Post Road Magazine #30

Here (or Having Found Godot)
A Play in One Act

Kyle York

Note:

The characters in this play are taken from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. This play is set to take place sometime after the nonevents in Waiting for Godot.

A run-down barn with a window. The sound of rain outside.

ESTRAGON and VLADIMIR lay on their backs, their heads propped against the wall. VLADIMIR remains sleeping. ESTRAGON slowly sits up. He fidgets. He uses his fist to pound his chest. He sighs. He looks around. He sighs again. He gets up. He tries to dance a small jig, but falters. He rubs his chest with his fist. He looks at the floor. He sits back down. He looks at VLADIMIR. He paces and whistles part of a tune. The tune is "A Dog Came in the Kitchen…" He sits back down. He looks at VLADIMIR. He claps his hands loudly.

ESTRAGON: Didi!

VLADIMIR stirs.

VLADIMIR: I was asleep.

ESTRAGON: I couldn't bear it.

VLADIMIR: I bear it better while sleeping.

ESTRAGON: I was desperate.

VLADIMIR: Am I on higher grounds?

ESTRAGON: It's possible.

VLADIMIR: Well then, relieved now?

ESTRAGON: Until you asked.

VLADIMIR: Were you really?

ESTRAGON: Must you barrage me with questions?

VLADIMIR: Here I am. As requested. In the flesh.

ESTRAGON: No escaping it.

VLADIMIR: Or rather, were you not aware of not being relieved?

ESTRAGON: I can't be certain.

VLADIMIR: That's all to hope for. When you think about the things that are certain. "Pleasure is distraction from…pain." Who said that?

ESTRAGON: Someone historical.

VLADIMIR tips his hat theatrically.

VLADIMIR: And how do I find you?

ESTRAGON: My ovary hurts.

VLADIMIR: Do you have those?

ESTRAGON: There's an even chance. And your prostate?

VLADIMIR: Better. He must have healed it.

ESTRAGON: Your man, you mean?

VLADIMIR: Who else?

ESTRAGON: Did you see him?

VLADIMIR: Three days ago. Don't you remember?

ESTRAGON: Is he a doctor?

VLADIMIR: Perhaps there were other means.

ESTRAGON: You mean he laid his hands on it?

VLADIMIR: On my prostate?

ESTRAGON shrugs.

ESTRAGON: But what's to make you think he's a healer of ailments?

VLADIMIR: Very true. That's a doctor's role.

ESTRAGON: Perhaps he's a doctor.

VLADIMIR: Godot?

ESTRAGON: Who else?

VLADIMIR: Perhaps so.

ESTRAGON: Where is this leading?

VLADIMIR: My prostate. A back and forth.

ESTRAGON: Let's not discuss it.

VLADIMIR: It's all the same.

The two sit in silence.

VLADIMIR (CONT'D): No no, it was "…distraction from existence." They said that instead.

ESTRAGON: Who?

VLADIMIR: Someone historical. The same one. Instead.

ESTRAGON: How do you know it's the same one?

VLADIMIR: No one said the other.

ESTRAGON: You did.

VLADIMIR: I'm not historical.

ESTRAGON: (Humored) It's true, isn't it, Didi?

VLADIMIR: Yes, two no ones.

ESTRAGON: Two hogs.

VLADIMIR: It wasn't always that way. Or perhaps we simply didn't know it at the time.

ESTRAGON: Do you have a turnip?

VLADIMIR: It's carrots you like.

ESTRAGON: Do you have one of those?

VLADIMIR fishes for a carrot in his pocket, without success.

VLADIMIR: No.

ESTRAGON: Do you have a turnip?

VLADIMIR fishes for a turnip in his pocket, without success.

VLADIMIR: Don't worry, Gogo. Soon we'll have bread. A thousand loafs. More than we could appreciate.

ESTRAGON: We could sell it.

VLADIMIR: Perhaps if I had said, "Pleasure is distraction from existence," I could have been of consequence.

A long pause.

ESTRAGON: What now?

VLADIMIR: Now we wait for Godot.

ESTRAGON: We were already doing that.

VLADIMIR: Ah yes, I had forgotten.

ESTRAGON: That's all to hope for.

