India Awaiting (Off-Broadway, NYC, 2005)

Cummings’ characters are endowed with some engaging twists, such as Nikhil’s wry self-awareness – as when he refers to himself as an “imported brain.” While the secondary roles have less depth, they do include uproarious dialogue, and the performers take full advantage. Best of all, although the play does raise larger issues, it never loses sight of Nikhil, Janet and the quirks and dynamics of their particular romance.” Time Out New York, NYC

(Hindi translation by Ismail Bashey)

The men’s locker room. Nikhil polishes his cricket bat. ANURAG, a close friend from high school in India enters with a cricket ball.

Anurag: Oh my god! I think I need to get my eyes checked! Is that Nikhil? Nikhil who I haven’t seen for decades?

Nikhil: You’re full of it! It hasn’t been decades. Three weeks man.

Anurag: JP is working you too hard man. Eh? Are you going to Ashish’s this Saturday, to watch the match?

Nikhil: Can’t make it.

Anurag: Abe saleh, tell me, what could be more important than the hottest India-Pakistan match? (English translation: You schmuck.)

Nikhil: My girlfriend.

Anurag/Nikhil: Ahhhhh!

Anurag: Well, well, well….that explains everything. I knew something was up. (beat) Hey! Aren’t you gonna tell me who she is?

Nikhil: What do you want to know?

Anurag: Well, have you…(he indicates having sex).

Nikhil: Next question, mere bhai. (English translation: bro)

Anurag: Ah, come on! I’d expect you to do it in three weeks dude! (beat) So who does she look like?

Nikhil: Cindy Crawford.

Anurag: Be serious yaar. (English Translation: buddy.)

Nikhil: I am serious.

Anurag: Oh really? Indian Cindy Crawford? Nice.

(beat)

Nikhil: She’s not Indian.

(beat)

Anurag: She’s not Indian dude?

Nikhil: No.

Anurag: Gandu, don’t tell me you’re dating a white girl. (English translation: You shit.)

Nikhil: Yeah. What’s the problem?

Anurag: Nothing, nothing’s the problem. I just don’t know what you would see in a white girl yaar?

Nikhil: What are you talking about man? The same thing you see in them stupid.

Anurag: Ah, wait a minute, I like Indian women and you know it.

Nikhil: Oh yeah yeah yeah, I guess you’ve forgotten about Lisa.

Anurag: Lisa? Lisa who?

Nikhil: The red head who works on my floor!?

Anurag: (becoming sing songy) Ohhhh, that Lisa, meri Lisa, Lisa ah ha a ah ha. (English translation: Lisa oh my Lisa).

Nikhil: Yeah the one you talked my head off about for two years, “Oh god, I wish I could touch her ass…and did you see her tits…it’s killing me, hai mein mar jaoon. / I can’t take it. I can’t take it anymore.” (English translation: Oh, I could just die.)

Anurag: Thik hai, thik hai, that was just talk, you know me, talk. (English translation: All right, all right).

Nikhil: Yeah yeah, right, talk. For two years.

Anurag: You know what they say about a man in love? It weakens his game. Fifty bucks my team wins.

Nikhil: First of all, my team always wins and second, who the hell says I’m in love?

Anurag: It’s written all over your face Nikhil, you look sick with it!

Nikhil: All right then, make it a hundred!

Anurag: Two hundred!

Nikhil: Fine!

Anurag: But just tell me then, okay, did you, you know….(indicates sex).

Nikhil: Three hundred you bastard!

Forty-Four, conversation one from Conversations in L.A. (2016)

A slash ( / ) indicates the point of overlap in interrupted dialogue.

(Michelle drives and Gus sits in the passenger seat. Suddenly, Gus hits the dashboard with the palm of his hand.)

Michelle: What’s wrong?

Gus: Nothing.

Michelle: Nothing?

(beat)

Gus: Pull over.

Michelle: I’m in the / middle of the…

Gus: PULL OVER! !

Michelle: O-kay, calm down. Jesus. Just give me a second.

(Michelle pulls the car over to the side of the road.)

Michelle: What’s goin’ on?

Gus: I quit.

Michelle: You quit your / job?

Gus: That asshole fucking touched me!

Michelle: What asshole?

Gus: My boss! Carlos! I fucking hate gay fucking men. You know what it’s like to have your gay boss fucking grab your crotch day after day after day? (beat) Fuck man. FUCK!

(Michelle turns off the car and takes off her sunglasses.)

Michelle: How long has this been going on?

