Script Extracts


After it’s over, when you know it for a fact, there’s that period where the world always seems to be about to break.
Time is more fragile, days are thinner.
I would sit at home like milk on a step, slowly souring in the sunlight. Friends would arrive at the flat in hazmat suits to listen to my take on the break-up, but hoping not to have any toxic doubt spill onto them and into their relationships.
I’d see experts – one analyst would invite me on walks with him and his angsthound, a dog specifically bred to sense existential crises in others and react with the correct levels of affection, or disinterest, whichever was appropriate.
A hypnotherapist put herself into a trance to give me her advice.
But otherwise I’d put all my energies into lethargy. I felt paralysed from the heart forward. When I left the house I imagined the people I passed on the street were marchers in a vast chaotic parade of the lonely, unaware they were even participating in a lifelong performance art piece, celebrating and justifying the fundamental non-connectedness of society.
But then I thought, cheer up!


I remember I was coming home from Molly’s. Molly is not an alcoholic nor a drug addict, but she had organised her own intervention, or what she called “a party where I am the theme”. She had just wanted to talk about herself all night, and thought it would be nice if everyone she knew came over and did the same. Or, better, actually just listened to her. Not so confronty. It was the start of what would, within months, become a fully enclosed introspection loop, fuelled by Text-Witter, Friend-Acebook and barrels of processed narcissism, where Molly would talk so much about herself and the things she’d done, her opinions about herself and the things she’d done and her opinions about her opinions about herself and the things she’d done, that she would entirely ignore everyone else, and eventually disappear through a hole in her own self-consciousness.
But she hadn’t always been so solipsistic. She’d been out-going, she’d go out. I’d met her years before at a concert sponsored by the Department for Euphemisms (itself a euphemism) given by the Trio Quartet (they were named after the chocolate bar) and we’d gone out. She had worked for Twee Couriers, London’s slowest but most adorable messenger service – freckly redhead girls in berets and cardigans with school satchels, on bikes with big bells and wicker baskets – and our paths crossed many times. I always recognised her basket from the sticker – “Home Tracing is Killing Art.”

Alice. She’d just left a job, writing acronyms for the British Abbreviation Board, or, as it’s usually known, the B. Right now she was a disclaimer writer, but she didn’t write all disclaimers. Her current assignment was for a council who were getting their message across using taggers spraying public information graffiti across town.
Disclaimer writing, of course, wasn’t a full-time job. She worked weekends as a hair salon stenographer, transcribing treatments and conversations for staff and customers.

We arranged a friend-day which would go on her year-ring, I expected. We meet at Storehenge, a shopping mall built in the exact configuration of the megaliths. We move between the retail units like bees, touching fabrics, picking up gadgets, sensing a future if we owned these things, being noticed by assistants and then buzzing on. I pause at space helmets in a toy shop, a travel agent advertising Italy. For lunch we take a table in the food circle. I have a plate of rattle asparagus, she has a portion of paragraphi lasagne, the logical descendant of alphabetti spaghetti. She wants to know more about me. I tell her about my past work as a Thwart, about me and Radium, and although she acts interested, I get the impression she knows these things already.