Waiting for d’Arnaud is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Darren and Randy, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named d’Arnaud.
As they wait on the Shea Bridge, Randy expresses his frustration with Lucas Duda’s limited defensive skills: “Come on, Duda, return the ball, can’t you, once in a while?” Randy struggles with this throughout the play, and Darren generally takes the lead in dialogue and encounters with others. Randy is at times hostile towards his companion, but in general they are close, frequently embracing and supporting one another.
Randy peers out into the audience and comments on the bleakness of his surroundings. He wants to depart but is told that they cannot because they must wait for d’Arnaud. The pair cannot agree, however, on whether or not they are in the right place or that this is the arranged day for the call-up of d’Arnaud, they are not even sure what day it is.
Throughout the play, experienced time is attenuated, fractured or eerily non-existent, much like the crowd itself. The only thing that they are fairly sure about is that they are to meet at an apple: there is one nearby.
When Randy declares that he is hungry, Darren provides a hot dog, most of which, and without much relish, the former eats. The diversion ends as Randy announces that they still have nothing to root for.
Randy notices Darren’s t-shirt, and tries it on. This leads to a frenetic t-shirt-swapping scene. They play at imitating Reyes and Dickey, but Randy can barely remember having met them. They resolve to hang themselves the next day, if d’Arnaud fails to arrive.
Again, they agree to leave the game but neither of them makes any move to go.
Scholars interpret d’Arnaud as a mythical figure. A savior of sorts who will bring the downtrodden a championship. Past d’Arnaud’s have included Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Ike Davis. If only the Mets fan can wait, the d’Arnaud will arrive and things will get better.
The archetypes of Randy, the jokester, and Darren, the passionate yet calculating fan, are meant to represent the audience. We too are Waiting for d’Arnaud, and although d’Arnaud never arrives, we cannot bring ourselves to leave the stadium. It is the existential existence of the Mets fan, where the only constant is Jeff Wilpon.
Some believe d’Arnaud will make an appearance on April 1st. Others believe it will be several weeks later. The d’Arnaud is often delayed, sometimes wisely to delay the onset of free agency.
Will this d’Arnaud be the d’Arnaud, or is he another in a false line of d’Arnaud’s that stretches back to Greg Jefferies? That is left unclear to the audience, as spring turns to summer, and the All Star swoon awaits.
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