Grace, Four

“Come, he hath hid himself among these trees, to be consorted with the humorous night;” Mr Feigenbaum replied measuredly, the revolutions of his foot keeping rhythm, “blind is his love and best befits the dark.”

“If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. Now will he sit under a medlar tree, and wish his mistress were that kind of fruit as maids call medlars, when they laugh alone. O Romeo! that she were, O! that she were an open arse, thou a poperin pear. Romeo, good night: I’ll to my truckle-bed; this field-bed is too cold for me to sleep: come, shall we go?”

“Go, then;” Mr Feigenbaum said, and opened his eyes in the manner of one waking reachingly, unbelievingly from a dream, which was his usual manner. “Go, then; for ’tis vain to seek him here that means not to be found.”

The scene’s end meant more wordless looking. Tammy knew what was on Mr Feigenbaum’s mind and she understood why he was hesitant to articulate it.

“I know, I’m not thinking about the meaning,” she said. He blinked once slowly, a nod. “I feel paralysed. All I have is emotion but I can’t make it into one emotion or another. I feel like I’ve been unzipped.”

Mr Feigenbaum nodded again comprehendingly. She could have sighed in such a way and he would not ask for clarification, she thought.

“It’s hard to be bawdy when one is grieving,” he said. “Or romantic for that matter.”

“Who’s grieving?” she said, not intending to refer to herself, to sound so cold, only skeptical that people other than herself were disturbed by Grace’s suicide. Selfish said the one voice. Be quiet said the other. She could hear the clock ticking. She descended the stage and came to the table where Mr Feigenbaum sat, took an Oreo from the opened pack there beside the script, spectacles, empty styrofoam coffee cup. She cleared a small space and sat at the edge of the table, eating without enjoying. Mr Feigenbaum took one too, then put it back.

“I didn’t want to say this Tammy, but Lloyd has decided to drop out. We have no Friar Laurence; he told me around noon. I don’t like to speculate but this might mean others will follow suit, I hoped that maybe if we could regain what was lost…but…”

“Lloyd was terrible anyway and you know it! It’s a good thing he’s gone, he was probably waiting for an opportunity to leave—”

“Tammy, I think even with a full cast, which he don’t have it’s a little ambitious. The Tempest? Twelfth Night? Far more manageable. I know you and Grace had your hopes set on this, you have a lot of plans for it but…”

“We can’t just start over!”

“No,” said Mr Feigenbaum, “and I don’t suggest we do now, I suggest we lay it to rest.”

There was silence. Tammy threw her cookie in the wastebin beside the desk and headed heavily back up the aisle to her backpack. Behind her she knew that Mr Feigenbaum was formulating the perfect apology—just the right inflection and wording—to absolve himself, but already Tammy didn’t care.

Thanks for checking out this part of my project.

Did I tell you I wrote a novel? You can also donate some of your hard-earned dollars down below—that’s money to me, for free!

Gabriel Muoio


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