Before he croaked, I wrote a play for the great Polish animator/artist/grump Jan Lenica. Circa. 2000. Ionesco thinks it’s genius. Lenica said he didn’t understand. Ottawa. It is a Sunday afternoon in late July. It is unusually hot. We are in a bar. Many unusual characters are sitting outside at the cobblestone patio. They sit in dirty white plastic chairs drinking out of dirty white plastic glasses on dirty white plastic tables. The sound of birds are heard in a tree near the patio. Ah the birds...the birds....the birds. An elderly man passes. He stops to give change to a cheerful, smooth dancing panhandler before passing under the tree, entering the patio and sitting at a table down stage centre. He is a distinguished, but sad looking man in his 70s. At the same time a young middle age man arrives and sits at the same table. M is unshaven, with thick unkept brown hair, wrinkled clothes, spectacles. He is pale and tired. The older man, J, carries with him a solid patch of grey hair, a black suit, red tie....not literally of course. They are meeting.
J: You’re late
M: You just arrived.
J: I am old. I told you many times.
M: So leave earlier.
J: You don’t like old people do you?
M: Why do you say that?
J: I’ve told you about my poor health many times.
M: No you haven’t. Once maybe.
M: Most of you become lazy and silly.
J: Stupid youth.
M: You should know.
J: I see you’ve had another late night.
M: You’re right. I was busy working on this bloody article.
J: Why do it? You haven’t even seen half the work.
M: Everyone told me you’re a master.
J: You listen to them?
M: Have you read my work?