Arthur Meiselman

november 2005

Somewhere In Time

HE: Listen...when I first saw her, I closed my eyes so fast that my teeth clamped shut and I bit my tongue. Then I opened them wide and she wasn't there. But I could hear her, moving somewhere behind me. I could hear the whisper of her dress and the sun was so warm... . Look at me...I sat there with my eyes like little white balloons and my mouth open with a little sticky dribble on my lower lip...a Venus Fly Trap and that butterfly just floated around my leaves.

(HE laughs. SHE appears , moving quietly, lightly.)

Then I said to myself: Wait a minute! What the hell's wrong with you? It's 7 a.m....

7 a.m. in the morning. Here I am out in the park at 7 a.m.! Me...breathing clean Spring air. Me...a New York Night-Owl finally going bananas with all the little hustly-bustly going-to-work people, the cleaning ladies and the bank guards. I haven't been out in this bright-simple-just-keep-moving-along time of day in...months, years, decades. Why shouldn't I be crazy? Why shouldn't I go bananas?

(HE chortles like a monkey. SHE dances around him, smiles at him, plays an invisible flute which he hears.)

I'm telling you I didn't know what to say. What do you say to...? How do you do? Do I know you? I bet you're...!

(HE sits.)

I just sat down and scratched my neck and mumbled into my other hand: I'll just ignore her. Some kind of kook, high on something.

(Jumps up.)

No, no, you see, it wasn't like that. It wasn't like that at all. Because I could feel her...around me and on know? So I just got up and walked away. I mean, what would you do? And she followed me.

(SHE does.)

HE : And I, uh...stopped and looked at her. And she looked at me and smiled. And I took off. I just sort of jogged off, over a little hill. And down there by the trees...there she was. I almost ran right up to her and...but I didn't. Because I haven't jogged like that in years. I just stood there, puffing, holding my pants up. That was pretty strange. I'm glad there weren't any cops around. So I closed my eyes again, got my wind back. Now my head was clear, I knew I could open my eyes. But when I did, she was standing right in front of me, looking at my face. And...and I was so shocked, I staggered off backwards and fell down.

(HE does. SHE comes over to help.)

Hey, no, no...I'm okay.

(HE stands.)

Now, just...why don't you just go on your way.Come on, let me...

(SHE begins to move around him in circles, gently touching him. HE turns with her slowly, becoming dizzy.)

What are you doing that for? Hey, stop that! Now look...

(SHE rubs up against him. HE moans.)

Do you know what she just did with her hand? Right up my back like a warm piece of fur. I had to sit down. I thought to myself: I'm having some kind of seizure. Cold sweat, can't breathe. I wish I could stand up and walk away. But I couldn't. I was shaking, my hands were wet. I thought: I'll talk to her. There's nothing wrong. I won't do anything. What'll I say? I can't get into trouble. I mean, it's a little strange but...Hello!

(SHE props herself next to him.)

What's your name?

(SHE smiles. HE laughs.)

Why are you doing all...all of this? I mean, I don't mind, but isn't it a little strange, dangerous to come to someone and just...take up with him?

(SHE smiles.)

You haven't told me your name. Can't you talk?

(SHE touches his face.)

Is there something wrong? Can I help?

(SHE touches his hair.)

HE: Where do you live?

(SHE hugs him. HE jumps up. SHE looks at him. HE sits down again.)

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...uh, jump like that.

(SHE puts her head on his shoulder.)

You're very lovely.

(HEjumps again and walks down toward the audience.)

I don't know why I said that. I didn't know what was happening. Look at me! I'm as particular and precise and pragmatic as any of you. And my eyes, my eyes blink...because I hear her and feel her and watch her move through me like air into my mouth. I didn't know what was happening, so I said goodbye.

( To SHE.)


(HE walks away.)

And listen... she followed me.

(SHE does.)

All the way to my place. We walked 72 blocks. Can you believe it? That's 7 a.m. in the morning for you. Only a few people noticed us, but I didn't care. I don't really care.

(To SHE.)

Do you? Aren't you tired? I wish you'd say something. I wish I could hear how sweet your voice sounds. I wish you'd stop following me. I wish you'd go away!

(SHE stops and looks at him.)

No, wait a minute. I'm sorry. I don't know why I said that.

(SHE begins to dance around him again. HE moans.)

She's doing it again. I do know why I said it.
You see, I'm a man of the world, an entrepreneur of life. I know why I do everything. I'm a thinker and a man of action.

(To SHE.)

Look! See, I'm home. I--have--to--go--in--now. Understand? Ho-ome. This is where I live. You--have--to--go--home--now--too. Okay?

(HEmoves upstairs. SHEfollows.)

It was as if she were holding on to my coat and I was just floating into my apartment. So I closed my eyes again, unlocked the door, shot inside and slammed the door shut. Then I opened my eyes and looked around. Now wait a minute, don't laugh. You have to understand the mood. I really expected her to appear, to be right in my living room. She wasn't.

(HE laughs and sits.)

But I could still feel her warmth trailing across my lips as she danced around me. I could still hear her and smell her skin...her skin! So just for the hell of it I went back and opened the door. You're really still there.

(SHE is.)

You really don't want to go home.

(SHE runs into his arms, then dances into the room. HE quickly shuts the door and latches all four locks.)

You are very beautiful!
There, see, I said it again. I couldn't help myself. Just think about what's happened and you'll understand the state of my mind. If you knew me well, you'd be amazed. Me...of the always-in-control-always-calculating-breed-of-successful-New-Yorkers...with fingernails of steel and a tongue of ice. Help me, try to understand. It's clear isn't it? I was walking in a mist and the shadows were friendly and loving. I was standing naked in Central Park and only she could see me. I was a reflection in a mirror looking out at myself.   I thought-- so what? I thought--what the hell! I said--would you like something? Coffee, or maybe tea, a nice, organic, herbal tea? She just smiles at me, and touches me, and I want to kiss her. Let's sit down.

(SHE curls up next to him and helps him take off his coat.)

How about a drink?! A nice, easy, rosé wine.

(HE gets a bottle and glasses, pours the wine. SHE takes the glass and puts it to his lips. They laugh silently. Then SHE takes his hand and pulls him up. They begin to whirl slowly, holding the glasses high.)

HE: It became delirious as if we were sipping wine from the moment we met.

(Singing out loudly.)

I know what's happening. I know what I feel. I know that you're taking me and I'm taking you. We're flying toward that bedroom...and soon that bedroom will be full of...

(HE stops.)

Mygod! The bedroom is already full!
Did you know that the bedroom was already full of someone else? Full of Madeline! All-embracing, luscious, woman-to-be-mine Madeline!

(SHE is moving quietly in the background looking for him.)

(We wait.) 

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About This Article

©2005 Arthur Meiselman
©2005 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Arthur Meiselman is a writer, playwright and
the zingaro editor of Scene4. He's also the director
of the Talos Ensemble.

For more of his commentary and articles, check the



november 2005

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