This Life

By Amber Hillier

Darkness. Silence. A pencil. Some rocks. Scalpel. Pills. Endless pills. Knives. Pencils... Coat hanger. How could I forget the coat hanger? Vacuums. Syringes. Candles. Photographs of the past. Loved ones. My husband. Our finances. Before it, in it, out of it, and after it.

All of the choices.

And two lines of blue that scream —

Make up your fucking mind.


An open window; a light breeze, the breeze of spring, sends itself rustling along the fingers of the sun, pale and yellow, dim, colours of nature, an inevitability and upon it —

(Listen.)

Across the work surface, the glinting reality of the kitchen, over the chopping board, the tiny granules of sugar sticking to the side since breakfast, the ants on the worktop, feelers twitching, tuning to the rotation of the earth’s axis, at one with gravity, their breathing pale and yellow, dim, colours of nature, resting upon an open packet that sits waiting by the fridge.

Yellow. Twitching.

I watch as the beams gently lick the beads of sugar, the tea-spoon, the tea-bag still wet and leaking, melting over the steady dripping of liquid onto the kitchen floor, drip, drip, drip, like the steady sound of my heart that beats, it squelches, oozing, it drains the tea and dries the stain, it searches for warmth, the little lost warmth rustling in the whispers of secrets — the little packet of yellow.

The gentle pouring of the day is flooding my kitchen. And by the fridge the open packet of yellow twitches and turns, twitches and turns, and for a moment — that split second of a moment in which all I want is a cup of tea — the sun is like a nauseous wave, a fist plunged into the sea and travelling along the back of my spine, salt ringing in my ears like the taste of bad medicine, a hole that is scraped in my gut with blunt finger nails and cleaned with lemons and vinegar and vodka, and in its place the realisation that Spring has begun and Winter has left without me.

And I —

 

Somebody has died today.

 

The jelly babies, inside their yellow prison, are laughing at me, their teeth pointed and gnashing like the little pitter-patter of teeny-tiny feet.


I’m doing the rite. I’m trying to find myself, you know. They say that if you experience a big loss or an emotional upheaval, if you go away even, or spend some time in a place of particular ‘unreality’ then you can find yourself, you know? You just... suddenly, you just get it all, you know? So, that’s what I’m doing now. Just... I’m just sitting. Talking. Aloud. It helps. Hearing another human being’s voice... Well I know it’s mine, but, it still counts. So...

Just... waiting.

 

It’s quite hard, really. I don’t know how some people do it. Like... some people, they just, they just know, don’t they? And I —

 

I actually get quite, upset, sometimes. I know people don’t think I do. I’m quite good at hiding it, actually. That’s the point though. My brain is trying to find a way out and it doesn’t quite understand why I’m sitting here. I get scared sometimes, that it will leave me. That I will wake up, and it will have climbed out of my ear and into a... I don’t know... a frog, or something.

 

There’s a funny feeling in my stomach that tells me I’m not quite alright and it’s strange because my husband thinks I am. I got quite alarmed the other day, when I looked in the mirror. I saw my face, and my two eyes, and my nose and my ears and my mouth, and I felt my cheekbones and my temples and my nose bone and I thought, who are you, under there? And why won’t you come out? And it was strange because, I didn’t recognise myself, you know? It wasn’t me. Not one bit.

 

How will I know you, if I don’t know myself?


(A beam of early morning sunshine falls upon a yellow bag of jelly babies left open by the fridge. The bag is completely still, and the space is silent. A breeze, the breeze of Spring, blows through an open window and then, as if awoken suddenly by the ticking of a clock, the bag starts to rustle, like mice, trapped inside a pillow case.)

 

Purple I could hear... I could hear her teeth...

Green (Dazed) What... what happened?

Purple Tongue to crush and teeth to chew...

Yellow Fingers that scrape and scurry and scrape...

Pink It’s not as if they’ve gone very far.

Green I’m sorry, I... I don’t understand I... you...

Purple Little fingers, torn off at the hand...

