I think I am going to faint.
TMA 3 results back in for my Masters.
83% a high merit and incredible feedback.
TMA 1 62% (Script genre)
TMA 2 82% (Fiction genre)
TMA 3 83% ( Script genre)
Here is the 700 -ish word commentary submitted for my TMA 3 and the feedback.
I believed I couldn’t do this MA. I believed I was shit at writing but maybe…… with practice I can be a better writer and achieve great things.al.
Using my words to change society -however insignificantly, is a goal of mine.
COMMENTARY TM3 Approaching script writing the Aristotelian way.
My challenge was to write a whole play in 18 minutes. I believe that there is too much exposition and would suit as a longer script. When I cut, or slowed certain dialogue-it’s original appeal became lost to a different type of play. The characters lost what made them unique. This is where I rely loosely on morality play techniques. This story could have started in many ways. I felt it best to reveal the turning point and the how and why’s at the end of the play. It is linear and has a beginning, middle and end reminiscent of Greek Tragedy plays.
I often use a stream of consciousness technique to get into a writing zone. For scene 1, I started typing on a blank page and let characters come to my head and speak whatever they wanted. This was how the first scene was produced. I was tempted to discard it until I received positive and constructive feedback on the TGF forum.
A possible subconscious influence for early drafts came from reading the chapter on David Edgars’ how to write a play, (chapter 2 page 17). In TMA 2, I focused on creating characters to reveal the plot and as exposition. Upon reflection, after reading the on-going debate about the primacy of plot versus characters, I think to an extent this true of, e.g., medieval genre morality plays.
Difficulties arose to make the characters more 3-dimensional when using archetypical/universal characters. I relied heavily on a strong plot to drive the narrative and the characters through to the conclusion of the script. TMA3- plot informed the characters and their motives.
Other influences came from conversations with my blogger acquaintance, Clarissa Simmens( Simmens C. 2017) who is from Roma gypsy descendant, and my own great -grandparent’s lineage who fled the Russian 1918 revolution to live a life in the slums of Paris. The setting and background gave the characters more complex motives and inner conflict. Panacea is an old woman who was left with her second sight and not accepted by society or her Nephew.
In this world, it seems society is lured by visual aids. Vladimir was more ready to accept Eve’s gift of soothing people’s problems because of how she appeared outwardly. Vladimir is complex, he was left with third-degree burns from the 1903 revolution, lost his parents, went to live with his “strange” grandmother.
Hopefully, a writer will get a true sense of Vladimir’s character by the end of the play. He did what he had to do to survive. He is human. Flawed. He didn’t stop and analyse whether he should save baby Eve in the Revolution; instinct took over. My inspiration for how he and Eve arrived in Paris (maintaining a high-status life during and after WW1) is taken from George Orwell’s book ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ set in 1925. There is a reference to espionage and a secret Russian society, whom paid people to convert to communism after the war (Gutenberg.net.au. (2017).
The music in the piece serves as a device to vary the pace of the play. I hope that the melancholy moments of when Eve/ Panacea plays will give the audience a time to pause, or at the very least, vary or change the pace of emotion.
Genre: this play is not one type of play. I describe it as an experimental, immersive drama with elements of morality play themes because the characters do indeed impart the audience with a strong message.
Humans are complex. There is a clear theme of choices and consequences.
I don’t want to ignore any doubts about this piece: H.R. made constructive comments on the language and the exposition of the piece (refer to XX FEEDBACK (2017)). I hope that the timelessness of dialogue and language could very well take place in Paris, or indeed a modern society setting of today. My choice of setting reinforces to emphasise that these stereotypical characters still function inside time. Does Eve deserve her fate? Probably not.
Time has moved on, wars still occur yet society still seems to dwell on escapism i.e. Piano music metaphor to deal with life, dwelling on people who seem to have the illusion of the perfect life/ status. Society still struggles with acceptance of identity, race, ethnicity, mental health status etc. We’ve made advancements in technology/society but what about advancements in what type of human we should strive to be?
MY TUTORS FEEDBACK –I have kept her name anonymous for obvious reasons.
PT3Thank you for handing in TMA03.
This TMA accounts for 35% per cent of your continuous assessment mark for the module.
There are three parts to TMA 03:
a creative writing element;
extracts of peer review contributions.
Write a stage script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a radio script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a film script ?18 minutes running time.
Please state clearly on the first page which medium (stage, radio or film) you are writing for.
Your script can be either a stand-alone work, complete in itself, or it can be part of a longer play or film. If the latter, it should be structurally resolved (e.g. it might be a complete act from a larger piece; it should not finish mid-action or mid-scene). If providing a section, provide a summary of the larger project ? no more than 200 words ? situating the submitted section in relation to the larger work and offering some context. This summary will not be assessed in itself, and it won’t feature in the word or page counts.
Your script should not be an adaptation of work by another author or an adaptation of a piece of your own work which has been submitted for an earlier TMA.
This part constitutes 15% of this TMA?s grade.
Write a commentary (700 words) about the process of creating your work, the context in which it was developed, and your relevant further reading.
WHERE YOUR TMA SUCCEEDED
A Fair Wish World is powerful piece about loss, vision (actual sight and second sight), mental health and how war and conflict shapes or rather twists people. It’s full of big ideas and you work within a very imaginative immersive theatre setting. Also you have two people, one of whom has apparently saved the other, when it turns out that Vladimir is more reliant on Eve. History is full of unusually talented women who have surrendered their power to a man (Doris Day’s third husband was abusive and stole her money, Billie Holliday was permanently attracted to abusers). There’s a link here to the depressing litany of young women and their exploitative lovers, so this theme has a timeless resonance (although Vladimir isn’t a villain).
There is an interesting piece I’ve linked below here about Peter Brook (he’s 91!!) and his latest production – how stripped back and bare it is and how for example a single piece of cloth can represent several things, eg a piece of cloth is twisted into a snake at one point. This is, in my opinion, a true sense of live theatre, where the audience invests their imagination as opposed to being passive observers – as we are a bit with television. (Also it keeps costs down!) So your idea of the immersive, promenade production is a good idea as well as showing that you are using the medium of theatre as fully as you can.
All the characters resonate, but none more so than Panacea (I’ve got this image of Coco Chanel in my head) and Vladimir, the Russian aristocrat. Panacea because of her contrasting powers and down to earthiness but Vladimir because it was only a few years since the entire Russian imperial family, the Romanovs with their five children were murdered at Ekaterinburg in 1918. The British royal family offered mealy mouthed excuses for not offering them shelter but the real reason was they were afraid of a similar revolution in England, as I’m sure you know. I read the play a couple of times before I read the commentary, so I wasn’t pre informed. I really like the way that Eve can ‘see’ certain things and how when her sight returns, it becomes a curse. You may to have to indicate this quite strongly to the audience but it’s a bold and exciting idea.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NEXT DRAFT
I have a few suggestions for the next draft (and I really hope you continue with this play). Firstly it would be to add some more movement to scene one it as it’s currently a little static. I’m wondering if Eve could get up from the piano and be doing something – getting dressed perhaps in her evening finery? Panacea could offer to help her lace her boots or maybe at some point she could loosen Eve’s corset so she can breathe or brush her hair? You could even have Eve trying to find things which have been placed among the audience – depending on whether you want the audience involved or not.
