Voice

a play for two actors

 

Darkness.

A woman’s voice.

A lit cigarette.

 

Voice:  A walk in the park /

Brilliant sunlight /

Piercing /

Stabbing /

Came out / from nowhere / everywhere / I sometimes wonder whether I can dream / like swimming / motionless / calm and all around / a space that is mine alone / but no proof / in the park too / like the sea / or the depth of my dream / I wonder whether I could be / Galileo / Joan / that man / brilliant flash / blade / rape and dagger / stop

 

Light snap on revealing figure standing on bare stage. Light snap off after two seconds.

 

On it goes / I’d just past the tree where we kissed / cold / frost breath / moisture / two cigarettes left / I remember the time / it is mine / we tipped the bench / count / count to three / she always said / now she’s dead / stop

Grab from behind / almost funny / me / my bone / funny bone man / and sunlight on his shoulder / trowel reflected / trowel reflected / dazzle / daze / and on and on / and on / we kissed / you turned / tune / tune of pipe / tree / that tree / I’ve almost forgotten / I almost remember / time will come / he slipped in the mud / I ran / laughing / well you know / she always said it would / tangerine / daisy chain / that jug / for your face my dear / your face / your face / stop

 

Light snap on and off as before.

 

We had a wonderful bus ride from town / chit chat / and chat / slap / he slipped / I ran / the same man / I don’t remember / can can / he can / do I dream / I swim / swam / away from him / and all our sunshine has gone / all our sunshine has gone / red nose / rope / a noose and a question / when can I / stop

Chit chat / and chat / I slapped / he slipped / I ran / we swam / can can / I can / dance / and stand / stand firm girl / and grand / I can / man / man / stop

Chit chat / and chat / I slapped / he slipped / I ran / I swam / I can girl / I can / I can / I can / I can

I remember the time / it is now

 

Light snap on and off as before.

 

Slow fade up to reveal second figure, sitting in an armchair. The light is from a lamp on stage above.

 

2nd Voice Things take a long time to sink in. To soak right through. She was in the bath when she asked. She likes a long soak. Hold my hand, she would say. Take me there. It’s a numbness that becomes familiar. I did it naturally. Just stand there and smile. We can do what we want. She asked me in the bath. Hold my hand, she said. My hand in your hand. Take me there. We’re in the bathroom. We’re in the bath. It’s just that I can’t…

 

Lamp snap off.

 

Voice …stop / the jug / she would always / Sunday night / wash face / my dear / only if I can / she would say / you say / wash / my dear / your face a picture / a picture of you / breast pocket / left nipple / beating / beating you / and your face / she would say / there’s a picture of you in my breast pocket / it is my heart

 

Silence.

 

Your face / that jug / wash me away / she would always / she would say / she’s dead / she is dead

Chit chat / and chat / I slapped / he slipped / I ran / I swam / I can girl / I can can / that man / I remember the face / it is drowning / I sometimes wonder / waving / shifting / drifting / and me / I drift / I sink / I remember the face / scar time / the time around / July / and scar time / my scar / I have a heart / I wonder / I remember the face / glass / splish splash / waving / was it me in the glass / I remember the face / I saw through the drowning / my dreaming / she would say / same sound / same sound / was it he / was it him / I remember a face

I remember a face / I remember a scar / there is something / a sound / when I dream / or drown

 

Silence.

 

We took the bus / from town / brilliant sunshine / or cloud / we touched / our hands / I remember you said something / my ears / coy / was it you that made me laugh / coy / I was coy and calm / we walked on / bench sit / and tip / we tipped the bench / head over / my heels / head over / and head over heels / we laughed at that / I remember the sound / leaf / your face / dried up / and stuck / we laughed / I brushed the leaf from your face / I remember the face / and feet / my heels / head over my heels / and stop / snap / stop

 

Silence.

 

You took my face in two hands and kissed my lips

 

Silence.

 

Shifting / drifting / that sound / running / was it you / no / another / the face is the same / that face / in glass / the water / where I dreamed / the same sound / I remember the face / running / shifting / drifting / I was running / he came / beside / beside myself / and me / was that me / what time / I remember the time / short / sharp / and the pain in my side / grabbed me / forced to the ground / tip top / and tip / and slip / I saw the bench / falling / that place / where you sat / and I yours and I / and you mine / was that me / I cried for you / nowhere / nowhere in time / you said you would always be there / you lied

 

Light snap on and off as before.

 

Voice I asked you to…

2nd Voice drown…

Voice help me…

2nd Voice you asked me to…

Voice held me…

2nd Voice help you…

Voice under water…

2nd Voice wake…

Voice yours is the face…

2nd Voice you…

Voice in my…

2nd Voice drown…

Voice drown…

2nd Voice me…

Voice drown…

2nd Voice face…

Voice down…

2nd Voice down…

down…

 

Long silence.

 

Light snap on. Voice standing. 2nd Voice sitting.

 

Voice I remember the time…it is now

 

Light fades over the following.

 

Voice I remember the face / the water / and the sound / was it you who helped me / under water / was it you who held me / I remember the time / it is now / thank you

I remember the face / she died / hands / and your hand / in mine / the sound / the leaf / the jug / the heat / the bench / the dream / to drown / I remember the time / three words /

2nd Voice I love you

Voice Three words

2nd Voice You asked me to. I said

Voice Three words

2nd Voice I love you too. You said

Voice Three words / please drown me

 

Long silence.

 

Light fades in to bright.

 

You took my face in two hands / and kissed my lips / She always said / brilliant sunshine / the water / we tipped the bench / we kissed / we kissed / she always said / I remember you / yours is the face in my drown / I remember the time / it is now

I sometimes wonder whether I can dream / yours is the face / in my drown / yours is the face / the time / it is now / I remember the place / I remember the time / I remember the face / it is mine

Stop

 

Light lingers for three seconds.

 

Blackout.

 

 

Copyright © Michael Wagg 2009
Originally published in Brand Literary Magazine
Brand 05: Summer / Autumn 09

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