Green Gregory? Gregory I —

Purple They took them, the babies, and they came, the fingers, they came, they took, they taunted, I told them — not to come — I said — don’t come and they came, they took, they said, the fingers, they took —

Green - I have missed you. So very, very much.

Purple - The fingers, they said, the children, they were saying —

Green - Please don’t leave me. Not again.

Purple And of anything in the world I would have given myself —

Green Who has done this?

Yellow Why are we here?

Pink It’s not as if they’ve gone very far.

Yellow One moment I was walking. Next, I was in a wheel chair.

Green All in all, it’s irrelevant.

Yellow Only takes a second

Pink Getting from Spring to Summer

Green What have they done to us?

Purple There is no ‘us.’ Not anymore. My heart has left me with their fingers and their flesh.

Green Gregory, is it really you?

Yellow There is no ‘who’ there is no ‘what.’ There is You. Yourself. And...

Green I have missed you. So very, very much.

Yellow He can’t hear you

Pink He has no ears

Purple The fingers, they took them, the fingers, they said -

Yellow Makes no difference

Pink Not as if they’ve gone very far.

Purple And I could hear her teeth

Yellow Don’t be stupid, you haven’t got ears

Pink Utterly earless

Yellow I lost my legs, I never complained

Green Something happened...

Yellow Everything happens...

Pink Everything is nothing, it’s not as if it matters...

Purple I could hear her teeth, I’m sure I could. And her wondering fingers, her long, long fingers, coated in their sugar I could taste it —

Green The white of it all, burning my eyelids...

Purple - the white of it, I am sure I could taste it, I am sure that it’s gone!

Yellow At the end of the day the feeling had left me —

Purple Utterly gone!

Pink Utterly un-human.

Green Why are we here, what have we done?

Yellow They asked me what I wanted to do.

Pink What a stupid question.

Green Is this it, am I really still here?

Yellow There’s nothing you can do

Pink There’s nothing to be done

Purple And I could have held on, but I tried, I did!

Yellow People forget, they always forget

Green Gregory —

Pink He’s forgotten —

Purple I could hear her teeth, her large, nattering teeth, her finger nails as they scraped inside, and I tried to cling on, I swear I did, I tried to cling on! In they came and I said to Red, I said to her, I said, ‘hold on to me Red, hold on!’ She cried, ‘the children Purple, the children,’ and I had their hands, I did, I had them. And they were shouting for their mummy. And those fingers had her. My Red. They had her round the head, and Pink too, Pink who was sleeping, and Red who was sobbing, and saying ‘Please, please no...’

Green Another life...

Yellow Something happened

Pink Everything happened

Green Nothing I can do about it...

Yellow You have the choice, you’re given the choice!

Purple I had the choice and I tried, I did! And No-one was there, not enough hands to hold her, not enough hands to stop those fingers dragging her, dragging... and we tried to cling on but we were so slippery, so slippery, and Red was crying and she knew it wasn’t good, I could see it in her eyes she knew it wasn’t good, and she was saying to me-

Green I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I think I have to leave —

Purple Don’t let go, oh, don’t let go,’ and she was crying and she was saying, ‘The children Purple, don’t let them out...’

Green Dangerous...

Pink The children - they grow up, they get on, they get old.

Yellow A battle field of eyes.

Purple There is no ‘I - ’

Pink Every man for himself.

Yellow And I find myself making choices that I can’t even say.

Purple Begging her, begging, begging those hands, please, don’t take her —

Green The good die young...

Pink The young die good.

Purple My darling, my loved one, my baby, but I heard her, the crying, the teeth, the crunching and she stopped, my Red, she stopped and I couldn’t —

Green Can’t leave.

Yellow They fall in love

Purple I love her.

Pink Makes no difference

Yellow It’s just a feeling, and once it’s left you, it’s only gone and left you

Pink Not as if it’s very far.

Green I loved him. I miss him...

Yellow You were just a child

Pink You thought it mattered

Green ... so very, very much...

