Friday, May 23, 2014
A Matter of Time
Scene: The interior of a train. LIGHTS come up FULL on Woman seated next to the
window, her hat on the seat next to her. A MAN enters.
Excuse me, but is this your hat?
Yes, it is.
(picking it up)
Really quite a remarkable hat. A friend of mine had a hat something like that once. She
was a tap dancer, liked to do "Tea for Two." You know that song. It goes:
(singing and dancing)
Picture you upon my knee
Tea for two and two for tea
Me for you and you for me
(moving towards her and more seriously)
Nobody near us to see us or
and so on. Yes. Really a most remarkable hat. I think I know where they make these. I
think I visited the place. It was in the country. There were young girls working there.
Sewing on the beads, making flowers. They were very young. It was hot. It was summer.
Some had taken off their dresses and were working in their slips. I remember watching
their soft round arms moving slowly at their work. I could see the outlines of their breasts
through the thin cotton. They were half naked--because it was so hot you see. They were
half naked. (Pause) Quite a voluptuous brim.
Oh, it's just a hat. It's the hat I always wear when I travel. Because if I lean my head back
(Their eyes meet) ....
If I lean my head back against the cushions of the chair...then it's the kind of hat that
doesn't get crushed. That is, it does get crushed but it doesn't matter if it gets crushed.
You just puff it out again...very easily...and it goes right back to its original shape. It
resumes its original shape.
Yes. (Pause) My hat is different . Rather expensive. Imported from Russia. So cold in
that little town. so cold, that sometimes in the winter when there isn't any wood to make
fires, to keep warm, the peasants--very simple people--dig holes under their houses and
huddle there together. It's very dark, deep down there, very snug and happy and warm--
usually: But sometimes something happens between them--a man and a woman perhaps
and then they struggle and fight and tear at each other in their frenzy. (Pause) Sometimes
I don't wear my hat.
I see you're wearing it today.
Yes, I'm wearing it now. I wear it when want to. I want to wear it now.
Will you be coming to your stop soon? Will you be getting off?
No. No, I'll be going the whole way.
It's not very crowded, is it? The train.
No. It's less crowded than it was before. Soon there won't be anyone left-- except us, of
No, no one left. The further on you go the less crowded it gets.
Then it's just a matter of time, isn't t?