e . . . S h e i s n ' t c a p a b l e o f any c r i m e . . . " Never mind t h a t s t u f f . GEORGE. Are you f o r me o r a g a i n s t me?  that  L e t ' s get something s t r a i g h t ,  MICHAEL.  What do you mean?  GEORGE.  Are you g o i n g to h e l p me w i t h my p l a n s ?  MICHAEL.  You d o n ' t mean t r y i n g t h e brew on Maple  GEORGE.  T h a t ' s the o b j e c t .  MICHAEL.  I can't permit i t .  GEORGE.  Then y o u ' l l have to l e a v e .  MICHAEL.  You c a n ' t do t h a t to me!  GEORGE.  I can.  MICHAEL.  No...please... <  I ' m a d e s p a r a t e man.  - 27 GEORGE. Keep y o u r v o i c e down. Remember, i t ' s h a r m l e s s to a d u l t s , and much n i c e r t h a n b l o w i n g up b u i l d i n g s . Maple w i l l thank u s i n the e n d . MICHAEL.  Oh d e a r . . . o h  dear...  GEORGE.  I ' l l g i v e you t i l l  MICHAEL.  It's  GEORGE.  Three...  MICHAEL.  It's  GEORGE.  Pour...(Advancing)  MICHAEL.  I  GEORGE.  Five!  MICHAEL.  No...please...all right...all right...!  five.  H e l p me o r g o .  One...two...  horrible.  criminal...  can't...  (Collapses)  GEORGE. ( H e l p i n g him up) I know how you f e e l but you must r e a l i z e we have no c h o i c e . C o n t r o l y o u r s e l f , Maple i s w a t c h i n g . Remember, C h u r c h i l l had no c h o i c e e i t h e r . . . a t t a c k o r be a t t a c k e d . . . Now, i f we c o u l d o n l y get some soda pop to p e r k up t h a t l a s t batch o f dandelions. (Grace e n t e r s , h u g g i n g C i n d y , who i s d r i n k i n g pop and a l s o c a r r y i n g a case o f p o p . ) GRACE.  I found my b a b y .  CINDY.  Yes,  GRACE.  My baby k i s s e d me.  MAPLE.  Don't k i s s that disease,  GEORGE.  She k i s s e d me b e f o r e .  CINDY.  I c a r r i e d out your o r d e r s .  MICHAEL.  She b r o u g h t the  GEORGE.  But I n e v e r t o l d you t o !  MAPLE.  Dear C i n d y , my o l d e s t  CINDY.  But I work f o r y o u .  mother.  (Kissing her) (Beaming) child.  (To C i n d y ) See.  Where d i d you go t o ? (Showing pop)  fertilizer.  child. Where's my sucker?  GEORGE. L a t e r . T h e r e ' s work to be done now. S e e i n g as w e ' r e a l l t o g e t h e r , a l l the members o f the d a n d e l i o n b r i g a d e . . . I t h i n k we s h o u l d pledge o u r a l l e g i a n c e . Together n o w . . . ( H a n d i n g out the b o t t l e s o f pop) "We pledge o u r s e l v e s to the k i n g o f f l o w e r s . "  - 28 -  ALL.  "We pledge o u r s e l v e s  to the k i n g o f f l o w e r s . "  GEORGE.  We pledge o u r a l l e g i a n c e t o me.  ALL.  "We pledge o u r a l l e g i a n c e to y o u . "  CINDY. H e r e ' s to the o l d d a n d e l i o n and h e r e ' s H e r e ' s to t h i s l o t and t o everyone o f y o u .  to the b r e w . . .  GEORGE. H e r e ' s to the d a n d e l i o n s t h a t soon w i l l change the H e r e ' s to the s p e c i a l brew and you know what I m e a n . . . (Winking a t Maple)  scene..  MAPLE. H e r e ' s to a r e a l good time and l o t s more o f the s a m e . . . H e r e ' s to super G e o r g i e and a l s o w h a t ' s - h i s - n a m e . . . MICHAEL. H e r e ' s to M a p l e , and h e r e ' s to h e r c h i l d . . . H e r e ' s to d a n d e l i o n s t h a t w i l l soon be g r o w i n g w i l d . . . GRACE. H e r e ' s to the d a n d e l i o n S i n g a l u l l a b y f o r my b a b y . . . And h e r e ' s to i t s g r a v e . . . MAPLE.  Ugh.  MICHAEL.  I t d o e s n ' t rhyme.  GEORGE. Never m i n d . H e r e ' s t o everyone o f u s , t h a t we get the job done w e l l . . . A n d h e r e ' s to the g o l d e n f u t u r e t h a t w i l l come sooner t h a n we can t e l l . . . H e r e ' s to the d a n d e l i o n ! ALL.  The D a n d e l i o n !  CINDY. wine?  That was f u n - now a r e n ' t we g o i n g to d r i n k some d a n d e l i o n  MAPLE.  What a good i d e a !  GEORGE.  How d i d you know about the vri.ne?  CINDY. fun.  I'm your h e l p e r .  Get the wine r e a d y .  GEORGE. A l l r i g h t , good i d e a . (To M a p l e ) pregnant. (To M i c h a e l ) Watch them f o r me. CINDY. nice?  ( D r a i n i n g pop to M i c h a e l ) Do you want a s i p ?  Time t o p r e p a r e  for  You s t a y t h e r e and s t a y ( E n t e r s i n t o shed)  S h e ' s my mother, i s n ' t  GRACE.  I ' m g l a d you came b a c k ,  baby.  MAPLE.  D o n ' t t o u c h my c h i l d you unplowed a c r e !  she  -  29 -  CINDY. I t ' s O . K . mommy ( W i n k i n g a t M i c h a e l ) . My mother i s sweet and n i c e and l o v e s b a b i e s and p o e t r y . Y o u ' l l l o v e h e r baby t o o . MICHAEL.  P l e a s e - I d o n ' t want t o h e a r .  MAPLE.  W h a t ' s wrong, d a r l i n g ?  CINDY. S h e ' s k i n d and she l o v e s h e r b a b i e s v e r y much. It would b r e a k h e r h e a r t i f a n y t h i n g happened to them, w o u l d n ' t i t mommy? MICHAEL.  (Tortured)  Stop i t !  MAPLE.  N o t h i n g e v e r happens t o my b a b i e s .  CINDY.  (To_ Grace)  MAPLE.  Do you have to humor t h a t sow?  Come on mommy.  I ' l l h e l p you b u r y . D o n ' t break y o u r f i n g e r n a i l s !  ( C i n d y l e a d s Grace to the s i d e ) I s n ' t she a sweet c h i l d ? (George i s h e a r d s i n g i n g i n s h e d , M i c h a e l  trembles)  W h a t ' s wrong, s w e e t i e , a r e you i l l ? MICHAEL.  Not me, i t ' s y o u .  MAPLE.  I f e e l f i n e - how sweet o f you to be c o n c e r n e d .  MICHAEL.  Y o u ' r e such a n i c e l a d y .  MAPLE.  You d e v i l !  MICHAEL. Your h e a r t i s f u l l you come to any harm!  o f innocence and charm, Heaven f o r b i d  MAPLE.  Nonesense.  I ' m a s t r o n g h e a l t h y woman.  MICHAEL.  I d o n ' t know what to do!  MAPLE.  Then k i s s me, you t e a s e !  (George comes o u t , s h a k i n g l a r g e GEORGE. CINDY. Good. GEORGE.  It's  bottle)  ready!  ( D r o p p i n g pop b o t t l e and l e a v i n g Grace) Can I have i t ? Why?  - 30 CINDY. Because I know what to do. (Takes b o t t l e , i n barker tones) Gather around folks - I t ' s turn on time. MAPLE.  Super!  CINDY. You see here...the one...the only...wonder drug at a price you a l l can a f f o r d . (They gather around) Let me t e l l you, Ladies and Gentlemen, you cannot afford to be without Dr. George's l a t e s t discovery. What can Dr. George's dandy drink do f o r you? Everything. Now who's going to be the f i r s t lucky one to try? The f i r s t bottle free to the one who'll demonstrate r i g h t here... the wonderous properties o f Dr. George's wonder drug. MAPLE.  Me, Miss.  I ' l l take a b o t t l e .  CINDY.  The f i r s t bottle to this l i t t l e lady...Now, who's next?  GRACE.  W i l l i t give me a baby?  CINDY. I t w i l l do anything, my dear. to George) And, you, s i r ? GEORGE.  (Gives Grace a bottle,  Me? Well...ah...actually...  CINDY. Don't be bashful, don't be shy. Why not give Dr. George's a try? (George takes i t ) MICHAEL. That's good! "Don't be timid, have no fear... Now that Dr. George i s here." CINDY. That's r i g h t , so take a b o t t l e , Everyone try out time. (They a l l s i t down) Maple f i r s t . . . . MICHAEL.  No!  (George threatens him)  MAPLE.  Hooray...(Takes  CINDY.  Turn, turn on!  MAPLE.  Your turn, super-balls.  GEORGE.  Yummy...(Takes a drink)  MAPLE.  (To Michael)  drink) Hmmm/Good.  (To George)  Get with i t , Lover.  (George nudges Michael) MICHAEL.  I don't want to.  MAPLE.  Turn on, turn on!  CINDY.  Turn on, turn on!  (together)  relax...it's  -  MICHAEL. (To Grace)  31  -  What can I l o s e n o w . . . ( D r i n k s ) Your t u r n , now.  MAPLE. GEORGE.  Turn o n , t u r n o n ! Turn o n , t u r n o n l  GRACE.  No, I took i t b e f o r e . . . ( P u s h e s  bottles  GEORGE.  (Quickly)  Maple's turn!  MAPLE.  Great.  (Together)  She w o n ' t t a k e i t .  away)  (Drinks)  ( M i c h a e l r i s e s - George p u l l s h i m down) GEORGE.  (Threatening)  (When M a p l e ' s f i n i s h e d )  Turn o n , t u r n o n ! Well?  MAPLE.  Oh!  GEORGE.  What i s  MAPLE.  (Writhing)  MICHAEL.  Are you a l l r i g h t , Maple?  MAPLE.  Oh, f a n t a s t i c .  MICHAEL.  Help!  MAPLE.  Oh, DON'T, d o n ' t . . . o h h h .  MICHAEL.  S h e ' s c h o k i n g me!  GRACE.  I s the baby a l l r i g h t ?  GEORGE.  I t ' s working, i t ' s working, Michael!  MAPLE.  Stop,  GEORGE.  T h i s i s n ' t g o i n g to be p l e a s a n t ,  MICHAEL.  I c a n ' t get away.  GRACE.  Is i t a l l right?  MAPLE.  ( i n convulsions)  GEORGE.  What's keeping h e r !  MICHAEL.  I can't  GEORGE.  I t s h o u l d be o v e r by now.  MAPLE.  Ohhh.  it? Oh...Oh! (He bends o v e r h e r , she g r a b s him)  Oh!  stop!  My t h r o a t !  I'm d y i n g . . . o h !  breath...  (Goes l i m p )  M i c h a e l , turn your back.  - 32 GRACE.  D o n ' t l e t i t be dead!  GEORGE.  Shut u p , G r a c e , i t ' s too l a t e now.  ( M i c h a e l makes t o r t u r e d n o i s e s , Get on y o u r f e e t ,  f i n a l l y frees himself)  Michael!  ( C i n d y has t a k e n gum from h e r p o c k e t , thrown the wrapper down, and i s b l o w i n g b u b b l e s , as she watchesT) MICHAEL.  Thank Heavens she r e l e a s e d h e r h o l d . . . j u s t i n t i m e .  GEORGE.  I t d i d n ' t work, M i c h a e l .  MICHAEL.  Thank God!  GEORGE.  We've k i l l e d h e r .  MICHAEL.  K i l l e d her!  I s she s l e e p i n g now?  GRACE. I ' l l make a b i g grave f o r mother and c h i l d . . . I w i s h I c o u l d have been b u r i e d w i t h my c h i l d . MICHAEL.  S h e ' s dead!  Oh n o . . . y o u s a i d . . . !  GEORGE.  A g r e a t e x p e r i m e n t i s seldom s u c c e s s f u l  MICHAEL.  (Weeping o v e r M a p l e )  the f i r s t t i m e .  Oh n o , my poor M a p l e . . . m y b a b y . . .  GEORGE. I suppose you c o u l d s t r e t c h the p o i n t and c a l l i t a sort of miscarriage. I t ' s n o t r e a l l y a complete f a i l u r e . . . (Maple s i g h s and s t r e t c h e s , M i c h a e l jumps up i n t e r r o r ) MAPLE.  Ahhh.  Multiple  orgasisms...beautiful...  MICHAEL.  Are you a l l r i g h t ?  MAPLE.  Worn o u t , d a r l i n g , but o t h e r w i s e g r e a t . . .  GRACE.  So much f o r the b i g  GEORGE.  (Examing the b o t t l e )  MICHAEL.  ( H e l p i n g Maple up)  MAPLE.  D i d you have the same e r o t i c  MICHAEL.  W e l l . . . I d i d experience a choking sensation.  GEORGE.  What went wrong?  grave... How c o u l d i t have  happened?  Thank God y o u ' r e a l l r i g h t . experience?  T r y the b a k i n g soda i n i t t h i s t i m e . CINDY. (Grounds the bubble gum i n t o the s t a g e )  -  33 -  GEORGE.  Do you t h i n k t h a t ' s  it?  MICHAEL.  Please...not  GEORGE.  Y o u ' r e s t r a i n i n g my p a t i e n c e ,  CINDY.  I ' m sure t h a t ' s  GEORGE.  I think you're r i g h t .  CINDY.  And t h e r e ' s no time to  MICHAEL.  Please...George...listen  again.  Give i t up,  George.  Michael...  it.  lose. to m e . . .  MAPLE. Oh George, y o u ' r e not g o i n g i n t o t h a t h o l e a g a i n ! h a r d l y see you anymore. GEORGE. (Enters GRACE. to CINDY.  Enough from y o u . shed)  sleep.  (To_ C i n d y )  (To C i n d y )  I  Keep a l o o k o u t f o r me.  Come s i t b e s i d e me.  I ' m g o i n g to p u t you  I n a m i n u t e , mommy...  MAPLE. D o n ' t l e t h e r maul you c h i l d , h e r e , y o u r h a i r needs combing.  she's very weird.  Come  MICHAEL. ( C r a d l i n g h i s pot) I need y o u r c o m f o r t , my l o v e l i e s . . . I don't l i k e what's happening. "How suddenly f e a r c r e e p s i n y o u r mind j u s t when you t h i n k y o u ' v e l e f t i t a l l b e h i n d . " CINDY. you,  (As Maple combs h e r h a i r ) mother.  I d o n ' t t h i n k George l i k e s  MAPLE.  Men always l i k e me.  CINDY.  But he keeps h i d i n g from y o u .  MICHAEL. ( R o c k i n g back and f o r t h w i t h h i s f l o w e r s ) I need to f e e l y o u r p e t a l s a g a i n s t my c h e e k . . . E s p e c i a l l y when I f e e l a f r a i d and weak. MAPLE.  How p e c u l i a r .  CINDY.  Y e s , but you l o v e men w i t h s e x u a l  MAPLE.  You're r i g h t .  MICHAEL. (To f l o w e r s ) You're a l l I have. "When I was b o r n the sun r e f u s e d to s h i n e My mother screamed and s a i d she w a s n ' t m i n e . My f a t h e r swore I c o u l d n ' t be h i s son He s a i d h e ' d n e v e r f a t h e r e d such a o n e . MAPLE.  How  sad.  hangups.  - 34 CINDY. ( E a t i n g s u n f l o w e r seeds from h e r p o c k e t ) But y o u ' v e always "been t u r n e d on by i n s i g n i f i c a n t , u n d e r p r o v i l e g e d men. MAPLE. You're r i g h t again! such a g e n t l e m e n .  ( G o i n g o v e r to M i c h a e l )  CINDY.  (To Grace)  GRACE.  Oh G o o d y . . . . ( T a k e s h e r hand and they l e a v e )  MAPLE. adorable MICHAEL.  And h e ' s  L e t ' s go and f i n d t h i n g s to b u r y , mother.  I c a n ' t u n d e r s t a n d why I n e v e r n o t i c e d you b e f o r e , you mouse... Poor l a d y . . . w h a t can I do f o r y o u . . .  MAPLE. How about a l i t t l e h a n k y - p a n k y . Come c l o s e r . They say I ' m v e r y good. The f i n a l month i s when I e n j o y i t most. One i s f o r c e d to come up w i t h more o r i g i n a l i d e a s . I ' v e t r i e d oat 24 c o i t a l p o s i t i o n s d u r i n g my l a t e p r e g n a n c i e s . Would y o u l i k e a date? MICHAEL. safety,  I t b r e a k s my h e a r t t o t e l l you t h i s , b u t f o r y o u r own you s h o u l d l e a v e i m m e d i a t l y .  MAPLE.  But I c o u l d n ' t l e a v e y o u , M i c h a e l d a r l i n g . . .  MICHAEL.  I f o n l y the baby would come r i g h t now.  MAPLE. I t w i l l come soon e n o u g h . . . i n f a c t , I ' m g o i n g to c a l l M i c h a e l , a f t e r y o u . P l e a s e . . . r e c i t e some o f y o u r m a r v e l l o u s p o e t r y to me a g a i n , you l o v e l y hunk o f a m a n . . . MICHAEL. MAPLE. it  it  I'm being t o r t u r e d . . . W i t h d e s i r e , no d o u b t . Then why deny y o u r s e l f . . . O h . . . j u s t k i c k e d . . . H o w e x c i t i n g . F e e l i t . Can i t f e e l i t k i c k ?  MICHAEL. No! Leave me a l o n e ! (Jumps to h i s f e e t ) " T h i s pounding o f my h e a r t , what can i t b e . . . T ' s d e s i r e to have a son and l i v e with t h e e . . . " MAPLE. A h , you c u d d l y l i t t l e r a b b i t , I I ' v e always wanted to be a w i f e .  accept!  MICHAEL. I f o n l y I c o u l d s t a y here a l l my l i f e . . . W i t h j u s t my d a n d e l i o n s and my w i f e . . . MAPLE. I'M yours. (She g i v e s him a b e a r h u g , shed door r a t t l e s and George comes o u t w i t h a n o t h e r b o t t l e . ) GEORGE.  This i s i t , Michael.  (Cindy e n t e r s ,  eating  Where's C i n d y ?  lifesavers)  (Grace t r a i l s b e h i n d h e r )  -  35 -  CINDY.  I'm h e r e .  GEORGE.  Where d i d you go?  CINDY.  I was w a t c h i n g .  MICHAEL.  Put t h a t b o t t l e down, George.  GEORGE.  What do you mean?  I t o l d you to w a t c h . And I always come when you need me.  MICHAEL. I cannot a l l o w what you p l a n to do t o d a y . My c o n s c i e n c e and my h e a r t stand i n the way. (Stands i n f r o n t o f M a p l e ) GEORGE.  You know where Y o u ' l l be i n two m i n u t e s . . .  MICHAEL. Even t h a t i s b e t t e r t h a n what you p l a n t o d o . I n e v e r y p e r s o n ' s l i f e t h e r e ' s a moment o f s t r e n g t h . I ' v e reached m i n e . (Takes M a p l e ' s hand) MAPLE.  A r e we g e t t i n g m a r r i e d ?  ( C i n d y has snuck b e h i n d M i c h a e l and p i c k e d up h i s p o t . i t to_ George, s m i l i n g ) MICHAEL.  What's that?  GEORGE. Michael.  ( B a c k i n g towards shed)  MICHAEL.  ( G o i n g towards him)  gives  What have you g o t ?  ( L o o k i n g around)  I'm s o r r y t o have to do t h i s ,  Show...  GEORGE. ( U n l o c k i n g shed q u i c k l y ) come to y o u r s e n s e s . MICHAEL.  She  I ' l l g i v e them back when you  My d a n d e l i o n s . . . w h e r e are  they?  (George ducks i n t o s h e d , p u t s i n p o t , l o c k s up shed) Kidnapper! (Lunges a t him) MAPLE. o v e r me.  How e x c i t i n g .  It's  been so l o n g s i n c e men have f o u g h t  CINDY.  Do you want a  lifesaver?  GEORGE. ( P u l l i n g M i c h a e l away from the shed) I t ' s no u s e . T h e y ' r e s a f e . . . s o l o n g as you do as y o u ' r e t o l d . Once i t ' s o v e r you can have them b a c k . MICHAEL.  Please...have  p i t y . . . t h e y » r e n o t used to  CINDY. again!  ( P i c k i n g up b o t t l e and s h a k i n g i t )  MAPLE.  