Purple I said I’d hold the children. But she took them, she did, she took them, the fingers. They were crying, and they were pleading ‘don’t let go,’ and they were begging me, ‘Daddy!’ and I was saying ‘sorry’ and they were saying, ‘please, don’t let her take me, please don’t let her take me,’ and I was saying ‘mummy is out there, mummy is waiting,’ but they’d heard... they’d heard... they knew... they’d heard...

Green Dead.

Purple ... and the... and the... the biting...

Green Gregory —

Yellow He’s gone.

Pink He doesn’t exist.

Purple I shouted her name but she couldn’t remember —

 

(A Purple jelly baby emerges from the rustling packet, followed closely by a Green, and then shortly after a yellow and a Pink. The Purple jelly baby crawls, gets to his feet and views the expanse of the kitchen. 30cm away, lying sticky in the sunshine, is a pink jelly baby, its head bitten clean off. It drips sugar from the wound onto the worktop. The juice from its insides has dried in the heat, and the ants have already started to nibble on the exposed area, eating it from the inside out.)


Think, imagine, communicate.

You can’t think, you can’t know. You are not a human being.

Spring turns to Summer, Summer turns to Autumn, Autumn turns to Winter, and though you’re stood amongst the blossom your brain is left frozen at the bottom of a lake, and you are too scared to ask for your lover to retrieve it.

Sometimes we think things that we wish we never did. They grow like little seeds under artificial light, watched by faces we don’t recognise — we can’t even see them watching.

He used to imagine his mother dead, and when he was sober, the memory of it scared him.

Think, imagine, communicate.

He bought his girlfriend flowers and begged her not to have his child.

Sometimes we think things that we wish we never did. It’s not about good and evil, it’s about right and wrong.

Children grow faster in the Spring. Fact.

 

He has insecurities but he remains secure that he has the power to control them.

(It’s a nice thought.)

 

There is a fine line between living and dying, and we are in the middle. Existing.

 

The body sometimes has its own mind, one that your consciousness can’t get hold of. This is the one you (should?) be scared of. This is your mortality.


I am, like everyone else on this planet;

The dogs and the cars and the buildings —

A puppet as well as a puppeteer, strings like f i n g e r s to wind themselves

around someone else’s heart, their gardens, their weekly shop. I alone have the ability to make them smile, to make them laugh, to make them cry, and, in return,

This web

Of

Building up and building down,

They could kill me, if they’d like to. Or if they’d rather not.

(Makes no difference.)

Glue, sewing, the post, the telephone. My fingerprints.

I wish they’d stop calling.

The weather gets warm and we flock to the sea.

And the birds are moving. All

The

Time.

I wish they’d take me with them, away from the globe, this sphere of a prison, this web in which I am a ping pong ball, batted to the changing shift of gravity as

My loved ones

Come and go.


(A boy’s bedroom. The curtains are open, and there is blossom on the trees, beautiful blossom that smells of forever. A small girl enters. She wears her hair in pigtails. A boy is sat at his computer.)

 

Girl Gregory?

 

(The boy turns from the screen and is surprised. He smiles, a beautiful, non-sexual smile. The girl smiles in return.)

 

Girl I knew you’d be here. I told them you would.

Boy Yes...

Girl I have missed you, Gregory.

 

(Boy says nothing, but smiles calmly.)

 

Girl Do you know, I wondered when you’d get sick of me coming round. When you’d be too busy to see me. They told me you’d lose interest. You could get better jobs, they said. They said you would get better jobs. But I always knew you didn’t look after me for the money. I always knew you liked to see me...

 

(Silence)

 

Girl Am I right Greg? Do you like to see me?

 

(The boy hesitates, then nods deeply.)

 

Boy I’ve missed you. I wondered where you were. I was sorry I went out that day...

Girl It doesn’t matter.

Boy I’m here now, and that is all that matters.

Girl You’re here... for me?

Boy (Smiling) For you.

Girl (Seriously) Did it hurt?

Boy (Shakes his head) Not one bit. It was like falling asleep...

