In the cafe
(At the cafe?)
HE: I know that I’m not really here but somewhere at sea and I’m lost, but I’m happy to be here, where it’s warm and you are warm and I am warm. I have plans I want to discuss.
SHE: I love discussing plans.
And she does, and he loves discussing plans, too, and they discuss plans. It’s the favorite thing for the young people these days. We all love to make plans because it feels as though we’re really doing something. Except that not all of us here are so young, not really, not any more, and it’s sometimes easy to get so lost in discussing plans that we don’t allow enough time to do them, and it’s all a big discussion.
And this is when the first ghost appears.
He is older than any of them, wearing a hat like old ghosts do, and he starts to speak.
OLD GHOST: I’ve been away from here for longer than you can remember. But you can’t remember anything. And you think you know what happened in this spot, just a generation ago, but you’ll be wrong. When I was here before, there were two people who looked just like you, and they were doing what you’re doing, planning a revolution, and this is the last time they ever saw each other. But they did make a revolution. They missed each other so much that it was their unsaid promise to each other to make the revolution they planned, and that revolution took their whole lives.
SHE: He never saw her again?
OLD GHOST: He never did. (Cries.) We’re all Orpheus and we’re all Eurydice, and we don’t know who we are because we never really know if we’re lost to them or they’re lost to us, but we know for sure that we lost. We lost that war, but won the revolution.
HE: Goddam these old ghosts are depressing.
SHE: I think he’s charming.
HE: He’s way too old for you. Look at him, he’s practically dead. I’m young and strapping.
MAGICAL FAERIE PRINCESS WHO IS REALLY THE NARRATOR: Oh, ho ho, kiddies, but that’s the bitter irony, he is not so young, and not strapping, he has back issues.
HE: I don’t.
MFP: Oh, but he will.
HE: I bet I don’t. I bet nothing ever goes wrong with me, in fact. In fact, I’m at the height of my powers.
MFP: And after the height, comes the depth. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
HE: I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, and I wish you would all stop interrupting this imaginary time I’m having here with just me and my girl. The one I knew when I was a teenager, and met again when I was well over 40, and now I get to have a nice cup of cappuccino with her and flirt like we did in olden times, I’m not nostalgic. I hate nostalgia, and anything sentimental, especially our more sentimental writers, like La Rouche.
SHE: I’ve never read La Rouche.
HE: Oh, you should, he reminds me of what I would write if I were going to write about you.
SHE turns her attention away from the OLD GHOST and fully on HE.
MFP: Oh my gosh you are so fucking fickle, please figure out that heart of yours and get away from my boy until you do.
MFP banishes SHE and HE is left alone with OLD GHOST.
OLD GHOST: You know that we’re related.
HE: I suspected as much.
HE broods with the OLD GHOST at the cafe, where he was so ready to be having a cappuccino with SHE.
But that’s how it is, isn’t it, kiddies? Every day we’re met with our old ghosts, and we’re supposed to be spending time with them, but instead we brood about how we’re not with the girl, even though we never really know who she really is, and we even suspect that we’re not going to get her in this life, but will spend it pursuing her, in order to get distracted into finding what we’re actually here to find.