Dec 16, 2005
The Subway, She's a Runnin' Straight and True
A short scene from Hamlet Cowboy play--I'm on page 65. This will change, bu tfor now, It's like this. (In the desert, The GRAVEDIGGER and the GRAVEDIGGER’S ASSISTANT are digging a hole. The ASSISTANT is doing all the digging.) GRAVEDIGGER For example, take this hole. After we get done digging it, we have to fill it in again. ASSISTANT But not before we put the bodies in. GRAVEDIGGER No, of course not. Not before that. But that’s not what I’m saying. Take the sky. Qua sky. It is pale and luminous like any sky at this hour of the day. . . in this climate. ASSISTANT I think it will rain. GRAVEDIGGER Don’t stop digging. ASSISTANT I hate to dig in the rain. GRAVEDIGGER Or take Herbie. One day he just went crazy. No one knows why. ASSISTANT Could be lead poisoning. Or mercury poisoning. GRAVEDIGGER It’s not poisoning. ASSISTANT Well . . . it could be. GRAVEDIGGER And who’s to say it won’t be you next or me? The whole world could go mad and who would notice? ASSISTANT Maybe it already happened then. Which means I can stop digging. GRAVEDIGGER What? No. ASSISTANT I think if the world is mad, the dead bodies will just rot in the street. GRAVEDIGGER Who says madness will lead to bad hygiene? They found Amelia in the tub. ASSISTANT She was mad? GRAVEDIGGER Oh sure. No doubt about it. ASSISTANT I didn’t know she was mad. Seems a shame though. GRAVEDIGGER What? ASSISTANT Robbing a vulture of two complete meals. Could feed a whole family maybe of vultures and yet I gots to dig them some holes. Well, at least there’s the worms. And maybe the gophers. They’ll eat good tonight. GRAVEDIGGER Don’t stop digging. (Enter HERBIE and EDDIE.) HERBIE The hole. EDDIE Yeah. HERBIE This is Amelia’s grave? GRAVEDIGGER It is. ASSISTANT And for the Ugly Betty. HERBIE I’m weeping. These are real tears I shed. EDDIE Yeah. HERBIE They are. EDDIE I believe you. ASSISTANT The Ugly Betty died so young. HERBIE I’d like to read a poem. Before the body gets here. GRAVEDIGGER Dig faster. EDDIE I got to get back soon. HERBIE Just a minute. EDDIE OK. But only because we’re friends. HERBIE For Amelia on the occasion of her death and consecration of her bones to the dirty Earth. Part One Because you were incandescent I loved you Because you made the coffee more bitter The fruit more sweeter Even by your presence Or by the scent you waft as you pass ASSISTANT What’s that smell? HERBIE I’m not finished. Kindly don’t interrupt. GRAVEDIGGER Here come the body. (AMELIA is carried in. BETTY is dragged in behind her.) HERBIE No. No. GRAVEDIGGER Afraid so. HERBIE (Trying to climb in the grave.) Why did she have to die! Bury me instead! ASSISTANT OK. GRAVEDIGGER No. ASSISTANT Why not? GRAVEDIGGER What’s our first rule? ASSISTANT We eat lunch away from the open grave. GRAVEDIGGER That’s more of a guideline. ASSISTANT Oh, you mean the other one. GRAVEDIGGER Yes. ASSISTANT We bury dead people. GRAVEDIGGER Right. ASSISTANT I thought that was more of a guideline. (Enter COWGIRL) HERBIE I’ll blow my brains out and then we can rest together in each other’s arms until the end of time. How’s that? ASSISTANT That should be fine, right?