Dialogue 1: Celeste & Sirius

Sirius: Did you notice that the tulips have begun to droop inside their clear plastic jar, even pinned and wrapped and skewered to stay up in the water?

Celeste: A bit like a sandwich, with too many things piled inside it to distract you?

S: Distraction being top-heavy.  Drooping with possibility...

C: You mean, not as beautiful as that pure moment when the perpendicular meets the horizontal? Light and dark pencilled from square to square?  [Craning her neck, hand above eyebrows] From here, the tulips are only half-legible, almost resembling us ...

S: [mockingly] Re/assembling "Us," again?

C: It does seem as if some person's script is always trying to move another person around ... or keep one from moving. [Walking over to an easel]  This is my canvas because it's empty.  These are my newly sharpened pencils and my tubes of paint.

S: You mean they are yours because I can see them on the table next to where you're standing, or because you just pointed them out?

C: They're mine because I need to stand in a room with a brush or pencil in my hand and feel the paint or the line coming out of me. Did you notice, just now, how everything changed color, like something with no name for it breaking through, as you were about to throw out the tulips?

S: If you are talking about the purpose of a life, then we should put our hats on before continuing.  [He puts on a hat that is hanging from a hat-rack, near back of stage]

C: Because each hat stands-in for a part of the mind?

S: I think you mean a part of the brain, don't you?  Here's my Fedora.  Want to borrow it? Here's your staw Panama with the navy grosgrain band.  [He hands her hat to her and takes his off]

We could put them on in unison ... and turn on some music.

Chorus of Us: [3 individuals walk across back of stage in similar attire, singing triumphantly "We are us, yes we are.  We are Us ..."]

C: I've been trying to send you a partially legible message typed by hand on a standard up-right with slightly blurred letters spilling out over a thin copper plate inserted between the typewriter's rubber rollers.

S: I think I see your hand — it could be the Left or the Right, right? — reaching into a frayed pocket.  The lining is about to go through.  This is my thought, as real as your old typewriter.  It's going to be alright.  We already have a list of words to hold the letters together in a recognizable pattern.

C: We have the history of the Rosetta Stone, too.  But what is it, in us, before the words pin us down?  I want to paint it — something you don't understand yet.  That will make it better.  Then we can both know what we are talking about ... or, at least, what I am not talking about.

S: Could "it" be my frayed pocket?

C: It could be the pocket, before anyone's wearing it out.  [She starts painting a large blue rectangle on a canvas, right stage, while speaking]

The pocket will be of unsized natural linen, with an upper-case "PKT" in its center, as if hand-embroidered by an Italian tailor.  Now we are living in a different layer of time ... [All said rather dreamily]

S: [Relieved ...]  Agreed.  Then we'll call the painting "Regrets".

C: We'll call it more than that, I think. Whenever I paint a picture, it is called at least six things before it is finished. This one is: "emergency," "curator," "brain tumor," "beautiful corpse," "Shangri-La," " ... and, now, the envelope".

S: I hate to tell you, but I think you're going down the wrong road — in fact, I think you're splitting at the seams.

C: I suppose you mean I seem to be unraveling?  But seeming may be my very important emergency.

S: You're not the only one who's urgent.  I unpack my dog mask often enough — with its long nose adrift — and fit it just over my ears as I move along on all fours through water overflowing and rising around my ankles.

C: You mean that dog is You, going forward?

S: [Happy to claim his identity]  Me, in the water, so to speak.  I'm looking at what you're painting and carrying my words between my teeth to rescue you into my perfectly transparent bubble ...

C: ... words rising out of your little plastic bubble-stick with its ring at the end?

S: That's the way the bubble-stuff comes ...  inside the jar, available over the counter.  It makes me happy to make others happy ... as long as I know them ...  know what they're up to.

C: Always their heads turn in unison, watching — as if choreographed — each time a new bubble rises and breaks. [Wistfully]  We could all have jars and stand at the corner in front of the cafe and blow our bubbles ... and stop this worrying.  And if a dog swam by, I would know it was you, on your way.

S: [Now less certain, & hoping to change the subject]  Let me try a different way of putting it ... or, to rephrase it:  Here's my plan.

Chorus of Us  [Enters back of stage, with water-wings attached.  Each has a card pinned to his/her front which reads in large letters:  HERE IS MY PLAN.]

C: My plan is to enter the room carrying a tray with a selection of words, each one inside a long-stemmed wine glass, diverting your attention with my perfectly made-up features.

S: Did you say Words?  Such as what?

C: Such as words ... you know, the ones different people like to say: labile=intervention=opacity=dishwasher= discourse=pasta=thermo-metric bomb=Top Dog.

Chorus of Us  [Re-enters with Dog masks:  "Bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow."]

S: A particularly odd kind of music...

C: ... but hearing is believing.  Here, take my blind-fold ...



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