Gus: Since the beginning.

Michelle: Since the / beginning?

Gus: Two years!

Michelle: Two years?

Gus: Two fucking years!

Michelle: Why didn’t you say anything?

Gus: Because we’ve only known each other three months. I didn’t wanna…

Michelle: (beat) Didn’t wanna what?

Gus: Tell you all my shit!

Michelle: I tell you all my shit.

Gus: Yeah well, your shit is not like my shit.

Michelle: Meaning?

Gus: Meaning you don’t have a boss whose been sexually harassing you. (under his breath) Gay mother fucker.

Michelle: Wow, what an asshole. You know what? We should go back there so I can tell him off for you. / You wanna go back there?

Gus: And I never got any fucking clients because the other stylist owes Carlos three thousand dollars so of course he gave him all the clients! Mother fucking meth head! I should sue his ass!

Michelle: I don’t…know if that’s a good idea.

Gus: I’m not afraid.

Michelle: I didn’t say / you weren’t…

Gus: I’m not scared. He’s a mother fucking son of a bitch prick!

(beat)

Michelle: So he would literally grab your crotch?

Gus: All the time.

Michelle: And what would you do?

Gus: Push the mother fucker away. Tell him to cut it out.

Michelle: And then what would he do?

Gus: Laugh. “You’re gay. Admit it.” Stupid gay men think they can try and change me. You know how many times I told him, “I’m straight asshole! Leave me the fuck alone!”

Michelle: Maybe he was just trying to be friendly.

Gus: Don’t even go there. / He touched me and I never said he could. End of story.

Michelle: No seriously, maybe he was just kidding around –

Gus: (beat) Let’s just go. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

(Michelle takes a moment and then puts on her sunglasses. She starts the car and then drives.)

Michelle: I’m sorry about what happened.

Gus: Yeah well. There’s nothing you can do about it so…

Michelle: Maybe, just maybe, you should try and work at a salon that’s with just all women. You know?

(Gus looks at Michelle like that wouldn’t be any different and then…)

Gus: I’m thirty-two. By the way.

Michelle: (beat) You’re thirty-two? You told me you were forty-four.

Gus: Yeah…I know.

Michelle: So you lied to me? (beat) Gus?

Gus: Would you want to be with me if you knew I was only thirty-two?

Michelle: I don’t care about age.

Gus: Yeah well, I can’t do this. I can’t fucking do this Michelle.

Michelle: We are doing it this though Gus.

Gus: I’m thirty-two, you’re forty-eight. That means we’re sixteen years apart! I can’t do this!

Michelle: Didn’t you just say to me – this morning – that maybe we should livetogether because this is so awesome?

Gus: You don’t understand.

Michelle: What don’t I understand?

Gus: My mom had me really young. You and my…mom, are the exact same age.

Michelle: So.

Gus: So? Don’t you get it? You could be my mom!

Sinkhole (2014)

Jerry: I want to remind you both that we’re only here for two days.

Sofi: Unreal –

Jerry: Two days. So I am not gonna skirt around the edges here…you guys need to buy two things, an alarm system and a gun.

Sofi: You and I are not talking for two months after we get back. Two months!

Jane: I agree. Absolutely.

Mark: We are not buying a fucking gun!

Jane: Mark…how can you stand there and say that to me after what just happened? Honestly. How can you…

Mark: Because Jane, because I believe in non-violence.

Jerry: Ha!

Jane: You think I believe in violence?

Mark: If you want a gun in this house then yeah, you believe in violence.

Jane: Somebody help me. Jerry –

Jerry: Mark, you’re not thinking clearly. Your wife has been through a very traumatic experience here. She almost got killed yesterday. You understand? The police don’t know who this person is. Not yet. So you need to step back and think for a moment. You got me? Think. Your wife wants to feel safe and protected. An alarm system is not enough to stop someone from getting into this house and firing a gun off. Having a gun in this house means taking the additional step so everyone feels extra safe.

Mark: You think a gun is gonna make me feel “extra safe?” I’m not a gun owner in case you forgot. Nothing you can say to me is gonna change that. You understand?

Jerry: Well then I suggest you move to a different neighborhood.

Mark: You just can’t stop, can you?

Jerry: If you don’t, you’ll spend the rest of your lives living here being robbed, maybe even killed. Do you really want that?

Mark: I spent half a million dollars on this house. What does that say about this neighborhood?

Jerry: I don’t know Mark – what does it say about this neighborhood?

