The Play — A Dream

Lifted and edited from the pages of The Daily Drivel, 2013/11/10

The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the consciousness of the king.
– Intentional misquote of you-know-who

“All the parts are filled,” the young man told her. Odd, that she should think of him that way, the young man, because she was young herself.

He was in the play. She had been in the play, but left. He was new and didn’t recognize her. Now she’d returned, skirting the periphery, recalling her role, remembering the lines which were more than lines, which were more like part of her, which were more like who she was, or had become, or had been always.

The dream story skirts the periphery of the play, and we learn the details only gradually. It turns out the play is life itself, and the actors, outside the play, are incomplete, are like their own dreams, and they wake again, coming alive when they act out their roles.

We don’t know the name of the play for a long time, until it comes to us in an epiphany. The play is play for them, but also serious, involving, making them live more intensely than life itself. It’s about love and danger and betrayal, perhaps murder. And the actors’ outside lives are only shadows slinking in a shadow-box outside the reality the play has become for them.

She was a dancer in the shadow-box, become a dancer in the play. It was one of her talents, one of the reasons she was a chosen one. She’d danced better than ever before. Or since.

She’d not been an original cast member; she’d joined long after the play became a hit and began it’s long run. She’d come to own her role, receiving praise from the critics and adulation from the fans. She’d come to own the role, and the role, her.

They ran it four times a week: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday matinees, with pickup rehearsals Wednesday afternoons, into evening when necessary.

She’d played the lead female role. The leading man, her lover, became her lover outside the play as well. As in the play, they fought incessantly and made up on occasion. As in the play, she became pregnant, and as in the play, had an abortion.

The play was her life; her life, the play.

Addendum from 2014/10/25

Just a thought running through my head in the wee hours this morning while drifting around and about sleep: What if characters in a play or movie talked about the actors who play them?

Pillow talk after wild sex:

“What do you think, Susan, about Wilma Smith, the actress who plays you?”

“Not at all like me, John; she’s pretty much a jerk. How about the guy who plays you?”

“I have no idea. We’ve never had a conversation.”

“You ought to get to know him. It might improve your performance in this movie.”


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