Typescript II of CRAPP'S LAST TAPE
[p. 1r] 3.58
 Front centre,
 sitting on a small plain wooden chair before a small plain wooden table, X.
 Little wearish old man
 Front centre, sitting [⁁]
left profile to public, facing front on a small wooden chair before at
a xx small narrow w pooden table, [⁁] the two drawers of which xx the two drawers of which open towards audience facing front X.
 Little wearish old man.
nar black narrow trousers, too short for him.  Rusty black sleeveless waist ocaot, four capacious pockets.  Heavy silver watch and chain.  Grimy white shirt, open at neck. No collar.  Surprising pair of dirty white boots, size ten, very narrow and pointed.
 Pallid face.  Purple nose. 
Plenty of Disordered grey hair.  Unshaven.
 Very near-sighted (but unspectacled) and  hard of hearing. 
Croaking Cracked voice,  characteristic peculiar accent.
the centre of table a tape-recorder. and On its right a number of cardboard boxes containing recorded tapes. [0019|001] [⁁] On its left A thick worn ledger.
 Table and immeditaely adjacent area in strong white light.  Rest of stage in darkness. [cf. Verso ←]
(reading from ledger, his nose down on it).
 Crapp sits a moment motionless, looks at his watch, feels in his waistcoat pockets,
takes out a small bunch takes out an envelope, puts it back, feels, takes out a small bunch of keys, h raises it close to his eyes, chooses a key, gets up and moves to front of table.
 He stoops, unlocks a drawer, peers into it, feels about inside it, closes it, locks it, opens the other, peers into it, feels about inside, takes out a large banana ., He locks draw closes and locks drawer, puts keys back in his pocket.
 He turns, advances to edge of stage, halts, shows the audience the holds out banana for audience to see, peels i t banana banana, droops the skin, bites off the end sucks the end puts the end of the banana in his mouth, staring vacuously before him.
 He turns aside and starts walking to and fro at edge of stage, eating banana and meditating x in light, i.e. not more than 4 paces 4 or five paces in either direction, eating banana and meditation.  He treads on skin, slips, nearly falls, recovers himself, pushes skin with his foot over edge of stage into pit,
 resumes his pacing, finishes banana, retu returns to table, opens wrong takes keys from his pocket, raises them to his eyes, chooses key, un unlocks and opens wrong drawer, peers and feels inside, locks it, unlocks and opens other drawer, takes out a second banana, locks drawer, x puts keys back in his pocket, turns, advances to x edge of stage, peels banana, puts skin in his pocket, puts the end of banana in his mouth, staring vacuously before him.
 He has a sudden idea, drops banana at his feet, turns and goes backstage into dark.
 Ten seconds.
 Loud pop of cork.
 Ten seconds.  He comes back into light, sits down at table. wiping his mouth, sits down at table.
 He wipes his mouth, wipes his hands on his waistcoat, brings them smartly together, rubs them them together.
 Ah!  (He bends over ledger, turns the pages, finds the entry he wants, reads.)
[p. 1r]  Box...thrree... spool...five. ( He turns his head and stares front.
 With relish.)  Spool!  (Pause.)  Spoool! ( Pause.
 He turns back to table, starts peering and poking at the boxes.)  Box...
thrr thrree...thrree...four...two...(with surprise) nine!.. good God! Jesus!...seven...ah!..the little rascal!  (He separates box three from the others.)  Box thrree.  (He opens it, peers at the spools inside.)  Spool...(he peers at ledger, finds the entry) f...five. (He peers at spools.) Five...five... (He takes out a spool, straightens up, holds up spool between finger and thumb.)  Spool five.
 (He lays it on table, closes box three and puts it back with the others. He takes up spool.)  Box thrree, spool five.
 (He puts spool on machine, peers at ledger. Reading entry at foot of page.)  Mother at rest...  The black ball... ( He raises his head.
 Puzzled.)  Black ball? ([0067|001] Pause. )  He peers again at ledger, reads.)  The dark nurse.  (He raises his head, broods, peers again at ledger.)  Improvement of bowel condition...  memorale Memorable...what?  (He peers closer.)  Equinox, memorable equinox. ( He raises his head, stares front.