VLADIMIR: What's that?

ESTRAGON: That's all to hope for.

VLADIMIR: Coming down the road.

ESTRAGON: Could it be your man?

VLADIMIR: Do you remember what he looks like?

ESTRAGON: Did I see him before?

VLADIMIR: Three days ago. Don't you remember?

ESTRAGON: It couldn't have been significant.

VLADIMIR: But we were filled.

ESTRAGON: Filled. Hah.

VLADIMIR: But we're at his house after all. We slept in the hay.

ESTRAGON: Maybe there's more than one Godot.

VLADIMIR: I never considered that.

ESTRAGON: Godot Goldsmith, Godot O'Grady, Rupert H. Godot…

VLADIMIR: Who are they?

ESTRAGON: Charles Godot Godot Richardson Godot…

VLADIMIR: But we saw him three days ago!

ESTRAGON: Resuming that thread.

VLADIMIR: It was the first of May.

ESTRAGON: What is it today?

VLADIMIR: What do you mean "What is it today?"

ESTRAGON: I mean what is the day today, today's date?

VLADIMIR: Three days after the first of May. Could anything be simpler?

ESTRAGON: Do the rains fall so heavily in May?

VLADIMIR: Apparently they must.

ESTRAGON: And if they mustn't?

VLADIMIR: If they mustn't…

ESTRAGON: Follow me here.

VLADIMIR: If they mustn't, then we saw Godot on the first of April. Or on some other day three days after which it might rain. Is that not enough for you?

ESTRAGON: Listen.

GODOT enters. He is older, and wears tattered, fine clothing.

GODOT

Ah, my viburnum lantana. But they have moved. And annexed my place of residence.

ESTRAGON

Mr. Godot?

VLADIMIR and ESTRAGON fumble to stand up straight and remove their hats.

VLADIMIR: We would have waited outside.

GODOT: Not at all.

VLADIMIR: It was raining.

GODOT: Wouldn't think of it.

ESTRAGON: You didn't have a door.

GODOT: You needn't say anything.

A pause.

GODOT (CONT'D): I am rather tired. I have just returned from a very long funeral. A sea of faces from a distant past. The experience was quaking to say the least, leaving a sense of alienation even from myself. A self abandoned, perhaps. But do not look so concerned. Ha ha! It was after all quite a necessary and ultimately small sacrifice to fulfill particular duties, which we all have, of course. That is, after all, what brings you here, isn't it? I shall be quite all right; I simply need to sit and rest.

A pause.

ESTRAGON

Is something preventing you?

GODOT: There is, in fact. Quite clearly, I'm in need a chair.

The three characters look towards a chair in the room clearly within GODOT's reach.

VLADIMIR: May we be of some assistance?

GODOT: I couldn't impose. Only do what you feel is right.

VLADIMIR and ESTRAGON look at each other. ESTRAGON scoots the chair half an inch closer to GODOT. GODOT quickly plops down and breathes a sigh of relief.

GODOT (CONT'D): Ahh. That's much better. Now let's recall. I left you three days ago, your hearts full to the brim…

ESTRAGON:
Were they?

VLADIMIR: How could you say that? Of course they were.

ESTRAGON: You remember?

VLADIMIR: It must be the case. How happy we were. How we sang.

ESTRAGON: Did we, Didi?

VLADIMIR: Didn't we, Mr. Godot?

GODOT: Oh yes. Hearts quite full to the brim. But the way is stony and one trips and spills.

VLADIMIR: That must have been it. Something as simple as that.

ESTRAGON: But now here we are again.

GODOT: Yes, we are here.

VLADIMIR: And here is Mr. Godot. Didn't I tell you, Gogo? Now it's all over with. All our troubles are over!

ESTRAGON: Oh, Mr. Godot, sir! Is it really so?

ESTRAGON reaches out his arms and advances to hug GODOT. VLADIMIR stops him.

VLADIMIR: Don't get close to him; you stink.

ESTRAGON: Is it really so, Mr. Godot?

GODOT: I'm afraid so. You're putrid.

A long pause.

ESTRAGON: And when will it start, Mr. Godot?

GODOT: Start what?

