(With tongue firmly in cheek)
A party. Enter Christopher and Rubin, dancing and laughing at each other.
Christopher: What a party for the soul!
Gathered as we are in the sail-less boat of drunken revelries.
Rubin: This stuff, fuel for a heaving heart!
Christopher: So I should say, Rubin my old friend.
And yet –
The world is a lonely party,
And I am its lonely host,
I’ve been in love, been in pain, been freezing in the rain,
And never been more than a ghost.
Rubin: Rubbish! You’re talking of loneliness?
At a party, when you are surrounded by people?
Christopher: As a wall can hide openness,
So a smile can hide sadness.
Rubin: And as leaves in autumn are burned,
So Chris to miserableness returns.
Enter Chatty. Christopher notices her and is immediately fixated.
Christopher: Rubin – what is that?
Rubin: Not ‘what’ but ‘whom’,
She is a woman, not an empty room.
Christopher: I said ‘what’ not ‘whom’,
Because ‘what’ is the fellow
That keeps a dream distant.
He walks over to Chatty.
Christopher: What rose-like flower is this?
I am Christopher,
Nice to meet you, miss.
Chatty: I am no rose-like flower,
I have neither thorns nor a beautiful bouquet of petals
To make my face seem fancy,
As I am, I am much more like a mushroom.
Christopher: Nonsense! You are beautiful,
If this word is truth then you are
Quite the most beautiful mushroom I have ever seen.
(To Rubin) She is a treasure already!
Rubin: Beware of speed, Christopher,
The glass wall of danger
Is what greets those travelling too fast to see it.
Christopher: Then let that glass be shattered,
If with splintered hands it is her I can reach.
Crosses back to Chatty.
I must know your name.
Chatty: Chatty Kiss.
Enter Henry, who embraces Chatty and kisses her.
Chatty: And this is my boyfriend.
Henry: An evening of tiredness,
I’m sorry to say,
Rejection the fifth
To be my fiancé.
Chatty: Henry is like a dog to be fed,
He will not be happy
Until we are wed.
Henry: She is fed, certainly,
Of inconstancy and
Chatty: Enough of this!
Henry, my love,
And love it is indeed,
I can move high mountains and meadows,
And bring flowers to bloom beneath my feet,
But it is a love I must be certain of
For that love to be complete.
Christopher: Perhaps completion
Is a fairytale.
Henry: Who are you?
Rubin: (Warning whisper) Christopher…
Christopher: Christopher. That is my name.
I liken it to a mushroom.
Henry: I know a good mushroom
When I see one.
Christopher: Then perhaps you won’t
Know a rose when it flowers.
Henry: I recognise roses,
And I recognise their thorns,
And let me tell you that no rose
Could be thornier than
The one I hold in my hand.
To the bar, honey,
Lubrication is required for this
Chatty: You say I am a rose,
When you are a mushroom;
Who are you?
And what love is it you bring?
Christopher: Love that is reserved
For a girl like you, who needs it.
Chatty: What are you saying?
Christopher: Here, take this ring,
And meet me tomorrow
Like a lugubrious thing.
Chatty: Tomorrow? Why-
Christopher: Is not your dream to bloom
Into a full-red rose,
From a withering mushroom?
Chatty: And you offer this?
Christopher: I offer everything beyond this room.
Chatty: But what is beyond this room?
Chatty: How can I trust a dream?
Dreams are the children of an idle brain.
We do not exist until there is someone
To see us existing;
We are not alive until
There is someone there to make us feel true;
But still with all my dreams and faults persisting,
I will try a new romance,
And I’ll try it with you.
Nighttime. Christopher stands alone waiting. Enter Chatty. She runs up to him and they kiss. Then, in his arms:
Chatty: Stop all the world,
Because the world must be stopped.
Stop all the people,
And stop all the clocks.
Stop all the traffic,
The cars and commuters,
Stop all the power,
All the lights and computers.
Stop all the lovers,
When they kiss in the night,
Stop all that is wrong,
And stop all that is right.
Stop all the world,
Stop it all for me;
Because the world must be stopped,
And I must be free.
Christopher: And what of Henry?
Chatty: I cannot say.
Christopher: This is more than I can bear!
I demand a decree!
Tell me twice now:
Is it I you love,
Or is it he?
Chatty: You are my love,
You are my love!
Christopher: So seal it in wax,
And place it on the dark spot of my soul.
Chatty: Tomorrow night it is my birthday party,
You must attend. Henry will be there,
But I will love you the better.
Christopher: Tomorrow night; I will be there.
Chatty: I must go,
Henry has a party planned
For my soul.
Christopher: Such passions aroused…
Defy you moon! which like a predator of things
Attracts and begs to eat my misery,
My love and my envy,
All inspired by the sight of your face.