 Puzzled.)  Memorable equinox? ( Pause.
 He shrugs his shoulders, peers again at ledger.)  Farewell to - (he turns the page s) - love.
 He broods, closes ledger, bends over machine, switches it on and assumes listening posture,
;i.e. ear cupped towards machine, face front. ear pulled with leaning forward, elbows on table, ear pulled with forefinger toward hand cupping ear, face front.
 (strong young voice, rather pompous,
but obviously his A's at a much earlier time.)  Thirty-seven today, and sound -  (Settling himself more comfortably he A knocks a box off the table. He c aurses, switches off machine, sweeps boxes
and ledger violently from table, switches on machine, resumes his pose.) and ledger violently from table, wind xs tape back to beginning, swithc switches on machine, resumes pose.)  Thirty-seven today, and sound apparently in wind and limb,[↑] as a whistle, apart from the old trouble, and intellectually I have little doubt at the peak of my powers, or thereabouts.  Celebrated the awful occasion, as in recent years, quietly at the Winehouse.  No face there I knew.  Sprawled before in front of the fire with closed eyes, separating the grain from the chaff.  Jotted down a few notes, on the back of an old envelope.  Good to be home again, in my old rags.  The new light above my table is a great improvement.  With all this darkness round me I feel less alone.  (Pause.)  In a way.  (Pause.)  I like d to get up and move about in it, then back here to...(hesitates)...me.
 The grain, what do I mean by that, I mean...(Pause.) I suppose I mean those things worth having when all the dust has - when all
this my dust has settled.  I close my eyes and try and to imagine them.
 Extraordinary silence this evening. I strain my ears and do not hea
rr a sound.  Old Miss Beamish Hare always sings at this hour.  Songs of her childgirlhood, she says.  I admire her But not tonight.  I admire her. Wonderful woman.[⁁]  Connaught.  Shall I sing when I am her age, if I ever am?  Unlikely. No. Hardly.[⁁]  Did I sing as a boy?  No.  Did I ever sing .?  No.
 I have just listened to an old year, passages at random.  I did not check in the book, but it must be at least ten or twelve years ago.  At that time
O I was still living on and off with Furry Bianca [⁁] in Trafalgar Street.  Well out of that.  Hopeless business.  Not much reference to her. A queer passage about her eyes.  I suddenly saw them a ggain.  Matchless.  (Pause.)  Ah well.  (Pause.)  These old P.M.s are gruesome, but I - (A switches off, broods, switches on again) - always find them a help before embarking on a new -er - conspectus new...(hesitates)... conspectus.  Hard to believe I was ever that young pup young pup.  The voice is not mine. That voice!  Aspirations. The And the aspirations!  (Brief laugh in which A joins.)  Resolutions. The And the resolutions!  (Brie df laugh in which A joins.)  To drink less, in particular.  (Brief laugh of A alone.)  Statistic es.  Seventeen hundred hours, out of the preceding eight thousand odd, consumed on licensed premises alone.  Over 20%.[⁁]  Plans for a less wearing sexual life.  Last illness of his father.  Flagging pur suit of happiness suit of happiness[p. 3r]suit of happiness.  Unattainable laxation.  Shadow of the magnum opus.  Closing with - (brief laugh) - a yelp to Providence.  (Prolonged laugh in which A joins.)  What remains of all that misery?  A girl in a shabby green coat, on a railway-station platform?
 When I look - ( A switches off machine, broods, looks at watch, gets up and goes backstage into darkness.
 Ten seconds.
 Pop of cork.
 Ten seconds.
 Second cork.
 Ten seconds.
 Third cork.
 Ten seconds. [⁁]
rau burst of raucous song.[⁁]
 He comes back into light front right, sits down, switches on machine, resumes his pose.)  - back on over the year that is gone, with what I hope are [/] perhaps the old eyes to come, there is of course the house on the canal where mother lay a-dying, in the early autumn, after her long viduity (A gives a start), and the - (A switches off machine, gets up, goes backstage into darkness and comes same way with a dictionary (A givesa start), and the -  (A switches off machine, wind backs tape a little winds back tape a little, bends his ear closer to machine)  - a-dying, in the early autumn, after her long viduity, and the -[←]
( A switches off machine, turns face front.
