the love bar / next

ROBIN: I've been feeling so gloomy lately.
TED: Is it because you secretly know that you and I will get back together, and all of this is just a lie until then?
ROBIN: Hahaha, you're so funny and damaged, Ted.  No, it's because I met a wonderful guy and he's gone away, to Minsk, to work on some secret government program.
LILY (making one of her inimitable faces; she also sounds like she's trying to sound black most of the time, but it's not offensive at all): I think you are confused, my dear.
MARSHALL: That's a whole different show entirely! Hahaha! (He makes a weird goofy sound)  Uh-oh, I just laughed so hard a booger came out!
LILY (inimitably) Booger!
(They all laugh and they laugh.)
(Then the BARKEEP, a woman, comes over.)
BARKEEP: Why don't you call me, Barney, are you too busy with your penis?
BARNEY: My penis is salty, like kelp.
LILY: I don't know what that even means.
MARSHALL: I think you mean chard.  Everyone is eating organic chard in our neighborhood.
LILY: Oh, boy, and is it ever salty!
BARNEY: Salty chard,  salty salty.  Penis boobs and big screen tvs.
ROBIN: There's something in my soul that's wrong.  There's a lighthouse somewhere in me, something that goes on when it's very, very dark.  It's something like a light that recognizes things when they are happening, and when it's on, I can feel it, every time, when it's on, I know that things are going to become very dark, and the people around me who looked like they knew me will show themselves as nothing but phantoms, absolutely terrified and absolutely asleep.  And the world gets a little bit colder, because all of the things I ever wanted are not meant to be.
BARNEY: I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was sitting next to gloomy gus.  Hey, guys! High five, I just remembered my penis again!
TED: We were meant to be.
MARSHALL: No, you weren't, Ted, listen, sing a bro song with me.
(Top hat and coat, song and dance, a song about time escaping through the edges of our fingernails, and no one remembers when they felt young, because we all feel so old.)
Time escapes and death comes quick and beauty fades and we are all just phantoms. (and so on and so forth.)
LILY: I'm not showing anyone my boobs.
(Long pause, no one asked.  This is suddenly so very awkward, especially after such an amazing bro dance number.)
ROBIN: If he never returns from Minsk, I'll still wait for him, and grow so very old, and there will be nothing left of me to give, but no one will ask, time is not mine, it's all only borrowed, and I am heavy with the....
TED: ...with the hundred loves who crucified me.
ROBIN: Yes.
(Their eyes meet, they recognize each other, this is a moment, it's sudden and it's fierce and it's got them in its jaws, and it shakes them until all of their desire comes bleeding out and they fall on each other like wounded soldiers.)
BARNEY: My penis.  My white plume.  My jar of absinthe.  And my horrible angry soul.
(And LILY and MARSHALL look toward the future with hope, so unaware that they are already dead.  And so it is at the Love Bar on another cold night.)

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