Cascare

 

Sound of feet climbing rocks carries, unless noted, throughout.

Occasional skittering of rocks rolling.

Wind faintly audible, altering in pitch throughout.

Sound of a man laboring.

 

Abel:   It is another day for me. [Pause.] For me. [Sound of wind.] Yes. Just another day. [Pause.] And tomorrow, yes, it too shall be another day. [Pause. Sound of feet climbing, louder. Grunting as with great exertion, growing with climbing feet. Sudden interruption of loud rocks. Resume laboring. Voice is fast, jumping from word to word with little time for thought.] To climb is to be happy and to fall is to be happier still and then to stand and to see and to see and to climb and to stand and be happy is to be another day with another tomorrow and with that to climb and to stand and to see and to be happy. [Voice is abruptly cut off, replaced by the emphatic sound of falling rocks. Groaning. Sound as if rolling in sand.] Damn them! [Pause. Sound of wind accompanied by the rising of birds taking flight.] Fabel? [Pause] Fabel? Is that you? No? Ah, then. [Resume feet climbing. Cease.] Which way? This way, yes, one way. Only one way always. [Resume climbing.]

 

[Emphatic sound of falling rocks. Groaning. Sound as if rolling in sand. More groaning. Groaning ceases. Sound of wind. Resume feet climbing.]

 

Abel: Another day for me. [Pause.] Yes. [Pause.] For me. [Pause.] And tomorrow, yes, it too shall be another day. [Pause. Sound of feet climbing, louder. Grunting as with great exertion, ramping up with the sound of climbing feet. Sudden furious interruption of loud rocks. Resume laboring. Voice is fast, jumping from word to word with little time for thought.] To climb is to be happy and to fall is to be happier still and then to stand and to see and to see and to climb and to stand and be happy is to be another day with another tomorrow and with that to climb and to stand and to see and to be happy and to climb, with great effort, in order to be happy and to see and to stand. [Voice is abruptly cut off, replaced by the deafening sound of falling rocks. Groaning. Sound as if rolling in sand.] Damn them! [Pause. Intensified sound as if rolling in sand. Sound of wind accompanied by the rising of birds taking flight.]

 

Fabel: [Voice throughout: slow, metered, void of emotion and on the brink of condescension.] You are too old for this.

 

Abel: Fabel? [Long pause. Softer.] Is that you? [Sound of wind. Resume climbing.]

 

Fabel: Who else can I be? Have you forgotten already? Yes. That is so like yourself. Forgetting. Leaving me in darkness for so long while you carry on. Doing what? Are you tired Abel? Have you had enough?

 

Abel: [With effort.] Have you been there long? [Pause. Concern.] Have you been watching?

 

Fabel: What matter have it? I have been here some time since the last we spoke. Have you had enough? I needn’t watch if you so like.  

 

Abel: You mustn’t watch me falling. [Pause.] I keep falling Fabel. It is a dreadful thing, falling, and to get so close and to see for such a minute beyond and to fall again and not know whether I am able to continue.

 

Fabel: Are you tired? You are, Abel. I can see by your voice that you are tired.

 

Abel: And then there’s the getting up, Fabel. The getting up, that’s the worst of it. The falling and then there’s the getting up.  

 

Fabel: Perhaps you shouldn’t fall. Perhaps you shouldn’t fall so often, Abel.

 

Abel: [Cease climbing.] Perhaps. [Prolonged pause.] Are you still there, Fabel?

 

Fabel: Always at your side, you know this, always at your side by choice or by requirement.

 

Abel: It’s just that I forget sometimes. Sometimes you’re so quiet that I forget and I begin to think you’ve left me, or that it’s happened all over again, that you’ve died or perhaps that I have died, or perhaps that Maya, too, has gone and left me. But she wouldn’t do that, would she Fabel? You wouldn’t do that, would you? I haven’t died, have I? I feel very much alive. I think that I should know should I have died, what with this heavy burden being lifted. I think that I should know were I to have passed on. Surely, then, this falling would cease. This endless falling. This climbing. The wind. The birds. We have not died, have we, Fabel?

 

Fabel: You must ask only one question, Abel. I can only answer one at a time. You haven’t the intellect to handle more.

 

[Pause.]

 

Abel: Have you heard from Maya?

 

Fabel: Only what you’ve told me.

 

Abel: Ah, yes. And I have told you everything, I have. I would not lie to you Fabel. You believe me, don’t you Fabel? Maya, she never believes a word I tell her. Always telling me what to be doing. Always sure to reveal that I know nothing. Maya does not believe me, but you do, don’t you Fabel?

 

[Long pause.]

