An Interview with Peter Pan

Posted on April 26, 2011

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He was a lovely boy, clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees but the most entrancing thing about him was that he had all his first teeth. When he saw she was a grown-up, he gnashed the little pearls at her.

– J.M. Barrie –

Peter had seen many tragedies, but he had forgotten them all.

– J.M. Barrie –

F: Peter Pan!

P: [bowing] Yes, I am Peter Pan. And who are you?

F: I’m Farrell.

P: Are you a grown up?

F: Don’t you have some inner sensitivity that immediately tells you if someone is a grown up or not?

P: You are rather big.

F: Big?! [readjusting herself on the chair]

P: But you don’t talk like a grown up.

F: [smiling]

F: So let’s get started. You’re so young.  I mean, that’s a stupid thing to say. But how old are you? I mean, how old were you when you ran away?

P: I don’t know.  I am quite young.  And I ran away the day I was born.

F: You’re a very little boy.

P: I’m not THAT little.

F: Right. But I did have a few friends who wanted me to ask you if you were single.  Which is clearly inappropriate.

P:  I know what single means [shifting in the seat]. But you should tell me anyways.

F: Oh. Why don’t I ask you another way. Do you have a girlfriend?

P: You mean like a mother? I don’t need a silly mother.

F: What about Wendy?

P: What’s a Wendy?

F: [sigh] Right. So you don’t have a mother. But you did once, right?

P: Well I ran away when I knew I had one. It was because I heard father and mother talking about what I was to be when I became a man. I don’t want EVER to be a man.

F: Peter, would you mind sitting back down-

P: [yelling] I want always to be a little boy and to have fun! [various animal noises]

[A brief pause as a broken ceiling light is swept up]

F: Ok, thanks for settling down.

P: As soon as you leave, you know, the mothers shut their windows on you.

F: Are you sure that’s exactly what happened? I have a feeling your mother missed you very much.

P: Oh well.

F:  Ok, well, I do have a few more questions for you. I’m not sure if you know this, but you’re famous.

P: Yes I am famous! Guess what I did right before I flew over?

F: What did you do?

P: I killed five pirates. Fair and square.

F: When you say killed, Peter, you do mean pretend killed- right?

P: Pretend? No, it was an awfully bloody fight, I cut off one pirate’s leg first and then killed them each, one by one.

F: Killed them dead?

P: Dead! [flying up to the ceiling, crowing] Peter Pan killed the pirates!

F:  Peter. Would you come down?

P: Only because I want to! [comes back down]

F: Ok. I wanted to ask you another question about being famous.   Did you know that my generation is named after you?

P: Of course I knew! [pause] What are they named?

F: The Peter Pan Generation.  Because we all have Peter Pan Syndrome.

P: I am my very own shinbone!

F: It’s Peter Pan Syndrome.  And we’ve tried to follow you as closely as we could, Peter.

P: I AM MY VERY OWN SHINBONE!

F: [coughs] Peter Pan Syndrome is when you have a lot of responsibilities and yet you really want to be young and never grow up.

P: I won’t ever grow up! Imagine if I was to wake up and feel there was a beard. [spits]

F:  We’ve tried not to, Peter. We really have.  But we need help. Because now we have graduated college, and we have to pay back our loans, and we really don’t want to live with our parents, which costs even more money-

P: You are a grown-up!

F: No! [panicky] It’s just difficult to do all those things when you have Peter Pan Syndrome. I mean, if you had to live in this world, instead of Neverland, how would you avoid growing up?

P:  I just want always to be a little boy and to have fun.

F: Well yes, me too. I’m telling you there are a whole group of people who don’t want to be grownups.  We have Peter Pan syndrome! It’s just that-

P: You don’t have to try when you really aren’t growing up.

F: [silence]

P: All the shinbones are grown-ups. That’s rubbish.  You aren’t allowed to use my name anymore.

F: [silence]

P: Girl, why are you crying?

