This is a room in a tenement building in a black ghetto in New York City. There is a kitchen with a stove and a large refrigerator. A door to the outer hallway and another presumably to a bedroom. The hallway door is fitted with a bizarre collection of locks and bars. There is a cheap formica table in the room and two chrome and plastic chairs. There is a drawer in the table. On the table is a bible and a newspaper. A pair of glasses. A pad and pencil. A large black man is sitting in one chair (stage right) and in the other a middle-aged white man dressed in running pants and athletic shoes. He wears a T-shirt and the jacket--which matches the pants--hangs on the chair behind him. Black: So what am I supposed to do with you, Professor? White: Why are you supposed to do anything? Black: I done told you. This aint none of my doin. I left out of here this mornin to go to work you wasnt no part of my plans at all. But here you is. White: It doesnt mean anything. Everything that happens doesnt mean something else. Black: Mm hm. It dont. White: No. It doesnt. Black: What's it mean then? White: It doesnt mean anything. You run into people and maybe some of them are in trouble or whatever but it doesnt mean that you're responsible for them. Black: Mm hm. White: Anyway, people who are always looking out for perfect strangers are very often people who wont look out for the ones they're supposed to look out for. In my opinion. If you're just doing what you're supposed to then you dont get to be a hero. Black: And that would be me. White: I dont know. Would it? Black: Well, I can see how they might be some truth in that. But in this particular case I might say I sure didnt know what sort of person I was supposed to be on the lookout for or what I was supposed to do when I found him. In this particular case they wasnt but one thing to go by. White: And that was? Black: That was that there he is standin there. And I can look at him and I can say: Well, he dont look like my brother. But there he is. Maybe I better look again. White: And that's what you did. Black: Well, you was kindly hard to ignore. I got to say that your approach was pretty direct. White: I didnt approach you. I didnt even see you. Black: Mm hm. White: I should go. I'm beginning to get on your nerves. Black: No you aint. Dont pay no attention to me. You seem like a sweet man, Professor. I reckon what I dont understand is how come you to get yourself in such a fix. White: Yeah. Black: Are you okay? Did you sleep last night? White: No. Black: When did you decide that today was the day? Was they somethin special about it? White: No. Well. Today is my birthday. But I certainly dont regard that as special. Black: Well happy birthday, Professor. White: Thank you. Black: So you seen your birthday was comin up and that seemed like the right day. White: Who knows? Maybe birthdays are dangerous. Like Christmas. Ornaments hanging from the trees, wreaths from the doors, and bodies from the steampipes all over America. Black: Mm. Dont say much for Christmas, does it? White: Christmas is not what it used to be. Black: I believe that to be a true statement. I surely do. White: I've got to go. He gets up and takes his jacket off the back of the chair and lifts it over his shoulders and then puts his arms in the sleeves rather than putting his arms in first one at a time. Black: You always put your coat on like that? White: What's wrong with the way I put my coat on? Black: I didnt say they was nothin wrong with it. I just wondered if that was your regular method. White: I dont have a regular method. I just put it on. Black: Mm hm. White: It's what, effeminate?McCarthy, Cormac is the author of 'Sunset Limited', published 2006 under ISBN 9780307278364 and ISBN 0307278360.