An Experiment In Something.

Lee Evans is too funny. I’m actually in pain from laughing at the moment.

I wrote this only today. I wanted to see if I could write something entirely made of dialogue. Don’t know if it works. Don’t know if it’s interesting. One way to find out: ask you lot.

It’s up to you who she is or what she does or, well, all of it. Fill in the blanks, maybe.

Down Home Again

“Oh God, you’re dying, aren’t you?”

“That’s a charming way to greet your second favourite daughter, Mother.”

“Oh- Come on in then.”

“Your hospitality overwhelms me.”

“We haven’t seen you in six years- and that was in London. I can’t even remember the last time you came home.”

“Eleven and a half years, give or take.”

“Do you want a cup of coffee?”

“Don’t drink it.”

“You used to drink a lot of coffee.”

“Which is exactly why I don’t anymore.”

“Oh. Tea? Er…”

“Tea would be nice. Thank you.”

“Right. Well, er… come along then.”

“You’ve had the kitchen done. Very nice.”

“Last year. We had to after Alfie set light to it.”

“Alfie? Who’s Alfie?”

“Your nephew.”

“Oh. Um…?”

“He’s five and a quarter.. Rascal of a boy.”

“Makes me look good, though. I’ve never set fire to anyone’s kitchen.”

“He could’ve been killed. It’s not funny.”

“Yeah. Sorry.”

“Where have you been lately, then?”

“New York. Before that Istanbul. Before that Cairo, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, St Petersburg and Rio.”

“You’ve been to all those places in the last six years?”

“That’s just the last two years, Mum.”

“Oh, well… Sounds like a James Bond story- all those glamorous places.”

“It’s not all that glam. Generic hotel decor gets boring… I’ve started renting apartments lately.”

“Can you afford to do that sort of thing?”

“Yeah…. I could’ve stayed at the Waldorf Astoria if I’d felt like it.”

“Do you… You’re doing all right for yourself, then?”

“Could say that. You could say that I’m raking it in.”

“Oh. Two sugars, dear?”

“A dash of milk, a pinch of sugar.”

“You always liked it very sweet.”

“Which is why I don’t have it like that anymore.”

“Sounds like you’re looking after yourself well.”

“I do all right.”

“Good. That’s good.”

“Yeah.”

“We get people asking after you. Everyone hopes you’re well.”

“Do they?”

“Yes, of course they do. That nice girl Sian Jen-“

“She wouldn’t piss on me if I was on fire.”

“There’s no need to be like that. She’s grown up since you last saw her. She’s a lovely girl.”

“You always thought she was a lovely girl, even when she was kicking the brains out of me.”

“I didn’t-“

“Yes, you did. Don’t blame you really- she’s a master suck-up.”

“There never was any talking to you about her.”

“Still isn’t.”

“Well, then.”

“This… Alfie creature. Got any brothers or sisters?”

“Will have soon. I’ve got a copy of the ultrasound photograph if you want to see. It’s a girl.”

“Yeah… all right.”

“Hang on a sc. It’s just here. There you go.”

“What am I supposed to be looked at?”

“The baby. See?”

“No.”

“Look, there’s her head and her body and her arms and hands… see now?”

“Not really. Are you sure this is a human baby?”

“Don’t be cheeky.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

“So, are you going to stay long?”

“Nope.”

“How long?”

“About five minutes. I stopped on the way to Milton Keynes.”

“What is there to see in Milton Keynes?”

“A question I’ve been asking for years, Mother mine. I’ve going to the National Bowl or whatever it’s called.”

“What for?”

“I know the band playing.”

“Oh. Oh. Well, have a nice time.”

“I will.”

“Don’t stay away too long this time, will you?”

“I’ll see.”

“You said that six years ago.”

“I know. That’s my life, Mum.”

“It shouldn’t be.”

“Maybe, but I get to live in places like Istanbul, so I’ve decided to cut my losses.”

“Well, I-“

“Thanks for the tea, Mum.”

“You’re welcome, I suppose.”

“Ta ta for now.”

“Yes. Bye, dear.”

*

“Oh. Hello.”

“What are you doing here? You’re not dying are you?”

“You’re not the first person to say that today. Do I look ill or something?”

“No, no. You look… great. Where have you been for the past eleven and a half years?”

“Here, there, everywhere. Mostly everywhere.”

“Oh, well… Er… I should, er… she’s…”

“Are you here with Sian?”

“Well, only in the sense that-“

“Things really can change.”

“She changed too.”

“She must have. She must have.”

“It’s been eleven and a half years. Did you expect me to be waiting here for you?”

“Nope. I just thought you’d be more discerning about who you accompany to almost-out-of-town fast food restaurants.”

“I know you have history with her, but you can’t talk about my fiancee like that.”

“Fiancee, huh? Blimey.”

“You didn’t know.”

“I didn’t even know I had a nephew, let alone that Sian Jenkins seems to have taken over my old life.”

“Old being the operative word.”

“Oh yeah, I know. It’s amusing more than anything.”

“What are you doing here, anyway? I thought you’d be in… Singapore or something.”

“Singapore is so three years ago. I’m only here on my way to the Milton Keynes Bowl.”

“What for?”

“I know the band.”

“Oh. Them? Really?”

“Yeah. Good pals of mine.”

“Oh. Oh. No wonder you left this place behind.”

“No wonder.”

“Well… have a nice time.”

“Have a nice life. You can even give Sian my regards… although she should stop eating burgers.”

“I’ll tell her the first half.”

“Spoilsport.”

“Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”

*

“You took your time! We’re on in five minutes!”

“You might be the singer in the biggest band in the world these days, but I remember the dark days when you were a mullet-headed twat from Swindon.”

“I got rid of the mullet at least.”

“True. Where the rest of the little darlings?”

“Warming themselves up.”

“I really have cut it fine.”

“Yeah. What happened?”

“I stopped off down home.”

“Anything happened in the old town?”

“Course not. Well, yeah, but only real life. Nothing fabulous.”

“Sounds like Swindon.”

“Yeah.”

“You all right?”

“I will be if you do me a favour-“

“We’re not playing that sodding dirge again!”

“Please! Pretty please with cherries and stuff on top.”

“I hate that song.”

“Your fans love it. So do I.”

“I hate it.”

“If I put it to a band vote, you know I’ll win and you’ll look like a grouchy old curmudgeon.”

“Fine. On one condition.”

“What.”

“Gissa kiss.”

“Do I have to? Fine…better now?”

“Mostly. You?”

“Mostly.”

“So why do you look like your one true love just said adios?”

“I think it might have just happened.”

“Tell.”

“Nah. Nothing important.”

“They move on without us, you know. While we travel the world at the speed of sounds, it feels like they must stand still. They don’t. Not any more than you or I do.”

“I know that.”

“Yeah. I should warm up my voice now.”

“I’ll go find the others. I can’t sit in here with your pre-show caterwauling.”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll be at the side of the stage like always.”

“I’ll look for you. And you know?”

“What?”

“They move on, but only after you did. Nobody gets it both ways.”

“I know. Rock their socks off.”

“I will.”

*

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One Response to An Experiment In Something.

  1. annearchy says:

    This was great! I loved it. So…she’s talking to her mum, then her ex-boyfriend, then her current boyfriend (lead singer in that band at Milton Keynes). Interesting exchanges. Nice work, Clare.

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