January 13 & 14: Jordan Hall

January 13 & 14: Coming Down the Pipe

Jordan Hall

The Woman: A woman. Any age. Any race. However she might define herself.

Coming Down the Pipe

The Woman sits at the mouth of a pipeline. The pipeline’s mouth is head high.

The Woman: Doing this sort of thing, you start to wonder. About plays and pipelines. Like some Lewis Carroll-style riddle. How is a raven like a writing desk? How is a play like a pipeline? Is it a question of building, of structure, of one thing leading to the next and the next until some inevitable conclusion is reached? Or something to do with a pouring forth, a flow of words or something else? Of what happens when some metaphor or seam is inexpertly welded– the slow toxic leak of uncontrolled meaning, of something significant?

The pipeline gives an ominous rumble. The Woman shifts uncomfortably.

The Woman: Maybe it’s a question of the characters involved: the villains and the heroes, the supporting cast that might be both: the titans of industry and the faithful protestors, the garrulous reporters and the hapless bystanders? Does it mean something different depending on where you stand? Is it a comedy about inept bureaucracy? A tragic tale of corruption or of ingenuity thwarted? A thrilling post-apocalyptic adventure?

The rumbling gets louder. The Woman has to shout to be heard over it.

The Woman: Or could it be as simple as a question of intent– a world someone wants to create– because what could be a more powerful argument than a world? What statement could be as compelling, profound, complete, irrefutable as the world reconfigured– it’s gears grinding according to your logic? Something forever changed, and no going back now. (Beat.) Or is that a little on the-

Before she can finish, a wall of thick black sludge shoots from the pipeline dead for her face. And just as it hits-