(I recently went to a promenade production of ‘Jane Eyre’ in a stately home. At one point, the actress playing Jane had placed the sketches she was going to show to Rochester on a piano and an audience member was leaning on the piano without realising. There was an awkward un-Bronte moment as Jane tried to yank the sketches from under the audience member’s elbow!)
Because Panacea comes across as a slightly mystical character who just shows up, I wonder if she could be slightly earthier, in contrast to Eve’s more romantic language. She does have some lovely moments such as her laughter over how useless mirrors are to her, but as much of the play is between her and Eve, and she is a magical creature, perhaps making her the more down to earth seeming would contrast more brightly with her supernatural gifts. See my L4 comment.
In the final scene there is quite a bit of explanation and it feels just a bit squashed. With maybe ten or fifteen minutes more you could find a way to blend in the back story a little more but I understand the difficulty of covering an entire play in eighteen minutes.
Overall, I think you’ve written a big, brave play, which tackles big subjects. It has flaws and needs some development but it’s part of your development as a writer that you take some risks, and personally, I don’t think you can really tell whether a play has legs until you’ve heard it spoken out loud by other people. But I’ve read it out loud and it packs a punch.
You’ve probably already heard of the London Playwrights Blog but if not, they publish opportunities every week. There’s no substitute for
In your commentary you discuss the process of writing the play, in comprehensive detail including the difficulties, and with references to course materials and a commendably large amount of outside reading.
As this is an MA, a high level of both analysis and presentation is required, and your presentation is fine here. It can be helpful when you are sick of the sight of your script/story to give it to a trusted friend or at least leave it a while to give yourself some space.
You don’t have to agree with course or outside materials, either, just show that you have reflected on the ideas within and show how they might have affected your own creative choices. It’s also helpful to explain briefly what you intend to reflect on – such as characterisation, structure and dialogue (maybe picking one area you feel confident in and another where you may feel less confident). Your tone is good, in that you are aware of your own style and what you are trying to achieve without adopting the I-have-achieved-a masterwork-and-now-I-will-reflect-on-aspects-of-its-awesomeness. Instead your tone is curious and questing and always willing to learn.
Thank you for the peer group references. You have always been very active on the forums. Also your references are very good.
I’ve given you a high merit for both the script, and the commentary, an overall high merit pass of 82% As mentioned, scene one is a little static, and the final scene has a slightly ‘expositiony’ feel, but these are very fixable. What I would suggest now for the script is to read out loud and perhaps workshop it as the most difficult bit is letting it out of your head and into the mouths and bodies of actors. You’ve done really well Tasha and taken risks with your writing. Well done.
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.
I can’t believe it’s Easter already. This will be the first Easter where me and my family don’t go and see my Gran in her care home. I’ve mixed feelings about this.
I don’t get to see my gran – 😦
I don’t have to go into a care home this year 🙂
credit to all the care workers out there who deserve a hike up on their wage. We should invest gratitude and time and resources to the people who look after the vulnerable people in society – in my opinion- of course.
We are all going to my Ma’s house on Sunday (family tradition). Gran will be in our thoughts.
How do other people celebrate Easter?
❤ Daisy xoxo
I always used to think I was a bit loopy because I created characters in my head and-and acted them out. My family teased me and people must have thought I had multiple personality disorder (it was the 80s/90’s). My daughter does the exact same thing and I now realise that my mind creates stories and the best way to reveal those stories is by writing them down.
Here is the second draft for my TMA 3. I’ve finished the entire second draft this morning. YAY!
I’ve taken inspiration from the morality plays that were popular in medieval times. I hope that my tutor will see the relevance this play has in the message it sends out despite setting it nearly 90 years ago.
I think that all three characters have a bit of me inside them. I’m working on making the characters more well rounded. The next two scenes I’ve written shows a different side to the characters.
The play is set in the mid-1920’s -after the World War one and the Russian revolutions.
I want to thank Clarissa @ POETURJA for helping me develop an intriguing plot with her grimoire and insight into her ancestry of being a descendant of the misunderstood Roma Gypsies.
There is still a lot to polish and make it submission and MA worthy
Let me know what you think.
CAST LIST: (so far)
VLADIMIR- always wears gloves
THE CROWD- actors and the audience
LOCATION: Paris, 1925
SUGGESTED STAGE DIRECTIONS (my undeveloped vision) bare stage – (audience act as the crowd for further scenes) are seated in a circle. All action takes place in the centre of the audience. Characters sit amongst the audience or come from behind to enter the performing stage. All props are simulated by actor’s mannerisms and minimal props. A box can be at table, piano, bench. To evoke sensory surroundings multimedia like audio-piano music/ screens/ lightening etc. used to set the scene example to create the illusion of shadows, or people, to set the mood of the scene.
EVE is already playing as the audience find a seat.
NOTE TO SELF: BE VISUAL include all people who will be in the each scene setting. Hot seat 20 question for characters
EVE sits playing the saddest most melancholic piece of music at an old piano, in the jardinière outside. She sits in the centre of the room.THE CROWD sit and stand around her forming a circle. EVE plays on as the audience find a place to sit. EVE is absorbed in playing her music. After some time EVE stops playing. Bangs on the keys of the piano and begins to cry. EVE cries and cries and cries. Nobody comes to her. EVE stops crying.
EVE: Who’s there? I know someone there is there. Show yourself.
(EVE seems to gaze through the audience. A spotlight comes up and sweeps across the audience illuminating them. The room goes dark. EVE begins to play again –a wild angry, jazzy piece of music.EVE plays until she falls off her chair. From out of the audience PANACEA, plainly dressed in dark colours approaches EVE. PANACEA attempts to help her up)
EVE: Who are you?
PANACEA: Hush, I am but an old dear who admires your music.
EVE: How did you get in here? This is private land. If you are Vladimir’s friend…
PANACEA: Who? I was merely directed to your playing.
EVE: I tell you what I told him. No. I won’t do it.
PANACEA; Do what, dear?
EVE: You don’t know?
PANACEA: No. I found the gates open and was guided by your playing.
PANACEA: You seem almost… disappointed.
EVE: I made the right choice. It doesn’t matter.
PANACEA: A problem halved and all that.
EVE: Yet I feel so guilty
PANACEA: You seem /quite
EVE: I don’t even know who you are. I can’t even….
PANACEA: As you can see I’m rather old, nothing special – just a mere human – an old lady –nondescript
EVE: You blend in with the crowd.
PANACEA: Almost like I don’t exist.
EVE: But people can see you and you –you can see them?
PANACEA: Yes. I do and I suppose seeing they do. It is not the same as looking
EVE: All I want is to be see the people Vladimir says we help.
PANACEA: You have such a gift. The world must hear this and your face is –
EVE: He did send you! Times have changed. These new admirer’s talk so strange. So many people are poor. I wonder how we can maintain our standard of living just because I have a gift. How can they just ignore and approve?
