On stage, there's a doctor, silent for the most part, who hangs in the background of every scene reminding people of impending death. For the actor who plays him, it must be a fun if not challenging role - he gets to look grave and silent while listening to grand music, night after night.
Mango in ropy slices on a blue china plate.
What he tells her is a cop-out. "Heaven will reward you," he says. It's a consolation that's easy for him to offer, as he gently insists - at no cost to himself - that she give up what's important to her in this life.
They're all careful in the dim, carpeted room. Their shoes are off. They speak quietly, even about things that devastate them. On a table to the side, there's seltzer and cookies.
She sings her way to an early death.
When she hugs him, he keeps his arms by his sides and turns his face away.
She takes the view that people are motivated either by fear or by love in anything they do. Love and fear are battling all the time in her, and she's exhausted with both.