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1 TIKKUNOLAMtheplay REPAIRINGTHEUNIVERSE ATenminutePlay OriginallypublishedinSpiritsLiteraryMagazineofIndianaUniversity(Print)

CAST SADIE IRVING GOD MALACHVARODE(PINKANGEL) MALACHKOHCHOLE(BLUEANGEL)

TwodeadsoulsarewaitingintheanteroomtotheAugustPresenceinYouKnow Where.Thespaceislargeandempty.Nofurnitureordecoration.Theyarealittle anxiousastheyvebeensummonedtoGodspresencebuttheyaremystifiedastothe reasonwhy. IRVING Say,wasntthatyousittingtworowsaheadofmeinAfterlifeOrientation?Next tothealterkockerwiththelongwhitehairandthenosewart? SADIE Imflatteredyounoticed. IRVING Whatsnottonotice?(Pause)So,whereyoufrombackthere?Youlookalittle familiar. SADIE

Brooklyn.You?

2 IRVING Iknewit.Alantzman.ImfromBrooklyntoo. SADIE Nokidding?WhereinBrooklyn? IRVING

101CenterSt.Apartment9B.

SADIE Ah.(Pause)ImfromnearAvenueA. IRVING

Ah.(Thereissilence.)

SADIE Sowhydoyouthinkwewerecalledhere?

IRVING Idunno.Wehaventbeenherelongenoughtogetanawardorapromotion. ThatsallIcouldthinkof. SADIE FromyourmouthtoGodsears.Speakingofwhich,thatOrientationwassucha wasteoftime.Thatwomanspeakingwhatwashername?Ruth?Shedidnt haveanythingtosaythatIhaventheardathousandtimesbefore.Oy,shemade myheadache.Droningonandon. IRVING Imwithyouonthatone.Ispentalotoftimeinspectingthecuticlesonmyright hand.WasntthattheRuthintheTorah?AsinTheBookof?Youdthinkshed learnsomepublicspeakingtechniqueslikeattentiongetters,emotionalappeal,a fewjokesmaybe. SADIE

3 Ohhh,nowondershewassuchabore.RuthwassuchakisstuchasintheBible. Whereverthougoest,thitherwillIgoest,andallthatwhitherthitherstuffthatshe said to her Motherinlaw. If I were her, I would have returned home in a heartbeat. IRVING (Nods.Silence.)Say,werentyoutheonemakingblahblahblahhandgesturesto theteenagerwiththeeyebrowringontheothersideofyou?(SADIEnods.)I heardalotofgigglingcomingfromyourrow. SADIE Ach,whatcanItellyou?Ihavealowboredomthreshold.AfterawhileIget punchy. (She looks around the anteroom to Gods Pad. It is an unending expanse of space.) This is a big place. I wonder what the square footage is. My friend Frannie Schoenstein,therealestatemaven,wouldhaveaheydaysellinguphere. IRVING

Icanimagine.

SADIE Boyohboy,theyrekeepingusoniceforalongtimeouthere.

IRVING True.Seemslikeaboutanhourbutwithoutawatch,hardtosay.Whoknows? MaybeYouKnowWhoisreallybusy.

SADIE Yes,probably.Butwithwhatisanothermatter.AsfarasIcansee,theHolyOne isntconcernedwithwhatgoesonwiththeEarth.Ithoughtthatwaspartofthe jobdescription,butapparentlyImmistaken.(Pause)Asforwhatgoesonhere,

4 ImsureAdonaihasstaffforthat. Atthatmoment,amegawattSPOTLIGHTblindsthemandtheyshieldtheireyeswith theirhands.Sadieflinchesawayfromtherelentlessburninglight. IRVING Jeepers.Whatthe?ThatmeshugenahthingissobrightIcantseeathing. SADIE

Whatnow?

SPOTLIGHTmovesawayfromthemandthenbacktothem. IRVING Iguessthatmustbeoursummons. SADIE Theycouldnthavesentahuman?Somelodramatic. IRVING Webettergetamoveon. TheyfollowtheSPOTLIGHTdownahallway.TheSPOTLIGHTstopsandtheyarein thepresenceofGOD.GODhasanandrogynousvoicethatisneithermalenorfemale. WemayneverseeGODbutmayberepresentedwithvariouslightsandgobosifdesired. Thereissilence,whichmakesIRVINGuncomfortablesohespeakstoSADIE. IRVING (ToSADIE)Sohelloythere.ImIrving.IrvingBelchik.ButyoucancallmeIrv. SADIE Pleasedtomeetyou.SadieChanaRosenstein. GOD (Speaksinaloudrumblytone)Good.Thecourtesieshavebeendispensedwith. (Theynod.)So.Ihearyouvebothbeenbadmouthingmetoothersouls.Saying Imnotdoingmyjobwell.

(Theybothshrug.) IRVING (WhisperstoSadie)Thetruthhurtssometimes.

GOD What? IRVING Isaidthatitsshockingthatthetruthcouldbesomisinterpreted. GOD Aha. Will Malach Varode, the Angel in charge of Orientation, please step forward? Anangelwithenormouspinkfeatheredwingsstepsintothelight. MALACHVARODE DuringOrientation,theyweretoldtheydhavetoperformTikkunOlamtohelp healtheuniverse.Theybothcommentedatvariouspointsthattheythoughtthat wassupposedtobeGodsjob.(MALACHlooksatthemdeadpan.) SADIE

Tattletale.

