Enron by Lucy Prebble

Scene 6: Time Is Money

A memory.
Skilling You can do this. Seven …
Skilling's Daughter appears somewhere high up, not close to him.
Skilling (amused) God, I can't believe your mother let you watch that.
Skilling OK, once more, but you count with me this time.
He gets a stack of one-dollar bills out of his pocket and begins counting them out ostentatiously, as a familiar game.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven … come on! / Seven …
Skilling Good girl. Eleven, twelve … How long you think before I've counted out a million dollars?
She doesn't know, she fidgets.
Skilling One dollar bill a second. No stopping, how long before I counted out a million dollars? One, two – how long before a million? Dollar every second – guess.
She makes a noise, enjoying the attention of her dad but not comprehending.
It would take Daddy, at one dollar a second, eleven days to count out a million dollars. Eleven days! No sleeping.
Skilling What d'you mean, again? OK, one, two, three, four … how long would it take for Daddy to count out a billion dollars?
Skilling Yeah, there's such a thing, a billion dollars! One, two three, four – I'm gonna do it now –
Skilling OK. I'll work it out instead.
He calculates in his head.
Counting a billion dollars would take me … thirty-two years?!
He scowls, checks.
Yeah, around thirty-two years.
His Daughter fades into the dark.
The counting continues into:
Physical sequence. The company at work. The Traders dance. As they do they create a round table. Skilling holds meetings around it. People come and go. Meetings end and begin. The table is removed. Fast, ordered, fluidity. Numbers fly through the air. The stock price throbs, but never alters much, gradually edging up in comforting, rhythmic pulses. Lay plays golf somewhere in bright sunlight. Time passes. Days and nights. Gradually a slowing. Computer lights over faces. A calm.
Eventually, Claudia Roe makes her way through the building to Skilling's office.
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