Play 09

2013-08-14

Title: Tea for Two

Author: Peter Wood

Draft date: 13-08-14

Contact: peterwood2@gmail.com

A tea shop. As refined and elegant as possible. At a table, a bit too small for their bulk, sit SASQUATCH and NESSIE. Yes, the famed, illusive monsters. They sip tea delicately, if a bit awkwardly. The sound of Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Major for Violin and Strings plays softly in the background.

SASQUATCH

It’s good to see you. How is the Oolong?

NESSIE

You too. It’s quite good. Haven’t yet found it’s match in the new place. Is your Earl Grey as good as you remember?

SASQUATCH

It . . . not quite. Nostalgia always builds things up a bit more then they are really, you know?

NESSIE

Indeed. I went for a swim and the water was murky and cold and dull. Not what I remembered at all. How’s the family?

SASQUATCH

Good, good. Though Debbie and I have been going through a rough patch as the kids leave the nest. Adjusting to being alone again after the past twenty-five years. I thought it would get easier after Justin left, but then when Mary went off . . .

NESSIE

Are you . . . splitting--

SASQUATCH

Oh gods no! It’s nothing that bad. Just . . . a rough patch. It’ll sort itself out, they usually do. And we’ve been together . . . what, going on two-hundred years and with what we’ve been through . . .

NESSIE

Well. Good. I’m sure the kids will be fine. And I always did adore Debbie, though her sense of humor was somewhat . . . odd, if I remember correctly.

SASQUATCH

Well, there is that.

Awkward silence. Sipping of tea. Vivaldi.

NESSIE

Did you hear? About the Manitou clan?

SASQUATCH

No.

NESSIE

They killed themselves rather than move dimensions.

SASQUATCH

Jesus!

NESSIE

All twenty-five of them. Simultaneously. Management was . . . not happy.

SASQUATCH

I can imagine. That must have been a heck of a clean up job. Who’d they send?

NESSIE

Michael himself.

SASQUATCH

Fuck!

NESSIE

Yeah, it was a nightmare. I mean, that’s what he turned it into for those who’d found the bodies. I never understood those Manitou. They were fine at the meetings and retreats. Civilized. Fun even. But when they went back home . . . savages. I could never really reconcile that in my head.

SASQUATCH

Yeah. Well, compartmentalization.

NESSIE

I guess.

SASQUATCH

We all do it. Just some to a, you know, great extent.

Pause.

SASQUATCH

But still. I know what you mean. I was never really fond of them myself.

Tea. A more comfortable pause. Vivaldi.

SASQUATCH

What about the Greys? Any news from them?

NESSIE

I haven’t heard for a while, but the last time I talked to Memphre, she said that--

SASQUATCH

Memphre?

NESSIE

You remember Memphre don’t you? A bit of a thing really, but still a lake monster, up in Lake Memphremagog? Vermont?

SASQUATCH

Ohhhhh, right. Yeah. I remember her now.

NESSIE

She was always a bit of a shy one.

SASQUATCH

Weren’t you all?

NESSIE

Well . . . you know what I mean. Anyway . . . she said that the Grays had given up their practical jokes and have, in the new place, become somewhat of a spiritual clan. All rough-hewn robes and chanting and prayers and meditation.

SASQUATCH

No. Come on, she must have been pulling your flipper. They were jokesters through and through. The probes . . . I mean, coming up the the goddamn probes! Even the humans thought that one was hilarious.

NESSIE

Well, not the ones probed.

They laugh. All awkwardness dissipates.

NESSIE

But that’s what she said.

SASQUATCH

I don’t believe it. Those guys were . . . wait, were they guys?

NESSIE

I don’t think so. But I don’t know. I remember that the Triangle said they were both/and, not neither/nor.

SASQUATCH

What does that mean?

NESSIE

I don’t really know. You know what the Triangle was like.

SASQUATCH

Yeah.

Pause.

SASQUATCH

Whatever happened to him?

NESSIE

Nobody knows, when the orders came down to move dimensions he just . . .

A beat as they look at each other.

SASQUATCH

. . . disappeared!

NESSIE ^

. . . disappeared!

They laugh and laugh and laugh.

SASQUATCH

I’ve missed you.

NESSIE

Me too you.

They sit in a comfortable silence. Sip tea. Vivaldi plays.

SASQUATCH

What do you miss most?

Pause.

NESSIE

I try not to think of this place too often. But . . . I think I miss the love. At least, I think it was love, those humans were awfully hard to read sometimes. It felt like love. Not from the creepy monster hunters who spent all that time at the loch searching for me. But from the writer in Rhode Island who wrote a poem for me or the eight year old girl in Peru who heard of me and pretended great adventures between the two of us for three years. It was the love from all those who never came and visited the loch but who just believed entirely. More than believed, loved the idea of a world with me in it and, thus, I’d like to think, loved me.

Long pause.

NESSIE

You?

SASQUATCH

Pretty much the same. There was this time, I was depicted on a crappy tv show: first as a villain and then as a friend. I forget the name of it. It’s not important, really. But suddenly there were all these kids: thousands, millions maybe, who believed in me and would expect to see me around every tree in every wooded spot. The energy and warmth of those years . . . I don’t want to be one of those suckers that thinks their best is behind them, ’cause then what next? Why keep trying, right? But still, those years . . . they were really good years.

NESSIE

And now . . .

SASQUATCH

Well.

He sips his tea.

SASQUATCH

Not bad. Not as great, but not bad. The new job is a bit more boring. I’m a woodlands deity to a small, barely sentient pack of creatures. But give me cryptozoology over godhood any day. You?

NESSIE

I’m on sabbatical actually. Writing quantum-quadratic poetry for the most part, though I’ve recently been commissioned to write the lyrics for a new opera by Omia.

SASQUATCH

Sounds nice.

NESSIE

For the most part, it is. And a nice break from all that swimming.

SASQUATCH

Let me know about that opera, I really want to see when it opens.

NESSIE

Oh, it won’t be for a couple of centuries yet, but I’ll definitely let you know.

They finish their tea. Sasquatch looks at his watch.

SASQUATCH

Well, I’m sorry we can’t hang out more, but I’ve got to get back. They have these daily ceremonies of summoning that I’m not supposed to miss, though I think missing a few might be good for them. Still, management thinks it knows best.

NESSIE

It was good to see you too. Let’s do this again soon, shall we? Let’s not wait for another half century. I’d love to see Debby sometime as well, maybe the three of us can go see one of Uriel’s concerts in the Heavenly Park?

SASQUATCH

That’d be great. I’ll talk to her about it.

A slight awkwardness returns as they stand and embrace.

SASQUATCH

Take care of yourself.

NESSIE

You too. Love to the family. Remind Mary that she is welcome to take a ride anytime.

SASQUATCH

I will. I will.

They stand for a moment. Sasquatch is about to say something, but stops. Makes a small wave, and exits. Nessie sits back down. Vivaldi plays. The lights slowly, slowly fade to black.

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