int - dusk -

Long rays of sun pour from the back of the bisected stage, filtering through the windows and silhouetting the furnishings and decor of each character’s apartment.

On the left we have Zach: soft wood, a smoky mauve in the soft light. Errant fibers haloing a smart wool blanket. A ghostly piano plays along the spines of half-illuminated books.

On the right, Margot. Window panes tinged slightly pink. The sun, trapped in a thick orange vase. Tousled white comforter. Dark wood. The red eyes of incense, winking brightly from inky corners.

Lamps click on, suddenly and simultaneously, in both apartments, revealing ZACH and MARGOT themselves. ZACH’s lamp - a small, warm red desk variety - reveals him (tall, willowy, precise, scholarly) sitting at a small table with RACHEL, each of them halfway through a plate of spaghetti. MARGOT’s lamp - one of those large, red, flying saucer things from the seventies - pours a puddle of light onto a round pedestal table, set for dinner. MARGOT herself is walking into the light, carrying a casserole dish. Also emerging from the shadows are MIRIAM and REBECCA, who add wine glasses to the tableau of plates and gleaming silverware.

MARGOT and company arrange themselves around the table, the only sound the soft tapping of serving utensils on ceramic dishes. ZACH and RACHEL continue eating, lost in thought. MARGOT and RACHEL consider the bites they’re about to take.

That went much better than expected.

ZACH straightens up and frowns slightly, thinking.

I suppose it did. It was pretty simple, actually.

MARGOT’s eyes flash. She glances up at MIRIAM.

It’s all a balancing act. You ask the ingredients where they want to go, give em a little push, and then get out of their way.

ZACH gives RACHEL a bemused, quizzical look.

Like guiding it through a flavor labyrinth.

MARGOT and ZACH smile.

Like guiding it through a flavor labyrinth.

The beginning