True Playwright Confessions
Years ago I read a very serious, short drama, which will remain nameless. The one-act depicted a struggling young couple in a weary, angry argument, exhausted by their impoverished situation.
At the end of the play, the husband leaves the apartment. Tempers have cooled, but it’s strongly implied that he will kill himself. The author ends here, but my sick imagination keeps going.
In my imagined production of the play, the play would linger on the wife. She sits alone on the couch, worried—then, unseen by her through the window, a body drops from the sky.
Whee! Goodbye implicit tragedy, hello explicit, laughable death! Deny it all you want, but the truth is: corpses are funny!
What’s even funnier? I went further, imagining the production crew required to simulate this suicide. A stagehand would perch on a ladder, holding the dummy, waiting for his cue from the stage manager.
But the kicker? I cross paths with this playwright. Frequently. And every time I do, I hear the stage manager’s words and see the corpse in free fall.
My conversations so far with the author have been strictly small talk. I hope they stay that way.