Goody!  It's  separation... t u r n on time  - 36 GRACE.  ( S t a r i n g a t Maple)  GEORGE.  Good g i r l .  I want more b a b i e s .  I t ' s time f o r a n o t h e r d r i n k o f D r . G e o r g e ' s D a n d e l i o n CINDY. wine... D r i n k t h i s wine and y o u ' l l sure f e e l f i n e . . . MICHAEL.  (Blubbering)  No...no...  MAPLE.  But w h a t ' s wrong w i t h M i c h a e l ?  GEORGE.  Absolutely nothing.  GRACE.  ( F o l l o w i n g Maple)  (Goes t o him)  I want b a b i e s !  L i k e you h a v e .  MAPLE. W e l l d e a r i e , y o u ' r e i n no c o n d i t i o n t o s t a r t now. Why d i d n ' t you t h i n k about i t t e n y e a r s ago? I t h i n k i t ' s c r i m i n a l the way some women renounce t h e i r n a t u r a l f u n c t i o n s . What do you t h i n k you were made f o r ? GRACE.  Grave d i g g i n g .  MAPLE. Look a t  I ' v e had t e n c h i l d r e n . yourself.  I t keeps me young and f i t .  CINDY. The f i r s t d r i n k goes to the b e a u t i f u l l a d y i n the f r o n t r o w . . . ( T o Maple) ( M i c h a e l makes t o r t u r e d n o i s e s , George c u r t a i l s him) MAPLE. I'll  You s w e e t h e a r t . (Takes b o t t l e , d r i n k s ) t r y anything o n c e . . . o r t w i c e . . . o r three t i m e s . . .  GRACE.  ( B a c k i n g away)  GEORGE.  How do you f e e l ?  MAPLE.  A b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g ' s happening.  GEORGE.  Yes?  MAPLE.  ( L e a p i n g up)  MICHAEL.  Dear M a p l e !  GEORGE.  Leave h e r a l o n e .  MAPLE.  Yaaaa-hoo!  GEORGE.  S h e ' s gone c r a z y .  No...Don't drink.  Whoooo...peeee!  This i s  (Begins  it!  to dance)  MAPLE. I l o v e to dance, I l o v e to prance I l o v e to t e a s e , I l o v e to p l e a s e . . .  -  37 -  MICHAEL.  T h a t ' s n o t good f o r the bahy.  L e t me s t o p h e r .  GEORGE.  I wonder i f I u s e d too much b a k i n g soda?  MAPLE. I l o v e to s p i n , I l o v e to r o c k , I l o v e to do i t round the c l o c k . . . GEORGE.  S h e ' s r u i n i n g my g r a s s , but I c a n ' t s t o p h e r now.  MAPLE.  When you see them shake, you know t h e y ' r e n o t  MICHAEL.  S h e ' l l hurt  GEORGE.  Any minute now!  fake...  herself!  MAPEL. ( S t o p s dead, s o l e m l y ) have f a i t h and t o w a i t . . . MICHAEL.  Unbelievable.  GEORGE.  Her m i n d ' s u n h i n g e d .  And s o , I a p p e a l to you a l l , to  It's  bound to be an improvement.  MAPLE. I must ask f o r a b s o l u t e s i l e n c e . J e s u s w i l l come. Salvation i s near. But o n l y f o r those who are r i g h t e o u s . . . o n l y f o r the a b s t a i n e r s , o n l y f o r those who have renounced t h e i r e v i l ways and the p l e a s u r e s o f the f l e s h . MICHAEL.  What w i l l we do?  MAPLE. Silence! I am s p e a k i n g o f r e l i g i o n . the g a t e s o f p a r a d i s e . (Crumples to the g r o u n d , l i e s  I am s p e a k i n g o f  still)  MICHAEL.  Have we k i l l e d h e r a g a i n !  GEORGE.  A second f a i l u r e .  MICHAEL.  Maple...dear...speak  MAPLE.  What happened?  MICHAEL.  You f e l l .  Back to the l a b o r a t o r y . to m e . . . ( M a p l e  stretches)  I ' m so g l a d y o u ' r e a l l r i g h t .  MAPLE. I c a n ' t remember a t h i n g . ( G e t t i n g up) I ' m so u n c o m f o r t a b l e . When the h e l l i s t h i s baby g o i n g to come! GEORGE.  I ' v e been a s k i n g m y s e l f the same q u e s t i o n .  CINDY. The t h i r d time w i l l have to be l u c k y . the s u l p h u r . GEORGE.  Do you t h i n k t h a t ' s  CINDY.  Must b e .  it?  And I ' l l buy my s u c k e r s  too.  L e t me go f o r  - 38 GRACE.  I d o n ' t want you t o g o .  MICHAEL.  (To Maple)  I ' m so g l a d y o u ' r e a l l r i g h t .  MAPLE. Of course I ' m a l l r i g h t , s i l l y . the s t r e e t s , c h i l d . . . GEORGE. Be back i n t e n m i n u t e s . who you work f o r .  Watch x^hen you c r o s s  ( G i v i n g C i n d y money)  CINDY.  Okay.  Goodbye, mommy.  MAPLE.  D a r l i n g c h i l d . . . d o n ' t t a l k to s t r a n g e r s n o w . . .  GRACE.  D o n ' t go!  MICHAEL.  W i l l Grace be a l l r i g h t ?  GEORGE.  She w o n ' t go  MAPLE. men.  Too b a d .  MICHAEL.  Please...George...give  GEORGE.  After.  Remember  (Kisses Maple)  (Howls and goes a f t e r C i n d y )  far.  It's  so n i c e b e i n g a l o n e w i t h my two f a v o u r i t e me back my p o t .  I ' m n o t happy w i t h y o u r c o n d u c t .  MICHAEL. But you d o n ' t u n d e r s t a n d . When t h e y ' r e o u t o f my s i g h t have h o t f l a s h e s , I f e e l f a i n t . . . m y l i f e b l o o d d r a i n s away. MAPLE.  M i c h a e l , dear,  GEORGE.  I t ' s y o u r own f a u l t .  MAPLE.  I ' m a pushover f o r men i n c o n t r o l . . . ( G o e s t o George)  those are sure s i g n s o f l o v e . . . Toe the l i n e now, and I ' l l r e c o n s i d e r . . ,  MICHAEL. S t a y away from h i m . " J e a l o u s y i s something I n e v e r knew But I f e e l the pangs now t h a t I have met y o u . " MAPLE.  (Touched)  Ahhh.  GEORGE. I thought you were my p e r f e c t p a r t n e r . down b a d l y , George.  Y o u ' v e l e t me  (The n o i s e a g a i n , v e r y l o u d t h i s time) MICHAEL.  It's  the end o f the w o r l d !  GEORGE.  Almost h e r e !  MAPLE.  Not t h a t again1  (They h u d d l e t o g e t h e r .  I  Grace r u s h e s i n and h u d d l e s w i t h them t o o )  GRACE.  H e l p me, George.  P r o t e c t me.  GEORGE.  There...there...  MICHAEL.  W i l l i t never stop!  (Noise stops) At  last!  GEORGE.  But t h e y ' r e a l l around u s now.  ( C i n d y e n t e r s , l i c k i n g a p o p s y c l e and c a r r y i n g a bag) CINDY.  I'm back.  GEORGE.  What was i t ?  CINDY.  What?  MICHAEL.  You d i d n ' t h e a r a n y t h i n g ?  CINDY.  J u s t the u s u a l t h i n g s .  MAPLE.  You must have h e a r d .  CINDY.  H e r e ' s the s u l p h u r .  GEORGE. Ahhh. (Examines bag)  Good.  GRACE.  My b a b y ' s  back.  CINDY.  Yes...mommy.  MAPLE. alone...  Georgie, I wish you'd t e l l  MICHAEL.  Please...George...open that  GEORGE.  J u s t r i g h t . . . t h i s w i l l do. i t .  ( L e a d i n g h e r o f f t o the s i d e ) t h a t covr t o l e a v e my c h i l d shed...  ( C i n d y has p o i n t e d something o u t to G r a c e , she l o o k s o u t , GRACE.  Oh l o o k !  (She  GEORGE.  W h a t ' s she l o o k i n g  MICHAEL.  Please...George...the  GEORGE.  I think i t ' s another s i g n .  exits) at? key...  I l o v e to watch George chop up s i g n s . MAPLE. men a r e my weakness. MICHAEL.  excited)  I c a n ' t stand i t !  Strong, energetic  GEORGE.  N e i t h e r can I!  She's b r i n g i n g i t here!  MAPLE.  Can I get you the a x e ,  MICHAEL.  No v i o l e n c e !  GRACE. (Entering with sign) Por my v e r y own g r a v e . GEORGE.  The a x e ,  the  MICHAEL.  No you d o n ' t .  muscles?  The b i g g e s t tombstone o f a l l .  axe!  (Maple g i v e s George the a x e , he pushes M i c h a e l a s i d e and g r a b s s i g n from Grace) GRACE.  Let,  (George s t a r t s  let  go!  chopping)  MAPLE. Such s t r e n g t h ! I f he a t t a c k s a wooden s i g n t h a t way, what c o u l d he do to a woman! GRACE.  No, my m a r k e r !  (Cindy s i t s , l i c k i n g p o p s i c l e and w a t c h i n g ) T h a t ' s r i g h t , George. H i t i t ! MAPLE. I t was good. Do i t a g a i n , do i t a g a i n ! Over a l r e a d y ? What a p i t y . T h e r e ' s no time to  Oh...I felt  GEORGE.  (Exhausted)  MAPLE.  L o v e l y . . . I adore d e s p a r a t e b r o o d i n g m e n . . .  that!  lose...  "Oh f i c k l e woman, what a s o u l i s t h i n e . MICHAEL. To p r e t e n d l o v e f o r h i m when thou a r t m i n e . " CINDY.  You're r i g h t ,  George.  GEORGE.  I know, I know.  CINDY.  T h i s time w i l l do i t ,  MICHAEL.  You w o u l d n ' t t r y a g a i n !  GEORGE.  Remember y o u r d a n d e l i o n s , M i c h a e l ?  MICHAEL.  You w o u l d n ' t h u r t them!  GEORGE.  I ' d do a n y t h i n g i f c r o s s e d .  MAPLE.  He goes i n t h e r e so much.  T h i s time d o n ' t l e a v e .  I need y o u .  George...  (Enters  shed)  Do you t h i n k t h a t ' s  (Weeping o v e r the p i e c e s o f the s i g n ) GRACE. Destroyed...  wise?  He d i d i t  again.  - 41 MICHAEL.  H u s h , G r a c e . . . i t ' l l be a l l r i g h t .  CINDY.  Will  MICHAEL.  What do you mean?  CINDY.  How do you know what h e ' s d o i n g t o y o u r f l o w e r s i n t h e r e ?  MICHAEL.  He w o u l d n ' t harm t h e m . . . h e l o v e s them t o o . . .  CINDY. others.,  He c o u l d be making wine o u t o f t h e m . . . l i k e w i t h a l l the  MICHAEL.  No!  it?  MAPLE. (Watching Grace) wave, dear?  When i s the l a s t time you had a body  CINDY.  I f I were y o u , I ' d get my pot  MICHAEL.  But  back.  how...how...?  CINDY. And I ' d a l s o s w i t c h b o t t l e s the wrong s t u f f . . .  so t h a t Maple d o e s n ' t d r i n k  You d o n ' t want a n y t h i n g t o happen to h e r baby do you? MICHAEL.  No, I d o n ' t !  MAPLE.  What k i n d o f t o o t h p a s t e do you u s e ?  CINDY.  I can h e l p y o u .  MICHAEL.  Can you?  CINDY.  Sure.  MAPLE.  You r e a l l y s h o u l d u p d a t e y o u r grooming h a b i t s .  GRACE.  Yes,  MICHAEL.  How?  CINDY.  I have an e x t r a k e y . . . s e e ?  MICHAEL.  G i v e i t to me.  CINDY.  Have you g o t any candy?  MICHAEL.  No...  CINDY.  G i v e me some money f o r candy t h e n .  MICHAEL.  Here...here...  CINDY.  Okay.  George.  ( G i v e s h i m the key)  (Shows h i m key)  - 42 MAPLE. I t ' s i m p o s s i b l e t o c a r r y on a c i v i l i z e d w i t h t h a t woman! MICHAEL.  I ' v e got i t !  CINDY.  You sure h a v e .  conversation  (George comes o u t o f shed) GEORGE.  Ready a t l a s t !  MICHAEL.  Wait!  GEORGE.  You a g a i n .  Are you r e a d y , Maple?  MICHAEL. I t ' s not t h a t . . . I ' m on y o u r s i d e . . . I t ' s j u s t Maple has something t o t e l l you f i r s t . . .  that...  GEORGE.  Well?  (To M a p l e )  MAPLE.  What am I supposed to t e l l h i m , M i c h a e l ?  MICHAEL.  Use y o u r i m a g i n a t i o n .  GEORGE.  Time i s o f the e s s e n c e .  MAPLE. why...  G e o r g i e . . . y o u ' v e been a v o i d i n g me l a t e l y . . . I must know  Please...  ( C i n d y q u i e t l y l e a v e s . . . M i c h a e l s t a r t s s n e a k i n g up to shed) GEORGE.  Keep y o u r d i s t a n c e .  ( M i c h a e l s l e a t h i l y u n l o c k s shed d o o r , s l i p s GRACE. Look,  (Tugging a t h i s s l e e v e ) ( S h e has seen M i c h a e l ) George...George...  GEORGE. time to MAPLE. on.  in)  Quiet Grace (To Maple) lose.  What do you want?  Y o u ' r e such a c r u e l man. But you d o .  GEORGE.  (Darkly)  Is that  GRACE.  George...your shed...look,  I d o n ' t know why you t u r n me  all? George.  ( M i c h a e l comes out o f shed w i t h h i s p o t , l o c k s  door.)  GEORGE.  Speaking o f t u r n i n g o n . . .  MAPLE.  I adore d i f f i c u l t  men...  GEORGE.  It's  M i c h a e l , where a r e you?  time a g a i n .  We have no  - 43 ( M i c h a e l has h i d d e n h i s pot b e h i n d the s h e d , comes o u t ) MICHAEL.  H e r e , George.  GEORGE.  What a r e you d o i n g ?  MICHAEL.  Mourning my d a n d e l i o n s . . .  GEORGE.  This i s i t , M i c h a e l .  GRACE.  (To M i c h a e l )  MICHAEL.  Shhh.  GRACE.  I saw y o u .  MAPLE.  I want a w h i t e wedding, M i c h a e l , w i t h a l l the  (Goes i n t o s h e d , b r i n g s out  You went i n G e o r g e ' s s h e d .  MICHAEL. I ' v e saved y o u , my s w e e t . . . " I ' v e r i s k e d my l i f e f o r you I ' d do i t a g a i n F o r you I ' d s u f f e r a l l h a r d s h i p s and a l l p a i n . . . " GEORGE.  Okay, M a p l e , t h i s i s i t .  MAPLE.  Do I have to a g a i n ?  MICHAEL.  Go ahead, d e a r , t h i s s t u f f ' s  GEORGE.  (To M i c h a e l )  Drink. MAPLE. GEORGE. MAPLE.  (Drinks)  bottle)  Drink.  okay.  T h a t ' s more l i k e i t I  Ugh...tastes h o r r i b l e . . .  Drink again. Tyrant...  I don't drink that. GRACE.You s h o u l d n ' t d r i n k t h a t . MICHAEL.  W u i e t , G r a c e . . . I t ' l l be a l l  GEORGE.  W e l l , how do you f e e l ?  MAPLE.  I ' m d i z z y . . . o h my!  GEORGE.  It's  MICHAEL.  N o t h i n g can be  MAPLE.  I ' m b u r n i n g . . . I ' m on  GEORGE.  Promising symptoms...  (Reels)  happening. happening. fire...  right.,  trimmings.  - 44 MICHAEL.  It can't  be.  MAPLE. I t h i n k my b a b y ' s g o i n g to c o m e . . . O h , I c a n ' t move my l e g s . . . ( S i t t i n g down) MICHAEL.  A r e you a l l r i g h t ?  GEORGE.  It'll  GRACE.  Yes...I'll  be o v e r s o o n .  Grace i s a good m i d w i f e . . .  help...  MAPLE. I have t e n f i n e c h i l d r e n . Soon I ' l l have e l e v e n . Then I can s t a r t i n on the t w e l t h . D o n ' t l e a v e me. I ' m not o l d y e t . I'm s t i l l b e a u t i f u l . I know how t o p l e a s e . . . T e l l me you want m e . . . GEORGE.  H e l p me get h e r b e h i n d t h e ' shed,  MICHAEL.  My d e a r e s t , a r e you a l l r i g h t . . . O h  (They c a r r y h e r  Michael... dear...  off)  MAPLE.  T e l l me you l o v e me...Ohhh1  GRACE.  More b a b i e s  GEORGE.  (From o f f s t a g e )  gone... G r a c e , come and h e l p .  GRACE. I w o n • t h e l p . . . ( P i c k s up the pot o f d a n d e l i o n s b e h i n d the s h e d . . . ) Pretty...pretty flowers... Pretty...pretty...babies... A l l dead. (Cradles pot) (Maple screams) GEORGE.  I t worked!  MICHAEL. N o . . . i t c a n ' t h a v e . . . I changed b o t t l e s . . . i t has t o be all right... GEORGE.  Success a t  MICHAEL.  I did i t !  last! I did i t !  Oh my G o d . . .  GRACE. "Rockabye baby on the t r e e t o p . . . When the bow b r e a k s the c r a d l e w i l l r o c k . . . ( R o c k i n g pot i n h e r arms) GEORGE.  Grace...come h e r e . . • ( E n t e r s )  G r a c e , g i v e those t o me!  GRACE. ( B a c k i n g away) "When the bow b r e a k s and down w i l l f a l l baby, c r a d l e and a l l . . . "  the c r a d l e w i l l  fall  - 45  -  GEORGE. M i c h a e l , come and h e l p me, s h e ' s got y o u r b o m b . . . G r a c e . . . g i v e i t t o me...come on now, G r a c e . . . (Grace backs b e h i n d shed) M i c h a e l h e l p me!  Grace...watch out!  Michael!  GRACE.  (Repeating)  Down w i l l f a l l  baby...down...  GEORGE.  H o . . . G r a c e . . . d o n ' t drop i t . . . !  (They are b o t h b e h i n d s h e d . . . s o u n d o f p o t b r e a k i n g , and t h e n explosion...shed collapses) SILENCE. STAGE I S FULL OF DEBRIS AND GARBAGE. CINDY SKIPS ONSTAGE WITH FOR SALE SIGN, PLACES IT IN CENTRE STAGE AND SKIPS OUT.  ONE  SPRING  MORNING  a one-act play  C H A R A C T E R S MAN, about 40 - c o n v e n t i o n a l GIRL, about 10 OLD LADY  YOUNG WOMAN, (20)  THE TIME:  THE PLACE:  The p r e s e n t .  Bus Stop o n the edge o f the f o r e s t .  dress  - 1 SETTING:  Bare s t a g e .  A bench.  (Man s i t s on bench r e a d i n g a newspaper. A f t e r a s h o r t time an o l d l a d y h o b b l e s i n . He d o e s n 1 t l o o k u p . She comes o v e r and s t a r e s down on h i m . ) OLD LADY. MAN.  Young man, i s t h e r e no room f o r me?  Beg y o u r p a r d o n . didn't hear.  (Moves o v e r w i t h o u t l o o k i n g u p . )  OLD LADY.  (Sitting)  Of c o u r s e you d i d .  MAN.  (Reading)  Sorry.  Are you d e a f ?  OLD LADY. I d o n ' t b e l i e v e y o u , young man. i s t h a t bus?  (He r e a d s )  MAN.  D o n ' t know.  OLD LADY.  Why n o t ?  MAN.  Never w a i t e d h e r e b e f o r e ,  OLD LADY.  Nonsense.  MAN.  Not h e r e ,  OLD LADY.  Where?  MAN.  Somewhere  OLD LADY.  How l o n g d i d you have to w a i t t h e r e ?  MAN.  I t was f o r a d i f f e r e n t  Where  lady.  You must have w a i t e d  somewhere.  lady.  else.  bus.  OLD LADY. How a b s u r d . (Silence) T h i s i s i n t o l e r a b l e . Young hooligans. No r e s p e c t . T a l k i n r i d d l e s . . . N e v e r l i s t e n . . . . D o n ' t c a r e . . . Y o u n g manJ MAN.  Yes?  OLD LADY.  How l o n g have you been w a i t i n g ?  MAN.  Pew m i n u t e s .  OLD LADY. T h a t ' s n o t much h e l p t h e n , i s i t ? (Silence) Is i t ? I n my day, a gentleman would n e v e r r e a d i n f r o n t o f a l a d y . MAN.  (Lowering paper) Lady, there are a l o t o f t h i n g s gentlemen a r e now p e r m i t t e d t o do i n f r o n t o f l a d i e s .  OLD LADY.  What do you mean by t h a t ?  MAN.  