Negotiation and Breathing Shoes

Darkness.

A shaft of light. A door is opening.

X is inside the room. Y is outside the door.

X and Y could be either sex, but it’s not a male/female scene.

X

Hello?

Y

(Calling) Getting along in there?

X

Is this my bedroom?

Y

It is if you like closets.

X

Yes, I do. I do like closets.

Y

Then it’s your bedroom.

X

Thank you! Wonderful!

Pause. Light continues as is.

X

Would you mind closing the door?

Y

You want the door closed?

X

Yes, please.

Y

There would be no light, then.

X

That’s the point.

Y

I see.

Pause.

Y

But I thought first, before the light is extinguished…

X

Yes?

Y

I could receive an invitation.

X

To what?

Y

To the bedroom. To come in. To visit.

X

Visit?

Y

To better understand the concept behind a new room.

X

It’s a closet.

Y

I’d like to experience your sense of space and whimsy.

X

It’s your home.

Y

I have no claim to ownership. I only rent.

X

Nevertheless, I hope you’ll forgive me if I refuse. I’m awfully tired. I am going to just lay me down over all these shoes and sleep.

Y

All right, then. I won’t be suspicious.

X

No need. I’m a self-appointed loner, is all.

Y

And I’m an admirable host. Go ahead and pile the shoes in a corner, I don’t mind. I know of a good cobbler, if need be.

Sounds of tripping, clumsiness; striving to save oneself from a fall.

X

Oh. Oh. Uh-oh.

Y

Is something wrong?

X

One of the shoes is breathing.

Y

Just one?

X

In and out –

Y

Not the pair?

X

Inanimate objects are aspirating, that’s all I know.

Y

Are you sure they’re shoes?

X

As sure as I want to be.

Y

Because it’s usually boots that breathe. Boots have gills.

X

Could be boots. They’re kind of long. And heavy.

Y

Look here, I’m coming in.

X

No, it’s all right! I’m just acclimating.

Y

You sound injured.

X

I’m not. It’s, it’s (more struggling sounds) – this is between me and the boots.

Y

You’re startled. You’re off put.

X

It’s my pitch. When I’m tired, I get squeaky.

Y

Look, I know boots. I know how they think. I better come in and negotiate.

X

Are they unionized?

Y

That can’t be revealed yet.

X

Because I have a certificate in negotiation.

Y

You can’t be objective.

X

That must be why I’m here.

Y

No.

X

(More movement) Ouch.

Y

You’re not a spatial diplomat. You’re imaginative. You know that.

X

Things are quieting down now.

Y

You follow orders. You create within a frame.

X

Yes, it’s quiet. Quiet! What relief, huh?

Y

What are they doing?

X

Curling up. Signaling to each other. Settling.

Y

We’ve cowed them.

X

We?

Y

Boots are fickle.

X

I know what’s next. Shut (noise) the door!

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