Driving to Sweden to join the circus, Vireo is betrayed by Caroline, and they are caught by the doctor and mother. Everyone has a secret agenda.
Kate Campbell, toy piano; Randall Matamoros, hurdy-gurdy; Jennifer Koh, violin; Matthias Bossi, drums; The San Francisco Girls Chorus; Lorelei Ensemble
1. Ice on the Sargasso.
1a. Riding To –
Valiant tosses tridents of snow
As they escape across the steppes. They go
To Sweden, to the Circus so
Meanings will trapeze, exchange
And hide them in their show
(Light. Caroline and Vireo drive across the Russian steppes, Caroline at the
wheel. Vireo paints her toenails, feet on the dash.)
You’re gonna paint a seam up your leg if we hit a bump.
Never mind me.
Work the radio
Must be ninety
Good this way
We are not four or three
We are two…
Good this way
At least one sentence
That’s true and nobody
Pasted them to the roof of my mouth
Peeled them back slowly
I don’t know
To the size of
Of a comma;
Think about –
Bread about burnt
Look at the world and
Love it, eat it
(Borealis: drift and play of light. Time passes.)
(Caroline’s in the passenger seat, asleep. Vireo: asleep at the wheel. The
scream of a reindeer... Vireo jerks awake.)
Am I driving?
Doesn’t matter. There’s no road.
Somebody’s out there.
I don’t see –
(The Doctor and Mother appear in a sleigh drawn by deer; Raphael’s on a small skid, drawn by cats and rabbits.)
In the rear-view.
Who would it be?
(Vireo hits the gas. Caroline changes tone.)
Don’t try and get away.
The faster you gun it the slower it goes
But they’re –
They’re going to catch us
We’re going to go
Did you leave them a note? That’s how they know?
You knew they were back there all along?
You planned it with them? The candle and the sheets?
We made people die
You and I
I would like to make more people die
To pay for the way I feel
I named people.
Silly names. They knew those people. We have to name strangers.
Don’t know a stranger
I was a good
We go away
It will be fun.
(Caroline turns to go to sleep.)
I don’t go to sleep
I don’t go away
(Vireo stops driving; sleighs encroach. Light swipes time.)
(Mother and the Doctor are now in the front seat of the Valiant; Doctor drives. Vireo and Caroline lie eyes-closed in the back. The larger sled and its team trail, hitched. Car slides silently; slippery journey. The Doctor adjusts the mirror; checks the runaways.)
You’re kind to us, Doctor. You know, Doctor, I almost think I am a hysteric,
Is that right?
Yes. My throat and shoulder feel so open and thrown back to examiners.
I love to operate this beautiful machine. Don’t you think so?
Hot in here.
They think I’m a priest. I think I’m a bad priest.
No, Doctor, no. You are good. You are a good priest. If you were one, Doctor.
We’ll see how things go in Sweden. The lecture-demonstration –
No, you have to know now. Look, save me, I’m hysterical.
DOCTOR (Stern; secretly pleased.)
Stop that. You’ll wake the girls.
No, I’m hysterical, you’ll have to save me. Ahhh!
Dear, small woman.
Presto: you’re cured.
No, Doctor, I’m out of control. You’ll have to work harder than that.
Abracadabra! Sneezy science
(Thrashing, petit, her face rolls the window. She sees: the figure of the burned witch looking in; the witch wears a black peaked hat. Mother screams; loud.)
(Mother stops. The Doctor neither hears nor sees the witch.)
I guess I fixed it.
(The witch retreats.)
You did! You did. I –
(Vireo and Caroline are awake.)
Girls? We’ll be there by morning.
(We see Raphael, who is running/mushing alongside the car in desperate
shape - his fingers are bandaged with rags. Light-swipe.)