Would you l i k e t o l o o k a t a s e c t i o n o f my paper?  - 2 OLD LADY.  I c e r t a i n l y would n o t !  MAN.  Do you mind i f I read?  OLD LADY.  I c e r t a i n l y do m i n d !  MAN.  Excuse me, t h e n .  OLD LADY.  And j u s t what do y o u t h i n k y o u ' r e d o i n g !  MAN.  Good-day, ma'am.  OLD LADY.  Where a r e you g o i n g !  MAN.  Good-bye.  It's  j u s t what  I ' v e been s a y i n g .  (Rising)  OLD LADY. You'd leave a defenseless l a d y alone i n a place l i k e this? (No a n s w e r . ) A d e s e r t e d p l a c e l i k e t h i s . And a t t h i s u n s a f e time o f d a y . . . A n d i n the S p r i n g ! MAN.  Lady, y o u ' r e  safe.  OLD LADY. Y o u ' l l be s o r r y i f you l e a v e me h e r e . A l o n e . Common c o u r t e s y demands t h a t you s t a y . Respect f o r the e l d e r l y . (He has gone. She b r e a k s o f f , stands up and watches h i m , t h e n hobbles o f f , c a c k l i n g . ) (The man r e t u r n s t o t h e bench from the o t h e r s i d e . He l o o k s a r o u n d , sees he i s a l o n e , and s e t t l e s c o m f o r t a b l y on i t . Opens h i s paper. Reads.) (A young g i r l e n t e r s s k i p p i n g LITTLE G I R L .  Hi mister!  MAN.  (Annoyed)  LITTLE G I R L .  W a i t i n g f o r a bus?  MAN.  Yes.  LITTLE G I R L .  Here?  MAN.  Yes.  Hmm.  LITTLE G I R L . Are you s u r e y o u ' r e r i g h t bus a t the r i g h t time? MAN.  Yes.  LITTLE G I R L . Are you g o i n g t o w o r k , so e a r l y i n t h e morning? Are y o u g o i n g to w o r k , so e a r l y i n the morning? ( S i n g s and s t a r t s s k i p p i n g around the bench) I t ' s m o r n i n g , i t ' s m o r n i n g , and everyone i s s n o r i n g . . . A r e you g o i n g t o work? Yes you a r e , n o , you're n o t . . . Y o u are...you a r e n ' t . . . y o u are...you a r e n ' t . . . y o u are...you aren't... MAN.  I am.  Be q u i e t .  LITTLE G I R L . Why? Why? Why? (He i g n o r e s h e r . SHE f l i c k s h e r rope a t h i s p a p e r . He j u m p s . ) Why, huh m i s t e r ? Why? MAN.  What the h e l l !  LITTLE G I R L .  Awww.  MAN.  (Studying her)  Brat!  What d i d you do t h a t  for?  D o n ' t be mad, m i s t e r . I t h i n k I j u s t met y o u r grandmother.  LITTLE G I R L . "Roses a r e r e d , v i o l e t s a r e b l u e . . . When I grow u p , I w o n ' t be l i k e y o u . . . " MAN.  Go home.  LITTLE G I R L .  I ' l l t e l l my grandmother.  MAN.  Schooo.  LITTLE G I R L . I d o n ' t want t o . "Roses a r e r e d , v i o l e t s are p u r p l e . . . Y o u l o o k l i k e a mashed up old gurple..." MAN.  Good G o d . . . c a n a p e r s o n have no peace any m o r e . . . !  LITTLE G I R L . D o n ' t make me go home. gurple...(giggling). MAN.  J u s t l e a v e me a l o n e .  LITTLE G I R L .  OK.  You d o n ' t r e a l l y l o o k l i k e That's a l l I  a  ask.  (He s t a r t s t o r e a d a g a i n . She watches h i m f o r a w h i l e s m i l i n g . ) But the bus w o n ' t come you know. "Roses a r e r e d , and s k i e s a r e b l u e . . . " The bus w o n ' t come, and the g r a s s w i l l grow a l l o v e r y o u . . . (She b e g i n s to s k i p , f a s t e r and f a s t e r . ) "Roses a r e r e d , and h o r s e s a r e brown, You l o o k funny when you f r o w n . . "Roses a r e r e d , d a n d e l i o n s a r e y e l l o w . . . You s u r e are a funny o l d f e l l o w . . . " MAN.  P o r C h r i s s a k e , shut u p !  LITTLE GIRL.  Don't y e l l . . .  MAN.  (Rising)  LITTLE G I R L .  D o n ' t chase me away.  MAN.  Five seconds...  Scram!  LITTLE G I R L . ( B a c k i n g away) teacher... MAN.  Three...!  I ' l l c a l l the p o l i c e . . . I ' l l t e l l my  LITTLE G I R L . (Crying)  Not I ' m b r i n g i n g my daddy b a c k . I ' l l t e l l them!  MAN.  D o n ' t be s i l l y . . . c a l m d o w n . . .  T h i s i s my p l a c e .  LITTLE G I R L . You s c a r e d me a w a y . . . Y o u s a i d bad t h i n g s . . . Y o u h u r t (Sobbing) MAN.  me...  What do you mean? W a i t a m i n u t e . (She has gone) L i s t e n to t h a t r a c k e t . My God! T h a t ' s a l l I n e e d . I ' l l be l y n c h e d by the whole n e i g h b o u r h o o d . ( H u r r i e d l y g e t s up) (Leaves.) This i s getting r i d i c u l o u s . (After he's  gone.  Little girl's  s o b b i n g o f f s t a g e t u r n s to  (Man e n t e r s a g a i n from o t h e r s i d e .  __i_h."5  giggling.)  S i t s down on bench w i t h a  A h . . . I thought I ' d n e v e r f i n d i t . (Opening paper) Should be n i c e and q u i e t h e r e . time to f i n i s h my p a p e r . (Reads.)  Secluded.  Just  (Young woman e n t e r s , q u i e t l y . She i s f r e s h and p r e t t y , he d o e s n ' t notice. She s t a n d s b e s i d e him.") GIRL.  Hello.  MAN.  (Jumps.)  GIRL.  D i d I s t a r t l e you?  MAN.  A little.  GIRL.  (After a while)  MAN.  Of c o u r s e .  GIRL.  room?  Good  grief!  (Returns  ( S i t t i n g down)  to h i s p a p e r )  May I s i t  down?  Gould I t r o u b l e you f o r a l i t t l e more  MAN.  What?  GIRL.  More room.  MAN.  Oh  GIRL.  Thank y o u .  (Pause)  MAN.  Seems l i k e  forever.  GIRL.  How l o n g ?  MAN.  5-10  (Moves o v e r , d o e s n ' t l o o k up)  minutes.  Have you been w a i t i n g l o n g ?  GIRL.  T h a t ' s n o t l o n g . I t c o u l d be a l o n g w a i t . I t ' s s t i l l so e a r l y , and i t ' s s t i l l s p r i n g . (Silence) So I hope y o u ' r e n o t i n a h u r r y . I hope y o u ' r e a p a t i e n t man. Because n o t many p e o p l e use t h i s s t o p . Y o u ' r e g o i n g to need p a t i e n c e . But t h e n , you d o n ' t l o o k l i k e y o u ' r e i n a h u r r y a n y w a y . . . r e a d i n g y o u r paper l i k e t h a t . . . A r e you i n a h u r r y ? (No answer; Are y o u a p a t i e n t man? (No answer) Do y o u l i k e me?  MAN.  What I  GIRL.  I s y o u r paper  MAN.  I must have been h e a r i n g t h i n g s .  GIRL.  What a r e you  MAN.  Nothing i n p a r t i c u l a r .  GIRL.  But what?  MAN.  paper.  GIRL. MAN.  interesting?  reading?  A t t h i s time i n the m o r n i n g I have always f i n i s h e d my A l w a y s . That w i l l teach me t o t r y a new bus r o u t e . You w o n ' t be s o r r y .  paper.  This i s a beautiful  I ' v e n e v e r met such f e m a l e s !  route.  P l e a s e have some o f my  GIRL.  I ' d much r a t h e r you put i t down.  MAN.  You d o n ' t have t h a t r i g h t 1  GIRL.  Why n o t ?  MAN.  (Reading a g a i n )  T h i s i s my p a p e r . T h i s i s my b e n c h . These are my e y e s . I l i k e r e a d i n g the p a p e r . I ' m g o i n g to r e a d t h e p a p e r . N o w . . . i f you d o n ' t m i n d . . .  GIRL.  But I d o .  I s a i d . . . I do m i n d . . .  MAN.  I heard you.  GIRL.  Well?  MAN.  W e l l what?  GIRL.  Why d o n ' t y o u put i t down.  MAN.  And do what, m i s s ?  GIRL.  T a l k t o me, o f c o u r s e .  MAN.  What i f I d o n ' t want to do both?  It's  i m p o s s i b l e t o do b o t h .  GIRL.  MAN.  I knew you d i d n ' t r e a l l y want to r e a d the p a p e r . ( T a k i n g o f f h i s g l a s s e s ) Y o u ' l l r u i n y o u r e y e s . What s i l l y o l d g l a s s e s . O h . . . w h a t l o v e l y eyes you h a v e . You s h o u l d n e v e r a g a i n h i d e them i n a newspaper. You c o u l d d a z z l e the w o r l d w i t h them. his  Good God! pocket.)  ( G r a b b i n g h i s g l a s s e s and p u t t i n g them i n  GIRL.  What are you d o i n g ?  MAN.  (Rising)  GIRL. (Silence)  L o o k i n g f o r the b u s .  Then you must be i n a h u r r y a f t e r a l l . No bus?  What a p i t y .  MAN.  No.  GIRL.  Are you g o i n g to s t a n d t h e r e and  MAN.  Probably.  GIRL.  Do I f r i g h t e n you?  MAN.  D o n ' t be  GIRL.  Why d o n ' t you come back and s i t down then?  MAN.  Leave me a l o n e , damn i t l  GIRL.  silly!  Why snap a t me j u s t because y o u ' r e i n a h u r r y and the bus w o n ' t come?  MAN.  I wasn't snapping.  GIRL.  Oh good.  MAN.  I am r e l a x e d !  GIRL.  You seem v e r y s t i f f t o me.  MAN.  I wasn't hearing things!  GIRL.  D o n ' t you?  MAN.  vait?  And I'm n o t i n a h u r r y .  Then you can r e l a x .  D o n ' t you l i k e me?  W h a t ' s l i k i n g y o u got t o do w i t h a n y t h i n g ? a p e r f e c t s t r a n g e r and she a s k s do I l i k e h e r !  GIRL.  A t l e a s t you t h i n k I ' m p e r f e c t .  MAN.  I can't believe i t .  GIRL.  I ' m o n l y t r y i n g to be n i c e .  MAN.  Why?  Good God;  - 7 GIRL.  Why n o t ? Here we b o t h a r e . . . a l l a l o n e . . . w a i t i n g f o r a bus t h a t may n o t come f o r a g e s . S h o u l d we spend a l l t h a t time p r e t e n d i n g we d o n ' t n o t i c e each o t h e r ? Don't you t h i n k t h a t would be phoney and awkward?  MAN.  T h a t ' s what p e o p l e do e v e r y d a y .  GIRL.  Why?  MAN.  I f people wanted to do i t , t h e y w o u l d . F o r y o u r i n f o r m a t i o n most o f us are j u s t n o t i n t e r e s t e d i n t a l k i n g to a l l the s t r a n g e r s we r u n up a g a i n s t .  GIRL. MAN.  ( S i t t i n g down)  Do you c l a s s i f y y o u r s e l f w i t h the masses? You mean to t e l l me t h a t you t a l k to everyone y o u meet? I f I was a d r u n k a r d s i t t i n g h e r e . . . a l l c o v e r e d i n s o r e s and v o m i t . . . w o u l d you s i t down b e s i d e me, s t a r t up a c o n v e r s a t i o n ? Ask i f I l i k e d you?  GIRL.  But y o u ' r e n o t ! .  MAN.  T h a t ' s n o t the p o i n t . You s a i d t h a t you t h i n k everyone s h o u l d t a l k t o everyone e l s e , and I was t r y i n g to p o i n t o u t to you that....oh hell. This i s r i d i c u l o u s !  GIRL.  (Taking o f f h i s hat) Such a s i l l y h a t . You l o o k l i k e such a fuddy duddy. T h e r e . Look a t y o u r f a n t a s t i c c u r l y h a i r . I t l o o k s so s o f t . I bet l o t s o f women have p l a y e d w i t h t h a t h a i r !  MAN.  My God!  GIRL.  You must know y o u have w o n d e r f u l h a i r .  MAN.  Young l a d y . A l l I want to do i s be l e f t i n p e a c e . If you want to t a l k to s t r a n g e r s and shock people and upend the o l d c o n v e n t i o n s , I ' d suggest you t r y a n o t h e r s t r a n g e r a t a n o t h e r bus s t o p . T h i s s o r t o f t h i n g d o e s n ' t i n t e r e s t me i n the l e a s t .  GIRL. MAN.  What s o r t o f i t on h i s  thing?  You know what I mean. lap.)  ( R e t r i e v i n g h i s h a t , but l e a v i n g  GIRL.  But t h e r e a r e no o t h e r bus s t o p s l i k e t h i s . . . a n d a r e no o t h e r s t r a n g e r s l i k e y o u .  MAN.  Are you t r y i n g to p i c k me up? (Looks a t h e r o l o s e l y f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e , s t a r t s . ) Good g r i e f , have you got a l i t t l e s i s t e r ?  GIRL. MAN.  I ' d l i k e to get of t h i s .  there  to know y o u .  But I d o n ' t want y o u to get to know me. (Rising)  I don't  approve  GIRL.  You're not  MAN.  Unfortunately, yes.  GIRL.  I ' m n o t d r i v i n g you away am I ?  MAN.  leaving?  Thanks anyway, (On the p o i n t o f g o i n g )  Again.  It is flattering i f  GIRL.  B e s i d e s . . . t h e r e • s no o t h e r bus  MAN.  (Returning)  GIRL.  ( P a t t i n g the s e a t b e s i d e h e r )  MAN.  No  GIRL.  End o f the  MAN.  I don't  GIRL. MAN. GIRL. MAN.  I want you to  What? No more bus  stops.  more....? line.  understand.  T h e r e ' s n o t h i n g beyond t h i s . No bus s t o p s . No b u s e s . Just t h i s .  No body to c a t c h any b u s e s .  The...last...? Or the f i r s t , i f you l i k e .  Come and s i t down.  I d i d n ' t r e a l i z e I ' d come so f a r . bus comes h e r e ? E v e n t u a l l y . . . A r e you g o i n g to s t a y ?  MAN.  Do I have any c h o i c e ?  GIRL.  You a l w a y s have a c h o i c e .  GIRL.  unrespectable...  stops.  GIRL.  MAN.  stay.  A r e you sure the  ( R e t u r n i n g ) Young l a d y , i f you were my d a u g h t e r . . . I would have taught you the c o r r e c t b e h a v i o u r . You c o u l d n e v e r have a daughter my age.  MAN.  ( S i t t i n g down) o c c u r e d to you?  GIRL.  You mean am I a f r a i d o f g e t t i n g k i d n a p p e d o r r a p e d o r murdered o r robbed o r something?  MAN. GIRL.  Have the dangers o f t h i s h a b i t n e v e r  Or m i s t a k e n . . . f o r something y o u ' r e  not...  You mean f o r a l a d y o f the s t r e e t s ? (He nods) It's what might happen to me i f I d o n ' t speak t o s t r a n g e r s t h a t s h o u l d c o n c e r n y o u . Imagine g o i n g through l i f e r u b b i n g h i p s and elbows and n e v e r s p e a k i n g . A l l the n i c e p e o p l e I ' d n e v e r know.  - 9 MAN.  And the ones t h a t a r e n ' t  GIRL.  I d o n ' t know any o f  MAN.  those.  Then y o u ' v e been l u c k y . them a r o u n d , young l a d y .  GIRL.  Elsie.  MAN.  What?  GIRL.  My name i s  so n i c e . . .  B e l i e v e me, t h e r e ' s l o t s  of  Elsie.  MAN.  There you g o . bad i m p r e s s i o n .  GIRL.  Then d o n ' t c a l l me young l a d y so p a t r o n i z i n g l y , as i f you were e v e r so much o l d e r and w i s e r .  MAN.  A r e n ' t I?  GIRL.  Not a b i t .  MAN.  You s e e .  That s o r t o f approach g i v e s a  (Laughing) I bet you t h i n k l i f e ' s a r a i n b o w . . . f u l l o f sugar and s p i c e and a d v e n t u r e . . .  GIRL.  And I ' l l b e t l i f e has d i s a p p o i n t e d y o u .  MAN.  E l s i e , I ' m 40,  GIRL.  And?  MAN.  T h a t ' s a l l t h e r e i s to i t .  GIRL.  I t d o e s n ' t have  MAN.  I w i s h you were r i g h t .  GIRL.  You're married?  MAN.  is  it?  (Gently)  y o u ' r e p r o b a b l y n o t 20...  to. But y o u ' r e n o t .  T h a t ' s n o t r e a l l y any o f y o u r b u s i n e s s now,  GIRL.  You have a wedding r i n g .  MAN.  Yes.  GIRL.  It's  MAN.  I f you must k n o w , , . t w o .  GIRL.  MAN.  L i f e fades.  much too t i g h t .  Children?  D o n ' t you sometimes get y e a r n y f e e l i n g s ? Wish you c o u l d r u n away w i t h someone l i k e m e . . . i n t o an enchanted f o r e s t . . . l i k e t h i s one? Now t h a t ' s q u i t e  enough.  - 10 GIRL. MAN.  D o n ' t you want the f r e s h n e s s  back a g a i n ?  The p a s s i o n s ?  Y o u ' r e i m p o s s i b l e . I s h o u l d have known b e t t e r t h a n to have encouraged y o u . ( P i c k s up h_is p a p e r )  GIRL.  And so you s t i l l want to h i d e b e h i n d y o u r paper?  MAN.  I want to r e a d ,  GIRL.  A l l right.  yes.,...  ( S i l e n c e . He r e a d s . She watches h i m . A f t e r a w h i l e he becomes u n c o m f o r t a b l e . Looks u p . She i s s m i l i n g . ) MAN.  What are you s m i l i n g  GIRL.  Your stomach g r o w l e d .  MAN.  What a g i r l !  GIRL.  at? (Laughing)  (Laughing)  I t ' s f u n n y . T h i n k o f a l l the people a l l o v e r the w o r l d . . . i g n o r i n g each o t h e r . . . t h e i r stomaches f r i e n d l i e r t h a n t h e y a r e . . . g r o w l i n g a w a y . . . a n d everyone p r e t e n d i n g n o t to n o t i c e .  MAN.  You do have a way o f making t h i n g s seem r i d i c u l o u s .  GIRL.  Because t h e y a r e .  MAN.  it.  And y o u ' r e j u s t b e g i n n i n g to r e a l i z e  But w a i t a m i n u t e . . . S u p p o s e I ' m i n the h a b i t o f s p e a k i n g to everyone I m e e t . . . i n c l u d i n g l o t s o f p r e t t y young g i r l s l i k e you . . . g i r l s p a s s i n g me i n t h e s t r e e t . . . s h a r i n g my bus s t o p . . . i n c a f e s . . . i n t h e a t r e s . . . W h a t would happen? Would they b e l i e v e t h a t I j u s t wanted to be p l e a s a n t . . . s p r e a d good c h e e r and h a p p i n e s s ? No. Most o f them would i g n o r e m e . . . i n s u l t m e . . . o r even c o m p l a i n to someone. I would g e t thrown o u t o f c a f e s . . . k i c k e d o u t o f t h e a t r e s . . . c h a s e d away from my bus s t o p . Beat up and c a s t away by a n g r y husbands, b o y f r i e n d s , f a t h e r s . . . e v e n a r r e s t e d by the l a w . And j u s t suppose t h a t one o f these sweet young t h i n g s d o e s n ' t i g n o r e me o r g e t i n s u l t e d . Suppose she s m i l e d back a t me. What would I do then? S h e ' d e x p e c t me to p i c k h e r u p .  GIRL.  I d i d n ' t e x p e c t you to p i c k me u p .  MAN.  T h a t ' s because y o u ' r e d i f f e r e n t . . . i n n o c e n t . . . t r u s t i n g . . . But most o f them w o u l d , b e l i e v e me.  