Kevin has been trying to fold back a map into its compact original state.
Kevin Be with you in a bit.
Gets back to it.
Finally manages to get it back to some sort of original semblance. This might elicit a few cheers from the audience.
Kevin So I’m fucking this chick, right. I say fucking. More a conversation. In a crowded room. Feels like fucking. And she’s really getting into it, you know. Really grinding her hips. Metaphorically. So, she takes my order. Finally. We get down to the meat and gristle. Or flan, more specifically. They do great flan here. I request flan. She writes down flan. I definitely see her write it down. Or fleur. Definitely an F. An F, an L. She’s written something down. Whatever she’s written, it’s down. I don’t even like flan, never had it. They don’t do flan anyway. Flan’s off, I’m afraid. So I flip her over into doggy position, I say doggy position – I see the back of her, as she walks away. And, you know, I’m in deep. She feels me hit the end. I ring her bells, way, way down in her belly like the climax of the 1812 Overture. She sings – I say ‘sings’, she calls in my order – “Spotted Dick for table five!” A very English dish, a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruits and blisters round the rim. She comes, vaginal, deep vaginal, clitoral, multiple, simultaneous…with whom I have no idea. Comes like Niagara, like Yosemite, like Victoria. And collapses in her chair. Takes the weight off her more than ample bosom, to get back to the crossword.
Pretty much just another normal Sunday afternoon lunch. In my local Caf. I say ‘Caf’ – coz that’s what it is it’s a Caf. If it were a Garage or a Hospital, I would’ve said so. If it were a small bistro or, let’s face it, an out-and-out restaurant, then I wouldn’t be doing it justice calling it a Caf. If anything Caf…is too pretentious a word for a place like this. But then there’s no other word for it, so I’m just going to leave it the way it is, which is what it is…a Caftan. A lovely middle eastern Caftan that she wears under her apron. I thought only Arab men wore those, but it’s probably fashionable for the Lithuanians over here, I don’t know. I’m guessing she’s Lithuanian. The Liths have got the waitress market down round this part of town. Although that’s probably a bit racist. To call her a waitress. She might be a waitress on the outside but who knows what she is on the inside? She might still be a waitress on the inside. But inside that she might also be a failed musician. Kicked out the London Philharmonic for playing the electric guitar…with her knees…during Elgar’s Fifth…and his Sixth…and halfway through his Seventh before they noticed…that something was up. I’m projecting, I know. She might not even be a waitress. (beat) I bloody hope she is. I gave her my order.
So yeah, we’re going out now. She doesn’t know that. But then again, I don’t know that she’s been seeing another man for the best part of six fucking months! So no reason to get angry. I’ve ordered. She’s put the order in. Which is more than can be said for most relationships. The sex is great between us. Gave her the menu back and everything.
I deliberated over my order, did you see that? I gave the impression that there were so many things going on in my head…such a complicated mind…I could’ve had all of it…or I could’ve had none of it…She must’ve thought I was so fucking deep. Do I go for the lamb? Or the steak? In which case why am I looking at the dessert menu? Fuck it I’ll have the fish. Coz that’s how I roll, bitch. I’m a complex motherfucker. And I’m starving. You can imagine how long I take to order when I’m not even hungry. “What do I want?”, ‘How long have you got, babe?’ The eternal question. What man has been asking himself since the dawn of Time. What do I want? (beat) Spotted Dick, please…with custard.
She’s doing the crossword. Let’s hope it’s not the cryptic. Coz her English is crap. She’s struggling with her crossword like a tourist with an alligator. Both were getting a lot of snaps in.
Laughs goes into a cough.
Daina. Daina. Like Diana. But more Lithuanian. And poor. Just more shit all round, really. We’d ride through the streets of Paris together. Through the tourists and the alligators. Through the spotted dicks and the crossword puzzles. “Look Daina, no hands!” And we’d smash on through to Nirvana. Or maybe not.
Anyway, I’ve been coming to the same caf for the past two and half years and I still haven’t plucked up the courage to ask for a coffee. Not even back at mine, just here at the Caf. All I can do is order food off her. Doesn’t she realise I’m not here for the Chicken Parmaggiana Specials?! There’s only so many avocado prawn cocktails a man can have before he just takes his thing out and hits her in the face with it.
Breathe, I must breathe. Today I will progress. I will ask her her name. If it’s the same as what’s written on her lapel badge, then that will at least put paid to that! I could tell her my name. I’ll lie of course. Women go for that. Liars. Name liars. I’ll say my name’s Bob. Leave no room for confusion. Enigmatic Bob. And let it escalate from there. “Oh, what do you Bob?”, ‘I’m a poet’, “Oh, write me a poem”, ‘No! What type of poet do you take me for? It’s a proper job. I get paid for it. I pay taxes. You think I can just scribble a poem on a napkin like a cunt? There’s lawyers involved. Copyrights. Publishing rights. Distribution rights. Image rights. I’ve got a fucking career. An office in Clerkenwell. I work nine to five. Had I said I was a bank manager, would you have asked for a loan? “Oh, that’s nice, give us a loan for free” I’m not a performing vegetable. I’m a frikking poet! I make words rhyme. Do you have any…comprehension as to what that involves? Sometimes the words don’t rhyme. Do you have any…inkling, any cold hard realisation of what goes into something like that? You think Baudelaire just wrote a poem off the top of his head? You think T S Eliot wrote The Waste Land on the back a racing form while taking a shit? Did e.e.cummings just throw a bunch of fridge magnets against his fridge and go ‘yeah, that’ll do’. Did Kipling write If for a bet while he was pissed? Did Sylvia Plath write all her poems chained to an oven – (well she actually did) – but point I’m trying to make is…No! Oh what’s that down the crack of my sofa? Oh it’s the Complete Verse of Rabbie Burns, that’s me I’m Rabbie Burns, it must’ve fallen out my pocket with some loose change after my marathon wanking session, coz I only have to fart and I’ve won the Pulitzer, only have to blow my nose and I’ve got a Nobel Peace Prize. Anyway, I haven’t even got a pen, what do you want me to do, scratch it with my nail into this Hello magazine, and then hold it up to the light so you can see the indentations. Or is this what you want? Huh?! Huh?! (opens his shirt to reveal his chest) My bleeding heart,
black and true, all tied up with a bow, presented to you in some sort of coquettish wee box, so I can write you a ditty from its human ink, rouge and lush? Coz think again. I’m too squeamish for that. Look, just forget it. I thought we had something there, but obviously not. I think it’s best we just…you know. Go back to being waitress and customer. I still would like you as a friend. But I do understand if you don’t want that. I think you’re great. A great…person. Wicked. Really cool…just back off’, “Nice poem, what’s it called?”, ‘It’s called Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still’.
Dave won the Scotsman Fringe First Award in 2011 for ‘Somewhere Beneath…’ and his latest play ‘Hand Over Fist’ was nominated for a Stage Edinburgh Award 2012. His play ‘Afterbirth’ was developed at National Theatre Studio and premiered at Arcola Theatre. It is published by Methuen and available on Amazon.
These are the first few pages from Dave Florez’ Fringe First winning play: SOMEWHERE BENEATH IT ALL, A SMALL FIRE BURNS STILL. To purchase a copy please click here.