 Viduity? ( Pause.
 He gets up, goes backstage into darkness, comes back with a
large dictionary volume of the Concise Oxford or Johnson's dictionary and quotes example, lays it on the table, sits down, looks up viduity,
 xeadsreads, nods,
 closes dictionary, switches on machine, resumes his pose.)
 - b
aench by the weir from where I dcould see her window.  There I sat, da wishing she were gone.  Quite a number of people I got to know then, oh I mean by appearance, nursemaids, children, iold men, dogs.  One dark young beauty I recall recollect particularly, all white and starch, splendid bosom,[⁁] with a big black hooded pram.  Whenever I looked in her direction she had her eyes on me.  But when I was foolish enough to speak to her she threatened to call a policeman.  The face she had!  Eyes  like...moonstone s.  8 I was there when - (A switches off, broods, switches on again) - the blind went down, one of those dirty brown roller affairs, throwing a ball for a dog as it happened. chance wd. have it.  I happened to happened looked up and there it was.  Over at last.  I sat on for a moment or two few moments with the ball in my hand hand and the dog barking and pawing at me.  (Pause.)  Moments Moments. [0228|001] (Pause.)  Her moments. My moments.  (Pause.) [⁁]  The dog's moments.  (Pause.)[⁁]  In the end I held it out to him and he took it in his mouth, gently gently.  An old tennis ball, black and sodden, but unpunctured.  (Pause.)  I wonder will that mean something some day.
 Bowels better on the whole.
 Intellectually a year of profound gloom and indigence until that memorable night in March, at the end of the pier, in the howling wind, never to be forgotten, when suddenly I saw the whole thing.  The turning-point, at last.  This I imagine is what I ha
cve chiefly to set down this evening, against the day when my work will be done and perhaps no
place left in my memory, and no thankfulness, for the miracle that - -(pause) - fo rr the fire that set it alight.  What I saw then was that the assumption I had been going on all my life, namely -  (A switches off impatiently, winds tapes forward, switches on again)  - granite rocks the foam flying up in the light of the beacon and the anemometer spinning like a propellor, clear to me at last that gthe da erk I have struggled to keep at bay been fighting off all this time is in reality my most -  (A curses, switches off, winds tape s forward, switches on again)  - unshatterable association till my dying day of storm and night with the light of the understanding and -  (A curses louder, switches switches off, winds tape violently forward, switches on again)  - my face in her brea tsts and my hand on her.  We lay there without moving.  But underneath us all moved, and moved us, gently sofly gently, up and down, and from side to side.
 Past midnight.  Never knew such a silence.
 Here I end this -
He A switches off, winds tape back, switches on again.
 - upper lake, with the punt, bathed off the bank, then pushed out into the stream and drifted.  She lay stretc
ghed out on the floorboards with her hands under her head and her eyes closed.  Blazing Sun blazing down, bit of a breeze, and the water nice and lively.  I noticed a scratch on her thigh and asked her how she got it.  Picking gooseberries, she said.  I said again I thought it was hopeless and no good going on, and she agreed, without opening her eyes.  I asked her to look at me and after a few moments - (pause) - after a few moments she did, but the eyes just slits, because of the glare.  I bent over her to get them in the shadow ed and they opened. ( Pause.
 Low.)  Let me in.  (Pause.)  We drifted in among the reeds and stuck.  The way they bent, sighing, before the stem.  I lay down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her.  We lay without moving.  But underneath us all moved, and moved us, [⁁] gently sofly gently, up and down, and from side to side.
 Past midnight.  Never knew -
As A switches off, sits brooding broods,  fumbles in his waistcoat pockets, ta lkes out an o mld envelope, fumbles, puts back the envelope, looks at his watch, gets up and goes front right backstage into darkness.  Ten seconds.  Sound of bottle againt against glass, then brief siphon.  Ten seconds.  Bottle agai against glass alone.  Fifteen seconds.  He comes back front left into light, with an unused tape in his hand, sits down, takes tape off machine, lays it on table, puts the
other tape on machine, takes envelope from his pocket, mlays it
other tape on machine, takes envelope from his pocket, lays it on the table, switches on and begins to record.