You're laughing again.  GIRL.  I t sounds l i k e y o u ' v e t r i e d i t .  MAN.  I n my younger d a y s , maybe.  GIRL.  B e f o r e you were m a r r i e d ?  MAN.  Yes.  GIRL.  And n o t once  since?  MAN.  And now you want to f i n d o u t about my l o v e l i f e ,  you  devil! GIRL.  This i s a l o v e l y place f o r make-believe, i s n ' t i t ? Why d o n ' t yon make b e l i e v e y o u ' r e b r i n g i n g me f l o w e r s because y o u ' r e madly i n l o v e w i t h me? I ' l l bet you c o u l d f i n d some back i n the t r e e s .  MAN.  That's  GIRL.  Why?  MAN.  Ridiculous.  GIRL.  You n e v e r know t i l l you t r y i t , and I b e t you n e v e r h a v e .  MAN.  T h a t ' d l o o k r e a l l y g r e a t i f the bus  GIRL.  I t won't.  MAN.  Never?  GIRL.  What do you t h i n k ?  MAN.  I t does seem an u n l i k e l y  GIRL.  Get me f l o w e r s .  MAN.  J u s t suppose I  GIRL.  Yes...?  MAN. GIRL. MAN. GIRL. MAN.  GIRL. MAN. GIRL.  crazy.  came.  spot...  did...  I went and got y o u f l o w e r s . . . a n d one o f my n e i g h b o u r s o r f r i e n d s walked b y . . . o r someone from the o f f i c e . . . So? And sees me on my knees p r e s e n t i n g f l o w e r s to a b e a u t i f u l young l a d y . . . Go o n . . . He t e l l s h i s f r i e n d s . The n e i g h b o u r s f i n d o u t . . . m y w i f e i s t o l d by a g o s s i p i n g f r i e n d . . . t h e s c e n e s . . . t h e f i g h t i n g . . . the d i r t y j o k e s . . . a n d a l l because o f a l i t t l e make b e l i e v e . . . T e l l me m o r e . . . She k i c k s me o u t . . . t h r o w s my s u i t c a s e a f t e r c h i l d r e n c a l l t h e i r daddy u n p r i n t a b l e n a m e s . . . Wow!  me...The  - 12 MAN.  GIRL.  I ' m w a n d e r i n g the s t r e e t s . . . p e n n i l e s s and unwanted. The o u t - r a g e d C h r i s t i a n s stone m e . . . t h e dogs chase me through the s t r e e t s . . . t h e o l d l a d i e s p o i n t a t me and b a t t e r me w i t h t h e i r c r u t c h e s . . . S t i l l . . . 1 manage to hang on to the f l o w e r s . . . I d i e w i t h them c l a s p e d to my h e a r t . . . m o a n i n g . . . " E l s i e my l o v e . . . " Fantastic!  MAN.  You see what can happen?  GIRL.  Y o u ' r e good.  MAN.  There a r e n ' t a n y , you h u s s y .  GIRL.  But y o u ' r e an  MAN.  I s t h a t one o v e r t h e r e ?  GIRL.  M i l l i o n s . . . f r e s h and b l o o m i n g .  MAN.  J u s t one?  GIRL.  Oh y e s . . . t h e r e d d e s t one.  Go f e t c h me a f l o w e r .  actor.  MAN.  ( P i c k s the i m a g i n a r y r o s e , on h i s knees ) Here you a r e , my d a r l i n g E l s i e . See what I have f o r y o u . I bought i t w i t h my l a s t penny. My c h i l d r e n h a v e n ' t e a t e n f o r t h r e e d a y s . . . t h e wind w h i s t l e s through the h o l e s i n the w a l l s . . . b u t what i s t h a t to me when I have you? H e y . . . w h a t ' s wrong? ( S h e ' s t u r n e d away from him) I s n ' t t h i s what you wanted?  GIRL.  A f t e r what y o u ' v e d o n e . . . d o back my l o v e ?  MAN.  What do you mean?  GIRL.  There can be no r e c o n c i l i a t i o n f o r u s .  MAN.  Oh H e c t o r , i s i t  MAN.  But t r u s t me, my d e a r e s t  GIRL.  A l l the s u f f e r i n g I ' v e  Oh...Harry...  MAN.  Esmerelda...  The  true? Rosaline.  gone t h r o u g h . . . o h my l o v e .  You s h o u l d n e v e r have doubted me. I ' v e ever l o v e d .  GIRL.  GIRL.  I saw you w i t h HER.  ( C a t c h i n g on) But d a r l i n g , i t ' s n o t what you t h i n k . g i r l you saw me k i s s i n g w a s . . . m y s i s t e r !  GIRL.  MAN.  you r e a l l y t h i n k you can buy  What l o v e l y f l o w e r s . . . f o r  me?  You are the o n l y one  MAW.  F o r g i v e my f o r w a r d n e s s .  GIRL.  You do j e p a r d i z e a young v i r g i n ' s h o n o r .  MAN.  Perhaps I ' v e been too  F o r g i v e m e . . . I c o u l d n o t h e l p i t . The minute I saw y o u r l o v e l y f a c e through the r o s e bushes i n y o u r g a r d e n . . . I l o s t c o n t r o l o f my s e n s e s . I must know y o u r name!  GIRL.  But I h a r d l y know y o u !  MAN.  (Getting up, brushing o f f h i s pants) us no\*, what would t h e y t h i n k ?  GIRL.  T h e y ' d t h i n k , "how s w e e t " .  MAN.  T h e y ' d t h i n k , "how n a s t y . t r y i n g to seduce t h a t young g i r l . "  GIRL. MAN. GIRL.  I f people c o u l d  Look a t t h a t d i s g u s t i n g man  But people have no i m a g i n a t i o n . we were p l a y i n g . mouth.  They w o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e  Of c o u r s e t h e y w o u l d . You have a w o n d e r f u l I c o u l d s i t and watch you t a l k f o r e v e r . A sensitive  GIRL.  Yes.  MAN.  No-one's ever s a i d that  GIRL.  I d o n ' t m i s s such  Few men h a v e . before.  things.  I ' m n o t u s e d to b e i n g f l a t t e r e d , gorgeous g i r l s .  e s p e c i a l l y by such  Do you r e a l l y t h i n k I ' m gorgeous?  MAN.  Do you r e a l l y t h i n k the bus may n e v e r come?  MAN. GIRL. MAN.  sensitive  mouth?  GIRL.  GIRL.  see  Everybody l i k e s p l a y i n g games.  MAN.  MAN.  bold?  I c e r t a i n l y have t h a t f e e l i n g , d o n ' t you? T e l l me how gorgeous I am a g a i n . I l o v e i t . You f l a t t e r me and I ' l l f l a t t e r y o u . I t ' s a game I l i k e . game.  Silly girl. It's  W i t h a n o t h e r man i t c o u l d be a dangerous  o n l y words.  Y o u ' r e too n i a v e . You d o n ' t know how dangerous the w o r l d is. S t i l l , i t ' s r e f r e s h i n g . . . " M y p u r e , u n t a i n t e d Madonna, you are too pure f o r t h i s f e s t e r i n g w o r l d . " I can s c a r c e l y b e a r the thought o f t h a t moment you w i l l l o s e y o u r i n n o c e n c e . . . a n d y e t . . .  - 14 GIRL.  Oh E d w a r d . . . t h e t h i n g s you a r e d o i n g to my poor h e a r t . . .  MAN.  R e v e a l y o u r a g o n i e s to me, my d e a r e s t . . .  GIRL.  T h a t ' s n o t what I had i n m i n d . . .  MAN.  Don't misunderstand.  GIRL.  Silly.  MAN.  I was too  GIRL.  Hammy.  MAN.  How s i n c e r e  GIRL.  Just...sincere...  MAN.  But would you take i t the way i t would be meant?  GIRL.  What way w o u l d t h a t  MAN.  You k n o w . . . i n f u n . . . i n n o c e n t l y . . .  GIRL.  What e l s e ?  MAN.  sincere...  theatrical?  then?  Y o u ' r e so i n n o c e n t . I was t r y i n g to make a p a s s .  GIRL. MAN.  I would l i k e something a l i t t l e more  I wouldn't.  be?  People m i g h t , f o r i n s t a n c e ,  Come o n , l e t ' s  think  start.  W e l l . . . a h . . . E l s i e . . . 1 think that y o u ' r e . . . ! mean... you're...No. I can't.  GIRL.  Why n o t ?  C a n ' t you t h i n k o f a n y t h i n g s i n c e r e  that's  nice? MAN.  GIRL. MAN. GIRL.  Of course t h a t ' s n o t i t . The whole t h i n g i s r i d i c u l o u s , we' ve g o t t e n c a r r i e d away. I t must be t h i s p l a c e . . . I t makes one f e e l somehow d i s o r i e n t e d . . . I suppose you want to go back to y o u r paper now. I seem to have s u r p a s s e d m y s e l f i n c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n s , and now I suddenly f e e l a l i t t l e f o o l i s h . I l i k e d you when you were " s u r p a s s i n g  yourself."  MAN.  The bus w i l l come any moment. a h . . . snapped o u t o f t h i s , t h a t ' s a l l .  I think i t ' s  time we  GIRL.  A l l r i g h t . Back to y o u r p a p e r . Back to y o u r l i t t l e w o r l d . The bus w i l l be coming s o o n . You c e r t a i n l y d o n ' t want to drop the p o s e . . . y o u d o n ' t want to s t a r t e n j o y i n g y o u r s e l f and a c t i n g n a t u r a l a f t e r a l l these y e a r s , do y o u , M r . M i n o r E x e c u t i v e F a m i l y Man Bread Winner Lawn Mower? D o n ' t g e t honest now, y o u ' r e right. I t would p r o b a b l y k i l l y o u .  MAN.  Elsie!  GIRL.  Goodbye. E n j o y y o u r s e l f . ( R i s i n g ) I ' m g o i n g to e n j o y m y s e l f i n my w a y . . . o n a bench even f u r t h e r i n . . . a q u i e t l o n e l y p l a c e . . . o n l y the bench i s n o t f o r commuters l i k e y o u . . . n o buses come t h e r e . . . o n l y p e o p l e l i k e m e . . . w h o l i k e h o n e s t p l a c e s . . . real places...places for love...Have fun.  MAN.  E l s i e , I d i d n ' t mean to h u r t y o u . D o n ' t go! Damn i t , E l s i e ! Stop! (He s t a n d s t h e r e u n d e c i d e d , f i n a l l y . . . ) Oh h e l l ! (Drops p a p e r , f o l l o w s h e r o u t . )  (She  exits)  ( G i r l e n t e r s from o t h e r s i d e . S i t s on b e n c h , p i c k s up paper and s t a r t s r e a d i n g ^ ("Man e n t e r s , p a n t i n g . ) There you a r e . Thought I ' d l o s t y o u . I'm s o r r y . T a l k to me. GIRL.  Are you a d d r e s s i n g Me?  MAN.  Put t h a t paper down, E l s i e .  GIRL.  Certainly not.  Elsie?  Elsie,  please.  MAN.  Y o u ' r e r i g h t y o u know. to admit to m y s e l f .  Y o u ' r e more r i g h t than I wanted  GIRL.  P l e a s e l e a v e me a l o n e . e s p e c i a l l y i n deserted p l a c e s .  I d o n ' t speak to  MAN. GIRL. MAN. Girl. MAN.  I deserve  that.  A r e you t r y i n g t o p i c k me up? enough to be my f a t h e r . fighting.  strangers...  Shame on y o u , y o u ' r e o l d  E l s i e , t h a t ' s enough. Two s t r a n g e r s Can t h i s be happening?  and a l r e a d y w e ' r e  I guess I ' l l have to c a l l the p o l i c e . What more c a n I do? (She i g n o r e s h i m . He p r e t e n d s to pick a flower.) O n l y t u r n y o u r l o v e l y head and see the o r c h i d I ' v e g o t t e n f o r you a t g r e a t p e r i l to my l i f e . I swam from H a w a i i w i t h i t i n my t e e t h . . . p u r s u e d by g i a n t s h a r k s . . . b u f f e t e d by p e r i l o u s s e a s . . . o n l y t u r n y o u r head and I know y o u r c o l d , c o l d h e a r t o f i c e w i l l m e l t . . . I f n o t , I w i l l stab myself with i t ' s s t e e l y b l a d e . . . there w i l l be no p o i n t g o i n g o n . . . l i f e w i t h o u t you would be m e a n i n g l e s s . . . I n f a c t , I have a l r e a d y drank the r o o t o f the h e m l o c k . I am d y i n g an a g o n i z i n g d e a t h . O n l y t u r n and h o l d me i n y o u r arms b e f o r e I d i e and I w i l l go w i t h a s m i l e on my l i p s . . . t e l l m e . . . you f o r g i v e me b e f o r e . . . g a s p . . . t h e poison...reaches...my.... heart. (She i s s m i l i n g ) L i s t e n t o . . m y l a s t . . . w o r d s . . . ( W h i s p e r i n g ) Y o u . . . m u s t . . . k n o w . . . T h e g i r l you saw me k i s s i n g . . . w a s . . . m y s i s t e r . . . (She l a u g h s ) Take my o r c h i d . . . p l e a s e . . .  GIRL.  y o u r name?  MAN.  (Smelling i t )  Ugh.  My name i s E r n e s t .  I t smells l i k e f i s h .  What's  Have you f o r g i v e n me?  GIRL.  With a name l i k e t h a t I f e e l I must f o r g i v e y o u . you l i v e now?  MAN.  Your s m i l e has a r r e s t e d the spread o f the p o i s o n . . . n o w . . . i f I could o n l y . . . s i t beside y o u . . .  GIRL.  I ' m g l a d you f o l l o w e d me.  MAN.  I t l o o k s l i k e the same b e n c h .  GIRL.  The s t o r y goes t h a t y e a r s ago two a r d e n t l o v e r s c a r r i e d i t o f f from a downtown bus s t o p and brought i t i n h e r e to e n a c t t h e i r r i t e s o f l o v e i n the deep d a r k f o r e s t . . . O h , l o o k a t y o u r h a n d . You have n i c e h a n d s . (Holding i t . ) B e a u t i f u l and s l e n d e r . . . l i k e a p i a n i s t s . h a i r y . Have you got h a i r on y o u r arms?  MAN.  lovers.  GIRL. MAN. GIRL.  A h h h . . . I d o n ' t remember. Let's  is  it?  Nice...  see.  I l i k e d y o u r s t o r y about  ( R o l l i n g up h i s  (Helping h e r . )  It's  Good Heavens n o .  Not the  sleeve)  d e f i n i t e l y n o t a bus s t o p t h e n ,  J u s t as I t h o u g h t , l o v e l y a r m s . . .  MAN.  You're very k i n d .  GIRL.  And y e t you r e f u s e to say a n y t h i n g n i c e about me.  MAN.  Will  You m i s u n d e r s t a n d my m o t i v e s . but I t h i n k I s h o u l d n ' t .  I t ' s not that I won't  GIRL.  Which m e a n s . . . . ?  MAN.  Of course I t h i n k y o u ' r e a v e r y a t t r a c t i v e young g i r l .  GIRL.  Why n o t "woman"?  MAN.  I t ' s o b v i o u s y o u ' r e a woman. One c a n ' t h e l p b u t n o t i c e . T h o s e . . . a h . . . y o u r b l o o m . . . e v e n t h o u g h . . . o f c o u r s e . . . t h e y have honorable i n t e n t i o n s . . .  GIRL.  I'm  56.  MAN.  What?  GIRL.  My c h e s t .  36  -  MAN.  But I knew you w o u l d n ' t m i s u n d e r s t a n d . I t ' s good to know you t r u s t me. S t i l l . . . p e o p l e do t h i n k the w o r s t a l l the t i m e . I t ' s i m p o s s i b l e f o r a n y t h i n g to be i n n o c e n t any m o r e . . . e v e r y o n e t h i n k s the w o r s t .  GIRL. MAN.  I don't. P e o p l e always form the wrong i m p r e s s i o n s . L i k e now, f o r i n s t a n c e , i f t h e y c o u l d w a l k by and see you h o l d i n g my hand l i k e t h a t . . . p l a y i n g w i t h my b u t t o n s . . . i n t h i s d e s e r t e d s p o t . . . t h e y ' d p r o b a b l y t h i n k I w a s . . . a h . . . d o n ' t be o f f e n d e d . . . t r y i n g to make y o u . Y o u ' r e n o t embarrassed a r e you?  GIRL. MAN.  I l i k e y o u r b u t t o n s . . . t h e y open so  easily.  I hope y o u d o n ' t mind my t a l k i n g to you l i k e t h i s , b u t I f e e l someone has to make you aware o f the e v i l i n the w o r l d b e f o r e you g e t h u r t . Does anyone e v e r come h e r e ?  GIRL. MAN.  -  Y e s . . . w e l l . . o n e r e a l l y s h o u l d n ' t d i s c u s s those t h i n g s b u t then o f c o u r s e . . . i t ' s a l l r i g h t w i t h m e . . . I mean...we b o t h know...We b o t h u n d e r s t a n d each o t h e r . . . I mean, t h e r e a r e no m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s . . . B u t someone e l s e may, you know, get the wrong idea...  GIRL. MAN.  17  Never. (Moving c l o s e r ) Do you u n d e r s t a n d what I ' m t r y i n g to t e l l you? I would h a t e to see anyone take advantage o f y o u . Y o u ' r e much too s w e e t . . . a young g i r l has to watch h e r s e l f . . . right?  GIRL.  I ' d r a t h e r you watched me.  MAN.  I a m . . . I mean, I ' m w a i t i n g f o r y o u r a n s w e r . . .  GIRL.  I u n d e r s t a n d what y o u ' r e s a y i n g and I c o n f e s s what y o u say sounds r i g h t .  MAN.  Then I ' m w i n n i n g you o v e r ?  GIRL.  You a r e v e r y c o n v i n c i n g . . .  MAN.  GIRL. MAN. GIRL.  I f I c o u l d do t h a t I ' d f e e l a l o t b e t t e r . I f e e l that i n some s m a l l way I ' v e h e l p e d to save y o u . A d e s i r a b l e g i r l l i k e y o u r s e l f . . . s h o u l d be s a v e d . . . s a v e d . . . f r o m a l l the r o t t e n p e o p l e i n the w o r l d w i t h d i r t y m i n d s . . . there.  You have a b r o a d c h e s t .  I b e t you d o n ' t have much h a i r  I ' v e always been ashamed o f n o t h a v i n g much h a i r . You s h o u l d n ' t b e . Smooth c h e s t s a r e b e a u t i f u l , b u t t o n i n g h i s s h i r t . ) L e t me see.  (un-  MAN.  P e o p l e would c e r t a i n l y get the wrong i d e a i f t h e y c o u l d see u s now.  GIRL.  I t j u s t goes to show how d e c e i v i n g appearances s h o u l d h e . I t pays t o keep an o p e n , c l e a n m i n d .  MAN.  Yes b u t . . . o h . . . t h a t 1 s  GIRL.  J u s t as I t h o u g h t .  MAN.  Really?  GIRL.  W h a t ' s y o u r back l i k e ?  MAN.  I don't think I've ever looked.  GIRL. MAN.  nice.  Beautiful.  W e l l , why d o n ' t we? rest of you. you?  You have warm h a n d s .  I ' l l b e t i t ' s as p e r f e c t as  Y o u ' r e c e r t a i n l y an i n q u i s i t i v e l i t t l e d e l i g h t ,  the aren't  GIRL.  I d o n ' t o f t e n meet much n i c e men.  MAN.  Have you done t h i s w i t h s t r a n g e r s a t bus s t o p s b e f o r e ?  GIRL.  Done what?  MAN.  Well...ah...checked for h a i r . . .  GIRL.  You're the  MAN.  The f i r s t ?  GIRL. MAN. GIRL. MAN. GIRL.  wrong. world.  first. (Excited)  Y e s , the f i r s t to c o n v i n c e me t h a t my v i e w s o f people I'm g l a d . I ' m so g l a d . Y o u ' r e too t r u s t i n g f o r Now I f e e l y o u ' l l be a b l e to cope w i t h l i f e .  