A suitably Private Zoom Call. April 2020. The Blonde is oafish, yet cold, the bald, barely human. From where the bald is we hear birdsong. And from the Blonde’s room, the music of what could be a porn film is heard.
BLONDE. So, does she have it?
BALD. Did you?
BLONDE. So, that’s what we tell anybody.
BALD. Such as?
BLONDE. Should they ask me..if anyone, you know..
BALD. No-one will.
BLONDE. Laura might..
BALD. Laura’s fine. Laura’s in. Laura knows it. And someone like Robbo’s an oddball. We can roll that prick either way. I fancy fresh air. I want to check the A1 out near Newcastle.
BALD. I thought we might change it. Make it a dual carriageway. I’m going to whack that up on my site when we call for recruitment. I want people who think they can do that and can do that fast: yesterday. Besides, Durham’s fine. Haven’t you been to the Castle?
BLONDE. Well, you know what they say: see one castle..
BALD. I’d like to walk around the hometown.
BLONDE. And the homeground too, I expect. Its funny, I never had you down as a farmer.
BALD. I can’t stand shit or nature, but when something is yours..savour it. My Dad’s got three houses there.
BLONDE. One for you. One for Mary. What’s your boy’s name again?
BALD. Does it matter? One bit of info a time..Yours is Will.
BLONDE. Thanks. So, if they do find out we just say –
BALD. That I was being responsible for your actions..
BLONDE. My actions?
BALD. Thy Commandments.
BLONDE. Yes, I see what you mean..yea and ja! (Thinks) So, what if someone sees you..
BLONDE. You tell me, some roving Geordie, or something..
BALD. But they can’t roam. We’ve told them. And besides, where I want to go its all trees. You can piss and feel pride, like your communing with nature.
BLONDE. I’d like to stand like a statue and piss on them all from great heights!
BALD. You sound like Charles’ old tape: ‘I wish I could just be your tampon..’
BLONDE. So, when are you going?
BALD. What do you mean, you prat? I’m here now..
BLONDE. And what if someone asks?
BALD. I’m furloughed! (He looks around) Its pretty here. Lots of green. Its like a gallery made of meadow. A place like this, once you’ve cleared it, makes you know what it means to achieve.We’ll take great bites from the earth, just so it knows it can’t beat us. We’ll be like cats, or dogs fighting..
BLONDE. Gaia and I..
BALD. Fuck Gaia.
BLONDE. Dali did.
BLONDE. Dali’s wife was called Gaia. Salvador Dali..
BALD. Listen, just do what you’re told and shut up. You wanted things slick. Well, I’m the oil, so keep greasing. As soon as you slide I’ll forget you. By that time we’ll be better and there’ll be plenty more places to go. We’ll have succeeded by then. You could call this a test run. I dare the twats to say something. And let’s be honest, the twats are only ever there to get fucked.
BLONDE. That’s pretty offensive, of course…
BALD. Yes, but then that’s the sort of thing you find funny. Pig shagger..
BALD. Jesus was a jew. He loved pigs. I like pigs, too, but hate ants. I’m like the man in that movie..looking down on them all..in the fairground..
BLONDE. The Third Man, you mean..Orson Welles..
BALD. Yes, if you say so. I’m him. Or I’m The First. Or, perhaps, I’m the first man’s thinner shadow.
BLONDE. They’ll be lots of ants in the country.
BALD. Easier to burn.
BLONDE. They’ll find out.
BALD. And if they do, we’ll just blind them with detail. More graphs and statistics. I can fucking well do what I want to. They can keep me inside we’d still rule.
BLONDE. You know, this is so classical and yet so bold and modern.
BALD. No, I’ll tell you what this is, this is heaven. But its one that only we get to fill (His attention is drawn. He looks away.) Ha, look at that. The boy just pissed on a raven.
BLONDE. Sounds quite cultish. I might do something now with my penis.
BALD (bad French accent) ‘appiness starts at home.
BLONDE. Not for them.
BALD. Speak later, ok. I’ll call you from the road. Its exciting. I’ve living a full scale scaletrix. It’s a good job I’ve got perfect eyesight. I can see the future clear: all of it.
(He cuts the call. The Blonde looks round, to the porn film. He grins and starts watching then remembers to end the call. End of Play.)
David Erdos May 29th 2020
Illustration: Claire Palmer