Tuesday, March 3, 2009

pas de deux

Scene: A small-town library, open windows, pale yellow walls lined with books. A student and his tutor sit at a table. They are surrounded by papers and books. As they begin to study, an older couple, man and woman, enter and sit down in an alcove beside the table.

Tutor: So look through your book and tell me what you think about Othello’s relationship with Desdemona.

The student starts to rifle through the pages. While he does this, the tutor looks around the room and overhears the hushed conversation of the couple in the chairs.

Man: So I’m supposed to be in court at 7 on Thursday. But I won’t go.
Woman: Oh?
Man: I don’t want to push this any further. I’m trying to be fair.


Man: I can meet you for coffee at the store, so you’ll know I’m not there.
Woman: Where we used to eat breakfast?
Man: Yeah, I can meet you at 7. That way you can be sure I’m not pushing things. I’m not going to take him from you.


Student: I don’t think Othello can truly love Desdemona. I mean, he loves her, but nobody can love another person completely. So he loves her, but not enough.

Man: Frank told me you can have the apartment downstairs. I don’t mind. You have to live somewhere.
Woman: I know. All my stuff is scattered everywhere right now. I don’t know where anything is.
Man: Well, you can have that apartment. I’ll call and check. It’s easier for now if you don’t have to move too far.

Tutor: What is your evidence?

Student: Well, he knew she lied to her father, and he is really quick to judge her and think she is a liar. So that isn’t complete love.

Woman: I still think about you every day, you know. How are you doing?
Man: Not too good. But I told them to lift the restraining order.
Woman: I know.


Woman: You could go see a doctor. If you could just get some medicine I think it would help you a lot.
Man: You know I don’t have insurance right now, so I just can’t go. I don’t think it would help, anyway.
Woman: (softly) It might help.

Student: I just don’t think people are capable of loving other people completely. You never really know what is going on in someone else’s mind, so how could Othello trust her?

The woman walks across the room and presses her head against the window glass. The man makes a phone call, then softly calls her back. They exit, together.


Greenjeans said...

I love this. Beautifully observed, Allison.

Wandering Alice said...

And then today at the library I overheard an old man trying to find books for his wife, who is in the hospital. She can only read large print with a magnifier, and he spoke at length about trying to help her live longer by bringing her things to read. He told the librarian she liked dogs and travel books....and she sent him off with Erma Bombeck. I hope she can hang on until his interlibrary loan order comes through...