Saturday, February 22, 2014
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
A serial play written by Gail Taylor for Pretty Kitty Publishing (copyright, 2014).
THE LIGHTING HAS CHANGED TO REFLECT A SENSE OF URGENCY. HEATHE AND JANE ARE STILL SEATED AT THE TABLE. HEATHE HAS DEVOURED THE CELERY AND NOW SLOWLY ROLLS THE HARD BOILED EGG OVER THE BROWN PAPER BAG CRACKING THE EGG SHELL. THE EGG POPS OUT OF THE SHELL PERFECTLY.
HEATHE STUDIES THE HARDBOILED EGG INTENTLY, ALMOST FORGETTING THAT JANE IS STILL SITTING WITH HIM.
I would be delighted to join you -- for lunch. In fact, [rummaging in tote bag] I have my kefir and yogurt, right, oh, where is, oh! Right here.
JANE PLACES A SMALL CONTAINER, A NAPKIN, AND A SPOON ON THE TABLE. SHE ALSO PLACES A SMARTPHONE ON THE TABLE.
Professor, I wonder if you would mind if I record our discussion. You were talking about the village. I want to talk about the village and the city. What the village and the city mean to you. What they mean to me.
How they signify?
Yes. Signify, correct. For example, can we agree that the DUI campus is the city?
Yes, you may record.
I shy away from analogies, but perhaps, yes, the city.
You do realize that in the end, none of this really matters.
JANE PUSHES A BUTTON ON THE SMARTPHONE.
Because no matter whether one hails from Shanghai, or Maidsville, we want the same things? Right?
Smoggy air for all with a dash of sub-standard infrastructure, and poor education. Let's all have that.
No. We can't have equality for all.
Equality only works when we are with our peers, Jane.
I guess that's why it's called the club.
The club is in your mind.
Do you know what's in my mind?
Tell me the truth. When is the last time you had lunch with -- me. Or even someone like me?
Not that it matters, anyway.
HEATHE LOOKS BAFFLED.
What is it that you mean to suggest?
I do not mean to suggest anything other than, it is not unusual for someone such as you to meet a student -- especially a good student -- for coffee, or lunch. Is it? Off campus, too. And what is wrong with that?
Do you think it's wrong?
Well, over the break, I even said hello to you and a peer of mine whilst you two were having a pint at the Blue Dragon.
Good for you both.
You go there?
Fish 'n' Chips, Sir Heathe. Fish 'n' Chips.
I'm going to have to find another spot.
The point is, you acknowledged me there. You saw me and you said, "Hello, Jane." You spoke to me like you speak to a colleague or any DUI person around the green.
Yet, when you see me around this campus, you act as though I am some knind of first-year, and yet, there, right over there, is evidence of our relationship. [Gestures toward the manuscript that is on the desk].
What do you have to say?
Are you angry? You know. It's about ...
Jane. It's about difference. You know. It's about place, Jane. YOUR place.
What it's about, why hasn't someone explained this to you? It's just that, you are seen out there, amongst the folk, that's where you beling. You are of the people.
DUI campus is DUI. We are ourselves.
Except when you are amongst each other. It makes no sense. Unless we are talking about vampires and werewolves.
You haven't finished eating.
I'm not interested.
But you were before.
The question is -- Haven't you thought about what might be gained from us getting together casually? I mean, how I could grow. What intellectual conversations might be had that could benefit --
Now you are being ridiculous. There are no intellectual conversations.
You are quite selfish, Jane. And no one, no one has the time.
I guess it all depends on how you like to spend your time.
SHE CAREFULLY WRAPS THE SPOON INTO THE NAPKIN. PLACES THE LID ON THE BARELY EATEN CONTAINER OF YOGURT. PUNCHES THE BUTTON ON THE SMARTPHONE. PLACES THESE ITEMS INTO HER TOTE BAG. GETS READY TO WALK OUT OF THE OFFICE.
Are we done?
Thank you for your time, Professor Bishop.
I had hoped to meet this mysterious Willard from Cambridge to have a discussion about my notes on your book, but I can see that I might have to wait a while since undoubtedly, you plan to meet with Willard alone.
Your services are no longer required.
And slavery is over!
I'm truly sorry.
Did I mention that I, too, have an associate? You must know that. Kent, from Brown?
JANE WALKS TOWARD HEATHE'S DESK AND PICKS UP THE MANUSCRIPT. SHE PLACES IT IN HER TOTE BAG.
Please have Willard contact me. I will arrange a meeting.
Willard, Kent and I will discuss my notes on your manuscript.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have research to conduct.