Echomirror by Thomas Cole

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

ECHOMIRROR

ONE. Ladies.

TWO. and.

THREE. gentlemen.

ONE. Our.

TWO. play.

THREE. begins.

(Pause)

ONE. I used to like to speculate.

TWO. Long ago I enjoyed reflecting.

ONE. I don’t anymore.

TWO. That no longer appeals to me.

ONE. I died.

TWO. My mortal existence reached its termination.

ONE. I passed away.

TWO. Dropped dead, in fact, actually.

ONE. Therefore. I do not like. To speculate. Any. More.

TWO. Death. Made. Me lose. My love. Of. Of. Of. Reflection.

ONE. Come to think of it though, death was only the partial cause of
the boredom I suffer now.

TWO. Upon reconsideration of the evidence, upon further reflection, I
find that death was not the primary cause of my present ennui.

ONE. Not in the least. It’s the time after death that counts.

TWO. So much time. An eternity. Day after day after death. Creeps. Or
does it crawl? The eons tell. This petty pace.

ONE. And do you know why?

TWO. I often ask myself the reason.

ONE. It’s simple.

TWO. Plain as your nose is.

ONE. It’s because I am pure spirit.

TWO. I am no body. I exist without a physical body, you see. This is
not, I pause to subtract, a reflection on me personally, but simply
the raison non-d’etre of my sensible self.

ONE. Abstract mind.

TWO. Reasoning. Sweet reasoning. I think I think. Therefore I think I
am. I think. How jolly!

ONE. And I am able to do nothing but speculate.

TWO. My mind is active constantly. What does it accomplish?
Additional reflections. That is all. ye know on earth and all ye need
to know.

ONE. Speculation becomes boring.

TWO. O drab, tedious, wearisome is reflection. Take my word for it. A
hall of mirrors. A funny house. No fun intended.

(Pause.)

ONE. I’ve been speculating.

TWO. I’ve been reflecting.

ONE. I’ve noticed that you consistently agree with me, but you do
it in such a way as to claim credit for my thoughts.

TWO. Suddenly I realize I never disagree with you. In fact, I always
mimic. Like. Parrot. Copy. Plagiarize. O yeah!

ONE. You are playing a child's game, except that, instead of making
yourself the exact copycat of me, you twist what I say and do. Well, I
refuse to be infuriated by your childish prank! You'll never get my
goat! And how do you like them apples!? Put that in your pipe and
smoke it!

TWO. I mimic you the best I can and try to do it artfully. I take
your thoughts and polish them till they shine like a dead mackerel in
the moonlight. But it seems these childish things I do, though done in
malice, never bother you. Sticks and stones may break your bones—but
simulation, does it like hurt you?

ONE. Oh, shut up!

TWO. I absolutely refuse to say another word!

ONE. Ha!

TWO. Ho!

ONE. You will drive me mad!

TWO. Do you know that I will cause you to lose your mind?

ONE. Why, this is hell.

TWO. Nor am I out of it. The pain is unbearable. The bells have
tolled, and I’ve been told. Over and over and over. .

ONE. Do I drive you crazy?

TWO. I wonder, is your presence affecting my sanity?

ONE. What’s the use? I can’t communicate with you.

TWO. Is it possible for us to have what I call a truly meaningful
relationship? Can’t we share ideas? Get along? Be pals? I’m sorry,
but it’s out of the question.

ONE. (Struck by an idea:) You will take orders from me!

TWO. Your service, sir.

ONE. Then, go! Depart! At once!

TWO. This place bores me stiff. I’m leaving.
(She doesn’t budge.)

ONE. Well, move!

TWO. I’m off. I’m off. I’m off, so to speak.

(She doesn’t budge.)

ONE. Oh! The only time I can peacefully speculate is when I don’t
speak.

TWO. If you’d close your pie hole, you’d get some quiet reflection done.

ONE. Insane!!

TWO. Crazy!

ONE. Absolutely insane!

TWO. Nuts!

(Pause.)

ONE. I am speculating.

TWO. Reflecting.

(Pause.)

THREE. Lady and gentleman, I have discovered a new philosophy!

ONE. What is it?

TWO. Give us, in a short précis, the premises of your ontology,
epistemology, and rational psychology. Tell us in brief, my good man, what have you
come up with?

THREE. Simply this, if an entire philosophical system is to be summed
up in a few words: We are not spirits; we are bodies! The world is
immaterial; the living are a dream. Only the dead, sir and madam – only real people like
us – are truly material and vital. That is my philosophy, the result of centuries
of – dare I say? – the result of centuries of grave meditation.

[End of Extract]

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