Of Libraries and Brothels

STEVE STANDS BEHIND A SHOP COUNTER FOR SOME REASON. CUSTOMER ENTERS.

CUSTOMER: Hello, I’m here to pick up my dry cleaning.

STEVE: I’m sorry, but this is a brothel.

CUSTOMER: A brothel?

STEVE: Did I say brothel?

CUSTOMER: Yes.

STEVE: Oh. Well, I meant to say library.

CUSTOMER: So, this is a library?

STEVE: Afraid so.

CUSTOMER: But I came here to pick up my dry cleaning.

STEVE: Whatever gave you the idea we were a dry cleaners?

CUSTOMER: Aside from the sign on the building that reads, “Most Certainly a Dry Cleaners”?

STEVE: Yes.

CUSTOMER: Well, aside from that, I suppose it’s because that’s what’s written in the script.

STEVE: It is?

CUSTOMER PULLS OUT A COPY OF THE SCRIPT.

CUSTOMER: Right here, see?

STEVE: Huh. Would you look at that… This whole conversation is in this.

CUSTOMER: Yes, and look at this.

STEVE: (READS) “Dry cleaners.”

CUSTOMER: Dry cleaners. Precisely.

STEVE: I feel like a complete idiot.

CUSTOMER: I know, I read ahead.

STEVE: Funny, isn’t it?

CUSTOMER: No, not really. What am I supposed to do about my dry cleaning?

STEVE: No, no. I mean having everything we say and do laid out without any say in the matter, and us left utterly incapable of straying from our predestined roles and fates.

CUSTOMER: That sounds utterly terrifying, actually.

STEVE: Not as terrifying as the notion that, according to that script of yours, we simply cease to be after our little chat abruptly concludes. What becomes of us? Will we ever see the warmth of the summer sun? Will we ever know love?

CUSTOMER: Will I ever get my dry cleaning?

STEVE: No, probably not. But what’s dry cleaning in the face of the oblivion that awaits us both?

CUSTOMER: Maybe we can simply walk off this set together, never look back, and open a Library and Brothel somewhere far away.

STEVE: That’d be nice. But…

CUSTOMER: But what?

STEVE: I’m afraid this is where it all–

BLACKOUT.