Mark: It’s on the up-and-up.

Jerry: Ah-hah. Would you be held at gunpoint in Beverly Hills?

Mark: Of course! Happens all the time in Beverly Hills – happens more there than it does here!

Jerry: No, uh-huh. It doesn’t. There’s more security in Beverly Hills so there’s less crime. Why do you think all the stars pay billions of dollars to live there? For security. You want security, you gotta pay for it and half a million dollars doesn’t pay for it in this part of town. Are you listening?

Jane: What are we gonna do?

Jerry: You’re either gonna stay here and install an alarm system and buy a gun that you secure in a locked place that you never tell Ricky and Joey about or you don’t finish unpacking, get out of here, sell this house, and find another place to live.

Mark: That’s…

Jane: But where do we stay in the meantime?

Mark: A hotel.

Jerry: That’s right. Very good Mark. And you wanna know why? It’ll give you the impetus to get the hell outta there and find another house, in a nice neighborhood.

Mark: We’re not moving.

Jane: Then we’re getting a gun.

Mark: Jane –

Jerry: Listen to your wife Mark.

Mark: Shut the fuck up.

Sofi: Okay…

Jane: If you don’t wanna move, then we’re getting a gun – it’s that simple.

Sofi: Jane, think about the boys. Think about all the stories you hear in the news about children, same ages as Ricky and Joey, finding their parents’ gun and killing someone by accident. It’s dangerous. You don’t need a gun.

Jane: Sofi – think about the lives you could have saved if you had a gun when that teenage bully stepped foot into your classroom and killed three of your kids.

(beat)

Sofi: That was really low.

Mark: Real low Jane.

Jane: I didn’t mean it that way.

Sofi: Then what way did you mean it?

Jane: I meant that guns protect.

Sofi: It sounded like you were saying that those children died because I didn’t have a gun in my possession and shoot the kid.

Jerry: That’s not / what she was saying.

Jane: That wasn’t what I was saying.

Soul Mates (2013)

evette: I’m addicted you know. To chocolate.

paul: I didn’t know.

evette: Well, I am. I have to have my daily fix.

paul: In the form of?

evette: Hmm…where to begin. Godiva dark chocolate with almonds. Sometimes peanut M&M’s, chocolate and peanut butter Häagen Dazs ice cream, toffee and dark chocolate covered almonds, a chocolate Dunkin Doughnut.

paul: Nice!

evette: Right?

paul: I go for Snickers a few times a week.

evette: I used to like Snickers. What about Heath bars?

paul: Nah. / They don’t do it for me.

evette: Oh my god, I love Heath bars. Love them!

paul: You ever eat cookie dough ice cream and just eat the cookie dough?

evette: All the time! Drives my kids crazy when I do that?

(beat)

paul: Wait a minute, you have kids?

evette: I never told you?

paul: No.

evette: Huh. (beat) Well, I have two.

paul: You have two kids?

evette: Lydia’s eighteen, a junior at Columbia. Sebastian’s twenty one. He’s an engineer for Microsoft. Lives in Seattle.

paul: Wow.

evette: Sorry. I thought I told you.

paul: I’m pretty sure you didn’t. (beat) So you’re divorced?

evette: No.

paul: You’re married?!

evette: Yeah.

paul: You. Are. Married?

evette: We’ve been talking about getting a divorce.

paul: Do you live together?

evette: Yeah, but we’re just friends.

paul: Interesting. Very fucking interesting. I’m not sure why you didn’t tell me all this before.

evette: Maybe it never came up before.

paul: Really?

evette: Really.

paul: So we have been having an affair – an email affair.

evette: That’s what I told you.

paul: You…how can you…

evette: I don’t know. I guess it didn’t matter, in my mind, because we haven’t been physically in the same space. Does that make sense?

paul: Nnnnno. Not really.

evette: We haven’t been dating. In person. I never see you. I had a life before we met through our emails you know.

paul: No, I know / that.

evette: So then what difference does it make? / I mean really.

paul: What difference does it make?

evette: Yeah.

paul: Are you..you’re…

evette: Yes. I am. I’m married. Get over it. I have two children. This ring…

evette takes a gold band off the index finger of her right hand and then slips it on the ring finger of her left hand.

evette: …belongs on this finger. See? Married.

paul: Holy shit.

evette: You never asked me. You just assumed.

paul: I’m supposed to ask you something like that? I thought it would have been a given that you’d tell me.

evette: We didn’t say to one another, we’re-not-married-since-we’re-email-dating-one-another.

paul: I can’t believe what I’m hearing.

evette: Look, I have feelings for you. I just – we met and my life was not clear for you at the time. I didn’t know you were coming.

paul: Well I didn’t know you were coming.