Girl (Regretfully.) They wouldn’t let me come to your funeral. I had school and... and they said I was too young.

Boy (Gets out of his chair and moves towards the girl. He is quite a lot taller than her. He gets to his knees, so that his face is lower, and he takes her head in his hands) It doesn’t matter. I am here for you, now. That’s all that matters.

Girl I wrote you a poem... I left it by your grave. They buried you, you know.

Boy (Shakes his head)

Girl Yes...

Boy Will you read it me?

Girl` Oh no! I’m too embarrassed!

Boy You’re good at reading. I miss your stories.

Girl I’m sorry.

Boy That’s ok. Don’t feel pressured.

Girl (Purses her lips) If you do me a favour, I will read you my poem. Is that a deal?

 

(The boy considers. Then nods. The girl views him seriously, considering. )

 

Girl Gregory?

Boy Yes.

Girl Are you still a virgin?

 

(Silence. Boy reddens slightly, and looks to the floor. Then he looks back at the girl and he nods and

she smiles, though it is a smile of regret.)

 

Girl I thought you were.

Boy Why?

Girl (Touches his face.) I just knew.

Boy (Slowly, puts his hand over hers. They look at one another, love in their eyes.)

Girl If I told you that you were going to die to tomorrow, would you make love to me?

Boy (Confused. Shakes his head slowly.) I — I don’t — How old are you?

Girl I turned eleven last month. You are only seventeen. And there are worse things in life.

Boy No

Girl Please.

Boy You might regret it...

Girl I never would

Boy I think it would make me a bad person —

Girl How could it?

Boy I —

Girl Do you love me, Greg?

Boy I —

Girl Do you love me?

Boy (Pause. Slowly nods his head.) I love you. Yes.

Girl I have loved you ever since I was eight and you would cook me dinner. I love you, Greg.

Boy It might hurt you.

Girl I am already hurting.

Boy But the door is wide open —

Girl There is nobody in. (She touches his crotch and finds that is hard.) You want to have sex with me, Greg. I want you to touch me. I have wanted you to touch me ever since I was nine years old.

 

(Greg reaches forwards and touches her face. He moves his hand down to her breast that is small and

developing. The girl sighs in relief.)

 

Girl Fuck me, Greg. I want you so badly. Won’t you fuck me?

Boy You have such pretty, green eyes.

Girl Touch me.

 

(Greg hesitates, then nods. The girl starts to undress herself. She is small and skinny. She doesn’t wear a bra.

She steps out of her underwear, and then she sits in front of him. She opens her legs.)

 

Girl Touch me, Greg

 

(He starts to touch her. The girl watches him; he watches his fingers. The girl is moaning. Eventually, when he

can no longer handle it, he undoes his belt and jeans, gets out his penis. He lays her on her back, and he

pushes inside her, awkwardly. The girl clenches her fists but she does not stop looking at him. Gregory comes

quickly. For a long, long time, nobody says anything.)

 

Girl You are so perfect, Greg

Boy (Smiling.) Dead people always are.

Girl Greg?

Boy Yes?

Girl I’m pregnant. With a baby. And you will die tomorrow.

Take me with you.

 

(Greg smiles; outside, the blossom is blown off the trees, and in it’s place is Summer.)

 

Boy You will make a brilliant mother.


Sometimes, we think things that we wish we never did.

 

It doesn’t make us bad, it makes us human.

 

If you want to fuck with nature all you have to do is be born.

 

My body is a fiend, a tricky little devil. Sometimes it makes plans for me I have no idea about.

 

And when I saw the lines of blue, I didn’t know what to do, so, I wrote a list of thoughts and entitled it ‘This Life.’

 

Your father, he is a nice man, and I am jealous. He loves me because I make him laugh. I can’t bear to show him my deranged other-half.

(But I am sweating.)


(The blossom has blown clean off the trees, and in its place is Summer. Stifling hot. Purple is climbing into an open blender on the other side of the kitchen and Yellow has followed. Green is watching the scene as if in a nightmare. Pink is standing by the corpse of Pink.)

