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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Thursday, 5 October 2006

This is a partial script of a stage monolgue I wrote in London. ( Haven't slotted in any prop or stage directions yet)

In My Secret Heart

by Susan Abraham

In the secret walls of my heart, I still hear you. In the doors of my imagination, you may have just walked in. In the mirror of my memory, your smile lingers like the haunting scent of frangipanis on a quiet day.

In an unseen vision, your eyes stab mine.

Are you still where you said you would always be?

I could be with you in two ticks. Two flights from London to Melbourne and with a swift transit in Singapore.

In the meantime, a bookshop, lunch, a passport check and then like the true mad chase of Speedy Gonzales, that’s that. But two ticks. I promise! That is all it will take.

The rush of footsteps. The swift brisk dash through immigration. Luggage, taxis, a nervous telephone call, your shocked abrupt reaction and all the usual. Or don’t I know.

But still I hold sacred and shameless, the silent assurance that you won't turn me down. That is what stays the daring devilish thing when I picture such a fantasy.

I know you won't say, "No, we cannot...must not meet." You love me too much in an odd painful way for another heartbreak.

You see, this is what makes me so bold and sometimes even a little cold. I know you still love me inside yourself, with the same intensity that I love you.

But I will not leave. I cannot.

Too much time has fled... and now the water that waits to sedate my thoughts, from under the bridge that you once built for me, may drown me... The bridge will fall. There are cracks already; can’t you see.

And I have something else to pursue.

Something like what! But another man? That’s a laugh. Of course not. How could you be so stupid to even think….

You once told me...you once told me...can't...can't possibly remember...but you told me, yes, you did, you did...you said you loved me, didn't you now....YOU-SAID-YOU-LOVED-ME!

Is it too late now, or is there still a thin, wavering moment of magic I could grasp from somewhere in the darkness that will not go away?

That you will remember me in my steely stardom while properly masqueraded like a wilting carnation in your buttonhole. But what is it? Don't you remember? It's our secret, right? Shh!

(The contracts signed already, darling. It's all touch 'n go, now. You'll soon see my name in lights. My stage role is assured. Indeed! Indeed!)

Me marching on onward, to look for my streets of gold and you to stay on in the past, like the perfect classic of a ghost so old.

And a big Ha-Ha to that...

Perhaps when on the day you finally hear my news, you may be buried deep in documents, pouring a glass of wine for a friend or waving a golf stick. You may be in bed making love or reading the newspaper on a patio.

That delicious smile that plastered your face like a portrait would suddenly break open into a thunderous applause. A portrait I dutifully painted, with crayons snatched from the sunset.

Paletted with the colours of a rainbow, sentimentally sketched and mastered by the angels - oh, but for the mush of a gently pillowed heart - you would post me my dues from thousands of miles away. And I silent and unknowing would suddenly see your name flash before my very eyes, in the face of my own success.

‘You are never faraway from my mind,’ I would hear the echoes. ‘You are never far away.’

I could be in the middle of laughing at something as I am often laughing these days, or sipping on coffee or engrossed in a novel while waiting for the usual furore of lunches and rehersals, and I would suddenly remember you, forget everything and for a full moment for the sake of old loyalties, stay as frozen as a grim statue.

I would have to be shaken back into reality by the kind stranger 'of the moment.' I can picture someone, probably a secretary, asking me, if I'm alright, another, if I wanted a glass of water. And that would be mineral of course! Sparkling or distilled?

Or otherwise, "how about a cup of tea, luvvie?" That is exactly how I shall enter the door of my caving new success. Not very celebratory, I admit but how can I stop myself. I am a woman, still in love with what is left of my past.

Oh, but enough for now. This remembrance will make me cry.

I thought I saw you last week and after such a long, long time. On one of those wintry London afternoons when the skies seemed greyer than usual and the hovering black cloud threatened to pour real tears.

And to think, it was in the middle of the most ordinary thing.

I was hurrying to a cafe, to order a chicken wrap for a takeway. I thought that would be perfect for my tea and the evening news. Surely you would have agreed though you had a preference for Italian. Remember Lygon Street in Melbourne? Remember Carlton? That would have been more your style, darling.

As I hurried across a crowded pavement, the doors of a nearby black cab swung open and a man got out, while escorting a blonde to her feet. She slipped, then laughed. He caught her quickly by the waist, bent down towards her small frame and kissed her reassuringly before fishing out his wallet to pay the driver.

It was in the same way that you kissed me full on my lips. I, with my favourite Lauder shades and as you often said...a soft, cranberry taste, sugared after a regal, royal love. All quiet, expectant and decidedly self-assured.

That taste of you and the feel of your lips, a little grainy and like slight salt from the sea. And that same whiff of your Klein aftershave and rough rub of bristled cheeks.

For a moment I thought, "Could it be..." and then realised it wasn't. He looked just like you. That same hairstyle and pinstriped suit and clumsy fiddling of pockets. And then it all rushed back.

The bridge fell down to pieces to be soaked in a flood, as bloodied daggers shot into my memory and tore open old wounds. I was too stunned to look for bandages. Now my heart tears in strange unspoken places, a rip here and a scar there and will not stop. I tell you, why won't you believe me, when I say, IT WILL NOT STOP...

(If someone has a first aid kit, please help. Thank you. Thank you so much.) Shh! Don't tell, I say. Don't tell.

That evening I forgot the chicken and my tea. I forgot the evening news. All I could think of was you and if you sometimes still remembered me.

In the glazed distance of a dim sunset, I saw the strange forgotten road that would no longer take my footeps into a time of romance. I stood watching the doors to the past, swing on its hinges in the frightening wind.

I thought of all that I had lost. And I cried.


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