Play-a-week Project

3-19-19

In a museum. A and B walk around and look at the art. KAREN sits on a bench, staring at one painting.

A
Nono don’t read the description, it’s much better without the description.

B
Did you read it?

A
I never read them.

B
Never?

A
It’s a much more fulfilling experience for me, looking at just the art.

KAREN
If there are only two types of people in this world, I think I’ll be okay.

B
What about reading it afterward?

A
Ruins the memory.

KAREN
If there are more than three, I will certainly not.

(They come to a painting.)

B
What does this one evoke for you?

A
A deep unsettling, especially around the torso. It’s like I see an illustration of my body, and someone has drawn dotted lines over it, demarcating the cuts of meat. Tenderloin, flank, breast, rib, shank, sirloin, top sirloin, bottom sirloin—I learned a lot from your grandfather—jowl and neck. And I look down, and I’m eating this sloppy joe and spilling sauce all over my white graduation gown, and I see my body, so I know it’s not my body I’m eating, so I think it’s my twin sister’s, that there is at her middle a densely packed core, rancid and heavy. And then I pull a strand of hair out of my mouth.

B
See, I don’t get that feeling. I get that it’s meaty.

A
Meaty, yes.

B
Certainly I want to touch it.

KAREN
I will understand the meaning of all words, which is to say everything.

A
If you look at a painting for long enough, you will be able to understand it like I do.

B
I want to touch every painting I see. Some more than others.

A
Just look.

B
I want to go to baseball.

A
We need to look at paintings.

B
Baseball is like painting.

A
They’re not the same thing.

B
Obviously they’re not the same thing, that’s what an analogy is, mom.

KAREN
I had this dream where I understood the infinite, I understood my purpose in life.

B
So we’re just doing whatever Grandma Karen wants to do?

A
For now, yes.

KAREN
If you can understand infinity, you can forgive yourself, it is okay.

A
It’s rare that the aging population has these moments of lucidity.

Elise Wien