this  You have s o f t l i t t l e h a i r s i n the curve o f y o u r b a c k . wonder what t h e y ' d f e e l l i k e on my tongue.  I  D o n ' t stopJ You have such a n i c e f l a t stomach t o o . s o f t and f l a b b y i n the s t o m a c h . . . s u c h a s h a m e . . .  MAN.  I ' m n o t so o l d .  GIRL.  So's  MAN.  are  By b o d y ' s i n p e r f e c t  L o t s o f men get shape.  mine.  I can see t h a t . I mean I can g u e s s . Beautiful...desirable...(Grabs her)  Very w e l l  developed.  GIRL.  But perhaps you s h o u l d n ' t do t h a t . I know i t ' s p e r f e c t l y i n n o c e n t and meant i n good f r i e n d s h i p but y o u know what p e o p l e are l i k e . I f t h e y c o u l d see us n o w . . . b u t o f c o u r s e t h e y c a n ' t . . . t h e y ' d t h i n k t e r r i b l e t h i n g s . T h e y ' r e so d i r t y m i n d e d . One must be on o n e ' s g u a r d .  MAN.  I ' v e c o n v i n c e d yout  GIRL.  I ' l l b e t you have l e g s l i k e a  MAN.  Do you want to see  GIRL.  Oh I ' d l o v e t o . misunderstand...  MAN. GIRL.  ( K i s s i n g h e r neck)  I ' m so g l a d .  baby's.  them?  I f you d o n ' t t h i n k p e o p l e would  T h e r e ' s n o - o n e . . . n o - o n e . . . ( T e a r i n g o f f h i s shoes and, s o c k s ) Even y o u ' r e f e e t a r e a r t i s t i c . l i t t l e h a i r s on the t o p . . .  MAN.  That a r c h .  You d o n ' t know how g r a t i f y i n g i t i s . . . t o be  The t i n y appreciated  SL"fc Xfitst • • •  GIRL.  help...  Please hurry.  I c a n ' t w a i t to see y o u r l e g s .  MAN.  Yes...yes.. .help me...  GIRL.  (On h e r knees i n f r o n t o f him) (She p u l l s h i s p a n t s o v e r h i s  MAN.  And n o w . . . y o u . . .  GIRL.  Yes.  Paster...hurry...faster...  ankles.)  Close your eyes.  I ' l l show you how p e r f e c t  am t o o • (He c l o s e s h i s e y e s . )  MAN.  (Panting)  GIRL.  I t ' l l be o v e r i n a minute my l o v e . . . (The g i r l s m i l e s , e x i t s w i t h h i s c l o t h e s . )  MAN.  H u r r y my d a r l i n g . . . h u r r y . . .  Can I open them now? E l s i e ? Now? I c a n ' t w a i t any l o n g e r . (Opens h i s e y e s . ) E l s i e ? Where a r e you? Where are my c l o t h e s ? (Sound o f a p p r o a c h i n g  L e t me  (He r i s e s ,  alarmed.)  bus)  u -t M - * _ M — _ w w _ U M 'rt A K M 9t rt W H n M m  m /  nHHnnRAHM  I  THE  C L I F F  a one-act play  C H A R A C  T E E S  WILLIE, 21_ 1ST MAN, m a t u r e ,  the l e a d e r  2ND MAN, W i l l i e ' s age.  the r e b e l  3RD MAN 4TH MAN MOTHER,  Willie's  FATHER,  Willie's  CROWD, f o u r women i n the a u d i e n c e , who come o n s t a g e d u r i n g the sermon; and a t l e a s t s i x o t h e r s , s e a t e d i n the a u d i e n c e , with loud voices.  THE TIME:  THE PLACE:  The p r e s e n t .  (a) A c l i f f  i n the m o u n t a i n s ; a c a v e ,  (b) W i l l i e ' s p a r e n t ' s home.  - 1SEATING: Bare stage, except f o r a raised platform i n the centre o f the stage which represents the c l i f f . (Curtain r i s e s on the four men, who are watching offstage.) 2ND MAN.  I t ' s been a long wait.  3RD MAN.  That's true.  4TH MAN.  I agree.  1ST MAN.  Quiet.  2ND MAN.  We should move on.  1ST MAN.  We'll stay.  2ND MAN.  Why?  1ST MAN.  I t ' s a good spot.  3RD MAN.  He's r i g h t .  4TH MAN.  Already another i s coming.  3RD MAN.  A girl.  4TH MAN.  A pretty g i r l .  1ST MAN.  Quiet.  There's action.  Watch.  ( G i r l enters, weeping) 2ND MAN.  I t ' s about time!  3RD MAN.  She's climbing.  4TH MAN.  She'll soon be ready...  2ND MAN.  And s h e ' l l die.  3RD MAN.  You're r i g h t .  4TH MAN.  I t wouldn't be a woman.  1ST MAN.  What was the V i r g i n Mary?  2ND MAN.  Why doesn't she jump?  Quiet!  1ST MAN. Learn patience. Prepare yourself f o r the long wait. Our grandfather's have watched...and t h e i r grandparents before them. Watched...and waited...and died...without ever seeing what they watched f o r . Learn patience, or leave us. 2ND MAN.  I ' l l stay.  Despite you.  - 2 3RD MAN.  She i s p r a y i n g .  4TH MAN.  She i s ready t o jump.  2ND MAN.  Then jump!  3RD MAN.  There she  goesl  ( G i r l w a l k s up on p l a t f o r m , screams and jumps. ground. L i e s s t i l l . ) 2ND MAN.  I knew i t w o u l d n ' t be h e r .  3RD MAN.  Not p r e t t y now.  4TH MAN.  It's  1ST MAN.  H e l p me remove h e r .  3RD MAN.  Where e l s e can you f i n d such  too b a d .  (To 2ND)  What d i d I t e l l  you?  action?  i n the l a s t week, and the  spring  3RD and ATE c a r r y o f f the body)  2ND MAN. S t i l l , i t ' s a waste o f p r e t t y g i r l s . a l l o w males t o jump. 1ST MAN.  (Offstage)  2ND MAN.  Good.  1ST MAN.  Throw h e r w i t h the  3RD MAN.  28 now!  1ST MAN.  Back to y o u r p l a c e s .  Quickly.  They s h o u l d o n l y  A n o t h e r one i s coming.  others.  Hurry.  Watch.  (They e n t e r and watch o f f s t a g e ) 2ND MAN.  to the  a l o n g way down.  4TH MAN. Twenty-seven s u i c i d e s rush j u s t s t a r t i n g . (1ST,  It's  She f a l l s  We are w a t c h i n g . ( W i l l i e enters)  WILLIE.  There i t i s .  It's high.  2ND MAN.  L e s s t a l k and more a c t i o n .  1ST MAN.  Quiet!  3RD MAN,  Why i s he  4TH MAN.  H e ' l l n e v e r do i t .  2ND MAN.  Jump!  stopping?  I t s h o u l d do i t .  - 3 1ST MAN.  W i l l you be q u i e t and l e t n a t u r e t a k e i t s  2ND MAN.  I s i t wrong to hope?  1ST MAN.  I t ' s wrong t o be i m p a t i e n t , f r i e n d .  3RD MAN.  At  4TH MAN.  He's climbing.  3RD MAN.  There he g o e s !  course?  last!  ( W i l l i e jumps, l i e s t h e r e f o r a moment, t h e n b e g i n s to 1ST MAN.  At l a s t I  3RD MAN.  He i s a l i v e !  4TH MAN.  He i s moving!  2ND MAN.  Is i t possible?  stir)  D i d he jump from t h e r i g h t p l a c e ?  ( W i l l i e gets up) 1ST MAN. Any p l a c e i s the r i g h t p l a c e . has promised u s has a t l a s t o c c u r e d !  The m i r a c l e o u r f a t h e r  WILLIE.  What happened?  How can I be here?  3RD MAN.  We saw a m i r a c l e .  4TH MAN.  The promise has been  WILLIE.  I f e l t myself f a l l i n g very s w i f t l y .  1ST MAN.  Why do we w a i t h e r e ?  WILLIE. more)  I must end t h i s w e i r d dream.  2ND MAN.  He w i l l  1ST MAN.  No.  2ND MAN.  Twice i s  1ST MAN.  (To W i l l i e )  2ND MAN.  Damn!  1ST MAN.  Come w i t h me, p l e a s e .  WILLIE.  Who a r e you?  3RD MAN.  We w i l l meet h i m .  fulfilled!  jump a g a i n .  I have to be d e a d .  (Approaches the ramp once  Then we w i l l be c e r t a i n .  Once i s enough. better. Stop!  You a r e p r o v e n .  (To o t h e r s )  We acknowledge y o u .  You w i l l meet h i m .  - 44TH MAN.  Thank God f o r o u r e y e s !  2ND MAN.  He s h o u l d have jumped a g a i n .  WILLIE.  I don't understand.  1ST MAN.  Here he i s .  2ND MAN.  I would l i k e t o examine h i m .  1ST MAN.  I t i s not n e c e s s a r y .  2ND MAN. (Examining W i l l i e ) have always taught u s .  There a r e no m a r k s . S t i l l we must be c e r t a i n . . . a s you  1ST MAN.  And you have always l e a r n t the wrong t h i n g s . . .  3RD MAN.  Well?  4TH MAN.  What can you see?  1ST MAN.  Nothing, of  2ND MAN.  He appears to be a l l r i g h t .  3RD MAN.  I c a n ' t see a n y t h i n g .  4TH MAN.  Perfect  1ST MAN.  As I s a i d .  3RD MAN.  Yes.  4TH MAN.  I t ' s him.  WILLIE.  Yet I wanted to d i e .  2ND MAN.  What would b i r t h d a y ' s m a t t e r to him?  WILLIE.  To H e l l w i t h B i r t h d a y s !  3RD MAN.  Would he t a l k t h a t way?  course.  condition. I t ' s HIM.  T o d a y ' s my b i r t h d a y .  I'm 21.  No-one knows how he would t a l k . We were o f t e n t o l d w< 1ST MAN. might n o t r e c o g n i z e h i m a f t e r so l o n g a w a i t . 4TH MAN.  We s h o u l d t e l l  2ND MAN.  Not y e t !  1ST MAN.  Why n o t ?  3RD MAN.  Do you doubt?  the o t h e r s !  When I was a k i d they t o l d me I c o u l d be a n y t h i n g I WILLIE. wanted t o be when I grew u p .  2ND MAN.  I o n l y want to be c e r t a i n .  1 S T MAN.  You s h o u l d be c e r t a i n .  4TH MAN.  Hesitation i s  3RD MAN.  Doubt i s an enemy o f  sinful. faith.  WILLIE. They t o l d me I w a s n ' t l i k e o t h e r k i d s . They l i e d to me.  I t ' s my b i r t h d a y .  1ST MAN. Remember. There i s no o t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n . the O n e . . . H e would be smashed l i k e the o t h e r s . . . WILLIE. "Don't c r y , s o n , " they s a i d . man, a g r e a t m a n . "  I f he w a s n ' t  " P r e t t y s o o n , y o u ' l l be a  3RD MAN.  We would have c a r t e d away h i s b o d y . . .  4TH MAN.  R a i s e d the count to  29.  WILLIE. "The w o r l d w i l l s i t up and take n o t i c e o f y o u . you s o n , t r u s t u s . " Lies! 2ND MAN. 1ST  3RD  He s h o u l d have jumped a g a i n .  MAN.  He i s the o n e . He h a s the f a c e o f a  MAN.  saint...  WILLIE.  On my way h e r e , I t r i e d one l a s t  4TH MAN.  The body o f a  WILLIE.  I stepped on e v e r y p o s s i b l e  1ST  MAN.  The b e a r i n g o f a  3RD MAN.  We needed h i m . . .  4TH MAN. WILLIE. 1ST  MAN.  WILLIE. 1ST  MAN.  3RD MAN.  foot...  saint...  Spat a t e v e r y p o s s i b l e  WILLIE.  thing.  saint...  WILLIE.  of  We know  face...  Shouted c u r s e s and o b s e n i t i e s a t e v e r y p o s s i b l e  pair  ears. And a t l a s t he came to u s ! F i n a l l y . . . I p u l l e d down my pants and exposed When o u r need was so g r e a t . And s t i l l n o t h i n g . . . N o t h i n g ! I acknowledge the s a v i o u r .  (Kneels)  I acknowledge the s a v i o u r .  (Kneels)  myself..  - 6 4-TH MAN.  And I .  (Kneels)  1ST MAN.  (To 2ND)  3RD MAN.  Stubborn.  4TH MAN.  Always the  We w a i t f o r y o u .  As  always.  last.  WILLIE. They n e v e r saw me a t a l l . They n e v e r saw the 20 y e a r o l d w i t h h i s p a n t s down on h i s way to commit s u i c i d e . Why a r e you k n e e l i n g ? 1ST MAN.  I n o r d e r to w o r s h i p y o u .  WILLIE.  WhatI  1ST MAN.  You are  3RD MAN.  And now you have a r r i v e d .  4TH MAN.  To l e a d u s a t  WILLIE.  Me?  1ST MAN.  You r e v e a l e d y o u r s e l f  3RD MAN.  Yes.  4TH MAN.  That's  WILLIE.  I  1ST MAN.  You j u m p e d . . . b u t  3RD MAI?.  As a l l the o t h e r s d i e d .  4TH MAN.  True.  WILLIE.  It is  1ST MAN.  More than s t r a n g e .  3RD MAN.  Much more t h a n s t r a n g e .  4TH MAN.  True.  1ST MAN.  You are  2ND MAN.  I t c o u l d be j u s t an  1ST MAN.  An a c c i d e n t ?  WILLIE.  Me, i m m o r t a l ?  the one we have been w a t c h i n g f o r .  last.  to us through a m i r a c l e .  true.  did? you d i d n ' t  die.  strange.  immortal. accident.  Look a t t h a t  clifft  Never.  1ST MAN. Would you l i k e to see b e f o r e you t h i s week?  the b o d i e s o f the 28 who jumped  - 7 3 R D MAN.  Or the g r a v e s o f the hundreds b e f o r e them?  4TH MAN.  Or t h e thousands b e f o r e  1ST MAN.  And t h i s i s o n l y one  WILLIE.  (To 2ND)  2ND MAN.  Not t h a t we know.  1ST MAN.  B e l i e v e i n y o u r s e l f now.  WILLIE.  Y e s , I always wanted t o .  1 s t MAN.  B e l i e v e i n y o u r s e l f because we b e l i e v e i n y o u .  WILLIE.  Do you?  3RD MAN.  Yes.  4TH MAN.  We d o .  1ST MAN.  (To 2ND)  2ND MAN.  Of course I ' d l i k e  WILLIE.  What happens i f I go a l o n g w i t h  1ST MAN.  Y o u ' l l come w i t h u s .  3 R D MAN.  To the m i l l i o n s o f o t h e r s .  4TH MAN.  Who a r e w a i t i n g f o r y o u .  1ST MAN.  They must be t o l d the joyeous news.  WILLIE.  It's  1ST MAN.  (To 2ND)  2ND MAN.  No.  3 R D MAN.  Of c o u r s e n o t .  4TH MAN.  We know who he i s .  WILLIE.  And who am I ?  1ST MAN.  Our s a v i o u r .  WILLIE.  I t can't be.  1ST MAN.  We have made p l a n s f o r y o u .  3RD MAN.  A l l mankind a w a i t s .  them?  cliff.  And no-one has e v e r l i v e d  before?  As you always wanted t o .  And so do y o u .  too much.  to. this?  I . . . d o n ' t know.  Ask him to come.  Do you want t o l e t him go?  We have r e c o g n i z e d h i m .  - 8 -  WILLIE.  I know a l l about mankind.  1ST MAN.  They w i l l now.  3RD MAN.  Now t h a t t h e y know who you a r e .  4TH  MAN.  WILLIE.  They d o n ' t g i v e a damn.  They w i l l w o r s h i p y o u . (To 1ST)  Do you r e a l l y b e l i e v e I ' m the  saviour?  1ST MAN. I b e l i e v e t h a t i f y o u ' r e n o t the s a v i o u r , t h e n w e ' l l wait i n vain forever. WILLIE.  I'm  1ST MAN.  But e x c i t e d t o o .  2ND MAN.  I ' d l i k e to see h i s  WILLIE.  I  3RD MAN.  Yes,  4TH  MAN.  confused. Come w i t h u s .  You have n o t h i n g to  lose.  origin.  s h o u l d t e l l my p a r e n t s . l e t ' s meet h i s  parents.  L e t ' s see h i s home.  1ST MAN.  And t h e n you w i l l come w i t h  WILLIE.  Why n o t ?  1ST MAN.  But e v e r y t h i n g to u s .  2ND MAN.  Let's  3RD MAN.  The whole w o r l d w a i t s .  WILLIE.  I'll  1ST MAN.  Go to h i s home.  us?  My l i f e means n o t h i n g t o me.  go.  come.  I ' m s t a r t i n g to dream a g a i n . I ' l l tell  the o t h e r s and I ' l l w a i t f o r  you h e r e . 2ND MAN.  You w o n ' t come?  1ST MAN.  No, I d o n ' t need t o .  2ND MAN.  ( A f t e r a pause)  4TH  MAN.  As you l i k e .  (They e x i t , 1ST man l a s t )  HurryI  ( W i l l i e ' s f a t h e r and mother e n t e r , w h e e l i n g a t e a wagon, c a r r y i n g c u p s , etc.") (He c a r r i e s two c h a i r s ! MOTHER.  Time f o r t e a .  I must i c e W i l l i e ' s  cake.  - 9 FATHER. With chocolate i c i n g . It's Willie's favorite. stand c h o c o l a t e . One lump, as u s u a l . MOTHER. H e ' s a good b o y . A r e a l c r e d i t to u s . o n l y had o n e . Lemon b i s c u i t ?  I  can't  I ' m so g l a d we  FATHER. H e ' l l marry a f i n e g i r l and have d i n n e r w i t h u s e v e r y Sunday and name h i s c h i l d r e n a f t e r us and do w e l l f o r u s , w o n ' t he? Y e s , p l e a s e . MOTHER.  D o n ' t you w o r r y , f a t h e r .  FATHER.  H e ' s coming.  MOTHER.  Who are y o u r f r i e n d s ,  He's a fine  investment.  dear?  ( W i l l i e and the t h r e e men e n t e r ) 2ND MAN.  Excuse t h i s i n t e r r u p t i o n d u r i n g  3RD MAN.  But t h e r e i s no time to l o s e .  WILLIE.  I jumped o f f a  4TH MAN.  He i s no l o n g e r m e r e l y y o u r s o n .  3RD MAN.  He i s the second  4TH MAN.  Whom we r e c o g n i z e d through a m i r a c l e .  FATHER.  What?  MOTHER.  Willie?  WILLIE.  I ' v e been t r y i n g to t e l l  2ND MAN.  A humble b e g i n n i n g .  3RD MAN.  As i s  MOTHER.  tea-time.  cliff.  saviour.  you...  (Examining the room)  proper.  Father?  FATHER. D o n ' t you see, mother? Our son has a t l a s t been r e c o g n i z e d . It's true. I h a v e n ' t done too w e l l . But I gave W i l l i e a l l I c o u l d . P l e a s e , f e e l f r e e to l o o k a r o u n d . MOTHER. for  We sent h i m to camp when we c o u l d n ' t a f f o r d a v a c a t i o n ourselves.  2ND MAN.  Quiet.  What about h i s  MOTHER.  O h . . . a h . . . h e was a good  2ND MAN.  Anything unusual?  FATHER.  Oh y e s .  childhood? child.  A  He was a v e r y u n u s u a l  child.  2ND MAN.  How u n u s u a l ?  MOTHER. W e l l . . . h e never picked h i s n o s e . . . l i k e other c h i l d r e n . He was t o i l e t t r a i n e d by the time he was 1 3 months. FATHER. He used to a l w a y s t r y to c l i m b o u t the window. He thought he c o u l d f l y . I n e v e r l e t h i m , o f c o u r s e . I never realized. 3RD MAN.  What's your occupation?  FATHER.  I . . . I ' m a painter.  4TH MAN.  That's  2ND MAN.  Conception?  (Shocked  close.  silence)  MOTHER.  (Finally)  2ND MAN.  Not  FATHER.  We're r e s p e c t a b l e  MOTHER.  We d o n ' t go i n f o r t h a t s o r t o f  2ND MAN.  Think c a r e f u l l y !  3RD MAN.  W a s n ' t t h e r e a n y t h i n g u n u s u a l about  4TH MAN.  A slight hint of  2ND MAN.  Quiet!  ( S i l e n c e.  T h e . . . u s u a l one.  immaculate? people!  it?  strangeness?  F a t h e r , prompting)  FATHER.  M o t h e r , d o n ' t you remember?  2ND MAN.  Yes?  MOTHER.  What, d e a r ?  FATHER.  The n i g h t I was away.  3RD,4TH.  Yes,  FATHER. open.  thing.  yes...  Nine months b e f o r e W i l l y was b o r n . . . Y o u C o u l d n ' t i t have been t h a t n i g h t ?  MOTHER.  Oh, t h a t n i g h t !  WILLIE.  Mother, what!  2ND MAN.  What happened?  3RD, 4TH.  