PANACEA: Approve? I don’t see many who wouldn’t. We do have mirrors nowadays.
PANACEA: They don’t do me any good.
EVE: they aren’t much good to me either.
PANACEA: Who is Vladimir?
EVE: Someone. Someone who wants the best for me.
PANACEA: You have had a disagreement?
EVE: I can’t shift this feeling -Something doesn’t add up. How can one girl ease the suffering of a nation- a world trying to make sense of all the lives lost? All those men dead.
PANACEA: Is he ONE of those sorts of men?
EVE: What? A soldier, oh no.
PANACEA: The Don Juan types.
EVE: Don Juan? I can’t even visualise what that looks like
PANACEA: You know- charming, good looking. A bit of a lothario. Gets the blood rushing to the ears.
EVE: Oh no, nothing like that. (blushes) He’s more of a guardian- a brother of sorts.
PANACEA: Well, has he hurt you, dear? Roughed you up?
EVE: No, nothing like that. He cares for me. I owe him all this. I should be begging in the streets for my bread like the rest of them.
EVE: Hello? Are you still here?
PANACEA: Yes dear. I will sit next to you then perhaps you can see better.
EVE: That is part of the problem.
PANACEA: Well, turn your face to me. I’m not exactly beautiful as yourself. I get that reaction all the time.
EVE: I can’t see you.
PANACEA: You are…
EVE: Yes. I am –that is why I’m so flaming mad. How can he expect me to be on show? (takes on mock man’s voice) Entertainment is what the new World needs. The old world’s need. We are doing A service to our people, he says. I feel privileged -far too privileged.
PANACEA: I wish I could feel the world the way you do. It’s unique.
EVE: That’s the problem. Everyone always goes on about how unique I am. How lacking in sight makes me special. Everyone wants to take my picture with me or listen to my music, but then, soon, people seem to grow weary and they just disappear, and I’m left alone in the darkness again.
PANACEA: Some people only come out when it’s dark, child.
EVE: How would I know? My darkness is my light and I have nothing to compare it to.
PANACEA: I blend in with the world. Just another face in the crowd
EVE: You sound saddened by it?
PANACEA: No, it’s just normal.
EVE: That’s what I want. Normal. I feel everything.
PANACEA: To see is not-to-not feel.
EVE: Yes, but there are these things – filters. If I could see maybe, my other senses would be diluted. Not so overpowering. Not so smothering, I feel unbalanced.
PANACEA: Yes, a woman at odds with her world. I’ve seen years of the world. Felt it too. I often wonder what it would be like if I lacked in sight and well……
EVE: It’s frustrating. I feel the need to increase all my other senses to make up for what I lack. If I could only see with these eyes, what other people see-
PANACEA: What will you do about Vladimir?
EVE: I trust him but he doesn’t understand. He believes if I could see this world that my beauty would be lost. That me not seeing what I look like and the world looks like is what makes me- this “unique” word. I hate it.
PANACEA: So, he saved you….
EVE: from a life living on the streets, from the orphanage. With his business acumen, we are still able to afford all after all the devastation.
PANACEA: Doesn’t sound like such a bad fella.
EVE: He’s not. He just doesn’t understand how much I long to see Miss, Mrs?
PANACEA: Call me Panacea.
EVE: …Like the word? How droll.
PANACEA: Yes, I was born with a gift to help those at odds with themselves.
EVE: You can give me the sight I crave?
PANACEA: It’s not a simple process. It requires/
EVE: I don’t care. Name it. I have money. Anything. What is your price?
PANACEA: Money is useless. The elixir needed to seal this contract is what is known as trading your essence.
EVE: Essence? my soul?
PANACEA: Not quite. I’m not the devil. Think of essence as an ingredient. If you barter, your unique essence say- to me. What makes you taste different from the other cookies of the world is your flavour- your essence. You want vanilla. You inherit my essence, I yours
EVE: I wouldn’t even know where to find my essence. What would I gain?
PANACEA: you could gain your sight.
EVE: And you would want to lose yours! why?
PANACEA: I’m an old dear. I’ve seen enough of the world. You, however, have so much living to do. You have these unique gifts yet you are not happy with them because you can’t see them like the others.
EVE: You make me sound ungrateful.
PANACEA: Now that is what you said. Not I.
EVE: Forgive me. DO you have all your senses?
PANACEA: (laughs)I can hear you. Your music. I see your apparent beauty. I feel your soft skin, smooth – no wrinkles. Untouched by sunshine. (breaths in to smell EVE)
EVE: Why are you smelling me?
PANACEA: I long to use my other senses more…I’m not going to eat you, this is not a fairy-tale
EVE: I’m sorry. I feel so stupid.
PANACEA: Never mind, it shows you have a highly active imagination. Much sought after in the world where vision is so vital to be a part of this world.
EVE: How could you possibly have had enough seeing?
PANACEA: Maybe it is because I met you. You captivate me.
EVE: I wish I could see what you mean.
PANACEA: Maybe your male friend is right. It would ruin you to see the world. (begins to get up)
EVE: Where are you going?
PANACEA: Leaving you to work things out. All feelings pass (small pause) eventually.
EVE: No, that is an untruth. Mine grow. Intensify. Mine never leave. They haunt me day and night. Please don’t leave me alone.
PANACEA: (sits back down) Will you play again and let me consider your eyes.
EVE: I can’t see you, though.
PANACEA: (frustrated)I know a way to access your essence.
EVE: Panacea you can give me sight?
PANACEA: If you want it as much as you claim, then perhaps it may work in your favour.
PANACEA: You question far too much and believe in far too little.
EVE: Okay, I will play. What do you/ want?
PANACEA: Play me a song that reveals everything about you to me
(EVE begins to play, looks at PANACEA. PANACEA touches EVES face, her lips and leans into EVE as if to kiss her. EVE stops playing.?
EVE: What are you doing? You ‘re not one of those Lesbians are you/?
PANACEA: Does it matter? (laughs) More a Thespian.
EVE: what does kissing me must do with giving me my sight? I may be blind but don’t mistake that for being a fool.
PANACEA: Me? Mistake you for a fool. (long pause)
EVE: I apologise. I /just want….
PANACEA: Have faith that what we do on this day will give you what you say you desire.
EVE: I’m scared.
PANACEA: Scared didn’t win the war.
EVE: I never thought of it like that. Could we try again?
PANACEA: One more chance. In hindsight, I may change my mind and decide to keep my sight at this rate.
EVE: No! I mean, it’s yours of course, but I really want to see.
PANACEA: Let me taste your tears. (leans in to lick EVES tears) Such melancholy. Such innocence…. Play on, child. I must know your name.
EVE: I can tell you. My name/is…
PANACEA: (shouts) Don’t speak it. I will find your name. That is how I will find your essence. Now play.
(EVE begins to play, looks in the eyes of PANACEA. While EVE plays, PANACEA licks the tears from her face and begins to suck on the air of EVES parted lips. EVE falls to the floor. PANACEA looks down at her, PANACEA sits at the piano, begins to play a neurotic piece of music. PANACEA finishes the piece, gets up, nudges EVE with her foot.)