(beat)

evette: That sounded…

paul: Provocative.

evette: Yes. And weird. (beat) I still have feelings for you.

paul: I know, but this complicates things. Now you can’t just marry me and move to LA.

evette: What’s the rush?!

paul: It’s time for us to move onto the next stage.

Extremes (2010)

Sean: I tried calling you, but your assistant told me you were out.

Carla: I was busy.

Sean: So was I.

Carla: I don’t understand your ethics. Do you lie to people to get what you want?

Sean: And what about you? Do you lie to people to get what you want? I’ve heard about a project that set-up several entities to provide cash and help manage your company’s investment portfolio.

Carla: You have no proof of this.

Sean: I’ve heard that your company does most of its trading within itself. I’ve also heard about a division, setting up new trusts to pay off damaged old trusts. Is this what happens in these geisha parlors? What secrecy rules are you operating under?

Carla: Not one.

Sean: For the past four years you’ve been working directly under a Ponzi schemer who will probably be responsible for one of the world’s largest conspiracies in history.

Carla: How much of yesterday was an act? Your wife’s death, Frank’s gambling, Tucker and Boggs…was that even your bed I slept in?

Sean: Nicole died on December 15, 2002, Frank’s specialty was gin rummy, I don’t work for Tucker and Boggs, and yes, that was my bed.

Carla: And what about this?

Sean: I meant every word I said. Look, I can’t always go around saying who I am, otherwise nobody will tell me the truth. And I wasn’t entirely sure how to broach the subject with Frank having just died.

Carla: Did I look like I needed your sympathy?

Sean: I stayed because I wanted to.

Carla: You stayed because you wanted information.

Sean: I like you, but we have a conflict of interest.

Carla: No shit.

Sean: I have a job to do.

Carla: And so do I.

Sean: I need you to uncover things for me.

Carla: That’s the job of the SEC.

Sean: The SEC is full of lawyers, not financiers. What’s clear to me is they don’t know how to catch financial crimes since this has been going on for I don’t know how long. And I believe you know what I’m talking about. In fact, I believe you know more than what I’m talking about. Phones are ringing and emails are flying around the world about this.

Carla: It’s all speculation.

Sean: How many times do you talk to Martin a day? Two? Five? Ten?

Carla: If he needs to talk to me he sends me an email, if that.

Sean: Do you help Martin with these false entities?

Carla: I work for Martin. I don’t question what he asks me to do.

Sean: So you have no idea where investors’ money is going? Has he ever said anything to you about where all his money comes from?

Carla: I don’t ask him things like that. Why would I ask him something like that?

Sean: Because you suspect something is wrong.

Carla: I don’t like where you’re headed…

Sean: …did you know that funds were forbidden from listing Martin as an investment advisor in marketing materials? Do you know about the funds in Europe? Do you know that Martin is unregistered with the SEC? / Doesn’t that surprise you?

Carla: You want to talk to me, talk to my lawyer.

Sean: The math doesn’t make sense. Siver reported his fund was down only four months out of 80, when the S&P 500 was down 28 months during the same period. How do you explain that Carla? I’m giving you an opportunity to keep your integrity. Do you really want to be tied to all of this?

Carla: I’m not.

Sean: Then all the more reason why you should talk.

Carla: Get someone else.

Sean: I think you know more than most people do.

Carla: Martin has guys who’ve been working with him for 30 years. Talk to them.

Sean: I’ve tried and I believe they’ve been paid to lie, just like investors. And I believe the SEC has been paid to look the other way. Funds don’t go from $3 billion one year to $20 billion the next. There are red flags waving all over the place if you look closely. Have you looked closely?

Carla: I don’t know anything.

Sean: Well darling, I know you do. Just remember, very early on in our discussions, I stopped having an interest in writing a story.

Sean takes out his business card.

Sean: Here’s my number…

Sean offers his business card to Carla. She doesn’t take it. He leaves it on the bench.

Sean: You know what I think? I think somehow all of this ties in with Frank. Whatever “friendship” you had with him stopped you from living your life. Maybe it even put you in the bloody mess you’re in today. Listen to me Carla, there’s no reason why someone like you should be carrying a gun on you at all times unless you’re an undercover cop or you work for the FBI, and you’re neither. I know you’re in trouble. No one will harm you if you talk. Just keep this in mind while you sip on that green tea to cure your hangover – the media can do one of two things – help you or hurt you.

