The Desecration By Trudy Hayes

The Desecration By Trudy Hayes

Elsie is sitting on a bench. She does not look up as a man approaches. He skirts around her playfully, watching her, smiling.

    Paddy whistling breaks into song

       ‘When I fall in love, it will be forever’

He takes Elsie into his arms and waltzes her, owning her in the dance, his hands on her body. She sways to his touch. He gently seats her back on the bench.

Paddy

Happy anniversary Elsie.

Elsie

Good place for a drowning.

    You’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Paddy

Yes, I’d like to see you struggle.

Elsie

But at the last minute you’d rescue me.

Paddy

Nope.

I’d hold you under the water until you went limp.

Good for the fishes.

They have to eat too, you know.

You never think about that, do you?

Elsie

Everything eats everything. 

That’s the jungle for you.

Paddy

Me Tarzan, where my Jane?

Elsie

Ran for her life.

Paddy

It is not good for Tarzan to be alone.

Elsie

Bliss – the drowning experience bliss they say.

Paddy

That’s the sinking part – after all the gaspin’ and thrashing about.

Elsie

That’s what a fish does on land, you imbecile.

Pause

Paddy 

D’you come here often?

Elsie 

I come for the talent.

Paddy 

I’d say there’s a run on you. It’ll be the lucky man gets you.

Elsie

No man will ever get me

Paddy 

Ah, you’ll fall for some Lothario some day.

Elsie 

I was married once.

Paddy

 Did you love him?

Elsie 

Sure t’was yerself.

Paddy walks to the railing and stares out to sea.

Paddy 

Did you love that man? 

Did you worship him with your body?

Elsie

He was a mere mortal.

Paddy 

A human. 

A fallen angel perhaps.

Elsie 

I used to draw my wedding dress when I was a child.

Paddy

White, no doubt. Silk.

Elsie

No. It was made of shards of glass.

Paddy 

Shoes, even pretty shoes?

Elsie 

Yes, pretty shoes.

Paddy 

Well, at least he turned up.

Elsie

Do you ever think about it?

Paddy

Often. It’s seductive, isn’t it?

Elsie

It’s where we all came from I suppose. 

That great amniotic sac.

Paddy

Soothing though. Rhythmic. 

And after the sea devours you, 

You’re tossed back on shore by an indifferent wave, 

washed up by the tide.

Elsie

Fishermen never learn to swim. Prolongs the struggle.

Paddy

Merciless

You.

Elsie

Mercy is exercised by those with power

Paddy

Pity?

Elsie

You can only pity the pitiful.

Paddy

You’d need a heart though, wouldn’t you?

Elsie

Sometimes it’s one heartbreak,  – or another

Paddy

All those roses I bought you.

Elsie

I remember the roses. I didn’t think they were real.

Paddy

You just didn’t SEE them. 

You can’t SEE a rose unless you LOOK at it.

Elsie

I put them on the compost heap.

Paddy

Is ANYTHING real to you? Was I real? 

Did you ever even SEE me? 

I know this is a revelation, but I’m actually made of flesh and blood. 

What Are you made of?

Elsie 

I’m actually a fish.

Paddy

You’re not a fish. You’re human. 

You have a human face.

Elsie

I have fins.

Paddy

You’re a cod.

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