Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Scene 12: Rochester's Missionary Position (part 1)

Almost two months have passed since our protagonists enjoyed their first meeting.  Our charming couple are about to have their second date.  It is a dazzlingly bright and blustery Christmas morning.  They are meeting, yet again, at the 'Suicide Capital of the North East' (that slogan would be such an improvement on the dreary 'Welcome to Catherine Cookson Country' signs currently promoting our region).

Miss Underscore pulls her battered, clattering car into the carpark.  Rochester (huddled a black overcoat, of course) is waiting, smoking a cigarette.  Barbra Streisand's  'Woman in Love' is blasting from Miss U's car.  Miss Underscore, smiling broadly, obviously thrilled to see the rogue, gets out of the car. Boo scuttles out behind her.

Rochester:  You sending me a message with that choice of song, Miss Underscore? (He wraps his arms around her).

Miss U: Don't flatter yourself, fanny rat.

Rochester: (Kneeling down to ruffle Boo's fur) Happy Christmas Boo bonny lad. (standing) Great song mind.  You know, I once had SUCH a thing for Barbra. 

Miss U: Really?

They start to walk along the headland path. Miss Underscore (rather bravely, she feels) slips her arm through his.

Rochester: Gosh, that's nice petAye, when I was about 12 I saw Funny Girl on telly.  There was this scene where Barbra bounces up and down on a sofa in big flowery knickers.  Fucking hell! I was smitten. It was short-lived mind. The next thing I knew she was being depicted as an anteater on Spitting Image.  I just couldn't feel the same about her after that.

Miss U: God, men are such fickle creatures.

Rochester: You OK?  You look pale.

Miss U: I've been a bit under the weather lately.  

Rochester: I knowYou doing anything today?

Miss U:  No.

Rochester: Aw, fuck.  It's Christmas Day.  I don't like to think of you on your own.

Miss U: What are you doing?

Rochester:  Christmas dinner with your ex and the family in about an hour pet.  I know your mum and dad aren't here petal.  I know how much you miss them. Will you be OK?

Miss U: (Trying, rather ineffectively, not to be upset) Ah, I'll be fine.  I miss do my dad at Christmas.  Christ.  Christmas with the Brothers Grimm.  That must be jolly.  Can you get Senor Boldon to wear a paper hat?

They sit on a bench.  Miss Underscore leans into Rochester. 

Rochester: Not a fucking chance. He's too introverted to even pull a cracker.  I think he'd have a cunting stoke if I suggested charades. I may try it!  I'm deeply serious.  He doesn't know about this, about us.   It was causing too many problems with his missus.  I've said we're not seeing each other any more.  (pause) You never really told me what happened with him.

Miss U: (Takes a deep breath) Do you want to know?

Rochester: Aye, I think I do. 

Miss U:  Ok. (pause) We met online. Exchanged emails for a month or so.  It was the first time I had ever done anything like that.  He was the only person who contacted me that I was attracted to. It all got very intense very quickly really, very intense before we'd even met. I was a more than a little fragile. We had a terrible first date, where he sat and scowled at me for an hour and tumbleweed blew through the bar. We met again, that time there was lots of gin, and we got on well.  I really liked him.  He's a good person.  Fucking odd.  But good. We saw each other a few more times.  We went to Bamburgh for the day once, we walked along the beach, it was this glorious Spring day.  We held hands.  I can remember thinking that I was really falling in love with him and that we were incredibly happy. On the drive back home he told me he was in contact with other women, from mismatch.com.  A couple of days later he dumped me, by text.  I just rushed into things, too quickly.  I was heartbroken mind.  I was teaching in Durham at the time.  I would drive to work, tears streaming down my face, teaching morning lessons.  Sit in the toilets all through lunchtime, weeping, and then cry all the way home too.  For weeks. You know, before your brother, I'd been with the same man for 10 years.  I was all over the place.  I did think I was in love with him.  Now, I'm not so sure.  

(long pause)

Rochester: Do you make a good pie?