 

Pink It’s... me. But... headless...

Green I dreamt that I woke up and I was green and squidgy. Nothing had changed except... except I could eat myself. (She licks her arms and shakes her head.)

Pink How odd...

Purple You must make sure you push the button

Yellow I’m not pushing anything. I don’t agree with taking lives.

Purple It’s my choice.

Yellow There’s nothing you can do

Pink There’s nothing to be done

Purple But you... you said earlier... ‘you have the choice, you’re given the choice!’

Yellow I am so lost. I woke up and I could walk.

Purple This is a bad, bad, place -

Pink And that makes us bad, bad, people. Don’t you see? (They look around.)

Green I think I did something wrong...

Yellow It was only wrong if you knew that it was wrong.

Green Now I have forgotten...

Pink People forget...

Purple Will you push the button? I can’t survive a moment longer...

Yellow I’m getting really confused. I don’t know what to do...

Purple Just push it...

Yellow Won’t it make me a bad person?

Purple No. It’s only natural. How can you watch me suffer in this way?

Yellow I... I...

Green What if you’d done something wrong?

 

(Purple is about to jump inside the blender. There is already smoothie left in there from another time.)

 

Purple What?

Green Would you deserve to die?

Purple What?

Green If death is a release?

Yellow I can’t think. I can’t know. So I can’t be real —

Purple Push it

Green ... He can’t...

Yellow But God...

Pink ...Can’t be very far.

Green There is no God.

 

(Purple jumps into the blender. The lid remains at the side on the work top. Yellow is next to the button.)

 

Pink Oh. He’s drowning.

 

(Purple struggles to breathe as he sinks inside the smoothie.)

 

Green Push the button. Please push it. Oh, I can’t bear it.

Yellow The lid isn’t on

Pink We’d make such a mess

Yellow That would be very selfish of him. Don’t you think?

 

(Outside the windows, the leaves turn crisp and crimson. A high-pitched crying emits from the yellow bag of jelly babies. Green turns to look.)


Brilliant Boofuls Bumper Bubbles Bigheart Baby Bonny.

(What a joke).

Red, Green, Orange, Yellow, Purple, Pink. Calories: 180. Sugar: 40.5g. Fat: Trace. Saturates: Trace. Salt: 0.03g. Sugar, Glucose syrup, Water, Gelatine (Bovine), Concentrated fruit juices* (1%) (Apple, Lime, Orange, Strawberry, Blackcurrant, Lemon, Raspberry), Acids (Citric, Acetic), Natural (Lemon, Lime, Raspberry) flavourings with other natural flavourings, Natural Orange flavouring, Natural flavourings, Concentrated vegetable extracts (Black carrot, spinach, Stinging nettle, Turmeric), Colours (Vegetable carbon, Paprika extract, Lutein).

*Equivalent to 5.5% fruit juice. CONTAINS: SULPHITES. MAY CONTAIN: WHEAT.

 

At Cadbury UK we’re passionate about making great quality products. Not completely satisfied? Please return product, stating where purchased, to PO Box 7008, Birmingham, B30 2PT, UK, or in R01 Cadbury Ireland Ltd, Coolock, Dublin 5. Freephone 0800 818181 during office hours. (UK only).

 

35 litres of water. Oxygen (65%) Carbon (18%) Hydrogen (10%) Nitrogen (3%) Calcium (1.5%) Phosphorus (1.0%) Potassium (0.35%) Sulfur (0.25%) Sodium (0.15%) Magnesium (0.05%) Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Molybdenum, Fluorine, Chlorine, Iodine, Manganese, Cobalt, Iron (0.70%) Lithium, Strontium, Aluminum, Silicon, Lead, Vanadium, Arsenic, Bromine (trace amounts) All natural elements.* Head neck torso two arms two legs. 100 trillion cells, 206 bones, 600 muscles, 22 internal organs. 60,000 miles of artilleries, veins and capillaries. 2.5 million beats of the heart.