VLADIMIR: If it's not too much trouble.

GODOT: If what's not?

VLADIMIR: The realizing.

ESTRAGON: The fulfilling.

GODOT: It has already begun.

ESTRAGON: Has it?

VLADIMIR: What shall we do?

GODOT: Embrace it. Submit to it. Revel in it. Heed it. Fear it. Keep it close and never forget it.

ESTRAGON: If I may ask, perhaps I have forgotten…

VLADIMIR: What he means to say is our memories are not what they once were. Or at least we can assume as much, given the circumstances.

GODOT: …nor will people say, "Here it is," or "There it is"…

VLADIMIR: Ah yes. But perhaps a bit of…oh, what's the word?

ESTRAGON: Insight.

VLADIMIR: No.

ESTRAGON: Direction.

VLADIMIR: Closer.

GODOT: Commentary.

VLADIMIR: Closer.

ESTRAGON: Insight.

VLADIMIR: Eisegesis. Yes, a bit of eisegesis.

BOY enters barn, out of breath, carrying some bread and water. GODOT sees the BOY and slaps the plate of bread out of the BOY's hand.

GODOT: (Cruelly) What are you doing with my bread, boy?

BOY: It's for Mr. Albert, sir.

GODOT: And who are you? The master of this house? Entertaining guests? Inviting in guests? Hosting parties?

BOY: No, sir.

GODOT: Look at my hay, it's soiled. And what are you doing with my bread? Don't you know I have only one loaf?

BOY: I'm sorry, sir.

GODOT: I didn't ask whether you were sorry. I asked what you were doing with my bread.

BOY: It's for Mr. Albert, sir.

GODOT: (Cruelly) And who are you?

BOY exists the barn. GODOT follows him out. We hear sounds of yelling and whipping.

VLADIMIR: One thief was saved.

ESTRAGON: What's that?

VLADIMIR: Wasn't Godot kind last time to the boy? Gave him sweets and patted him on the head?

ESTRAGON: I don't know.

Vladmir: And doesn't the boy have a brother? That must be the brother.

ESTRAGON: Who?

VLADIMIR: The one with the bread.

ESTRAGON: Whose brother?

VLADIMIR: The other brother's brother.

The sounds of yelling, crying, and whipping amplify.

ESTRAGON: Oh this is terrible!

VLADIMIR: Appalling.

ESTRAGON: Let's go, Didi.

VLADIMIR: We can't.

ESTRAGON: Why not?

VLADIMIR: We're here.

GODOT reenters the barn, covered in sweat.

GODOT: Pardon the interruption, gentlemen.

VLADIMIR: Not at all.

GODOT: Oh yes, I insist.

ESTRAGON: You insist that we pardon you?

GODOT: That's right.

VLADIMIR: You are pardoned.

GODOT: Now where were we?

ESTRAGON: Here.

GODOT: Indeed, my good fellows. You are here.

VLADIMIR: You mean, the apex?

ESTRAGON: The zenith?

VLADIMIR: The summit?

ESTRAGON: The zenith?

GODOT: Nowhere else to go.

ESTRAGON: Certainly not this.

GODOT: Nothing north of the pole.

VLADIMIR: So what then? Embrace it and so on?

GODOT: That's the idea.

ESTRAGON: And for how long?

GODOT: Indefinitely.

ESTRAGON: What should we do after that?

VLADIMIR: I don't know, I've never been there.

ESTRAGON: I thought we were there.

VLADIMIR: That's right! Now embrace it.

ESTRAGON: Let us start, then.

VLADIMIR: I've already started.

ESTRAGON and VLADIMIR sit there for ten seconds.

ESTRAGON: And begin.

ESTRAGON and VLADIMIR sit there for ten seconds.

VLADIMIR: How long is this supposed to last?

GODOT: Indefinitely.

VLADIMIR: Can we talk while we're embracing it?

GODOT: Suit yourself.

ESTRAGON: Is there a special technique?

GODOT: To taste.

ESTRAGON: But can't you make it more bearable?

GODOT: I've taken you to the heights, and you demand more. The illogical. The paradoxical.

VLADIMIR: We're not entitled, you mean?