Miss U: (Rather hurt) Is that all you have to say? .

(longer pause)

Rochester: I knew it was more than just a fling.  I remember hearing your name a lot at the time. It makes sense.  You look poorly pet.  

Miss U:  I know. I feel a bit queasy.  I may just go back to bed for a while.

Rochester: (Standing up and holding out his hand to Miss U)  Howay then.  You go and rest.  Drink tonight?  

Miss U:  Yes.  I do make a good pie, by the way.  Corned beef.

They start the walk back to the carpark.

Rochester:  What did you get for Christmas from Madam Noir?

Miss U:  Oh, err, perfume, a Dynasty DVD and a Nick Cave mug.

Rochester: Twatting hell, you can  get Nick Cave mugs? Whatever next, Sylvia and Ted fluffy dice.  You do realise that Madam Noir is a lesbian, don't you?

Miss U:  (dumbfounded) What?  Why would you say that?  What makes you think she's gay, you've never even met her?

Rochester: Listen, I studied lesbianism at Durham University, I was married to a lesbian once.  I know my lesbians. 

Miss U: Bollocks.  Durham University doesn't do a course in lesbianism.  (uncertainly)  Does it?

Rochester: Aye pet, I did a feminism module.  Lesbianism.  Feminism. It's the same innit flower?

Miss U: (scoffing) YOU did a module on feminism?  

Rochester: (defensively) What's wrong with that like?

Miss U: But you're such an offensive oaf.  I am surprised they didn't lynch you with their bluestockings.  

Rochester: (shrugging) They didn't like me much, it's true.  They tried to get me thrown off the course.  I think it was my jokes that really pissed them off.

Miss U: Like what?

Rochester:  (smirking)  How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb. 

Miss U:  (smiling, despite herself) How many?

Rochester: (huffily) ONE!  AND ACTUALLY, THAT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY! (roaring with laughter) Aye, all those limp, lefty academic cunts didn't know what to do with me.  I still passed though.

Miss U: You do seem to be fascinated with lesbians.  Did you not figure out that the 2nd Mrs Rochester was 'Venetian'?

Rochester:  Venetian?

Miss U: Daphne du Maurier's euphemism for lezzaism.

Rochester:  (impressed) Ah.  I didn't know that. 

Miss U: And there's you thinking you know it all!  

Rochester: You know petal, the signs were always there, about the second Mrs Rochester I mean, (counting the signs on his fingers) she worked in a women's prison,  she wore Birkenstocks,  she had a loyalty card for Millets.

Miss U: Hmmm.  You don't have to be Hetty Wainthropp to crack those clues.

Rochester:  Aye, Hetty Wainthropp.  There's another one. (nodding) Lezza.


Miss U:  Or Miss Marple even. . .


Rochester: Aye, Miss Marple. . . her an'all.  She obviously can't relax around cock either.

Miss U: (shaking her head) INCREDIBLE.  You're like the little boy in Sixth Sense, only, you don't see dead people, you see ladies in sensible shoes.

Rochester: Madam Noir's a lezza.  I know it. You know it.  She knows it. Trust me. She's got a Mars Bar in the fridge.  

Miss U:  I don't even know what that means!  Let's change the subject, eh?

Rochester: Of course, you know the truth is (leaning in, as if about to share a great secret) LESBIANS DON'T REALLY EXIST.

Miss U:  (incredulously) WHAT?

Rochester: I've fixed a number of them in my time. (musing) I could possibly stage an intervention for Noir.

Miss U: Are you offering your services as some sort of a Venetian missionary?

Rochester: I could you know.  I often think I need to give more back to society.

Miss U:  You could set up a charity.  You could call it Rochester's Missionary Position. 

Rochester: Genius petI'm going to do it.  I'm going to cancel my Christian Aid direct debit and focus on the Missionary Position.  A chance to get more hands on, as it were.  

Miss U:  Anyway, you were saying that lesbians don't really exist?

Rochester:  Na, they don't.  Not really.

