A deep sea DIVER makes slow progress toward a sea cave. Blind fish swim past. DIVER enters Cave.
DIVER swims toward entrance to a large shopping mall. Carefully swims through revolving door.
The moors of Scotland.
PRZBILLA. [Sings.] A little clock indoors excitedly expires.
Memories still like the elderly settling in for bingo…
The dog curls itself to the inmost.
Its nose retreats from the air.
A spider unfastens its string in the dark…
A muffled television descends on a front yard,
and collaborative voices consider the bills.
A truck parks beneath a tree.
A plane zips West.
The sound of its jets falls off…
I have forgotten someone I hate,
who is so much to be adhered to, perhaps
as near as noon, shy of the banalities of the arc.
Perhaps it is just as well.
A shopping mall. Many persons milling, among them ROY.
DIVER removes mask. Looks around in awe of the enormous mall, which contains an impressive rollercoaster. DIVER waits in line for rollercoaster. He is seated beside ROY.
As rollercoaster climbs, Diver grows increasingly agitated. At the summit DIVER tries to scream, but only bubbles come out. ROY looks at him and, just before the rollercoaster plunges, shakes his head in disapproval.
The moors of Scotland.
FERNANDEZ. [Sings.] The fountain spray is preceded by the fountain sound
Ice moves like a waiter
A woman’s face dies like a shrub
The time of the bird is daybreak, yes!
This room likens itself to being
A crack in the street mends the window
Suburbs wear at the voice of winter
Voices impoverish the future oh!
Judge not the angel at the bellows
Her chapped hands, her spitting out
A fellowship of blue-aproned fish
Her howling them under an old woman’s bonnet
The portrait precedes the pen
The reader the thought-white paper doll
Smelling of temporal ink, of Goethe, the bible
Tables the life, exacts the will
DIVER exits sea cave, descends into a ravine downstage. His passage takes roughly ten minutes.
What appears to be a massive, submerged lost and found. Purses, jackets, backpacks strewn about.
Enter DIVER, who sifts through the stuff. Lingers over a pile of finely wrought gold rings. Eventually locates own wallet and ascends.
Middle School Classroom.
Enter WEBSTER wearing a tweed jacket and vest, and carrying a briefcase. Walks to the front of the class, sets down briefcase and clears his throat.
WEBSTER: ‘One is not bit twice by the same snake,’ said the philosopher Pythagoras. But it is always the same people eating your sammy! [Paces.] Always the same lateness in the clock, hit or miss. All of you, you shooters of the broken isolation, I have named you after the Greek and Roman statues listed in the in-flight magazine. [Points.] There is Aphrodite of Melos! There is an Abstract Head! Menelaus is a point guard! When Apollo appears in the corner, I know a god is beside me! Strange that Diana and Caesar are on the stunt team. [Pause.] But thou, old wanderer, who come in the disenchanted evening to take away the dying hotdogs as I am firing up the Hummer, thou whom I sort of know, thou ordinarily halfway-housed peripatetic, I have given you a derided and ignominious name; I have named thee Nero.
SCENE IX. INTERLUDE.
The moors of Scotland. ROY with a Spanish guitar, seated in a straight-back chair, plays THEME MUSIC, first right-handed, then switches to the left.
ROY’s recreation room. Pool table center stage.
Enter RANDOLPH, who walks in flip-flops to the pool table.
RANDOLPH: [Pointing out the details of the carvings decorating the sides of ROY’s pool table.] Here is a levee great and strong, restraining a varnished river. Beyond the river is a cloud that from one angle looks like a room full of children eating lunch off plastic trays, from another like four flamingos surrounding a caterpillar, their heads near to the ground, from another like a man in fatigues aiming a paintball rifle in such a way as to suggest he is taking the game too seriously, and from another like a woman feeding a black bear a bunch of grapes. Here are two stadiums busy with people’s chatter. In one, a teen pop idol escorted by floods and spots from all conceivable angles waves to seas of girls in t-shirts and ties. Loud rise the PA speakers while the idol stands by her microphone. Meanwhile the audience has encircled a disagreement—two moms are wrangling over the blood money for a basket of nachos upset in the rush. People take sides, each backing the side that she has chosen, while the ushers keep them back and suggest the parents take their dispute elsewhere. Outside the other stadium people are encamped waiting for playoff tickets to go on sale. There a game of nerf football proceeds in which the team with a commitment to defense is winning. Here is an empty lot, spacious and paved. Contractors are discussing blueprints while the workers drink big gulps. One worker has a tattoo on his bicep very curious to behold. It depicts a room full of women operating sewing machines, and when the worker flexes it appears that the needles move and the cloth is guided underneath. Here is a pen filled with cattle, brown, brindled and black. As they are led down the chute, two men watch from above, talking sports. Beside this is a bottling plant made of bricks and decorated with red neon letters rising from the roof: OCEANUS. Here also is a greenhouse, and inside Christmas Poinsettia are arrayed in rows beneath grow lights. This whole panel is devoted to tract homes and the occasional strip mall, with cars passing here and there, and carven telephone poles protruding above. People are gathered outside of a particular Villa-style home to welcome a newborn and his mother returning from the hospital. In the back yard they are barbequing and playing Dead Prez on a boom-box. All along the edges of the pool table are carved explosions, the four thick legs of the table extending up into chiseled mushroom clouds. The pool cues are shaped like missiles, and the overhead light is a replica of the moon, illuminated from within. [RANDOLPH chalks a pool cue and begins a leisurely game.]
Ocean floor. DIVER swims through a kelp forest. Discovers a Christmas tree ornament attached to a kelp frond. Pauses to examine ornament. DIVER continues swimming, ornament in hand.
Enlarged version of ornament lies center stage, the words “Know Tenderness” printed in white flocked letters on its metallic face. ALDRIDGE walks around and around the ornament looking up at the letters. Lights fade.
The moors of Scotland.
BLAKE. [Sings.] The reach of the prince is the purpose of the father
My attentions mistress echoes
Which raven drinks
Offers his observations of the guards
A seal glories in servitude
The prince knows wrong
A shopping mall. BAYLESS and ODEN are seated in the food court sipping Orange Juliuses.
BAYLESS. In the end, you are weary of this past season. [Sip.]
ODEN. This morning among houses the dogs bark Rose Garden, you investment! [Sip.]
BAYLESS. Tired of living in Celtic antiquity, and Laker. [Sip.]
ODEN. Here even the lightrail looks retro. [Sip.]
BAYLESS. Modesty alone has remained young; modesty has remained as simple as a parking lot. [Sip.] The most contemporary American is William C. Ralston. [Sip.]
ODEN. This morning I saw a busy street whose name is Caesar Chaves, a broad and simmering meal for the sun, where from Sunday evening to Sunday evening, six times daily, investors, workers, and lovely paralegals go their way…[Sip.]
The moors of Scotland.
OUTLAW. [Gestures grandly to the audience. Sings.]
All of this totalizing annoys me
It’s either an instant or an eternity, Sydney or the bush
Everything is gone or redeemed
The wide sky is a neutron o’erscattered with camels
Their saddle bags filled with dancing demons
Or angels or Jordans
Poor Dirk made a friend, and now the dancing lights
Cast long shadows
Looking ahead, we have
An outing to the zoo: see the caged Blake Griffin
And the women laugh
According to Bill Walton, they are either laughing
With us or at us I believe
They have their own jokes
And yet we share certain aspirations
The shore. DIVER surfaces, runs in flippers through the waves and up the beach directly toward audience. At the last moment he falls into the orchestra pit. He is followed by each member of the cast in turn, in uniform, surfacing and running with a basketball. ROY is last to fall into pit.