Carla: Are you threatening me?

Sean: All I’m saying is that you should consider yourself lucky because I happen to have a vested interest in helping you.

Carla: Why?

Sean: You were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Purgatory Row (2007)

Senna: What are you thinkin’?

(pause)

Heather: I got it all figgered out this time.

Senna: How’s that?

Heather: Yer Christian boy.

Senna: He’s not gonna do that. He don’t even like you ta begin with.

Heather: Well he seems ta like you. I bet he’d help if you ask.

Senna: Like I’m gonna ask him ta do somethin’ as dangerous as that.

Heather: I’d say it’s more dangerous sittin’ in here waitin’ on tha hangman.

Senna: I’m not doin’ it!

Heather: Yer jus afraid.

Senna: Damn right.

Heather: Ain’t no one else in this place who’d think twice ‘bout askin’ a nice man like him.

Senna: Don’t think just cuz he comes in here with tha Lord on his side an tries ta fix things he’s gonna do some dirty work fer you. Most folks desperate as you would’ve made a tunnel an gotten out by now.

Heather: Well, maybe I have.

Senna: Like hell.

Heather: Where you think Jared’s hammer is?

(beat)

Senna: Well look at you – you gonna git whupped when they find it.

Heather: No one’s gonna find it.

Senna: Where you hidin’ it?

Heather: I ain’t tellin’.

Senna: So how far you dug? That far? (showing about two feet)

Heather: Ain’t you funny.

Senna: Well I imagine it’ll take a while ta dig a whole tunnel underneath these barracks with Jared’s hammer. An where you gonna put all tha dirt, huh? See, you don’t know. You know why? Cuz you don’t know tha formula fer makin’ a tunnel.

Heather: Do you?

Senna: Well no, but I know it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than you think – thas why there ain’t too many folks gittin’ out that way.

Heather: Least I wanna do somethin’.

Senna: Oh, you think I ain’t doin’ somethin’? I’d say I am. I’m werkin’. I’m keepin’ myself real busy an stayin’ clean till I git my clemency. But just ta keep me entertained, let’s say I decide ta dig with you, where’ll we go once we git out?

Heather: You wouldn’t dig with me.

Senna: Maybe I would.

(beat)

Heather: Okay – well first we’d have ta hang low fer a while –

Senna: Hang low? Like where? In a bush?

Heather: No. We’d stay outside, in a field fer a little while until we find ourselves a nice empty barn somewhere. They’re lots a empty barns, an they’re warm too with lots a hay. Now we’d stay in there fer a good week er two, an ‘round most barns you’ll find animals an where there’s animals there’s usually food – so we’ll have our means ta eat. Then when things look okay, we git up an hitch our separate ways.

Senna: Hitch our separate ways? Is this how you think things through in yer cell at night? I thought you was smarter than me. Our pictures are in tha papers an you think we should hitch our separate ways with complete strangers when they’re given out a huge ransom fer our arrest? I’d rather stay right here than do somethin’ as cockeyed as that. (beat) Don’t you see, yer so close. You got a good job right here, you got Devlin bein’ real nice all of a sudden which probably means it can’t be too much longer now ‘fore yer out if you show good behavior.

Heather: Thas horse shit! I could be as sweet as God’s favorite angel an that wouldn’t change nuthin’ fer me. There ain’t no such thing as gittin’ out on good behavior when yer waitin’ on execution! You know how I know, cuz nuthin’s ever happen, nuthin’s ever changed!

Senna: An you know why that is? Cuz you ain’t bin good! You jus stole Jared’s hammer!

Heather: Then how do you explain you? You ain’t stole nuthin’ an yer still in here!

Senna: I won’t be!

Heather: Ten years from now you’ll still be sayin’ that! / You’ll see!

Senna: No I won’t. I ain’t like you.

Heather: You don’t have ta be ta git tha same punishment.

Senna: Why don’t you stop complainin’? You don’t see me complainin’. Why can’t you be happy fer one day?

Heather: Because I don’t want ta be happy in here! This is gonna be my grave if I don’t do somethin’! I could have a better life out there!

Senna: With yer record you got tha mark a Cain on yer forehead! No one’s gonna want ta touch you!

Heather: Like they’re gonna wanna touch you!