PANACEA: I dedicate this piece to you. The essence of Eve – foolish. foolish Eve. (gets up leaves pushing past the crowd)
(Outside in the garden, EVE sits at the piano playing – she keeps making mistakes. Stops and starts. VLADIMIR paces up and down wears gloves)
VLADIMIR: No. That is not it? Where is the haunting draw, the sweet enchanting forest where we forget all pain? Start again.
EVE: (hesitates) Can you just listen, please.
VLADIMIR: I am. This is not good enough. (realizes) How many times, Cherie? You are already behind and the show starts in less than a fortnight.
(EVE begins to play. EVE stops and puts her hands to her forehead. VLADIMIR stops pacing and rushes to EVE)
VLADIMIR: I know I push you. You know I want the best for you. You have another headache?
VLADIMIR: (takes a bottle from his jacket) Here take one as precited. This is all nerves. The mind plays horrible tricks on someone who is utterly gifted.
EVE: But don’t you find it most peculiar? What an unusual woman. It felt so real. Are you sure you didn’t see/her?
VLADIMER: Mon Cherie, no more with this talk of absurdness’ have a duty to provide for our community. (motions to ENTOURAGE to make EVE presentable) ah, here come the publicity people. (to EVE) Not now, Cherie. Performance face – smile –a little more- higher. Manifique (ENTOURAGE fix makeup and hair, take pictures. Flashes of light and voices commanding EVE what to do. EVE poses then frowns)
PHTOPGRAPHER: Turn left. No left. Chin up – Aliyah fix her make up. Liberty her hair is not staying static. Eve, place your hands just so. More delicately. Girl, move her into position.
EVE frowns, VLADIMIR with a wave of his hands clears away the entourage. Everything is quiet again.)
VLADIMER: Cherie, what do you want me to tell you? An untruth. I saw you were fatigued, I found you at the foot of your piano. I picked you up and called on Doctor soigneur immediately.
EVE: Please, Vlad. I haven’t stopped having nightmares. I don’t feel myself. The boy…He is Everywhere.
VLADIMIR: And that is precisely why you were to take the prescribed pills for your disorder. We’ve all been through a lot (more patient) I can’t collude with these fantasies.
EVE: I feel lost. No – I misplaced. Since Panacea, all I see is this boy. I feel more sickness in my heart/than ever.
VLADIMER: Ha! What a perfect name for someone to help you regain your sight. (laughs) I love your imagination. You cannot grasp how important this next performance is. People ae coming seeking for jubilee, peace, coming from afar, the Americas, England. Important writers, artistes. Don’t you see?
EVE: No, Vlad, I don’t.
VLADIMIR: Come repose with me on our favourite bench in the jardinière. We can play our favourite game. (helps EVE up and walks to the bench in the garden both sit down)
EVE: I don’t want to guess what the colours look like. Everything has become so triste. I know you want the best for me.for our community I – can we stop for today/ I..
VLADIMER: (Sits EVE down on the bench/VLADIMIRE sits down and admires the Garden) Feel the wind. Smell the fleurs. This always lifts your spirits.
(EVE puts her hands to her cover her face and screams out)
EVE: Don’t touch me! (lights flicker in multi colours- EVE stands up and stumbles backwards. VLADIMIR rushes to catch her) Eve, what is it? Control your senses.
(Sounds of houses exploding. Windows shatter, Gun shots. Screams of men, children and women.EVE points to a war zone. EVE starts to run towards the noise of screams)
EVE: The war. It’s started again. Run. Vlad.
VLADIMIR: looks around to where EVE is running. Looks confused)
VLADIMIR: Cherie, calm yourself. There is nothing there. Let’s get you back to your room.
EVE: It’s happening. I have sight. Can’t you see? Hear? What is wrong with you? They are shooting innocent people (A woman’s voices cries out as she is being raped. EVE runs to towards the attack, VLADIMIR stops her. There is a struggle, the cry of people burning alive and dying. Silence and then a BOY starts to howl in pain. EVE cries) That boy, he’s in pain. He’s oh – Mon Dieu -is ablaze
VLADIMIR: Enough! (picks up EVE and attempts to take EVE back inside)
EVE: There is a boy. He’s on fire. You can’t leave a child. (to DISFIGURED BOY) What is your name child?
VLADIMIR: (firmly)There is nothing there.
EVE: Look! That poor boy. (to BOY) It’s okay, we’re getting help.
VLADIMIR: (looks back and puts EVE down on the piano chair.) Take these. Now. You need to stop this. You want people to talk. Say how you are a crazy fool.
EVE: Talk? About what? People dying. Innocent people. We are at war, again. Why did you not summon the staff to help? We were the closest to -that boy.
VLADIMIR: There is no one there. (shouts). Nothing. No boy on fire. No war, you are hallucinating. Shut up!
EVE: That boy. (looks up and past VLADIMIR’S shoulder. Frightened she points) There he is, right behind you. His face. (walks towards the DISFIGURED BOY) How can you be alive, child?
VLADIMIR: Enough! I’m trying to look after you.
EVE|: (EVE touches VLADIMIR’S face) You know I wouldn’t ever lie to you. The boy is a mess. Disfigured for life. Who will look after him if we don’t? (to the DISFIGURED BOY,in darkness) Don’t be afraid- We can help you.
VLADIMIR: (slaps EVE across the face) How dare you! You vexed wrench
EVE: I’m not crazy. I’ telling you the truth.
VLADIMIR: Who have you been talking to? Tell me now.
EVE: Nobody, Panacea. She gave me. I can see…
VLADIMIR: She must be some spy. I get it now. Oh Merde, alors!
EVE: A spy? Why would you have spies? That is irrational.
VLADIMIR: What witchcraft is this? (Grabs EVE’s arms) close your eyes, wretched girl. You ungrateful wretched girl. Everything I’ve done. For you.
EVE: Why can’t you see him. He’s right behind you.
VLADIMIR: I forbid you to speak. Spies trying to plot my demise. You see nothing – only what you have ever felt. You see the real me. (places EVES hands on his face)
SCENE THREE Pain
(It is the day of the concerto. EVE is led by VLADIMIR to her piano in the centre of the courtyard. It is a bright day. EVE sits down to play. EVE starts and stops. Composes herself. A collective intake of breath from a crowd. Silence. EVE looks around and then begins to play a song so painful tears stream down her face. There is the wail of cries from THE CROWD. They are being drawn into EVE’S song. The song takes on a hauntingly melancholic tone. MAN cries out from the darkness of the crowd)
MAN: I thought you were here to light our sorrows not waddle in them
(THE CROWD murmurs in agreement. EVE continues to play. The melody grows more and more melancholic. Then furious and choppy)
MAN: (to VLADIMIR) What’s wrong with the ole girl, Scar? I want my heart to forgot about all my woes, little dove. Play something else. Play something else.
CROWD: (whispers and chants over and over) play something else.
