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The Hat - a selection from Lauren Feldman's "a People"

David Winitsky

feldman.jpeg

***copyright Lauren Feldman. Not to be used without the express written permission of the playwirght.

Yudit (a young woman performer) takes the kerchief off her head and hands it to a young man performer who, by blowing his nose into it, becomes Old Man 1.  He talks to us.

                        OLD MAN 1

            So you wanna know how your Bubbe (grandmother) and I met?

            You want the long version or the short?

            The short.

            I saw her on the boat…   And I sat on her hat.

                        OLD MAN 2

            You don’t remember how your Savta (grandmother) and I met?

            I told ya, Delta Epsilon Phi.

            I was the janitor in her sorority.

            She was the tall one.

            Hair down to her butt.

                        OLD WOMAN 1

            How I met your grandfather?

            I came from his rib.

                        OLD MAN 3

            Did you ask your grandmother?

            Well what did SHE tell you?

                        OLD MAN 4

            How I met your grandpa?

            Well it was Yom Kippur, so I was atoning… on South Beach...

                        OLD WOMAN 2

            He was wearing a hat.

                        OLD WOMAN 1

            He had really long hair.

                        OLD MAN 4

            I had hair then.

                        OLD WOMAN 3

            Why I’m your grandma?

            King David liked me.

   OLD WOMAN 2

My husband died.

And his brother favored me.

   OLD WOMAN 3

We needed the money.

   OLD WOMAN 2

I needed the money.

   OLD MAN 3

She came from my rib.

                        OLD WOMAN 4

            He sat on my hat.

                        OLD WOMAN 5

            Did I ever tell you how I met your Nana?

                        OLD MAN 1

            I lived in Bayonne.

                        OLD MAN 5

            Match-dot-com

                        OLD WOMAN 5

            I sat on her hat.

                        OLD WOMAN 4

            It was lying on the ground.

   OLD MAN 5

Or was it J-date?

                        OLD WOMAN 4

            Close the flap, I said,

            you’re letting in sand.

                        OLD MAN 5

            Match.

                        OLD WOMAN 4

            So he secured the flap

            and the wind whipped outside

            and he spat out some sand that had made its way up his nostrils

            in his lips

            stuck on his tongue

            we laughed

            and he picked out the grains from his tongue with his fingers

            and I spilled the soup I was making

            I was laughing so hard

            I was nervous

            he had snuck out to meet me

            this wasn’t allowed, you know

            Unchaperoned?

            So he sat down on the ground

            and I said, “No, Elijah ben Yehuda, take the cushion

            the cushion.”

            And I trip!

            And the soup spills everywhere

            the bread is flying

            I bump into the table

            figs and almonds take off like birds in flight

            soaring

            splatting

            “No, I’m not burned

            Todah La’el” –

            but the soup is gone

            back into the earth.

            “Dates?

            Do you like dates?

            We’ll eat dates

            sticky, sweet

            until we’re full

            And zahtar and olive oil

            no bread

            but we have fingers…..

            (coy) What?.....

            Okay but, listen, b’seder:

            You have walked through the desert,

            we have spilt all our soup,

            our bread is in crumbles,

            our figs are in puddles,

            we can’t raise our voices,

            so will you get off that floor

            and sit on a cushion?

            And where is my hat??

            And he gets up to move.

            And there was my hat, squashed, underneath him.

            It was the happiest I’ve ever seen that hat.