January 1 & 2: Thomas McKechnie

January 1 & 2: One and Two

Thomas McKechnie


One and Two

One and Two are in a living room. Two is in a lazy boy. Lying down to nap. One is standing nearby. There is another chair. And a cat.

One: Are you comfortable?

Two: Yes, yes.

One: You need blanket or anything?

Two: No, I’m warm.

One: Mmmm. (Pause.) Can I get you a glass of water?

Two: No, thank you.

One: Mmmm. Good. (Pause. Sits down. Cat leaps up into his lap.) Do you need a neck pill­ow? (Two is asleep. One nods to themselves. Pause, looking at the cat.) My cat is dreaming. I know he is dreaming because he is moving and making small sounds but he is asleep. In his dreamy catness lies a brain that understands the world differently than me. He recognizes different rules, he is guided by different forces. But the situations that he’s in can somehow be experientially replicated in his own cat experience. So much so that when he dreams he purrs and moves and meows. My language is worthless when digging into a cat’s mind. The cat’s mind cannot be comprehended by my brain. Not higher or lower just different.(One stands up, the cat scatters off his lap.) An argument could be made that if human beings destroy ourselves with our consumption then human intelligence is not as useful a survival trait as we once thought. (He crosses to Two, snaps his finger over Two’s face to see if he’s really asleep. He is.) Skills that may be more valuable: (One begins to hook up blood donation equipment bag to the still sleeping Two.) Swimming, flying, amphibious breathing ability, second pair of clear eyelids that shut over your normal eyelids when you’re swimming so you can spot prey underwater, ability to store nutritional reserves for long journeys through arid conditions, sharp claws, night vision, poisonous skin, suction cup like feet for climbing, a long beak to pick insects­.

Cat leaps onto Two’s face.

Two: Mmm. Mmm! What’s going on? Ah! (Cat scatters. Two looks at his arm.) Ah! What’s going on?

One: Nothing, nothing just doing some blood tests. Making sure that you’re healthy. (While saying this One takes a filled blood bag from the machine hooked up to Two and begins connecting another bag.) How do you feel?

Two: I feel tired…

One: That’s normal. Are you comfortable?

Two: Uhhh…yes.

One: Can I get you some water?

Two: Yes… please.

One: Right away.

Goes and gets some water. Brings it to Two. Two drinks. Finishes drinking.

Two: Thanks…

One: Of course.

Two: Can you… unhook…this…thing?

One: Pardon?

Two: This… (Beat.) What do you… y’know…this…

Falls asleep.

One: The other advantage that we humans have that we have the ability to constructs complicated societies that meet the needs of the people inside of them.

One sits down on the chair. The cat comes back to his lap. The blood donation continues.