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Bus Stop

by William Inge

Even though the events of this play are caused by a terrible snow storm, the bus depot is really more of a pressure-cooker for this ensemble of misfits. There's a wonderful innocence about this play. Even though one of the cowboys practically kidnapped the nightclub singer and is trying to force her to marry him, and even though the "doctor" has actually been run out of town for carrying on with young girls, and even though the bus driver and the counter girl go upstairs for a quickie, you still get the sense that all of these characters mean well and are maybe just slightly misunderstood.

My favorite storyline is the love affair between Cherie and Bo. They are so childlike in their emotions and yet it's not the typical innocent girl/experienced guy story.. he's the one who hasn't been with a girl and she's had "many boyfriends." They both struggle with the idea of love. Cherie says early on:
Who'm I to keep insistin' I should fall in love? You hear all about love when yor a kid and jest take it for granted that such a thing really exists. Maybe ya have to find out fer yorself it don't. Maybe everyone's afraid to tell ya.
I think to some extent that's true. We're told through every medium we experience that love IS. It is defined for us. And yet, "love" is unique to each person and therefore to each couple. I don't believe that love is the same for everyone.. it can't be. Sure, some things will be similar, but each person feels emotions differently and when two people are feeling emotions simultaneously there are an infinite number of ways those feelings can combine. The professor has a more negative outlook on the topic:
Maybe we have lost the ability. Maybe Man has passed the stage in his evolution wherein love is possible. Maybe life will continue to become so terrifyingly complex that man's anxiety about his mere survival will render him too miserly to give of himself in any true relation. 
I think often about how back when there were no cars or nice roads, people had very few options about who they might marry. They knew there was someone (hopefully not a relative) in their age range in their village or the next town over and that would be their lover. I cannot fathom that now. How strange it must have been.. to know your whole life who you would end up with. And yet, maybe it was easier that way. There was no endless quest for the perfect love - you made due with what you got and lived your life. Would we be happier if this were still the case? will tell you NO! But who knows?

Tuesday Play-a-day: Loose Ends by Michael Weller

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