By Richard Nathan
LIGHTS UP SLIGHTLY. IT'S NIGHT.
TWO PEOPLE lie on their backs, looking up at the stars. We'll call them FIRST PERSON and SECOND PERSON.
Whenever I look up at the stars, I can't help thinking
about how space just goes on and on for infinity. Just
on and on and on and on and on and on and on and
on and on and on and on and....
How can anything do that?
Go on and on and on and on and on and on and...
Stop right now or I will kill you.
Do you think maybe at the edge of space, there's
someone shouting, "Stop right now or I'll kill you"?
Space doesn't necessarily go on and on. One theory
is that space has been expanding ever since the big
bang. So it keeps getting bigger.
If it keeps getting bigger, doesn't that mean it
goes on and on longer?
But it's not infinite. So it doesn't go on
and on forever.
So if space is not infinite, what's outside the
outer borders? I mean, you've got all this
expanding space. What's it going to expand
Into nothingness, I suppose.
Then how do you tell the difference between the
nothingness and space? Most of space is just a
big vacuum, and a big vacuum is just empty
emptiness. So if the empty emptiness
vacuum of space expands into the nothing
nothingness outside of space, how do you notice
Maybe space loops.
What do you mean?
Some people think that if you took off in a
straight line, after billions and billions of years,
eventually you'd get back to where you started
Well that sounds disappointing! You travel for
billions of years and you never get anywhere!
You've been across the universe!
But you ended up back where you started
from! So what's the point?
Maybe the point is the journey. Maybe what's
really important in life is not the destination, but
No, because if you're going out to buy fresh
cat litter because you haven't changed the
litter for two weeks, then actually getting to
the store where they sell the fresh litter and
buying the litter is much more important than
the trip to the store. You do not want to go
back home without the litter.
But that's different! You're not going across
the universe to buy fresh cat litter!
Well I certainly hope not!
The point I'm trying to make is that there's a
difference between just staying in one
place and going on a journey from which
you eventually return. You take vacations,
don't you? What's the point of taking
vacations if you just end up back at work?
That's exactly how I feel whenever I get back!
There's nothing worse than the first day back
at work after a vacation. And think how much
worse it would be if you went through the whole
universe, especially if they just let the work pile
up while you were gone -- which they would!
I think if you want all the way across the universe,
someone would take care of your work while
you were gone.
You'd think so, wouldn't you? But not where I
work. They just let it pile up and up and up and
up and up and up and up and...
Shut up! Look, it's all theoretical anyway. If you
actually tried to go all the way across the universe,
there's no way you'd live long enough to loop back
to where you started. You'd be dead long before
you got back.
Oh. That's a relief. But what if they froze me?
What would be the point of that?
So they'd still have me to do all the work they
saved up for me while I was gone.
You don't have to go. No one is making you
go across the universe.
No. I can just stay here with you, looking up
at the stars, and thinking about how space just
goes on and on and on and on and on and on
and on and on...
© 2006 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use. No other use may be made without the author's permission. Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express permission.
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