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Another Play, Same Theme

YOU SEEM DISTRACTED, DEAR

Rory enters. He adjusts himself.

Rory: The day I got married was the day I realised heaven could not exist.

Ellen steps out. She waves.

Rory: Sorry. The day I got married again was the day I realised heaven could not exist.

Anna steps out. She waves.

Rory: That’s today. I’m not confused, I can tell the difference.

Ellen: Can you?

Rory: Yes. One’s down here, half-cut, ready for the photos.

Anna: I’m not really a smiler. More a grinner.

Anna drinks some bubbly.

Anna: Gummy.

Rory: One’s up there with a steering wheel halo.

Ellen cricks her neck.

Ellen: Fucking ouch.

Rory: I love one up there and one down here. Here til death do us part. If I go first, does that mean I get…an interlude, a Brief Encounter, with her up there?

Ellen: (Like a 40s romance lead male) You’ve been a long way away.

Rory: (Like a 40s romance lead female) Yes.

Ellen: Thank you for coming back to me.

She grabs him and kisses him on the mouth.

Rory: And if she kicks it first…

Anna steps across to Ellen. They confer.

Rory: Then I think that would be an awkward welcoming party.

Ellen and Anna share a laugh. Rory arrives. They stop laughing. Anna throws the rest of her drink over Rory.

Rory: And they’ll say.

Ellen & Anna: You seem distracted, dear.

Rory: Heaven wouldn’t let that happen. Heaven’s not so cruel. So heaven can’t exist. Not a great thought to have. On your wedding day.

But now I think I hear them, I hear them both saying.

Ellen & Anna: You seem distracted, dear.

Rory: It wasn’t even in my head, I was preoccupied by the tightness of the ring on my finger. And the trouser button pressing into my belly. Rings are slimmer now.

I am fatter now.

Then my brother, my best man returning for a second season, slapped me on the back and said –

Anna: (As Rory’s brother): It’s exactly what she would have wanted, buddy. She’d be ok with it.

Rory: I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s true.

(To Ellen) Is this what you want? Is this ok?

Ellen: Of course. (To Anna) I want to hug you, you look so pretty.

Anna: Aw!

They hug.

Rory: Is this ok?

Ellen: I want to stiletto your eyeballs and make you choke on confetti.

Ellen slaps Anna.

Anna: Ow!

Rory: Is this ok?

Ellen: I want to thank you for taking him off my hands.

Ellen shakes Anna’s hand.

Anna: Oh?

Rory: From what I remember, all of these, all of these seem like they could be exactly what she wanted.

Ellen: (To Rory) They’re all me.

Rory: I remember.

Ellen: Whatever you want to hear, I’ll tell you.

Anna: (As Rory’s brother) Pick whatever makes you feel not shit.

Rory: And this is how we make the dead.

Anna: Dear.

Rory: The dead lie.

Ellen: Dear.

Rory: Culpable.

Ellen & Anna: You seem.

Rory: With good intentions.

Ellen & Anna: Dear, you.

Rory: Better to give them. No.

Ellen & Anna: Seem.

Rory: No thought.

Ellen & Anna: Distracted.

He spins to Ellen.

Rory: No voice at all! Forget forget. If I stop remembering you, how can you wait? How can she?

Ellen & Anna: You seem distracted, dear.

Rory: Do I?

Ellen & Anna: You seem distracted, dear.

Rory: All this fuss for little old us?

Ellen & Anna: You seem distracted, dear!

Rory: It’s déjà vu.

Ellen: You seem distracted, dear…

She starts to walk off. He watches her go.

Rory: I’m.

She smiles at him.

Rory: I’m wearing the same suit.

She is gone.

Anna: Rory.

Rory.

Rory.

Rory is back in the room.

Anna: You seem distracted, dear. The man wants his photos.

She takes Rory’s hand.

Rory: You’re not her.

Is that ok?

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