 Just been listening to that stupid bastard I was thirty years ago, find it hard to believe I was ever as bad as that.  (Pause)  The eyes she had! ( Broods, realizes he is recording
qsilence, switches off, broods.)  Everythin gg there, everything, on earth all the -  (Realizes this is not being recorded, switches on.)  Everything there, everything on eart on earth, all the light and dark and vice and crystal and sorrrow and rejoicing of - hunger & feasting crapulence of...(hesitates)...the ages!  (Fiercely.)  Yes! [0303|001] The unpardonable ages!  (Pause.)  Let that go!  Jesus!  Take his mind off his homework!  Jesus! ( Pause.
 Weary.)  Ah well, maybe he was right.  (Pause.)  Maybe he was right. ( Broods.
 Switches off.
 Consults envelope.
 Crumples it rand throws it away.
 Switches on.)  Nothing to say, nothing.  What's a year now?  Reverie and galloping constipation irreversible constipation.  Revelled in the word spool.  (Pause.p (With relish.)  Spoool!  High light Happiest moment of the year.  (Pause.) DOODLE 1  Seventeen copies sold, of which eleven in Tanganyika eleven in Tanganyika overseas.  Getting known.  One pound six and something, eight no doubt.  Crawled out once or t twice, before the summer was over.  Sat in the park in the middle of the brats and skivvies, dreaming and wishing I were gone.  Last fancies.  Swore to fight them off. [0342|001] Aspirations. [0342|002] Resolutions.  Burnt Scalded the eyes out of me reading Effie again, a page a day, with tears again.  Effie...  (Pause.)  Could have been happy w oith her, up there on the cold sea, and the pines, and the dunes.  (Pause.)  Fanny came in a couple of times.  BBony old whore.  Couldn't do much, but better than nothing.  The last time wasn't so bad.  WHow do you manage it, she said, at your age?  I told her I'd been saving up for her all my life.  (Pause.)  Went to Vespers ponce, like when I was a child.  And fell off the pew. [⁁] Slept. [⁁]
 Now the day is over
Night is drawing nigh-igh,
Shadows of the evening,
Steal across the sky.
 Went to sleep and fell off the pew.  (Pause.)  Sometimes
a wondered in the night if a last effort mightn't -  (Pause.)  Empty the bottle now and get to your bed.  Finish this puk xe ½ tomorrow.  Or leave it at that.  (Pause.)  Leave it at that.  (Pause.)  Lie propped up on my back in the dark - and wander. [0377|001] (Pause.)  Be again in the dingle on a Christmas Eve, picking gathering holly.  (Pause.)  Be again on Croghan on a Sunday morning, in the snow haze, with the bitch, stop and listen t to the bells.  (Pause.)  And so on.  (Pause.)  Be again.  (Pause.)  All that old misery.  5(Pause.)  Once wasn't enough.  (Pause.)  Lie down across he .r. ( Long pause.
 He suddenly bends to the machine, switches off, wrenches off tape, throws it away, puts on the other, winds it to the passage he wants, switches on, listens staring front.)
 - gooseberries, she said.  I said again I thought it was hopeless and no good going on, and she agreed, without opening her eyes.  I asked her to l
look at me and after a few moments - (pause) - after a few moments she did, but the eyes just slits, because of the glare.  I bent over her ½
to get them in the shadow and they opened. ( Pause.
 Low.)  And lLet me in.  (Pause.)  We drifted in among the reeds and stuck.  The y way they bent, sighing, before the stem.  I lay down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her.  We lay without moving.  But underneath us all moved, and moved us, gently sofly gently, up and down, and from side to side.
 Pause.  A's lips move.  No sound.
 Past midnihgt.  Never knew such silence.
 Here I end this...(hesitates)...
stage spool,  Bbox - (pause) - thrree, spool number - (pause) - five.
 (Pause.)  Perhaps my best years are past gone.  When there was a chance of happiness. [0419|001] (Pause.) Happi - ness Happiness. (Pause.)  But I wouldn't want them back over again.  Not with the fire in me now.  No, I wouldn't want them back. over again.
 A motionless staring before him.  The tape runs on in silence