Tell usl  MOTHER. I had n e a r l y f o r g o t t e n . D u r i n g t h a t n i g h t . . . I h a t e to s l e e p a l o n e . . . I was r e s t l e s s . Suddenly I c o u l d h a r d l y b r e a t h . There was t h i s p r e s s i n g w e i g h t on my c h e s t . WILLIE. 2ND MAN.  Mother! Quickly!  MOTHER. W e l l . . . I was f r i g h t e n e d . condition.  I thought i t was a h e a r t  FATHER. M o t h e r , you d i d n o t ! You t o l d me the n e x t was as i f y o u ' d b e e n . . . r a v i s h e d .  day...It  MOTHER. W e l l . . . l i k e I ' d been...entered. Something s t a r t e d to tickle. I c o u l d f e e l i t t r a v e l l i n g . A l l the way u p . . . r i g h t up to my womb. FATHER.  R i g h t up to h e r womb.  WILLIE.  Why d i d n ' t you t e l l me!  2ND MAN.  Woman, y o u ' v e s l e p t w i t h the H o l y G h o s t !  MOTHER.  Oh!  FATHER. I t ' s a l l r i g h t , dear. was something more than my s o n .  I forgive you.  I always knew he  3RD MAN. God l e d o u r f o o t s t e p s i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n when he brought us h e r e . 4TH MAN.  B l e s s e d be t h i s home.  3RD MAN.  B l e s s e d t h i s f a t h e r and mother.  2ND MAN.  (To f a t h e r )  FATHER.  What more do you need?  Anything else?  MOTHER. Wait a m i n u t e . He w a s n ' t b o r n i n t h e h o s p i t a l . We c o u l d n ' t get t h e r e i n t i m e . He was b o r n i n the back o f the o a r i n a garbage g r o u n d . WILLIE.  Why w a s n ' t I t o l d t h i s b e f o r e ?  FATHER. We were p a s s i n g by the dump when the l a b o r got w o r s e . I p u l l e d o v e r . . . a n d o u t he came. MOTHER. As I l a y t h e r e . . . l o o k i n g out the window. bright l i g h t . WILLIE.  Yes...yes...  There was t h i s  - 12 2ND MAN.  I'm w a i t i n g . . .  MOTHER. They were b u r n i n g the g a r b a g e . . . the l i g h t seemed to glow a l l around u s . 3RD MAN. 4TH MAN. 2ND MAI1!.  Miraculous... Blessed... T h i s i s more t h a n I had hoped f o r .  WILLIE. And t h a t ' s why you always t o l d me I would grow up to be g r e a t ! MOTHER.  Yes,  dear.  2ND MAN.  Anything else?  FATHER. Y e s ! Remember, mother? As soon as W i l l i e was b o r n , I s t a r t e d the c a r , to d r i v e to the h o s p i t a l . Remember who came? 3RD MAN.  The w i s e men!  4TH MAN.  With  WILLIE.  Led by the l i g h t .  gifts!  FATHER. They came up t o the c a r , and t h e y k n o c k e d on the window, and one o f them shone a l i g h t i n t o the back o f the c a r , and t h e y s a i d - remember mother? They shone t h i s l i g h t i n t o the back o f the c a r , and t h e y s a i d , "You c a n ' t do t h i s s o r t o f t h i n g i n the garbage dump." 2ND MAN.  That's  all?  MOTHER.  W e l l t h e y e s c o r t e d us t o the h o s p i t a l .  FATHER.  And one o f them d i d g i v e me a t i c k e t .  WILLIE.  I ' v e heard a l l I need.  I ' m r e a d y to go w i t h y o u .  2ND MAN. Y e s . W e ' l l go now. (To mother) from y o u . He now b e l o n g s t o the w o r l d .  We are t a k i n g y o u r son  3RD MAN.  We'll tell  the o t h e r s .  4TH MAN.  He n e v e r k e p t a donkey?  FATHER.  He had a p e t t u r t l e .  2ND MAN.  We have h e a r d enough.  3RD MAN.  D i d he e v e r confound h i s  MOTHER.  We n e v e r u n d e r s t o o d h i s t a l k when he was 15 months.  elders?  2ND MAN.  Enough.  WILLIE.  Good-bye m o t h e r .  Good-bye  father.  FATHER. A f t e r h i s f e e d i n g , when I burped h i m , i t always came o u t so m i l o u d i o u s . . . P r o f o u n d . 2ND MAN.  Good-bye.  T h i s v i s i t has h e l p e d .  MOTHER. When I used to change him a t n i g h t . . . t h e r e was a s t r a n g e glow from h i s d i a p e r . 2ND MAN.  We need h e a r no more.  Come.  FATHER. As a baby, he u s e d to d r o o l so m u c h . . . b u t i t l i k e ordinary saliva. I t smelt l i k e f l o w e r s . WILLIE. MOTHER. face,  wasn't  To have k e p t me i n the dark f o r so l o n g ! When he s p i t out h i s pablum, i t w o u l d n ' t s t i c k to h i s the way i t d i d w i t h o t h e r b a b i e s .  2ND MAN.  Farewell.  Thank y o u .  WILLIE.  Goodbye.  3RD MAN.  H e ' s o f f to g l o r y .  4TH MAN.  And so are we.  (They e x i t ) FATHER. When we took him o u t o f h i s b a s i n e t t e . . . t h e even c l e a n e r than when we had put h i m i n i t . . .  w a t e r was  MOTHER.  things.  They've gone, f a t h e r .  FATHER. Didn't I t e l l you, t o u s i n o u r o l d age?  H e l p me w i t h the t e a  W i l l i e would t u r n o u t to be a  fortress  MOTHER. To t h i n k t h a t a l l h i s p e c u l i a r b e h a v i o u r as a c h i l d t u r n e d out t o have a d i v i n e purpose 1 FATHER. W e ' l l be famous f o r t h i s d e a r . as u s u a l . (They e x i t , w i t h t a b l e ,  chairs,  Tea was v e r y good t o d a y ,  etc.)  ( W i l l i e e n t e r s , w i t h 2ND, 3RD and 4TTI w a t c h e r s . ) WILLIE.  People f o l l o w us  2ND MAN.  Thousands.  already.  3RD MAN.  And t h e r e w i l l toe more.  4TH MAN.  W e ' r e almost t h e r e .  WILLIE.  Where's the o t h e r man?  2ND MAN.  Don't worry.  3RD MAN.  He i s back w i t h the c r o w d .  4TH MAN.  R a t h e r he l e a d s them than u s .  To the  cave.  H e ' l l be n e a r . L e a d i n g them.  2ND MAN. (To ^ _ _ _ _ 4__) Go back and h e l p d i r e c t them to c a v e , o r w e ' l l l o s e some o f them. 3RD MAN.  As you  4TH MAN.  To f o l l o w you i s a p l e a s u r e .  WILLIE.  I know t h a t c a v e .  2ND MAN.  D i d you?  the  say. (They e x i t )  I p l a y e d t h e r e as a  child.  ( 1 S T man e n t e r s ) 1 S T MAN.  They need you out t h e r e .  Go h e l p them.  2ND MAN. I t i s no l o n g e r f o r you to g i v e o r d e r s . o f a l l o f u s has a r r i v e d , remember?  The t r u e  leader  1 S T MAN. I am n o t the one who i s i n danger o f f o r g e t t i n g . (To W i l l i e ) T e l l him to g o . He i s good w i t h w o r d s . They w i l l follow him. WILLIE.  (To 2ND) Go and t e l l  them who I am.  2ND MAN.  I will.  When I am c e r t a i n ,  WILLIE.  What d i d he mean?  1 S T MAN.  He i s a r e b e l l i o n .  WILLIE.  Why d i d n ' t you f o l l o w us to my home?  1 S T MAN. go w e l l ?  I had no f u r t h e r need o f secondary p r o o f s .  WILLIE.  They t o l d us o f f a n t a s t i c  1 S T MAN.  And everyone was impressed?  WILLIE.  Yes.  And now I ' m h u n g r y .  1 S T MAN. I t ' s fortunate There i s no time now.  (exits)  Did i t  t h i n g s I n e v e r knew.  I d i d n ' t s l e e p too much e i t h e r .  t h a t s a i n t s do not r e q u i r e much o f  either.  - 15 2ND MAN. ( E n t e r i n g w i t h 3RD and 4TH.) But t h e y a r e r e s t l e s s .  I have spoken t o them.  1ST MAN. T e l l them to spread o u t and r e s t . h o l y ground.  We've r e a c h e d the  2ND MAN.  I ' v e t o l d them t h a t a l r e a d y .  3RD MAN.  T h e y ' v e f o l l o w e d an unseen source f o r many m i l e s .  4TH MAN.  They w i s h to see t h i s s a v i o u r .  1ST MAN. T e l l them the s a v i o u r needs r e s t b u t w i l l v e r y soon. 2ND MAN. him.  You can no l o n g e r g i v e commands. (indicating Willy)  1ST MAN.  I hope he w i l l  3RD MAN.  We w i l l do o u r b e s t f o r y o u .  4TH MAN.  As ve always d o .  1ST MAN.  (To W i l l i e )  speak to them  I ' l l l i s t e n o n l y to  t e a c h you o b e d i e n c e .  (To o t h e r s )  (They e x i t )  The crowd must be P l e a s e go.  reassured.  WILLIE.  (To 2ND)  2ND MAN.  They w o n ' t be s a t i s f i e d w i t h me f o r l o n g .  WILLIE.  You do g i v e a l o t o f  T e l l them I j u s t need a l i t t l e  orders. How  What!  1ST MAN. You must a p p r e c i a t e i m m e d i a t e l y , f o r the image. WILLIE.  time.  (Exits)  1ST MAN. Only u n t i l you a r e r e a d y to g i v e them y o u r s e l f . q u i c k l y can you grow a beard? WILLIE.  Go.  A r e you  the importance o f g r o w i n g one  serious?  1ST MAN. You must be a l t e r e d to f i t the image o f the f i r s t s a v i o u r . P e o p l e a c c e p t new c o n c e p t s w i t h d i f f i c u l t y . Why make i t difficult? I have something f o r y o u . (Goes i n t o c a v e , r e t u r n s w i t h robe and s a n d a l s . ) These are y o u r new c l o t h e s . I suggest you p u t them on b e f o r e the crowd sees y o u . WILLIE.  Forget i t .  No way!  1ST MAN. Y o u ' d be s u r p r i s e d a t how d i f f e r e n t these new c l o t h e s w i l l make you f e e l . G i v e them a t r y . A l l o w me. WILLIE. food.  Back o f f . I'm hungry.  I f you r e a l l y want t o h e l p me, get me some  -  16  -  1ST MAN. L e t me e x p l a i n . They've a l l w a i t e d so l o n g . They're n o t c e r t a i n anymore what i t i s t h e y ' r e w a i t i n g f o r . I t would h e l p them to a d j u s t to you e a s i e r i f you l o o k e d and a c t e d as the f i r s t s a v i o u r d i d . They d o n ' t r e a l i z e t h a t even s a i n t s and s a v i o u r s a l t e r w i t h the t i m e s . They want t r a d i t i o n i n t h e i r r e l i g i o n , so why n o t comply? L i s t e n to them. They a l l want y o u . P l e a s e , put y o u r arm t h r o u g h . L a t e r o n , I ' l l come back w i t h some food a f t e r t h e y ' v e gone. But n o t now. When y o u ' r e i n t h e i r p r e s e n c e , I ' d suggest a l i t t l e b r e a d . . . ; a l i t t l e w i n e . . . b u t t r y n o t to l e t y o u r stomach g r o w l . D o n ' t b u r p . C o n t r o l y o u r b l a d d e r . You u n d e r s t a n d . . . i n the B i b l e . . . t h e r e ' s no mention o f C h r i s t r e l i e v i n g himself. Now p l e a s e . . . t h e o t h e r arm. WILLIE.  You're k i d d i n g !  1ST MAN.  L i s t e n to them.  WILLIE. all  Please...the  sandals...  You d o n ' t b e l i e v e i n me. I f I r e a l l y were H i m , you know t h a t c r a p would make no d i f f e r e n c e .  1ST MAN. advisor.  Y e s , i t w o u l d . I know these p e o p l e . A c c e p t me as y o u r I can make i t e a s i e r f o r y o u . There i s n o t much t i m e .  WILLIE.  Look a t me!  T h e y ' l l l a u g h a t me i n t h i s  outfit.  1ST MAN. Y o u ' l l see d i f f e r e n t l y . They grow i m p a t i e n t . Listen. They a r e a l l c a l l i n g out f o r y o u . No-one e l s e m a t t e r s now but y o u . You are e v e r y t h i n g . P u t on the s a n d a l s . WILLIE. o f mine.  (Accepting)  They a l l w a i t f o r me?  1ST MAN.  It's  WILLIE.  I d o n ' t know what to  1ST MAN.  I ' l l help you.  2ND MAN.  Y o u ' l l have to speak to them now.  n o t a dream.  It's  an o l d dream  Are you r e a d y f o r them now? say.  J u s t a l i t t l e w i l l be enough f o r now. C a n ' t you h e a r ?  (There i s a l o t o f s t i r r i n g and c a l l i n g i n the a u d i e n c e . ) ( i n d i v i d u a l v o i c e s c a l l o u t , "Where i s h e ? " , e t c . ) ( G e n e r a l 3RD MAN.  Only your v o i c e w i l l  4TH MAN.  Listen.  CROWD. wait!  ( i n a u d i e n c e ) Speak! Where i s the s a v i o u r ?  1ST MAN.  It is  time.  WILLIE.  I'm scared.  1ST MAN.  I'm r i g h t  here.  still  unrest)  them.  Speak!  We must h e a r y o u !  We  CROWD.  A message!  3RD, 4TH,  Y e s , y e s , a message.  2ND MAN.  G i v e us d i r e c t i o n , i f you c a n .  3RD, 4TH.  Direction.  WILLIE.  What do I do?  1ST MAN.  T e l l them you a r e t i r e d and must have peace f o r t o n i g h t .  2ND MAN.  We must have answers to b u r n i n g q u e s t i o n s !  3RD, 4TH, CROWD. 2ND MAN.  A message!  Now! Now!  Now!  We must have d i r e c t i o n !  Yes, yes!  Answers!  We have c o n f e s s i o n s t h a t have to be h e a r d .  3RD, 4TH, CROWD.  Yes, yes, confessions!  Must be h e a r d !  1ST MAN. See how h e ' s s t i r r i n g them u p . Show h i m . Show them a l l .  R i s e to the o c c a s i o n .  WILLIE.  Then what?  2ND MAN.  We have s i n s t h a t have to be c l e a n s e d .  3RD, 4TH, CROWD.  S i n s t h a t have t o be c l e a n s e d !  1ST MAN. You must l e t them see y o u . Come f o r w a r d . C l e a r the way. Your s a v i o u r w i l l speak. CROWD.  Hooray!  WILLIE.  I  1ST MAN. wanted.  Y e s , you c a n .  WILLIE.  But i f y o u ' r e wrong?  (To a l l )  Our S a v i o u r !  o&n'tl A l l eyes a r e on you now, as Y o u ' v e a l w a y s  1ST MAN. Can so many be wrong? Look. L i s t e n t o them. you deny y o u r s e l f when you a r e needed so b a d l y ? 2ND MAN.  W i l l he speak to u s ?  3RD, 4TH.  He must  speak!  CROWD.  Speak!  Speak!  1ST MAN. Now i s the t i m e . I w i l l help you. w i l l now a d d r e s s y o u . S i l e n c e , p l e a s e . (A g r e a t hush)  How c a n  F r i e n d s , our Lord  1ST MAN. (To V / i l l i e ) I n f r o n t . Where t h e y can see y o u . That's right. See? They l i k e y o u r a p p e a r a n c e . Now speak. T e l l them you cannot h e l p them t o n i g h t . You need p e a c e . Go o n . WILLIE. F r i e n d s . . . I cannot g i v e you much h e l p t o n i g h t . peace...(Falters)  I need  1ST MAN.  (Prompting)  " I am not y e t  ready".  WILLIE.  I am n o t y e t  ready.  1ST MAN.  "You must g i v e me time to be a l o n e w i t h my F a t h e r " .  WILLIE.  You must g i v e me time to be a l o n e w i t h my F a t h e r .  1ST MAN. saviour.  For I l o v e you too much to g i v e you a l e s s t h a n p e r f e c t  WILLIE. F o r I l o v e you too much t o g i v e you a l e s s than p e r f e c t saviour. ( P a u s e ) . . . P l e a s e . . . w a i t u n t i l t o m o r r o w . . . Y o u have w a i t e d t h i s long a l r e a d y . . . w a i t a l i t t l e more...Wait u n t i l tomorrow... and t h e n . . . a n d t h e n . . . I w i l l be y o u r s . T i l l t h e n , my f r i e n d s . . . p l e a s e go i n peace and l e a v e me. (The crowd s t i r s and c a l l s  out)  1ST MAN. That was f i n e . P e r m i t me. ( A d d r e s s i n g crowd) You have h e a r d H i m . We must b e g i n by p r a c t i s i n g o b e d i e n c e . Our L o r d has shown u s t h a t we a r e o v e r - i m p a t i e n t . L e t us l e a r n o u r f i r s t l e s s o n w e l l . We w i l l r e t u r n tomorrow. 2ND MAN. He has t o l d us n o t h i n g . tomorrow? 1ST MAN.  You w i l l come to no good.  How do we know he w i l l be h e r e W i l l you be  quiet?  WILLIE. (To 1ST) L e t me. (To 2ND) L o o k , i f you d o n ' t b e l i e v e i n me, why hang around and cause t r o u b l e ? What have I d o n e . t o you? I d o n ' t i n t e n d t o t a k e o f f . Why s h o u l d I ? I have e v e r y thing. I f y o u ' r e j e a l o u s , o r i f you doubt me, why d o n ' t you jump from the c l i f f y o u r s e l f ? I f you l i v e , I ' l l s t e p a s i d e f o r you. Fair is fair. D o n ' t you t h i n k you c o u l d a t l e a s t g i v e me the c o u r t e s y o f a t r i a l ? Y o u ' d do as much f o r anyone e l s e . 2ND MAN.  You have a p o i n t .  3RD MAN.  Why n o t r u n h i m o u t ?  4-TH MAN.  We d o n ' t need h i s s o r t among u s .  WILLIE. minute. 2ND MAN.  On the s t r e n g t h o f y o u r o p i n i o n ? I want him to s t a y h e r e . (Surprised)  Thank y o u .  I t changes e v e r y  WILLIE.  Would you h e l p the crowd to break up?  2ND MAN.  Yes, I w i l l .  WILLIE.  (To 2ND and 3RD)  W i l l you go, as  3RD MAN.  Please...may I?  (Approaching)  4TH MAN.  May we touch you?  WILLIE.  Why n o t ?  3RD MAN.  (Touching h i s r o b e )  tomorrow. 4TII MAN.  Till  tomorrow t h e n .  Thank y o u .  I have to be  (Exits) well?  I cannot w a i t  till  (Likewise)  Thank y o u .  I t w i l l be a l o n g n i g h t .  It's  You d i d a l l  right.  over.  alone,  1ST MAN.  Not much. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. Enough. But y o u ' l l have to be p r e p a r e d f o r tomorrow. I have some s u g g e s t i o n s f o r s p e e c h e s . . . WILLIE.  You're not going?  1ST MAN.  Not  WILLIE.  I ' d l i k e to be  1ST MAN.  I c o u l d get you some food now.  WILLIE.  I d o n ' t f e e l hungry now.  1ST MAN.  Y o u ' l l need y o u r s t r e n g t h f o r tomorrow.  WILLIE.  No  1ST MAN.  Even J e s u s a c c e p t e d f o o d .  WILLIE.  I ' d l i k e to be  1ST MAN.  I t h i n k we s h o u l d t a l k a l i t t l e ,  WILLIE.  About what?  1ST MAN.  What y o u ' l l  WILLIE.  Why?  1ST MA!?. critical. WILLIE. 1ST MAN.  yet. alone.  You s h o u l d  eat.  thanks.  alone. first.  say to them tomorrow.  We need to say the r i g h t t h i n g s . We? W h a t ' s happened to you?  Tomorrow t h e y ' l l  be more  - 20 WILLIE.  I ' d l i k e you to  go.  1ST MAN.  