I have been thinking about this exchange in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot a lot lately.
ESTRAGON: Let’s go.
VLADIMIR: We can’t.
ESTRAGON: Why not?
VLADIMIR: We are waiting for Godot.
This exchange recurs throughout the play. No progress is made. Nothing is changed. Both acts end on the same verbal promise for action that is never carried out:
VLADIMIR: Well? Shall we go?
ESTRAGON: Yes, let’s go.
They do not move.
It depressed the hack out of me when the lights dimmed on the two figures in the center of the stage: the same way they started; the same way they ended Act II. Immobile. Engulfed by the darkness, the unknown, eternity. The image and the thought haunts me.
They do not move.
A lot have been written, theorizing the allegorical meaning of Beckett’s tragicomedy. The meaning of Godot.
To me, I’ve always thought that Beckett made a mistake; he should have turned the label the other way around – a comictragedy. This is a tragedy about Didi and Gogo who are the prisoners of their own misplaced hope. This whole waiting thing causes the inaction. It would have been better if they have come to the conclusion that no one is coming. Things are not going to be better. Nothing is going to change their situations for them. But themselves.
I didn’t even realize I have been waiting. Waiting for something, for what I have no idea yet.
What are you waiting for? If you knew what you are waiting for, perchance an event, a sign, the other shoe, will it make everything more tolerable?
I compartmentalize. By spouting random nonsense here I am able to continue to not think. To forestall the unraveling. To keep it together. To carry on with no resolution in sight. To wait. Not remembering that I have been waiting.
For what I know not yet.
We are waiting for Godot.