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OpinionColumnistsMichael Dobie

Waiting for ... Croci

Drama about GOP senator’s absence from Albany — inspired by Beckett.

John Glover, John Goodman, Nathan Lane and Bill

John Glover, John Goodman, Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin in a 2009 production of Samuel Beckett's existential classic "Waiting for Godot" in New York City. The play's two main characters, Estragon and Vladimir, wait for the arrival of someone named Godot who never arrives -- much like Albany's waiting for Sen. Tom Croci. Photo Credit: Ari Mintz

The State Senate chamber in Albany. A row of desks. Morning. Estragon stares at a sheaf of papers.

Enter Vladimir.

ESTRAGON (bleakly): Nothing to be done.

VLADIMIR: I’m coming round to that opinion. All my life, I’ve said to myself, be reasonable, you haven’t yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. But now.

ESTRAGON: Stop blathering and help me.

VLADIMIR: What are you trying to do?

ESTRAGON: Pass a bill. Did that never happen to you?

VLADIMIR: Bills must be passed every day. Or, at least the two weeks a year we actually try to pass bills.

ESTRAGON (feebly): Help me.

VLADIMIR (angrily): No one ever suffers but you? I don’t count.

ESTRAGON: It hurts?

VLADIMIR (angrily): Hurts! He wants to know whether it hurts. Of course, it hurts.

ESTRAGON: Dreadful privation.

VLADIMIR: Smile. (He smiles suddenly, then stops.) Nothing to be done. And yet, people expect.

ESTRAGON: People are bloody ignorant apes.

VLADIMIR (spitting): Pah!

ESTRAGON: Let’s go.

VLADIMIR: We can’t.

ESTRAGON: Why not?

VLADIMIR: We’re waiting for Croci.

ESTRAGON (despairingly): Ah. (Pause.) Are you sure he’s coming?

VLADIMIR: What are you insinuating?

ESTRAGON: He should be here.

VLADIMIR: He didn’t say for sure he’d come.

ESTRAGON: And if he doesn’t?

VLADIMIR: We’ll come back tomorrow.

ESTRAGON: And then the day after tomorrow.

VLADIMIR: Possibly.

ESTRAGON: And so on.

VLADIMIR: The Navy. Tom Croci serves them now.

ESTRAGON (angrily): And now there as many Democrats as us.

VLADIMIR: Nothing to be done.

ESTRAGON: He couldn’t wait? One more month?

VLADIMIR: Nothing you can do about it now.

ESTRAGON (hopefully): We could work with Democrats?

VLADIMIR (spitting): Pah!

ESTRAGON: They might want to talk to us.

VLADIMIR: About what?

ESTRAGON: Bills.

VLADIMIR: And they have none? And what then?

ESTRAGON: We could talk of their bills, too.

VLADIMIR: And let them win? What would people say?

ESTRAGON: People are bloody ignorant apes.

VLADIMIR (spitting): Pah!

ESTRAGON: But still.

VLADIMIR: Nothing to be done.

ESTRAGON (desperately): We must agree on some things.

VLADIMIR: They’re Democrats, we’re Republicans.

ESTRAGON: The governor could help.

VLADIMIR: Why?

ESTRAGON: It’s the right thing to do.

VLADIMIR: This is Albany.

ESTRAGON: What’s wrong with you?

VLADIMIR: It’s not me.

ESTRAGON: Let’s go far away from here.

VLADIMIR: We can’t.

ESTRAGON: Why not?

VLADIMIR: We have to come back tomorrow.

ESTRAGON: What for?

VLADIMIR: To wait for Croci.

ESTRAGON: Will he come?

VLADIMIR: It’s not certain.

ESTRAGON: No, nothing is certain.

VLADIMIR: We’ll go home tomorrow. Unless Croci comes.

ESTRAGON: And if he comes?

VLADIMIR: We’ll be saved.

ESTRAGON: True.

Evening now. Estragon stands. Shuffles the papers on his desk. Makes a neat pile. Looks up.

VLADIMIR: Well? Shall we go?

ESTRAGON: Yes, let’s go.

They do not move.

Michael Dobie is a member of Newsday’s editorial board.

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