F: Oh, aren’t you clever.

P: Oh, yes, I am dreadfully clever, aren’t I! [yelps] Hey, who’s that?

F: That’s my sister. She wanted to be here so she could-

P: [Standing up] Hello. What’s your name?

R: Rose.

P: [bowing] I am Peter Pan!

R: Yes, I know.

P: Rose, do you know any stories?

R: I know tons of stories. I could tell them to you if you wanted.  If I remember correctly, you love stories.

P: Everyone loves stories!  Do you know why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories!

R: I like that.

P: Rose, do you know the story about the princess and the glass slipper? The lost boys and I have been really excited to hear the ending.

F: [muttering] You have heard the ending.

R: Of course.  You’re talking about Cinderella.

P: You should come to Neverland with me. And you can tell stories and feed us medicine and be our mother!

F:  Hey, I thought you hated mothers!

P: There are a lot of little lost boys back in Neverland.   None of us has ever been tucked in at night.  And none of us have any pockets.

R: Awwwww! Farrell, the dear sweet children!

P: If you come with me you could be the mother of all of Neverland!  I would still get to be the captain, though.

F: Rose, you get out of here right this instant. [muttering]  I should’ve known.

R: Okay… but Farrell, think of the children!

P:  I’ll teach you how to jump on the wind’s back, and then away we’ll go!

R: To be able to fly!

P: And I could introduce you to my friends, the mermaids.

R: MERMAIDS!

P: Yes. You could swim with them all day in the lagoon.

R: Farrell, I could swim with them all day in the lagoon!

F: Um, if I remember correctly, they would murder her. Or is that the movie?

P: They don’t mean any harm by it.

F: She would die.

P: [gravely] To die would be an awfully big adventure.

F: You know Peter, I’ve always wanted to hear you say that, but in the context of my SISTER’S DEATH it’s not quite as appealing.

R: Farrelllllll.

F: No, don’t even think about it.

P: Grown-up!

F: Am not!

P: Am too!

R: Peter. [puts her hand on his arm] Please be nice to my sister. It hurts her feelings when you call her a grown-up.

P: [Suddenly a gentleman] Lady-

R: [Whispers] Her name is Farrell.

P: Farrell, [whispered to Rose] please keep reminding me of your name, too, [to Farrell] I formally apologize for hurting your feelings. [bows grandly]

F: Thanks. [sniff]

R: Ok. Listen, Peter. Why don’t I go tell you a wonderful story I know. It’s about a girl who grew up reading about a famous hero named Peter Pan.

P: That’s me!

R: Oh, yes. And so she spent her whole life trying to be just like you, and she loved adventures.

P: Of course she did! [crowing]

R: But then one day she realized that she was a completely different character in the story.

F: Rose, I-

P: Was she HOOK?

R: No, she wasn’t Hook.

P: Was she Tink?

R: No, she was much kinder than Tink. [swats at her head] Ow!

P: Then who was she?

R: She did love adventures.  But she was such a good sister.   And she wanted to sew pockets and read stories to all the lost boys.  And then one day… she fell in love.

P: Love?

F: Peter can never really understand love, Rose.  J.M. Barrie himself tried to show us that to be forever a child is to be forever heartless.

P: Finish the story, mother?

R:  She finally realized that she wanted to have all of her adventures with the people she loved, and remember them. [Takes Peters arm and leads him into the other room] And so the day came that she realized she was really much more like  Wendy.

F: That’s a stupid story, Rose.

[silence]

F: Rose? Where did you go? Rose!

“Of course in the end Wendy let them fly away together. Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window, watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars.

As you look at Wendy, you may see her hair becoming white, and her figure little again, for all this happened long ago. Jane is now a common grown-up, with a daughter called Margaret; and every spring cleaning time, except when he forgets, Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland, where she tells him stories about himself, to which he listens eagerly. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter’s mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless. THE END”

– J.M. Barrie –

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