*5% Natural elements, 10% optical aid in the form of glasses and contact lenses, 2% facial surgery, 30% hair removal, 3% dental aid, 2% dermatological care, 5% cosmetic aid, 43% drug and performance enhancement.

 

At ‘ThisLifeUK’, we’re (supposedly) passionate about making (great?) quality products. Not completely satisfied? It takes about 40 muscles to smile, but only 4 to pull the trigger of a decent rifle.* Failing that, freephone 0700 108108. There will be no-one to take your call, but we welcome you to leave a message.

 

*Subject to brain and varying mental condition. If you are partnered with a particularly stubborn mind, at ‘ThisLifeUK’ we recommend engaging in dangerous sports to increase risk of accidental injury. Such as parachuting. Without a parachute.


(Out of the packet crawls a little Orange Jelly baby, screaming like a Banshee. Yellow and Pink clasp their hands over their ears and fall to their fronts on the worktop. Green, however, freezes and stares.)

 

Orange My my my... (cries.)

Green It’s it’s it’s...

Orange Help me I am lost I am scared I am lost

Pink Don’t touch her don’t touch her don’t touch her don’t touch -

Green (Walks slowly over the baby, who outstretches its arms. Green takes Orange to her chest and she quietens.) It’s ok, I’m here, I am here and you are safe.

Orange My my my...

Yellow Can’t say anything but ‘my’

Pink Oh no.

Green My... sister...

Pink No.

Green My twin...

Pink No

Green My... my... my baby.

Pink Yes.

Green And here we are. Together.

Pink Kill her now, while you’ve still got the chance.

 

(The crimson leaves fall off the trees, and in their place is Winter.)


If I saw you... if I saw you... when I dream of you...

Beautiful, like your father, the nicest man I know, and he would hate me if he knew.

But to dream is to feel, is to know, is to live —

Existing like —

But life -

And when I saw you it was like all the beats of my heart turned to thump in your direction, every one of them,

and the blinking of my eyes and the —

 

There is a bell shaped cage over our heads made of a magnifying glass, and raining down upon the glass is the

steady flow of a waterfall — the rushing of a melting world.

And nothing can touch us.

(Until you stop needing me.)

 

Take my feet, my toes, take away the taste of chocolate, take my car, take the house, feed me acid, shave my

head, burn my face, break my fingers one by one, my dirty, scraping fingers, sit me on a pole so that I have to

vomit out my shit, take my husband —

I will give you —

Everything I have, which is -

Nothing.

(But you.)

Which I am sorry for, sorry until I am cut into a million little pieces, swollen red and weeping like my heart left with my brain, frozen in the river so that you can have

This Life.


............And I want to hold your little hands and feel your little feet, give you my finger and not mind when you pull you my hair; I want to buy you little boots, and wipe your little mouth, I want to cradle your head and brush the sleep from your eyes, I want to smooth down your hair and laugh when it’s funny; I want to sing to you in your sleep and make up the words, I want to hum when I don’t know it and hum even when I do; I want to cradle you. And give you a bath and watch you while you sleep and take you in the pram and show you to the world, I want to tell people just how good it is being your mother, I want to tell them just how good a baby you are, even when you cry, even when you’re sick, even when you’re scared — you’ll never be scared, even when you’re older, because you’ll know I will always be there, me, your mother, and you will know that I will never leave you and you will love me for it.

And I will make you packed lunches and take to you to school, and you’ll be the luckiest, most loved child around because I’ll let you have whatever you want in your sandwiches, but I won’t be too silly because I’ll care too much for your health, and when you get back we’ll play lots of games, and put on a film, and laugh at the good bits and cry at the sad bits, and I’ll make us dinner and we’ll eat potato wedges, and smiley faces, and peas and beans and fish fingers and all the best kinds of food that children like, and we’ll invite your friends and we’ll have parties in the garden and I’ll help you write the invites and later, when you’re older, you’ll help me to write the invites; I’ll teach you all you need to know and we’ll swap stories on boys, or maybe even girls depending on who you are and what you like, and I’ll tell you to be safe and I’ll hurt when I see you grow and feel proud at the same time because — of course I’ll be proud, how could I not be proud, how could I possibly not be proud when I’ll have the best child ever that I bore out of my very loins, and you’ll look just like me and we’ll have the same eyes and we’ll have the same ears, but God forbid, not the same nose, no you’ll have your fathers, or maybe my mothers, a much better choice, you’ll have the best parts of all of us, all the very best and it will show because you’ll do so well in everything you do, which will be most things of course because I’ll want you to learn, to love the world and see the world, and you’ll try gymnastics and drama and singing and dancing, and football and rugby and even rock-climbing if you want until you pick your very best and it will be so beautiful watching you smile doing something you enjoy.

