Food and Conversation

The sidewalk is crowded with restaurant tables. On a sunny day, the tables are filled with smiling faces, enjoying the great food and wine. It is a sunny day. People pass by, then they stop. They can’t resist the smell of the good food wafting out of the restaurants. They take their seats. A waiter comes out with a menu and his suggestions. My wife takes the waiter’s suggestion. I order a glass of wine, rolls and a salad. “Make sure you sprinkle it with cheese,” I urge. He gives me a smile and an “of course”. Then we put away our phones and go for some genuine conversation. Something we don’t often do. The sidewalk tables seem to demand it. To text here with this food and the lovely people would be blasphemy.

Hamlet: To Soliloquy or Not To Soliloquy

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go. (Hamlet. Act 3. Scene 3.)

Act 1. Scene 2. A soliloquy is like an aria in opera. Or that solo in a musical such as Julie Andrews doing “The Sound of Music” on top of that mountain.

It’s when an actor lets loose and shows his stuff. It doesn’t happen in drama that much these days. Modern dramatists prefer the strong, silent type. You know, the James Dean type of acting.

A soliloquy is like a gift under the Christmas tree for an actor. Christmas is the play.

It’s like the comedian doing stand-up. The actor is out there on a tightrope and there’s no net. It is an aside. That moment in a play when the actor takes the audience into his confidence and says, “You have to hear this.”

It’s that jazzman’s solo. He takes off in the middle of a piece and scats for twenty minutes, then returns to the conversation he has been carrying on with his fellow mates.

We’ve all heard soliloquies in everyday life. A co-worker tells a joke. A teacher gives a lecture. A mother shares a recipe with her daughter. A friend tells you a secret.

While we’re on to soliloquies, we can suggest that perhaps Shakespeare’s Sonnets were one hundred fifty-three soliloquies. After all, each of the sonnets makes a very fine monologue.

So there you are. Enough of my soliloquying. Now back to the show.