GODOT: You are privileged with everything I can give, which is to say you are privileged with everything that can be given.

ESTRAGON: There are limitations, you mean?

GODOT: No squaring a circle, as they say.

VLADIMIR: One must reconcile with the diameter, you mean?

ESTRAGON: More or less?

GODOT: Precisely.

ESTRAGON: (To VLADIMIR) Perhaps he's not your man.

VLADIMIR: Wickedness! And in front of Mr. Godot himself, nonetheless. You ought to be ashamed.

ESTRAGON: But perhaps there's more than one Godot. Perhaps we have the wrong one.

VLADIMIR: You think so?

ESTRAGON: I can't be certain.

GODOT: I alone carry the family name.

ESTRAGON: Perhaps you've forgotten, Mr. Godot. Perhaps you've a cousin?

GODOT: You come onto my land, eat my bread, sleep on my hay, and go on to question my fecundity?

VLADIMIR: See that, Gogo? Now you've made him indignant.

GODOT: Yes, I almost feel it. No, I've lost it.

VLADIMIR: Damn.

GODOT: I almost had an experience.

ESTRAGON: Will there be wrath? A kind of demonstration?

GODOT: They doubt me. And where were they when the first stars shined upon the earth's surface?

VLADIMIR: Quite stirring, Mr. Godot.

ESTRAGON: Tell us more about them, if you please.

VLADIMIR: The forces of the universe, as they say.

GODOT: I can recall some things about the weaving of the fabrics. A force…or equal and opposite forces…no.

VLADIMIR: That's it.

GODOT: A force of equal or opposite reaction will yield…

ESTRAGON: Go on.

GODOT: Any force, if equal or opposite to its own action, will yield equal or opposite reactionary force.

ESTRAGON: Bravo!

VLADIMIR: I told you he had it in him!

ESTRAGON: Yes indeed! There is still hope.

A long pause.

ESTRAGON (CONT'D): What now?

GODOT: Now nothing. Now you're here.

ESTRAGON: But while we're here.

GODOT: You don't need anything when you're here. That's the point of being here.

VLADIMIR: Then I suppose we can relax.

ESTRAGON: But while we're relaxing?

VLADIMIR: Put your hands behind your head and sigh contentedly like this.

VLADIMIR puts his hands behind his head and sighs. ESTRAGON puts his hands behind his head and sighs. The three stand in silence. ESTRAGON puts his arms back down.

ESTRAGON: Nothing to be done.

VLADIMIR: (With anger and pain) How could you do it, Godot?

GODOT: Manage your own affairs, if you can do better.

VLADIMIR: You couldn't even give us a bit of affection?

ESTRAGON: Endorsement? Reassurance? Punishment?

GODOT: My affection is made known through my actions.

VLADIMIR: We've kept our appointment, Gogo. We can say that, at least.

ESTRAGON: Let's go.

VLADIMIR: Yes, let's.

GODOT: Have I withheld? Have I been anything but a generous host?

ESTRAGON: Some bread would have been nice.

GODOT: (Apologetic, sniveling) I'll get you some bread. Certainly.

ESTRAGON: Even half a loaf would tide me.

VLADIMIR: (Sadly, with sympathy) No, no, Mr. Godot. You've been gracious. You've been fine.

GODOT: I have made myself available, have I not?

ESTRAGON: I am quite hungry when I consider it.

VLADIMIR: It's unceasing.

ESTRAGON: A full stomach never worsened someone's mood.

GODOT: And you are welcome to sleep on the hay.

VLADIMIR: The hay is comfortable. It's good hay, Mr. Godot. The finest.

ESTRAGON: I'm going.

VLADIMIR: Now?

ESTRAGON: What else is there to do?

GODOT: Maintain the climax.

VLADIMIR: Yes, yes. The everlasting climax. Isn't it nice, Gogo?

ESTRAGON: Very well, it's nice. But what about now that we're climaxing?

GODOT: Put the rest behind you. Forgo the struggle.

ESTRAGON: Reconcile with the diameter, you mean.

VLADIMIR: I'm beginning to come round to that opinion.

ESTRAGON: Nothing to be done.



 Copyright © 2016 | Post Road Magazine | All Rights Reserved