(With apologies to Samuel Beckett, Literature, and everyone else)
Darkness. Lights up. Trainee sitting on a worn vinyl bench, to the right a board on the wall, with sheets of tattered A4 paper pinned to it. To the left a swing door. Trainee wrestles with zip on case with wheels next to bench. Sits back exhausted. Looks over at the board.
Trainee: Listed for 10.30 [pause, eyes to the front] In the 10.30 list. [slumps further down on bench] Fifth on the 10.30 list. [reaches towards case] Can’t be helped and the usher [looks longingly to the left] said [mutters] two applications and two CMCs. [Long pause, reaches down case and tugs at zip, fails. Sits back and sighs. Brightly] No family cases. We will be heard. [Checks watch. Looks around. Hopefully] We. [Pulls mobile phone from pocket, looks at it, shakes head and puts mobile on case]. Just an interim application [pause] interim [laughs shortly].
Client, facing away, half raises into view over back of bench.
Client: [groans, drops below back of bench]
Trainee: Don’t go off on me now, We may need you. [Hopefully] We. [leans forward to look at mobile phone, shakes head, sits back] and we will be heard [long pause, looks at board]. A necessary step [pause] one we are required to make, in order to [stops. looks longingly to the left] in order to take the next step [leans back over bench] there is movement still. [pause, slumps forward]. He attends, can’t ask more than that. [reaches for case, tugs at zip, fails. Sits upright] the robing room! [pause, slumps. Mutters] there or elsewhere, not here yet.
Client: [groans, out of view]
Trainee: He wearies [shrugs] he hopes to see the end. [slumps further] There must be hope of an end. For there has been a beginning [pauses, looks at case] or an opening at least. And that is a start, for there must be a beginning for there to be an end at all. That step we have accomplished to the satisfaction [pause] no, not that, the acknowledgment of all. [Brightly] So we have begun. [Anxiously] We [leans forward to look at mobile, shakes head, sits back]. There is then a possibility of an ending [pause, considering] Perhaps. All things are possible, the rest is mere quibbling over probability, a chalking up of the odds, better left to bookies and divinities. [Pause] Shall I mention Sisyphus? [pause] No, save that for later. Only in extremis, remember that.
Client: [whimpers, out of view]
Trainee: [mutters] Or if not an ending, a closing [kicks case, stubs toe.] And a drawing up of accounts. That would suffice. [Pause. Looks longingly to left] I swear I saw an usher before. [Pause. Firmly] We are on the list. [checks watch, looks quickly around. Nervously] We. [starts to lean forward to look at mobile, halts, sits back]
Lights down. Darkness
Lights up. Scene as before. Trainee alone, lying on bench
Trainee: [despairing sigh] The afternoon list. [pause] I suspected as much. Once something has not happened then it is too much to hope that it will not not happen again.
Client: [hand appears on top of bench, clutches weakly then falls back]
Trainee: [feebly] We are on the list. [Glances around. Hollowly] We. [Case on wheels falls over].