(EVE carries on Tears streaming down her face. VLADIMIR comes into the arena and whispers in EVES ear. EVE changes the tune to a more upbeat piece –one with more cheer and spirit. The crowd cheers- shadows draw closer to her like a moth to a flame. EVE bangs hard on the piano. EVE stands up. She looks to the crowd – the audience and points out at the AMERICAN MAN)
EVE: How can you delude yourself – when last night your honest and loyal wife questioned you about your whereabouts/ You beat her. That is why she has pain around her eye. (All lights focus on AMERICAN MAN and his WIFE. WIFE takes a hand to her battered eye to hide it.)
MAN: What would you know about my whereabouts when you can’t even see?
EVE: Your wife knows the truth, you should leave her to get on without you.
MAN: You leave my business to me and you concentrate on yourself on entertaining us. Don’t need some woman thinking.
EVE: (to WIFE) You know he’s with another. Day and night. He beats you because he knows she will never leave her husband. You don’t have to live like this. You don’t have to live with this abuse.
MAN: (shoves WIFE behind him) how dare you speak such lies. You are a witch. A temptress. An evil mark shows itself on you. You may be fair but those exotic features.
EVE: No. the evil mark likes on you.
MAN: You are supposed to be blind. What a charade – looks at this trickster (to THE CROWD) How would she know I am in the crowd if she has no sight?
EVE: I’ve been cursed with sight.
THE CROWD: (CHANTS) Gypsy! Gyspy! Gypsy
EVE: I’m not a Gypsy! France is my home. You flock to me to forget about your vices, your impulses, your humdrum existence. I am not your remedy. I play from my heart. My heart sees what it sees.
VLADIMIR: Eve! Enough, Sit down and play for your welcoming audience. (softer) Now.
EVE: In my heart, I see your old man and you (she points to EUROPEAN LADY in the crowd)
You! that sparkly watch that doesn’t fit your wrist is from a day haggling at the market. Ripping off fancy men. After this show, you will sell all you have – including your flesh to escape from the world you despise.
LADY: Trollope- we’ve heard the rumours Gypsy girl .
VLADIMIR: My esteemed friends. – this is but part o the show. An experimental piece, if you like. Our eve here is tired. the gifted do sometimes have a bit of those head malaises, non?
EVE: You all pour your sorrows into me-I can only play what I see and feel and this is what you will hear tonight.
VLADIMIR: sit down (THE CROWD jeer at EVE. VLADIMIR forces EVE down into her seat.) Play. Do your job.
(EVE sits still, the light is dim, so dim and when she begins to play again she pounds at the keys with anger, cholere. EVE cackles sneers – kicks at the piano in rage)
EVE: Damn you – all of you! I’m not your plaster. I’m not your cure. I am a young woman who absorbs all your pain. I want to be free. free. Go all of you.
VLADIMIR: apologies friends. You heard of her fall. The accident? she has been unwell. (EVE doesn’t look at him or the crowd – she walks out of the circle of the crowd and into the dark. A moan comes out that doesn’t sound human. An animal sound of a cow being slaughtered. EVE stands and looks past VLADIMIR’S shoulder)
EVE: Panacea! You. What did you do to me?
VLADIMIR: (carries on trying to calm the crowd) Please, apologies. She is ill. She – I will make sure you all are reimbursed for this terrible, I mean uneventful experimental performance.
EVE: Don’t just stand there. You lied to me. You lied. What is this curse you give me? Why?
(PANACEA comes out from the shadows and walks through the crowd and past VLADIMIR and EVE and sits down at the piano and begins to play that frenetic piece of music – ‘Eve’s Essence’. VLADIMIR freezes and goespale. The CROWD quieten.)
EVE: My song. (runs towards PANACEA) Give me back my essence-evil woman.
VLADIMIR: (catches hold of EVE by the arm) How can you know this song?
EVE: Now? Now you can hear what I hear. Why not what I see, your stupid fool of a man. Look! I implore thee.
VLADIMIR: (To EVE) Enough with these games. What is it you want from? Tell me. Who corrupted you?
EVE: That is my song. My essence. She is playing my song.
VLADIMIR: Your song. Ha! Who told you? Don’t make me strike out at you again.
EVE: You know this song? I’ve tried to remember since Panacea stole it from me. Sight she promised. A gift. A trade off. I’ve been bamboozled.
VLADIMIR: Don’t make me turn around and march over to that damn piano and chop it up then burn it. I gave you everything. After everything I did for you – for us. This. (THE CROWD is silent. Shadows of THE CROWD draw to PANACEA playing ‘Eve’s essence’.
EVE: I’m not doing anything. Please, Vlad. I would never hurt you.
VLADIMIR: Who found you at the orphanage? Took you in? promised to nurture you? Who promised to take care of my blued eyed Fair haired gypsy girl? you betray me- like this.
EVE: Gypsy girl?
VLADIMER: I can never forgive you. This is not the girl I knew. You are ruined.
EVE: Vlad, (looks over at PANACEA, eyes widen) Why is that boy there? ( to DISFIGURED BOY) come here. Stay away from her. (to VLADIMIR) Why is that boy close to her. He is beckoning you….
VLADIMIR: (begins to cry) You can’t do this to me.
EVE: Do what? See with your own eyes. Don’t do this to me! Make me out to be a mad vexed woman.
(PANACEA stops playing, abruptly.)
PANACEA: Don’t be afraid boy. (VLADIMIR jumps in fright) You can’t escape who you are. Don’t worry I can assure you I can’t see. Not even your bloodied parents anymore.
EVE What are you? What is she talking about?
PANACEA: You were all I had… you deserted me. And I’m evil? I didn’t choose this gifted curse. I was born with it – Just like Eve except she saw nothing
VLADIMIR: No, you are not real. I don’t believe it. (to EVE) Stop torturing me. You are playing with me.
PANACEA: Boy. I don’t blame you for leaving the revolution but to leave a lady to those priggish animals and steal my money.
VLADIMIR: Shut up You evil wrench. I left you for dead. It’s impossible. That was my family’s inheritance.
EVE: Impossible? what’s impossible? How do you know this creature? Answer me. Who is she?
VLADIMIR: No woman in your condition could have survived – in those conditions. I refuse to /believe this.
EVE: You know her. (PANACEA laughs)
VLADIMIR: These are… Eve, these are extraordinary circumstances I find myself in. Stop laughing your old cow. Stop it. (PANACEA begins to play ‘Eve’s essence’)
EVE: These are certainly not circumstances I foresaw. If you know something about this then spit it out or damn you both to hell.
VLADIMIR: (quietly)We never spoke of –well, I demanded that when I took you as my own we would never talk about how I found myself in that orphanage.
EVE: You are an honourable man. Are you not?
VLADIMIR: You were born in Romaine. The orphanage- was both of our home’s. Few places like that are kind and they were, especially during those times. Our country was in flames. Blood everywhere. Corpses. Vile acts. There you were- abandoned.
VLADIMIR: We survived. You were a baby. I didn’t know you were impaired. I knew what our people would do to a fair-haired Roma like yourself. We escapNo-one-one would suspect us, they said. They promised freedom, n new life. All I must do was help smuggle in weapons. You were the only one who wasn’t frightened of me. You only saw the good in me. Your lack of sight was my rebirth- our rebirth
EVE: Lies. Obsession with fame and my looks and glory and… I thought I was helping people.
