Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Giraffes - Act Two, Scene Seven.

This isn't going to make much sense unless you start at the beginning - Giraffes - Act One, Scene One.


(Evening. At table. The mood is drunk for Simon and Kirsty, tipsy for Anna.)

KIRSTY. No no, I've always loved the idea of communal living. Just to think, to base your whole life 'round sharing, helping, trusting, especially if you were all living together towards a common aim. You'd feel so productive, so fulfilled. I've always thought that would be great.

SIMON. So have you ever tried to put this plan into action, then?

KIRSTY. God no. There aren't enough people who I like enough to live with.

SIMON. So do you think that it could ever work for you?

KIRSTY. Yes it could. 'Course it could!

ANNA. When?

KIRSTY. If I could select everyone else myself, then it would work.

SIMON. So have you ever tried to... audition for a commune?

KIRSTY. No. Sad, isn't it?

(They all laugh.)

KIRSTY. It's just that when I was fourteen that's what I wanted my life to be like. And you can't forget things like that.

SIMON. Oh well. At least you can look upon your dream as being the mark of a quality adolescence. 'Cause at least you wanted to do something interesting with your life, even you didn't succeed. Sometimes, when I'm teaching -

KIRSTY. No! No! But I did manage it!

SIMON. But you're not living in a commune, are you?

KIRSTY. But I am doing something interesting with my life.


KIRSTY. Yeah! I am actually. Wouldn't you say that this was interesting?

SIMON. It is that.

KIRSTY. Well, then.

SIMON. Sorry. I wasn't saying that you weren't interesting, Kirsty. I just like asking questions.

KIRSTY. A lot of people might find that rude.

SIMON. Teacher's habit.

KIRSTY. I think that if myself when I was fourteen could see me now, then she'd be proud.

ANNA. That's good!

SIMON. Why's that then?

KIRSTY. Because she'd see someone who works for herself, doesn't have to answer to anyone, doing something creative, honest to herself, honest to the world, with an astonishing lover -

SIMON. Yes, put like that I can see how you might feel pleased with yourself.

KIRSTY. What about you?

SIMON. What about me?

KIRSTY. How would fourteen year-old Simon consider you know?

SIMON. What a frightening prospect. What I wanted at the time was always overshadowed by what I expected, or rather what I feared.

KIRSTY. What were you afraid of?

SIMON. I was afraid of being alone. I was afraid of being overlooked.

ANNA. I wasn't.

SIMON. Yes, I know that you weren't. Right from the first moment that I met you I knew: There's a woman who won't be alone. Always carrying a crowd with her.

ANNA. Well, not always.

SIMON. You've never had a time when you've not been wanted.

KIRSTY. What did you want to happen to you when you were fourteen, Anna?

ANNA. I didn't.

KIRSTY. You must have!

ANNA. No. It's pointless to think about the future -

SIMON. - Oh, that reminds me, you still haven't paid those National Insurance contributions.

ANNA. (Ignoring Simon's comment) - The only thing that you can be sure of is that its not going to turn out how you expect.

SIMON. But weren't you ever afraid of the future?

ANNA. Why would I be afraid?

SIMON. Of being alone?

ANNA. No. If you're truly happy in a crowd then you'll be happy on your own, too. You have to make the best of things.

KIRSTY. Is that your philosophy?

ANNA. No, I'm not clever enough to have a philosophy. I just think that we're lucky. We have food, we have clothes, we have houses, we have health. Isn't that enough? Here! Toast!

SIMON. Where?

KIRSTY. To what?

SIMON. Oh...

ANNA. To life!

KIRSTY. To our life.

SIMON. To life, old life itself.

KIRSTY. Cheers!

Next -
Giraffes - Act Two, Scene Eight.

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