Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Scene 8, lilies, Get off your hump!
Anne has gone over to Sylvia’s for dinner. Sylvia has a small home and it is in no way extravagant. Everything she owns has a function and serves a purpose. There is a warmth about the home; lace curtains and a fire in the fireplace. The clean fresh smell of soap lingers in the air. It is a well tended home.
Sylvia and her husband Neil have seven children. It has been a lively evening for Anne. The meal is finished. Neil has passed out on the couch in the livingroom, he snores softly. Having finished their evening chores, the children are now engaged in various games and projects of their own throughout the house.
Sylvia and Anne are washing dishes together in the kitchen.
Anne: I can’t believe you do this everyday
(While drying a dish)
Sylvia: (A cigarette hangs out of the side of her mouth as she washes)
Morning, noon and night make no mistake.
(Hands Anne another dish)
Anne: Who taught you how to do this? All this, cooking, cleaning and having babies?
Sylvia: My mother taught me how to run house, cooking and cleaning. Neil is the one taught me how to have babies. (They share a laugh)
Anne: Do you plan to have more?
Sylvia: We don’t do much planning love. We do or we don’t. What about you? Do you think you’ll have kids one day?
Anne: I’m just waiting for the right person.
(Sylvia starts to laugh)
What are you laughing at?
Sylvia: Oh, don’t bother with all that! Twenty years later they all start looking and smelling the same. Telling the same jokes over and over. Then one day they quit trying all together
(She glances in at Neil, passed out in the other room)
Anyway don’t bother with all that.
(Sylvia begins to drift in thought)
Anne: What was your mother like?
Sylvia: She was true. Born the Tail end of the Great hunger back in Ireland. Those were hard working hearty folks who survived by and loved the land in spite of the hard times.
Anne: It just doesn’t see fair to me. I’m just waiting for all this to be set right so we can all get back to the way things were.
Sylvia: (Chuckling) Waiting! Waiting for fairness is like being thirsty and laying down outside waiting for the rain to fall. No dear there’ll be no more of that for you!
Anne: No more of what?
Sylvia: (An air of irritation)
The leisurely life you’ve become so accustomed to is over. Those late nights of pushing your pretty flowers around in your greenhouse are a thing of the past.
So, you read a few books with big words. You drew some fine pictures and made notes about this and that and they gave you a piece of paper saying that you were one of their own. But look at you, you can recite plant names in Latin but you can’t dig a goddamn hole to save your life. To save your life Anne that’s what this is. You think you’re the first person to ache after a hard day’s work?
Anne: I’m trying my best Sylvia.
Sylvia: (Now with a mocking tone)
Oh! You’re best huh? Well excuse me for not jumping to my feet and praising your effort. But from where I’m standing, it seems you’re coming up short and if you don’t do something soon, it’s really gonna be the shits for you!
Now, get off your hump girl and get to it!