Senna: I know what I’m holdin’ out fer an when that day comes, I won’t have no guilty conscience an I won’t have ta wander ‘round wonderin’ if folks er after me! You dig on outta here, er walk on outta here an escape an git away with it – you think you’ll ever be free?

Touché! (2006)

Sir Edmund: I am unmistakably sorry.

Fredira: Why?

Sir Edmund: I was completely struck by thy beauty. I must tell thee something.

Fredira: Have you not said enough? Please. Must I remind you thou art married?

Sir Edmund: And so are you.

(beat)

Sir Edmund: What we have in common is that we are both equally frustrated by the constraints that shape our lives. Tis unbearable to see thee here, unable to be held by my safe embrace…

Sir Edmund goes to embrace her.

Fredira: Hast thou gone mad? Tis not possible with thy wife outside this room.

Albert enters.

Albert: Are you making tea?

Fredira: Oh, yes, would you care for some?

Albert: Why yes…was my harpsichord playing bad? Sylva seems to have grown tired of it or maybe it is me she hath grown tired of. If only I truly liked Dittersdorf or Scarlatti even! I could please her, but my ear finds so much pleasure in the art of Bach. Will you find out what ails her and like a humming bird, buzz in my ear just how I am to make her delicate heart sing?

Fredira: Albert, do not waste thy time wondering if her love for thee is true. Hast thou forgotten this time of year she doth wish the winter winds to pass; it hath always brought out a restlessness in her. Your tea?

Albert: How you always soothe my nerves, dear Fredira.

He kisses her hand and exits.

Sir Edmund: Would you let me kiss your hand as he…

Fredira: You travel too far and insist on a rather extreme temper.

Fredira exits. Back to the drawing-room. Guests are leaving.

Lord Ha Ha: Ah Fredira! Lovely party! As always my darling.

Fredira: Hast thou seen Augustus?

Lord Ha Ha: I believe he hath gone to his bed-chamber. With script in hand, or head I should say.

Fredira: Perfect.

Lord Ha Ha: How delightful the chatter of Sir Edmund’s wife. And a Tory at that! Preserve the King’s authority? She knoweth much, yet she doth not do a thing!

Fredira: Typical of a Tory!

Lord Ha Ha: Art thou jealous?

Fredira: Jealous? Please! I simply do not know what Sir Edmund finds so appealing about her.

Lord Ha Ha: The pleasures in the bed were good. Were, I said. She was his teacher and he, her play-thing. Such an alliance in the bed-chamber can tie a knot between two people for life – tis a powerful thing indeed. But let us not meddle into his affairs, for they are too strange for words, Fredira! Put him out of thy mind, out I say.

Sylva enters.

Sylva: (to Fredira) I must speak with thee, tis of an urgent matter.

Lord Ha Ha: Well then ladies, my coach awaits me. If you will excuse me…

Lord Ha Ha exits.

Fredira: What’s the news?

Sylva: I disclosed to Tristan that I am leaving Albert this evening. We hath agreed to marry as soon as I have my divorce.

Fredira: Sister, I thought Tristan was but a whim. He’s like a ship, sometimes docked, but mostly out to sea! How could he possibly make thee a husband?

Sylva: He will request a position with the newspaper here in town. It may take some time, but his devotion towards a family is apparent.

Fredira: Is Albert that bad? Can you not at least try to make it work?

Sylva: Such conservative words from my own sister, the one I expect most to understand?

Fredira: You know I understand – I just want you to remember there’s danger with this sort of love.

Sylva: And there’s danger in your sort of love. Thou art in the same position as I, and dost thou have a plan? Wilt thou be like a spider, in a state of suspension on a single strand of web? Or wilt thou hide thy love in the dark, forever fearful of being dragged into the light?

Fredira: Sister, thou hast caught me off-guard. I am not like thee. I am a poet and live in each moment – perhaps I should seek a way to win my treasure, but for now, I do not know.

Sylva: Well I have no choice but to act now Fredira, for there is a lit fuse close to my heart which burns away the minutes before the lie I’ve covered reveals itself to Albert.

Fredira: No wait, do not be hasty, instead feign to Tristan that you have left Albert and see if he still stays true to his word. Have you not noticed his eyes? They dream of winds to fill his sail.

Sylva: Why yes, they do dream of something far off.

Fredira: Then do as I say and make certain his love is honest before you break from Albert and leave our dear parents’ home, for this instant satisfaction could cause much turmoil. And if Tristan is not honest, then thou still hath a roof over thy head. Promise me you will say nothing to Albert.