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Oh My Stars

(Scene: a poorly lit Mexican bar. A telenovela plays on the television screen but no one is watching, which is just as well because it is inaudible over the accordion and tuba music playing out of the speakers on the ceiling. The only customers are the SUN, MOON, and MERCURY, who sit at a relatively clean table in a darkened corner.)

MERCURY: … And so anyway, that’s how the neurology of an octopus works. Essentially they have six arms and two legs, not “eight legs.”

SUN: (not hiding his boredom) Yeah, that’s great. Anyway, is anything interesting ever going to happen here?

MOON: I’m starting to worry it won’t.

MERCURY: You never really stop worrying for long, do you? Hey, did I ever tell you guys the one about the priest, the rabbi, and the android who –

SUN and MOON: YES.

(The door to the bar opens and in walks VENUS, her pretty summer dress waving slightly in a breeze that wasn’t there before she arrived. Her manicure is impeccable, her hair is like something out of a shampoo commercial, and even though she walks at a normal pace something about her appears to be moving in slow motion. For no obvious reason, the pre-recorded Mexican oompah music stops and “Dreamweaver” begins to play. Venus sits at a table near the SUN, MOON, and MERCURY. Through some strange trick of the light, her table is now the most brightly lit place in the bar.)

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SUN: Whoa. I have this sudden feeling that my magnificence would be even greater if someone else was appreciating it.

MOON: I’m getting a great deal of both comfort and excitement out of this.

MERCURY: At last! Maybe someone who will laugh at my jokes!

(The three gesture frantically at the waitress, who comes to their table. All three of them babble orders simultaneously, and somehow the waitress is able to make sense of it. She leaves, and the SUN, MOON, and MERCURY continue to stare at the table where VENUS is sitting. She smiles at them, and once more the room inexplicably brightens.)

SUN: I feel like we were strangely incomplete before this turn of events.

MOON: I’m enjoying the warmth of potentially forming social connections.

MERCURY: I think I could learn a lot from this.

(The waitress arrives at VENUS‘ table and delivers a beer, a fruity drink with an umbrella in it, a shot glass of whiskey, a dozen roses, a box of candy, a burrito, a gold bracelet, an autographed copy of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” and a banjo. VENUS receives these gifts graciously and mouths the words “thank you” to the three at the other table.)

SUN: I think that I…

MOON: …Just fell in…

MERCURY: Now, let’s stop and think about this for a second guys. Sure, when she showed up we suddenly discovered some form of pleasure and delight that we hadn’t known before. And admittedly her presence here does give the place a glow and warmth that it didn’t have before. And yes, all of a sudden we have this urge to be sweet and to experience sweetness and to take enjoyment from the physical world, but that doesn’t mean —

(VENUS stands up and approaches the table. SUN, MOON and MERCURY scramble to straighten their hair, scrape the food stains off their shirts, check their breath and hitch up their pants.)

VENUS: Hi guys. Mind if I join you…?

(SUN MOON and MERCURY scramble to get a chair, knock over their table, fall over themselves, and end up in a pile on the floor fighting over the nearest chair. In short order they manage to sort this out, produce a chair, turn the table upright, and retrieve the pile of gifts from the other table. VENUS sits down gracefully.)

VENUS: Wow. I sure appreciate your enthusiasm.

(SUN, MOON and MERCURY lean over the table and stare rapturously at VENUS, who looks over her recently-acquired pile of gifts)

VENUS: So… um… nice banjo…?

 

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