And I’ll take you to your friends houses, and leave you there for tea, and feel all empty inside when it’s time to say goodbye and your father will think I’m mad but really he will just know it’s because I love you so very much, and look after you so very much, and want to provide for you so very much that it will almost just be too much, and you’ll get angry with me for it; you’ll ride your bike down the streets I told you you couldn’t, and you’ll come back two hours after curfew, and I will wait up crying and holding the phone, though I know you won’t ring me because you’ll be having too much fun, having fun without me and I’ll just feel blessed that you are happy but also angry at myself for my jealously and then I will worry that I am a bad mother, and when you finally arrive I’ll ask you and you’ll tell me off for being silly and tell me I’m stupid and suffocating and I will wish there was something I could do to change myself but I will start to resent you, and you will resent me too, and we will be the same person just a different age because that is what happens when children grow up they turn into their parents, of course they do, isn’t that the plan, right from the very start, right from birth we’re just so desperate to fill their heads with all of our knowledge and I’ll know this and you will too — and we’ll know it’s selfish, this giving birth, and you will hate the world and you’ll wish I was dead and you’ll wish I’d have had you aborted and then when I hear you crying I’ll wish I’d have had myself aborted and I’ll argue with your father and he’ll argue right back and we’ll all blame one another and you will run away from me, and leave me, and kill me all at once, and I will never ever be able to forgive myself for losing you, for pushing you, for not being able to suppress this suffocating, nauseating, all-encompassing, clawing, aching, grief that I have for you, this never-ending love that begins with your life and ends with your life when all in all — when it all really comes down to it —you are just going to die. You are just going to die. So there it is. And I can’t escape the knowledge of this nothingness.


A pearly white wall

Stark white

Blinding

Vulnerable.

That is how I think of you.

The balance to my mistakes.

 

You —

You understand? It’s a big responsibility. And nobody gave me the choice. Nobody told me how hard it would be. Nobody gave me the choice. It exists as a fact. The fact exists, a sentence hanging in the air that nobody wants to finish, nobody gave me the —

I’m sorry.

Really, truly, I am. Sorry. I just don’t know how to make you understand... I mean, if they’d have asked me,

before it all... (I know that would have been impossible...)

But still. If they’d have asked me, I wonder what I would have said.

Like, would I have said no? Would I have said no? There’s just no telling. But if they’d have asked me... I think I

might have saved them the bother. Because, when it all comes down to it, at the end of the end of the end,

we’re all going to die anyway. So...


(Outside the open window, there is snow resting upon the bare branch of a tree. A light breeze, the breeze of Spring, sends itself rustling along the fingers of he sun, pale and yellow. Footsteps can be heard, coming down the hallway.)

 

Yellow Footsteps

Green What?! No-

Pink I told you they couldn’t be far —

Yellow Too late

Green Quickly, Orange, underneath the tea-bag —

Yellow It’s too late

Pink Always too late

Yellow Late

Pink Utterly, unavoidably —

Yellow I already said it.

Pink Time is irrelevant.

Green Quickly, Orange, under the —

Pink She’s coming

Yellow She’s here

Green Oh, please, Orange, listen to your mother —

Yellow What do you want to do about it?

Pink What a stupid question.

Green Oh dear God no, oh please no...

