by That One
Set in purgatory where a small group of characters discuss the meaning of life WIP
|The pub of no-hopers
other extras sitting at tables and booths
Set in purgatory, in a dank and dark bar, smoky and with a few people sitting at tables or booths. The sound of a door opening and slamming. There are two visible doors, one behind the bar with a sign “staff only” and the other right next to it, with a sign above which at random intervals numbers(completely out of order) appear. Enter Ignatius (co-owns the pub with his Wife, Agremanthrea) from off stage, bearded and large, wearing a heavy trench coat and hat. He staggers in, shaking off the rain from ‘outside’ and takes off his hat and coat, hanging them on hooks. He wanders over to the bar, putting on an apron as he does so, perhaps nodding to some people in greeting, and hands a full glass to a man in a rumpled suit (Donald, his back Is to the audience)
Iggy: It’s a bit nippy round the bits and pieces out there…
He wanders over to the end, leaving the other man, and leans on the edge of the bar, close to the door. He picks a cup and cloth and begins to wipe it clean (he cleans the cup throughout). The sound of a cash register or something of the like, then a loud ding as if from an elevator. Enter Heath. Walks in dizzy and slightly dazed. He wanders in a daze, while Iggy walks up slowly behind him, trying not to startle him and places a card tied with string over his neck with a number on it (104), then returns back to the bar. Heath pauses, looking at the card, then walks over to the bar, still looking around.
Heath: uh….huh... (He hops onto a stool, his back to Iggy) wow – oh! (He notices Iggy and is slightly shocked.) Um…hello there…
Iggy: greetings my friend, what’s your poison? (Without waiting for an answer, he grabs a full mug and hands it to Heath, who looks a little bewildered then sips tentatively, he keeps sipping throughout, the drink never empties) Name?
Heath: (Awkward) hmm? Ah, hello, nice to meet you. I’m Heath, yourself?
Iggy: well I’m –
From off stage: Aggy IGNATIOUS!
Iggy: (to heath) exactly. (To Aggy, arms thrown up) my darling, my tulip, the light of my life and the bane of my
existence…why do you ALWAYS use my full name when you’re mad?
Enter Agremanthrea. She walks in, drying her hands on her apron. A short woman, loud and bitter, she’s very sarcastic. With her hands on her hips she eyes Iggy angrily, speaking with some venom.
Aggy: why must you always give me a reason to-! Oh hello. (She notices Heath and smiles, speaking softly and kindly, like a mother) Ah, a new customer, hello dear, and how are you? Where are you from? What do you do, well, what did you do…before…? (Gestures to bar)
Heath: (kind if dazed from the rapid fire questions) oh well, I’m from a small town, simple childhood, I used to travel a lot though, I did a lot, I saw a lot, you know, lived a life, without wealth, and yet I felt I was a wealthy man , if not in material, in-.
Donald: (snorts, his back still to the audience)
Iggy: Now, now Donnie dear there’s no need for that…
Heath: is something wrong…?
Donald: (Turns slightly, he is very sarcastic) what, oh no, do carry on with your delightful story (Returns to his drink)
Aggy: That’s right dear, just ignore him, and do carry on.
Heath: Right… (Takes another swig, his courage to keep talking spurred on via the drink)
Aggy: oh do carry on; tell me about your life dear (She starts getting swept up in the tale, leaning over the bar)
Heath: I lived and loved as I’m sure everyone does.
Aggy: A nice girl then?
Heath: (he smiles thoughtfully) indeed. (Quieter) Indeed. She was lovely. We’d talk all night-
Aggy: about what? (Getting more and more into the story)
Heath: about everything, and nothing.
Donald: (with a groan he swings round, facing Heath, leaning backwards onto the bar) everything and nothing? Now the latter I find understandable, but the former is a concept I am struggling with.
Heath: excuse me?
Donald: What? Are you hard of hearing too? I’ve just insulted you my friend, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Heath: no, I managed to pick that up. What I am finding difficult to understand is why exactly you did so.
Donald: well, I find your particular brand of poetic optimism nauseating, and was trying to save my ears from this drivel, and Iggy there a mess to clean.
Heath: You now, I didn’t come here to be insulted…
Donald: no. you came here because your spiritually wealthy life was holy enough to keep you from the pits, yet not enough to spring you to the clouds. Now, I’d hate to tell you this, but no one here cares about your lovely other life, we are here in this seedy spiritual waiting room, awaiting a grand intervention, (throws his arms lazily up) for our numbers to be up. (Points to the screen above the door) and we don’t need to hear your sad little story, okay? (Goes to turn back to his drink)
Aggy: Well, I care!
Donald: well of course you care! Your entire life is based in this hovel. You never leave, never change; you watch countless souls passing through, and for what? You are the witness to lives forgotten, the usher of spirits, you have seen a millennia of purged souls, changing whether for the better or worse, yet never have yourself been given the chance to progress. So I find it extremely understandable that you’d find his tales interesting since you have no other life, no other way to see life than to live vacuously through other peoples. A bit like watching a film I should think.
Heath: If you hate being here so much, why don’t you just get…Ignatius-
Iggy: Iggy, if you don’t mind, I like to keep an informal ship.
Heath: oh sorry – couldn’t Iggy just let you out?
Aggy: oh, if only it were that simple…
Iggy: I can’t simply let someone out-
Aggy: one must find their own way-
Donald: that’s the whole bloody point of this place.
Heath:…oh. So..as much as you would if you could-
Donald: I can’t. I think you may have touched on something there.
Heath: What I don’t understand is why you’re so sour about everything, surly the worst part is over with, like you said, your just waiting.
Donald: exactly. Did you ever get that feeling, that deep frustration whilst standing in a shopping queue because the beggar in front of you is near sighted old git who is trying to pay for all his items with enough silver to sink a small village, and as soon as you decide to change lanes to the next checkout, he amazingly disappears from you line, which is now going ninety to the dozen and appears in yours. Only now deciding to pull out all his cards, which, one after the other are being declined, and he must go back to using his small fortune of silver, whilst all the time, you’ve been standing there, waiting and waiting, and getting more and more frustrated with life, and you just KNOW that the ice cream has melted. You know that feeling?
Donald: oh…well, that’s how I feel being stuck down here. Or up here…whatever, it doesn’t matter.
heath: oh…right….(he pauses, very confused about what just happened)
Aggy: what he’s trying to say is that he’s a miserable old whiner who can’t help but share his unholy opinion.