Well beware foul moon!
Because as the day follows the night,
The sun will come,
And in the morning
The sun will evaporate
The hot passions of the night!
Chatty, Henry, Christopher and Rubin enter to music and dance.
Chatty: (Over the music, laughing) I’m all golden!
I’m all golden!
Henry: Golden evening!
An anxious and terrified
Escape from the world!
Jazz, jazz, jazz!
Chatty: And play the subtle,
Solid strings of my heart
That bind all the world together
And bind therefore me to the world!
Christopher: What a dance!
Rubin: If dancing is for fairies,
Then dancing is for us!
Exit Henry and Chatty.
Christopher: I wonder what distant dream
Could await me tonight.
Rubin: Beware of the morning, Christopher,
Because in the morning you will awake,
And the dreams that were so vivid in the night
Will vanish in your wake.
Christopher: But, Rubin, good friend,
This is no external dream,
No romping fairytale of decency,
With no very real end.
This is a thing I can hold in my hand,
No dreamer, no lover can ever demand
More decency from the universe!
She is mine Rubin! Do you hear?
She is mine!
Rubin: Tonight, good friend?
Christopher: Yes, tonight!
She will be mine tonight!
Rubin: Be careful, Christopher,
You do not know that she is not his.
Christopher: She told me, my dear,
Last night, in the face of the moon!
Rubin: Do not believe the silky, sulking
Words of a danger.
Christopher: Know it, Rubin,
Tonight she is mine!
Re-enter Henry and Chatty.
Henry: (To guests)
Good, dear all,
It is a precious night that welcomes you in!
Thank you for the majority
Of your acquaintance.
It is on dearer shores that I tread now.
Have we all enjoyed ourselves?
Christopher: Very much, my friend,
On the viewless wings of Bacchus.
Henry: Then let those wings be continued.
Chatty: He is quite a wing himself,
Is he not?
Henry: He is certainly a fine-figured man,
And a dancer for certain.
Christopher: I will dance for anyone at a moment’s notice.
Henry: Then dance for us!
Chatty: And dance for me!
Christopher: (Laughs) All in a moment,
I’ll wait for my mustard-heeled shoes
For now, I will prepare to enjoy the last laugh.
Henry: If it pleases you, I will continue.
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen,
Has been the final finish of my lust.
Rivers and oceans and waterfalls
Cannot contain the vision in my heart.
Tonight, my friends and all,
Has been the pinnacle of life;
Because Chatty, my lover, my darling,
Has agreed to be my wife.
My darling, my lover, my life,
I have agreed,
And I will be your wife.
Christopher: My heart must be made of wool,
Because I cannot feel anything;
All the world seems to be passing by me
Like a film-reel left spinning
Without a hand to press pause-
Christopher: And the wool of my heart is thick
So that I cannot hear anything so clearly,
And the sounds of life are speaking over
I cannot hear, Rubin!
I cannot feel!
What has happened?
Chatty has been whispering to Henry, and he exits. Chatty approaches Christopher.
I’m sorry. I was too fast.
I am a violent mixture of caprice
And after this I will wonder if I am still beautiful,
Or if I ever was.
Christopher: Rubin, thank you. You are a wonderful friend,
Which is the best thing a human can be in this world.
I’ll see you later.
Rubin: On wings, Christopher, on wings.
Let me tell you something about beauty.
Beauty does not simply exist;
Beauty is only ever suggested.
And the tragedy is that beautiful things are only ever beautiful
Because they will die.
Chatty: Beauty is beautiful because it will die.
Christopher: Exactly. A person is beautiful
Because she will not be beautiful forever.
A tree is beautiful because it will someday fall to the ground.
The world is beautiful because someday it will all end.
And this is the epic tragedy of beauty.
And I must explain to you that the day I met you,
You were beautiful,
And it was the most tragic thing I have ever seen.
Chatty: Because I will die…
Christopher: And I returned that night to my house,
And from the room in my bedroom
I can see a nighttime of distant and untranslatable lights,
Each one retaining
It’s own distinct portion of human secrecy
In the violent blindness of the night.
And the more I stared at these lights,
Some of which were houses, some of which were stars,
I hoped that one of them might open up
And swallow me into its impossible story.
Chatty: Beware of stars, Christopher,
Because although they are shining,
They are distant, and they are lonely.
Christopher: I have realised that too late.
Like beauty, and like you,
My love has faded.
Chatty: Love is like a flower.
You pick it because it is beautiful,
And you throw it away
Because it has died.
She gives him back his ring and leaves. Re-enter Rubin. Pause.
Rubin: And above it all,
The central paradox;
The desire to be alone-
Christopher: And yet not to be lonely.