ACT 2 - SCENE 4
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THE ORBIT OF SATURN (Saturn is absorbed in thought as she slowly moves through the steps of a sad ballet, she is unaware of Luna's presence.)

Saturn and her children.

LUNA
Excuse me.

(Saturn allows her gaze to fall on Luna.)

Excuse me for disturbing you. I know you must be very busy.

SATURN
No. not really. Most of my time is spent this way... a slow dance. (pause, she takes a few more steps) Do I know you? Have we met before?

LUNA
No... I have known of you for quite some time, but we have never met. Let me introduce myself. My name is Luna. I am...

SATURN
...Yes, Mother Earth's assistant. I have never met her either, but I have heard quite a bit about her from Halley, my husb...I have heard things. How is she?

LUNA
She was not feeling well last time we talked.

SATURN
Those mortal beings... children will wear one out. I should know.

LUNA
Let us just say she has a cold.

SATURN
A cold... You are her assistant should you not be at her side granting relief? After all, you are to be married to her son Terrance. You are almost family.

LUNA
Married?! Family! Not quite.

SATURN
Yes, I understand. Forgive me. You are not from around here; from the outside. Please, make yourself at home.

LUNA
Thank you. And you... how is your family.

SATURN
Very good and growing all the time. My oldest child, Titan, is thinking about going into biology and Iapetus is doing better. I think she takes after her father, getting into trouble all the time. Recently she came home with a black eye, but she will not tell how she got it. And oh, have you heard, my little Dione has gone into show business.

I am so proud. The rest of my children are doing fine too! And Halley, my husband, he... is not here... or I would introduce you.

LUNA
Now it is my turn to understand.

SATURN
Ah, so you have heard. Well, it is not a secret. At least not in this small town. He is home so seldom. It is very difficult to raise a proper family with the father absent most of the time. (pause) I always had certain lofty ideals of the perfect mate. It looks like I have chosen badly.

LUNA
You may choose again if you wish.

SATURN
Please.... stop trying to indulge me ... it is hopeless!

LUNA
I am only trying to help! There is no need to get upset.

SATURN
Oh, forgive me. I think of leaving him so often, but who would have me. All these children... and my figure is not what it used to be...a bit round toward the middle now.

LUNA
You look marvelous. You are blond and beautiful. I bet you would drive them wild.

SATURN
But, Halley...

LUNA
How long has it been since the last time he was here?

SATURN
Quite a while. It seems like forever.

LUNA
So...

SATURN
But what about these rings. A nice fellow seeing these would naturally be warned off. I have had them for so long I could not simply take them off. They are a part of me.

LUNA
Before I moved here from the orphanage and took my job with Earth I had a friend that was in a position like you. Her husband had not been home since their honeymoon.

SATURN
That is bad. What did she do?

LUNA
Once, before we went out to a party, she turned her ring around so that it was not so noticeable. She called it her " wading " ring because she did not want to get in too deep.

SATURN
(laughing, observing her outstretched hand) My " wading " ring! You are so bad! I love it.

Well then I will. (she holds up her hand and adjusts her ring) I am ready now! Let us try out those dark waters...

(she hesitates)

Oh no, on second thought I cannot... Really, thank you, but this makes me nervous. It was fun thinking about it, but I am not like your friend. I have so many responsibilities... the children... my husband... I will stay here. Going in at all, even wading, is going in too deep for me. You go.

LUNA
Hmm... Maybe you could start safe and spend some time with a guy-friend! Someone you know well.

SATURN
Like who? What friends? How can you be friends with someone who wants only one thing!?

LUNA
It was just a suggestion.

SATURN
Maybe I should be like you and fall in love with a mortal man.

LUNA
Have you been talking to Pallas too?! Never mind. Mortal men... I would advise against it. They are too much trouble.

SATURN
What do you see in them? You must see something?

LUNA
Hmm... I guess mortal men are not so bad. They are very different from those of the nobel Planet Realm; kind of exotic. Just between us girls I can tell you that they have certain, "qualities" that the Planets do not come close to. If you... know what I mean.

SATURN
I have heard... oh, my... But there is more to being in love than... that... doing it! If I were to take a chance and be with a mortal man I would look for something very special in him.

LUNA
Like what?

SATURN
(Music Sample)

I want a man who is handy,
Who will fix broken things 'round the house,

(She places her hand on her heart.)
A man who is true and no dandy,
A man I can love with no doubt.