VLADIMIR: You are. You were… The world with eyes is a hell of its own, I tell you. Your greatest gift was to give your heart to those who so desperately needed to forget – what they see- have seen.
PANACEA: Boy. How long are you going to drag this out? Get on with it. We shall make a man out of you yet.
EVE: (to PANACEA) Who are you?
VLADIMIR: (softly)My grand mere – she was – is (turns around see’s PANACEA is horrified) is… but how?
PANACEA: No, boy. I’m not a ghost, not a witch just cursed with unusual gift of seeing the past of every filthy boar piggish human. Yes, what are the odds? I should never have been discovered but life has its twists… and magic of sorts.
VLADIMIR: I didn’t mean to leave you.
PANACEA: I have been waiting for the right moment. Biding my time. Waiting to sense what kind of man you become- and Eve was truly a find.
EVE: you can’t see, Grandmere. Only the.
PANCEA: Past- I struck a deal with mad Bolshevik. I got more than I bargained for. The senile old man missed his wife –wanted to live in the past and I would settle for the future – we merely wanted it so much –we got what we wished for.
EVE: What have you inflicted me with?
PANACEA: How he adores you, loves you. You see Eve. Vladimir for all his grandiose gestures is superficial. Not the benevolent man he pretends to be.
VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere stop. I’m sorry. I was a child…
PANACEA: (ignores VLADIMIR) The only reason people accept him is because of you. Or what you had. Beauty, innocence, the gift to soothe all pain from others with your playing.
EVE: No, he has been there for me.
PANCEA: If you had eyes like I now do or indeed like the rest of this crowd you would see he is a monster. A disfigurement. You were his key to this fickle world accepting him.
EVE: What is she talking about?
VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere I was haunted by your recantations of my dead family. You terrified me. I still don’t understand this curse.
PANACEA: Maybe you understand it a little better now – it is your curse too. Life is all about lessons and there is as lesson to be learned here. Something about appearances etcetera etcetera… but what do I know? (starts to play – THE CROWD are lured by PANACEA’S playing, under a spell)
VLADIMIR: You must restore her. Grand’Mere –she is innocent. Please.
PANACEA: We all are at some point.
EVE: I wanted it so much. I wanted to see. How wrong was I?
VLADIMIR: give it back. Give Eve what is rightly hers. It’s me you seek to punish
PANACEA: (stops playing) Stop trying to fight it. You know what you really want to do.
VLADIMIR: She is an innocent
PANACEA: Used by the likes of you, boy.
VLADIMIR: I can take care of you. I have money, estate everything. Let me make it up to you.
PANACEA: Doesn’t work like that. I’m not some conjurer. I was merely born into this world with my fate and somehow that fate changed. I haven’t the answers.
EVE: But I don’t want this sight. I don’t want it.
PANACEA: Those touched can’t ever be untouched again.
VLADIMIR: But you. You see.
PANACEA: Keep up. I saw the future. Now I see nothing. Just like Eve. I feel and I play and I have what I want.
EVE: But if you can see the future, how is it I can see the past?
PANACEA: Obviously, I should have taken you for a fool. I think you are missing the point. I don’t decide how the universe decides. I saw an opportunity and I took it. I’m merely human after all. (starts playing again)
(EVE and VLADIMIR look at each other)
VLADIMIR: I’m sorry Eve. I was…
EVE: I can’t bear to live like this.
VLADIMIR: Yes. Life is…. You didn’t have to see that.
EVE: We can’t undo this? (unwillingly moves towards PANACEA.)
VLADIMIR: I’m sorry, mon Cherie but I can’t stop myself much longer. I must forget. I must forget if only for a while.
(VLADIMIR walks up to PANACEA and strokes her hair, kisses her, then listens to her play.
EVE: You can’t leave me. I can’t do this. Panacea please! (starts walking closer and closer to soft music) I will never forgive you but alas, I can’t fight this pain any longer. Make it go it away. (slumps at the feet of PANACEA who plays on. lights down.)
IF YOU MADE IT TO THE END. I SALUTE YOU 🙂
(copyright Daisy Willows/ Natasha Bodley)
‘Always look up wherever you go – those who walk with there eyes to the floor miss out on so much of life’
If you have followed my previous posts on from the start of doing my MA, you will know it has been an ocean of tidal waves and tsunamis and, high tides and low tides.
These still waters of mine run deep.
My First TMA (tutor marked assignment) Act one of a stage script about a homeless couple received a CLEAR PASS of 62%
There were tears, miscommunication, fallouts, despair and I lost confidence in my writing abilities.
TMA 2 ( my second genre -Fiction writing) I wrote a supernatural piece about a girl who (accidentally) commits suicide.
Lat night, my tutor emailed me to say she was having an issue submitting my marks via the online system and she didn’t want me to start worrying, so, she copy and pasted all the feedback and my mark into an email.
She gave me useful and extensive advice on what I propose to write for my EMA ( end of module assignment due in May 2017)
The second act to the homeless couple script.
I do feel more supported, understood, challenged and more confident in achieving what I want to do with my writing for this piece.
Oh, the results for my TMA 2
82% a HIGH MERIT.
I’m back to the marks I was getting when I was doing the final year of my BA in the Art and humanities.
I need to keep this momentum going. I don’t want to find myself under merit territory again.
I invest a lot of time in people and the things and causes I dedicate my time to.
DAISY DOES VOLUNTEERING:
One thing I have had to put on the back burner is helping to co-facilitate 12 weeks of WRAP (wellness recovery action plan self-management program) with the EIP ( early intervention prevention ) team for people diagnosed with at least one episode a psychotic episode
I’m gutted. There were many issues that led me to distance myself from this.
Issues of funding and logistics.
I enjoyed meeting up the people I was going to work with. I loved their energy and enthusiasm.
A lot was promised and then not delivered.
I felt the need to email my colleagues and tell them what I thought about how the course was put together- I was my usual blunt self and not very diplomatic. Ooops…
I feel that if the NHS ( national health system) in the U.K. expects results from a new therapy or a new way of self-help/lifestyle and illness management program, then scrimping on pounds is not helping promote or inspire that WRAP works.
In the long term WRAP (run properly) will most likely save the NHS money.
As far as I’m aware- nobody knows what is going on with this current WRAP workshop. I haven’t fallen out with anyone. I can’t give all my energy into something if everyone doesn’t have the same vision.
For me, it needs more planning and preparation and I’m not going to be that person who just turns up to volunteer at a workshop to go –
‘Oh look at me, I’m making a difference’ – when I know, in my heart, the results this particular workshop can have on people’s lives if it is implemented properly.
I’m currently putting my energy into other charities I work with to see how I can help them.
DAISY GOES TO HER FIRST SESSION AT THE ACTING PROGRAMME WORKSHOP :
I wasn’t nervous until I got to the place. I arrived early. It was bitterly cold and I hate the cold.
It turned out to be incredible.
We did a few Actor warm-up activities such as being aware of filling the space and being aware of other Actors around us.
