Channel One

a: I’ve watched myself die seventy-two times. It comes on at 5:46 every evening – just before the news.

b: How do you know it’s you?

a: I know.

b: What is it that you see?

a: A bus, a bomb.

b: A bus?

a: My bus. The 188 from North Greenwhich.

b: I don’t understand, how can you have watched yourself die?

a: Nor did I, until I saw it, before the news.

b: It comes on every night?

a: Every night.

b: You watch it every night?

Pause

a: Aren’t you supposed to ask me how I feel about it?

b: (beat) How do you – What’s it like to watch yourself die?

a: Familiar.

b: In what sense?

a: Like re-living a memory.

b: Maybe that’s all it is.

Beat

A past memory, a nightmare.

a: My dreams have never aired before.

b: No.

Pause

Can anyone else see it?

a: No. You’ve never seen your death?

b: No.

a: I didn’t think it was normal.

b: What do you think it means?

a: I hoped you may know.

b: It’s not something I… I’ve no precedent.

a: Well you know what they say.

b: What?

a: The lord works in mysterious ways.

b: I’ve never heard of him working on day-time TV.

a: No.

Do you think I should see a priest?

b: If you feel that would help.

a: I’ve never been a religious man.

b: It’s not necessarily something I can give advice on.

a: I suppose not.

Pause

b: But if you think you know how you’re going to die can’t you just, well, avoid it?

a: Cheat death?

b: I suppose, yes.

a: No one cheats death.

b: But it’s given you an opportunity. No?

a: I take the 188 every day.

b: You’re still taking the bus.

a: It’s my bus I-

b: But…

a: Familiarity: it will happen.

b: Familiarity: it has happened.

 

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