Lone Grey Squirrel, a scientist who happens to be a writer, has, in his current blog, introduced a story.
It is a triangle, the most basic of all plots.
But the triangle turns bloody as the husband (don't they always come back?) is possessed with rage and jealousy and almost literally cuts his wife's ghostly lover into little pieces with a hunting knife.
LGS' story has triggered something in me.
It made me think of a play I have been fashioning.
I had been writing the play to give myself a catharsis, so that I too wouldn't go out and cut some poor bloke into little pieces...Or be myself skewered.
Some of you have seen snippets of my play before.
But it seems somehow fitting that now, after reading LGS' piece, I realize that the agony stemming from a love triangle can sometimes be vented by a play.
So here goes (again):
THE FIRE IN BRADFORD
A play in twelve acts
Interior: We are back at the professor's apartment. He has the stereo on, while massaging the inside of his left arm. Song on the stereo is You Can't Always get What You Want, by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.
Music: I saw her at the reception
In her glass there was a footlose man
She was practise at the art of deception
I could tell by her bloodstained hands
I spent a few days in a fog. A fog in my head, right among the pillars. Deadly fog. On the edge of my consciousness, armies were gathering. A vampire fell from the sky. What in hell did she do to me, vampire?
The only time I'm happy now is when I'm with her. Without her, I go through withdrawal. Bleeding man at the bottom of her glass.
Stage business: The professor moves from the couch he had been siting on, drink in hand and goes to the stereo again.
Music. Stones song from the beginning. UP
I saw her at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna make her connection
In her glass there was a bleeding man.
Professor (in soliloque): God damn Lief and Celia. Thank God I had those tranquillizers from my last dry-out. Didn't know what hit me.
Sound: The telephone is trilling.
Professor picks up phone: Hello.
Voice at other end is Celia.
Celia: Hi David. You still alive after last night? Lief and I had to pour you into the truck and drive you home.
I hope you're all right.
Professor: I'm uh, all right. You?
Celia: Fine. Hey, can we scrape enough together for lunch? There are things we need to talk about.
The professor pauses.
Celia. Come on David. Let's get together.
Celia: How about in two hours?
LIGHTS: Down to black.
Celia is waiting for David at the restaurant.
David approaches her booth. She stands. On the ring finger of her hand there is an engaement ring and a wedding band. He goes to kiss her, but she draws away a little.
Celia: You'd think you hadn't seen me for a couple of months!
Professor: It's the way I feel.
Celia: I know how you feel. I know you better than you know yourself.
The professor does a slight double take and sits down.
Professor: This is getting a little hard-edged.
Celia: Is it?
The waitress approaches. They order drinks.
Celia (over her glass of wine): David, I don't want you to think I'm a loose woman. I think we should start seeing other people, at least start going out with the class, the class that you teach. Again.
The professor: Un voyage d'aller et retour. Where are we going with this?
Celia: You think you're the only one? This isn't easy for me.
Professor: Well, I'd say this whole situation is getting close to intolerable. What does your husband say about all this?
Celia: Lief understands. But if we want to keep going out together, I'm going to have to bring Lief along. (She gives a flash of rings).
The professor quietly drinks his beer.
MUSIC: from "You Can't Always Get What You want again. UP.
.................End act IV , scene 2
Ah. The hanging man in the tarot.
Adlultery kills. Never mind the trendy wife swappers. Adultery kills slowly or straight-off. But it kills all the same.
At least so it seemed to me as I was writing this play.
In a comedic twist, the sheer thoughtfulness off all the pariticants in the play from real life--somehow saved them all from mayhem and murder.
Is Lionel Trilling right?
The way out of tragedy is intelligence and right intention?