We did some improvisation and using our body exercises to convey emotion. Loads of fun!
What a lovely bunch of people. I am definitely going to the next session next week. We all seem to have common goals and everyone is so unique and interesting.
UNEXPECTED SURPRISE ALERT:
There is a possibility we may (or may not) put together a little something to perform to students at the university after the 8 weeks. How awesome is that?
I do try and keep up with you all on here. It has been difficult but the more knowledge and confidence I gain in the above areas of my life – the more time I will get to have fun- one being reading blogs and blogging random stuff
DAISY LIFE UPDATE:
It was my husbands birthday on Valentine’s day. We have a sleigh bed!
hi ho! hi ho! it’s off to bed I go – ha ha! It’s massive – king size!
After the mid-term school holidays in February, my Bella – my daughter will be joining Year one ( she is in reception at the moment) for her reading and writing class.
She has two mates with her who are excelling just like her and she is a bit of a whizz kid at Maths.
DAISY’S MENTAL HEALTH UPDATE:
Long story short. Pushing other people’s buttons to get an honest answer has been difficult -emotionally- to sit with – without trying to avoid the emotions by self-medicating.
I’ve been angry at myself for nearly destroying the best thing I have in my life- my family – because, I believed ( with help) that someone cared more about me than they actually did.I put a lot of my energy into helping a person when they had a meltdown last year. It all got thrown back in my face.
I finally know the truth. That is all I ever wanted. Now, it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie.
That’s it – all very boring but it’s all happening
Physically. I’m eating better and I have more energy. I haven’t lost weight which is something that terrifies me equally as putting on weight does.
Another deadline has passed. I should get my marks back after the 12 th February. I haven’t had a chance to pause and I’m already drafting my 3rd TMA (due 30th March).
For those interested in the conclusion to my dalliance in the supernatural genre, it starts where it is underlined.
BEHOLD! This hopefully makes up for any let downs anyone reading this may have after reading the story. Thank you, Scott, @ The Order of the Dog/ Horace, and Winston Churchill, for inspiring the title of this story.
THE ORDER OF THE BLACK DOG
My family. Here we all are, sitting around the circular dining room table- flecked with bits of gold. Ma sits under a hanging portrait of this Christmas just gone. Three weeks ago. We are all smiling in it including Poppy. Poppy sits playing with her Annabelle doll, on my husband’s lap. Sat opposite from Ma, closest to the electric fire hearth is Gran. I find myself sitting across from Gran. An iciness breathes mist over us. It separates me from them, cloaks me in a fog. I try to swallow. The air is so thick it chokes me, I’m forced to put my hands to my throat. Nobody notices me. Nobody notices me the way they used to. I tune in to the conversation-taking place.
‘Of course I’m not suggesting this is your fault. I should have known. Done more…’ Nan bursts into tears. A cry out for:
I need attention I’m suffering the most.
My skin bristles. Nan pulls her scarf tighter around her neck, and then throws out a familiar comment about it being draughty.
‘You know I could catch pneumonia with my Asthma.’ She coughs. Ma gets up to put on the electric fire.
‘I didn’t take her seriously. You know what Angie was like?’ Ma’s eyes are red as the rosary beads she is thumbing; she looks over to an unusually quiet Poppy.
‘Did she just do it to spite me?’ How could she just leave her own…?’
My husband throws a warning look at Ma,
‘Marie, for Poppies sake. Our Angie suffered more than she let on.’ Ma sits back down. ‘Let’s put on a cartoon, luv?’ Poppy shakes her head.
She doesn’t look at us. I look straight at her, willing her to leave this table. Leave this conversation. She lifts her head and looks me dead on in the eyes. I instinctively smile. Eddie and me always stood together when it came to Poppy. Her face is pale, her eyes sunken, her skin is drawn in so tight I can see cheek bones protrude. Beneath her eyes-, veiled shadows betray her youthful face. She clings onto Annabelle, still looking me dead on in the eyes.
‘When’s Mummy coming home?’
Silence. Her words enmesh with the silence. Her question disarms me. Marks me. The arrow leaves its bow splintering my heart. I open my mouth to scream out as many words as I can. Condensation steams the air distilling me into silence. I reach my hand across the table to grab hers. She doesn’t see me. I glare at my family sitting at the round table. They say nothing. Smothering themselves in sorrow, they witheringly curl inwards. I urge to shake them, uproot them from winters glaze.
-Answer her! Answer my daughter.
Instead, Gran succumbs to a puddle of wrinkled tears, mechanically Ma gets off her chair, attempts to console Gran and naturally it’s up to Eddie to mediate. My calm, rational Eddie. His eyes read as vacant –his beard is wild and unkempt. It’s impossible to read his face. He clears his throat,
‘We’re gonna see Mummy when we give her… say a proper goodbye.’
Gran flounders in her anglers net of remorse. Great splotchy splashes of grief escape. She wails,
‘She’s with the angels –looking down at you, darling!’
I roll my eyes. Of course I love her! Lately, she grates my skin more frequently with her, melodramatics.
– Confess how you truly feel. Relieved!
I’m so fixated on evoking a response from Gran; unnoticed, a light flickers with an intensity to match my own. Eddie carries Poppy over to the sofa, sits her down to watch a cartoon. He covers her with a blanket then kisses her forehead.
‘We’ll see mummy soon? To say goodbye?’
Eddie nods his head, his voice cracks.
‘When will mummy come back from saying goodbye? In spring? My teacher says it’s winter – everything goes to sleep like her?’ Poppy points to ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the television.
Eddie focuses on the image. The Prince is just about to kiss Aurora on the lips. He turns his head away from the television before he can see Aurora wake up to her true loves kiss. He grinds down on his teeth. Poppy’s eyes remain transfixed on the television. Eddie gets up, crosses the dining room table; I’m compelled to follow him, I have to stop him. Tell him I’m still here. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve so much to tell him.
-There is no God! We were right all along. Religion is for people who can’t think for themselves. We were right to take the piss.
Eddie flinches, puts his hands in his jean pockets. I follow him down Ma’s hallway and into the bathroom. He closes the door on me. It doesn’t ever close fully. I slip through the crack of the door that is always ajar.
Head down. Still. He sits on the toilet seat. I kneel down before him; go to lay my head on his knee. He flinches again. Hits himself in the head. Bangs his fist on the wall screams out:
‘Why? We could’ve figured it out, you fucking stubborn mare’ I bring out the best and worst in Eddie. Till death do us part. What are the chances?
He still refuses to let me go. Stubborn.
My symptoms intensify in the days leading up to the funeral. Everything‘s heightened especially emotions that seemingly walk precariously on stilts. I can’t walk through walls or levitate. Nothing like any of the horrors Eddie and me used to watch together, on the sofa.
Unheard, I bellow continuously,
-Just let me go!
Every time I hear my name called reflections of nostalgia flash and beam over and around me. Prompted, I gravitate towards the source. Someone needs me. These past three weeks, I’ve been teleported from one conversation to another. I find myself in a room; familiar or not familiar, with people I know and people I don’t know.