I had p l a n n e d to s t a y w i t h y o u .  WILLIE.  Why?  1ST MAN.  I thought you needed h e l p .  WILLIE.  A f r a i d I ' l l run off?  1ST MAN.  Of course  not.  WILLIE. Y o u ' r e so c a r e f u l t o make c e r t a i n the o t h e r s b e l i e v e i n m e . . . w h a t about y o u r s e l f ? ? 1ST MAN.  Why do you t h i n k I d o n ' t  WILLIE. Why d o n ' t you? i t be me?  believe?  A miracle i s a miracle.  1ST MAN.  Y o u ' r e r i g h t , you d o n ' t need me anymore.  WILLIE.  Do you t h i n k y o u ' v e made me up?  Why s h o u l d n ' t  1ST MAN. I ' v e t r i e d t o h e l p you a d j u s t to y o u r new r o l e . Make i t e a s i e r f o r everyone. And now t h a t you h a v e , you d o n ' t need me any f u r t h e r . I ' l l s t i l l be t h e r e i f you should e v e r need me again. ( S t a r t s t o go) WILLIE.  ( S t o p p i n g him)  T h a t ' s n o t enough.  Do y o u b e l i e v e i n me?  1ST MAI?. Y e s , I d o . I b e l i e v e i n you as much as I ' d b e l i e v e i n anyone who had j u s t performed a m i r a c l e . I hope you have a good rest. (Exits) WILLIE. Come b a c k . I d o n ' t l i k e t h a t answer. E v e r y t h i n g i s so confusing. A t t h i s moment my p a r e n t s s h o u l d be weeping o v e r my smashed body i n a f u n e r a l home, making arrangements w i t h the church, accepting condolences. Instead I'm h e r e . L i k e i n my o l d dreams, I'm someone w i t h a d e s t i n y . Is i t r e a l l y a l l part of a d i v i n e plan? (Mother and f a t h e r e n t e r w i t h b i r t h d a y cake and g i f t s ) MOTHER.  Willie?  WILLIE.  Who's t h a t ?  MOTHER.  Your mother,  FATHER.  And y o u r f a t h e r ,  WILLIE.  What f o r ?  MOTHER.  You see,  dear.  father,  too.  I t o l d you h e ' d be g l a d to see  us.  - 21 FATHER.  Ve w e r e n ' t s u r e i f y o u ' d come back f o r y o u r b i r t h d a y !  MOTHER.  So we brought the b i r t h d a y t o y o u .  WILLIE.  How d i d you know where to come?  MOTHER.  Everyone knows where you a r e ,  WILLIE.  Do t h e y ?  FATHER. proud.  Oh y e s ,  WILLIE.  And does everyone know who I am?  son.  Willie.  Y o u ' v e become v e r y i m p o r t a n t .  MOTHER. Y o u ' v e become famous i n a m a t t e r o f h o u r s . new r e c o r d .  We're so  It's  a  WILLIE.  And you b e l i e v e i n me?  MOTHER.  I always knew t h e r e was something d i f f e r e n t about y o u .  FATHER.  We b e l i e v e i n you 100$,  boy.  MOTHER. And l o o k a t y o u r b i r t h d a y c a k e . Your f a v o r i t e i c i n g . "Happy B i r t h d a y W i l l i e " i n w h i t e i c i n g . Won't you open y o u r p r e s e n t s now? WILLIE.  No, I c o u l d n ' t .  FATHER. We had a l r e a d y bought them b e f o r e we h e a r d t h a t you were the new M e s s i a h . C o n s i d e r i t a s y m b o l i c b i r t h d a y , b o y . D i g i n . WILLIE. No, f a t h e r . things now...  T h i s i s so u n i m p o r t a n t .  FATHER.  You need me f o r a n y t h i n g , son?  WILLIE.  What s h a l l I d o , dad?  There are  other  FATHER. The way ahead i s c l e a r , W i l l i e . Y o u ' r e the new s a v i o u r . You've n e v e r been one to t u r n away from y o u r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . WILLIE. FATHER. I. WILLIE.  And my r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s  To go ahead i n t h i s . You were t h e r e t h i s a f t e r n o o n , Y o u ' r e the one who knows whether i t was a m i r a c l e o r n o t . I t was.  You s h o u l d have seen where I  FATHER. Then why be u n c e r t a i n ? happened to y o u . . . MOTHER.  are...?  And to y o u r f a m i l y . . .  not  jumped.  This i s a great thing that  has  - 22 FATHER. You a r e now a man o f d e s t i n y . I t i s now p o s s i b l e f o r you to do g r e a t t h i n g s . . . l i k e y o u ' v e always dreamt o f . . . l i k e e v e r y man has always dreamt o f . You a r e the o n e . . . W a l k t a l l , s o n . H o l d y o u r head h i g h . You a r e now the most i m p o r t a n t man i n the w o r l d . . . perhaps i n h i s t o r y . L i v e y o u r moment I WILLIE.  And those t h i n g s you s a i d about my c h i l d h o o d ?  MOTHER. E v e r y one o f them t r u e , and much more. H a v e n ' t we always t o l d y o u , you would be n o t i c e d ? We k n e w . . . w e always knew somet h i n g l i k e t h i s would h a p p e n . . . a n d we t r i e d to p r e p a r e you f o r i t . FATHER.  You were n e v e r an o r d i n a r y c h i l d .  WILLIE.  Mother, f a t h e r !  FATHER.  And now w e ' l l l e a v e y o u w i t h y o u r t r u e  MOTHER.  W e ' l l g i v e y o u up to h i g h e r t h i n g s ,  WILLIE.  Thank you f o r what y o u ' v e  FATHER.  We l e a v e you to y o u r new l i f e .  WILLIE.  Goodbye ( E x i t s i n t o c a v e )  MOTHER.  You see?  FATHER. saints.  I t ' s l u c k y we came.  (Embracing them)  Thank y o u .  Thank y o u .  father...  dear.  done.  I t o l d you h e ' d be g e t t i n g c o l d f e e t . Now w e ' r e on o u r way to becoming  MOTHER. People w i l l open t h e i r doors to u s everywhere. s t o p y o u r o l d age p e n s i o n c o n t r i b u t i o n s . FATHER. The p o s s i b i l i t i e s a r e u n l i m i t e d . are now w o r t h a f o r t u n e .  We c a n  A l l of W i l l i e ' s  MOTHER.  Do you t h i n k W i l l i e w i l l be a l l r i g h t now?  FATHER.  He w o n ' t back o u t .  MOTHER.  What s h a l l we do w i t h t h e s e p r e s e n t s ?  things  We brought h i m up to be a n o p p o r t u n i s t .  FATHER. T h e y ' r e w o r t h money to u s now. No-one w i l l knovr he n e v e r r e a l l y owned them. MOTHER.  And the cake?  FATHER.  Throw i t away.  You know I h a t e c h o c o l a t e  (They e x i t )  (Time p a s s a g e .  Next m o r n i n g .  The f o u r men e n t e r . )  icing.  - 23 3RD MAN.  We must walk s o f t l y .  4TH MAN.  We a r e on h o l y g r o u n d .  1ST MAN.  It's  2ND MAN.  I t ' s n e v e r too e a r l y f o r the L o r d .  1ST MAN.  Even the L o r d , needs r e s t , my f r i e n d .  WILLIE.  (From w i t h i n )  3RD MAN.  Your humble s e r v a n t s .  4TH MAN.  Assembled f o r y o u r word.  1ST MAN.  A r e we too e a r l y ?  2ND MAN.  The L o r d knows no h o u r s .  1ST MAN.  W i l l you be q u i e t ?  3RD MAN.  H i s impatience w i l l r u i n us a l l .  4TH MAN.  He has no c o n t r o l .  so e a r l y .  He may n o t be r e a d y .  Who's t h e r e ?  2ND MAN. (To W i l l i e ) W i l l you come o u t ? Many o f them s l e p t i n the f i e l d s .  The crowd i s  1ST MAN.  Why w i l l you n o t l e a r n ?  2ND MAN.  Perhaps because I have n o t h i n g to l e a r n .  (Willie enters.  He i s more c o n f i d e n t .  Looks more " t h e p a r t " )  WILLIE.  I h e a r d you and I ' m h e r e .  2ND MAN.  A r e you r e a d y ?  3RD MAN.  V/e have wandered w i t h o u t you f o r too l o n g .  4TH MAN.  B r i n g u s back to p e a c e .  WILLIE.  I w i l l l e a d you back.  2ND MAN.  At l a s t !  WILLIE.  I w i l l change y o u r l i v e s .  3RD, 4TH.  Y e s , change u s !  Please.  Yes, yes!  Get u p .  A l l of you.  Give your l i f e d i r e c t i o n .  WILLIE. There a r e so many o u t t h e r e . you a l l h e a r me? CROWD.  waiting.  Can y o u a l l see me?  Relax.  Can  - 24 3RD MAN.  W i l l you g i v e u s  Paradise.  4TH MAN.  W i l l you b a n i s h war?  2ND MAN.  L o r d , we w a i t .  3RD MAN.  Yes,  4TH MAN.  We are  M i l l i o n s o f us w a i t .  y o u r sermon. ready.  ( W i l l i e comes f o r w a r d . He l o o k s o u t a t the c r o w d , and s t o p s , n e r v o u s l y . He l o o k s f o r the 1 s t man. They l o o k a t one a n o t h e r . Awkward p a u s e . ) Quiet I  1ST MAN.  ( s e n s i n g h i s need)  3RD MAN.  The sermon on the mount!  1ST MAN.  Quiet!  We w i l l now have the sermon.  The L o r d w i l l now speak!  WILLIE. (Nervous, u n c e r t a i n ) W e l l . . . f i r s t o f a l l . . . a h . . . L e t ' s l o o k a t C h r i s t . He w a s . . . a h . . . t h e f i r s t o f t h e m . . . I m e a n . . . t h e f i r s t o f the s a v i o u r s . What I mean i s . . . t h e r e were two. I ' m the second o n e . We have to r e a l i z e , t h o u g h , t h a t t h e r e i s no way we can be r e a l l y c e r t a i n t h a t t h e r e w e r e n ' t more. U n r e c o g n i z e d o n e s , I mean. S a y . . . p e o p l e . . . w h o . . . a h . . . j u m p e d o f f c l i f f s and d i d n ' t d i e t o o . There may have been l o t s o f them, vrho knows? Who knows i f t h e r e were m i r a c l e s performed e v e r y day, b u t no-one to know i t cause t h e r e was no-one to see i t . What I ' m t r y i n g t o get a t i s t h a t y o u ' v e made the d i f f e r e n c e . Y o u , w i t h a l l p a t i e n c e and f a i t h . ...waiting...watching...and finally...recognizing! 1ST MAN.  Y e s , we r e c o g n i z e d !  (He has gone down among t h e a u d i e n c e and i s t r y i n g to s t i r up the croxvd.) 2ND, 3RD.  We r e c o g n i z e d !  4TH MAN.  Yes!  1ST MAN.  Yes!  CROWD.  Yes!  Yes!  WILLIE. ( G a i n i n g c o n f i d e n c e from t h i s ) So we d o n ' t know how many o f those s a i n t s t h e r e may have b e e n . S a i n t s o n l y to thems e l v e s because no-one e l s e e v e r knew. But I ' l l t e l l you one t h i n g . . . . t h e r e was C h r i s t . . . f o r s u r e . . . a n d now t h e r e i s Me. I f y o u ' l l b e l i e v e t h a t . . . y o u ' l l have i t made. Because I know i t i s me. Because I s u r v i v e d . . . a n d you watched me s u r v i v e . . . I know i t ' s me! 1ST MAN.  Yes, i t ' s you!  3RD, 4TH.  It's  you, you!  - 25 CROWD.  You I  WILLIE.  The w o r l d w i l l now change  1ST MAN.  Yes, f o r e v e r !  CROWD.  Forever!  forever!  L e t ' s hear i t , l e t ' s hear i t .  Forever!  WILLIE. (More c o n f i d e n t ) The h o r r o r s and u n c e r t a i n i t i e s o f l i f e w i l l fade o u t . . . M a n w i l l r e c o g n i z e M e . . . a n d through me he w i l l recognize himself. B e c a u s e . . . f r i e n d s . . . M a n i s not j u s t a passing p h a s e . . . H e ' s n o t a t o t a l w i p e o u t . Man i s f o r e v e r ! 1ST MAN.  Forever!  CROWD.  Forever!  2ND MAN.  Yes, yes!  CROWD.  It's  You • r e r i g h t .  It's  true.  true!  WILLIE. Y e s , f o l l o w me , m i s t e r . B e l i e v e me! Why n o t ? Have you g o t a n y t h i n g b e t t e r g o i n ,s f o r you? No? Then why n o t ? I'm a sure t h i n g . Why n o t ? ? ( S p e c i f i c a l l y to 2nd man) 1ST MAN.  Why n o t ?  2ND MAN.  Y e s , why n o t ?  Why n o t ?  WILLIE. (Going s t r o n g now) Man r e a l l y i s what he always hoped he w a s . . . M a n i s n o t a speck o f d u s t i n a f r o g s e y e . . . m a n i s n o t a p i l e o f c r a p r o t t i n g on the p a s t u r e . Man has a d e s t i n y . 2ND MAN. Yes, a d e s t i n y . (He comes down i n t o the c r o w d . 1 s t man, N o t i c i n g h i m and a l s o W i l l i e ' s mounting c o n f i d e n c e , now t a k e s a back s e a t . ) 3RD, 4TH.  A destiny!  CROWD.  Yes,  yes!  WILLIE. Man i s n o t a bad s c e n e . Man knows where h e ' s a t . a t the r i g h t p l a c e , man. The r i g h t p l a c e ! 2ND MAN.  We a r e a t the r i g h t  CROWD.  Were t h e r e !  WILLIE.  We've a r r i v e d !  2ND MAN.  V/e've a r r i v e d a t  He's  place!  last!  WILLIE. Man i s not a moth h a n g i n g on to a c o a t t h a t i s b e i n g t o r n down to make room f o r a w i d e r h a l l . Man i s not a f i s h t h a t g e t s a l l r a c k e d up t r y i n g to l a y i t s eggs o n l y to g e t caught on a f i s h e r m a n ' s hook f i v e f e e t from i t s g o a l ! Man i s more, l e t me t e l l you! More!  -  26  -  2ND MAN.  More!  More!  3RD, 4TH.  Man i s more!  WILLIE.  P r a i s e God man i s more!  CROWD.  P r a i s e Good!  P r a i s e God!  WILLIE. P r a i s e God, who made a l l t h i n g s p o s s i b l e . . . T h e b i g t h i n g s and the s m a l l t h i n g s . The p e t t y t h i n g s and the u l t i m a t e t h i n g s . . . the t r i v i l i t i e s and the m i n d - b l o w e r s . P r a i s e God! 2ND MAN.  P r a i s e God!  ALL.  P r a i s e God!  P r a i s e God!  WILLIE. Who makes the pop f i z z and the g r a v y t h i c k e n and the c o f f e e p e r k ? God. Who p a s s e s around the c o l l e c t i o n p l a t e i n o r d e r to a i d m i s s i o n a r i e s i n I n d o - C h i n a , and d r i v e s the cows o u t o f the storm i n t o the barn? God. 2ND MAN.  God!  ALL.  God!  WILLIE. Who p u t s j e w e l l e d c o l l a r s on Siamese c a t s and mosquitoes on b o d i e s i n the g r a s s ? God. 2ND MAN.  God!  CROWD.  God!  WILLIE. Who l e t s f l o w e r s grow on the g r a v e s o f men who were hanged f o r m u r d e r i n g t h e i r mothers? Who p u t s i c e on the s t a i r s where grandmother has t o go down t o p i c k up t h e m i l k ? Cancer on the bones on the m i l k m a n ' s r e t i r e d o l d h o r s e . . . a n d p i m p l e s on the f a c e o f the f a t t e s t g i r l i n s c h o o l ? 2ND MAN.  God!  ALL.  God!  WILLIE.  And me!  2ND MAN.  God and me!  And me! God and me!  WILLIE. Who p u t s lumps i n the mashed p o t a t o e s on T h a n k s g i v i n g . . . f l i e s i n the hamburger f o r the Sunday c o o k - o u t ? 2ND MAN.  God and me!  God and me!  ALL.  God and me!  God and me!  WILLIE. Who p u t s f o o d between the t e e t h t h a t have to s m i l e f o r the people? Wax i n the e a r s . . . f u n g u s on the f e e t ?  - 27 2ND MAN.  Godenmy!  Godenmy!  ALL.  Godenmy!  Godenmy!  WILLIE.  Yes, yes,  yes!  2ND MAN.  Yes!  ALL.  Yes!  .  -  (Pause, t h e n W i l l i e b e g i n s a g a i n more s l o w l y ) WILLIE. to me.  My f r i e n d s , Love i s the answer.  Gather a r o u n d .  (He s t e p s down and w a l k s around among the men.) 2ND MAN.  Come c l o s e r .  We h e a r d y o u , L o r d .  Listen  Come c l o s e r .  We h e a r d y o u .  (The f o u r woman i n the audience r i s e and go o n s t a g e ) 1ST W.  We h e a r d y o u , L o r d .  2ND W.  W e ' l l come c l o s e r to y o u .  3RD. W.  C l o s e enough to k i s s y o u r f e e t .  4TH W.  We're h e r e ,  Lord!  WILLIE. T h a t ' s r i g h t , c l o s e r . We're t a l k i n g about l o v e h e r e , people. N o t h i n g but l o v e . Come as c l o s e as you c a n . S m i l e a t y o u r n e i g h b o u r . N o t h i n g b u t pure p l a i n l o v e . 2ND MAN.  (Back onstage now)  Yes, l o v e .  (The 1 s t man i s a l s o o n s t a g e and becomes one o f t h e crowd i n responses?) ALL.  Love I  WILLIE. Love w i l l p u t u s on the r i g h t t r a c k . Love w i l l b r i n g us peace o f m i n d . Everybody l o v e . Everybody l o v e e v e r y b o d y . 2ND MAN.  (Embracing one o f the woman)  ALL.  Everybody l o v e .  Y e s , everybody l o v e .  (The o t h e r t h r e e men embrace the woman)  WILLIE. T h a t ' s r i g h t . K i s s everyone. l o v e y o u r f r i e n d l y l o a n company.  Love e v e r y o n e .  CROWD.  Our f r i e n d l y l o a n company.  WILLIE.  Everybody l o v e o u r f r i e n d l y p o l i c e . . .  CROWD.  Our f r i e n d l y p o l i c e .  Everybody  - 28 WILLIE. seller.  Everybody l o v e y o u r f r i e n d l y d o o r - t o - d o o r  CROWD.  Our f r i e n d . l y d o o r - t o - d o o r magazine  seller.  (Men and women c o n t i n u e to f o n d l e and hug each WILLIE. Everybody l o v e . love everybody's w i f e . CROWD.  Everybody's  magazine  other)  Everybody l o v e y o u r w i f e .  Everybody  wife.  That's r i g h t ! That's r i g h t ! WILLIE. Love w i l l save us a l l ! love, love!  Y o u ' v e got i t now.  CROWD.  Love w i l l  WILLIE.  Love e v e r y t h i n g !  CROWD.  Love e v e r y t h i n g !  WILLIE.  Burnt t o a s t . . . r i s i n g  taxes!  CROWD.  Burnt t o a s t . . . r i s i n g  taxes!  WILLIE.  Unwashed a r m p i t s . . . g r e a s y h a i r ^ * .  Love,  save u s a l l !  CROWD. Unwashed a r m p i t s . . . g r e a s y h a i r . . . ( P i c k i n g up the rhythm and b e g i n n i n g to d a n c e . ) WILLIE.  The f l y i n the  pie!  CROWD.  The f l y i n the  pie!  WILLIE.  The f l e a i n the  tree!  CROWD.  The f l e a i n the  tree!  WILLIE.  The g l a s s i n the g r a s s l  CROWD.  G l a s s i n the g r a s s !  WILLIE.  The t a r on the  Tar on the c a r ! CROWD. more and more a b a n d o n d l y . )  car! (The men and women onstage are Tar on the c a r !  dancing,  WILLIE.  Bug on the r u g !  CROWD.  Bug on the r u g !  WILLIE.  The gore on the  CROWD.  Gore on the f l o o r , gore on the f l o o r , gore on the  WILLIE.  