 

(The Jelly babies freeze. Lady enters. She scrapes the remaining smoothie from the inside of the blender and puts it in the bin. She surveys the worktop, the ants, the sugar; she takes the sticky pink jelly baby and throws it in the bin. She leans against the sink. The jelly babies see her; she sees the jelly babies. She frowns through large green eyes. Upon seeing the woman’s face, Green is momentarily stunned.)

 

Green It is... It is...

Yellow What pretty eyes

Pink The eyes of a murderer

Yellow It isn’t murder if you’re not already breathing.

Green I... I...

Woman Oh. These remind me of my childhood...

Green It is... It is...

Pink Irrelevant?

Green No! No... I... I’ve forgotten

Yellow You’re only human

Green Yes... yes... (points at the lady, at herself.) And now I see myself through my own green eyes. I can’t go back I won’t go back —

Yellow You... you... you’re...

Woman Orange were my favourites. Green were my mothers.

Green Finally, I see myself, finally, I meet you...

(To be a human, is to be disappointed)

(If not distraught)

(If not lost.)

(Woman reaches a long slender finger and picks up the orange jelly baby from the counter. The

Jelly babies are screaming.)

 

Green No no no no no no no no please God no —


Boy Hey --------?

Girl (Pause.) ......Yes?

Boy Do you... do you remember me...?

Girl I...

Boy You never read me that poem.


It’s up to you make the choice, you can choose where to finish. I preferred to poke them, especially in the warmer weather. Clamp the head, it’s nice when it’s goey. Squeeze it squeeze it squeeze it till it all caves in, mmmmmm yummy! Then you get to lick all the sticky juice from off your fingers. It was best with the red ones, then it looked like blood. It made me hyperactive. Then we all got banned.

I wish I could know you, I wish I could see you, I wish we could buy a new house and live in the country with a garden and a swing, and my mother and my father would say how happy we all looked, and I am aware that you might save lives, and I am aware you might save the world (if it’s possible,) but how can I have you when I just don’t trust myself?

If you were a boy I’d call you Gregory. It would only happen all over again. My husband would never know that it was my fault.

 

The world has been wound up by our fingers like a jack in the box, Over-polluting

and when it explodes, there’ll be no-one else to turn the clogs. Overpopulating

More more more more more more

MORE.

It’s no-one’s fault. There’s no-one to blame. I didn’t know I would feel this way. If I’d have known I would have changed it.

Your father is going to hate me.


Green is trying desperately to eat herself)

Ring ring, ring ring.

(Silence)

Ring ring, ring ring

(Click)

(Beeeeeeeep)

(Massive silence. Eventually hangs up.)

 

(She has successfully managed to chew off both her hands and feet, and now she is dragging herself on her elbows and knees towards the side of the worktop)


Do you think it will hurt? I haven’t really thought about the pain. It seems unsubstantial, inconsequential. It’s just a feeling. Pain is just a feeling. Remember, we are only human. It’s a thing that happens. Like death. I am only human. And you are nowhere near anything that is considered to be of relevance.

(Yet.)

I wonder if you will feel it. I am sorry if you do. I suppose if I will feel it, then you will too. Like a vacuum. Like the hoover. I imagine that’s what it’s like to be a bug in the carpet being sucked up by the giant’s mouthpiece. The tongue of God. If there is a God. But there’s not. There are only things bigger than us, and out of our control. We can’t handle that. Of course we can’t. Why do you think we’re here? Why do you think I’m writing this? Fuck! I am not scared of the pain, I promise you. I promise you I am not scared.


Woman Green. My Mother’s favourite. Oh, I didn’t like them. Oh, you’re sticky. Yuck.

 

(She picks up Green and throws her out of the window. Green splashes; she lands in a pond and slowly she

sinks to the bottom. The pond freezes. A light breeze, the breeze of Spring, sends itself rustling along the

fingers of the sun, pale and yellow, a dim colour, an inevitability.)

 

Woman Spring again...


To find my brain in that river again I would give away every one of my tears and feed the banks with the salt from my eyes. But all in all, it’s irrelevant.

 

And I am my own destroyer.