Old Wooden Bench By Jason E. Rolfe
September 4, 2014 § 1 Comment
The curtain opens on an old wooden bench. Jason is sitting on the bench.
Jason: I am sitting on this old wooden bench. I sat on this old wooden bench. I am sitting on this old wooden bench. I will sit on this old wooden bench.
Nicole enters stage right. She is jogging, but stops when she sees Jason.
Nicole: What are you doing?
Jason: Traveling through time.
Nicole: You can’t travel through time.
Jason: I can, and I can prove it!
Nicole (dubious): Sure, wait five minutes and voila! You’ve traveled five minutes into the future!
Jason: Relatively speaking. But I can travel from the present to the future and from the present to the past, all while sitting on this old wooden bench.
Nicole: I’m watching.
Jason: Here I am, sitting on this old wooden bench in the present. I will sit on this old wooden bench tomorrow. I am sitting on this old wooden bench in the present again!
Jason: Time travel. Present to future and back again!
Nicole (confused): You just changed from present to future tense.
Jason: From present to future and back again! I am sitting on this old wooden bench. I sat down on this old wooden bench. I am sitting on this old wooden bench. (pause) Did you see that? I just went from the present to the past and back again, all in the blink of an eye!
Nicole (annoyed): You switched from present to past tense. It’s grammar, not time travel.
Jason: Grammar is relative to the person reading it.
Nicole: No it isn’t. What does that even mean? You’re crazy.
Jason: That’s what they said about Einstein.
Nicole: Who said Einstein was crazy?
Jason: I’m not really sure, but I can travel back in time and find out. Here I go. There I went. Here I am! (brief pause) Arthur Patschke.
Nicole (exasperated): Who?
Jason: Arthur Patschke. He opposed General Relativity. He also designed steam engines. I met him while traveling through time just now. He believed that everything, from the movement of the stars to human thought, could be traced back to the collisions of tiny particles of ether. He eventually developed a ‘quasi-religious’ theory about ether being the key to pretty much everything. And he called Einstein crazy.
Nicole: You met this guy.
(Jason nods his head)
Nicole: Just now, while traveling through time.
(Jason continues nodding)
Jason: On this old wooden bench. Time travel’s fascinating, Nic. You should try it!
Nicole: Anything to prove you wrong. (She sits down beside Jason) I’m sitting on an old wooden bench with Jason. The old wooden bench was empty when I sat down. I am sitting by myself on an old wooden bench.
As the lights come up, Nicole is alone on the old wooden bench.
© 2014 Jason E. Rolfe
Jason Rolfe’s has work forthcoming at Pure Slush, Cease, Cows, and Black Scat Review. He’s also been published at Flash Gumbo, miNatura, Sein und Werden, and The Ironic Fantastic.