Today I’m summoned to the usual bickering between Ma and Gran. The familiar sound of Gran’s kettle boils in the background.
‘I want that picture of her on her graduation day and flowers- blown up .With azaleas. And roses – she loved roses- pink.’
‘She hates that picture! And she loves- loved yellow roses…’ Ma’s wobbly voice mirrors her jelly struck legs propping her up in her work shoes. She staggers backwards. Like the black dog with a bone, Gran won’t give in,
‘No, she’s my eldest grand daughter and I know her – it is… was pink!’
Ma sits down, doesn’t speak. I go over to her to put my arms around her then she dissolves into tears. Gran bulldozes her way over to us. Intimidated, I move out of her way. Gran holds Ma and Ma lets Gran hug her. Ma calms down, mentions something about pink and yellow roses
Vexed, I shriek
– don’t back down Ma, I love yellow. Yellow roses. The kettle whistles for attention. My voice is lost to an object.
‘I’ll go make that cup of tea’ Nan retreats to her kitchen.
Another opportunity to get close to Ma again. I need to hug her, give her some of my energy. As if on cue, Mum’s tear-stained face crumples just like my heart. A poking hot iron burns a hole right through it. Gran re-enters the room I scarper.
‘Here you go, love. Lost three of my own …, as you know, mind, they never got to Angie’s age. Yellow’s more of a quirky colour like our Angie… was.’ They smile at each other. I move back, the distance seems to illuminate their smiles.
Tonight, I beg for there to be a heaven. This has to be hell. The familiar, incongruous, gravitational pull lures me out of my cavernous abyss. I blink my eyes several times to focus: orientate myself. Hung up around the wall are vintage Disney posters. My eyes settle on Poppies bed. Eddie bends over Poppy and kisses her goodnight,
‘Mummy loves you just as much as I do.’ He tucks her in.
He switches off the light before walking out. I stand and watch my worn out daughter in her bed. She sings herself to sleep just as she does every night. She sings our song: twinkle twinkle little star. With each inflection of her sweet singing voice, the words serve as a needle. Each word stipulates smelting hot ink into my flesh. My neck is ablaze. Before closing her eyes, she whispers,
‘I love you mummy.’
When I reply, scorching chains wrap and lasso me around my neck. My skin swells up in blisters. The familiar sound of her breathing evaporates the pain. I need to be close to her, I need to smell her, kiss her. Carelessly, I run over to her bed to touch her sleeping head. Startled I lunge backward as Poppy instantly wakes up screaming.
– I’m powerless
. Eddie barges into the room, throws on the light and takes Poppy into his arms. I watch her body stiffen; then relax. I watch him settle my daughter back to sleep. My hands ball into tight fists.
-She must know I’m here.
Before I can touch her face, she wakes up screaming like – like she has seen a- ghost.
-I’m that Ghost! I put my hands to my mouth in horror.
Envy bubbles inside me as I witness Eddie consoling Poppy again. I’m half hoping he won’t succeed.
What kind of a mother am I?
I’ve been telling everyone to let me go.
Where will I go?
I can’t drive, no one can see me. There are no other lost souls wondering about telling me to join the dead community!
I won’t give up on my daughter. She needs me. I have to be here.
The stroke of our clock announces its time; a primitive realisation slithers down my very core. Nausea spirals up into my throat. I run into our bathroom, heave over the toilet, nothing comes out. I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror; I see vicious V-shaped welts where the noose of the rope has cut into my neck. This is what Eddie came home to.
The cloying black dog of depression haunted me. Its delivered dose of pain was exquisite- nothing took it away. Not drinking, overdosing, drugging myself, talking-nothing. Eventually, I told it to sit down. I told Eddie repeatedly,
– I just want to disappear.
– How can I help you? His eyes pleaded for an answer. I would always lash out,
-Unless you help me disappear, you can’t!
I remained imprisoned in our bed and he would go back to work and look after Poppy and the house. He could walk away from me. I couldn’t. I resent him for that. I can see myself now, googling the various ways people commit suicide. One article struck my eye ‘Men are more successful at committing suicide’.
-They don’t mess about with poisoning themselves –they resort to more violent means.
That is the moment I reached out to the wrong Alpha.
The black dog and I began sleeping together. It became my obsession. Up-close, I could analyse it, experiment with it. As a couple, it didn’t take much to find that Alpha rage. One phone call from Ma,
-Just snap out of it. If you’re going to do it, get on with it.
-Fine, I will! I hung up on her before she could hang up on me.
My impulsiveness finds me trapped within this mirror. It’s cold. Everything I read is back to front. Everything I do is back to front. It doesn’t reflect my true intentions. When I reach out, in fact, the more I reach out the more pain I inflict. I back away from the mirror until I’m pressed up, with my back against the bathroom wall.
What have I done?
What right do I have trying to tell my family how to deal with their loss?
Eddie will never know that I was messing about; I didn’t know if I could actually go through with it. From a great height in a corner of the bathroom my body feels cut loose from itself. I can see it happen in front of my eyes. Like a rerun episode, I can’t pause. The noose around my neck, in the shower. Steam shrouds the mirror, with slippery feet, I accidently knock myself off that chair and in that moment I realise,
– I don’t want to die.
I can’t scream and tell anyone. I made the decision when I decided to sleep with my enemy. I’ve interrupted the natural course of life. A lost soul in life: a lost soul in death. There are no bright lights to come with this epiphany. I exit the bathroom, stumble down the staircase, out the front door, and walk aimlessly down the street. I sense a familiar pair of eyes examining me; I look up and see the black dog in its true form. It waits for me to catch up. We walk side by side. I don’t look back. I am the one preventing people from moving on. I have to let go.
I won’t go into the commentary in this post. I think my reference and citations pages came up to about 15 pages! Which is nuts!
My next TMA is about a highly gifted and beautiful girl who plays the classical piano. She is also being groomed by her manager/lover to be a super model. She is adored by her fans around the world. Her biggest wish is to beable to have sight.
The scene begins with Eve playing a melancholic piece of music and a seemingly lovely old lady offers to exchange her sight for Eve’s essence. The whole script ends in tragedy. Eve soon finds out why people are attracted to her. She can now see the world with eyes and she loses touch with her other senses. People hate that she can see them. They feel exposed, judged.
What makes Eve so special and endearing to people is her lack of sight. She is unable to see the world the way people with sight do. It is a horrible world we live in, isn’t it? Oddly enough, I’m inspired by Shakespeare – the play has a somewhat midsummer nights /fantastical dream-like feel to it – the main theme focuses on human conditions and relationships. Something Shakespeare flaunted well.
Guess who becomes the new darling of the music world? The rest is still being written in my head. It only has to be 18 minutes and then it’s back to the homeless piece.
It is a horrible world we live in, isn’t it?
Oddly enough, I’m inspired by Shakespeare – the play has a somewhat midsummer’s night /fantastical dream-like feel to it – the main theme focuses on the human condition and relationships. Something Shakespeare flaunted well.
I’m catching up on blogs. I am missing you all so much.
I will leave you with the words of the inimitable Charles Bukowski. He wasn’t a misogynist!