Coffin For Two
An optimist and a pessimist buried in a coffin together. They lie facing each other. A candle burns between them.
A: The smell of earth.
B: The smell of death.
A: What are you talking about? It’s quiet. It’s calm. There’s a zen-like serenity to be buried alive 5 feet underground.
B: We have to get out of here!
A: What’s the hurry?
B: You are not going to do anything? You are just going lie here and die?
A: Of course I am going to do something. There is still oxygen. I still have time. And I have you.
B: I am not going to have sex with you. Not now.
A: In the dark then? I’ll blow out the candle.
B: Nooo! The light is our only hope.
A: But it takes too much oxygen.
B: We can’t do anything in the dark.
A: We can grope each other in the dark.
B: I don’t know how you can possibly think about sex.
A: I don’t know why you are so morbid. Don’t you find it funny?
A: Buried alive in a coffin. I mean, I don’t even know how we got here. Why, of everyone, I am paired up with you? It’s absurd.
B: Absurd, maybe. Funny?
A: Maybe it’s not funny to us. But had it happened to somebody else, it would be pretty damn funny. You know, some wise guy once said that God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. Well, actually we are acting in a comedy all the while thinking it’s a fucking tragedy. Had we really been in the audience, we’d be laughing, instead of sulking all the time.
B: Get a grip of yourself. You are just giving up out of despair. We’ll get out of here.
A: Ok, tell me, how?
B: Oh I don’t know. Have some imagination. Think outside the box.
A: There isn’t anything outside the “box”. Nobody is looking for us. Nobody is coming to save us. NOBODY IS OUT THERE!
B: Who put us here then? Somebody HAD to put us here. That proves somebody is out there.
A: The blind coffin maker. Selection of the fittest. Come to think of it, this coffin fits us just right. Remarkable, isn’t it, how life adapts.
B: Somebody would come to save us.
A: Nobody is coming. They are all in their own coffins, too fucking busy. Or vice versa.
B: We at least have to get the message out. To let people know we were here. Who we were. Have you got fingernails? We’ll make some scratch marks.
A: What’s the point?
B: Don’t be so nihilistic. Don’t you have stories to tell?
A: Ya sure. I can tell you my stories…
B: We don’t have time. Think! How do we get out of here? How do we let other people know we are trapped? How do we tell them that there are other people trapped, just like us?
A: This is OUR death. You are making it much grander that it is. You are making a tragedy out of it.
B: You are going to die a meaningless death?
A: How can death be meaningful? Before the oxygen runs out, I am committed to making my life count. I have you here with me. And I am going to love you as much as I can. Before the oxygen runs out.
B: I am not going to have sex with you!!
A: Carpe Diem! Memento Mori! Etc!
B: So you are determined to die here. You are not going to make ANY effort to get out.
A: We are PRE-determined to die here. There is at least the comfort of certainty. There’s no getting out, so try to make the best of it. You know I love you.
B: What!? It’s all arbitrary! I am randomly paired up with you. You could just as well loved any random person in any random coffin for two.
A: You don’t love me?
B: I love you. But there’s got to be something more than plain old hippie love— daisies and pansies, heart and chocolate and all. Why are we paired up?
A: Why not? I would’ve been happy with anyone, but of the whole human population divided by two, I am happy with you in our coffin for two. Isn’t there something very special about this improbability?
B: That’s nice. I am special. Just like everybody else.
A: You are special to me.
The candle flickers out.
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