Play #65: Janus, the Two-faced Boy

The play is set in a seedy bar. There is sawdust on the floor and the smell of stale beer in the air.  The place is known as Hickey’s Bar, and does indeed exude a rather Eugene O’Neill-like atmosphere of sustained sorrow and infinite patience.  The time is 11:30pm on New Year’s Eve.

Bartender (wiping the bar):  Well it’s about time for him to make is appearance.

Guy at Bar:  Who?

Bartender (resignedly): Janus.

Guy at Bar:  Local guy?

Bartender (acerbically):  No, not really.  He gets around.  He’s everywhere at once—like Santa Claus.

Guy:  He come in often?

Bartender:  No, only once a year, actually.  On New Year’s Eve.

Guy (mildly surprised):  Really.  [he takes a swig of his beer]  That’s odd.

Bartender:  It’s often enough if you ask me.

Guy:  You don’t like the guy? 

Bartender:  Well, he’s a funny-looking bloke.

Guy: Yeh? How?

Bartender (quietly):  Two faces.

Guy (puzzled):  Whatdyamean?

Bartender (irritated): Two faces.  One at the front and one at the back.

Guy (half-interested):  Kind of creepy.

Bartender:  Yeh.

Guy:  Why the two faces?

Bartender: He says it’s so he can look both ways.  Back to the past and forward to the future.

Guy (considering this): All at the same time.

Bartender: Yeh. 

Guy: And he only shows on New Year’s Eve?

Bartender:  Yeh.  I’m expecting him any minute.

Guy: Point him out to me when he comes in.

Bartender (ruefully amused):  Oh you’ll spot him easily enough!