24.9.11

Is it Autumn yet?

Setting

A French-style sidewalk cafe in Hanoi.

Players:

Gentleman 1- Sitting at a table with two chairs. Smoking, drinking coffee.
Gentleman 2- A folded newspaper under his arm.

They are both wearing suits, both look and act proper (even overly polite) to the point of being a little stiff and slightly awkward, though friendly nonetheless.

<Curtain raises>

Gentleman 1: [Center stage. Sits at a table smoking leisurely. Takes a sip of coffee.]
Gentleman 2: [Enters from stage leftWalks deliberately toward Gentleman 1. Hesitates briefly with a pensive look on his face. Then, in a tone sorry to have disturbed Gentleman 1:]
Gentleman 2: "Beg your pardon, my good sir."
Gentleman 1: "At your service, my good sir."
Gentleman 2: "May I ask..?"
Gentleman 1: "Please do, please do."
Gentleman 2: "Quite a silly..."
Gentleman 1: "I should think it rather not, my good sir."
Gentleman 2: "Then I shall."
Gentleman 1: "As you will."
Gentleman 2: [Pause] "Is it Autumn yet?" 
Gentleman 1: "Not quite, not quite."
Gentleman 2: [Hesitates] "Are you..?"
Gentleman 1: "Quite sure, quite sure."
Gentleman 2: [Hesitates, looks concerned. Sits down rather abruptly and without invitation across from Gentleman 1, as if the news has caused him to forget all sense of formality. Puzzled expression. Doubtful expression. Pulls himself back together.] "I see.”
Gentleman 1: [Changes the subject] “I dare say…”
Gentleman 2: [Forgets previous concern] “These Hanoi summers.”
Gentleman 1: “Exactly.”
Gentleman 2: “Do you recall..?”
Gentleman 1:  “Was it..?”
Gentleman 2: “Yes, I think it was.”
Gentleman 1: “The time we had..?”
Gentleman 2: “The time that it..?”
Gentleman 1: “In fact, it was.”
Gentleman 2: [Produces a handkerchief from pocket. Wipes forehead.] “These damned…”
Gentleman 1: “Agreed.”
Gentleman 2: “Hanoi…”
Gentleman 1: “Indeed.”
Gentleman 2: “Ah, em ơi! One black coffee, please. Now, where was I?”
Gentleman 1: “You were saying…”
Gentleman 2: “Oh, yes!...” [pause] “…Is it Autumn yet?”

<Curtain begins to lower>

Gentleman 1: [Pauses, then gestures with hand] "I, uh..."

<Curtain lowers past players>

[Gentleman 1 does not have enough time to voice his reply before curtain falls to stage.]

End.

-Zac Herman 

Những trang văn tiếng Việt của Zac Herman  laodong.com.vn 

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