1998 Dave Awl

The Golden Moment

[There is a small table center stage. At go, Dave and John approach simultaneously from opposite sides, each carrying a chair. Dave carries a shopping bag containing a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. They sit on either side of the table, and each reaches out surreptitiously to adjust the table slightly, making it "perfect." They do not acknowledge each other until both are seated and Dave speaks the first line. Their manner is ebullient, formal, rather old-boyish.]

Dave: Hello.

John: Hello.

Dave: [Examining watch with a flourish] You're right on time, I see.

John: Yes. Did you bring the wine?

Dave: Ah, but of course! I've been looking forward to this moment for a long time now!

John: Ah, yes. So have I.

Dave: It's been a long haul hasn't?

John: But we've made it.

Dave: Past overwhelming obstacles!

John: Hurdles, hardships, wrong turns, catastrophes, acts of God...and only the fierce incandescence of our dreams to keep us going.

Dave: Yet through it all we've kept on struggling, inching our way forward and never giving up hope. And now, the golden moment is upon us.

John: The moment we've waited our whole lives for. Everything we've done, said, or thought in our lives--

Dave: --has all been but prologue and preparation! All part of the fantastic machinery operating with one goal in mind: to bring us to this one indescribable moment that we're about to share together! And here it comes. The midpoint. The epicenter. The climax of it all!

John: [Looking at watch] Ready? 5-4-3-2-1! [John and Dave clink glasses.]

BOTH: Hooray! [They interrupt their hooray to drink, then resume the hooray in mid "ay", setting their glasses down simultaneously. There is then a long, satisfied pause, like the torpor after a feast. They emit little grunts of satisfaction alternately.]

Dave: [Breaking the silence.] Well. That was lovely, wasn't it.

John: Yes. Just wonderful.

Dave: [Coming down off the cloud a little.] But it's over, isn't it.

John: Yup. It's all behind us now.

Dave: [Almost bitterly] Pretty much all downhill from here.

John: [Warming to the theme] Just a long slow slide into decay, ruin and irrelevance.

Dave: Some tough slogging before it's over--

John: Oh, yes. Lots of hard work. Cold, loveless mornings full of anxiety and pointless labor...

Dave: Empty evenings filled with ennui, gazing out the window at starless skies.

John: Meaningless days ticking by into irrelevance and confusion, till, weak as kittens, we wonder why we continue.

Dave: And then--death. [Pause.] Well. Best get on with it, I suppose.

John: I suppose so.

BOTH: Time is of the essence.

CURTAIN

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