2013, I Prize Section Theatre: Wherever you are, written by Carol Cravero
WHEREVER YOU ARE
written by Carol Cravero
The scene takes place in a toy store.
Pendulum-clock Tic-tac tic-tac tic-tac tic-tac…
The child is touching a wooden toy train.
Tic-tac tic-tac – you have to choose quickly – tic-tac tic-tac…
The child looks round him astonished. Then he picks up the wooden toy train.
Tic-tac tic-tac – your grandmother is waiting for you – tic-tac tic-tac – which toy will you choose? Tic-t…
Kid (annoyed) Ssschhh!
Suddenly the child’s eyes are wide open. He has seen a small toy car.
Tic-tac – it’s too small for you – tic-tac – behind you there’s – tic-tac – a bigger one – tic-tac…
Kid Stop talking! Why don’t you watch another child?
Pendulum-clock Actually… there is no other child! – tic-tac…
Kid Leave me alone!
Pendulum-clock (sad) Tiic-taaac…
Kid Tic-tac (he repeats in a low voice). Why do you repeat it so often?
Pendulum-clock This is my job!
Kid (yawning) It’s a very boring job.
Pendulum-clock But it’s useful!
Pendulum-clock Don’t you really know the meaning of tic-tac?
The child doesn’t answer; he is looking at a life-size teddy bear.
Tic-tac tic-tac tic-tac tic-tac.
The child is attracted by the teddy bear’s huge paws.
He also knows its meaning! Tic-tac…
Kid Why? (stroking the teddy bear) What does it mean?
Pendulum-clock That time rolls by… Tiiic-tac…
The child stares at the pendulum-clock. He seems puzzled.
Kid Time rolls by (he repeats slowly to himself). Well, how fast does it roll by?
Pendulum-clock As fast as any tic-tac.
Kid But how long will time tick away?
Pendulum-clock Nobody knows…
Kid Somebody must know it! For example, how many ticks have you made?
Pendulum-clock (speaking slowing) I don’t remember – tic-tac – but I think they’re quite a lot… Tiiic-tac…
Kid (disappointed)Ah. Don’t you even know how many ticks you will make?
Pendulum-clock It would be sad… Tic-tac… Don’t you think?
The child gives the pendulum-clock an interrogative look and then he shrugs his shoulders.
Tiiic-tac tic-tac tic-tac…
Kid You’re so odd…
Kid Your tic-tac is so strange… like tiiic-tac (laughs).
Pendulum-clock (sigh) I’m old… (with a sad voice).
Kid (wide-eyed) What does it mean?
Pendulum-clock (sigh) It means that I’ve been ticking away for a long time…
Kid How long?
Pendulum-clock I’ve already answered your question (with resignation)… I don’t remember… Tic-tac…
Kid Are you too old to remember?
Pendulum-clock This is not the reason…
Kid So then, why not remember? (with an insistently curious tone).
Pendulum-clock Because I don’t want to remember! (he speaks out)
Kid I can’t understand you, old clock…
Pendulum-clock Nobody has been interested in my ticking!
Kid This is not true! I am!
Pendulum-clock So, you’re the only one!
The child smiles. In the meantime he grabs a soft toy in the shape of a moon.
My ticks mean everything to me: they’re my past and my future, my memories and my years to come. Tic-tac… (pause) Somebody thinks that I’m only a sequence of numbers and ticks, that one day will probably come to an end…
Kid And what will you do when the ticking finishes? (pause) And I? What will I do?
Pendulum-clock (with a reassuring tone) Don’t worry… The tic-tac will bring you to a place called Future.
Kid Is it far from here?
Pendulum-clock It’s anywhere…
Kid So, it’s both at my grandmother’s house and in the small garden?
Pendulum-clock Yes, of course!
Kid Also at school?
Pendulum-clock Yes, of course!
Kid (with a disappointed tone) Ah… (pause) So… (with a merry tone) also at the ice-cream kiosk, in the soccer field, at my aunt’s house, at my cousin’s …
Pendulum-clock Yes, of course! It’s everywhere!
Kid Also here?
Kid I can’t understand… (puzzled) How can this place be in several places?
Pendulum-clock Because it’s a travelling place…
Kid So (with hesitation) it’s a magic place!
Pendulum-clock It’s a place made of tic-tacs that do not exist yet.
Kid And what about the past tic-tacs? Where are they?
Pendulum-clock They’re in a place called Past…
Kid And where is that place?
Pendulum-clock It’s near the Future… In the Past were born the tic-tac future buds.
Kid Have I ever been to these places?
Pendulum-clock Not in the Future.
Kid Then, I want to go there!
Pendulum-clock You’ll be in the Future sooner than you can imagine…
Kid What will I do when I am in the Future?
Pendulum-clock You’ll be able to do everything you want… But remember one thing…
Pendulum-clock You have to listen to the tic-tacs forever, don’t forget them… They’ll remind you of the Past and, maybe (pause) of me… (pause) Remember! You’ll have to appreciate all of them, good or bad, fast or slow, because the tic-tacs of the Past will never get back, while the future tic-tacs (he sighs)…
Kid And the future tic-tacs? (curious)
Pendulum-clock They’ll always come and go by too fast… Tic-tac tic-tac…
Near the pendulum-clock, looking out of a window, the child sees a snowflake.
Kid (thrilled) It’s snowing!
Pendulum-clock Tomorrow is Christmas. Tic-tac. Choose your gift… Hurry up! Tic-tac. Your grandmother is waiting for you…
The child, who is already hugging the moon soft toy, looks at the pendulum-clock, smiling.
Kid I’ve chosen the moon… It will keep me company tonight, waiting for tomorrow… My grandmother always says that my mom and dad are in heaven… Will I be able to hug them in that place called Future?
Pendulum-clock It’s not necessary… They’re in the past Tic-Tacs and in the future Tic-Tacs… They’re the Tic-Tacs of your heart: they’ll be everywhere you go, wherever you are.
September 26, 2021