I wrote a short play, which started with an argument. Before I knew it, a ghost arrived and the Lazy Susan made itself known. The ghost I won’t tell you about (she’s one of several and the same person, if my intuition’s right), but the latter, the ‘Susan, I’m going to describe.
Perhaps you are familiar with the Lazy Susan. She comes in different models, from table top to entire table to a corner cabinet with multiple levels. A Lazy Susan is circular, one turns it and retrieves a condiment or a toothpick or a napkin. If it’s in a cabinet, then usually canned goods are kept there. At least, that’s been my experience. Maybe some people put towels or dishes in theirs, but if they do, they have committed a domestic infraction. Lazy Susans are meant for food or spices. Or pills or toothpicks or, as in my play, paper, cell phones and a candle.
The play, Bobby Slam Amanda, is set in a small house, shoddy and on the edge of town. Its inhabitants are intelligent, intuitive and sloppy. The Lazy Susan reflects that. There are torn newspaper articles, prescription pills, an ashtray, matches, cooking oils, spices, grinders, pens and chewing gum. Its location, naturally, is the kitchen table and the kitchen is also the living room. The living room, in fact, is most of the house. And since its tenants have busy schedules (not entirely legal), an active hygienic practice is sorely missing.
The play is expanding. A story needs to be told. So what I do as an exercise – an entre – is take a gander at the ‘Susan. The quality of the piece is quite high, compared to the rest of the house. It’s made of solid, pure oak and is configured to hold paper napkins upright by way of two carved posts at one side. There are two shelves. Really, it’s like a merry-go-round. I could see a child with dolls make great use of it, were it ever empty. This one, sadly, is marked with honey, vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce and has been singed by matches. Its value is still evident, however. And soon the story will be told.