 

Abel: Fabel? [Pause.] Are you still there, Fabel? [Pause.] Ah, well then. Tomorrow, maybe. I have fallen so far I have much ground to climb before then. Better to be rid of all distractions. [Resume climbing.] Besides, an act of climbing is also to find happiness and the falling, that too, in some way, is happiness as well, and then there’s standing and there’s seeing and with that seeing there’s the climbing and, Oh! too there is the standing the happiness and the furtherance of the day and the tomorrow and the climbing and the happiness. [Pause. Continue climbing.] Yes. This endless falling. This climbing. The wind. The birds. I have not died, not yet, and I shall not die too quickly now though Fabel and Maya and the rest have [Voice is abruptly cut off, replaced by the deafening sound of falling rocks. Groaning. Sound as if rolling in sand.] Damn them! [Pause. Intensified sound as if rolling violently in sand. Sound of wind accompanied by that of birds taking flight.]

 

Fabel: You appear to have fallen again, Abel. You must stop that. You must stop this falling. It is injurious to your health.

 

Abel: Fabel? [Pause. Softer.] Is that you?

 

Fabel: Yes, it is me again. [Pause] Up here, Abel. You must stop your falling and come up here. [Pause. Furious resumption of climbing.] You must climb up to here.

 

Abel: I am trying, Fabel. Can’t you see I’m trying?

 

Fabel: Yes. You are always trying.

 

[Long pause with sound of great effort and climbing throughout. Instantaneous sound of cascading rocks. Groaning. Sound as if rolling in sand.]

 

Abel: [With anger.] Damn them! [Pause. Intensified sound as if rolling in sand. Sound of wind accompanied by the rising of birds taking flight.] Fabel? Fabel are you there? I fear I cannot reach you, Fabel. I have tried and put forth no great shortage of effort, I have tried and tried and yet I cannot seem to succeed. [Pause.] Do you hear me Fabel? I say, I cannot continue. This climbing. This endless falling. I cannot carry on. [Pause. Quiet moans and shuffling in sand.] I am not dead, though I continue climbing. Endlessly climbing and then, as soon as I have made any progress I resume this endless falling. [Pause.] Fabel? Do tell me if you are listening to me. [Pause.] Fabel? I have forgotten where I am going. [Pause.] Are you there? Might you tell me where I am going? [Pause.] Fabel? Please. I am very tired now. Deathly tired. Please, do tell me if you’re listening?

 

[Long pause broken only by the occasional moaning.]

 

Fabel: Eternally. I am eternally listening.

 

Abel: Oh Fabel! You are there!

 

Fabel: Yes Abel, I am here.

 

Abel: So long as you are here, might you remind me where I am going? I generally have some idea. I have a good memory, you know that. I’ve never forgotten young Maya’s birthday, or when her piano lessons are. Perhaps it is just that I am tired. Yes. I am so tired. It it this climbing. This endless climbing. And after that, of course, there is the endless falling. But all that is well for I am happy, for to climb is to be happy and to fall is to be happier still and then to stand and to see and to see and to climb and to stand and be happy is to be another day with another tomorrow and with that to climb and to stand and to remember and then to see and to once more be happy and climb, with enormous undertaking, in order to be happy and to see and to stand.

 

Fabel: You must come up here, Abel. You must climb up here.

 

Abel: Ah, yes. I remember now. It is there where I am to go. [Resume climbing.]

[Long pause.][Cease climbing.]

Fabel? [Pause.] Fabel? Are you here? I have climbed and climbed and put in the effort, oh Fabel, so much effort I have put in, and I have reached here and now I ask you, are you here? [Pause.] No? [Pause.] Ah then. At least I have not fallen. The falling is the worst, you know. The endless falling, and then there’s the climbing that must come after that, and that too is bad but still no more the worse than the falling, the endless falling, and the endless rising afterward. [Pause.] Ah. Look now. [Pause.] Look now, Fabel, the sun is falling too. Do you see it? Falling there, behind those rocks? [Pause. Sound of wind accompanied by that of birds taking flight.] Damn them! [Pause.]

 

Fabel: It is stunning. To watch it fall, so slowly. Silently. Slightly.

 

Abel: I knew you had not left me.

 

Fabel: Never gone, but coming and going. [Prolonged pause of roughly 20 seconds or more.] You should not stay here long. Soon the light will be gone and you will be without your sight. You should be going.

 

Abel: Very right. Very true.

 

[Pause.]

 

Fabel: Are you leaving, Abel?

 

Abel: I do not think I can.

 

Fabel: Perhaps you might try.

 

[Sound as if rolling in sand. Groans of effort. Resume climbing, more slowly now, as if in descent. Sound of foot slipping. Deafening, conclusive sound of falling rocks followed by deep and definitive thud. Groaning. Sound as if rolling in sand.]

 

Abel: Damn them! [Pause. Intensified sound as if rolling violently in sand. Sound of wind accompanied by that of birds taking flight. With gumption.] Fabel? Fabel is that you? [Pause. Tired.] No? [Pause.] Ah then. Perhaps I shall keep climbing.