The Bar at the Edge of Universe
SCENE 1 – THE BAR
A hotel bar with a big window displaying outer space on one side and a pair of glass doors on the other that leads to the restaurant. An automatic entrance door also leads into the bar.
A man is behind the bar, wiping it down, and generally improving his work area. He is humming all the while. He is wearing a typical barman uniform, consisting of a white shirt, a waistcoat, and a bowtie. He is the BARMAN
The main entrance door opens automatically and a man stumbles into the bar wearing pyjama bottoms featuring a checked pattern, a plain T-shirt, and slippers that resemble shoes. The man looks startled and a little dazed. He is SIMON
SIMON looks around, sees the barman, and walks over to the bar.
SIMON: (confusedly) Where am I?
(The BARMAN carries on wiping tables)
SIMON: (he tries to get the BARMAN's attention)Excuse me, sir? (a little louder) Sir!
BARMAN: (he walks to the other end of the bar, apparently not hearing him)
SIMON: Sir ... Excuse me.
BARMAN: (BARMAN sees him) Hello, how may I help you?
SIMON: Where am I?
BARMAN: Why, you're at the bar.
SIMON: What bar? Where?
BARMAN: Why don't you take a seat and I'll get you a drink? (he gestures SIMON)
SIMON: (he hesitates and then confusedly takes a seat at the bar. SIMON sits on a stylish swivel chair. He looks around paying particular interest to the window that appears to look out into space) Where am I? This can't be possible. (he points to the window) I'm …
BARMAN: (interrupts) Now, young man, do not worry. Do not concern yourself with what may or may not be outside that window. (he tries to get SIMON'S attention by changing his tone) Please, please let me get you a drink. Please, you can have anything you want, anything at all. We have everything you can possible think of from sprits to cocktails; shorts to shots. Please let me get you something.
SIMON: (confused) But … how …?
BARMAN: (calmly) Let me get you a drink. What would you like?
SIMON: (furrows his brow) Hmm … I would like (hesitates)
BARMAN: What, what is it …?
SIMON: Oh, I'm not sure. I don't think you'll have it.
BARMAN: Trust me; if it's real we'll have it, and if it's not we'll make it anyway. (he chuckles as if he's said something funny)
SIMON: If you have it, then I would like a Mojito with fresh mint.
BARMAN: Mojito with fresh mint – excellent choice! Coming right up.
The BARMAN starts gathering different sprits from behind the bar and mixes the cocktail in an appropriate canister. When finished, he puts a glass in front of the man, pours the drink into the glass and adds fresh mint.
BARMAN: One mojito – an excellent choice, sir.
SIMON: (he looks at it reluctantly)
BARMAN: Please ... please try it.
SIMON: (SIMON slowly lifts the glass, takes a sip, and his face instantly perks up)Wow, this is amazing! (he takes another sip) Fantastic! (He finishes the drink)
BARMAN: Same again?
BARMAN: (he pours another drink from his canister, watches SIMON for a few seconds, and then starts cleaning the bar)
SIMON: (SIMON drinks it in the same way as the last one. He then holds the glass up in the air as if requesting another drink. The BARMAN is further down the bar, so SIMON shouts over to him) Any chance of a refill, barman?
BARMAN: (he walks towards SIMON)That's not a problem, but before I do that, would you mind if we just talked a little? You haven't said much since you got here and I'm starting to think I must not be very good at my job. If folks like you don't open up to me a little …
SIMON: Yeah, sure. What do you want to talk about?
BARMAN: I want to talk about you. I want to talk about you, Simon.
SIMON: (surprised) How did you know my name?
BARMAN: Never mind that. I need to know why you came here.
SIMON: (he ponders this question) Why I came here? I do not even know where 'here' is ... I do not know where I am. (he swivels the chair to look out of the window)
BARMAN: Look at me, Simon.
SIMON: (he does not respond)
BARMAN: Simon, look at me. Look at me, please!
SIMON: (turns to face him)
BARMAN: (he stops him and asks the same question again) If I tell you where you are, will you tell me why you're here?
SIMON: (believes he has nothing to lose by agreeing to this) Okay.
BARMAN: So we have a deal?
BARMAN: (stares at him intensely) Are you sure?
SIMON: (he thinks that as he is probably dreaming it does not matter what he agrees to) Yes, I promise.
BARMAN: Good. That's marvellous. This place ... this place is known as the bar at the edge of the universe.
SIMON: You're crazy!
BARMAN: Wait, Simon. Please listen! I'm not crazy and you're not either, but you have to understand something, or not understand if that pleases you more ... As long as you understand the gist of what I'm saying, that will do me fine. The place has been known by many other names and has taken many other forms, but for a long time it has been presented in the way that you see before you.
SIMON: (confused) I am not sure if …
BARMAN: It doesn't matter if you don't understand. This place is real, you are here, and that's all the matters. I'm happy you're here … very happy.
SIMON: But what am I doing here?
BARMAN: (leans towards him)I want you to tell me. I want you to tell me why you came. You made me promise.
SIMON: But I don't know why I came. I'm not sure why I'm here and what or where this place is.
BARMAN: I've told you ... you're in the bar at the edge of the universe. Come on, Simon. You know why you're here; you just need to tell.
SIMON: That's impossible! I can't be!
BARMAN: (grabs Simon's arm)No, it is possible that this place is real and I am too. Please, you know the answer.
SIMON: I don't!
BARMAN: (quite angry and grabbing his arm) Think, Simon, think! You know the answer. Tell me why your here. You came for a reason. Tell me!
SIMON: (pulls his arm away)
BARMAN: (grabs his arm again) Think, Simon. Try to remember ... What did you do before you came here? What were you thinking about?
Let me put it another way: what was the last thing you remember?
They stare at each other for a few seconds until Simon remembers something. He knows why he is there and becomes emotional
BARMAN: (he realises that he has remembered something) yes! simon,yes!
SIMON: No, no, it can't be! She can't; she can't be here!
BARMAN: Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
SIMON: (he rises from his seat) I knew it! I knew it! I knew she was real! Where is she? I have to see her. Please ... where is she?
BARMAN: Calm down, Simon! Don't worry, she's waiting for you. She's not going anywhere.
SIMON: Tell me where she is!
BARMAN: She will wait as long as you are here. She will never leave without seeing you. Do you understand?
BARMAN: Now that you have come she will wait. As long as you're here she will wait.
SIMON: (in desperation) Please let me see her!
(they stare at each other)
BARMAN: She's waiting in the restaurant.(he points to the glass doors next to the bar)
SIMON: (sees the glass doors leading to the restaurant and runs towards them. When he is close they open and he enters)
END OF SCENE 1