Waiting ‘Til Next Year for Godot

An empty bar.
Two fans.
Midnight.

VLADIMIR: Nothing you can do about it.
ESTRAGON: No use struggling.
VLADIMIR: It is what it is.
ESTRAGON: No use wriggling.
VLADIMIR: The essential doesn’t change.
ESTRAGON: (Drinking the remnants of his glass.) We should quit.
VLADIMIR: Drinking?
ESTRAGON: Watching games.
VLADIMIR: We can’t.
ESTRAGON: Why not?
VLADIMIR: We’re waiting for Godot.
ESTRAGON: He should be here.
VLADIMIR: He didn’t say for sure he’d come.
ESTRAGON: And if he doesn’t come?
VLADIMIR: We’ll come back next year.
ESTRAGON: And the year after.
VLADIMIR: Possibly.
ESTRAGON: And so on.
VLADIMIR: The point is-
ESTRAGON: Until he comes.
VLADIMIR: You’re merciless.
ESTRAGON: If it weren’t for us, after all-
(Vladimir draws an “A” on the condensation on his glass.)
ESTRAGON: If not for us, then… they…?
VLADIMIR: They what?
ESTRAGON: I don’t know.
VLADIMIR: That was some fine banter.
ESTRAGON: It was.
VLADIMIR: But we need something else.
ESTRAGON: For what?
VLADIMIR: For waiting.
ESTRAGON: We could watch the television.
(ESTRAGON finds the remote, and turns on the television above the bar. The voice begins, and then a head comes into view.)
HEAD: Given the theory that the square of the runs scored divided by the sum of the square of the runs scored added to the runs allowed is directly proportional to wins and the economic forced behind the heavy industrial and services industries of the inequalities of the people at large the existence of blue eyes and brown eyes and tall men and short men who throw 88 miles per hour you can never have too much pitching but you need a balance between pitching and hitting and old man’s skills and baserunners and that there are things no one wants but has and we must find value in the things we have with calm a blue of calm we must cling to the tenets and the tenets that are true but have not been proven unfinished for reasons unknown of Bordick and Weiss of soccer of bullpen management of records in one-run games and luxury taxes there will be time to make assessments and judgments and to assess the judgments when time will tell in the fullness of time in the sepiatone of history and the process we believe in the process of
VLADIMIR: Turn it off!
(They fumble for the remote, trying to wrest it from each other.)
HEAD: Todd Van Poppel and Rickey Henderson… The platoon splits… committee… market…
ESTRAGON: Got it!
(The screen darkens. They throw the remote on the ground, pieces rattling on the tile.)
ESTRAGON: I’m tired. Let’s go.
VLADIMIR: We can’t.
ESTRAGON: Why not?
VLADIMIR: We’re waiting for Godot.
ESTRAGON: Ah! (Pause. Despairing.) What’ll we do, what’ll we do?
VLADIMIR: There’s nothing we can do.
ESTRAGON: But I can’t go on like this!
VLADIMIR: Do you want to watch something else?
ESTRAGON: Is that all there is?
VLADIMIR: There’s other sports.
ESTRAGON: We could do a fantasy league.
VLADIMIR: No. Anyway you overdo it with your fantasy.
ESTRAGON: I’ll go home and read a book. (He does not move.)
VLADIMIR: This is becoming really insignificant.
ESTRAGON: Not enough.
(Silence.)
VLADIMIR: What about writing.
ESTRAGON: To the team?
VLADIMIR: No, for a blog.
ESTRAGON: Would that be a good thing?
VLADIMIR: It would pass the time.
(ESTRAGON raises his empty glass, drinks at it, then sets it down and dozes off. The bartender appears.)
BARTENDER: Mister… Mister Vladimir.
VLADIMIR: Last call?
BARTENDER: Not yet, sir. It’s…
VLADIMIR: What?
BARTENDER: I have a message, sir.
VLADIMIR: From Mr. Godot?
BARTENDER: Yes, sir.
VLADIMIR: He won’t come this year.
BARTENDER: No, sir.
VLADIMIR: But he’ll come next year.
BARTENDER: Yes, sir.
VLADIMIR: Without fail.
BARTENDER: Yes, sir.
(Silence.)
BARTENDER: What am I to tell Mr. Godot, sir?
VLADIMIR: Tell him that – (Hesitates.) – tell him that I was here and that – (Hesitates again.) – that we were here. We were here.
(The bartender leaves. ESTRAGON stirs.)
ESTRAGON: Vladimir.
VLADIMIR: Yes.
ESTRAGON: I can’t go on like this.
VLADIMIR: That’s what you think.
ESTRAGON: If we quit? That might be good for us.
VLADIMIR: We’ll quit after next year. (Pause.) Unless Godot comes.
ESTRAGON: And if he comes?
VLADIMIR: We’ll be saved.
ESTRAGON: Well? Shall we go?
VLADIMIR: Yes, let’s go.
(They do not move.)




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Patrick Dubuque writes for NotGraphs and The Hardball Times, and he served as former Bill Spaceman Lee Visiting Professor for Baseball Exploration at Pitchers & Poets. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.


9 Responses to “Waiting ‘Til Next Year for Godot”

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  1. marc w says:

    Awesome.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • marc w says:

      In the original sense. Not a linguistic “+1″ but in the sense that this post produced actual awe.

      I think I’m sweating actual awe right now.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Kyle says:

    So very excellent.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Max says:

    Can’t be said enough: this is fantastic.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. yaboynate says:

    this is absurd

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Fucking brilliant, Patrick. Thanks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Paul Pirate says:

    insert slow clap which slowly grows to a rousing roar from the entire crowd and a standing ovation. magnificent.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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