Dog on the l o g !  Bug on the r u g !  Bug on the r u g !  floor. floor!  - 29 CROW.  Dog on the l o g , l o g on the dog, dog on the l o g l  WILLIE.  The m i l k on the  silk!  CROWD. M i l k on the s i l k ! S i l k on the m i l k ! Whore on the f l o o r . M o r e , more more! WILLIE.  ( A l l join in)  Whore on the f l o o r .  Gore on the f l o o r . Whore a t the d o o r .  l o g on the dog. Dog on the l o g . . . l o g . . . l o g . . . l o g on the d o g . . . h o g . . . h o g . . . h o g i n the h o g . . . b o g . . . b o g . . . h o g i n the g o g . . . f l e a s i n the t r e e s . . . t r e e s on the fleas...fleas...fleas... f l e a s i n the b r e e z e . . . m o r e . . . p l e a s e ! Tar on the c a r . . C a r i n the t a r . , . t a r . . . c a r . . . t a r . . . t a r on the s t a r . . . f l e a s . . . f l o o r . . . bog...hog...gog...gore...floor...whore...more...more,more! (They c o l l a u s e on one a n o t h e r , Heavy b r e a t h i n g . ) ( W i l l i e remains s t a n d i n g . Looks around h i m , now c o n v i n c e d o f h i s omnipotence. Calmy, q u i e t l y , he b e g i n s a g a i n . ) WILLIE. V e r y much l i k e the f i n a l e c s t a s y o f c o p u l a t i o n i s the p l e a s u r e t h a t makes you scream w i t h p a i n . . . t h e scream o f the squashed c u c u m b e r . . . t h e s t u b b i n g o f a v e r y d e l i c a t e b l u e - v e i n e d toe a g a i n s t u n r e l e n t i n g c o n c r e t e . P l e a s u r e . . . a n d p a i n . . . t h a t o l d mocking p a i r . . . H o t and c o l d sometimes come t o g e t h e r to form a u n i o n n e i t h e r h o t n o r c o l d , b u t r a t h e r an u n s a t i s f y i n g , t e a s i n g , f r o z e n b u r n t h a t p i n c h e s , t i n g l e s , and l e a v e s you f e e l i n g c h e a t e d . I n my o p i n i o n , however, the most i n t e n s e c o l d i s n o t a u n i o n . I t i s the c o l d t h a t comes d i r e c t l y a f t e r the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the c o l d i s c o l d . . . P o r example, the c o l d t h a t f o l l o w s the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the f o g i s f o g . . . t h e v o i c e i s o n l y a f o g h o r n . . . a n d t h a t you a r e the s m a l l e s t f o g c l o t . . . o f them a l l . F i n a l l y , I b e l i e v e t h a t the u l t i m a t e r e a l i z a t i o n i s n o t t h a t o f the d e p a r t u r e o f l o v e d o n e s , n o r t h a t o f p a s t y o u t h f u l j o y s and memories, n o r o f the g r e a t P a r a d i s e t o come, b u t t h a t o f e l e c t r i c i t y b i l l s r i s i n g . . . h a m b u r g e r s l e f t too l o n g i n the f r i d g e . . . u n d e r w e a r l e f t u n w a s h e d . . . a n d m i r r o r s left staring... L e t u s p r a y . Our F a t h e r CROWD.  Which a r t i n Heaven.  WILLIE.  Thy kingdom has come.  CROWD.  Thy  WILLIE.  I s b e i n g done.  CROWD.  G i v e us t h i s d a y .  WILLIE.  F a i t h i n o u r new s a v i o u r .  CROWD.  And f o r g i v e  will...  us...  -  30  -  WILLIE.  P o r y o u r doubts d u r i n g y o u r l o n g w a i t f o r me.  CROWD.  As we f o r g i v e tho s e . . .  WILLIE.  Who s t i l l  CROWD.  Lead us n o t . . .  WILLIE.  O f f the t r u e p a t h .  CROWD.  F o r e v e r and e v e r .  WILLIE.  E v e r and e v e r .  CROWD.  Amen.  (A g r e a t  doubt.  F o r we have a r r i v e d .  Amen.  silence)  2ND MAN.  A saint.  A true  saint.  3RD MAN.  Beautiful.  4TH MAN.  P o s s e s s e d by God.  1ST W.  Such a p o w e r f u l v o i c e .  2ND W.  Such a m a g n i f i c a n t  3RD W.  Such a p r e t t y  4TH W.  P l e a s e . . . l e t me t o u c h y o u .  WILLIE.  T h a t ' s enough.  1ST W.  Please, b l e s s us  WILLIE.  I b l e s s you a l l .  2ND W.  W e ' l l f o l l o w you f o r e v e r .  stature.  face.  (To women)  Please.  Go b a c k .  first. Go i n p e a c e .  (They go back i n t o a u d i e n c e ) 2ND MAN. Must we go too? (Throwing h i m s e l f a t W i l l i e ' s f e e t ) Oh L o r d , p l e a s e f o r g i v e me. I doubt no l o n g e r . Never a g a i n . P l e a s e . . . y o u r sermon has won me o v e r c o m p l e t e l y . D o n ' t send me away. WILLIE.  Please...get  up.  I forgive you.  Y o u ' r e welcome to  stay.  2ND MAN. You must l e t me s e r v e y o u . I must prove m y s e l f t o y o u . L e t me be y o u r d i s c i p l e . I w i l l f o l l o w i n y o u r f o o t s t e p s . . . I w i l l s u f f e r a l l h u m i l i a t i o n . . . i n s u l t and d e p r i v a t i o n . . . i f you w i l l o n l y l e t me f o l l o w y o u . 3RD MAN.  Y e s , we must be y o u r d i s c i p l e s !  4TH MAN. We saw you f i r s t . I t i s o n l y r i g h t t h a t we s h o u l d be named as those c l o s e s t t o y o u .  -  31 -  2ND MAN, M a s t e r , h o n o r me. You w i l l n e v e r f i n d a more d e v o t e d f o l l o w e r from t h i s moment o n . You must g i v e me a c h a n c e . WILLIE.  P l e a s e . . . t h i s i s too much.  You a r e my d i s c i p l e .  2ND MAN.  Dear M a s t e r , thank y o u .  3RD MAN.  And me L o r d .  WILLIE.  Yes,  3RD MAN.  I am h o n o r e d .  4TH MAN.  I w i l l never forget  WILLIE.  (Who has been w a t c h i n g the 1ST MAN) And you?  1ST MAN.  Lord?  WILLIE.  So  1ST MAN.  I am overwhelmed.  WILLIE.  W i t h what?  1ST MAN.  Your g r e a t n e s s .  WILLIE.  W i l l you be my d i s c i p l e ?  1ST MAN.  Yes,  WILLIE.  Do you w i s h ?  1ST MAN.  L o r d , my w i s h i s y o u r w i s h .  WILLIE.  But t h i s d o e s n ' t  2ND MAN.  He has always been l i k e  3RD MAN.  Unpleasant.  4TH MAN.  Overbearing.  WILLIE.  Commit y o u r s e l f .  1ST MAN.  I never s a i d  WILLIE.  But you t h i n k t h a t .  You w i l l n e v e r r e g r e t  it.  And me.  you as w e l l .  (To 4__)  And you t o o .  t h i s moment.  quiet?  i f you w i s h .  s a t i s f y me. that.  You doubt me.  that.  1ST MAN.  T h i s i s so u n i m p o r t a n t . L o o k . They a l l grow r e s t l e s s . They want you among them. You have been so s u c c e s s f u l . Your s u c c e s s i s what i s i m p o r t a n t .  WILLIE.  Your f a i t h i s what i s i m p o r t a n t .  1ST MAN.  Then you have i t , f o r God's s a k e !  WILLIE.  No. I n e v e r h a v e .  1ST MAN.  Please...leave  it  alone.  2ND MAN. He d i s p l e a s e d y o u . worthy of your concern.  L e t u s d r i v e out away.  3RD MAN.  He i s a  4-TH MAN.  There i s no s o u l i n h i m .  WILLIE.  And y e t . . . b e f o r e . . . h e  1ST MAN.  B e f o r e . . . w h e n we had no  3RD MAN.  Not now.  4TH MAN.  He i s e a s i l y  1ST MAN.  They're r i g h t .  WILLIE.  You c a n ' t g o .  He i s n o t  degenerate.  was y o u r l e a d e r . faith...  replaceable. I f I d i s p l e a s e y o u , l e t me g o . I know y o u .  2ND MAN. L o r d , may I speak? Most o f the crowd o u t t h e r e has seen n o t h i n g . I f i t i s so i m p o r t a n t f o r you to c o n v i n c e t h i s man; w o u l d n ' t a n o t h e r m i r a c l e do i t ? A t the same time the r e s t o f the p e o p l e would see i t as w e l l and t h e i r f a i t h would be d o u b l e d . 3RD MAN.  Yes, another m i r a c l e !  4TH MAN.  To double o u r f a i t h !  1ST MAN.  Pools!  2ND MAN. J e s u s . . . y o u r e m e m b e r . . . w a l k e d on the w a v e s . . . s t i l l e d the a n g r y s e a s . . . d i s t r i b u t e d b r e a d and f i s h e s t o the crowd when t h e y were h u n g r y . . . a f t e r the sermon, you remember? D o n ' t you t h i n k t h a t something o f t h i s s o r t may be needed? 1ST MAN. He has a l r e a d y g i v e n u s the g r e a t e s t m i r a c l e o f a l l . The one C h r i s t saved f o r the l a s t . 2ND MAN.  I would a l e r t t h e crowd.  3RD MAN.  A l l the d o u b t e r s would be t h e r e .  4TH MAN.  They would see and t r e m b l e . . . j u s t as we h a v e .  2ND MAN.  Not f o r u s . . . w h o a l r e a d y k n o w . . . b u t f o r the m u l t i t u d e s . . .  1ST MAN.  The m u l t i t u d e s f o l l o w e d J e s u s through f a i t h . . .  2ND MAN. W e ' l l p r e p a r e the u n b e l i e v e r s and r e p o r t e r s so t h a t t h e y can t e l l o f t h i s m i r a c l e to a l l o f the w o r l d .  -  33  -  1ST MAN. my L o r d .  Y o u ' l l go nowhere. D o n ' t g i v e the p e o p l e any more, You have g i v e n enough, b e l i e v e me.  WILLIE.  So, once more y o u w i s h to g i v e o r d e r s .  2ND MAN.  I am g o i n g , L o r d .  3RD MAN.  We w i l l p r e p a r e  4TH MAN.  A l l the w o r l d w i l l be c o n v i n c e d .  1ST MAN.  No I  (To 2nd)  Go.  I t i s y o u r g r e a t e s t command.  everyone.  2ND MAN. You w i l l n e v e r g i v e o r d e r s to me a g a i n . E x i t s w i tii 3 r d and 4 t h ) C a l l them b a c k .  (Laughs and  1ST MAN.  They are f o o l s I  WILLIE.  Mistake?  1ST MAN.  I t i s a m i s t a k e to be tempted.  WILLIE.  You w i l l watch a g a i n , and' you w i l l b e l i e v e t h i s t i m e .  1ST MAN.  D o n ' t do i t f o r me.  WILLIE.  I do i t f o r y o u .  1ST MAN.  But I ' m b e g g i n g you n o t t o !  It's  D o n ' t make t h i s m i s t a k e .  unnecessary.  (The men c i r c u l a t e among the a u d i e n c e ) 2ND MAN.  The m i r a c l e i s t o be  repeated!  3RD MAN.  Everyone p r e p a r e  4TH MAN.  Bring your f r i e n d s !  CROWD.  The m i r a c l e !  2ND MAN.  I t w o n ' t be l o n g .  3RD MAN.  Watch the  CROWD.  Horray...the miracle again!  1ST MAN.  D o n ' t do i t !  yourselves.  cliff!  WILLIE. Soon y o u ' l l b e l i e v e l i k e the o t h e r s . . . a n d when you d o . . . o n l y then w i l l I be c e r t a i n . 1ST MAN. But i s i t n o t b e t t e r t o be 99$ c e r t a i n o f a t h i n g , to take a chance i n o r d e r t o make i t 100$? WILLIE.  There i s no c h a n c e .  than  - 34 1 S T MAN. I s i t n o t b e t t e r t o be almost c e r t a i n o f a t h i n g and to have e v e r y t h i n g than to take a chance i n o r d e r t o be c o m p l e t e l y c e r t a i n and to l o s e a l l ? WILLIE.  You t h i n k I ' l l d i e ?  1 S T MAN.  A l l the p o s s i b i l i t i e s have to be c o n s i d e r e d .  CROWD.  The m i r a c l e .  Where i s  he?  (The men r e t u r n ) 2ND MAN.  E v e r y t h i n g i s r e a d y , my L o r d .  3RD MAN.  They a r e overcome w i t h  1 S T MAN.  (To 2nd)  2ND MAN.  But y o u ' r e the one who s t a r t e d i t a l l .  3RD MAN.  L e t ' s r u n him o u t !  WILLIE.  Quiet.  excitement.  Y o u ' v e made a c i r c u s o u t o f  this.  I need him h e r e .  ( W i l l i e ' s f a t h e r and mother e n t e r s ,  loaded with toys,  etc.)  FATHER.  Son, t h i s i s a proud moment f o r y o u r o l d d a d .  MOTHER.  W e ' l l be r i g h t up f r o n t ,  1 S T MAN.  I t can s t i l l be s t o p p e d .  FATHER.  T h i s i s the g r e a t event we've been w a i t i n g f o r .  MOTHER.  A l l those p e o p l e .  2ND MAN.  Are you r e a d y ,  WILLIE.  In a minute...In a minute...  1 S T MAN.  Call i t off,  WILLIE.  I d o n ' t know.  It's  dear. Reconsider.  so e x c i t i n g .  Lord?  now.  FATHER. Willie. I ' d l i k e to speak to y o u . ( T a k i n g him a s i d e ) You b e n d i n g u n d e r the burden o f fame...already...son? 1 S T MAN.  (To M o t h e r ) I f you l o v e y o u r s o n , d o n ' t l e t him jump.  MOTHER. moment.  Who do you t h i n k you a r e ?  We've been l i v i n g f o r t h i s  FATHER. T h i s i s the g r e a t t e s t , s o n . T h i s i s the supreme moment. You have to prove y o u r s e l f . Y o u ' r e too much a man to back out on a l l t h i s now. You c a n ' t t u r n b a c k . Press f o r w a r d . . . s o n . . . b r a v e l y . . . Y o u can do i t .  - 35 2ND MAN.  L o r d , a r e you r e a d y ?  FATHER.  He's ready.  MOTHER.  D o n ' t l e t us down,  FATHER.  T h a t ' s my boyI  WILLIE.  Even my p a r e n t s b e l i e v e i n me.  1ST MAN.  I f i t ' s anyone, i t ' s y o u .  WILLIE.  Then why s h o u l d n ' t I do i t  1ST MAN.  Why tempt f a t e ?  WILLIE.  Y o u ' r e n o t the s a v i o u r .  2ND MAN.  The crowd i s r e s t l e s s ,  3RD MAN.  F a c e s . . . f r o m one h i l l  4TH MAN.  S t r a i n i n g to  2ND MAN.  L i s t e n to y o u r mother and f a t h e r .  W e ' l l be w a t c h i n g , W i l l i e . dear.  (They e x i t )  again?  I wouldn't.  Lord. to another.  see...  FATHER. (Who i s c i r c u l a t i n g i n the a u d i e n c e ) Be one o f the f i r s t to own a h o l y r e l i c ! MOTHER.  (Following)  2ND MAN.  The time i s now, L o r d .  WILLIE.  Yes,  1ST MAN.  Please...don't.  2ND MAN.  L e t me h e l p y o u .  WILLIE.  No, I w i l l go a l o n e , as b e f o r e .  1ST MAN.  Good-bye, My L o r d .  WILLIE.  I ' l l be b a c k .  Step r i g h t u p .  M i r a c l e c u r e s . . . m a d e by the s a v i o u r h i m s e l f .  I'm g o i n g .  T h i s i s the g r e a t e s t moment o f a l l . (To 1ST)  Good-bye.  V/atch me.  FATHER. There he g o e s ! I n a minute these p r e c i o u s keepsakes w i l l be w o r t h t h r e e t i m e s t h e i r p r e s e n t v a l u e . Buy now! MOTHER. M i r a c l e a i r p l a n e s . . . e a c h t i n y p a r t g l u e d b y h i s own h a n d s . They a l s o f l y ! FATHER. Y o u ' r e the d i s c i p l e s , a r e n ' t you? Y o u , o f a l l p e o p l e s h o u l d s e t an example. You must own a h o l y s o u v e n i r f o r the sake o f the p e o p l e .  -  36 -  MOTHER. Own the s a c r e d words t h e m s e l v e s , as w r i t t e n i n the s c h o o l books o f the h o l y c h i l d h i m s e l f . T h e r e , f o l k s , h e ' s c l i m b i n g ! I n a few seconds no-one w i l l be a b l e t o a f f o r d t h e s e museum p i e c e s . (The 1 S T man d e t a t c h e s h i m s e l f from the o t h e r s , 2ND MAN. I ' l l have one o f those b o o k s . i t f o r me. WILLIE.  I am a t the t o p .  t u r n s away)  Maybe a f t e r h e ' l l  sign  Watch me!  (Cheers) MOTHER.  Now i s the moment.  Buy!  Buy!  FATHER. And f o r y o u , the c h a i n he wore about h i s neck as a c h i l d . Hurry, hurry, hurry, f o l k s . The g r e a t moment i s n e a r l y upon u s . WILLIE.  A r e you r e a d y f o r me?  2ND MAN.  Yes, yes,  CROWD.  Yes!  yes!  FATHER. L a s t chance! L a s t chance to be the proud owner o f s a v i o u r ' s own tee s h i r t s . MOTHER.  Cut r a t e p r i c e s !  1 S T MAN.  Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump!  CROWD. of  feet.)  We c a n ' t guarantee them a f t e r the jump!  Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump!  WILLIE.  I know who I am!  FATHER.  There he g o e s !  2ND MAN.  L e t me h e l p you u p ,  3RD MAN.  I'm a f r a i d .  4TH MAN.  Me, t o o .  (Willie is lying 2ND MAN. yourself. Please!  (A g r e a t chant and stamping  I f i n a l l y know who I am!  (Jumps)  Lord.  still)  ( K n e e l i n g ) Get up L o r d . Get u p . . . p l e a s e . . . Y o u ' v e h u r t L e t me h e l p you r i s e . Make y o u r body whole a g a i n . . .  1 S T MAN. ( W a l k i n g o v e r t o the body, and l o o k i n g a t him) n e v e r get up a g a i n . 3RD MAN.  the  We almost had a  saviour.  He'll  - 37 FATHER. ( E n t e r i n g o n s t a g e ) D r i n k from the same cup t h a t touched . t h e p r e c i o u s baby l i p s o f o u r L o r d . MOTHER. Use the same f o r k t h a t was c l u t c h e d by the chubby hands o f the h o l y c h i l d . . .  tender,  ( F a t h e r sees W i l l i e ) FATHER.  Willie!  How c o u l d you l e t y o u r f a t h e r down l i k e  MOTHER. (Screams) W i l l y , get up t h i s i n s t a n t ! t h i s h o r r i b l e t h i n g to y o u r mother!  this!  How c o u l d you do  3RD MAN.  G i v e me back my money!  4TH MAN.  You know where you can shove t h i s s t u p i d  FATHER.  Come, mother, time to  souvenir!  leave.  (They e x i t i n a h u r r y ) 1ST MAN. ( T a k i n g charge a g a i n ) L e t them g o . There a r e more i m p o r t a n t t h i n g s to d o . C l e a r the a r e a . Send the people home. Get r i d o f the body. You two, take him o u t . ( 3 r d and 4 t h d r a g o u t the body) (To 2nd) 2ND MAN. alarm.  Y o u , t e l l the people to go home. Yes. (To crowd) E v e r y o n e , go home. A mistake. Go home.  3RD, 4TH.  (Returning)  2ND MAN.  Look, someone i s coming.  3RD MAN.  Looks l i k e a  4TH MAN.  He c o u l d be the one!  1ST MAN.  A l l right.  I t was a f a l s e  That makes 29 now.  suicide.  Quiet.  Watch.  (They s t a n d i n the same pose as b e f o r e and watch)  * *x**x Hx xx x  

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