A Short Story from Smitten.
How long can the shopping possibly take? Why, there could be queues or a shortage of plastic bags or maybe someone crashed an airplane into Superquinn or one of the cashiers went crazy and shot the place up? Or else the person doing the shopping could be shit faced drunk and have left the shopping at the bar in the Pumphouse, squashing eggs and bursting milk cartons by accident the drunker he gets.
Bronagh peered through the curtains and really wished that she had done the shopping herself. She’s much too pregnant to be out and about doing the shopping. I wish I did it, she thought. But you didn’t Bronagh so why don’t you sit your pretty little self and your pretty little bump down and have a cup of tea and a whole heap of those mini Crunchies you keep eating. Not the big ones, it has to be the little ones. Only the little ones will do.
Where is he? Out to do the shopping he said. Won’t take long at all he said. Well it has taken long. Too long… by far. And when you’re a man trying to stay on the wagon, too long becomes unbearable for the person sitting at home. And Bronagh was the person at home. She wasn’t sitting though, not a chance. She was exactly like one of those girlfriends she swore she’d never become. The ones who stand at windows and wait and wait and wait. Outside the window there’s nothing, not even the stars to look up at. She tries to find something else to do… but options are limited when 8 months worth of baby growth is after happening in her womb. She’s still afraid of her lump bursting open like an alien, escaping from inside like some horrendous scene from a schlocky horror movie. That’s what’s been happening in her dreams of late. She’d wake up caked in sweat, panting heavily with her hands steadfastly cradling her bump. But Dave would always be there, rubbing her head and getting water for her.
That’s the Dave she needs. Not the old one. Not the old one at all. He was too drunk, too messy, too unattentive. She loved him, loved him she did. But she quietly lost patience. She dragged him home on her slight frame many times when he was too drunk to move. She cleaned his stomach lining up from the sink one time after a particularly horrendous bender. He fell asleep hanging over the banister of the stairs. She didn’t have the strength to move him so she just left him there. All the nights of turning him over because she’d be afraid he’d puke in his sleep and die, just like Hendrix did. Just like a lot of people did in fact. What a horribly undignified way to go, she thought, choking to death on your own vomit. At least it’s better than a baby bursting out of your stomach though.
Especially if it tried to strangle her with placenta. She tries not to think of death by placenta. That’s even more undignified than the puke. She’s trying to think of who she should call…. or if she should call… or if she should run out into the streets screaming ‘Dave! Dave!’ with her arms flailing.
At the exact moment she’s fiddling with the curtain and thinking of all those bad things she hears the key slide into the lock. A rush of relief washes through her like if a dam had burst or even her waters had broke. But she’d best not think of that right now. She didn’t want to greet Dave with broken waters and incoming babies. Especially when he had such a sheepish look on his face, struggling with the shopping bags. ‘Sorry’ he said ‘I dropped into me ma’s for a cup of tea.’ She wanted to run and hug him but she probably wouldn’t be able to fully reach her arms around him, what with the bump and everything.
Picture: Annette O’Shea and Kevin Mooney as Bronagh and Dave in Smitten.
Tickets for Smitten are on sale NOW in Rollercoaster Records, Kieran Street and they are €10. The show runs August 20 – 23 and starts 8pm nightly. For more information and updates, check out www.devioustheatre.com.