Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The End of an Argument (A Dialogue)

Setting: An abandoned farmhouse.

At rise: Two men enter, sit at opposite sides of a table, upon old crates, and look at each other for a long time before speaking.

Man 1: What do you have to say, today?

Man 2: The same thing as yesterday.

Man 1: Then, don't bother.

Man 2: Why are we here, then?

Man 1: To talk again.

Man 2: To argue again. What do you think will happen?

Man 1: [scratches his head, looks at his shoes] I think that you will finally see the truth.

Man 2: I do see the truth. It is you who don't see the truth.

Man 1: So, you believe this idea is fundamentally right and I believe this idea is fundamentally wrong. Why, then, do we discuss? Why, then, do we continue to argue?

Man 2: Because you are evil and I am good and I must change you.

Man 1: I think you are the evil one who must be changed.

Man 2: [a long pause] There is no reason to continue, is there?

Man 1: No.


After the curtains close, and the house lights come up -- just as the audience is leaving -- there is the sound of a gunshot from approximately center-stage. The curtains open again. The audience, some halfway up the aisles and some by their chairs, putting on coats, looks back at the stage. Some of them break into applause. Some of them break into tears.

A stage hand walks over to the actor lying on the stage. The stage hand rubs his chin. Blood runs over the edge of the stage.

All of them remember the play for the rest of their lives.

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