April 1, 2007

A Play A Day #352



Setting: A bare stage

(lights up, enter Jens and Marie. They stop short, cautiously observing a closed box which sits on the front lip of the stage)

Jens: Do you see that?

Marie: A box.

J: A closed box.

M: Yes, closed.

J: What do you suppose is in it?

M: Space.

J: Of course, but what else?

M: Time.

J: How much?

M: Enough.

J: What else?

M: What do you mean, what else?

J: What if there's something else inside the box?

M: Like what?

J: Anything.

M: Like space and time aren't enough to fill it?

J: No, something else could be in there.

M: Along with space and time?

J: Or instead of.

M: No, no way.

J: Yeah. Instead of space and time, a totally different thing could be in the box.

M: What could possibly exist in the box beyond space and time?

J: Well, not "beyond", rather instead of.

M: Okay, what could possibly exist in the box instead of space and time?

J: Anything we could possibly think of.

M: Like... a sun?

J: Yeah, the sun.

M: The sun's outside, genius.

J: But maybe the box is outside too.

M: No, it's not.

J: It could be.

M: No, it couldn't. We can see it right there.

J: Only because we can see it right there.

M: What? Of course, that's what I just said.

J: But what if we couldn't see it right here, right now?

M: Then we wouldn't even know it exists.

J: But surely you must agree the box does exist?

M: Yes, it exists; it's right here.

J: But would it also eist if it were elsewhere?

M: Yes.

J: Like outside?

M: Yes.

J: So the box could be outside.

M: It could be, but it's not.

J: It could be; so it might be!

M: That's not the same thing.

J: If it could be outside, then it might also contain the sun.

M: No, it couldn't be outside, and, no, it couldn't contain the sun. It's not big enough.

J: We don't know that.

M: Yes, we do. It's that big. The sun is much, much larger.

J: We haven't measured the box yet.

M: You don't need to; you kno the sun is larger than that box.

J: But how big is the box?

M: It's that big. We can see how big it is.

J: How big?

M: It doesn't matter how big, as long as we can safely see that the box is clearly a size that is much, much smaller than the sun.

J: But, the sun is inside the box.

M: It's not.

J: But it could be because we don't know how large the inside of the box is.

M: The inside of the box is nearly the same size as the outside. One cardboard thickness less in volume.

J: But we can't say how large the inside of the box is until we measure it.

M: Bullshit. I just told you how large the box is: It is not large enough to hold the sun, which is outside anyway.

J: But could be inside, with us, and inside the box.

M: No it couldn't! The sun is too large, too hot to be inside a room and inside a cardboard box.

J: Until we look, we just won't know.

M: I don't need to look! It's common sense.

J: Is it?

M: Yes, we wouldn't be right here if the sun was also right here; we'd be gone, we'd be nothing. Similarly, the box wouldn't be here, the room wouldn't be here. In fact, we would have to be on the sun in order for the box, us or the room to coexist along with the sun.

J: Wait! You just said we wouldn't be here if the sun was right here; then you said we'd have to be there if the sun was there.

M: If we were to be at all, is what I meant.

J: No, don't you see? We would be indefinite. We are indefinite.

M: No, we are. That's it.

J: We are neither here nor there.

M: Then we'd have to be nowhere, which is not indefinite.

J: Or, we could simply be everywhere. At once.

M: No we couldn't! We would notice.

J: It doesn't matter if we would notice. It would only matter that we were being noticed. That's the only way to know that we exist.

M: So you're saying we notice that exist right now, because something is noticing that we do exist?

J: Exactly! Only because something is noticing we exist right now, right here do we, ourselves, notice that we exist.

M: But... what's noticing us, right now?

J: Well, I'm noticing you.

M: Yeah, and I'm noticing you.

J: (pause) You're pretty.

M: You're not so bad yourself.

J: (pause) You know, uhhh...

M: Yes?

J: Well, ummm... (kisses her)

M: That was... nice.

J: You know what?

M: What?

J: I just realized that, if you notice you exist because I notice you existing, and I notice I exist because you notice me existing, how do we notice that we exist in the first place?

M: What?

J: Do we first notice each other to make each other exist, or do we first exist and then notice each other existing?

M: Perhaps, we exist because something else is noticing us together.

(they both look skyward, then cast their eyes slowly around the stage, then finally, the stage whisper to each other)

M and J: The box!

M: It's watching us!

J: But, how does the box exist?

M: It exists because we notice it existing.

J: Quick! Turn around? Don't look at it!

(they do so)

M: Is it still there?

J: (checks) Yes!

M: Ohh! That's because you noticed it!

J: You asked if it was still there. I had to look.

M: Okay, let's just leave, then it won't be noticed any more, and it won't exist!

(they start leaving, Jens stops Marie after a few steps)

J: Oh no! If we only exist because the box notices us existing, what happens if we leave the room and the box can't notice us any more?

M: Oh.... you don't think... That can't be true!!

J: We would not exist any more; or at least we wouldn't notice we exist any more.

M: Then you wouldn't notice me.

J: And you wouldn't notice me either.

(long pause)

M: Wait a moment! If we still noticed that we existed when we turned around and stopped noticing the box; then the box must still exist as it was still noticing that we existed!

J: Ohhhhhh... yeah!!

M: So we only have to notice each other to continue existing?

J: And, maybe, we don't even have to do that!

M: Ummm, well, I'd like it if you would.

J: Yeah. I'd like it if you would too.

(they kiss)

M: (looking at the box) So what do you think is inside that box?

J: Love.

M: No. I think it's a fluffy kitty.

J: Alive or dead?

M: What? Alive, of course!

(lights start fading)

J: How do you know?

M: I don't. It's just a guess.

J: Is it?

(lights out)


1 comment:

ShOI said...

Ah, but what's inside the box and what's outside is all a matter of perspective. See Wonko the Sane, from Douglas Adams' So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, who calls his house "The Outside of the Asylum."