He'd be tall and protect me from shadows,
And gentle with my youngest child,
He would listen to my conversation,
And at night I would melt by his smile.

I want a man who is dashing,
He could turn every head in the room,
A man who has style and loves dancing,
A man who will come for me soon.

He'd be strong and protect me from shadows,
And make love that would last for... a while,
He would understand my hesitation,
And at night I would melt by his smile.

But the one who I want most of all,
Is so close I could call out his name,
I have hurt him I know in my heart,
But he loves me so much just the same,
Just the same,

LUNA
Call his name.

SATURN
Jupiter, oh Jupiter.

LUNA
There is talk that you and he were quite close when you were younger.

SATURN
Yes. That is true. Jupiter and I had lived next door to each other since we were young. I always thought that he and I would be... married. But then... I married Halley and became Mrs. Comet and that was that. Mrs. Saturn Comet.

LUNA
Uh huh...

SATURN
It was all very innocent! This is a small town. I thought Halley was quite a dashing adventurer and in his own way I suppose he was. He would tell the most amazing stories of the far-off places he had visited. And ...he really loved me. He said so enough times. And he brought me presents.

LUNA
So, a couple of good stories, a few "I love you's", some expensive gifts, and you are falling into his arms. Had you not heard of his failed marriage to Mother Earth?

SATURN
That is not how it was. He told me all about Earth and how unforgiving she could be. When he came to see me after Earth threw him out, I felt sorry for him. I thought he needed help; needed me. Not like Jupiter... So independent... Halley was every bit as gentle and proper as I expected from him. He did what he was told. Back then we were not as loose as you all are now!

LUNA
Hmm...

SATURN
I know what you are thinking too! Jupiter, right? I waited a very long time for him to propose marriage, but I knew I was ready to start a family. Why should I have waited for Jupiter? I had a nice suitor who actually wanted to get married and have children! Halley was attractive and dashing and nice and, above all, ready. Give me one good reason why I should have waited an instant longer for Jupiter!

LUNA
One?... Because you were in love with Jupiter not Halley.

SATURN
You would have to say that.

LUNA
Well, are you still?

SATURN
I ... yes, yes I am!

LUNA
If it is any consolation, I think Halley was a good choice if you had to marry someone you did not love. He is never home!

SATURN
Now wait. There is a big difference between loving another and being "in love". I grew to love Halley... after a fashion... and I think you may notice that he helped me make many babies. I did not mind that part... much. Besides, how could I have know that he would be away so often?

LUNA
You knew that his job was that of a planet to planet sales rep. That would put him on the Milky Highway all the time. He would always be gone.

SATURN
Maybe in the back of my mind I did know that. Not much of a dashing adventurer at all. Average... a regular job; planet to planet sales rep. Not much glory there.

LUNA
He did tell you all those stories about his travels. So many stories that you would wonder if he ever stayed any place for long. Which he never did.

SATURN
You are wise beyond your years... you may even be right.

LUNA
Well... what about Jupiter? You could give him another chance.

SATURN
I know, but why should I get up my hopes. Why has he not said anything himself? We get together sometimes. We talk.

LUNA
What? I thought...

SATURN
What did you think? I would bet he put you up to this. The coward. No, I did not mean that. I keep hoping that someday he will be strong and ask for what he wants... Me!

LUNA
I think Jupiter has always been strong, but you may not have noticed. He took it very hard when the Planet Council did not re-elected him. It made things worse when you married Halley because he thought that you thought he was a failure for loosing the election and that was the reason you married Halley. He so wanted to impress you.

SATURN
Impress me? I... me? I would never, ever have married Halley, but Jupiter would not ask! I thought he did not find me... well... not glamerous enough... not right to fit into his agenda. Important meetings, fund-raisers, extravagant dinner parties...

He had such big plans for a future in politics. I thought that after Sun was elected and Jupiter was finally free of his responsibilities to the other Planets we would have more time together, but instead Jupiter was bitter and kept to himself. What was I to do? (pause)

I am surprised that Jupiter still considers me at all after I went and married that Halley. So much time wasted... he and I should have talked about this long ago... but I was afraid.

LUNA
There is no need to be afraid anymore. Jupiter has always loved you and his love continues to grow strong. As soon as this news is relayed there will be a most grand wedding.

SATURN
At last, I am so happy!

LUNA
And the bride blushes... I am off. See you soon!
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