Play #68: Snow on Snow

The curtains open to reveal a snowbound front yard.  A woman—her name is Violet Bix—is swaddled about by an enormous overcoat and muffler, and is vigorously shovelling away as much of the snow as she can manage.  Her husband—a poet named Adrian Bix—is standing on the front porch watching her.

Adrian: Heavy lifting?

Violet:  Um.

Adrian:  Hard to believe it’s just two gasses mixed together and then frozen.

Violet (shovelling):  Very hard.

Adrian:  Like acres of gelato!

Violet (shovelling):  Hmm.

Adrian:  Listen, you want a cup of tea or something?

Violet (continuing to shovel):  Nowhere to set it down.

Adrian:  Astonishing thing, the snowflake.

Violet (shovelling): Is it?

Adrian:  Yes.  See, it’s basically nothing at all!

Violet (putting down her shovel and fixing him with a high-beam stare):  Nothing?  Well, let me assure you, Adrian, a shovelful of this nothing snow seems to weigh quite a lot!

Adrian:  An illusion!

Violet:  An illusion? [she puts down her shovel] Do you remember that Christmas carol, In the Bleak Midwinter?

Adrian:  Yes, with exquisite words by Christina Rossetti!

Violet:  Yes, and Christina Rossetti says “In the bleak mid-winter / Frosty wind made moan, / Earth stood hard as iron, / Water like a stone….”  Water like a stone, Adrian!

Adrian:  Come on back to the house.  You need to take a break, Violet.

Violet [plunging her shovel into a snowbank].  I think I will.

Adrian (holding the door open for her): I’ll make tea.

Violet (breathlessly, as she passes by on her way to the kitchen):  Water like a stone, Adrian.  Like a stone!

[Note: normally the curtains would close, but the mechanism has frozen]