MALACHVARODE Therewassnickeringinvolved. IRVING

Whoknewyouwererecording?

MALACHVARODE Wedontneedtorecord. GOD

6 Youvebeentalkingtrashaboutmyinabilitytostopbadthingsfromhappening onEarth.Thatslashonhara,youknow.Theeviltongue.Gossipingisnotallowed, especiallynotaboutMe. (SADIEignoresGodandaddressesIrving.) SADIE Youtoo?IthoughtIwastheonlyonewhohadthephylacteriestospeakupwhen somethingjustisntright. IRVING Oy,Iknow.Look,IliketheHolyOne.AdonaiisaGoodPresenceandcertainly wellmeaning,butwouldyatakeaganderatwhatsbeengoingondownon earthforatleast4,000years.Itsmeshugenah. SADIE Oy,truerwordswereneverspoken.I

GOD WouldyoustoptalkingaboutmelikeImnothere!Imrighthere.ImGod,for Godssake. SADIE Ithoughtyouwerentsupposedtodothat. GOD

What?

SADIE Takeyournameinvain. GOD StoptellingmewhatIshouldorshouldntdoandjustlisten.Idontthinkeither ofyoueverlisten,nottoMenow,andnottoanyonewhenyouwerealive.Now zipit. Sparksflyaroundthestagegoingeverywhichway.SADIEandIRVINGwatchthe

7 pyrotechnicsinwonderandsometrepidation. IRVING Jeepers,youdonthavetogetsotouchyaboutit. GOD ImsendingyoubacktoEarthforawhile.Onaquest.Asghosts.Youseemto thinkyouhavealltheanswers.YouthinkyouknowwhatittakestobeGod. SADIE Back?Wejustgothere.Itsnicehere.Relaxing.Idontwannagoback. IRVING

Oy,Implotzing.

GOD Wellthatstough.BecauseIwantyoutoseeifyoucandoabetterjobthanI.You seemtothinkyoucan. IRVING No, no, I dont know where you got that impression. I personally was just making suggestions. Throwing out a few ideas. With all due respect, youre overreactingabissel.

GOD Ganug!Your ploppeling chatteriswearingmedown.Youregivingme shpilkes. Now,heresthedeal.Ilikeyouboth.Youvegotchutzpah.Maybeyoucanshape theuniverseandchangeitforthebetter.Ifyoucan,great.Ifyoucant,thetrash talkstops.Nomorelashonharahaboutmeeveragain.Youunderstand? SADIE Yes,butwecanjustaseasilystopnowwithoutgoinganywhere. GOD No,Idontthinkyoucan.Ithinkyouneedtoexperienceitforyourselves.And

8 thisway,ifyouperformanyTikkunOlam,youmaybeabletoskipsomeofthe lifereincarnationsyourescheduledtogothrough. IRVING Oy,Ididntknowaboutthat.TheydidntteachusthatinHebrewSchool. GOD Iknow.Itstooadvanced.ItsintheKabbalah. SADIE WhatwillwerememberaboutthisbackonEarth? GOD

Prettymuchnada.

IRVING Thenhowwillweknowwhattodo? SADIE

Orwhentocomebackhere?

GOD BelieveMe,youllknow. ThelightonGODandthePINKANGELgoesoutandSADIEandIRVINGareleftina dulldiffusedlight. IRVING TrustMe;believeMe.ThatsallAdonaieversays. SADIE Shutyourbigmouth,Irving.Thatswhatgotusintothissituationinthefirst place. IRVING Me?YouweretheonewhoignoredTheHolyPresencejustnow.

9 They continue squabbling as they return to the anteroom. There they are met by MALACHVARODEandMALACHKOHCHOLEwhohasbluefeatheredwings.The ANGELSstandoneithersideofSADIEandIRVING. MALACHKOCHOLE WereheretoescortyoutotheLaunchingPad. SADIE Launchingpad.Thisdoesnotsoundgood. MALACHVARODE Stopkvetching.Itsperfectlysafe. MALACHKOCHOLE Youllenjoytheride.Ipromiseyou. IRVING (ToSADIE)ThesekindsofpromisesIdontneed. THEYmovearoundthestagetoanewSPOTLIGHT. IRVING Abubble?Weretravelinginabubble? SADIE Andwhatsthatstuffinthere?Itlooksliketheamnioticstuffababylivesin. MALACHVARODE Timetogo. MALACHKOCHOLE Youreonaschedule.Chopchop. IRVING (ToSADIE)NowayamIgettingintothatthing.Itstoosmall.Yougo. SADIE

10 Feh.Toomessy. TheMALACHIMassistthetwointothebubble. SADIE

Wait,wait.Dontshove.

IRVING Howcouldthishappen?Thisisyourfault. SADIE

Myfault.Youhavesomenerve.

They continue squabbling until the MALACHIM pull back the Particle Sling and catapultthetwointospace. SADIE NomoreRandRforus.Nowweregoingtohavetowork. IRVING Damn. SADIE

Shah.Theyreprobablylistening.

CURTAIN