Part Four (see here and scroll down for Parts One – Three)

Lights up on a bar. Woman has revealed the contents of her baggage, the suitcases, travel bags, makeup kits, gym bags, hat boxes, and a trunk on wheels. They were all full of books. Except the hat box. The hat box contained a hat: A wide-brimmed hat with huge flowers on top of it. She is wearing the hat and is sleeping with her head on an open book. A Bartender, wearing cherub’s wings and holding a small bow and arrow, appears out of nowhere. A trumpet sounds, music plays, and pink and white rose petals fall from the ceiling.

Bartender: Congratulations! You’ve got new matches!

She does not respond.

Bartender (slightly louder): Woman, you’ve got new matches!

He fires a small plastic arrow at her. She does not respond.

Bartender (really loud): WOMAN!

She starts up, her hat askew. Her eye makeup has smudged, but only on one eye, the one that was touching the book. The other is perfect. It’s a little Clockwork Orange.

Woman (confused): What’s the score!? Wait. What?

She starts to come to, adjusts her hat.

Bartender: Woman, wake up.

Woman: Okay, okay, okay, okay. Right. What was I doing?

Bartender: Apparently you were taking a nap.

Woman: No, I mean … (thinks) … oh yeah! I found it! I found the answer! (Gestures at the books pouring out of her baggage.)

Bartender: Uh-huh.

Woman: Yeah!

Bartender: So, what is it?

Woman: Earth.

Bartender: Earth? (He looks skeptical, then, doing his best Mary McDonnell) There’s no Earth. You made it all up. President Adar and I once talked about the legends surrounding Earth. He knew nothing about a secret location regarding Earth, and if the President knew nothing about it, what are the chances that you do?

Woman: Dude. I think we’ve been spending too much time together.

Bartender: Yeah me too.

Woman: Anyway … the answer is, “Down. To. Earth.” I’m gonna be Down to Earth. Easy going. Relatable. I’m gonna laugh at their jokes. Keep responses light. This, according to the received knowledge, is the key.

Bartender (not convinced): Sure. Good idea. You ready for your new matches?

Woman (doing her best dubya imitation): Bring ’em on.

The Bartender disappears. A Man enters. He is, objectively speaking, very good looking. Strong. Healthy. Symmetrical. He is, unfortunately, not the Woman’s type. Nevertheless, always down to earth, she says, …

Woman: Hey there … (peers at nametag) … zenbuddha. How’s it hanging?

Man: A jug fills drop by drop.

Pause.

Woman (looking serious): Indeed.

Man: How are you this evening?

Woman: Oh, you know, chill. Just chillin’. Takin’ chill pills. You know.

Man: Actually every human being is the author of his own health or disease. So there’s no need for pills. He is able who thinks he is able.

Slight pause. She wants to correct him. She tries not to.

Woman: Right, yeah, totally. (Laughing, as if at a joke. She touches his chest.) I mean, metaphor, but whatever! (Laughs again.)

Man: Listen, I believe that sex is life: The act of creation in pleasure, the loss of oneself in another, the coming together of opposites in a temporary union of yin and yang, that creates something other than either. What is life if not this?

Woman: Sure, but … (unable to move past his previous comment) .. you know, in terms of pills, if somebody really had a disease it would make sense for them to take advantage of modern medicine, right?

Man: All that we are is the result of what we have thought. Woman, I’m offering you the opportunity to make love to me. Do you accept?

Woman (to herself): Down to earth, down to earth, down to–fuck it. (To him) Nope. Sorry. Not. Move along.

Man (clearly injured, struts off): No loss.

Woman (into her drink (which is a gin martini, dirty, extra olives, natch)): Well not for me.

The Bartender reappears.

Bartender: Well done. Veeeery easy going. Totally relatable.

Woman: Fuck you.

Bartender: Never gonna happen.

Woman gestures at all her books and all her baggage.

Woman: I’m not sure the answer’s in here.

Bartender (doing his best Zen Master): You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.

Woman: Dude. There’s something wrong with your programming.

Bartender (smiling): I know. Kinky, right?

Woman: Seriously. What am I supposed to do?

The Bartender glances side to side, making sure no one is listening. Gestures to Woman to lean in.

Bartender (sotto voce):  “Supposed to” ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.

Woman leans back. Ponders. Adjusts her hat. Looks at the audience.

Blackout. End of Part Four.

… to be continued on the next Internet Dating: A Play.

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