(They exit. Doug tries the cell phone number again. Lights shift as Eve appears.)
Let me tell you what happened, Doug. I stopped seeing straight. My vision got poisoned. I never told you this, but when I came home from my first trip to this country, I looked at human beings in New York and I saw strange creatures. Dog owners placing so much love in dogs at the dog-walk. While over there, children in rags waving to me, smiling, on the side of the road on the way to the Royal College of Arts. Back here, the love for animals growing on our block, pet stores and pet spas opening everywhere. And when I saw these people with their dogs I couldn’t stop thinking of the kids there with no food living in stick houses. While here, people on cell phones calling perpetually with some kind of numb purpose. Couples with babies, stomachs rounded, parading new lives with me screaming to myself, ‘What about all the ones already here?’ The rats eating the shit on the sewer-less road.
I got focused on “There” and neglected “Here”. The students’ stories of dark hatred and of survival. Always seeing their survival in the words written down. And when I finally slowed down enough to look I saw you, surrendering to something outside your control. You gave me the very values I love so much in you. I lost them, I was the same as the dog owners, loving something else, other than you.
What do you see now, Eve?
You. Out of reach, always a little further away. Replay at the front door. I walk to elevator. Smile. It opens at our floor. Turn. Adore you. Smile. Sound of suitcase roller. Wave.
CATHERINE FILLOUX is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about genocide, human rights, and social justice for the past twenty years. Her plays have been produced in New York and around the world. She is the librettist for two produced operas: The Floating Box: A Story in Chinatown (CD New World Records) and Where Elephants Weep (to premiere in Cambodia later this year.) She is an alumna of New Dramatists and a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders. www.catherinefilloux.com