498

IRIS Scene

Iris, a woman in a dress and heels walks on with a pile of socks. Her husband Peter stands next to a suitcase. Iris stops for a moment. Looks at Peter. A moment. She’s trying to say something. Then.

IRIS
You can never bring enough socks.

Iris walks towards the suitcase.

PETER
They shouldn’t have used all that music. Danny hated music.

Iris starts stuffing socks in the suitcase.

IRIS
Because, say it rains, or you step in something wet, your socks get wet. And everyone knows wet feet make you sick.

PETER
Maybe he didn’t hate music, but he would have hated this.

IRIS
I would hate for you to get sick.

PETER
Do you think Felix likes the rolling stones?

IRIS
What?

PETER
Perhaps it was his idea.

IRIS
Perhaps.

PETER
Don’t you think-

IRIS
You might also want to bring an extra pair of shoes. Dry socks with wet shoes defeats the entire purpose of having enough socks in the first place.

PETER
It didn’t bother you? The music?

IRIS
Not really.

PETER
Danny never listened to music.

IRIS
Where are your other shoes?

PETER
It just shows.

IRIS
Shows what?

PETER
That Felix doesn’t fully comprehend what it means.

IRIS
Who really comprehends what it means?

PETER
He obviously doesn’t understand that Danny is gone.

IRIS
Mmm.

PETER
It’s a sign. To play rock and roll at your fathers funeral.

IRIS
Maybe he just loves the rolling stones.

PETER
Sorry to leave you alone with him. Danny was my friend.

Iris looks up.

IRIS
Well. You don’t really have a choice. It’s a crisis.

Iris continues packing.

PETER
When Felix gets back today-

IRIS
Yes.

PETER
You can’t let him be alone too long.

Beat.

IRIS
Of course not. I’ll make him dinner.

PETER
And you should talk to him. Eighteen-year olds can’t be alone after something like this.

IRIS
I will tell him the meaning of everything.

PETER
That’s not what I mean.

IRIS
I will simply sit with him in silence until he understands.

PETER
I’ve asked Coral to cook.

Iris stands still.

PETER
That way you won’t have to worry about that.

Iris starts going through his suitcase again. Perhaps throwing some things on the table.

IRIS
What about your other polka dot tie? You might need it when you feel lonely.

Iris picks up the polka dot tie.

PETER
And she will also do the laundry.

IRIS
Why?

PETER
It’s better for her to do it.

IRIS
What makes you think I can’t do laundry myself?

PETER
With Felix here-

IRIS
I can do laundry.

PETER
The thing is-

IRIS
I can do laundry in any circumstance. When have you ever noticed that I wasn’t able to do laundry? Tell me.

PETER
That’s not why I asked her.

IRIS
She doesn’t do the laundry the way I want her to. She folds strangely. Especially shirts. Her folding doesn’t go with my folding, so we end up with uneven piles.

PETER
You shouldn’t be worried about that on top of everything.

IRIS
Now I’ll be worried about uneven piles.

PETER
I mean with Felix here.

IRIS
What else would I be worried about?

Beat.

PETER
You’ll have to talk about Danny. You can’t ignore the topic completely.

IRIS
It’ll be impossible to ignore uneven piles. They tumble
over.

PETER
Felix will want to talk about him.

IRIS
And I will be right here, to talk.

Beat. A moment.
We’ll be fine.

Another moment.

Peter.

PETER
Yes.

IRIS
Before you go, I-
Peter looks around.

PETER
Also have some flowers around the house. Danny liked to
have flowers around the house. That’s funny isn’t it? For a
butcher. It’s not like there was anything feminine about
him.

IRIS
No.

PETER
I remember right before you and I started dating, Danny had been working in the shop, saving up to buy a girl a pastis. We thought that was the most luxurious thing we could offer a woman, but when I asked him if he managed to buy her a drink, he just shrugged. Said he had left her a postcard in the mail with a picture of a flower. On a card so it wouldn’t die.

IRIS
It’s 7 o’clock. Your taxi will be here soon. And I still
want to vacuum Felix’s room. For when he comes.

PETER
He would’ve hated today. There weren’t enough flowers.

IRIS
There were a lot of flowers. The smell was a bit overwhelming. Made me a little nauseous actually.

Peter looks up at her.

PETER
I would’ve liked more flowers. And less talking. People talk too much at funerals. I heard a woman talk about venetian blinds. Apparently they’re a pain to dust. Cause of the quantity of the blinds. Or the size. And that they were tacky in some houses, but not in all. And why exactly were they called Venetian? She had never seen them in Venice. In Milan once, but that’s not the same.

Beat.

I hope I can go to her funeral and talk about where the urinal originated.

IRIS
It’s over now.

PETER
I know. I’m sorry.

Iris turns to the suitcase again.

IRIS
Now tell me, is purple a bad or good color for ties in politics? Because I heard it stands for greed and you wouldn’t want to seem greedy on your first trip as first minister.

PETER
Purple is fine.

IRIS
You have two in your suitcase.

PETER
Then nothing can go wrong.

IRIS
No.

Beat.

Then everything will be fine.

Iris smiles at him and zips the suicase closed.

PETER
Was there something you wanted to say?

IRIS
What? Oh. No. Just about the ties.

Peter nods and gives her a kiss. Iris smiles.

Copyright Judith Goudsmit