i am adapting one of my videos for live performance. i have no idea how well this is going to work. i may regret it. but here’s where i am so far.
A I didn’t think you’d still be here.
B I’m still here. Where else could I go?
A I don’t know. I thought you may have gone to Wisconsin or something for the weekend.
B That would have been nice. I wish I had considered that.
A What happens to people like us who have nowhere to go?
B I guess we wear out our welcome. But people are too polite to say anything.
A Fewer pleasantries would make the world a lot easier for both of us.
B I’m sorry that you feel that way. I feel somewhat responsible for that.
A Life is never what you think it will be until you’re almost finished with it.
B What time is that supposed to happen?
A In about 20 minutes.
B At tea-time?
A Of course.
B I should know this. I think I watch too much television, but never live television.
A Me neither. Why should we?
B I can’t even watch the news.
A I hate the news. I know nothing about what is going on in this world. And I am happy about that.
B Me, too. Like at dinner last Sunday, my friends were all talking about some revolution going on in Tunisia, and I was like this close to admitting that I had no idea what they were talking about. And the funny thing is that I didn’t even feel embarrassed about it.
A I understand. I like being lost.
B Me, too… I like living on a cloud. In a cloud.
A Yes. I like the world I have created. Alone. No interruptions from the bloody news.
B Come again?
A The news.
B No, say it like the first time you said it.
A I don’t understand. How did I say it?
B You said it with a certain… an accent of some sort.
A I did?
B Yeah, there was something about the way you said it that reminded me of somebody … sort of Mary Poppins’ish.
A I’m not quite sure if I remember her. Was that the woman with the flying umbrella and all of those birds that would swoop down and attack people?
B I don’t remember any birds. Maybe we saw the wrong movie.
A: I don’t think we were allowed to see the movie.
B I didn’t even know there was a movie. All I remember is the book. And the only reason I remember that is because you used to read it to me as a child.
A When who was a child?
B When I was a child. Or maybe when you were a child.
A Wait, that’s impossible. I don’t think we were children at the same time.
B No, I didn’t mean it that way. I meant, you read it as a child would read it, in a child’s voice, but for all I know you could have been in your late 70s. Who has time to think about age anymore?
A I know. Age is just a number. They say it’s the loneliest number.
B You’d read it over and over and over again, always in this strange impenetrable accent.
A We weren’t allowed to use accents.
B But didn’t we speak in different languages?
A: We only spoke in one language until we built that tower whose top was in the heavens.
B: But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
A: And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language.
B Let us go down there and confuse their language that they may not understand another’s speech.” (pause)
B But were we still allowed to sing?
A Technically we could sing. But nobody could figure out how to make the words rhyme. And then having to memorize them on top of all that. Nobody had time to sing except for people with huge trust funds.
B Wait. I thought we had huge trust funds.
A I know. That’s what everybody thought. But just because we lived on a tobacco farm of 600 acres with 23 indentured servants and 12 flocks of geese and 8 herds of stallions and 32 cows, and 6 stretch hummer limousines and 5 private jets and 7 personal chefs, and 2 screening rooms, and a geodesic dome, and stockpiles of firearms and our own armies of private contractors does not mean we had trust funds. I hate it when people who don’t even know you make these blanket assumptions about your life.
B Sp what would happen to people who could sing but who didn’t have trust funds? People like you and me?
A They would transport us in trucks to this huge stadium where we had to give oral presentations in front of large groups of people. And you had to speak really quickly because if didn’t finish your presentation by halftime, they’d cut you off. And they’d project your face speaking on these jumbotrons. Even if you used audiovisuals during your presentation, the camera just stayed on your face. I had to do these like 17 times. I’d be presenting and every time I looked out at the audience, they were either yawning or jotting down notes. Nobody ever gave you any feedback. Not even my parents. And whenever I looked at them, I’d forget where I was on the page and I’d freeze up. Totally freeze up. Like every single time. And that’s why they sent me to art school.
B Wait, I thought we weren’t allowed to have art schools?
A We had art schools, but they didn’t allow you to make art in them.
B Is that why you were suspended? For making art?
A I didn’t have time to make art. But I got really really good at not making art. I think I got so good at it, that someone on the faculty must have felt really threatened. Like I could even threaten anyone, right?
B I can’t remember you ever threatening me.
A Well that’s because you had status. You were a status symbol. At least you were a status symbol for me. [pause] I hope you don’t mind that I said that.
B No, I’m really glad that you said it. I’ve wanted to say for a long time, that I feel the same way about you. But I was afraid if I said anything, you wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore.
A I know. I feel the exactly the same. I was worried that if I said anything that would make you feel uncomfortable and we’d both feel self-conscious and it would destroy our relationship, whatever that is.
B That’s exactly how I felt.
A You know, some people out there believe we are exactly the same person.
B Maybe we are the same person. Maybe that’s been our big problem.
A I think you’re right, but I never thought of it as a problem.