Sunday, March 07, 2010

THRILL IS GONE



ACT TWO SCENE TWO. "THE FIRE IN BRADFORD.--A PLAY.

SCENE. INT NIGHT.

THE PROFESSOR IS STILL IN HIS STUDIO. HE IS LYING B ACK ON HIS COT. HE HAS THE HI FI ON. HE IS SMOKING A CIGARETTE:

MUSIC. B.B. KING. THRILL IS GONE
UP

Thrill is gone babe
My sweet love's gone away
Thrill is gone
My sweet love's gone away
Well, she left me all alone now
But she'll be sorry some day
MUSIC:

(Now the long, haunting blues guitar ride)

THERE IS A KNOCK ON THE DOOR.

HE GOES TO OPEN IT.

IT IS CELIA.
SHE IS DRESSED IN A LONG SILK PAISELEY DRESS AND IS WEARING A BLOND WIG, AS IF SHE HAD NO TIME TO COMB HER HAIR AFTER WORK.

SHE IS HOLDING WHAT APPLEARS TO BE THE PROFESSOR'S LETTER SHE SEEMS FLUSTERED, ANNOYED.

PROFESSOR

Celia, why I ...

CELIA (COMING IN AND CLOSING THE DOOR BEHIND HER)

Don't Celia me. Why did you send me that horrible letter?

PROFESSOR (AS HE GOES TO TAKE HER HAND...SHE DRAWS AWAY SLIGHTLY)

Well, you sent me a couple of doozers...Like "let's turn this into the spiritual"...And "don't expect anything."

CELIA (SOFTENING A LITTLE. HER EYES LOWER)

Well, yes. I Guess I've been sort of playing with your head. I'm sorry.

PROFESSOR

Well, you got me in the head. Right between the pillars.

THEY BOTH NOW MOVE TOWARD THE COUCH, WHERE THEY SIT. SHE HAS COME TO BEING NERVOUS AGAIN.

CELIA.
So how have you been?

THE PROFESSOR.
Not well. The work is coming hard, and the college is trying to fire me.

CELIA
Why?

THE PROFESSOR IS LOOKING AT HER LEVELLY.

Well.
Guess.

CELIA (BUTTING HER CIGARETTE)

Oh David. I didn't mean to cause you trouble. The last thing I want to do is cause you pain.

THE PROFESSOR GOES TO KISS HER, BUT SHE TURNS AWAY. SHE IS NOW NERVOUSLY LOOKING AT HER WATCH.

THE PROFESSOR:

You got an appointment somewhere?

CELIA (LOOKING AGAIN AT HER WATCH)

Oh, if only things were simple. Boy meets girl. Boy loves girl....But it is not that simple. It's very, very complicated.

PROFESSOR
Complicated? It's drivin me crazy.Jeesus. For the last two weeks I have been pretty heavily immersed in JUng and old Ziggie Freud. And B. B. King too. Not that simple. What do women want?

CELIA

Freud? He never figured it out? Women want men.
I like men. I like men with power, money. I like money. Lots of it. I am especially impressed by successful politicians. You can feel the power coming right off them.

PROFESSOR (SMILING)

I will become a politician at once!

CELIA (A LITTLE SETTLED DOWN NOW)

David, Lets go out. Let's go out right now. Let's go out to the marina, to the Riveredge restaurant. Have dinner. Watch the big cabin cruisers come in at night. .

PROFESSOR:

Ships passing in the night?

CELIA

No more ships passing in the night.

PROFESSOR

Well, let's go then..I love seafood. And I know you do too. Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead.

THEY BOTH GET DRESSED AND LEAVE THROUGH THE BACK DOOR.

...end scene

9 comments:

Mona said...

I was reading the letter and thinking Macheavellian and hey presto! there was the word!

But it was a good rant!

It takes very little for the professor to start wagging his tail eh?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mona,

You are so on about this.

One editor didn't say Machiavellian, he said "ruthless"...Same thing, I guess.
Heh. I hope David is just a character. :)

Mona said...

I guess Machiavellian and ruthless would be synonymns of sort...

I hope David is a character too :)

Still he is not as Machivellian as an Iago because he does not think like " virtue a fig, its in ourselves that we are thus and thus"

Mona said...

By the way, that letter was not from a real one, like the one you used last time ( or maybe only parts of it might have been ) because there were too many allusions, strating from Humpty Dumpty to Hamlet to Fitzgerald...

Omar Qayyam used soothing words? I doubt since it was the wine that spoke

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mona,

Excellent observation on all points, but we may take Khayam too lightly and he seems to get rapturous and cryptic at the same time somehow.

I kind of like what one Shahriar Shahriari , a contemporary writer had to say of a deeper Khayam. An example:

Anyone who can so clearly pose the questions of mortality and temporality of our existence has obviously struggled deeply with life and death and existence. Khayyam understood the meaning of not being in control of our lives and deaths, and found the limits of our freedom. He understood what was important in life. And through his life, his teachings and his Rubaiyat conveyed that meaning, though in somewhat of a cryptic form, nevertheless complete and intact to us.

Khayyam understood that it was our fate, our destiny, something beyond our control to be born into this world. He also understood that death was an inevitable fate for anyone who was ever born. He understood that our bodies come from dust and clay, and return to clay. He understood the fantasy of concerning ourselves with the future, as well as the neurosis of staying in our past. He saw that all we have is this ever slipping moment, this now, which itself has a timeless quality.


I don't know, Dear. I don't have the PhD, but it strikes me that Khayam might square with an older, wondereful Islam,

Shahriar Shahriari goes, on, If we accept Khayyam's philosophy and heed his advice, then we will shift our focus from the external, be it mystical or sensual, to the internal. And if we go through this transformative alchemical transmutation of the soul, we too will become like Khayyam, men and women who change ourselves, and consequently our world, as well as the future worlds to come.

Mona said...

In that sense khayyam was a mystic, a dervish.

The transcendental theory is similar to many a mystics I have studied . I read some of the rubayiyat in Persian, but not all. Althhough they say Fitzgerald comes closest to translating him best...

Yet I know, that it is not the same path for all, although the goal may be the same. The variations in the transformations lie in the variety of processesses.

Turning within is however the doorway.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mona,

Plato would agree on the mind working best when drawn into itself...I once posited this to Mark, the Walking Man; he said "Not so!"
But I would offer that the Arabic philosophers were way ahead of Plato--having refined some of the ideas; they still had the only copies of the Dialogues while Europe was dark and ignorant. And the ancient Greeks were leery of mathematics, and though the Lyceum lentil had the motto of "Let no man ignorant of mathematics enter here", algebra to them would have defied their Reason; the idea of the earth going around the sun would have been an entirely new concept.

But then like callow undergrad philistine, I would bray, "What did Plato know? There were no chicks under his bed, though he loved to drink as much as anybody else. Certainlly loved to think.

TomCat said...

What do women want?

My momma had a special word for the person who figures that one out...

Billionaire!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Egad,

No wonder so many women have said to me, "You're fired."