COME LIVE WITH ME, a Mini Opera script

COME LIVE WITH ME: A Mini Opera by Carol S. Lashof

inspired by On Paper by A.L. Kennedy

(with additional inspiration provided by Christopher Marlowe)

 

The BOYFRIEND and the GIRLFRIEND sit in their separate rooms at their separate computers, or ipads, or smartphones.  In between texting or messaging or virtual chatting with each other, they perform other tasks, virtual and actual (e.g. surfing the net, playing online games, folding laundry, trimming nails). Background noises might include the whoosh and bing of electronic games as well as the whirr of household appliances.

 

BOYFRIEND:

Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove

Of urban streets and avenues,

Of hipster clubs and skyline views.

 

GIRLFRIEND:

What fun! Let’s get a downtown flat

For you and me and my Siamese cat.

Suburban life is such a bore!

 

BOYFRIEND:

We’ll find a loft on the fifteenth floor—

 

GIRLFRIEND:

Pick up Chinese from the place next door.

BOYFRIEND:

A spacious loft with a sunny deck.

 

GIRLFRIEND:

Hang on, sweetheart, for just a sec.

 

The GIRLFRIEND exits briefly.

 

BOYFRIEND:

We’ll share the chores and share the joys—

But your parents, will they let you go?

 

She returns with a snack.

 

GIRLFRIEND:

I love the city.  I love the noise

Of people with get up and go.

 

BOYFRIEND:

Your parents, will they let you go?

 

GIRLFRIEND:

Oh, they’ll be glad to see me go.

 

BOYFRIEND:

I’m going mad, I miss you so.

 

GIRLFRIEND:

By now, I should be on my own.

 

BOYFRIEND:

With me, you mean, or all alone?

 

GIRLFRIEND:

With you, my love, I meant to say.

Don’t twist the words some other way.

I meant to say the time has come

For you and me to make a home.

 

BOTH:

The time is now / The time has come

To find a place

To call our own/To make a home.

We’ll find a spacious/cozy uptown/downtown flat

For you and me and your/my Siamese cat.

We’ll sip merlot and go to plays.

On weekends, we’ll have lazy days.

We’ll grill on the deck when the weather’s fine.

What’s mine is yours.  What’s yours is mine.

 

BOYFRIEND:

There’s a loft uptown with a sign “to let.”

 

GIRLFRIEND:

Will the landlord let us have a pet?

How much is the monthly rent?

 

BOYFRIEND:

I haven’t called about it yet.

 

GIRLFRIEND:

Do you have enough for first month’s rent?

 

BOYFRIEND:

I thought that we would split the bill.

 

GIRLFRIEND:

Of course, of course, of course we will.

But as for now, my cash is spent.

 

BOYFRIEND:

Maybe if your parents lent—

 

GIRLFRIEND:

My student loans are overdue.

My last paycheck went all for food.

 

BOYFRIEND:

The payment for my car is late.

My “rainy day” reserves are gone.

 

GIRLFRIEND:

My bank account is overdrawn.

 

BOTH:

I’m absolutely broke. I hate

To say that we will have to wait.

 

Some day we’ll find a cozy flat

For you and me and your/my Siamese cat.

We’ll sip merlot and go to plays.

On weekends, we’ll have lazy days.

What’s yours is mine. What’s mine is yours.

But I owe it all to my creditors.

What’s yours is mine. What’s mine is yours.

But we owe it all to our creditors.

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IN THE WRECKAGE OF A DREAM: A Mini Opera

IN THE WRECKAGE OF A DREAM: A Mini Opera by Carol S. Lashof
inspired by The Sweeper of Dreams by Neil Gaiman

No, Dreamsweeper.
No.
Do not say
to let her go.
Do not tell me
to be strong.
I don’t care
if it is wrong
to hold on
to my pain.

Traveling
the landscape of fever dreams—
and wise to the lore
of those who went before—
unraveling
my ball
of thread
behind me,
I sought her.

Once only,
searching
along a pebbled shore
led on
by the call
of night terrors,
I thought
I saw her.

I thought
I saw her face—
but was it
among the living
or the dead?
I do not know.
She fled
like the shadow
of a wing on water
and left
me there,
in the afterward of night,
bereft.

Now,
here she is!
Arising
from the wreckage of a dream,
my daughter,
surprising
and beloved.
A shadow she may be,
or a mere
trace of a shadow,
a remnant.
But dear to me,
more dear
than tranquil days,
than hope or peace
or grace.

So please,
Dreamsweeper—
here in this
forlorn place,
which is brightened
by the shadow of her shadow,
allow her to remain.
Yes,
Dreamsweeper,
let her stay.