January 20, 2007

A Play A Day #282

Perhaps By Discussing Meteorological Phenomena, We Will Reveal Some Universal Truths Upon Which To Build A Fulfilling Intimate Relationship

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What's The Weather For?

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Hot Front


Setting: Table at a restaurant.

(Lights up on Malachi sitting alone, looking at a menu, enter Sabine, bundled in warm winter clothes - a fashionable trench coat, warm hat, gloves)

Sabine: Hi... you must be Malachi.

Malachi: Yes, yes... Sabine?

S: That's me. (removing hat and mittens)

M: So cold out there.

S: Oh my God! I thought I was going to freeze.

M: Me too.

S: I'm just going to go hang this in the lobby.

M: Yeah, yeah... there's a coat room...

S: Right. Be right back.

M: Great, great.

(Sabine exits, Malachi watches after her, squirts breath freshener in his mouth, Sabine returns, she is in a very nice evening gown)

S: Here I am.

M: That's a ... very nice dress.

S: Thanks, it's not good in this weather though.

M: I bet not.

S: Yeah... very drafty... and in that wind!

M: Yikes! I know! That's the worst, isn't it?

S: No kidding! I mean when it's below zero, that's bad enough.

M: But the wind!

S: Yeah, twenty miles an hour!

M: With gusts to thirty!

S: And from the northwest too, it's awful.

M: Horrible!

S: The old Alberta Clipper.

M: The Yukon Howler.

S: Just blowing right through everyone.

M: It actually makes your bones cold.

S: At least, the snow has stopped.

M: I never thought it would end.

S: Snowing and snowing and snowing.

M: Thought it'd just keep going forever.

S: So glad they cleared the roads. I thought I wouldn't be able to make it tonight because of the snow.

M: You made it through though.

S: I did, and I didn't have to wear my winter boots.

M: No. No... you didn't?

S: Right, I don't care how cute the boot, no winter footwear goes well with an evening gown.

M: Yeah, never thought of that.

S: So I wore these instead. (holding out her long leg)

M: (looking, getting a thrill) Ahhh... yes.... those are... very, very nice... shoes.

S: I just love these shoes. They really show off my legs.

M: Uh... huh... yes, yes, they do.

S: But the weather... in these shoes, I can't be outside in them for more than twenty seconds.

M: No, no. Not... not when it's this cold.

S: I know, I practically ran to get in here... I had to park around the corner, thought my toes were going to fall off.

M: And that wind!

S: I know, I should have brought my scarf.

M: But it could be worse.

S: Yes, yes... I know, could be much worse.

M: Could be... could be... uhhh, worse. Yep.

S: Sure. Much worse.

(uncomfortable pause)

M: (forcing it out, quickly) Tomorrow's supposed to be better though.

S: Really?

M: Yeah, it might hit five... above!

S: Really?

M: I just saw it on the news.

S: Oh, I just heard that tomorrow we won't get above zero again.

M: Really? Oh. That's weird.

S: Yeah. It's like you know the weather forecasters are wrong, because they can't even agree on one temperature for the next day.

M: Right! And it can only be one temperature.

S: Exactly, so at least one of them is wrong.

M: What a bizarre job, being a weather forecaster. I mean, I bet people just want you to talk about the weather all the time.

S: Yeah... that would get really boring really fast.

M: How lame would that be?

S: Extremely.

M: Yeah.

S: It might start snowing again on Monday.

M: I heard that too.

S: About eight more inches.

M: Eight inches?

S: Yeah.

M: Wow, I'm so sick of the snow.

S: Ahh, but it's only eight inches.

M: I know, but...

S: I can handle eight inches.

M: You can?

S: Yeah, I'm an old pro. Eight inches is nothing for me.

M: I'm just so sore, my back from all the bending and pushing those eight inches around.

S: Oh, I get sore with eight inches too, but a good kind of sore. Fulfilling, a job well done.

M: You'd have to take off those shoes for that job.

S: Of course, the whole dress comes off for eight inches.

M: That makes sense.

S: But you know what's worse than eight inches?

M: Ten inches?

S: No, it's when they are promising eight inches... and so, you go to bed, and you wake up and check it out, and you realize that was not eight inches that you got last night. Maybe four or five... but that's a world of difference.

M: I thought you hated snow?

S: I do, but there's still that girlish sense of wonder when you see a fresh eight inches, I guess.

M: Yeah, I guess I feel the same way.

S: You do?

M: Well... uhh... not the girlish part.

S: In many ways, winter is wonderful.

M: Like how?

S: Cold weather clears the air, clears your head, and it makes you appreciate warmth so much more... reminds us that we are forever subject to the atmosphere. I think it keeps people from becoming too arrogant. It's...

M: Humbling?

S: Yeah, humbling... it's also punishing.

M: Punishing?

S: Yeah, but, here's the thing, punishment can be so rewarding.

M: Rewarding?

S: (starts slow, gets more and more passionate and fevered as she goes on) Yes... you step outside and get slapped in the face by cold air... you feel the frozen fingers race up your coat, your dress... the sting of freezing rain reminding you that you are weak, you amount to nothing... the weather is the master... we are all subjects, and, like all subjects, we feel we deserve the punishment, and when you grow up with it, you believe you should be punished and controlled by the weather.

It tells you where to go, when to go, what to wear, what you can do and what you can't, and if you don't listen, or if you're unlucky, then the master will snuff you out. That's the danger, and danger is what keeps us alive, what keeps us vibrant... the sense that we could be killed by the master at any moment, that we need to be subservient, that we need to be pushed around, and we need to pay attention.

Does it have it's fingers aound my neck? Have I been a good girl? Did I do something wrong? How will it bend me today? Will it strip me naked and penetrate me with killing kindness? Will it tease me with a consequence and then pull it back?

I never know, but I want to, I need to, I have to know. Treat me badly, weather, abuse me, toss me around, tell me again how much you hate me... tie me up... beat me down... lash me, hit me, blow me, fuck me over, fuck me around... do it now! Do it now! Do it harder! Colder! Hotter! Slower! Faster! But just do it! Do it!!

M: Oh... I... I... I never... I never... uhhh... thought of it... like... that.

S: And, what do you think?

M: (pause, deep breath) I think you're terrible.

S: And?

M: I think I'm not hungry anymore.

S: And?

M: (he gets up) I'm leaving, and you're coming with me.

S: (sensuously) Yeeeessss!

M: (walking past her) Take your shoes off, grab your coat, we're driving to Alberta.

(Malachi exits, Sabine slips off her shoes, sits up straight and shivers involuntarily with excitement, then runs to the exit)


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