© 2014 by Warren John Deacon. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Dr. Werner Heinche
(Hynney)......a vital man in his late 60's.
young trainee at the
center, 20's, dark.
trainee, 20's, long hair.
Dr. Ellen Alsing....................A
professional woman, late
30's, very serious and businesslike.
Dr. George Fields..........................Professorial,
The action of the play takes place at an isolated
retreat on the Pacific coast.
The time is the late 60's.
Large, multipaned windows on all three walls. Outside, trees
reflect a green caste
from a wild landscape.
Center is a low platform at the upstage end of a large,
narrow room. A simple
chair on the platform.
A smooth, unfinished wood floor. The boards run parallel to
the side walls, creating
a slight forced perspective.
Bright pillows are scattered around the platform. Many
plants in large earthen
pots. A low cupboard filled with cups, a
coffee urn, small
refrigerator, water cooler and a table.
At right, a door leads to HYNNEY's bedroom which is
dominated by a huge
stone fireplace. A roll top desk piled high
with books and papers.
Some comfortable big chairs centered on an
rug. A large old Victorian bed with bedposts
and bed curtains.
A door right leads to the bathroom.
Off left through a sliding glass door is a patio deck of
redwood planks surrounding
a circular pit and an open fire ring.
Later that evening.
The following morning.
Several days later. Evening.
ACT ONE, Scene 1.
The stage is almost dark except for
a single light on the platform.
HYNNEY is already in place,
standing in silhouette facing the
platform, his back to the audience.
He steps into the light.
I dreamed of
you again just now. I wonder if I am still
we all are. Then there are these times --
a sudden clear
moment when we wake.
Sits on the edge of the platform.
I and some others
are running through a forest chasing you.
We are boys.
I can't see our faces but our limbs are smooth
and thin and
on my chin there are no whiskers. You keep
because you have the head start. You always
race course, dashing away with the carrot. It's
a race. A game.
Even in my dream I know it. Young animals --
wolves and tiger cubs -- they play this game,
too. They run
and chase each other and jump into the air and
But they are only practicing for the day when
they will chase
and stalk and kill in order to live. But we
are boys, playing
this racing game as though it was real, as
though we would
someday have to use these skills. It seems
play. So we play.
Morning light slowly appears
through the windows during the
We come to a
clearing, a meadow. Free and open. Stretching
out in front
of us between the rows of trees. We crash into
the grass, running
like hell onto the bright land. Some of
the boys trip
and fall, crackling like fire in the long dry
little indentations, little oval hiding
places. We rest.
You lean with your back against a tree and
your head turned
Gets up. Lights a cigarette.
You light a
cigarette. The blue smoke drifts about your head
in the sunlight.
I stand in the exact center of the meadow
and wipe my
forehead with my shirt cuff. I suddenly think,
"Why am doing
this? I can't catch you. You were born long
before me. You
died when I was young. I can't ever be over
here and over
there too, talking to you." So, we speak
across the meadow
with smiles and nods and hands waving in
the air. I am
here now, and if I keep walking, I will
there. Perhaps I'll smell your smoke in the
air, or see
a tiny place made by your foot in the dark
earth. But I
will never be able to stand by your side and
talk to you.
I have continued this talking with you for so
long. All this
time, from Berlin, Vienna, through the war,
All this time, I talk to you. I talk to you. But
you do not answer.
Perhaps it is you who are dreaming? When
will you talk
to me? When will you wake from your dream?
A long pause. His eyes fall on the
chair in the corner. He walks to
it. Holds it firmly.
We both must
wake soon. There isn't much time. When I die,
you'll be gone,
too, in my memory. My dream ends this way:
there is a tremendous
implosion. I, standing in the grass,
and you leaning
against your tree -- we come together across
You are no longer over there and I no longer
here. We become
each other. My body is older. I can feel my
is younger, your shoulders lean, not
He picks up the chair and places it
directly in the center of the
platform. Faces it.
focuses on one spot. Here where I have placed
I know the way to awaken you!
He moves in on the chair, as though
stalking an animal.
You see! I have
got you now.
He laughs gleefully.
I have got you
now! You are right here, sitting in this
He sits in the chair. There is a
subtle change in his voice and
posture. He stares at the floor for
a moment, then looks up.
You may come
to regret my awakening. Now my mouth is open,
you have given
birth to my voice and there is no telling
what will come
He leaps up, dances about the
Oh yes! You
can speak. Let your words pour out. Oh, my! I am
I not? I've done it. The silence is ended.
Which one of
us is dreaming now do you think? This is very
good! This is
wonderful! After talking to myself for
decades, I finally
get an answer. Michael says I have a
you. "Why do you have this polemic
with a dead man?" he wonders. "Your position is
you will be as famous as he. Let him be." But
Sits in the chair.
Michael is right.
It amazes me Dr. Heinche that you refuse
to see the hold
I have on you. You laugh and make jokes
about my digging
into the past. Like a pig, you say, rutting
about in the
slops. But I say you do not like the past
because it reminds
you of unpleasant things. So you have
built your entire
method on the present. Not because, as a
think it is better. But because, as a man, it
is more comfortable.
There are no ghosts.
Stands quietly. His exuberance
seems to drain away. Faces the
The only ghost
is you. As for my work, it must be built on
what I know,
as yours was. And what I know is this: your way
does not work.
People can lie on your couch for years and
centuries. Still they cannot change the past.
And the future
is not yet here. So what is left? Only the
course I live in the present. So did you when
you were alive.
Because for both of us -- all of us, there
is nothing else.
I am leaning against your tree now. But I
the smoke from your cigarette. I cannot find
even a trace
of your footprints. I never caught up with you.
Now, I wonder
why I ever thought it was important.
THE LIGHTS CHANGE.
The morning sunlight is now quite
bright, revealing ANNA asleep in
Hynney goes into the bedroom,
stands looking down at her.
She opens her eyes.
We have a session.
My father used
to come into my room at night and stand
beside my bed.
He just stood looking down at me in the dark.
He never said
Perhaps he was
afraid to sit on your bed.
Anna. Fathers grow older. Daughters become
Did you sleep?
But I dreamed a great deal. For that, I am
She gets up, goes into the
Take your pills?
Try to remember
your pills, Hynney.
She comes out, gives him two pills
and some water.
I don't need
to. You remember for me.
Takes the pills. They get dressed.
You didn't come
to dinner last night.
I was working
on the book.
She glares at him.
I can eat anytime.
What are they saying about me?
Do you care?
from the schools are very important, Anna.
A favorite word
of the young. It seems to explain
I am afraid it is no longer as simple as that.
Did you see
this Dr. Alsing at dinner?
What do you think
She wrote a
book. A very good one.
The guy with
her's a real asshole.
He reaches for her. Surrounds her
in a great bear hug and kisses her.
My poor Anna.
I hate all of
these people coming here.
Yah. Well, I
would rather have these people sniffing around
here than sitting
in some seminar talking about me behind my
You care what
they say behind your back?
MIKE, DR. FIELDS and DR. ALSING
appear in the patio.
I wish I could
keep you all for myself.
be. At my age, there is only the work. This is
between you and me. I know as I am walking on
the sand that
the waves will wash away my footprints. You
think they will
stay there forever. But our existence is not
the footprints are there. It is not disproved
are gone. It is time. We mustn't keep them
I remember when
you deliberately kept people waiting.
They have come
to see what I can do. I will show them.
He goes into the center room. Sits
in the chair.
My chair here
has changed everything. It can't be like it
was. Let's have
He arranges himself. The chair
seems to become a throne and he a
king waiting for an audience with
his subjects. Anna goes to the