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Happy Days

What are those exquisite lines? [Pause.] Go forget me why should something o’er that something shadow fling… go forget me… why should sorrow… brightly smile… go forget me… never hear me… sweetly smile… brightly sing… [Pause. With a sigh.] One loses one’s classics. [Pause.] Oh not all. [Pause.] A part. [Pause.] A part remains. [Pause.] That is what I find so wonderful, a part remains, of one’s classics, to help one through the day. [Pause.] Oh yes, many mercies, many mercies. [Pause.] And now? [Pause.] And now, Willie? [Long pause.] I call to the eye of the mind… Mr Shower – or Cooker. [She closes her eyes. Bell rings loudly. She opens her eyes. Pause.] Hand in hand, in the other hands bags. [Pause.] Getting on… in life. [Pause.] No longer young, not yet old. [Pause.] Standing there gaping at me. [Pause.] Can’t have been a bad bosom, he says, in its day. [Pause.] Seen worse shoulders, he says, in my time. [Pause.] Does she feel her legs? he says. [Pause.] Is there any life in her legs? he says. [Pause.] Ask her, he says, I’m shy. [Pause.] Ask her what? she says. [Pause.] Is there any life in her legs. [Pause.] Has she anything on underneath. [Pause.] Ask her yourself, she says. [Pause. With sudden violence.] Let go of me for Christ sake and drop! [Pause. Do] Drop dead! [Smile.] But no. [Smile broader.] No no. [Smile off.] I watch them recede. [Pause.] Hand in hand — and the bags. [Pause.] Dim. [Pause.] Then gone. [Pause.] Last human kind — to stray stray this way. [Pause.] Up to date. [Pause.] And now? [Pause. Low.] Help. [Pause. Do.] Help, Willie. [Pause. Do.] No? [Long pause. Narrative.] Suddenly a mouse… [Pause.] Suddenly a mouse ran up her little thigh and Mildred, dropping Dolly in her fright, began to scream — [WINNIE gives a sudden piercing scream.] — and screamed and screamed — [WINNIE screams twice.] — screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed till all came running, in their night attire, papa, mama, Bibby and… old Annie, to see what was the matter… [pause.] … what on earth could possibly be the matter. [Pause.] Too late. [Pause.] Too late. [Long pause. Just audible.] Willie. [Pause. Normal voice.] Ah well, not long now, Winnie, can’t be long now, until the bell for sleep. [Pause.] Then you may close your eyes, then you must close your eyes — and keep them closed. [Pause.] Why say that again? [Pause.] I used to think… [Pause.] … I say I used to think there was no difference between one fraction of a second and the next. [Pause.] I used to say… [Pause.] … I say I used to say, Winnie, you are changeless, there is never any difference between one fraction of a second and the next. [Pause.] Why bring that up again? [Pause.] There is so little one can bring up, one brings up all. [Pause.] All one can. [Pause.] My neck is hurting me. [Pause. With sudden violence.] My neck is hurting me! [Pause.] Ah that’s better. [With mild irritation.] Everything within reason. [Long pause.] I can do no more. [Pause.] Say no more. [Pause.] But I must say more. [Pause.] Problem here. [Pause.] No, something must move, in the world, I can’t any more. [Pause.] A zephyr. [Pause.] A breath. [Pause.] What are those immortal lines? [Pause.] It might be the eternal dark. [Pause.] Black night without end. [Pause.] Just chance, I take it, happy chance. [Pause.] Oh yes, abounding mercies. [Long pause.] And now? [Pause.] And now, Willie? [Long pause.] That day. [Pause.] The pink fizz. [Pause.] The flute glasses. [Pause.] The last guest gone. [Pause.] The last bumper with the bodies nearly touching. [Pause.] The look. [Long pause.] What day? [Long pause.] What look? [Long pause.] I hear cries. [Pause.] Sing. [Pause.] Sing your old song, Winnie.
Samuel Beckett, Happy Days. Group Press, 1961.
Samuel Beckett
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