(Hotel Room and Dreamspace)
(MANNY’S dream. In the Hotel Bed we see both MANNY and MEAT sleeping in one bunk back to back. A train goes by. A moment of pure darkness and when our eyes adjust, They are both still in bed, but a second form of MANNY from within his dream stand downstage of the hotel room and addresses us. )
I dream I’m in a train car full of beautiful young ladies dressed for summer with books in their laps. All of them are reading intently. Absorbed. Gloved fingers sweeping along pages. Soft young lips parting, silently pronouncing sentences. Their breath blowing fragrant quiet kisses towards their storybooks. I close my eyes, but I cant stop thinking about all those lips.
I wish hard that I was a younger man or at least a thinner man. Since, I’m neither with nothing to lose, I figure I’ll have a little fun at least. And so, I strut toward the center of the car so all the girls can see me. At the top of my lungs I say “hello ladies!”, and tip my hat like a true sport. They all hide smiles, but none look up.
(We hear an distance feminine giggle. Alluring. It echoes sometimes sounding like a feminine giggle, sometimes sounding like child’s giggle.)
A giggle? I spin around to find the giggle, but it always seems to coming from behind me. What are you gonna do? Somebody somewhere in the world will always be giggling at you.
(Pause. MANNY feels his age. Upstage we see a shadow of a tent. Inside the tent is STITCH. The shadow calls out for MEATLOCKER who rises from the bed half asleep. We see the shape of MANNY’s back still in bed even as he talks to us from downstage. MEAT mimics taking the shadow of STITCH out of the shadow tent and to a spot to urinate. Once the shadow of STITCH finishes, MEATLOCKER returns the shadow to it’s tent and then goes back to bed.)
The train is like marmalade beneath. My legs are begging to sit. The only open seat is next to the girls’ chaperon, older, heavy but still a handsome lady, still pinchable, last ripe days before the few spots of grey spread over the whole face. We’re sitting next to each other, neither looking up, both of us blushing. I’m sure of it. We enter a tunnel and the electric lights in the car turn on. Everyone has something to read but me. The chaperon is reading a newspaper. I don’t want to be obvious and turn toward her to read at her elbow so I try to steal glances at the photos in the reflection of the window pane. She’s reading the sports page. There’s a story about me, about my boy, he’s won the championship. There’s a picture of him and me. He’s holding up the belt. I’m holding up my fists, half shouting half laughing. I don’t remember that fight. How could I forget we won. The chaperon folds over her paper. I want to ask her to turn back. I want to see if she recognizes me. Maybe she’ll congratulate me. Maybe she’ll let me buy her a drink since my face is in the paper. I don’t want to startle her. I want to reach out to touch her, but my mouth wont open. It wont. It wont. It wont. I don’t know why.
It doesn’t matter. I’m sure I’m too rough a type for her. Even if she does read the sports page. I try to look in the reflection at the girls and see what they are reading. Are they too looking at the sports page? Am I an unknowing celebrity in this car? Is that why they giggle? I catch the reflection of my face, but my face is all out of order. None of the features are where they belong. I don’t look like the man in photo and they cant tell its me maybe. I go to touch my face slowly afraid that I’m going to break something or set something still like crossing your eyes and they never go back, but throw your mouth and nose into the mix. Just before I touch my face the train car comes to an abrupt stop, we are still in the tunnel. None of the women move they are all now staring straight at me but frozen. I’m convinced we have to get off the train for repairs, but I haven’t be paying attention. I don’t know if I’m in the very first car or the last one. I don’t know in which direction we’ve been moving. I’m nervous. The ladies frozen. I tell myself it doesn’t matter, but underneath that thought, I know that somehow it does.
(Pause. Slow fade. MANNY on the bed starts making noises. MEAT shakes him a little.)
Wake up Manny. Wake up
(END OF DREAMSCENE)