Miss U: Do you mean they are mythical creatures, like elves or leprechauns?  

Rochester: Aye.  Something like that. 

Miss U:  In that case, Madam Noir can NOT be a lesbian then! How can she be if they don't even exist?

Rochester: No need to get uppity about it flower.  You'll see.  She's a moss mumbler.  100.  FUCKING.  PERCENT.

They arrive back at Miss Underscore's car.

Miss U: (laughing) You are such a nutjob. And please, do not try to lay your healing hands on Madam Noir.

Rochester: (nonchalantly) I wouldn't be healing her with my hands pet. See, you'd be fucking jealous, wouldn't you? 

Miss U:  (nodding)  I think I would.

Rochester: Good. That's what I like to hearCome here petal. 

Miss Underscore and Rochester kiss, very intensely, for a long time.

Rochester: You know, last time we were here, I came dangerously close to chasing your round the Focus.

Miss Underscore:  Oh, why didn't you?  I did want you to. I might have made you do one circuit, just for the sake of appearances, but I would have let you catch me in the end.

Rochester:  It felt a bit presumptuous, that's all.  I'll ring you about tonight pet. Gosh. Happy Christmas Miss Underscore.

12 comments:

  1. Interesting. He is so wise. Like the Dalai Lama, in a wool-mix overcoat. On my death-bed, that is one thing that will haunt me. The thought that Rochester didn't get to 'cure me'.

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  2. And what the blue fuck does the 'Mars Bar' reference mean????

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  3. And, for the record, Rochester - I am more of a 'Snickers' lass. Or Turkish Delight.

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  4. Oh God Noir. I was wondering how you'd cope with this post. I think, funnily enough, that Rochester will have similar death bed regrets.

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  5. I find him mildly amusing, Miss Underscore. I would like to meet him, purely just to observe his attempts to 'cure me'......you up for that Rochester???

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  6. Oh God, that is almost an invitation Noir. He'll be marinating himself in fanny rat aftershave and stopping off for chips and curry sauce (his supper of seduction) as we speak.

    The irony is HE WAS RIGHT! We shall say no more about that though. NO SPOILERS ALLOWED. xxx

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  7. Your dialogue alone - already in the perfect setting (in DK your movie would be blue-tinted, just think "The Killing" - a sad lack of lesbians to change our light-bulbs perhaps?) - this is a movie in itself. Ah!

    You have made my day.

    LouiseXX

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  8. Ha! I love the thought of a Killing-esque ambience Louise! As long as I don't have to wear an itchy jumper of course!

    Thank you for your comment.

    xxx

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  9. Love the post. Has any Hollywood bigshot offered you a big stash of cash yet for your screenplay? Surely only a matter of time.

    Do we get an update on the woolly-hat wearing younger man? Hope it's going well.

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  10. Claire,

    Amazingly NO. No Hollywood bigshot has contacted me YET. But, I am thinking of introducing a broodingly intense teenage vampire character. Hollywood will come knocking then, I'm quite sure. I figure the demonic villain could be defeated by Aunty Margaret wielding some kind of garlic-laced Mr Kipling product. It's utter genius (as you can tell).

    Ah, nothing happened with Mr Beanie. Too young and daft.

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  11. Lovely dialogue. Just like being back in Yates's Wine Lodge, opposite Newcastle Central Staion.
    "Howay the lads", sawdust (and blood)on the floor, skanky-looking girls in too-short skirts and mottled legs.
    Ah. The memories. The bottles of Newcastle Bown on the ale-soaked table, the foul language, the smells of the great unwashed, the Geordieisms, "Hinny" and "Pet" and "Flower" and "You fookin' Scottish bastard".
    It brings a tear to my eye and a bulge in my keks. Remembering North Shields on a wet Saturday, Newcastle's Neville Street on a Friday night. I'm so glad I left.

    Set your sights higher, you know you can.

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  12. Thanks for the comment TSB, I can tell, despite your protests, that you miss those mottled legs more than words can say.

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